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Mason Transit votes to change board makeup

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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Mason Transit Authority (MTA) board members voted Monday to change the makeup of the group's board.

The changes kept the board at its maximum of nine members. The changes eliminated positions for Mason County Fire Districts 3, 5 and 11. It also added representation from the Shelton School Board, Pioneer School Board and Grape-view school districts, and eliminated representation from Mason County Hospital District 2.

MTA General Manager Brad Patterson said the changes would "redistribute representation a little more equitably through the county."

According to RCW 36.57A.055, if a board, such as the Mason Transit Authority Board, wants to change its membership, the changes must be reviewed and approved by members of the county legislative body, or the Mason County Board of Commissioners, and the elected representative of each city in the public transportation benefit area.

Mason County Commissioners Terri Jeffreys and Randy Neatherlin, also members of the Mason County Commission, and Shelton city commissioner Mike Olsen voted for the change. County Commissioner Tim Sheldon was not at the meeting.

The proposed changes included a position with alternating two-year terms for Hospital District 2 and the North Mason School District.

Representatives from the North Mason School Board and the hospital district expressed an interest to stay on the board.

However, Neatherlin said he was concerned that during years when the hospital district representative was serving on the board, the Allyn Urban Growth Area would be underrepresented.

The board voted to remove the hospital district position and allow the North Mason School District to have full-time representation on the board. The MTA board has nine members, the maximum allowed by law, including all three Mason County Commissioners, one city of Shelton commissioner, a member of the Hood Canal School District, a member of the North Mason School District, and a member of Mason County Public Hospital District 2 board.

The board includes a member of the Mary M. Knight School District board on even years and a member of the Southside School District board in odd years.

The last position rotates between the boards of Mason County Fire Protection Districts 3, 5 and 11.

Fire districts 5 and 11 asked to be removed from the boards.

"We feel that as a volunteer fire department we do not have an invested interest in public transit and there are other groups that would be better contributors to the MTA board," wrote Fire District 11 commissioner Gary Volk.

MTA received no other comments on the proposed changes.

The changes to the board will take effect in January.

The new makeup includes the three county commissioners, one city commissioner, a member of the Hood Canal School District, North Mason School District, Shelton School District, a position alternating between Mary M. Knight and South Side school boards, and an alternating position for representatives from the Grapeview and Pioneer school districts.

Copyright 2013 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 21, 2013

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