Assure equal opportunity when filling civic positions

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To the editor:

In response to Councilwoman Alicia Hughes’ column (“Why I could not vote,” February 25, 2010), she’s absolutely right in her assessment regarding the amount of time for private citizens to apply for the volunteer positions to which she referred. 

Quite frankly, even knowing “the right people” is not helpful. I know all seven members of the elected city government and they know me. I am active in the community, read the paper, even look at the city website on occasion. 

None of this matters when there are three days to file an application. 

In the future, regardless of when a board member resigns, only after the vacancy is publicly announced should the clock start ticking, and then a minimum of a two-week deadline would be appropriate. Having served on a city committee for several years, the work does not come to a grinding halt when a member needs to resign. The remaining board members continue with their work, typically without missing a beat. 

Ms. Hughes is also correct in that more people who are not involved with municipal affairs should get involved, and with increased transparency and a reasonable amount of application time, they will.

Sanford D. Horn

Alexandria, VA

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