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Function of MAPS 3 citizen advisory board yet to be determined

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, different council, city staff now has 16 years under their belt and really quite a bit of credibility and expertise," he said. "As they get ready to structure this, it'll be interesting to see what they come up with."

He did, however, caution against making the board too weak to accomplish the goals the mayor and the council set for it.

"I think the board has to have enough power to get its job done," Humphreys said, citing the frustrations felt by the members of the original board as an example of when this was not the case.

"It's been mentioned in some news articles that the first board, they got frustrated because they felt like they didn't have enough power to have the impact they felt they needed to have," he said.

As a possible solution, Humphreys suggested MAPS 3 board members be given what he called "powers of concurrence" to allow them to have some say if the budgets of the MAPS 3 projects needed to be altered during the implementation process.

Councilman White had another suggestion. He said one way to give the board more authority would be to allow it to determine, with some direction from the council, the order in which the projects get done.

What he wants to avoid, he said, is "people just meeting to put on their resume that they were part of the MAPS advisory committee."

Rubber stamp or oversight?
But regardless of how much power the MAPS 3 board actually ends up with, its members may benefit from the lessons learned by the members of the original MAPS board. Groves said it wasn't always smooth sailing for those initial members, but they were able to be effective thanks to determination.

"There was quite a bit of tension in the beginning when we were trying to decide, you know, what our role would be," he said. "This group that I served with was determined not to be a rubber stamp for the city staff or for any particular (architecture-engineering) firm or for any particular contractor.

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