"Orange County has 55 different advisory boards that are always looking for qualified applicants who have a passion and expertise to get involved," says County Commissioner Bryan Nelson. "Are you one of them?"
Advisory boards are an essential part of the government process in Orange County. The boards, which are comprised of volunteer residents of Orange County, provide advice and insight on an array of important topics and issues to the Board of County Commissioners.
The purpose of advisory boards is twofold. One is to further extend the democratic process to residents, and second to gain resident perspective on specific county affairs.
Orange County currently has 55 advisory boards, commissions, and authorities that either meet on a monthly basis or as needed depending on the board. The Membership and Mission Review Board is responsible for overseeing citizen appointments to all of the boards but three. These three include the Arts and Culture, Community Development, and Parks and Recreation boards. Members to these boards are directly appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The Mission Review Board is made up of six members who are also appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. One appointed by each of the six district commissioners, one member appointed by the County Mayor, and two At Large members to be appointed by the county commission.
Each appointment goes into effect only after a vote from the Board of County Commissioners.
Each board, commission, or authority is delegated certain powers and duties. For instance the Animal Services Board is responsible for assisting and advising the Board of County Commissioners in carrying out an effective and comprehensive Animal Services Program. The Environmental Protection Commission is responsible for making recommendations that provide effective and continuing protection on environmental quality of the air, water, and land in the county. The Planning and Zoning Commission is predominantly responsible for making zoning and land use recommendations based on the county comprehensive plan to the Board of County Commissioners.
Each advisory board has specific qualification requirements for most of their members, and some have the option of having “At Large” members. At Large members are citizens who have an interest on the board’s mission but do not necessarily have specific qualifications. For instance, the Animal Services Advisory Board requires four At Large members, one attorney, one Orange County Sheriff’s Office representative, and one veterinarian. The Environmental Protection Commission requires its members to be made up of one Agricultural Interests Representative, one At Large Representative, one Environmental Specialist, one Professional Environmental or Civil Engineer, one Recognized Environmental Conservation Organization Representative, and two Regulated Business or Municipality Representatives. Members for all advisory boards have a two year term limit. Appointed members are required to attend 75% of meetings and cannot miss more than three consecutive meetings. Advisory boards present their insight and recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners following their meetings.
Residents of Orange County can get involved with an advisory board of their choosing by filling out and application on the Orange County website. These applications are kept on file for two years. When a vacancy becomes available, the board liaison reviews the applications on files and contacts citizens who fit the qualifications and requirements for the board.
You may also contact the Agenda Development Office at: (407) 836-5426.
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