McKinleyville wants greater influence over road funds, housing allocation numbers

In its ongoing quest to gain more influence over what happens in McKinleyville, the local services district is going to try to become more involved with Humboldt’s county-wide transportation planning agency.

At its Aug. 7 meeting, the McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors is scheduled to consider whether Manager Greg Orsini should request a seat on the Humboldt County Association of Government’s (HCAOG) Technical Advisory Committee. HCAOG is responsible for developing the regional transportation plan and helps determine where funding goes for various road improvements. The agency also determines low-cost housing allocations.
The agency is run by representatives of the county’s seven incorporated cities – Trinidad, Blue Lake, Arcata, Eureka, Rio Dell, Fortuna and Ferndale – as well as a representative from the County of Humboldt.

McKinleyville, because its unincorporated, doesn’t have a seat on HCAOG even though the community is larger than five of the seven cities which have representation. McKinleyville’s representation is supposed to come from the single County of Humboldt representative, but that person also represents other areas of the county.

Some members of the MCSD board, including Board President Dennis Mayo, have argued that McKinleyville should request a seat on the HCAOG board. The agency’s members would have to approve the request.

However, MCSD Director John Corbett is recommending a more strategic approach.

“I think it’s premature for us to apply for the board,” Corbett told his fellow board members at a July 10 meeting. Instead, the MCSD should apply for a seat on HCAOG’s Technical Advisory Committee.

That committee is made up of public works directors and staff from local agencies. The committee works on the transportation plans and makes recommendations to the full HCAOG board. The board routinely approves the Technical Advisory Committee’s recommendations.

If the MCSD board wants to pursue this option, it would direct MCSD Manager Greg Orsini to submit a letter to HCAOG asking for a seat on the committee. Orsini would act as the MCSD’s representative.

` Corbett said this would give McKinleyville greater influence and make it easier for the district to obtain a seat on the regular HCAOG board in the future.