One time, many years ago, I was invited to address a Manatee County Advisory Board. While at the meeting a Manatee County Commissioner showed up and proceeded to advise the advisory group what he thought they should do. In fact, I thought he was more or less telling them what to do. Perhaps puckishly, I opined that in my county the advisory boards provided advice to the county commission and not vice versa. I haven’t been invited back.
The role of advisory boards is complicated, involving careful balancing between citizens, staff, and elected officials, but let me offer several comments triggered by recent developments.