Boca Raton City Council frustrated over lack of interest in volunteer board positions

No new appointments to a board since October

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Volunteers are disappearing from various city boards in Boca Raton. Vacancies are building on eight of 25 boards that city council members rely on for input.

A regular at City Hall, resident Bob Hildreth noticed the list of vacant volunteer positions getting longer.

"I just saw the list and it's bigger than I'd like. People are here now because it's season and these boards are very important," says HIldreth.

About 20 volunteer positions need to be filled. Mayor Susan Whelchel says that's only 10% overall, but admits it is taking more time than usual to fill those spots.

"The council is frustrated with a lack of applications for boards," says Whelchel.

No one stepped forward at a city council meeting on November 14, when Whelchel called for applicants. The next day another five volunteers resigned. If that continues boards may not have enough member to vote, which could stall big decisions.

Kathy Maxwell works in the City Clerk's office and handles applications that come in. Right now she has three. She says the problem isn't apathy.

"I don't think it's that they don't care, I think people have very busy lives," says Maxwell.

Hildreth says no matter the reason, residents need to get involved.

"Citizens are going to wake up one morning with a decision that a few people made and they won't be happy with it. Then they'll realize it's too bad they didn't apply for a position and maybe swing the vote," says Hildreth.

For more information on how to apply for a position, visit the Boca Raton website

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