Not all offices are elected. There are important roles for citizens to play on appointed boards and commissions, the members of which are selected differently.
What are local boards and commissions?
Boards and commissions are advisory or regulatory groups that work with cities and counties. Regulatory groups set licensing standards and professional requirements for members. Advisory groups provide guidance to the program or agency with which they are affiliated. Board and commission members are unpaid volunteers. Examples of local boards or commissions include Planning and Zoning, Libraries, Health, and Compensation.
Why should I serve?
Serving on a board or commission is a significant and meaningful way to participate in civic life. As a member, you can share your expertise while directly participating in shaping your local community. Many people choose to serve on boards and commissions as a means of gaining new skills, sharing diverse viewpoints, or to “step out of a comfort zone.” Some might also choose to utilize their seats as a means to attain higher leadership positions, appointed or elected.
Joining local boards and commissions now can help to open future leadership possibilities to other women in your area.
What are the qualifications?
Local residents are preferred appointees because boards and commissions are a wonderful way to encourage citizens to be involved in their own governance. Most often, a person is appointed to a board or commission because of a particular skill, interest, or expertise. Others may have a general background in a subject, such as health care or the environment, and be selected to serve on a board with responsibilities related to that subject.
Specific expertise is not a requirement to apply for all boards and commissions. Do not hesitate to apply, even if your skill set may not be right on target. Many boards and commissions operate differently than as described here, so check locally to find out how the application process works in your area. In smaller population areas, often the application process may be less formal. You may want to contact the City Administrator, City Clerk, or County Auditor to learn about the appointment process.
What is the appointment process?
Appointment processes vary by city and county. The best way to find out the process is to contact your city or county offices. Local contact information is available on each individual city of county page. While we check their websites frequently, we cannot guarantee that we have captured all changes in real time.