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P&Z and advisory boards: the town’s work horses

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By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer

Up until a few years ago, the town trustees didn’t always know what their advisory boards were up to.
Sometimes, the advisory boards’ plans didn’t “align” with the trustees’, Carbondale Town Manager Jay Harrington told The Sopris Sun. The upshot was that on at least one occasion, an advisory board spent an entire year heading in one direction, and it didn’t head back in the right direction until the trustees figured out what was up and reined it in.
“So we created a new position,” Harrington continued. The Boards and Commissions Clerk, Angie Sprang, coordinates advisory board agendas, takes minutes at board meetings, and prepares advisory board minutes for the trustees, and also works in the Finance Department.
To keep the trustees and advisory boards’ synchronized, the trustees meet with the boards, and P&Z, early in the year. At their Jan. 17 meeting, the trustees met with the Environmental Board (whose plans for 2017 are included in that meeting’s packet). In February, the trustees will meet with the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z).
The town has five advisory boards: Bike, Pedestrian & Trails Commission; the Environmental Board (E-board); the Parks & Recreation Commission; the Carbondale Tree Board; and the Carbondale Public Arts Commission (CPAC).
Contrary to a popular misconception, the P&Z is not an advisory board. It does make recommendations to the trustees, but also has the authority to hold public hearings, approve or deny things like lot-line adjustments, issue some land-use permits and more.
Heading into 2017, the Parks & Recreation Commission, and the Environmental Board, appear to have the most on their respective plates. Among other goals and projects, Parks & Recreation is reviewing the town’s Parks, Recreation and Trails master plan, addressing financial stability, and researching the potential to establish a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation specific to capital projects, according to Carbondale Recreation Director Eric Brendlinger.
The Environmental Board’s 13 goals for 2017, according to information in the trustees Jan. 17 meeting packet, include: continuing to work with CORE and CLEER on the Carbondale Climate Action Plan (CCAP) and increase the usage of renewable energy; work to expand the town’s single-use plastic bag ban; and include “Zero-Energy Housing Guidelines” in the alternative building section of the Unified Development Code (UDC).
Here is some more information on P&Z and the town’s advisory boards:
● P&Z – The members are: Michael Durant, Gavin Brooke, Yuani Ruiz, Jennifer DiCuollo, Mariana Skiles, Ken Harrington, Jeff Davlyn, Lauren Suhrbier (first alternate) and Jay Engstrom (second alternative).
• E-Board – The members are: Amanda Poindexter, Jason White, Julia Farwell, Matt Gwost, Natalie Fuller, Patrick Hunter and Keelin Schaffrath, Alice Laird and Erika Sparhawk are the CLEER/
Garfield Clean Energy representatives; Brian Davis is the CORE representative.
• Parks & Recreation – The members are: Ashley Allis, Becky Moller, Camy Britt (alternate) Hollis Kerler, Kathleen Wanatowicz, Lana Trettin, Rob Comey, Todd Chamberlin and Tracy Wilson.
• Bike/Pedestrian/Trials – The members are: Darryl Fuller, Darren Broome, John Spiess, Margaret Plumb, Nicki Delson, Rob Morey and Tom Penzel.
• Historic Preservation Commission – The members are: Ashley Hall, Carol Klein, Dorothea Farris and Matt Annabel.
• CPAC – The members are: Carol Klein, Cheryl Bumgarner, Chris Powell, Jennifer Balmes, Sandy Smith, Sarah Moore, Sondie Reiff, Susan Johnson, Tim Hagman and Todd Richmond.
• Tree Board – The members are: Dan Bullock, Gabe Riley, Jo Anne Teeple, Kim Bock and Shaun Rourke. 

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Editor’s Note: This story is the first in a series featuring each of the boards over the course of the next year.

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