The City of Lacey is studying the possibility of implementing a stipend program for its advisory boards and commissions.
The recommendation stemmed from the 2023 work plan of the Commission of Equity to remove financial barriers from those who volunteer to work for the city.
Assistant City Manager Shannon Kelley-Fong discussed the plan during the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, February 21, adding that they are gathering feedback from various advisory boards and commissions before submitting a recommendation to the city council.
“The idea is to remove barriers to participation in government by taking a look at what could be something that would prohibit someone from wanting to be a part of an advisory board,” said Kelley-Fong.
Kelley-Fong said the potential stipend program aims to offset expenses like transportation and internet access when attending city meetings.
According to the Commission on Equity report, the stipend program may also reduce burnout from existing members of advisory boards and commissions, especially those who are interested in serving extended terms.
After gathering feedback, the Commission on Equity aims to submit a recommendation to the city council by the end of the first quarter of this year.
At present, advisory board members serve as volunteers in the city and do not receive stipends or reimbursement, with Olympia being the only governing body in the county to provide a stipend to its advisory board members.
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