Consider serving on the
county grand jury
A couple of years back, it was my privilege to serve on the Fresno County civil grand jury — one year as foreperson. And I hope other people — especially residents of communities outside Fresno and Clovis — will consider grand jury service because it is uniquely rewarding.
The civil grand jury responds to citizen complaints about the county itself, its cities, special districts and school districts. It’s intended to shine a light that guides citizen action, not send miscreants to jail.
Reports issued during my years (2014-15 and 2015-16) involved Sanger, Parlier, Coalinga, Selma, Fresno and Fresno County. Topics ranged from school leadership and inspections of dilapidated housing to sexually transmitted diseases, prison conditions and municipal government.
We also inspected the Pleasant Valley State Prison, learned what happens when you need emergency medical assistance, how traffic lights are synchronized and more.
My greatest gratification was working collegially with 19 other county citizens with divergent life/work experiences, age, gender, ethnicity, residence and points of view. Our reports speak not as 19 individuals, but as one grand jury, so you learn to get along.
It was a great experience in citizenship, civility and commitment and worth the investment of 3 to 20 hours a week.
You’re qualified to be a grand juror if you’ve lived in Fresno County at least one year and are a citizen at least 18 years old. The application form is at www.fresno.courts.ca.gov/jury/grand_jury.
I’ve applied and hope readers will do the same by the March 31 deadline.