How you can make a difference
Among the reasons people say they volunteer is, “I want to give something back to my community.”
Well, here is your chance.
The City of La Grande is looking for people who want to give back and are willing to step forward and volunteer for seats on the council’s numerous advisory committees and commissions. Vacancies currently exist on the air quality, arts, parking, traffic safety and street maintenance and parks and recreation advisory commissions. We also have vacancies on the planning commission.
But let’s focus in particular on the Landmarks Advisory Commission, which is tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding our historic and cultural heritage reflected in historic landmarks and our Downtown Historic District.
The Landmarks Advisory Commission is a five-member commission on which there are currently three vacant seats. Commissioners typically meet on an as-needed basis to, among other crucial process considerations, review applications for certificates of historic appropriateness in connection with proposed alterations or construction affecting a designated or formally-nominated historic resource within the Historic District.
The prestigious designation of Downtown Historic District comes with federal and state requirements to establish a Landmarks Advisory Commission. The advantages of doing so are many and significant. Council creation of a Landmarks Advisory Commission has opened up funding opportunities that benefit owners of historic properties and landmarks, including, but not limited to, grant funding for architectural or engineering assistance with project design, grant funding for construction and property tax abatement. None of these would be available without the City’s Landmarks Advisory Commission.
In addition to giving back, when you volunteer you get a “feel-good rush,” and volunteering can have a significant impact on your physical health.
Research conducted through Carnegie Mellon University reveals that “those who volunteer for at least 200 hours a year were 40 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not.”
Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician, says that volunteering can reduce overall mortality risk by 47 percent, may lower risk of depression and anxiety and boost psychological well being.
So I encourage you to apply for one of the three vacant seats on the Landmarks Advisory Commission but will also gladly accept your application for any of our other vacancies.
Volunteering is good for your health, so sign up today.
Sandy Lund of La Grande is a city recorder. She currently works as a city recorder at City Hall in La Grande. Lund is a member of the Oregon Association of Municipal Clerks, International Association of Municipal Clerks and National Association of Parliamentarians.
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