Todd Danielson, the Chief Utilities Executive for Avon Lake Regional Water in Ohio, recently posted a blog article about serving on the Avon Lake’s Board of Municipal Utilities. Providing leadership on a municipal utility board offers a compelling way to impact your community.
Utilities touch every person in your community every day – water utilities, especially. People drink it. People bathe in it. People flush it. People use it in commercial and industrial processes. Water utilities play a big role in the quality of the environment in which people in your community live. Water utilities provide a tool for economic development (without infrastructure, guess what? No businesses will locate in your community). In terms of foundational impact on a community, no other service compares. Without water, there’s no community.
I’ve written before that local leadership provides the key to solving our infrastructure problems. Water is a local issue, and it takes local leadership to light the path to community prosperity. Danielson writes a great post to let people know about the board opening and describe why the position carries significance. And Danielson nails it when he writes that, “The most important aspect is to have a genuine care for helping the organization become even better for Avon Lake.”
Finding those individuals who care and are willing to put in the time to make the utility great is a huge challenge. But good candidates are out there. They just need to realize that serving on a utility board, while often not considered high profile, is one of the highest forms of community service. If you have the opportunity to get involved with your local utility board and you have the desire and energy to work at it, go for it. The most important element, as Danielson correctly notes, is your “genuine care” about moving the utility forward. Utility board service is true community service.