The city just might not be able to function without its committees of volunteers.

"These commissions are necessary to make the city work," City Manager Daryl Berlin said.The commissions make recommendations to the City Council for changes in - or additions to - city policy, he said. "They do a lot of things on their own, and they make the council's work easier."

Right now there are vacancies that need to be filled on about half of the commissions.

It's a continual process, Berlin said. Residents may serve on a commission for three years with the option of extending for three more, but then the council must find other volunteers.

"Periodically, people will call in who are interested in serving, but for the most part, the council must find people to serve," he said.

One of the most visible commissions is the Media Review Commission, which is a joint committee with Provo. It reviews the movies that come into Utah Valley and releases a report once a week.

"Sometimes it is hard to get people on this commission because they don't want to be subjected to some of the trash in movies," Berlin said. "Others do it because they feel it is a good service to the community."

Another active committee is the Planning Commission, which investigates commercial development in Orem and how it fits into the city's master plan and zoning system.

Other committees include the Recreation Commission, which looks into all matters pertaining to the recreation programs of the city; the Beautification Commission, making Orem a more beautiful place to live; and the Recycling Commission, educating residents and generally promoting recycling efforts.

Brent Gledhill, chairman of the Beautification Commission, said his committee is responsible to make Orem a nicer place to live.

Most members are volunteers appointed by the City Council, Gledhill said. "Many are people who are just interested in making their neighborhoods more beautiful places to live in."

Volunteers are also needed for the new Historical Preservation Advisory Commission, will help to preserve the community's heritage.

Berlin said the city is looking for people who are interested in history and have a background in historical research.

"Most of the commissions meet only monthly, but a few meet more often than that," Berlin said. This accommodates people who can give only a few hours a month.

There are also some administrative boards that serve the city.

The Board of Adjustments hears appeals from any decisions made by the Planning Commission, and the Board of Building and Fire Code Appeals hears complaints from decisions made by city building officials.

Berlin also said that the city sponsors an annual appreciation party for the volunteers to say, "Thanks for the help."

Anyone who is interested in serving on a committee may contact the city offices at 224-7035.


City commissions

Citizen volunteers comprise many Orem committees:

Beautification Commission

Board of Adjustment

Board of Building and Fire Code Appeals

Library Advisory Commission

Historical Preservation Commission

Media Review Commission

Planning Commission

Recreation Advisory Commission

Recycling Advisory Commission

Senior Citizen Advisory Commission

Strategic Plan Advisory Commission

Any residents interested in serving on a committee can call the city, 224-7035.