I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
A Pewaukee alderman asked an interesting question last week:
Who should be serving on a community's citizen boards and commissions?
A proposal by Pewaukee Ald. H. Roger Hathaway was shot down last week, but he raised a good question about who serves on municipal government citizen boards - a question that deserves wider discussion.
Hathaway argued that citizens elected to positions outside of city government should not be allowed to serve on Pewaukee government committees, boards and commissions.
On Nov. 2, the Common Council rejected Hathaway's motion on a 4-2 vote.
The idea behind citizen boards is that citizens serve on them; everyday people with day jobs who agree out of a sense of civic duty to serve their communities, with no particular political agenda or ambition. Such boards should not be made up of what could amount to a class of professional politicians who serve, for example, on the County Board and the Pewaukee Police and Fire Commission, and other boards.
Such multiple service could lead to conflicts of interest or at least the appearance of a conflict of interest, as Hathaway rightly argued. He couldn't provide any examples of such conflicts, and our guess is that most public servants who serve in multiple capacities avoid them. But selecting citizens who aren't elected officials also serves to widen the pool of public servants and contributes to citizen interest in and participation in government and the wider community.
Maybe an outright ban is a bad idea, and certainly, we don't want to discourage people from serving their fellow citizens at a time when it is often difficult to find such people.
But maybe councils and mayors who select citizens to serve on boards and commission should give first preference to finding citizens who aren't already serving in some other capacity.
I also think the people serving on the government citizen boards/commissions should only live in the city and should have term limits.