District residents who want to help the city by serving on a local board or commission may not have as many options in the future as others have had in the past. The D.C. Office of Boards and Commissions has advised Mayor Vincent Gray to reduce the number of boards, commissions, committees and task forces which currently stands at 200.
As Mayor Gray attempts to streamline government, he asked OBC if any of the boards or commissions could be abolished while ensuring that "we have the proper balance between securing citizen input and governmental efficiency," according to a press release issued by the OBC.
For years, the OBC has been challenged with finding individuals who are interested in serving in what is essentially a volunteer capacity, while the number of entities, on the other hand, continues to increase. Assuring diversity, especially by ward representation, remains an objective that isn't always met in a satisfactory manner.
Before reaching the chopping block, Mayor Gray is asking residents to weigh in on the decision to eliminate boards or commissions that range from acupuncture to zoning. The list is available at www.obc.dc.gov and instructions for making recommendations can be found there, as well.
We agree that a hard look should be given to the relevance of all 200 boards, commissions, committees and task forces especially when there may be others that are in line to take their place. The real effort is in finding people to serve. Every effort should be made to inform the public that their opinions and expertise is vital to the progress of this city.