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Boards, committees an important part of county governance

Sun Advocate publisher

Citizens of Carbon County are part of the government of the community. Everyone who lives in the area either pays taxes or votes or both. Many of those same people own property and businesses, as well.

But few totally understand how their county government works and even fewer know why the various boards and committees that work under the umbrella of the county exist or how they operate.

It would seem to most people the county commissioners, along with the staff of the county, could handle all the kinds of issues that arise in a jurisdiction as small as Carbon. But part of a democracy is to allow the people to have a say on issues that affect them, and since it would be impossible to have every citizen vote or make decisions on every item that comes up, the county has formed various boards of people who live here to help make those decisions.

All together Carbon County has 10 different boards and committees that make recommendations to the commission on various kinds of issues. Generally these boards are specialized by area, with the citizens who occupy those seats having at least some knowledge of the areas they are dealing with.

Certain boards are more well known than others, largely because they make decisions about issues that either deal with large amounts of money or property.

In the distant past board vacancies were often filled with people whose names were placed in front of the commission by the board members themselves.

However, in 2003 the county commission decided to start advertising for all positions that come open on boards, so the maximum number of interested citizens can apply to serve.

As of the end of this year a number of positions on these boards are open, but will soon be filled.

Beginning next month the Sun Advocate will begin a series of articles explaining what the boards do, how they operate and costs involved in runing them.

Watch for those articles beginning the second week of January 2012.

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