By Peter Rimbos
On July 2, the Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council held its monthly meeting. This was an atypical meeting as there were no invited guest speakers. Consequently, time was devoted strictly to council business, including (1) ensuring all area council committees can accomplish their missions and help rural area residents and (2) planning for special guest speakers for two key upcoming monthly meetings.
The area council conducts its work through its various committees whose members consist of both members of the area council and members of the public. All area council committee meetings are open to the public.
There is an overarching Executive Committee, which consists of the area council’s five officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary). The committee oversees and manages various aspects and business of the area council. For more information, visit: http://gmvuac.org/executive/.
There are four major subject-matter committees, which conduct research on various topics that affect the rural area; review permits, ordinances, studies, and reports and draft detailed comments for the full area council to review before being submitted to various government agencies.
• The Economic Development Committee (http://gmvuac.org/economic/) evaluates potential rural economic opportunities and develops economic viability plans.
• The Environment Committee (http://gmvuac.org/environment/) studies environmental issues including regional parks, historic landmarks, natural habitats, water quality, flood control and surface water management, wastewater and solid waste.
• The Growth Management Committee (http://gmvuac.org/growth-mgmt/) seeks to ensure the State Growth Management Act and all plans derived therefrom preserve the quality of life of rural area residents by monitoring potential code, policy and land-use changes while engaging with policymakers.
• The Transportation Committee (http://gmvuac.org/transportation/) investigates transportation issues and potential mitigation and reviews local transportation plans, Transportation Needs Reports, county transportation budget, road priorities, and concurrency travel sheds. In addition, the Transportation Committee jointly leads the Joint Transportation Initiative to address broad regional transportation issues with other Rural Area Area Councils (UACs).
Once again, citizens who are not area council members can serve on these committees and several do so. We thank them for their service and the experience they bring to these committees.
Finally, there are three committees with very specific general business functions: ByLaws (http://gmvuac.org/bylaws-committee/); Public Relations (http://gmvuac.org/public-relations/) and Train Show (http://gmvuac.org/train-show/).
The area council’s Annual Train Show is held the third weekend of October at the Gracie Hansen Community Center in Ravensdale.
The area council discussed the missions and membership of each of these committees to best utilize the talent and interests of its members and some membership changes were made. A complete matrix showing membership of each area council committee can be found online at http://gmvuac.org/officers-focals-committees/.
Upcoming monthly meetings
All monthly meetings are from 7 – 9:30 p.m. and held at the fire station located at the Southeast corner of Southeast 231st Street and state Route 169 intersection across from the police precinct.
All members of the public are welcome. Each meeting begins with an open Public Comment period.
John Henry Mine: Monday, August 6 — Although this will be an area council regular monthly meeting, it will be unusual, as we have invited members from key government agencies, companies and organizations for an open discussion of the proposed reopening of the John Henry Mine.
For more background, a variety of documents are available for review on the Area Council’s Environment Committee website: http://gmvuac.org/environment/. These include the federal Environmental Assessment, Finding of No Significant Impact, initial Federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation & Enforcement comments, and the comments on this proposal submitted by the Area Council, Washington State Department of Natural Resources and King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.
Issaquah-Hobart Road Studies: Monday, September 10 — Tentatively scheduled, members from the Washington State Department of Transportation, King County Department of Transportation, and the city of Issaquah will discuss the Interstate 90/Front Street (the name of the Issaquah-Hobart Road changes to Front Street within the Issaquah city limits) Interchange Project and its impacts on traffic volumes and throughput on the Issaquah-Hobart Road.
Your area council serves as an all volunteer, locally elected advisory body to King County on behalf of all rural unincorporated area residents living in the Tahoma School District.
For more information, please visit: www.gmvuac.org.