Trees, Trails & Parks committee selected

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The nine inaugural members of the new Storm Lake Mayor's Advisory Committee on Trees, Trails, and Parks have been selected. The appointments were approved by the City Council Monday night.

Serving one-year terms will be Allen Taphorn, Becky Stille, and Paola Michell. Two-year terms will go to Bob Payer, Luis Mendez and Mary Beth Andrews. Three -year terms were approved for Lynn Schable, Linda Carver, Mike Thompson.

Only residents of the City were considered for the positions.

After the vote of approval, Mayor Jon Kruse, who proposed the new group last winter, noted that some have questioned why the appointments were not made sooner.

He said that the plan was to name the members for terms starting July 1, to coincide with terms for other City boards and commissions. And, he said, applications were still coming in up to three weeks ago.

The term lengths vary in order to stagger the end of terms, so that the entire board will not turn over at the same time, allowing for continuity on the issues it addresses. The term lengths were assigned at random.

Kruse said he wanted to thank all those who applied, but noted that only nine could be selected. Also, the advisory council, as an official City entity, had to be gender-balanced, Kruse said.

The selected group represents a mix of individuals - those who have lived for decades in Storm Lake and others who are relative newcomers, those who are interested primarily in trails, and those who specialize in interest in tree stock and park facilities. "They all go together," Mayor Kruse said.

Some of those who applied simply wish to give back to their communities, and others hope to incorporate ideas they have learned from other places, he added.

An organizational meeting of the new group will be scheduled soon.

"There is plenty to do in all three of these arenas, and we're eager to get started," Kruse said.

Several other board and commission appointments were also approved for terms starting this month. They include: Maria Ramos - Planning & Zoning,

Jean Camerer - Cemetery Board, Benjamin Maas - Storm Water Advisory Committee, Bob Payer - Board of Adjustment, Danny Richardson - Airport Commission and Civil Service Commission.

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