BREVARD COUNTY — Volunteering isn’t just a great way to give back to the community, it can help foster relationships and make residents feel more engaged with local decision making.
In the past year alone, 131 volunteers served on 17 city of Melbourne committees from code enforcement and community planning to pension planning and historic and architecture review boards.
Volunteers passionate about serving their community have given multiple years of their time to the city; cumulatively, these volunteers have given more than 1,000 years of service over the past few decades.
The city of Melbourne recently held a ceremony at the Grand Manor to recognize these volunteers for their service to the city.
“This was Cathy Wysor’s last board reception. She has been employed with the city since 1984 and has been City Clerk since 1994,” said Kevin McKeown, assistant city clerk. “Many board members showed up to the reception to thank her for her service to the volunteers all these years.
Volunteers who reached certain milestones for their service received service pins from Mayor Kathy Meehan and city council.
The longest serving board member was Charles Jackson, who dedicated more than 43 years to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, according to Mr. McKeown.
“The citizen volunteers on our advisory boards contribute directly to the growth, development, planning and maintenance of the city,” Mr. McKeown said. “As some of the board members said at the reception, they enjoy volunteering because they can see how they are making a direct difference in the community in which they live and work.”
In some examples of how the boards serve the community, Mr. McKeown shared that the Planning and Zoning Board members review zoning, comprehensive planning and land use issues for all types of development within the city; meanwhile the three community redevelopment agency advisory committees prepare and modify redevelopment plans for the Downtown Melbourne, Olde Eau Gallie and Babcock Street CRAs.
“Take a look at what Downtown Melbourne is today, and compare it the downtown of the 1980s,” Mr. McKeown said. “Volunteer board members have been a part of the area’s development in multiple ways, helping to shape the future and growth of this vibrant area.
“Improvements along Babcock Street have been reviewed, studied, revised and approved by volunteers before being approved by City Council,” he added.
Applications are available online by visiting www.melbourneflorida.org, although most boards require its volunteers to be Melbourne residents.
Residents interested in learning more about how they can volunteer with a city board can contact the City Clerk’s Office at (321) 608-7220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.