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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2021 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Committees by Design It's my opinion that not many of us tech- nical types really took our high school civ- ics courses all that seriously, or was that just me? No, something tells me I wasn't alone in that. Sure, I paid attention in class, and learned about how governments function— particularly government. But as a teenager, I simply did not realize how the fundamentals of civics would become critical to working in the technology field. With my attention on mastering 6502 assembly language and matrix algebra (when I wasn't rock climbing or racing bicycles), I simply saw civics class as checking off a box toward graduation and college. I was so very wrong! is month, we turn our attention to com- mittee work within the electronics manufac- turing industry. But what does that even mean in the context of an industry environment? M e r r i a m - W e b s t e r defines a committee as "a body of persons delegated to con- s i d e r, i nv e s t i ga te , take action on, or report on some mat- ter." Merriam-Web- ster also adds that an advisor y committee is "a group of fellow legislators chosen by a legislative body to give consideration to legis- lative matters." e U.S. Senate's website says, "Committees are an essential part of the legislative process. Senate committees monitor ongoing govern- mental operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate infor- mation, and recommend courses of action to the Senate." In all three definitions quoted, the scope of the definition is squarely on governmental com- mittees; I'll come back to that. For now, I want to continue down the path of defining some terms. Now is a good time to clarify the differ- ence between a committee and a commission: The most clearly distinguishable feature is that a "committee" operates as a means of internal regulation of legislators by the legislature, while "commission" [sometimes called a "board"] serves as an external review process. Committees normally consist of legislators, while legisla- tors do not serve on com- missions in most states. [1] Of course, there's the "council" to consider as well. A council can be defined as a work- ing body that con- sults about issues, deliberates on them, and makes decisions. Sometimes, if there is no separate exec- utive group, the coun- cil may be the de facto gov- ern ing body, as in a church, a

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