Boards & Commissions: March in Review

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On the Docket: Public Budgets and Parliamentary Procedure 

Women’s History Month gives us a perfect opportunity to share our appreciation for several female-identifying leaders in Idaho that have shared their experiences with our Fellowship program. Three knowledgeable women shared their knowledge about the various public budgets in Idaho – state, city and school budgets. In this lesson the fellows got a sense of how important it is to be informed about how the various public entities are funded, how the money is allocated and how it is spent.  

In addition, guest speaker Joan Callahan explained the complexities of parliamentary procedure and led Fellows through a mock hearing, where they elected a Chair and Vice Chair and worked their way through one agenda item – a city ordinance allowing RVs to be used by permit in Whoville. This online mock hearing is a precursor to an upcoming in-person mock session to be held in May. To prepare for this in-person learning, the Fellows received a publication with simple explanations about parliamentary procedure. If you would like your own copy, please respond to this email. 

Old Business: On the Road

Left to right: Pocatello Councilwoman Linda Leeuwrik, former Pocatello Councilwoman Beena Mannan and 2023 Fellow, Shazil Ishtiaq 

Part of the process of learning is meeting current or former elected officials.  This month, Shoshone fellow, Lisa Gonzalez met with Blaine County School Trustee Blanca Romero Green. In eastern Idaho, Shazil Ishtiaq and Yosseline Bances met with current Pocatello City Councilwoman, Linda Leeuwrik and former Pocatello City Councilwoman Beena Mannan.  These conversations serve to introduce the fellows to the folks who may be appointing them to their local boards and commissions but also serve as relationship building practice opportunities, like we discussed in the January sessions.  

A big thank you to Community Youth In Action youth center in Idaho Falls for allowing us free space to meet and get to know one another.

New Business:  Boards and Commissions Openings Around Idaho 

To help publicize public board and commissions openings around Idaho, we will include what we’ve found this month here.  Here’s what we have so far: 

  • Garden City is looking for two board members for their Design Review Commission (click here for more information) 
  • The City of Eagle is looking for two commissioners for the Parks, Pathways and Recreation Commission (click here for more information)
  • Canyon County is in search of two commissioners for the Planning & Zoning Commission (click here for more information)

If you know of an opening for a public board or commission, please let me know! 

Future Meetings

In April, our Fellows will be attending in-person meet-and-greet sessions with appointed/elected officials in Meridian, Hailey, and Idaho Falls. In addition, they will be learning:

  • Open Meeting Law: here is the link to the Idaho Open Meeting law manual.  If the public meetings in your area are not following these guidelines, you have the right to point it out. 
  • Power Mapping: deconstructing and understanding power dynamics.

Question of the Month: Posed from Adan de la Paz to the Fellows:  What is one family/cultural tradition that you highly value? 

Fellows’ Answers: 

  • Sharayah Sherry, Boise: My mom, grandma and I try to do a generational trip  each year whether it be small or big.
  • Eric Medina, Boise: El dia de los reyes magos! We always ate rosca de reyes. 
  • Shelly Buchanan, Meridian: Memorial Day and Labor Day Large Family Gatherings. My extended family gets together for a BBQ at a park, and everyone who can travel to gather comes to see one another and catch up. My Great Grandmother was one of the oldest of 14 children, and her youngest brother, Jack, who is now 97 years old and the last one of his generation comes and we all gather around and listen to his stories!

This month, I made a master list of all the speakers who are gifting their knowledge to the fellows. I say “gifting” because time is the only resource we humans possess that is finite, therefore every moment is a gift. So far, there are 36 individuals who have spent their precious time crafting presentations or talking about their own leadership stories to empower the 2023 class of fellows. I am very humbled at the extent to which Idahoans are willing to give their time to others. This is the Idaho we aspire to be. Thanks to all of you!!  

Let’s Talk Shop: Guest Speakers

  • Holli Woodings currently serves in the Boise City Council and has done so since 2017. She currently serves on several Boards of Directors important to Boise’s future including the Community Planning Association of SW Idaho (COMPASS) and the Boise State University Foundation. She is also the District 3A Director for the Association of Idaho Cities. She has also spent several years in leadership within her community, including the Girl Scouts Silver Sage Council, and the North End Neighborhood Association.
  • Shelby Kerns currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). Prior to coming to NASBO, Kerns served as Deputy Director at the Idaho Department of Labor, having previously worked in the Idaho Division of Financial Management as Budget Bureau Chief. Earlier in her career, Kerns served in leadership for the Idaho Rural Partnership, the Idaho Association of REALTORS®, and the Idaho Wool Growers Association. Kerns also served as a Guardian ad litem for children in foster care for twenty years and as a Family Advocates Board Member from 2016-2019.
  • Dalelyn Allen currently serves as the Director of Finance for the Vallivue School District in Canyon County. She has been working in education for the past 10 years. Dalelyn has been working in some type of financial capacity from the age of 16. She often says that school finance is like running the financial operations of twenty small companies, each with their own rules and regulations.
  • Joan Callahan works as an attorney for Naylor Hale. A graduate of Stanford University and University of Idaho College of Law, Joan works in municipality and public entity defense, administrative and employment law, general litigation, and more as an attorney with Naylor Hales. Her skill set is honed for developing solution-oriented legal strategies and she is experienced in representing employers and all aspects of government entity representation.
  • Linda Mazzu’s career path as a federal employee took her throughout the country working for the National Park Service in Washington DC and within six national parks, the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon and US Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest. Her positions included biologist, botanist, outdoor recreation planner, and park manager, always with a focus on protecting natural and cultural lands and the ecosystems that support them.
  • Adan de la Paz is a regular presenter for our 2023 Fellowship. He co-leads all programming to advance underrepresented domestic and international student engagement and advocacy, and assisted in the restructure of the College’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion. Adán continues to present on topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion and provide resources on these subjects.