Have Your Voice Heard: Serve on a Government Advisory Board

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Posted May 15, 2024 | staff report

As a citizen, taxpayer and voter, it can sometimes feel like government moves along without you. But, in addition to contacting your board and council members, you can also have a voice in local government by helping out on a volunteer board. Maybe you’re an expert in commercial real estate; maybe you know a lot about small business marketing. That expertise can help you, your fellow citizens and local government if you want to help out on a board.

As of May 15, here is the new monthly listing of current vacancies for cities in Marion County and the county itself.

City of Belleview:
The city does not list specific vacancies on its website, but the general link is here: https://www.belleviewfl.org/151/Boards-Committees
The general application document is here: https://www.belleviewfl.org/DocumentCenter/View/39/City-Board-Application-PDF?bidId=

Planning & Zoning Board
2 expired terms as of March, 2024 for a city resident

Description: The Planning and Zoning Board acts as an advisory Board to the Commission for planning and zoning issues. They also hear and decide variance and special exception requests. The Planning and Zoning Board is subject to the Sunshine Regulations and must file financial disclosure forms upon appointment and annually thereafter.

Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm.

City of Dunnellon:

Police Officers & Firefighters Defined Benefit Plan
1 vacancy for a city resident

Description: The duty of the Board of Trustees is to operate and administer the Fire and Police Pension Plan in accordance with the direction of the City Council. Duties include, but are not limited to, administration of the plan assets.

Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the second month of each quarter at 8:30 am.

For more information, visit dunnellon.org/government/boards-commissions/police-officers-firefighters-pension-board

Planning Commission
1 vacancy for a member, 1 vacancy for a 2nd alternate member, 2 members expiring July 2024

Description: The Planning Commission has an administrative review function whereby the Commission reviews all changes to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, by amendment, evaluation, addition and appraisal for consistency with the existing Comprehensive Plan, and reviews all land-related/zoning ordinances to determine consistency to the Comprehensive Plan. The Planning Commission holds quasi-judicial hearings with regards to land planning/zoning cases, site plan reviews, variances, special exceptions, and review/appeal of administrative orders, and forwards its findings/recommendations to the City Council.

The member vacancy term is until Jan. 11, 2025. The alternate member term is until Jan. 9, 2026.
Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 pm.
For more information, visit dunnellon.org/government/boards-commissions/planning-commission

Historic Preservation Board
1 vacancy for a 2nd alternate member
The purpose of the Historic Preservation Board is to promote and preserve educational, cultural and economic welfare of the public. The Historic Preservation Board has established uniform procedures to preserve the City’s historic resources by enhancing public participation and involvement in the preservation and protection of such resources, including buildings, structures, monuments, and other historic resources. In keeping with its purpose, the Board has developed the Application for Historic Preservation Grant Facade Renovations. Interested person(s) should complete the application and submit to the Community Development Department for submission to the Board.

For more information, visit dunnellon.org/government/boards-commissions/historic-preservation-board

City of Ocala:

The City Council appoints individuals to serve on over 20 boards, advisory committees, and commissions. These volunteers are from all over Ocala, and their experience, knowledge and expertise help influence decisions affecting the City by providing advice and feedback to City leaders and Council.

If you have questions, contact clerk@ocalafl.gov or call the Office of the City Clerk at (352) 629-8266. The main page is ocalafl.gov/government/city-departments-a-h/city-clerk/boards-and-commissions and each board has its own page and application link.

All are welcome to submit an application for consideration to a board or commission. Many boards have specific requirements, such as living within the city limits, being a qualified city voter, or owning real property within the city limits. These requirements, if any, are detailed for each board on their page.

Board of Adjustment
The Board of Adjustment considers applications for zoning variances and special exception considerations for business and residential construction projects within the Ocala City Limits. Hear and decide appeals where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the building official in the enforcement of the zoning code (chapter 122), authorize special exceptions as provided in the zoning code authorize variances as provided in the zoning code.
Vacancies: 2 current vacancies, both run from Mar 1, 2024 to Mar 1, 2028.
Size: 7 Members
Term Length: 4 years
Term Limit: n/a

Brownfields Advisory Committee
The purpose of the advisory committee is to promote and receive public comment on the identification, rehabilitation and redevelopment of identified Brownfield sites. The purpose of the advisory committee is to promote and receive public comment on the identification, rehabilitation and redevelopment of identified Brownfield sites. The advisory committee shall provide guidance in areas such as land use, employment opportunities, development proposals, community safety and environmental justice. The committee consists of eleven members appointed by the Ocala City Council from boards, committees and organizations primarily representing West Ocala.

