The City of Bethel has vacant seats on most of its committees and commissions. Some of them haven’t been able to meet in months, due to lack of a quorum. City committees and commissions make up an important part of city government. Their volunteer members help shape city policies and laws.
The Bethel City Council’s Finance Committee has not met since Conrad “CJ” McCormick was elected to the council. The commission has tried, but hasn't had enough members; a committee has to have at least four members in attendance to hold a meeting. McCormick said that this means that he hasn’t even really been trained in Finance Committee matters. "I'm kind of at a loss to even know where to start. We haven't even been able to get, you know, through the door," said McCormick.
This also means that the Finance Committee hasn’t been able to advise the Bethel City Council about how to meet the challenges facing the department. Its leadership stepped down in the summer, and the city is currently in the process of hiring new staff to run the department.
The Finance Committee isn’t the only committee that needs new members. Most city committees and commissions have vacant seats. There’s a committee or commission for almost every aspect of city life. Council member Mark Springer, who sits on the Port Commission, said that being a member of one of these bodies is a great way to learn more about city government, or to reflect your interests and opinions in public policy. So who does he think might consider serving on the Port Commission?
"The port commission helps to assure that boaters in Bethel and visiting boaters have safe places to tie their boats up. And so, just from that perspective, you know, I think anybody in Bethel that uses the river has an interest in what the Port Commission does," said Springer.
Apply that logic to other commissions and you can say, for example, that whoever uses a park in Bethel has an interest in what the Parks Commission does.