March 8, 2021

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Serving on Boards, Committees Vital

Over the years I have served on a lot of boards and committees. I have always felt that it was my duty to contribute to some of the things I was involved with or members of my family were into.

I have also attended my share of board and committee meetings as a member of the press. There have been times when I have almost voted out loud with the board members as I sat in the audience. Luckily, I have managed to catch myself before getting too embarrassed.

Volunteering for these jobs is a vital part of making them work. Without the committee and board members who plan, arrange and carry out certain events, they just would not happen. Some of these are big events such as festivals, parades, programs, and fundraisers. Others are more behind the scenes types of things that keep organizations and businesses running smoothly. 

For the most part, my participation within these groups has been pretty mellow. however, at times, things can get pretty heated at committee meetings. There are often a lot of conflicting opinions and it is difficult to reach a compromise that everyone can agree with.

I often hear people say that we need to get younger people involved on some of the major planning boards. I can see how stretched to the limit the young adults are already, balancing work, and family. I can’t imagine them taking on one more thing in their lives. However, a lot can be said for getting the ideas from these younger people. Fresh eyes and ears, new methods of doing things and new technology that can be used. They certainly have a lot that can be added to the ‘old’ ways.

A lot can also be said for experience on these boards. People who remember what was done years ago and who to contact in certain situations. It would be a perfect scenario to have a balance of both old and young.

I am at a point in my life where I feel I have done my fair share and it is time for others to step up. I am fine with attending the meetings and writing about them, but I just don’t want to be part of the decision making process. I would gladly give my opinion, if asked, but otherwise I will keep my thoughts to myself. Then I can watch with pleasure as new ideas and new faces take over and make things better.

Katie Erdman