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By Kristin Stephens, Larimer County Commissioner
It’s almost spring, and that also means Larimer County is holding its annual recruitment for our Boards and Commissions. Serving on a board or commission is a great way for community members to volunteer, learn about Larimer County, and meet civic-minded residents. Boards and commissions serve an invaluable role in many ways.
This year we have 81 openings on 19 different boards and commissions ranging from the Board of Appeals to the Workforce Development Board. While each board has its purpose and work plan, all board members serve at the discretion of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners.
Some boards are advisory, like the Environmental and Science Advisory Board, which advises the Board of County Commissioners and various county departments on environmental issues that affect Larimer County. Other boards have statutory roles, such as the Board of Adjustment; any county that has zoning regulations is required to provide for a Board of Adjustment, specifically to hear and decide appeals.
We’re thrilled this month to kick off the first meeting of our newly formed Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion board. This board will advise the Board of County Commissioners to ensure that equity, diversity, and inclusion are central to the ways the Larimer County structures services. It was so inspiring to meet these new members from across the county who are eager to begin their work.
I feel this same sense of energy when I attend board meetings as a commissioner liaison. Whether it’s the Fair Board, the Extension Advisory Committee, or the Community Corrections Advisory Board, I am amazed and grateful for the residents who volunteer their time to make our community a better place to live.
When I am out in the community, I am often asked about what prompted me to run for office. I tell people that my time serving on city and county boards led me to seek public office. I knew little about county government before I began serving on the Larimer County Interagency Oversight Group or the Citizen Review Panel, but my service on these boards gave me a window into the important and lifesaving work that our Human Services and Child Protection Department do every day. Serving on these boards also helped me meet civic-minded and lifelong friends.
If you’re interested in serving on a Larimer County Board or Commission, please visit larimer.org/boards. You’ll find information on which boards are accepting applications plus a short description of what each one does and how to apply for those that interest you. While you can apply for more than one board, our county policy states that residents can only serve on one board at a time.
As we evaluate applications, the Board of County Commissioners hopes to find a diverse group of residents from different backgrounds and geographic locations to serve on our Boards and Commissions. We invite you to apply by the April 21 deadline; new members will begin their term on July 1, 2022. No matter what your interest, there is a board for everyone!
Kristin Stephens is a Larimer County commissioner representing all of Larimer County.