Editor's Note: The following is a press release from the city of Eagan.
Dan Johnson’s term as a member of the City of Eagan’s Advisory Airport Relations Commission is up and he plans to reapply. He says other residents should apply to serve on one of Eagan’s four advisory commissions or on the watershed management organization that Eagan, Inver Grove Heights and Mendota Heights jointly manage.
No special expertise is needed, just a willingness to get involved to serve your community in a limited way. As Johnson sees it, that’s what helps keep Eagan great:
“The City of Eagan is nationally recognized as a great place to live,” Johnson says. “It doesn’t do it on its own. It takes the effort and interests and care of its citizens to get involved, understand how the City works and add your voice to make it even better,” says the 42-year-old father of two.
Applications will be accepted through March 22 for two year terms on the Airport Commission, the Planning Commission, the Energy and Environment Commission, and the Parks Commission. Descriptions of all those commissions can be found online at www.cityofeagan.com under the About Eagan tab.
The various commissions work to evaluate proposed land uses for retail and residential development, consider park amenities, hear resident concerns about flight paths and airport noise, or study energy saving technologies. That work is made even better by the skill sets and energy Eagan residents, new or longtime, young or old, bring to the table.
Of special need this year is applicants for the Gun Club Lake Watershed Management Organization. The mission of the joint powers organization, funded by 3 cities, is to:
- Protect, and preserve natural surface water and groundwater systems;
- Minimize flooding and water quality problems;
- Identify and plan for means to effectively protect and improve surface water and groundwater quality;
- Establish more uniform local policies that protect fish and wildlife habitat and water recreational facilities ensure continued water resources and prevent erosion.
All applicants must complete an application form available online, and criminal background checks are conducted for all applicants. Candidates will be scheduled for interviews with the City Council in Mid-April. Most commissions meet every one to two months, depending on the commission.
As Dan Johnson sees it, a couple of hours a month is, “not too much,” especially for those who want to give back to their community. He says it involves 3-way communication, passing along recommendations to the City Council, listening carefully to community members, and sometimes being a voice to communicate back to the community what was done and why.
With the exception of the Watershed Management Organization which has statutory authority, the work of these volunteer commissions is advisory only, but the “research they conduct, the community interactions they have, the perspective they bring provides a strong foundation on which the City Council can build its decisions,” says Assistant City Administrator Dianne Miller.