Otoe County commissioners agreed Tuesday to try a new way of encouraging citizens to take part in government by serving on boards and committees.
The county plans to announce vacancies and openings on boards at the beginning of each year and invite any interested citizens to fill out a form.
Commissioner Carol Crook said the form will be simple. “It's just a way for people to participate in the process of filling these openings,” she said.
Typically, nominations come from current members of boards and committees. Crook said an annual listing of boards and responsibilities, as well as the application process, will encourage participation from all across the county.
“This way it treats everyone on the same plane,” she said.
Commissioners are currently seeking applicants to fill seats on the Otoe County Planning Commission.
Crook said commissioners are content with the idea that members will come from each of the five commissioner districts.
Currently, John Bebout is from District 2, Dan Hodges and Richard Warner are from District 3, Cheri Wirthele and William Behling are from district 4 and William Umland is from district 5.
District 1, which includes the village of Otoe and a portion of Nebraska City between Ninth Street and 19th Street, is not represented.