Monday, December 20, 2010

Do You Really Want New Board Members?

Do You Really Want New Board Members?

A Guest Commentary

By Bailey Quarters

I'm surprised the city of Florence now wants new faces on its boards. It certainly hasn't in the past. In the 1990s there was a two term limit and I applied for an opening on the Florence Library Board. I don't know how many others applied, but having a college degree and a good job in Florence, I felt that I would make a good board member.

The answer I received came from a story in the TimesDaily. It seems the Florence City Council wanted to keep the two-term board member, a professor at UNA. I heard that he had been considering a move to another area and this was one way to keep him here. He was appointed to a third term and then over the next few years just disappeared from the scene. I'm still here and still love and support the library, but I don't have time in my current job to fulfill the duties that would come with any board membership.

It's refreshing that Florence now wants new faces. The city has done little in the past to encourage new people to take part in making our home town a better place to live.


We're going to agree with much of what Bailey has written. One problem with local boards in all Shoals' cities is a lack of participation. While those who do participate are usually more than qualified, many of them do not have the time to serve and attend meetings.

We hope Florence's new policy will encourage new faces on various boards. We would also like to encourage each board to set up at least semi-annual public meetings where concerned citizens who don't have time to serve can have input.


If you read yesterday's blog, you're aware that one common criticism of the Shoals area is lack of easy access. There's that persnickety road problem again. You say roads cost money? Of course they do. Which had you rather have: A Jumbotron scoreboard at your high school alma mater or a new highway that will bring tourists and well-paying jobs to the area?