In some circles, being a political ‘outsider’ is pretty popular these days. While there’s certainly value in being able to approach something with a different perspective, understanding how government bodies operate is an important skill that shouldn’t be diminished.

Regardless of whether someone has aspirations for political office or not, a desire to make their communities a better place to live and work should motivate many to volunteer to serve and, in many cases, launching a political campaign isn’t even necessary.

Currently, the city of Imlay City is looking to appoint a number of residents to serve on various boards and committees including the planning commission, parks and recreation board, Lamb-Steele board and alternates to the board of review and zoning board of appeals. The Almont DDA is looking to appoint a new member to their board as well. It’s common for most municipalities to have a vacancy on a board or two at any one time.

Some of these committees meet monthly, others less regularly. Experience in a certain field isn’t always necessary but certainly helpful. A willingness to learn and listen is always prized.

If your city, village, township or county isn’t currently recruiting don’t let that stop you from stepping up. Most municipalities welcome letters of interest from residents or have applications ready to be filled out. Call to request an application or type out a few sentences about yourself, work or education background, interests and the like. Those letters and applications can be put on file and pulled out when a vacancy occurs.

Public service on an appointed board is one way that individuals can help their communities develop and grow and volunteering to serve means you can also have a say in how it’s done.