The German Village Commission is made up of seven individuals appointed by the mayor of Columbus to determine the best course of action for our historic district's building inventory. Above all else, each commissioner must volunteer his or her time.

The German Village Commission is made up of seven individuals appointed by the mayor of Columbus to determine the best course of action for our historic district's building inventory. Above all else, each commissioner must volunteer his or her time.

Even though the mayor appoints the commissioners, the German Village Society is allowed to recommend two of those seven. These two individuals are commonly referred to (by me anyway) as the two society-recommended seats.

While the society supports the work of the commission and facilitates the architectural review process any way it can, the commission is an entirely different game.

That said, the commission is so beneficial to German Village that our civic association is given a role -- a speaking part, at that -- in this process.

Currently, one of the two society-recommended seats is vacant, and in order to stay actively engaged, we are hoping to fill it relatively quickly.

As is entirely fitting, this work begins with the Historic Preservation Committee. The committee develops a list of potential individuals, interviews them and submits two names to the society's full board of trustees.

The board then votes to recommend the two to the mayor's office for appointment to the commission.

When one seat is vacant, as is the case now, the mayor will choose one of those two names to fill the seat.

The Historic Preservation Committee and the society fully intend for this process to be open and transparent.

Consider this a casting call for anyone interested in volunteering for his or her neighborhood in a challenging and rewarding way.

Being a German Village commissioner means looking at your streets and alleys differently than ever before. It means offering insights to make projects work and it means adherence to the German Village Guidelines. It means taking the time to become versed in city code and the guidelines.

Most of all, it means collaborating with the other six commissioners and, as a society-recommended commissioner, having the best interests of the German Village Society in mind.

The society's mission, if it isn't already, becomes a personal mantra: "Members of the German Village Society serve as caretakers of a legacy dedicated to retaining the character and distinction of the past while creating a thriving contemporary community."

That's the intellectual side. The more tangible side is that one must attend monthly commission meetings at the Meeting Haus (first Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m.), the monthly business meeting of the German Village Commission (last Tuesday of each month at noon at the City Historic Preservation Office downtown) and monthly meetings of the German Village Society's Historic Preservation Committee (currently the last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Meeting Haus).

By default, society-recommended commissioners serve on the Historic Preservation Committee in order to keep that committee abreast of current trends or debates in preservation, generally, and the commission, specifically.

The society keeps open -- but informal -- communication with the German Village Commission through the Historic Preservation Committee, so the initial recommendation must be done through the committee. It's a big undertaking, but we are hoping it will be made easier by a variety of candidates interested in taking a seat at the commission table.

If you are interested in learning more about this process or wish to be considered to fill the open seat, please contact me directly at jgraichen@germanvillage.com or e-mail the Historic Preservation Committee chair Chad Bratschi at chad_bratschi@yahoo.com. Also feel free to attend the Historic Preservation Committee meeting on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 6 p.m. at the Meeting Haus to learn more.

Jody Graichen is the director of Historical Preservation Programs for the German Village Society.