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City council or committee - has anyone done this
Old 08-28-2014, 06:09 PM   #1
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City council or committee - has anyone done this

I'm looking at applying for vacancy on either the City Park or Traffic board. Meets once a month, yes volunteer. Not sure how political or dramatic these meetings get. Anyone have experience in serving on these?
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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That's great Ace. My own (biased) opinion is that volunteers who serve on school boards, park district boards, volunteer fire departements, etc are the real heros of our nation. The highly paid career politicians, not so much.

I hope you can bring some dedication and expertise to bear on whatever position you decide to help out with and thereby make your hometown a better place.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Throwdownmyaceinthehole View Post
I'm looking at applying for vacancy on either the City Park or Traffic board. Meets once a month, yes volunteer. Not sure how political or dramatic these meetings get. Anyone have experience in serving on these?
I've never been on either of those, but I am a volunteer commissioner on the Historic District Commission. If you want to change something about the outside of your house (other than paint color), you need to first get a certificate of appropriateness from the commission, which requires a public hearing. It is almost always rather pro-forma, because the people who live in the district were generally drawn to it by the historic character and the changes they propose are consistent with that character. Occasionally, however, the neighbors object and it can be quite controversial and dramatic. In those cases, facilitating neighborly reconciliation is as important as the straightforward assessment of architectural appropriateness. We have a scheduled monthly meeting, but if there are no applications, we often cancel it. All in all, I am happy to do my small part to keep my town nice and I don't mind the couple hours per month that it requires.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:46 PM   #4
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I've never served but I've worked closely (on the government side, private consulting side, and just an ordinary citizen side) with a number of different city commissions. Some are very political (like Planning commission), others less so. To a certain extent, there's the chance that you'll fall under political pressure on any commission ("if you want to be re-appointed next term, it would be nice if you could vote this one down please, k thx").

I've given some thought to serving on a less political commission, but not ready to devote the time to it yet. I try to stay involved with master planning for schools, parks, etc. and give feedback to the policymakers.
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