A board seeking to drive interest in downtown Pasco is having trouble drawing enough members to meet.
The Downtown Pasco Development Authority board failed to have a quorum at a recent meeting, said board President Mike Miller.
The board is supposed to have nine members, but is down to six, Miller said. Its bylaws require it to have at least five members at each meeting.
"People have meetings and travel and what not, so it's hard to keep up," said Miller, president of Moon Security.
The Pasco City Council appointed three new members to the board -- Bank of the West branch manager Isaac Cortez, Benton-Franklin Council of Governments transportation planner Jacob Gonzalez and New York Life insurance agent Ana Peralta -- in March, but only Gonzalez and Peralta remain, Miller said.
The council also interviewed AnaMaria Diaz Martinez, Candelaria Mendoza and Isabel Quiroz before making the appointments to the board.
Mayor Matt Watkins received permission from the council Monday to appoint one of the people who had already interviewed to the board, without having to go through the interview process again.
"I think from the pool of candidates, there was an alternate candidate that was pretty good," Watkins said Tuesday.
The appointment would only give the board seven members, but Watkins hopes that will be enough until early next year, when the city council goes through the board interview process again.
The board hasn't been able to reach its full membership because of requirements that certain areas of expertise, like banking and real estate, be represented. Watkins also said nine members is a large number of positions to fill.
The board did have five members on hand when it approved the downtown work plan July 2. The plan, which still needs city council approval, sets one-, three- and five-year goals for downtown Pasco, including an emphasis on "mixed use" development. The board is also involved with preparations for the Sept. 13 Fiery Foods Festival, which will feature former American Idol winner Lee DeWyze.
Some Hispanic business owners were disappointed with the strategic plan, saying it should have focused more on improving problems like aging infrastructure and homeless people on the streets. Watkins is hopeful that some of those people will be interested in applying for the downtown board next year.
"Hopefully, we'll have a deeper pool to draw from," he said.
-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; email@example.com; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom