By D.E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer
Muskogee’s mayor is looking for a few good men and women — about 85 — to fill vacancies on about 40 city authorities, boards and commissions.
The number of vacancies has grown over time as terms have expired. There are numerous positions filled by holdovers who never have been replaced. Mayor Bob Coburn said some committees are more active than others and some “that may no longer be needed.”
“It would be a good chance for a lot of people who want to serve their community in some capacity,” Coburn said. “Preferably, people who want to fill these positions would have some degree of knowledge, but we can consider anybody who is interested.”
Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Shawn Raper, who represented Ward II four years as a city councilor, said serving on a city board is a great way to give back to the community. Raper has served on the city’s Board of Adjustment and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
“It’s a great experience,” said Raper, who was appointed by former Mayor Hershel McBride to his first board assignment. “You learn firsthand about the challenges the city faces, and you get the chance to make improvements.”
While some of the boards are more active than others, Raper said he couldn’t think of any that are unnecessary. All of them are products of the city charter or created in response to City Council action.
City Manager Greg Buckley said each one serves a certain purpose or need. With all the vacancies and expired terms that need to be filled, Buckley said now “might be a good time to do that.”
The review, however, would be something initiated by the City Council. Coburn agreed there may be a need at some point for a comprehensive review to see if those needs still exist.
“That issue hasn’t come up, but there are some boards that don’t really do a whole lot and some that are really needed,” Coburn said. “The thing we don’t want to get into is, we don’t want to be inefficient in handling the city’s business.”
Coburn said anyone interested in serving in some capacity should review the list of boards and commissions. If there is any further interest, residents may complete an application and submit it to Coburn’s office or the applicant’s ward representatives.
Both the list and the application are available online.
Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the boards and commissions list: http://static.cnhi.zope.net/muskogeephoenix/pdfs/Boards-Commissions7-16-12.pdf and the application form: http://static.cnhi.zope.net/muskogeephoenix/pdfs/Boards-Commissions7-16-12.pdf.