In August, the College Station City Council established the Bond Citizen Advisory Committee in preparation for the November 2015 bond election. The 23-member committee will eventually recommend facility, park and transportation projects for the council to consider placing on the ballot.
What will CS look like in 10 years?
The committee’s mission will be to not only address what the city must have, but also what it should have. Essentially, the committee will be responsible for helping determine how our built environment will look in 10 or 15 years. Some of the questions the committee will seek to answer include:
- Should we build new facilities or should we expand existing facilities?
- Where do we need new park facilities?
- What type of recreation and leisure facilities should we have?
- Which streets should be built or expanded to increase capacity?
- Would certain new streets facilitate economic development?
Like most cities, College Station’s needs exceed available funds, so the committee must be able to prioritize. Is Street A more important than Street B? Is Park A more important than Street A and Street B? Should Building A be constructed now, or can it wait 10 years? Not every need can be met, so the committee must help decide which needs should be met now — and why.
In addition, the committee must operate within the context of practical, political and economic realities.
A Five-Year Plan
The city’s last general obligation bond election — approved in 2008 — was on a seven-year schedule. However, the city council has already requested that the 2015 bond issue be completed on a five-year schedule. Consequently, once the city’s needs have been identified and prioritized, the committee must convince the council and the public that a plan can be executed within five years.
Since bond items will eventually have to be approved by voters, the committee must also convince the council that the identified needs are genuine.
Finally, the committee must recognize that each project comes with a cost. Items in the 2008 bond election totaled of $110.3 million dollars, of which voters approved $76.9 million.
Do you have what it takes?
The Citizen Advisory Committee’s task requires 23 volunteers to selflessly dedicate their valuable time to the process, which includes balancing the practical with the visionary. Members must be keenly interested in College Station’s development and willing to stand behind their recommendations when challenged or scrutinized.
If you want to play in integral role in charting College Station’s future, consider applying for the Bond Citizen Advisory Committee. Besides a significant commitment of time – probably two monthly meetings for 5-6 months – the only requirements are that you be a registered voter and a resident of College Station.
Click here to download an application and learn more about the committee. The application deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 5 p.m.
For more information, contact City Secretary Sherry Mashburn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-764-3519.
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