38 Boards and Commissions Help Rochester Hills Stay Innovative
(Elizabeth Schanz, Dec. 7, 2022)
Rochester Hills, MI – On Dec. 5 Rochester Hills City Council made their nominations for numerous boards, commissions and committee positions. Individuals who will fill these vacancies will serve various lengths depending on their specific committees and will participate in decision making in respect to the purpose of each group.
For this round of nominations included positions on the Deer Management Advisory Committee, Green Space Advisory Board, Historic Districts Study Committee, Human Resources Technical Review Committee, Liquor License Technical Review Committee, Older Persons’ Commission (OPC), Public Safety and Infrastructure Technical Review Committee, Rochester Hills Museum Foundation and Water System Advisory Council. Each group tackles various aspects of the local government and allows board and community members to share their experiences in hopes of bettering the area.
These are just some examples of the 38 total boards, committees and commissions that Rochester Hills has Applications were read and reviewed by Rochester Hills mayor, City Council and other personnel within this process.
“We try to find a diverse group of people,” said Barnett. “People that haven’t served before, people that maybe come from different geographic parts of our community, people with maybe some background that lends some unique experience to the board or commission.”
The Mayor added that more engagement from individuals in the Rochester Hills community has a positive impact on local government.
“We really hope the residents will take us up on it [serving on boards, committees and commissions] because we think we are a better community with good diversity of thought and opinion,” said Barnett.
Each of the boards are supported by city staff and experts that provide the board members with information surrounding the many topics that the local government is working to do. “It’s a conversation about what we [the city of Rochester Hills] are trying to do,” said Barnett. “They [board members] are really asked to contribute their thoughts and opinions supported by expert city staff.”
One individual who has exemplified the role of community volunteer is Darlene Woolsey Janulis. She is currently serving on the Historic District Commission, Historical District Study Committee, chairperson of the Green Space Advisory Board and Local Development Financing Authority (LDFA). Janulis has been serving her community for over 35 years in numerous roles and is a former Rochester Hills school board member. She recently received a proclamation from City Council honoring her for her service.
Janulis has enjoyed volunteering and community engagement throughout her life. She got the taste of community service when she coached a girl’s middle basketball team after high school when the school had no coaches for the women’s teams. She then took this passion into local government joining many efforts over the years. Janulis attributes her ability to effectively serve on the boards she applied for to her background in finance, her ability to work with and talk to people and ability to be flexible.
“Every single one of them [the committees, boards and commissions] is an extension of what the community values,” said Janulis. “The boards and commissions are just a way for the council to get more information, better information, more problem solving, because it is impossible for the seven member council to do everything and do it at that level.”
She expressed that within her work she has seen the board’s ability to tackle all the moving parts it takes to run a city. She noted that the board has made changes that the community wants through their functions such as maintaining green space in the city and renaming a park, “Innovation Hills” to make it more distinctive.
Janulis recommends that people interested in these positions take the application seriously and like a “job application” and have a long term interest in the topics the groups they want to participate in.
“You see something that you can make better and you know you can do it, and you just find the time to do it,” said Janulis.
Learn more about Rochester Hills Boards and Commissions at www.RochesterHills.org.