Citizen Committee

The Citizen Committee (CC) is a group of representatives from each county in the lead entity (Kittitas, Yakima, and Benton) and the Yakama Nation. Each jurisdiction has 4 seats, for a total of 16 members. Participants are interested citizens who are chosen by the Board members from each specific jurisdiction to represent a diversity of local interests defined in RCW 77.85.050.

The CC is critical to ensure that biological priorities and projects have the necessary community support for success. Citizen Committee members are often the best judges of the community’s social, cultural and economic values as they apply to salmon recovery, and of how to increase community support over time through the implementation of habitat projects.

The CC uses the Technical Advisory Group's (TAG) scoring for each project in conjunction with the Citizen Committee Ranking Matrix to develop a ranked project list. Community values considered in the matrix include: cultural, social, economic, efficient & effective resource use, community support, and partner support. The Citizen Committee makes the final recommendation for what projects get funded. They take the recommendations of the TAG into consideration, but they are not obligated to maintain the same ranking given to projects by the TAG if they feel a project’s ranking needs to be adjusted based on its social value or detriment.

Members of our Citizen Committee include:        

 Name  Representing
 Rachel Little        Benton County             
 Shawn Mellgren          Benton County
 Gloria Boyce  Benton County
 Vacant  Benton County
 John O'Rourke  Yakima County
 Doug Mayo  Yakima County
 Onni Perala  Yakima County
 Bob Inouye  Yakima County
 Tom Ring  Yakama Nation
 Vacant  Yakama Nation
 Vacant  Yakama Nation
 Vacant  Yakama Nation
 David Bowen  Kittitas County
 Matt Eslinger  Kittitas County
 Mark Charlton  Kittitas County
 McClure Tosch  Kittitas County

The Citizen Committee operates under the following rules, as defined by the YBFWRB bylaws:

The Citizen Committee will rank and prioritize projects proposed by the Technical Advisory Group to promote fish and wildlife recovery. Composition and operating procedures for the committee will include:

9.4.1 The Citizen Committee shall be composed of four representatives working and/or residing in Benton, Kittitas and Yakima counties and the Yakama Nation (initially, 16 total). Representatives from each county should represent the diversity of interests particular to their region, e.g. – business, landowner, agricultural, habitat, and fishery enhancement. Elected officials may be representatives when not also serving on the Board of Directors.

9.4.2 The Citizen Committee shall submit to the Board of Directors a prioritized list of SRFB projects for funding. The Board of Directors may review and approve the process and/or the selection of the prioritized project list. The Board of Directors may ask the Citizen Committee to re-assess the list, but does not have the authority to change it themselves.

9.4.3 The Citizen Committee shall use a super-majority vote of 65% for decision-making purposes.

9.4.4 Prioritization of projects being submitted for SRFB funding will follow procedures set by chapter 77.85 RCW.

9.4.5 The Citizens Committee may elect a chair and a vice chair.

9.4.6 Committee members shall remove themselves from participating in decisions and deliberations on projects where they have a direct interest in requested funding.