OV Town Talk: Consider serving on an Oro Valley board or commission
Published on September 23, 2020
In the past several months we have experienced disruptions in our personal and professional lives as a result of the pandemic, the Bighorn Fire, economic uncertainty, and other events. These disruptions affect individuals and families differently, so please be mindful of yourself and others. This is a time to pull together. Thank you for doing your part to moderate the affects of these challenges. In time, just as the Bighorn Fire was extinguished and the land has begun to heal, the pandemic will pass and a gradual return to normalcy will be enjoyed by all.
One of the many positive things that have emerged out of these adversities is a renewed appreciation for first responders, healthcare workers, business owners, clerks, teachers, and others. I also feel grateful for the many volunteers in our community that have sewn masks, donated blood, helped the food bank, and volunteered in numerous other ways.
Among these volunteers, I include those that serve on the Town’s boards and commissions. Your commitment to this community is admirable. Your experience and subject matter expertise is valued and your desire to serve is also important. Many, if not all, of the Town’s boards and commissions will soon have open seats, and we’ll be looking for people—people just like you--to serve this community in the near future.
Oro Valley’s boards and commissions serve as extensions of the Council’s eyes and ears. The Council relies on the individuals appointed to these bodies to help better connect the Council to the individual areas of interest, whether that is planning and zoning, water utility, stormwater utility, parks and recreation, budget and finance, board of adjustment, historic preservation or public safety personnel retirement system.
I think people sometimes look as these areas of interest and think to themselves, “What do I know about that particular subject?” The desire to serve is the key here. If you have the desire to serve your community, I strongly encourage you to apply for an open position on the Town’s boards and commissions.
Openings on these boards and commissions are not unusual. Each board and commission is unique, and the terms of its members are staggered, so all the members of a particular board or commission don’t leave at the same time. That means we have openings every year.
We always appreciate having an abundance of applications of people ready to serve this community. There’s an inherent value in having new members—whether new to the community or new to public service—join our boards and commissions
New members ask questions. They learn. They bring new perspectives. These are important qualities that a new board member brings to the table. One of the primary reasons these positions are so important is to have non-staff, non-elected viewpoints. It’s like a three-legged stool. We need balance. We need the three legs to support and complement each other.
A lack of subject matter expertise should not prevent you from applying. It’s important to have the desire to serve. If you’re contemplating this type of public service, but feel you don’t have enough experience, visit the Town’s website and go to the Meetings and Agenda section to read through the agendas for these boards and commissions. You can also watch, or listen, to their meetings to get an idea of the work they do and the issues at hand. This is important work. The Town Council values the recommendations of our boards and commissions, and we look to them for insight, ideas and understanding.
Almost of all of our boards and commissions meets regularly, but some meet on an as-needed basis. Please make sure you understand the time commitment involved and the meeting schedules before applying. If you’re appointed, you will need some time to get up-to-speed. That’s understandable. We have resources to assist you.
Here are the requirements:
The Town of Oro Valley is accepting applications from residents who are interested in serving on a board or commission. To serve on a board or commission, members must be residents of the Town of Oro Valley, be available to attend the designated meetings and be committed to the completion of the Town’s Community Academy within their term.
Current board openings:
- Board of Adjustment–One vacancy
- Historic Preservation Commission—Three vacancies
- Parks and Recreation Advisory Board—One vacancy
- Stormwater Utility Commission—Two vacancies
- Water Utility Commission—One vacancy
Residents who are interested in applying for any these positions can contact the Town Clerk’s Office at 520-229-4700 or apply online by visiting the Town’s Apply for a Board or Commission webpage.
By Joe Winfield, Mayor of Oro Valley - Explorer Newspaper, 9/23/20