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Openings provide an opportunity to serve in Kingman
Kingman has 20 boards and commissions filled by volunteers
12/16/2013 6:00:00 AM
By Doug McMurdo
KINGMAN - Mayor Janet Watson and the Kingman City Council are looking for men, women and even youth who have a desire to serve on one of 20 boards and commissions that serve the city and its residents.
Watson said expertise is helpful, but the objective is to ensure each board and commission has a diverse membership that reflects the community's demographics.
"Believe me, if you serve on one of these boards, you're going to learn the issues real quick," said Watson.
The learning curve might be more stringent on some boards, such as the Planning and Zoning or Municipal Utilities commissions, said Watson, but the uninitiated soon come to understand the key issues.
Between constant input from liaisons from the City Council and city staff, site visits and meetings, she said, people who knew nothing about city planning become quite knowledgeable.
This isn't to suggest people with insider knowledge aren't coveted.
"We want people with experience," said Watson. "What we don't want are boards that represent just one section of the community."
In other words, a board related to the construction industry would not consist of a land developer, a general contractor, three subcontractors and two real estate agents, said Watson.
Not all applicants are required to live within Kingman's city limits, said Watson. She said those with specific knowledge regarding the activities of any board can be appointed provided they at least reside in the Greater Kingman area.
"Diversity is as valuable as expertise," said Watson, who believes the volunteer boards and commissions benefit the public as much as they do city government. She said experience has taught her the strongest city councils provide for robust public involvement.
"I always feel good when there's a John Q. Public out there that would like to get involved with the city. It's a connection to us on the City Council with the community and gives the community the opportunity to be part of government."
Roughly 100 people are involved in the city's boards and commissions. Members of city staff in positions most relevant to the function of each board serve as liaisons, and Watson and the six members of the City Council also serve as liaisons.
Those appointments used to be assigned in June following the spring election, but were moved to flow with the calendar year in 2013 after lawmakers consolidated elections in Arizona, moving spring elections to November.
Several appointments and reappointments will be approved at Tuesday's meeting. City Council liaison appointments also will be hashed out at Tuesday's City Council meeting, 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 310 N. Fourth St.
Watson said while most volunteers are appointed at the end of the calendar year, vacancies routinely open throughout the year - and there are current vacancies that won't be filled Tuesday.
Each board is necessary to the city conducting business, she said, but some require more participation than others.
The aforementioned Planning and Zoning and Municipal Utilities commissions, for example, routinely bring forth recommendations on critical social policy issues that require public hearings, such as a request for a zoning variance.
Others, such as the Youth Advisory Commission, might not have significant interaction with the City Council, but the teenagers stay busy and perform a number of public services for the city.
Currently, there are vacancies in need of filling on the Golf Course Advisory Committee, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Clean City Commission, the Business License Review Board, the Personnel Board, the Transit Advisory Commission and the Youth Advisory Commission.
The Golf Course Advisory Committee helps oversee the taxpayer-owned Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course. Meetings are held at 4:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of every odd-numbered month.
The Parks and Recreation Commission meets at 6 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month.
The Clean City Commission meets at 5 p.m. every third Thursday of each month.
The Youth Advisory Commission meets at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of the month.
The Transit Advisory Commission, which helps oversee the Kingman Area Regional Transit bus system, meets at 10 a.m. quarterly on the third Wednesday of January, April, July and October. The Business License Review Board and the Personnel Board meet "as called."
Other boards and commissions that serve the City Council and their meeting times are as follows:
The Board of Adjustment, meets as called; the Building Board of Appeals, meets as called; the Economic Development Marketing Commission meets at 7:30 a.m., second Wednesday of the month; the Historic Preservation Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every odd-numbered month; the Industrial Development Board, as needed; Local Public Safety Personnel Retirement Board, as needed; the Municipal Property Corporation, as needed; the Tourism Development Commission, 7:30 a.m., first Thursday of each month.
For the record, the Planning and Zoning Commission meets at 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. The Municipal Utilities Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of each month.
Applications can be downloaded on the city website's home page, www.cityofkingman.gov. Hard copies can be picked up at City Hall.
For more information, contact City Clerk Gabe Johns at (928) 753-8335.
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