In Wyoming, a good portion of our government activity is subject to oversight by citizen boards and commissions.
Someone close to me once served on the Wyoming Business Council. I recall the two of us discussing whether the board made a difference, as the board typically approved the recommendations of the staff.
We decided the better question might be: What would staff action look like if it did not have to be approved by a board of ordinary citizens?
Ordinary citizens impact the actions of government agencies for the better, because when they are present, they ask questions and look out for the people of Wyoming.
Some of Wyoming’s board and commission seats are available to any Wyoming citizen, and there are often vacancies at the local, county and state level. It’s important that we have community buy-in on these committees, because our elected leadership must hear from the citizens they serve. These boards and commissions provide Wyomingites with both oversight and legislative involvement at an important level.
According to the Governor’s Office, Gov. Mark Gordon is looking to fill openings on boards and commissions with an eye toward braiding in a diverse group of individuals from all across the state. He is encouraging folks from all around Wyoming to consider applying to serve on state boards and commissions, which the public can do by visiting governor.wyo.gov/state-government/boards-commissions.
The Governor’s Office advises that volunteers review the criteria required to apply for specific positions to make sure they find the best fit for themselves.
So, if you have an issue you care about, or a particular skill you would like to share, please go to the governor’s website and review the openings. It’s likely your area of expertise could be utilized.
If you are not interested, or job or family demands preclude your service, ask if there are friends or acquaintances that might we well suited to it.
Look at the various requirements for the position: Is leadership looking for someone with a specific party affiliation? Are they looking for someone from a particular geographic region of our vast state?
See how often each board meets, and for how long — and consider carefully if the meetings work into your lifestyle, work schedule and personal calendar. Consider whether the board or commission relates to an agency that directs an area of interest to you.
And if you are qualified, please fill out an application.
Some positions require Senate confirmation, so please also let me know when you apply, so I know you are in the running. Even if a board appointment doesn’t require Senate confirmation, I’d like to know when my constituents apply — perhaps I can help in another way.
Often, these positions will come with expense and reimbursement policy coverage, which varies by position. Most boards cover the cost to travel long miles across the state, motel stays and meals, but to be sure, each position’s reimbursement policy must be specifically checked.
Gordon knows that Wyoming has a deep trove of highly qualified local folks with the skills to make our state what we want it to be.
We just need you to step into that leadership role.
Dave Kinskey represents Wyoming Senate District 22 which consists of Johnson County and eastern Sheridan County. A businessperson and former mayor of Sheridan, Kinskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-751-6428.