Vacancies : 1 term expired
Size: 9 Members (conflict between info given on webpage)
Term Length: 4 years
Term Limit: n/a

Historic Preservation Advisory Board
Description: The Ocala Historic Preservation Advisory Board oversees the historic resources of the City and advises City Council and City departments on matters relating to these resources, as well as manages Certificates of Appropriateness for properties located within the Tuscawilla Park and Ocala Historic Districts. Make recommendations to City council for matters relating to historic resources in the City changes to designated resources; attend pertinent informational or educational meetings, workshops and conferences; advise on development of goals, objectives and policies for historic preservation; advise city departments on matters relating to historic resources in the City; advise individuals on preservation of historic structures; educate public on economic benefits of same; and submit annual report to SHPO covering annual activities. The Board approves Certificates of Appropriateness for exterior alterations to properties located in the local Tuscawilla Park and Ocala Historic Districts.

Vacancies: 2 current vacancies
Size: 9 Members
Term Length: 3 years
Term Limit: n/a

Municipal Code Enforcement Board
Description: The Code Enforcement Division enforces codes that pertain to zoning laws, nuisance abatement, contracting, and permitting requirements of the City of Ocala and the State of Florida, occupational licenses, sign codes, alcohol location permits, and many other local ordinances and State Statutes. The Municipal Code Enforcement Board hears cases relating to code violations. Examine code violation cases presented by City Code Enforcement Officers. Empowered to levy fines and place liens on property if, violation is not corrected.
Vacancies: 3 vacancies
Size: 7 Members
Term Length: 3 years
Term Limit: n/a

North Magnolia Redevelopment Advisory Committee
Description: The committee shall advise the Community Redevelopment Agency on redevelopment efforts of the established subarea pursuant to Chapter 163, Part III, Florida Statutes.
Vacancies: 1 current vacancy
Size: 7 Members
Term Length: 4 years
Term Limit: n/a

Police Officers’ Retirement System Board of Trustees
Description: The Police Officers’ Retirement System Board of Trustees is responsible the administration and operation of the Retirement Plan for the City of Ocala Police Officers.
Vacancies: 1 citizen term and 1 police officer term, both ending August 6, 2024
Size: 7 Members
Term Length: 2 years
Term Limit: n/a

Recreation Commission
Description: The Recreation Commission advises City Council on matters relating to parks, recreation, and volunteer programs within the City of Ocala. The Commission shall advise and recommend to the City Council on the use of public facilities for recreational programs, and shall act as liaison with the board of county commissioners and the county school board regarding availability and use of county and school facilities. The commission shall advise and recommend to the City Council on the use of public facilities for recreational programs. A majority of the member of the Recreation Commission shall be citizens of the City. Holders of other public or City office of employment shall be eligible for membership on the Recreation Commission.
Vacancies: 1 vacancy
Size: 7 Members
Term Length: 3 years
Term Limit: n/a

Utility Advisory Board
Description: The Ocala Utility Advisory Board advises and makes recommendations to City Council on matters relating to management of City-owned utilities, including Ocala Electric Utility and Ocala Water Resources. The Utility Advisory Board shall act in an advisory capacity to the city government in connection with the management of the City utilities. The City officials and officers and the staff of the city departments may consult with the board from time to time on matters coming within the scope of this division, and the board shall advise and consult with such officials, officers and staff of city departments in connection with the operation and management of city utilities.
Vacancies: 1 current vacancy
Size: 12 Members
Term Length: 4 years
Term Limit n/a

Marion County:
Marion County shows vacancies on the following boards: Marion County Hospital District Board of Trustees, Marion Oaks MSTU and Pine Run MSTU Advisory County. These are volunteer positions and have specific qualifications and criteria depending on the board’s focus. The county commission appoints members in regular BOCC meetings.

An online application can be downloaded here: https://www.marionfl.org/my-commissioners/advisory-boards and can be printed or saved as a PDF. Please email completed forms to commissionadmin@marionfl.org upon completion. Applications can also be obtained at the Marion County Board of County Commissioners’ Office located at 601 SE 25th Ave., Ocala, Florida or by calling 352-438-2323.

Marion County Hospital District Board of Trustees (1 physician Member, 1 non-physician member – Full Term thru 06/2028)

Qualifications/restrictions: Physician applicants must be licensed to practice medicine in the State of Florida, be members of the medical staff of a hospital operated by the Board of Trustees, be of different specialties, & shall not during their term as trustee, serve any other hospital as a director/trustee or exercise any management function of such other hospital.
Responsibilities: Oversee the Marion County Hospital District created by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Applicants act in the capacity of trustees and must be qualified electors residing in Marion County for more than one (1) year prior to their appointment.

Marion Oaks MSTU General Services (2 full members – Full Term 06/2028)

Qualifications/restrictions: Members shall be residents of Marion Oaks MSTU.
Responsibilities: Members shall participate in the preparation of the annual budget, review and comment on programs, activities, operations, goals and objectives of the district and make recommendations on these and other issues to the BOCC.

Pine Run MSTU Advisory Council (3 full Members – Full Term 06/2028)

Qualifications/restrictions: Applicants must be residents of Pine Run MSTU.
Responsibilities: Make recommendations to the county commission pertaining to the MSTU budget, activities, goals & objectives, and other issues as directed by the county commission.

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