If you're interested in serving a larger role in local government - but maybe not ready to run for office, here's an excellent opportunity to get your feet wet.  The City of Duluth is looking for volunteers to fill a variety of openings on their boards and commissions.

As a member, you get to play an active role in decision making for the future.  According to a description on the cities website, board and commission members are "uniquely positioned to foster innovative ideas, help drive community-based solutions, and make recommendations to...staff and elected officials".  Membership is also a good network and leadership-building exercise.

In total, the City of Duluth has 30 different boards and commissions.  Those organizations concern themselves with a variety of different city government agendas - including things like parks and recreation, parking, public utilities, alcohol licensing, planning and zoning, and more.

While there aren't vacancies to fill right now on every board, here is a summary list of what boards and commissions do have vacancies, how many seats are open, and a short description of what they oversee:

  • Alcohol, Gambling and Tobacco Commision (3 vacancies): Investigates every license application.  Subject to final Council review, the board also has the power to suspend or revoke a license after a public meeting is held.
  • Civil Service Board (1 vacancy):  Oversees matters related to civil service employment.
  • Community Development Committee (1 vacancy):  Assists with allocating over $3 million in funding for community programs focused on improving life for low income households.
  • Duluth African Heritage Commission (2 vacancies): Ensures that the views of the African Heritage community are incorporated in the decision making, future planning, and stewardship of the City of Duluth.
  • Duluth Citizen Review Board (1 vacancy):  Fosters relationships and strengthens trust and communication between the Police Department and citizens in furtherance of the best interests of the city and all of its residents.
  • Duluth Economic Development Authority (1 vacancy):  Encourages, coordinates and directs the city's development efforts - especially in the areas of economic and housing development.
  • Duluth Indigenous Commission (5 vacancies): Works to ensure that the views of the Indigenous Community are incorporated in decision-making, future planning, and stewardship of the City of Duluth.
  • Joint Airport Zoning Board (1 vacancy):  Enforces airport zoning regulations within area that the Duluth International Airport comprises.
  • Duluth Legacy Endowment Fund Advisory Board (1 vacancy):  Accepts requests for distribution of the earnings of the Duluth Legacy Endowment Fund.
  • Special Board Of Review (1 vacancy):  Reviews assessments and classifications of all property within the city, determines that all taxable property is listed and properly valued, and hears assessment conflicts.
  • Parks and Recreation Commission (2 vacancies):  Helps to preserve "a naturally beautiful city", seeks innovative and quality programs, and seeks to sustain a dynamic quality of life for everyone.
  • Natural Resources Commission (1 vacancy):  Provides science-based guidance on the protection and enhancement of the ecological health of city-owned and managed lands.
  • Parking Commission (3 vacancies):  Provides strategic oversight and guidance to the operation of the City's parking operations and functions; investigates and studies on- and off-street parking problems of broad significance; establishes rates to be charged for parking meters, city owned lots, and ramps; establishes parking rates and regulations.

Individuals who are interested in serving on one of the boards or commissions needs to submit an application to the City Clerk's Office.  Applications are kept on file for two years. You can access the application online by clicking here.

The complete list of boards, their vacancies, and detailed descriptions of their duties is available on the City of Duluth website.

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