WANT TO RUN FOR LOCAL OFFICE? Serving on a municipal board or commission is a great place to start! We’re excited to announce our new series “Get On Board: a YR In Office Series” where our very own YRs explain what municipal boards are, how they serve the city, and how to get appointed to them.  Tune in. Start local. GET INVOLVED.

Do YOU want to run for local office?  TELL US!


Zach Boyer
Brazoria County YR
Waller County Municipal Utility District (MUD)

What services does the MUD board provide?

  • Provides developers with an alternate way to finance infrastructure, such as water, sewer, drainage, and road facilities.
  • Issue bonds to reimburse a developer for authorized improvements.
  • Utilizes property tax revenues and user fees received from water and sewer services operated by the MUD to repay infrastructure debt.

Why did you decide to serve on the MUD board?

“I was actually appointed to this board, but I accepted the appointment due to the fact that I wanted to continue to learn more about our drainage in terms of – how do we fix it and at what rate because all of the MUD’s funding comes through tax dollars. As a young conservative I believe in lowering the tax burden on American families. I want to find the cheapest but most effective way to protect our family’s homes.”

What’s the process for getting onto the MUD board?

“I was asked by some friends that worked with some of our state legislators to be appointed to this position due to some of my experience with serving Houston during the Harvey hurricane. [A newly created MUD board has appointed members.]

The formal application process to be on the MUD board is through an election and they serve 6 years.”

What’s the time commitment to serve on the MUD board?

“We meet once a month for about two hours and that’s just the meeting part. On top of that, as it is a new board that is getting established, there is a little bit more time [required] so we are currently meeting up in Waller County about Monthly. I would say maybe after reading reports and everything we do up to about ten hours worth of work.”

What was a concern you had before agreeing to your appointment?

“I have been a firm believer in trying to know as much as I can and so whenever I don’t know what I need to know I have to find a way to get to that information. What I did is I went out to local MUDS around the neighboring cities. I just needed that networking to gain valuable information in terms of – “hey we did this to improve this” or “we did this and it didn’t work.” It [networking] helps everybody.”

Why should more young conservatives serve on municipal boards?

“More young conservatives should serve on [municipal] boards to: 1) serve their community – serving the community that has given to them since the beginning. 2) To continue to lower the tax burden on everybody. During these unprecedented times with the pandemic people are really being taxed out of their homes. This is one of those things that we need to make sure works properly and efficiently for the American family – at a reasonable cost.”

What are the next steps for someone interested in serving on the MUD board?

“If you do live in a MUD District, go to those meetings. Make sure that the board of directors are doing their best to serve your family. Make sure that they’re doing the best to serve your neighbors. In the world that we live where people think that they don’t care about one another, this is the time where we need to stand-up and this is a way you can do that. I challenge the next person to come up to always try to be the best that you can be, not for yourself, but for your neighbor.”


Michelle Gamboa
East Texas YR
Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee

What does the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee Do?

  • Advises the city council and other boards and commissions in matters dealing with city growth.
  • Provides accountability for implementation of the city’s long-term goals as they relate to: physical development, neighborhood livability, and the city’s economy.
  • Makes recommendations concerning updates to long-term goals and planning.

Why did you apply to serve on the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee?

“I applied to be on this board because I am passionate about making an impactful difference in our community and making public works accessible, efficient and beneficial to all Longview Residents. My family immigrated here from Mexico when I was 7 years old and I have always made it a passion to contribute and help others.”

What’s the formal application process?

“You submit an application online via the city’s website and follow up!”

What’s the informal application process?

“I believe that individuals, especially those looking for members to serve on a committee or any position that really requires a leadership role, don’t just want someone who speaks about leadership, they want someone who shows leadership. So I thought why not get involved in as many things [organizations] as I can. When something was asked of me I made sure to get it done and help to recruit others in my mission of getting certain tasks done. I believe that that’s what made my name stand out.

I applied [to the board] a year before I was actually reached out to and I followed up a couple of times and I almost lost hope. I thought they weren’t going to pick me and then all of a sudden I got the letter in the mail! I went to a few coffees with the people that helped elect and pass my name to be on this committee and I asked them, “why [me]?” They said, “because you’re a doer and not just a sayer” and that really stuck with me. It’s so important to not only say you’re going to do things but actually do them.”

What was a concern you had before applying to your board?

“I think the one thing that held me back was self doubt. I think oftentimes as young individuals we want to make a list of things for why we’re not enough or why we can’t do something. But when you work towards them joyfully and you find things that you’re really interested in I think it’s easy to be able to take the right steps and to accomplish something. I think the biggest hurdle for me was dealing with the self-doubt of thinking that I wasn’t old enough or experienced enough or whatever, but when I decided to stop making excuses I realized that anything is possible if you just work hard, give your time, and manage your time appropriately.”


Iliya Svirsky, Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission

What does the Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission do?

  • Advise the city council on community technology and telecommunications services.
  • Advise the city council on new sources of funding for access television projects and community technology projects.
  • Promote access to telecommunications services and community technologies.

Why did you decide to serve on the Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission?

