Candidate-elect Wants To See More Women, New Faces On Boards And Commissions
The lone female member of the West U. City Council – Phyllis Cohen – is on her way out after four years of service, and the newly elected council is comprised of all men. Of the three board required by state law – Zoning Board of Adjustment, Zoning and Planning Commission, and Building and Standards Commission – there are 25 positions, and only one of them is filled by a woman. Councilman-elect George Boehme is encouraging not only women to apply for these boards, but also residents who have never served.
“Why didn’t any women run for city council? This question was asked many times over the last few months. And I don’t have a good answer,” said Boehme. “Maybe it is because females are underrepresented on the city’s six standing boards and commissions. It has been said that boards and commissions serve as the farm team for the city council. I have no prior West U. board service, but the other four council-elects do.”
The city’s Senior Services Board, Recycling and Solid Waste Reduction Board and Parks and Recreation Board, have a much higher rate of female representation, with a total of 33 positions and more than half of them filled by women.
West U. Mayor Bob Kelly said many times prior to the May 9 election that women were encouraged to run for council, but none were interested.