Editorial: Citizens needed to serve on various county boards, commissions

Do you want to have a voice in county government, but don’t want to make the time commitment to being a county commissioner (not to mention a desire to wait four more years to run in the next election)? Good news, Carroll County government may have a job for you.

The Board of County Commissioners is seeking residents to fill a variety of openings on its myriad boards and commissions. Membership ranges from the Board of Elections to the Utilities Advisory Council, the Recreation and Parks Board to the Environmental Advisory Council, and the Plumbing Advisory Board to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Some of these may be more high-profile than others, but all exist to help local government get input from involved members of the community on specific topics.


“Citizen input is critical to the success of local government and Carroll County Government needs resident’s skills, enthusiasm and fresh ideas for current openings,” according to a news release from the county.

Now, it’s worth noting that most of these positions are volunteer, although a few may receive a small stipend. However, many of these boards are critical to helping the county commissioners make informed decisions.

Duties, terms and the number of openings may vary among these boards and commissions, and so does the time commitment. Some may meet only once or twice a year. Others might get together on a weekly basis. Terms typically last between 3 and 5 years.

A quick scan of the membership of some of these boards on the county’s website — not all of which are up-to-date — shows various openings coming within the next 12 months, but it’s also possible positions open up before terms expire. After all, people move and others may no longer be able to fulfill the obligations.

That same scan reveals a lot of names repeated among the board and commission membership. We certainly won’t disparage those who are so giving of their time and willing to serve on these boards, but we would bet many of them would agree new blood would be welcomed. Much like elected officials, it is good to have fresh perspectives every so often.

We hear all the time from readers and residents that county government can and should do better. Here is an opportunity to take ownership of that and have some influence in the decision-making processes. And if you are someone with political aspirations at a local level, these volunteer boards are a great way to get involved and start learning about the intricacies of local government.

If you’re interested in applying or learning more, visit the county’s website at to see what boards and commissions exist that you might be interested in serving. Then, you may apply online at or contact the Boards & Commissions Coordinator by emailing, or by calling 410-386-2043.