Luzerne County Seeks Volunteers for Open Board Seats

Eileen Song has served on numerous community boards, but says her volunteer work as a member of the Luzerne County Children and Youth Advisory Council has been the most immersive and fulfilling.

“This is different. It seems a lot more purpose-driven for a bigger cause,” said Song, who works as a financial advisor. “This is the one that really touched my heart because it’s really an emotional situation .”

Song is reaching out to describe her experience because she wants more community and business leaders and professionals from diverse backgrounds to step up and apply to serve on the advisory council and other county councils with openings that must be met by the county council.

“I think people generally don’t understand that the opportunity exists. I’ve talked to people who want to get involved, and they don’t know where to start,” Song said.

Council chairwoman Kendra Radle made a similar plea last week, saying the council was unable to fill seats on some authorities, boards and commissions due to a lack of candidates.

Council vice-chairman John Lombardo, who chairs the council committee that publicly interviews nominees, said he hasn’t called a committee meeting lately because there is no citizens’ group. to filter.

“We hope to see people applying – good people who will be dedicated,” Lombardo said.

Applications are available in the authorities, councils and commissions section of the council at alfalfacounty.orgas well as a list of Boards of Directors and vacancies.

Seven of the 10 seats are vacant on the Forty Fort Airport Advisory Board, which oversees the county-owned Wyoming Valley Airport. An active advisory is warranted due to planned updates to the facility, officials said.

Established in 1929, the 110-acre airport was acquired by the county in the 1940s. fixed assets, officials said. The county also receives a portion of the revenue from the sale of fuel at the facility.

Only three seats are filled on the new County Arts Advisory Council, which must contain at least five council members, although up to seven are possible, depending on county assignments.

This council was formed to “advise, encourage, stimulate and pursue the advancement of the arts” throughout the county.

There are three vacancies on the county’s nine-member planning commission, which meets at 2 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month.

Spread thinly

The Child and Youth Advisory Council can range from 9 to 24 members and currently has 11, Song said.

More is needed to help with outreach projects aimed at educating the public about the agency’s work and advocating for employees in their high-stress jobs, she said.

“We have ambitious goals for the board. When I arrived a few years ago, we weren’t very active. The board was just there to listen to the manager’s report and not do much,” Song said.

Its goal is a 20-member council to “make an impact”. Many board members have full-time jobs and need others to help with volunteer initiatives, she said.

“I feel like there’s so much more we could do,” she said.

She became “totally engrossed” in supporting the agency’s efforts to recruit and retain social workers to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect and comply with regulations on how to handle such situations.

Confidentiality requirements prevent agency staff and advisory board members from presenting details that could shed more light on why certain actions are being taken, she said.

Agency workers very much appreciate the advisory board’s input and assistance, she said.

“It gives me more determination to help them more,” Song said. “If we don’t take care of the most vulnerable people in our community, what does that say about our community? »

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