A salute to Mike Donohue for his decade of service on the Dubuque Community School Board.

First elected to the board in 2011, Donohue served the school district well as a conscientious board member for 10 years before recently announcing that he will resign next month as work takes him to another community. As a former bank executive, former board chairman of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce and a leader who served on many community boards, Donohue has brought a proven track record in fiscal and personnel matters to the school board table. Recognized by board colleagues as a solid leader, Donohue had served both as vice president and president of the school board during his tenure.

Kudos to Tom Barton for his willingness to fill the coming vacancy. Barton, a four-term school board veteran, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him to keep the board moving seamlessly.

Interestingly, Barton was the only person who expressed interest in the seat. The vacancy provided an opportunity to be considered for someone planning to run for the school board in the future, yet no such person came forward.

Certainly, public service of any kind should be weighed carefully. It is, after all, time-consuming and brings its share of headaches. In the case of school board members, their service and dedication come with no financial reward. Yet Dubuque has always had good candidates willing to serve.

This November, voters will go to the polls to fill four seats on the school board. Three incumbents potentially are up for re-election, and Donohue’s seat will be open, as Barton has said he wouldn’t run for another term. Just six months away, now is the time for community members to carefully consider whether serving on the school board is something they might be willing to do. Now is the time to get up to speed on the issues facing the school district and to gain an understanding of the district budget.

Dubuque public schools have had the benefit of excellent board leadership in recent years. This year brings an opportunity for another community voice at the table.

If seeking elective office isn’t your thing, there are myriad other ways to get involved in public service.

Right now, in fact, the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors needs volunteers to fill current and coming vacancies on county boards and commissions.

Those with expiring or vacant positions are the Airport Board of Adjustment, Airport Zoning Commission, Board of Health, Brain Health Professional Stakeholders Advisory Committee, Compensation Board, Eminent Domain Compensation Commission, Fire Department Loan Fund Committee, Food Policy Council, Greater Dubuque Development, Historic Preservation Commission, Investment Policy Committee, Library District Board of Trustees, Veterans Affairs Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment and Zoning Commission.

Applications are available at https://bit.ly/3rkzuTv, and supervisors will review applications from interested residents in June.

The years 2020 and 2021 will go down in history for a number of reasons, nearly all related to the pandemic.

One of those distressing historical markers is the amount of trash in the past year that’s made up of personal protective equipment.

No doubt you’ve noticed. Seeing masks on the ground has become nearly ubiquitous.

The scope of the problem is daunting, though. Some estimates suggest that worldwide, people are using 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves every month.

Additionally, with the increase in takeout food came a rise in discarded food containers.

It’s frustrating, but it’s also fixable. First, be responsible for your own trash — always. Second, organize a cleanup or just grab a collection bag and lend a hand when you see a littered area. As disheartening as it is to see the added waste, it’s a problem that we can all help solve.

Editorials reflect the consensus of the Telegraph Herald Editorial Board.

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