Your city needs you! Your city needs you to be a civic leader and there are a range of opportunities that I want you to consider this year. But before I do go into details about those opportunities let’s start by addressing the number one concern that I hear from people who are considering getting more involved. That’s the fear of enduring the anger and complaints (and sometimes wrath) of fellow citizens. For all my fellow fans of Parks and Recreation, let turn to the words of Leslie Knope, “These people are members of the community that care about where they live. So what I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring loudly at me.” She’s right, we have many vocal people who love our city. And I can say during my time in office, the number of times that I’ve been yelled at are very few, especially compared to the countless number of inspiring and positively exciting conversations that I’ve had.
So, about those opportunities for you to lead. Council is seeking community members to serve on numerous Boards and Commissions that help guide the decisions of City Council and city staff. We are taking applications now until April 1st. We’ve got something for everyone. If you like zoning and city planning, consider applying to the Planning and Zoning Commission or the Board of Adjustment. Like history? Apply to the Burlington Historic Preservation Commission. Concerned about how our city looks? Apply to the Tree and Appearance Commission. Is availability and quality of housing a concern for you? Consider the Minimum Housing Commission or the Burlington Housing Authority. We’ve also got the Traffic Commission, Public Transportation Advisory Commission, Recreation and Parks Commission, Airport Authority Board, Alamance Library Board and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Application instructions are available online at: http://burlingtonnc.gov/1408/Apply-to-Serve
Lastly, 2017 is a municipal election year all across Alamance County. Filing for office will begin in July which gives you plenty of time to learn more about the process. As a relative newcomer to local politics, I’m always eager to help folks learn more about running for office. Let me know if I can answer your questions about what it’s like to campaign, lose, win, and serve. I’m always happy to find a time to grab coffee or lunch and share my experiences and advice.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Joan Didion, “A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.” How would you like to be part of loving and claiming this wonderful plan we call home?