Steamboat Springs A focus group working on the formation of a Steamboat Springs Water Commission has agreed for it to consist of four city representatives and four representatives from the Mount Werner Water Board.
The members of the focus group would become Water Commission members.
Focus group member Bill Martin presented the proposal to the City Council at Tuesday night's meeting. The council was comfortable with the formation of an eight-member board, but it balked at the idea of appointing three city representatives and then allowing the three representatives to appoint a council member to serve as the fourth member.
The city representatives, Nancy Mayer, Paul Stettner and Bill Martin, selected Councilman Steve Ivancie to serve as the council's representative.
"It is certainly a change to have the commission pick the city council member," Councilman Paul Strong said.
City Council President Kathy Connell questioned whether the public would see the selection of a council member by city representatives as something done behind closed doors.
She said the council usually appoints members to boards during public meetings with discussion among the members.
"I think we are now suddenly taking baby steps forward. We don't want to stop now at the point where both sides are working together and agreeing. I don't want to do anything (in secret)," Connell said.
Connell also said it might help to have members rotate in the position from year to year, as they do with other committees. A council alternative also would be a good idea, Connell said.
In June, the council and Mount Werner Water Board agreed to move forward with a joint water commission, which would make recommendations to the two boards on operational and possible policy issues.
At that meeting, the boards debated if the commission should be made up of three city representatives plus a council member and four Mount Werner Water representatives or, to prevent a tie vote, three city representatives plus a council member and three Mount Werner Water representatives.
Martin said it was a majority vote to have an even number of appointees, but not a unanimous vote.
City Manager Paul Hughes said the majority of the city representatives wanted it to be very hard for the water commission to have a win/lose situation and to force at least one member of a side to vote for the other side.
"If there was a close decision, (they didn't want) to make it easy to have a winning side and losing side," Hughes said.
The water commission also decided all appointees of the city and Mount Werner Water Board initially would serve staggered terms of two, four and six years. When the terms expired, all terms would become four years with no term limits.
The commission recommended that the appointed city council member hold a two-year term from election to election and could be reappointed if re-elected.