Mayor Campbell taking applications to serve on boards and commissions

Brian Voss

Ames’ Mayor Ann Campbell is currently taking applications from volunteers who would like to be appointed to the cities 19 different boards and commissions. Campbell said the various boards and commissions are important and often do work that the city council would not be able to do alone.

She said each of the boards and commissions are specialized. Some of them advise the city council and some are also somewhat judicial.

Campbell said being involved on a board or commission is a good introduction to how government works.

“We’ve got four new council members now … Three of them have served on city boards and commissions,” Campbell said.

Jeff Johnson, president of the ISU Alumni Association, has served as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the last four years. He believes it is important for individuals to be involved in their community.

“Rather than just be, for lack of a better term, a taker, I think I need to be a contributor and one way that I do that is by volunteering my time,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the planning and zoning commission will continue to be very important as Iowa State and Ames continue to grow.

“There will be things that are happening in Campustown. Some of those things do require rezoning,” Johnson said.

Campbell said there are a couple of one year slots that are aimed at attracting students who may not be able to commit for the typical three year slots.

“I do think in terms of students that it is a very good training ground. For example, if you’re in the College of Design, the planning and zoning commission is right fine, in the trenches expertise,” Campbell said.

Johnson said learning and observing the various boards and commissions is a good opportunity for students so when they decide where they are going to live, they may have an interest in serving on boards and commissions.

“I’ve been doing stuff like this since I graduated from college, and I feel like I know so much more about how my community works and I’m just a firm believer in it,” Johnson said.

Campbell said she tries to make sure each of the commissions have a diverse balance in terms of age, demographics, gender and geography.

“Because of needing to do this balance, I have very good applicants that I’m not always able to use,” Campbell said.

Applications are due at 5 p.m. on Feb. 7. Mayor Campbell makes appointments and those appointments will have to be approved by the city council.

“I always encourage anybody who is interested and has applied to come visit me, particularly if they’re people that I don’t know, so I can get acquainted and get a handle on what their interests might be,” Campbell said.

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