“I work as a software Engineer for my day job, which makes it very relevant to technology-related things. The Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission was one of maybe seven or eight boards that were interesting to me and it was one of only two that I was qualified for…  You don’t have to be an expert at any of the subject matter, they are pretty good at teaching it, but it’s a little easier if you have some background in the area.”

What’s the formal application process?

“The formal process was very simple: You go to the website; you find the board you want to serve on; you click apply;  you fill in the questionnaire.”

What’s the informal application process?

“I volunteered for Councilwoman Mackenzie Kelly here and there so we were familiar with each other. When she started working at City Hall she needed people to hop on a few of these boards and since my background is in tech I applied to the Technology and Telecommunications board.”

How much of a time commitment is it to serve on the Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission?

“The time commitment was actually one of my biggest concerns.  You only meet once a month for about two and a half to four and a half hours, which is pretty simple. My concern was about getting emails throughout the week as well as comments from the council members about certain things they wanted to get done. You have to know legal definitions. You have to do research on a lot of the stuff.  The time overall is still not that much, but it still ends up being about 10 to 15 hours a month, which is not much at all, but that was actually a big concern of mine in the beginning…”

What was a concern you had before applying to the Community Technology Telecommunications Commission?

“A concern was that my decisions are supposed to mirror the councilwoman’s ideology to an extent, my own as well, but you’re supposed to have a similar field of view if you will and that creates an interesting issue because the rest of the board got appointed by people who are from moderate leftist to extreme leftist.

Now happily I learned that a lot of people on the board are very moderate, very intelligent individuals – a lot of Engineers and a lot of Business owners that just want to meet very specific needs to help communities. And yes, there are sometimes a crazy idea or two that we have to be the voice of reason against, but for the most part, most things are not an extreme outlier for either side left or right.”

Why do we need more conservatives to serve on municipal boards?

“To reflect our ideologies onto these commissions… Either conservative values, libertarian values, whichever values you hold dear to yourself – push more towards them. Almost always, there’s a right-wing solution, a left-wing solution, and a medium solution.  Your job on a city council like Austin’s, is to push to the medium.  In certain cities you can push it to the right.  …If Austin can push moderate I think most cities can do that too.”

What are the next steps for someone that wants to serve on a municipal board?

“First of all, find out how the boards work in your city.  …Find out who can appoint you and then help them out.  Whenever they have an event, show up and volunteer.  You have to ask about a board appointment.  Most of the time if they know you can be useful they’ll give you a board.”


Jimmy Teeling, McKinney Arts Commission
Collin County Young Republicans

What does the arts commission do?

  • Funds public art displays such as statues and murals
  • Grants funds to local non-profit arts organizations
  • Partners with organizations and individual donors

Why did you decide to serve on a city board and why the arts commission?

“The arts commission has been a really big help in my life and so I wanted to go back and serve my community in an area that I was familiar with.”

  • Served an organization that was helped by the arts commission
  • Became familiar with how the arts commission grant process worked.
  • Believed that he could provide good insight into how these nonprofit boards work

Why is the board that you serve on important to your city?

“It [the arts commission] makes it so that you can go downtown or you can go to other areas of the city and see really beautiful pieces of Art. We also really want to help a lot of these smaller local Arts organizations that may be struggling financially. Non-profit art is not a very lucrative business, and it [can] be very difficult for these organizations to make ends meet.”

  • City of Mckinney is a very arts-focused city
  • The arts commission helps local arts organizations and contributes to the city culture

What’s the formal application process?

“The formal process is very easy. Whenever we have board appointment [vacancies] the city will advertise it and you just go to their [city] website and you fill out their application form. After you fill out that application form you go before city council and you will interview with those commission liaisons. …[E]ach board and commission in the city of McKinney has two commission Liaisons and they are the ones that recommend to the entire Council who should be appointed to [which] boards.”

What’s the informal application process?

“Even before I started applying … I went to city council meetings, I spoke on agenda items and I made myself really visible to them. …I think that when someone is considering applying they should really work to go to city council meetings and make yourself a nice and respectful presence at those meetings.”

How much of a time commitment is it to serve on the arts commission?

“I wouldn’t say that the time commitment is that taxing – I think it’s very manageable. If you are doing school or if you are working it’s something that is very manageable to meet with these boards.”

  • Meets every other month with occasional special meetings and sub committee meetings
  • Additional time needed to do research

What was a concern you had before applying to the arts commission and how did you overcome it?

“The the first concern that I had was my age. When I applied I was seventeen years old and I had just gotten my voter registration card – so it was very important for me to establish that [I wasn’t] just a teenager going in there who didn’t know what he was talking about.”

Why do we need more conservatives to serve on the Arts Commission?

“…We need more fiscally conservative people to serve on municipal boards… The Arts commission does tend to be a lot more restrained when it comes to spending their money. We have a very small budget to begin with, but with other boards I know that a lot of people are saying, well, why are we spending money on this? Why does this cost this much? And so I think that it’s really important to get people who are fiscally conservative who are able to have that restraint when it comes to spending money.”