Do you want to serve?

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, July 28, 2016

For those looking for a way to serve their community and help guide Oxford into the future, several seats on various commissions are opening up in August.

During the July 19 Board of Aldermen meeting, vacancies were announced for the Oxford Park Commission Board, Historic Preservation Committee, Courthouse Square Preservation Committee, Historic Properties Commission, the Planning Commission, the Oxford Tourism Council, Oxford Pathways Commission and the Oxford Reserve and Trust Committee.

All of the boards are volunteer positions except the Oxford Planning Commission, which pays a small stipend of $120 a meeting. All of the boards meet generally once a month unless a special meeting is called to take up a matter that can’t wait for the regularly-scheduled meeting.

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The planning commission reviews site plans for commercial and residential developments and considers variance requests from developers seeking permission to build something other than what the code allows. For example, a variance could be granted to allow residential in an area zoned for business or to allow a homeowner to build a fence a foot higher than allowed by city code.

Two of the commissions, Historic Preservation and Courthouse Square Preservation work with businesses and homeowners in preserving the historic value of Oxford’s historic districts, while the Historic Properties Commission oversees Oxford’s historic public structures like

the L.Q.C. Lamar House and Cedar Oaks Mansion.

The park commission oversees OPC’s athletic programs, the Oxford Activity Center, FNC Park, RSVP, Leisure Lifestyles, the city pool and parks and more, while the Oxford Reserve and Trust Committee oversees the city’s $30 million investment from the sale of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. The Tourism Council manages Visit Oxford and helps promote tourism in Oxford. The Pathways Commission works with city leaders to help promote Oxford being more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Some of the board members whose term ends in August have asked to remain on their respective commissions; however, the city still takes applications and considers each candidate for the position.

Mayor Pat Patterson said the city’s commissions are vital to managing the city.

“The volunteer boards are so critical,” he said. “If we didn’t have city-minded people willing to donate their time to help us manage the city, Oxford wouldn’t be what it is.”

want to apply?

Anyone wishing to apply for a position on one of the boards should drop off a brief resume and letter of interest to the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall.