Governor Has Many Board, Commission and Exempt Employee Positions to Fill 

If you’re looking for a way to give back to your state or influence decisions in an area you have a particular interest in, then Gov. Laura Kelly’s team may have a spot for you. Under state codes, federal mandates and/or some executive orders, there is a need for almost 1,000 Kansans to serve on a variety of boards and commissions. While some of the positions on these boards are filled by leaders in the Kansas Legislature, a large number are appointed by the governor.

In addition, nearly one-third of State employee positions are considered “unclassified” which means they serve without civil service protection and at the “pleasure of the governor.” Of the approximately 30,000 state employees, nearly 10,000 serve in unclassified positions. While many of the employees in unclassified positions can feel fairly secure, they’ll receive a “reappointment” letter from the governor; some of those jobs are what could be called “political appointments” which the governor is looking to fill.

Too often, board and commission positions are filled by older White men. “They have skills, they have experiences, so some of it does make sense,” says Scott Allegrucci, Director of Appointments for Gov. Kelly. However, the makeup of board appointees is something the governor hopes to change.

“We want to see greater diversity across the whole government. We want to find younger people … help them test their skills in leadership,” Allegrucci says, with the long-term goal of developing future state leaders and successful candidates for office.

Board and commission positions are often unpaid positions that look good on your resume or allow you to exert influence in an area of importance, however, some of these positions offer a small stipend per meeting to a full-time salary.

Even if the position is unpaid, board members are typically reimbursed for travel expenses to and from the meeting. At the state’s current reimbursement rate of 54.5 cents per mile, an individual traveling to and from Wichita for a board meeting would receive about $160. The rate for traveling from Kansas City to Topeka would be about $66 and from Salina to Topeka about $125.

There’s probably a board where your qualifications or interest match. For example, there is a board for athletics, nursing, barbering, and cosmetology. If you’re over age 60, you might have an interest in serving on the Advisory Council on Aging. If you have a child with a special needs, you might want to serve on either the Autism, Developmental Disability, or Death or Hard of Hearing Board.

If you enjoy being creative, serve on the Creative Arts Industries Commission. Don’t like the talent at the State Fair each year? Sign up for the State Fair Board. Want to do something to address issues of discrimination in the state? Serve on the Kansas Human Rights Commission.

These are just a very few of the boards where you can have an impact.

To find out more about the 200 boards and commissions, the roles they play, and qualifications for appointees, go to https://governor.kansas.gov/serving-kansans/office-of-appointments. You can also submit your applications to serve on a board at the same location.

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