Salt Lake County mayor issues call for volunteers to fill boards
By Mike Gorrell
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Feb 19 2013 03:53PM
Salt Lake County officials are advised by boards with titles from A to Z.
Mayor Ben McAdams wants the membership of those boards to be as broad as their alphabetical span. He put out a call Tuesday for residents to fill openings on boards dealing with everything from Administrative Control to Zoo, Arts and Parks funding.
"I’m looking for quite a few good men and women," McAdams said. "Utah is the number one state per capita in volunteerism. I need to harness some of that energy.
"What the job lacks in salary," he added, "it more than makes up for in lively interaction with members of the community."
Salt Lake County has more than 100 boards. They deal with old and young people, canyons and foothills and rivers and lakes, physical health and mental well-being, housing, bicycles and government records, sister cities, drinking water and open space, just about all aspects of life.
To address those diverse issues, McAdams is looking for individuals of all ages, skills, genders, geographical location and ethnicity. Application forms are available at boards.slco.org.
Of the 1,600 seats on the various boards, about 15 percent are empty at any given time, said Sheryl Ivey, who oversees advisory boards and volunteers for the county.
While McAdams encouraged people of all political persuasions to apply, Ivey noted that only two boards — the Deputy Sheriff’s Merit Board and the Career Service Board — require members to divulge their party affiliations. That’s because the county ordinance mandates representation for people in different parties.
Otherwise, Ivey said, "I don’t know [board members’] political affiliation. I don’t ask, I don’t care. We just want the right person for the job."
Charles Henderson said he has felt great satisfaction in volunteering on several boards, most recently representing the unincorporated county on the Utah Transit Authority board.
"I feel I have a responsibility to contribute," he said, for both the African-American community he comes from and county residents as a whole. "I’ve helped make this a better place to live."
Added Rebecca Sanchez, county diversity director: "Bring together people of diverse backgrounds and you get new and innovative ideas."