Current Volunteers Have Served Over 750 Years
Since 2000, Student Representatives and Alternates have been selected to serve on city boards, commissions, and committees. Each September, a reception is held in their honor. Mayor Bloem welcomes the new students and introduces them to members of the committees on which they’ll serve. She lets them know that their voices are heard and that they do make a difference.
This past September, Mayor Bloem also welcomed many familiar faces to the reception. She saw Brad Jordan (Planning Commission Chair), Iris Siegler (Childcare Commission Chair and Arts Commission member), Fred Ogram (Arts Commission member), Anneke Connaway (Urban Forestry Chair), and John Bruning (Councilman, liaison to Parks & Rec Commission, Ped/Bike Committee, and former Chair of Planning Commission). In one, quick glance, Mayor Bloem estimated that they had about 100 years of service between them.
As a follow up to that estimate, Executive Assistant Amy Ferguson got a closer look at the city’s volunteers. She took a “service snapshot” – a point-in-time measure of the total years of service of each of the currently-serving members, on every one of the city’s boards, commissions, and committees. As of October 2010 (and rounding up to one year if service was six months or more), the sum of members’ service totaled over 750 years – 771 years to be exact.
The volunteers who serve on the city’s boards, commissions, and committees drive much of what gets accomplished in the City of Coeur d’Alene. In partnership with staff liaisons, public and private partners, and the city’s urban renewal agency, the City of Coeur d’Alene and its volunteers oversee the policies, planning, and development of much of the city.
Many current city council members once volunteered on a key city commission – the Planning Commission. Mayor Sandi Bloem served on the Planning Commission for four years. Councilman Woody McEvers served on it for five. And Councilman John Bruning served on the Planning Commission for 25 years; 20 as its chair. He’s about to start the fourth year of his first term as councilman.
“The years I spent on the Planning Commission were invaluable in learning how a city works and operates,” said Councilman Bruning. “It’s a very complex business running a city, and there’s no better place to learn than by volunteering on a city board, commission, or committee.”
As for his many years of service – approaching 30 now – Bruning said, “I think it’s important that people give back to their community, especially a community that gives them so much.”