The DART Commission voted unanimously at its meeting on Tuesday, June 6 to change to a new and more representative governance structure. The change came after a unanimous recommendation by an independent task force facilitated by Scott Raecker of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University and Cassandra Halls of 2 the Top, and supported by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.
Since DART was formed more than 10 years ago, the DART Commission has been based on population with seven districts throughout the DART region and two at-large seats. The new structure includes the following changes:
- Each DART member government will have one representative on the new Commission. The mayors of each member community will appoint one representative (who must be an elected official) and one alternate. In the case of county representation, the Board of Supervisors will choose the representative and alternate for the Commission. This would increase the number of Commissioners from 9 to 19.
- Weighted votes will be allowed, if called, in specific situations. Weighted voting would be 1 vote per 25,000 population. Weighted votes would need to have three-quarters approval of the representatives present to pass.
Following today’s vote, each DART member community city council must approve the changes to their agreements with DART and appoint their representative and alternate. The new Commission will likely be seated in October 2017.
“I believe the decision to ensure each DART member community a seat on the Commission will help DART provide the best possible transit to our region as a whole,” said DART Commission Chair Tom Gayman. “I want to thank the entire task force for their work and diligence on this issue. Conversations about regionalism and representation are not easy, and we’re very grateful for the task force’s dedication to serving our region well,”
More information on the task force’s recommendation can be found at ridedart.com/governance.