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President's Column: Nominating committee to search out and vet candidates

Camille Cox

Camille Cox

Amid the ruckus of state and regional contests for public office, there is a quieter search happening here in our immediate midst for leadership on the Big Park Council. These are the volunteer leaders who ensure that our local voice is understood and delivered on matters impacting quality-of-life in our community.

Three volunteers were appointed on Aug. 11 by the Council of Representatives to form the nominating committee that will search out and vet candidates. In October the candidates will be announced, and on Nov. 10, there will be an election for president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. I will not be a candidate for a fourth term as president, however I will continue to serve as immediate past president.

The opportunity to serve as an officer of the Council is a unique chance to get an up-close view of how various agencies and branches of government interface with our local community, and to engage in collaboration for best possible outcome. It’s a chance to work directly with elected officials as well as leaders of adjacent communities, and to learn the levers for influencing matters for the benefit of the community.

Thoughts on Volunteer Leadership

Allow me to share my perspective on volunteer board leadership that I’ve acquired through four years as a Council officer, lengthy deliberations on our Strategic Plan & Leadership Development committee, and involvement with other non-profits.

You are more qualified than you think. There are no perfect leaders, any more than there are perfect people. The critical attribute is commitment to the mission of the organization. In the case of our Council, that can be abbreviated as: Identifying potential problems affecting the community, studying them, seeking solutions in a collaborative fashion, representing the interests of the community to pertinent agencies, and providing an open and civil forum to resolve problems and advance the best interest of our community.

An expert team (executive board, committee, etc.) shares the load and works by consensus. No individual “experts” are necessary. Various Council committees have created easy-to-understand resources to support officers and committee chairs, and veteran officers are available to help onboard new leaders and provide guidance when needed.

Soft skills are key to success – respectful listening, enrolling others to participate, approaching problems with an open mind, and a willingness to learn.

The experience of working for the benefit of your community is hugely rewarding. You’ll gain new perspectives, new friends and a new awareness of the interrelationships of people, places and issues. I guarantee that your love of this special place will grow deeper.

The satisfaction that I take away from our open monthly meetings, knowing that each attendee received a beneficial booster shot of community connection, has enriched my life, and holds promise of enriching yours as well.

We Invite You to Get Involved

If you’re not already subscribed to the Council email list, do it now! (bigparkcouncil.org)

Join a committee – they’re open to all community members. You’ll find a list on our website. Chairs must either be a Representative/Alternate Rep, or have a vice-chair/co-chair who is.

If you do not live in a neighborhood represented by a Member Organization, become one – it’s not difficult! Check out the list of members (https://tinyurl.com/BPRCCmembers), and contact us at bigparkcouncil.inquiry@gmail.com to learn how.

If you are represented by a Member Organization, consider becoming a Representative or Alternate Representatives. Meetings are the second Thursday of each month at 9am. Email subscribers receive the agenda the week prior to each meeting.

Participation not possible? Consider making a contribution to the Council for special projects such as public forums, A/V equipment for in-person meetings, website upgrade, etc.

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