Balanced representation is one seat away

By Kay Braddock

Getting involved isn’t always a popular proposition. 

Sometimes maintaining a quiet existence, sharing viewpoints with family, friends and like-minded people, is easier than volunteering to serve on a board or run for an elected seat.
The first hurdle encountered is the fear of rejection. Only a fool will claim it feels good to lose – at anything. To be denied by neighbors, peers or even by an elected board of commissioners is never an agreeable feeling. 
Secondly, it takes commitment. Meetings are undoubtedly required. Whether it’s serving on a board that meets once a month or once a year, allocating time to serve is necessary. 
  Navigating the art of diplomacy is a stumbling block that some are unable to jump over in their attempt to serve. It takes patience to listen to one-sided conversations that may, more often than not, dwell on an opposing viewpoint. Answering questions is a tolerance that not everyone possesses. Affording those, who take the time to attend meetings, call at home or stop along the street, the grace to talk over issues is the epitome of a true representative. 
And maybe, most importantly, it takes passion. A genuine love for the community served and a desire to see it through good times and bad is an endearing quality. It’s one that will likely win respect, covering over all other failings. 
Taking into account all of these obstacles it is with great admiration to watch as the list of candidates grows for the open three-year hospital district trustee seat. As it stands, there are now seven candidates. Seven individuals are willing to disregard fears, take on the necessary obligations and serve a position that may or may not garner respect and admiration.
That is commendable, to say the least.
But lets not stop there. Terms on many county boards are winding to a close. These seats are appointed by the Prairie County Board of Commission. Their terms vary. 
So how do you make it known you’re interested in serving? Call the courthouse or, better yet, stop in and talk to the commissioners. They’re waiting to hear from you.
Boards with open seats in 2010 include: Cemetery, council on aging, fair, mosquito control, salary compensation, library, predatory animal control, tax appeal, Terry tv, weed, public safety commission and land planning. 
Although the board titles aren’t flashy, the decisions being made and the direction taken is affecting our future.
        It may be up to you to ensure balanced representation exists.

Published May 5, 2010
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