From Eagle Scout to Commissioner and beyond: A tribute to Steve Boand
Commissioner Steve Boand
By Elizabeth Wood West; photo courtesy of Steve Boand
“The best part of being a commissioner is that you have a chance to help someone every week,” said Douglas County Commissioner Steve Boand. Sound familiar? If you are a part of the Boy Scouts of America world, it should. “Do a good turn daily” is the Scout slogan and is the way Boand has lived his life.
Boand’s term as county commissioner expires at the end of 2012, marking his twenty-fifth year in a local elected office. Boand’s lengthy public service resume includes serving as a Castle Rock council member, mayor, conservation district supervisor, special district board member, and county commissioner. Boand, his wife Jane, and their children have lived in Douglas County since 1986.
“Scouting has led me to a lifelong commitment to public service,” said Boand. “As an Eagle Scout in Indiana, I was given the opportunity to participate in the first National President’s Explorer Congress. I was selected to serve as a ‘junior assistant secretary of state’ for then-Secretary of State William Rodgers in Washington, D.C. I carried the Secretary’s briefcase, but it gave me a sense of public service that affected me for life,” he said.
The Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” is something Boand never forgot and continues to strive for in Douglas County. In 2006, Boand attended a National Association of Counties annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C. and participated in a session on the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Boand said, “It was supposed to be a 45-minute session. What occurred changed my perspective on local government preparedness. Do we [at the county level] face the same challenges? Not exactly, but it started me on a journey of questions, study, and outcomes that I believe have improved our preparedness in Douglas County,” said Boand.
Boand began the first of two terms as commissioner with commitments to good fiscal management, open and transparent government, and moving the county forward on renewable water. According to Boand, the most challenging aspect of his work has been trying to get county government to respect each of the lifestyle and quality of life issues that make all parts of Douglas County unique. Boand explained, “One size and type of community does not fit all. It is difficult work to keep Douglas County from becoming ‘Anywhere USA’.”
Boand reflected, “As I leave office, Douglas County is in excellent financial condition and was awarded honors in local government transparency in 2010 and 2011. More than 80 percent of the County’s water providers are now moving forward on sustainable water supply programs. The County has also opened up, added to, and better protected its open spaces,” he said.
Boand plans to take some time off in January, then look toward working in the emergency preparedness and disaster recovery field on a regional or national level, and continue his lecturing and teaching in this area.