MONTROSE – Members of the Montrose Region Council of Governments plan to lay out a year of scheduled meetings and future agenda topics in 2014 in advance, to allow collaboration opportunities and issues to be worked out so that real progress can be made. The schedule will be formalized at the council’s next meeting, to be held on Dec. 9,
The last meeting of the group was held on Thursday, Sept. 26, and was attended by a variety of community leaders including representatives of the Montrose City Council, Montrose County Commissioners, the Montrose Economic Development Corporation, the Downtown Development Authority, Region 10, the City of Olathe, and the Montrose Recreation District. Without a set agenda at that meeting, the group collectively agreed to do a better job formalizing meetings in 2014 with an eye toward more collaboration between the entities in the future.
“We do need to kick it up a notch,” Montrose County Commissioner Gary Ellis said during a discussion at the Sept. 26 meeting. “Local governments need to partner and engage where it’s appropriate to find ways to benefit taxpayers and constituents. We need to get serious about cooperation, support and working together. This is critical for our future.”
City Councilor Kathy Ellis agreed but said real progress must be made if they are going to move forward in a more serious way.
“I want to make sure that whatever we do, it is productive,” Ellis said. “We need to make sure that it’s not just a dog and pony show here. We are here for a purpose.”
While the meetings, which are held four times a year, would always be held at the Montrose County Fairgrounds’ Pioneer Room, the group generally agreed that each meeting would be hosted and chaired by one of the group’s entities, on a rotating basis. The City of Montrose was elected to chair the upcoming Dec. 9 meeting.
“What we should do is set the meeting for early December,” Gary Ellis said,” where we plan out for the next year. This will give everybody some time to plan. We develop a calendar and have a list of contacts and do the planning for next year and do a bit of a better job.”
Despite not having an agenda for the meeting on Sept. 26, the group was able to fill more than two hours of time discussing issues and possible collaborative opportunities. Topics discussed included finding joint grant opportunities, working together to improve broadband infrastructure in the region, possible partnership on wastewater treatment in Olathe, and a possible electronic recycling business opportunity. Members of City Council and the Montrose Commissioners also agreed to further discuss the use of the Safety Sales Tax and payment for the 911 dispatch center.
It seemed most of the topics loosely discussed at the meeting could eventually be put on a future agenda for discussion.
“Maybe this is a breaking point for this group,” Gary Ellis said, “to be better than we have been.”
The Dec. 9 meeting of the Montrose Council of Governments is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the Pioneer Room.