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July 17, 2012 > Volunteer, make a difference

Volunteer, make a difference

By Simon Wong

The City of Hayward hosted a well-attended Volunteer Open House at City Hall on June 27, 2012 at which representatives from the city's boards, commissions, committees and task force spoke with and answered questions from residents and business people interested in learning more about serving as commissioners, committee and task force members. Unfortunately, many potential applicants were ineligible to apply.

"What makes the perfect volunteer?" has no definitive answer. Each body consists of people with different backgrounds, occupations, experiences and knowledge. This diverse range of perspectives and ideas, hopefully, represents the community and is essential for devising sensible and equitable solutions to complex problems that affect Hayward's citizens. Seriousness and the willingness to devote time are desirable.

"I've served as a Personnel Commissioner for almost a year," said Dr. Doris Yates, "and previously was a Human Services Commissioner for nine years. Originally, I volunteered for the Human Services Commission because of the number of community-based organizations involved with what goes on in the City; in that capacity, I was able to serve so many more people. It's important they receive the attention they need. I took a four-year break to serve on the Tiburcio Vasquez board, their Personnel Committee and the Hayward Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Hayward Program. Although I wasn't directly involved with the City, I was busy in other ways.

"In 2011, I visited the Volunteer Open House and was asked if I might consider applying for the Personnel Commission because I have experience of personnel-related issues. The Commission meets quarterly, which fits my teaching schedule at Cal State University, East Bay, so I agreed. In fact, we've met more frequently because of some issues in the City but the work is interesting."

"Think about what you want to do. Think about your community, what you want to contribute and how. Nobody should be afraid to apply. It's a wonderful experience, an opportunity to see the City from a different perspective," Yates concluded.

Appointees serve in an advisory capacity to City Council and must reside within the city limits and be registered voters. The City of Hayward has openings for the following boards, commissions, committees and task force: Community Services Commission (no current vacancies); Council Economic Development Committee (no current vacancies); Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board (2 vacancies, 1 potential vacancy); Keep Hayward Clean & Green Task Force (5 potential vacancies); Library Commission (1 potential vacancy); Personnel Commission (1 potential vacancy); Planning Commission (2 potential vacancies).

Applicants for the Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board need not live in Hayward; however, they must own a business in the Downtown Business Improvement Area of Hayward and pay assessments.

Some of the commissions/committees/task force members may need to file a disclosure Statement of Economic Interests, Form 700.

Interested individuals may obtain applications from the Office of the City Clerk, 777 B Street, Hayward, CA 94541, by calling (510) 583-4400 or by visiting the City's website at The deadline for submitting applications is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, 2012.

Interviews with the City Council are scheduled for Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Applicants will be notified when interview times are confirmed.

Volunteer Open House
Wednesday, June 27
5 p.m.
Hayward City Hall
777 B Street, Hayward
(510) 583-4400

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