Don’t Say You Weren’t Asked

 By. Neil Williamson, President

The reason many citizens give for not serving on a local government committee, task force, commission or board, is that they have never been asked.

Consider yourself asked.

The Free Enterprise Forum monitors over 100 such groups across our region. 

Local government works best when citizens share their talents and intellect in the pursuit of good government.  This is not to abdicate leadership responsibilities of elected officials (see related post here) but elected officials can only spend so much time on any one issue. 

Another concern I often hear is my schedule is already full.  If we chose to leave the work to those who have nothing else to do, what type of results should we anticipate? 

To serve on one such group is really not a that great expense of time to participate as a member of one of these groups and you can make a difference

Charlottesville City Planning Commissioners Bill Emory, Genevieve Keller, Jason Pearson and Dan Rosensweig discuss their priorities before choosing study areas. Photo Credit: Charlottesville Tomorrow

Every locality has different needs and different deadlines.

Albemarle County is looking for a number of positions with a December 16th application deadline.  Opportunities include the Albemarle Service Authority, Agricultural Forestal Committee, Natural Heritage Committee, Route 250 West Committee, Planning Commission, and many others.  Click here for details.

Charlottesville has a number of positions coming open in the Spring.  For details about these positions and how you can apply please click here.

Planning Commissioners from both Greene County and Fluvanna County have been elected to serve on their respective Board of Supervisors.  This leaves an important vacancy on each planning commission.  This is an excellent opportunity to participate.  Planning or design experience is not required.  For details about the Greene County position click here.  Details about the Fluvanna position are available here.

Nelson County did not have any changes on their Board of Supervisors but is always looking for good people to serve on their Boards and committees. For a full list of opportunities and a link to their application process click here.

Regardless of where you live or your unique skill set, local government needs you.  Democracy, especially on the local level, is a participatory sport.


20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Nelson County.  For more information visit the website


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