Senior Management Analyst Libby Carlsten encourages community members to apply for a vacancy on one of the County boards or commissions. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
Los Alamos County is facing many issues from water rate hikes to selecting the next public art piece, and to make the right decisions the County needs its citizens’ help.
There are a number of openings on County boards and commissions that citizens can volunteer for. Vacancies include Art and Public Places, Fuller Lodge Historic Districts Advisory Board, Personnel Board, Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board and Board of Public Utilities.
To be considered, applicants must be at least 18 years old and residents of the County. However, Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board members are exempted from the residency requirement. Additionally, applicants need to be eligible to register to vote.
The Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board is comprised of two representatives from the lodging industry and two representatives from the tourism industry as well as one at-large member. No board or commission can have more than a simple majority of any political party.
There are a number of ways to apply. An application can be downloaded from the boards and commissions page on the Los Alamos County website, www.losalamosnm.us.
Additionally, interested individuals can contact Senior Management Analyst Libby Carlsten at firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up an application at the County Manager’s office.
After filling out an application, a short interview is conducted and the applicants are presented to the County Council for final decision.
Carlsten encourages the community seek a position on one of these boards.
“It’s a great way to provide and gather public input on issues that come before the boards,” she said. For example, the Parks and Recreation Board members have been actively involved in the capital improvement project bond issues, Carlsten said.
Plus, members of boards and commissions serve as advisors for the Council; Carlsten said they are often the “eyes and ears in Council.”
She added, “It’s a way to have a positive impact on your community. We really do try to make this a rewarding and fun productive experience. They (boards and commissions) help influence decisions that affect this community.”
Board of Public Utilities Chairman Jeff Johnson echoed Carlsten’s comments.
“What I like is the obvious contribution to your community; the volunteer aspect part of the boards and commissions have a vital impact on how our town operates,” he said. “You can have a real impact on the county.”
In addition to serving almost two years on the Board of Public Utilities, Johnson also served four years on the Parks and Recreation Board. He said he has enjoyed his experience working on these boards.
“I’m listening to and making decisions that help the Council on issues that have an impact on the County.”
New members do not need to worry about being tossed into boards without any preparation or assistance. Carlsten said, “We give them the resources they need to be successful.”