A strategic plan, an advertising policy and a bridge loan to help continue operations until tax revenues are received later this year are just a few of the priority goals set by the Sunset Empire Transportation District Board of Directors for the new fiscal year.

The board met last week to determine which goals on its list of 18 items would be classified into three tiers, the first tier being most important; the third tier being important but not as important as Tier 1 and 2.

“Nothing is unimportant here,” Chair Ron Bline joked.

“I look forward to being able to do this every year,” Executive Director Jay Flint added.

Board members Julie Gassner, Victor Kee and Ron Bline serve as a subcommittee to identify the areas the board should focus on in the upcoming year, August 2012 to August 2013.

“I felt like we came up with a good set of drafted goals for this year,” Flint said, commending the subcommittee.

The first tier consists of securing the bridge loan necessary for district operations until tax revenue is received in November, preparing an audit for the fiscal year 2011-12 and analyzing the findings of that audit and setting up procedures to correct any deficiencies.

It also includes staffing and reorganizing the Northwest Ride Center, preparing the district’s budget for the next fiscal year, developing an advertising policy and scheduling a work session with the board for a strategic plan.

That session is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 20 at the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce’s green building.

“I was very impressed, once we got everything assembled and evaluated and onto the matrix, I was very impressed that it was very consistant on that matrix,” Kee said.

Tier 2 – still important but a lesser priority than Tier 1 – consists of establishing a facilities’ maintenance plan for the transit center in Astoria and the Warrenton location, coming up with a fare policy for fixed routes and paratransit services, updating the employee manual, updating the board policy manual and creating a welcome packet for new SETD board members and employees.

Four spots on the board will be up for grabs in the next special election in May. As a courtesy, board members discussed last week, those planning to run or not seeking re-election are asked to let the board know their intentions before the end of the year so recruiting can take place if necessary. Filing must be done by March.

Tier 3, the last of the priorities but still important issues the district would like to see addressed, includes exploring grant opportunities, monitoring ridership and planning appropriate expansion, promoting effective communications through social media, newsletters, websites and the possibility of iPads for board members and setting up policies and procedures for data backup and security.

Board members discussed adding an element of that item to the first tier, to investigate different options for data backup and security. Establishing the backup system still remained in Tier 3.

Finishing out the tier, the board plans to develop plans for increasing ridership.

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