Appointed offices in local governments
by Paul Tiger Aug. '04
Every week our local newspapers and city websites are advertising for local citizens to become involved by serving on boards that help to run our towns and cities. These are positions that can range from the cable trust board to the planning and appeals boards. In all but a few cases, these are done by appointment.
In 1998, I filled out an application for joining the Longmont Youth Services Advisory Board. Within a few weeks I was informed that the city council had approved my application and I was on-board. I helped to manage the projects and funding of Youth Services for several years, and eventually founded a non-profit that has taken the place of that now defunct board. Along with my fellow board members I became a familiar and trusted personality within Longmont government. An advocate for youth programs, good resource management, and adult voice for children's rights to self-government. Anyone on the city council or in the city managers office who doesn't know that I am a Libertarian must be asleep at the wheel.
During the same time period, Julia Pirnak did about the same thing by joining the planning board of appeals here. She quickly showed leadership qualities, moved into the position of the board's chair, and then ran for mayor. She is now our mayor. While all of this is supposedly non-partisan, it is well accepted that Julia is a Republican.
In Boulder County there are eight members of the planning board, all of whom were appointed in a similar fashion by the BOCC. They simply applied and showed up. This planning board helps the commissioners decide on issues pertaining to development and land use. The director of the land use department reports to them, in the same way that the director of youth services reported to the advisory board that I served on.
These positions are all stepping stones into elected government positions. Not just a way in, but also a training ground. We need people who are Libertarians to find their way into government while being educated in how it works. It can't be changed without that knowledge, and they can't get support by simply running for office without the support of insiders. There are 21 boards in the city of Longmont alone. According to recent work that I have just done in elections, more than half of the registered Libertarians in our county live within the borders of the city of Longmont.
In Longmont, the Sunday paper advertised a position for Master Board of Appeals. This is to fill a position for a term vacated by someone else. That position will end on the last day of this year, however whoever takes that position is going to be reappointed for three years without any hitch. I guarantee it.
My point here is that we should be working everyday to get Libertarians into office elected or not. Here is how to find openings:
Gov't Openings Longmont Current Vacancies, Boards, Committees & Commissions shows the vacancy that was just advertised.
All of the boards and has sub-pages showing who is on various boards, expiration of terms. This is important, because the city doesn't always broadly advertise while there are positions open.
The Human Relations Commission has a vacancy for a three-year term of its eleven-member board. Two vacancies are on the Cable Trust board; two positions are open on the Parks & Recreation board; FOUR POSITIONS OPEN ON THE PLANNING BOARD - pretty important spot for Libertarians. This list goes on with what appears to be five more boards with vacancies.
At the end of this calendar year there will be openings on every board.
Louisville 15 boards. Lafayette 5 boards on their (disorganized) site. Boulder (city) 20 boards. Boulder (county) It's pretty difficult to tell what Boulder County has available on their infamously un-navigable website, but I have personal knowledge of about 15 boards and commissions. Other Every town and city along the front range and beyond has links to such resources on line. Some more accessible than others. Lakewood for example has this link.