Delaware News

Vacancies on Delaware commissions, boards

City hopes new process draws more candidates

By ANDREW KING
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In a resolution passed by Delaware City Council during its Dec. 9 meeting, the city established a new set of guidelines for appointing members of boards, committees and commissions.

The resolution was introduced by Councilman Chris Jones, who raised concerns about the previous system during council's Nov. 25 meeting.

"I get asked a lot of questions about how citizens can get more involved," Jones said, "but there's not a lot of turnover in boards and commissions."

Jones said one board member told him he had simply received an email asking if he would like to continue with his position.

"I don't think it's the best policy for people on boards and commissions to renew via email when there might be someone more qualified," Jones said.

Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle suggested interviews for additions to boards and commissions, and Councilman Andrew Brush suggested each seat should be treated as a vacancy each year, and that an automatic reappointment should come only if no one else applies.

"This isn't about any single board or person," Brush said. "We're a city of 35,000 people ... There probably is interest from others."

Now, applications for each position will be submitted via a form on the city's website, and those who are interested -- including existing members -- will need to apply there.

Applicants will be interviewed by a panel that includes the mayor or vice mayor, the city manager, a council representative and the chairman of the board, committee or commission.

After the interview, the mayor will propose an appointment to council and it will be placed on the agenda for confirmation.

Delaware is seeking to fill 15 seats on its various boards and commissions in 2014. Openings include three seats each on the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Shade Tree Commission and Historic Preservation Commission; and one seat on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (must be a Fourth Ward resident), Airport Commission and Airport Security Committee.

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