TWIN FALLS — The county no longer wants to be the sponsor for a transportation advisory committee it formed in 1990.
The Transportation Committee for the Greater Twin Falls Area is a county committee that studies and makes recommendations to the state regarding transportation issues. Its members include representatives from highway districts, the county and its cities, the trucking industry and law enforcement.
At 10 a.m. Friday, county commissioners will vote whether to dissolve the committee as a county committee. The advisory group is intended to continue on as a separate entity.
“I think it will have the advantage of keeping the county more independent on issues,” committee chairman Gerald Martens said.
The county has one member on the committee, but in the past the advisory group’s recommendations have been misconceived as the county’s recommendations, he said.
County Commissioner Terry Kramer noted that the committee has not always followed some of the strict rules placed on it because of its county sponsorship. And none of its members have been appointed by the county.
“As time has gone on, it’s gotten way too complicated,” he said.
In 2015, county prosecutor Grant Loebs reached out to the Transportation Committee after receiving a complaint that it was violating open meeting laws. It had apparently not posted notices for its meetings in 25 years.
Since then, the committee has posted agendas on the county’s website, Martens said.
Another rule says group members must pay dues, but at least in recent years, they haven’t, Commissioner Jack Johnson said. Johnson is the county’s representative on the committee.
Even if they had paid dues, he believes the county shouldn’t be acting as repository for that money.
The commissioners also noted that other, similar advisory committees in Idaho are not formed under a county.
“All they are is an advisory group,” Johnson said. “They don’t even advise us.”
The Transportation Committee for the Greater Twin Falls Area will continue to post its agendas somewhere, Martens said. The group meets at 7 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month at Idaho Joe’s.
“We will still participate,” Kramer said. “But we will not be the sponsor.”
The commissioners meet on the second floor of the County West building, 630 Addison Ave. W.