I support borough assembly Ordinance 2012-07 to appoint, rather than elect, members to service area boards.
Board members provide an important public service and do so whether appointed or elected. We have a good history of appointed board activity. It is easier for people new to politics to apply for a position than to run for election. And service area boards are a good place to get started in public service. I have served on a service area board and found no difference in quality between those members who were elected and those who were appointed when no one ran for an open seat or a member resigned.
I appreciate Ms. Murphy’s amendment for the mayor to seek board input on applicants, without obligation. This provides an opportunity for important local knowledge.
Voters don’t have much information to rely on when choosing service area board members because candidate statements are not included in the election brochure. However it is not often an issue because there is rarely a contest for a seat. In fact, it is often hard to keep service area boards full.
Appointing service area board members would also reduce the number of ballots required for an election, which would make the voting process easier for all of us.