Reporter

Joining an advisory board is easy and there’s several spots now open in Osceola County.

Advisory boards are made up of residents, selected by a larger governing board like the Osceola County Commissioners, to provide input and insight to specific agencies, like the library or fire department.

Residents must apply online, and applicants are selected based on education, training, background, general interest in the field and some other requirements.

There are two open seats on the SunRail Customer Advisory Commission (CAC), which meets periodically at the downtown Orlando Lynx Central administration building – conveniently located right beside the SunRail.

The CAC is supposed to have 10 residents: two from the city of Orlando, and two from each county with a SunRail stations – Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola.

However, both Osceola County resident seats have been vacant since July, when the commuter train opened its southern expansion.

Residents of the SunRail CAC are joined by a panel of public transportation representatives from agencies like Lynx, SunRail and the Florida Department of Transportation.

Board members can ask questions, give comments and hear special updates about the Central Florida rail line. The chair of the board also gets a seat at the primary SunRail Board of Directors, where he or she gives a monthly report of citizens’ comments and concerns.

Osceola County Commissioner Viviana Janer – who also serves as head of the SunRail Board of Directors - discussed the value of filling the two empty seats on the CAC.

“I think it would be good if we could try to find at least one resident from the Poinciana stop,” Janer said at an Osceola County Commission meeting Monday. “Different stops may give riders different experiences.”

Online applications for the SunRail CAC will be posted on the Osceola County website, according to Janer. Interested residents can also contact Janer’s assistant, Brenda Hernandez, for more information at brenda.hernandez@osceola.org.

Openings are also available on other Osceola County advisory boards, including seats for the library and affordable housing committee.

Just like the county, the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud also have advisory boards ranging from Planning and Zoning to Parks and Recreation.

For more information about:

• Kissimmee Advisory Boards – Call 407-518-2313 or go online.

• Osceola County Advisory Boards – Visit www.osceola.org/agencies-departments/advisory-boards or call 407-742-2000.

• St. Cloud Advisory Boards – Call 407-957-7300.