Tag: Boards and Commissions
Looking for a way to get involved in local government and play a part in shaping the future of Asheville? Serving on an Asheville City Council Board or Commission is a great place to start. More than 250 people serve on 35 advisory boards and help guide policy decisions for the City of Asheville.
Each month we offer a profile of one of these valuable advisory boards. To see a list of openings on Council Boards and Commissions through 2014, click here.
Council Board and Commission profile: Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee
Formed in: 2008
Number of members: 16
Term: Three years
Meets: Fourth Monday of each month, 11 a.m., Housing Authority Board Room, 165 S. French Broad Avenue
With 16 members, the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee is one of the larger boards in the City of Asheville and is one of only a handful that has members appointed by both the City of Asheville and Buncombe County. That’s because the issue of homelessness affects a broad area and population not restricted to city limits.
In 2007, Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners approved the 10-Year-Plan to End Homelessness and formed the Homeless Initiative. Director Heather Dillashaw is the initiative’s only staffer, and says the advisory committee is critical for advancing the goals of the 10-Year-Plan, researching and tracking data that paint an accurate, useful picture of homelessness in the area.
“They are the Initiative. Their work is the reason we reduced chronic homelessness by 82 percent since 2006,” Dillashaw said. “They are the reason we are on track with the 10-year-plan.”
The Homeless Initiative receives approximately $1 million in Federal funding annually and one of the HIAC’s biggest jobs is to determine where those resources can do the most good. Often, those recommendations go to Council’s Housing and Community Development Committee, which works to prioritize affordable housing issues. Affordability remains at the top of Asheville City Council’s strategic operating plan.
Recommendations from the HIAC have resulted in reduced chronic homelessness as well as the cases of veterans experiencing homelessness. Efforts continue to address the “hard to house” population as well as the issue of family and youth homelessness, all of which require different resources and strategies.
HIAC members are often involved with service providers and agencies that deal with homelessness issues, and serve on a variety of sub committees according to their expertise. But committee chair David Nash says that members from outside those organizations provide critical input as well.
“The real value of this group is having a lot of different perspectives in the room,” says Nash, who serves as Deputy Director of the City of Asheville Housing Authority.
“It helps having members of the public there to ask questions that those of us closer to the issues wouldn’t think about.”
The City of Asheville is currently advertising for applicants for the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee as well as the Board of Adjustment, the Community Relations Council, the Fireman’s Relief Fund, the Metropolitan Sewerage District Board, the Riverfront Area Redevelopment Commission, the Sustainable Advisory Committee on Energy and Environment and the Tree Commission. Applications are due by January 8, 2014. If you would like to apply for any of these boards or commissions, contact the City Clerk at (828) 259-5601 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow this link for more information.
December 11, 2013
There are seven elected members on Asheville City Council, but that body relies on more than 250 people serving on 35 council-appointed Boards and Commissions to help guide policy for the City of Asheville.
From the Downtown Commission to the Greenway Commission to the newly formed Neighborhood Advisory Committee, these are the groups that deliberate and advise on a wide range of issues facing Asheville. Citizen involvement is crucial in making decisions that affect the city, and the recommendations of Council’s Boards and Commissions play a big role in Council’s decisions. Some of the most influential policies in the City of Asheville have their beginnings in one of these bodies.
With so many advisory bodies, seats frequently come up for consideration; in 2013, there will be openings on 22 City Council Boards and Commissions. To fill those seats, City Clerk Maggie Burleson sends out regular announcements of upcoming board vacancies. Asheville City Council selects and interviews applicants, and appoints members all in a public forum. A typical term is three years. There is a lot of great information about applying and serving on a Council Board or Commission here.
But hopefuls don’t have to wait until a vacancy is announced. Applications can be submitted at any time and will be held for up to a year. Click here to download an application.
To receive regular notifications of Board and Commission Vacancies, contact City Clerk Maggie Burleson at 259-5601 or email@example.com. Notices are also posted on the City of Asheville website and on the City of Asheville’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Click here to see the upcoming Board and Commission vacancies for 2013 and early 2014.
Click here to see the “Talent Scout” brochure.
January 8, 2013
An Asheville City Council meeting may be the big event for those who follow local government, but meetings of council’s boards and commissions offer plenty of opportunity to participate in crafting city policy. 2011 will see seats becoming available on a wide variety of those boards and commissions, (click here for a PDF of upcoming openings) and the city is encouraging anyone with expertise or interest to apply.
More than 250 people serve on 34 council-appointed boards and commissions, bodies that consider and make recommendations to council on city policy. The boards cover topics from a catch-all of subjects: from the Public Art Board to the Recreation Board to the Riverfront Redevelopment Commission, there is probably a board that appeals to anyone’s interests.
Tapping into that community input is a big priority for the City of Asheville, says City Clerk Maggie Burleson, because council relies the experience and recommendations of the public to make decisions.
“You do have a voice and we want to know what it is,” Burleson says. “I can’t express enough how important citizen involvement is. Council can’t do it without these boards.”
Council Boards and Commissions aren’t new: the oldest of the group include the Fireman’s Relief Fund established in 1907, followed by the the Planning and Zoning Commission in 1921. And the list continues to grow as needs evolve within the City of Asheville. Recent years have seen the appointment of a Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment and a Soil Erosion/Stormwater Review Committee.
With so many advisory bodies, seats frequently come up for consideration. To fill those seats, Burleson sends out regular announcements of upcoming board vacancies. The city’s tools to get the word out have ranged from bus advertisements to the publication of the regular “Talent Scout” brochure and most recently, spreading the word through online social media tools.
Board and Commission applicants are interviewed by Asheville City Council, then selected by vote in a public forum. Typically, board members serve three-year terms. And hopefuls don’t have to wait until a vacancy is announced. Applications can be submitted at any time and are held for a year. Applications can also be downloaded from the city’s website.
“Vacancies occur all the time,” Burleson says. “Go ahead and apply even if there isn’t an opening.”
Public comment at Council meetings is a valuable tool for citizen input, but the issues that people care about have lives before they appear at Council meetings, Burleson notes. They often start in boards and commissions, and even attending those meetings can help inform and influence policy recommendations.
Asheville Vice Mayor Brownie Newman, who chairs council’s Boards and Commissions Committee, notes the importance of the recommendations that come out of those bodies, and points out that even attending the commission meetings gives citizens a chance to get in on an issue long before it gets to City Council.
“Citizen participation and leadership on our boards and commissions is a vital part of the community decision making process,” Newman says. “We strongly encourage citizens in Asheville to be involved with our boards and commissions, either by directly serving on them or by attending and participating in their meetings.”
To receive regular notifications of board and commission vacancies, contact City Clerk Maggie Burleson at 259-5601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to download a PDF of the upcoming boards and commission vacancies for 2011.
Click here to see a PDF of the most recent edition of the “Talent Scout” brochure.
November 23, 2010