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Board Retreat Moves LTD Forward

December 3, 2021
The seven-member Lane Transit District (LTD) Board of Directors left their annual end of calendar year retreat with a renewed sense of optimism for the public transit district they govern.

“We welcomed two new members to the board, Peter Knox and Gino Grimaldi,” said Caitlin Vargas, LTD’s Board President who represents Subdistrict-6 West Eugene/ HWY 99, River Road, and Junction City areas. “The speakers led thought-provoking sessions that created robust discussions leading to a better understanding of District initiatives as well as a clearer focus on our roles and responsibilities as public servants.”

George Runkel from the Special Districts Association of Oregon led board members through a session about special district governance. Mark Aesch and Nicole McLeary from Transpro Consulting complemented Runkel’s session with further discussion and role-playing scenarios that highlighted board member roles and responsibilities.

Aesch and Ehren Bingaman, also from Transpro, presented guidance about how to evaluate the newly adopted strategic business plan, interim general manager evaluations and provided a framework for recruiting the new general manager. LTD’s Interim General Manager Mark Johnson talked with the board about projects and issues on the agenda for the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, and some of the projects that are expected to be on the District’s docket for 2022-2023.

In addition, in response to a report the board released in September, they discussed how to improve communication with each other and staff as well as agreeing to examine the general manager’s authority to hire and manage the board’s legal counsel.

“This conversation was critical to clear up some confusion about the general manager’s administrative authority and to commit to better communications,” said Emily Secord, representing Subdistrict 4-North Eugene (East of River Road) and the Coburg areas. “As a group, I am pleased that we had an open discussion about these important matters and are headed in a positive direction.”

Oregon Governor Kate Brown appointed four of LTD’s seven board members to their positions in 2021. Two others joined the board in 2019. All are in their first terms. The exception is Don Nordin, who is about to complete his second and final term representing Subdistrict 3-Southeast Eugene, Creswell, Cottage Grove, and Lowell areas.

“Through the presentations and open discussions, we came together as one governing body focused on LTD’s mission,” Vargas said. “We are looking forward to working with LTD’s general manager and staff to connect our communities through the opportunities public transit offers all of us.”

The 2021 annual LTD Board of Directors end of the calendar year retreat was held on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Lane Community College. An audio recording from the Board retreat is available in the online self-serve public records database.

The next LTD Board of Directors meeting is Dec.15. More information about public meetings is available online.

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