Prepare for SWCD board member election season

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For some folks, the close of the county fair and the winding down of the summer days may mean that we can take a bit of a respite, but for our soil and water office, it means that we need to begin gearing up for our annual meeting and election.

The annual banquet and election serve as a time to celebrate the accomplishments of not only the district but of our numerous partners in conservation. It is also that time of year to elect board members that ensure the success of the district. Board member terms are staggered. So, districts hold elections every year.

Board members

In all, five supervisors represent the county residents by serving on the board for three-year terms. As with all public officials, the rights and responsibilities of the district office are written in the applicable sections of the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.

Board members play a crucial role in supporting and promoting their district. We count on them for their knowledge of our county and rely on them for guidance and support of our projects. Board members may work with other agencies, organizations and government offices to coordinate partnership efforts with the districts. Most board members have separate, full-time occupations.

Board members also ensure the district is implementing conservation works of improvement, natural resource assistance and providing the education necessary to the county they serve. The SWCD Administrative Handbook has been formulated and compiled by the staff of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation to assist board members and staff.

Elections

If serving on the board is something that interests you, now is the time to start thinking about running in an election. To apply and be eligible to run for election, applicants must be 18 or older and reside in the county in which the election is to be held.

Citizens can be nominated by the district nominating committee or they can petition to be on the board by obtaining at least 10 valid signatures on the candidate nomination petition. All applicants will be asked to fill out a statement of candidacy and a brief application form.

Associate

Citizens can also apply to become associate board members. Associate board members attend meetings, share input and attend public functions. They also learn more about board member duties, which can help them decide if they have time and interest to try running for a board member position.

If you are interested in serving in one of these roles, contact your local soil and water conservation district office or a current board member.

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