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The original item was published from 5/31/2023 10:56:37 AM to 5/31/2023 10:57:15 AM.

News Flash

Columbus News

Posted on: May 31, 2023

[ARCHIVED] CITY GOVERNMENT 101 - Appointments and how YOU can get involved

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Your neighbor Nick serves on the park commission board; Robert, the businessman you know, is on the board of airport commissioners; your friend’s friend Erin is on the tree board – “wait, Columbus has a tree board!” you say out-loud.

NOTE TO READERS: “City Government 101” is an ongoing weekly series debuting in April 2023 that highlights different aspects of municipal government as it pertains to Columbus, Nebraska, in hopes to provide information on how the City of Columbus operates. Please send questions and suggestions to ColumbusGovMedia@columbus.ne.us.

Your neighbor Nick serves on the park commission board; Robert, the businessman you know, is on the board of airport commissioners; your friend’s friend Erin is on the tree board – “wait, Columbus has a tree board!” you say out-loud.

You’ve realized there are all sorts of boards, commissions and committees that residents can serve on, but now you’re wondering how you can get involved?

That’s easy. You have to be appointed, by the mayor of Columbus, Nebraska. To be considered, applicants must be eligible electors and reside within the city limits of Columbus. Those who are interested in a position on a city board, commission, or committee; please complete the Expression of Interest (PDF) form and return it to the City Administration office in City Hall.

Upon first being elected to the role and taking the advice and approval of the City Council, the mayor also appoints many City of Columbus officers, including city administrator, engineer, attorney, physician, city clerk finance director, fire chief, assistant fire chief and safety trainer; chief of police and other City officers, employees and board members as outlined by the City Code. Each time a new mayor is elected, he or she can retain City officers or appoint others to those roles.

The mayor also can appoint people to positions that are vacated before a term is over. The most recent example of this as of May 2023 was in February 2023 when former Fourth Ward City Councilman John Lohr resigned from his position. The mayor and City Council announced the vacancy and encouraged residents to email their resumes and interest to the mayor to be considered. Mayor Jim Bulkley ultimately appointed Hope Freshour to the council to serve the remainder of Lohr’s term. Otherwise, city councilmembers have to be elected to their positions.

If you’re someone who is eager to serve but don’t know of a current vacancy, don’t wait. Fill out the Expression of Interest (PDF) Form now to be considered in the future.

Participation on a board, commission, or committee can be a rewarding and challenging experience. It provides an opportunity to develop first-hand knowledge of the operating policies and issues facing a municipal government. It also personifies citizen participation in policy determination. It gives you an opportunity to play a vital role in the communication process by advising and recommending to elected officials.

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