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McAdams calls on Salt Lake County residents to volunteer on advisory boards

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 19 2013 8:06 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County's mayor issued a call to arms Tuesday, asking residents to volunteer on any of the 100 county-run advisory boards.

“What the job lacks in salary, it more than makes up for in lively interaction with members in the community,” first-year Mayor Ben McAdams said. “It gives an opportunity for residents of Salt Lake County to play an important role in crafting public policy and making decisions that have a real impact on our community.”

McAdams made his pitch during a news conference that also featured county residents already serving in volunteer capacities.

“(Participation on the boards) has given me insight into the inner workings of the government and gives me a chance to share with our elected officials what is important to my community,” said volunteer Charles Henderson.

McAdams said he is looking for people of all backgrounds to play a role in the community.

"I believe there's strength in diversity,” he said. “We're seeking a broad mix of ages, skills, geographic locations, incomes, and ethnicity and backgrounds for people who will serve on our boards and commissions.”

All Salt Lake County residents can serve, McAdams said.

“We're certainly looking for residents in the unincorporated county, but the county also plays an integral role in serving the metropolitan area,” he said.

Residents are encouraged to apply for boards that complement their interests or expertise, McAdams said.

“We want people with experience, and we also want people who have a fresh set of eyes and who are going to look at this critically and help us think outside of the box,” he said.

Time commitments can range from one to 10 hours per month.

“We understand that this is on top of people's busy lives already," McAdams said. "So time commitment is flexible. It's as much as people are willing to give or as little as they can offer.”

There is no cap on age. In fact, youth are encouraged to become involved, Henderson said.

“I know that in the Taylorsville and in the Kearns community, there are the youth advisory committees, which are being headed by youth," he said. "It's another way for young people to become actively involved and prepare for future service in the community.”

To apply, visit Salt Lake County's website for boards and commissions at boards.slco.org. Applications can be filled out and submitted online.

E-mail: rlowry@desnews.com

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