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Editorial: Step up and serve community on one of many boards

When we talk about serving on a board of directors, it may not sound like the most exciting thing to do when it comes to civic duty, but these boards are essential in service to the community.

The boards that serve the community range from the Housing and Redevelopment Commission to the public library board to the city parks board. These are all made up of Park Rapids citizens who volunteer their time to make decisions on items that pertain to their board, commission or committee and pass that information on to the city council to assist them in making the appropriate decision for the residents of Park Rapids.

The City of Park Rapids website list 10 boards, committees or commissions of which all have seats up for renewal starting now, the first of the year. These include the Park Rapids City Council representative who is up for renewal on each board, committee or commission, and some have vacant seats.

Three contain only members of the city council. They are the city council, Economic and Wellhead. The remaining seven are as follows:

Airport Commission - five city/county residents members and one city council representative. Three of those seats up for renewal.

Arts and Council Advisory Commission - five city/county residents members and a city council representative. Four of those seats up for renewal.

Urban Forestry Committee - three city/county residents members plus an alternate, if needed, and a city council representative. Two of those seats are up for renewal.

Housing and Redevelopment Authority - four city residents and a city council representative. One seat open and one renewal.

Library Board - four city residents members, three county residents members, a county representative and a city council representative. Three of those seats vacant, two city and one county. Two up for renewal, one city and one city council representative.

Parks and Beautification Board - Seven city/county residents members and a city council representative. Four of those up for renewal.

Planning Commission - Five city residents and a city council representative. Three of those seats up for renewal.

Park Rapids resident Tom Petschl spoke at a recent city council meeting expressing his concern that there are so many seats to fill on the local boards. Petschl currently serves on the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Parks and Beautification Board and the Library Board. He fully understands the importance of what these boards do and writes about the HRA in a related commentary on this page. He ran for city council this November and part of his platform was encouraging more people to get involved in the community and to serve on some of these boards.

Petschl and many other volunteers are walking the walk and talking the talk. They encourage residents in Park Rapids and Hubbard County to review the individual board, committee, or commission to which they would like to be appointed. Talk to a member and find out why they requested to be appointed.

Get involved with the decision making in the City of Park Rapids. Most residents of Park Rapids and the surrounding county probably don't know some of these boards even exist nor their great importance to the city and its residents. The city relies on the boards to decipher requests and information on their specialty and to pass their recommendations on to the city council.

Here's your chance to serve. If you don't like what is being done in the city then step up, join and help make changes. It's the best way to have a say.

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