RFTA tweaks voting bloc
Aspen, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County won’t lose control of their ability to vote as a bloc to veto measures before the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority if additional jurisdictions at the other end of the valley join RFTA.The RFTA board, currently made up of representatives of seven jurisdictions in the Roaring Fork Valley, would like to see Garfield County, Silt, New Castle and Rifle join RFTA and charge a sales tax to support the bus agency.But if two or more additional jurisdictions become RFTA members, the bylaws and intergovernmental agreements that govern a majority vote on the RFTA board will be readjusted, the board agreed Thursday.Currently, a supermajority vote of at least two-thirds (five votes) of the seven-member RFTA board is required to approve a measure. If only five members are present at a meeting, all five must vote to approve a resolution in order for it to pass.Three votes of the seven are enough to veto a resolution. If one new jurisdiction joins RFTA – Garfield County for example – the supermajority rule will be maintained. It will take six votes to pass a measure; three votes will veto it.But if two new jurisdictions join, under the current bylaws, six members would be required to pass a measure, but four would be needed to block it.Instead, the board decided that if the RFTA board ever has more than eight member jurisdictions, a vote by three members present at the meeting will remain enough to veto an action.Snowmass Village Councilman Arnie Mordkin led the push to retain the three-vote veto power.When RFTA was formed, the five-member supermajority was formed out of a fear among downvalley governments that the upper valley would dictate decisions, observed Dorothea Farris, Pitkin County commissioner. Now, the board is reacting to a fear that the lower valley could dictate decisions.
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