Chad Maddux has put his hands into the ground to help make the city of Tyler a more beautiful place to live.
In his role on the Keep Tyler Beautiful board, he helps spearhead beautification and recycling efforts in the city.
"The board does a lot of work …" the 32-year-old CPA and current president of the Tyler board said. "You literally have to get your hands dirty — put the gloves on and pick up trash, plant flowers and do whatever is required for that particular event."
Keep Tyler Beautiful is one of 17 boards currently accepting applications for new members. The positions are unpaid, volunteer work and come with a two-year term.
The Tyler City Council reviews applications to the boards and makes appointments. Members can serve three two-year terms consecutively. They then must take a year off before they can reapply.
For the last five years, Maddux, 32, served on the Keep Tyler Beautiful board, and like many others, Maddux said his efforts are rooted in a love for the city and a desire to give back.
"I was born in Tyler," he said. "I've been here my entire life and wanted to get more involved in something. I've always been into recycling, and Keep Tyler Beautiful is the group that does recycling for the city of Tyler."
Some of the boards require training and others require a certain skill set for
Like Maddux, David Hudson said his service on the city's planning and zoning commission is fueled by a love for his city and a desire to help it grow.
Hudson is the current chairman of the commission, which hears zoning changes and variances for new businesses coming in and makes recommendations to the Tyler City Council, which makes the ultimate call on all zoning changes and changes to the city's long-range zoning plans.
Hudson said his role is two-fold. The first is to be development-friendly to help Tyler grow. The second is to make sure growth does not negatively affect the community, existing employers or the city's history and culture.
Hudson, an attorney, has served a total of 16 years on city boards. He started with the Board of Zoning Adjustments before moving to the commission.
"I care very much about the quality of life in Tyler, and this is one way for me to participate in that growth and to try to see that … the growth is consistent with the kind of community that we think we are. Most of us in Tyler feel like it's a good place to live and an attractive city. Maintaining that quality life is an important part of what the Planning and Zoning Commission does."
The boards are advisory committees to the city council.
"I'm a volunteer, and the only reason I'm here is because of the confidence that the mayor and city council (had) not only in me … but all of these boards," he said. "I'm grateful that they have given me this opportunity."