Jekyll Island Authority board chairman Mike Hodges said Friday he will re-institute the Jekyll Island Advisory Forum.
“The decision to re-institute the advisory forum originated from a desire to explore and better understand the diverse interests in Jekyll Island. Collaboration with key community leaders will help us fully realize the mutual benefits of Jekyll Island to both this region and the entire state of Georgia,” said Hodges, in a statement.
When instituted, the advisory forum will be comprised of individuals selected from throughout the community, according to Meggan Hood, senior director of marketing for the Jekyll Island Authority.
The group, representing various stakeholders, will get together on an as-needed basis to discuss items of interest and things that need to be done on Jekyll Island.
The group last existed during Bob Krueger’s chairmanship from 2009-2012. As of today, invitations to serve on the forum have not been issued, according to Hood.
The advisory forum is not the Jekyll Island Citizens Resource Council. Hood clarified Friday the two groups are separate entities.
The advisory forum is under the discretion of the Jekyll Island Authority chairman, who appoints the members. According to Georgia law, the Citizens Resource Council is under the discretion of the governor, who appoints those members.
This Citizens Resource Council does not currently exist, but the purpose of the group is to improve, foster and encourage communication and the exchange of thoughts and ideas between the authority and the community of people interested in Jekyll Island, including residents, business owners, employees located on or who provide services to Jekyll Island, as well as environmental organizations.
“The Jekyll Island Citizens Resource Council is not something we have input on,” said Hood, adding that she cannot confirm the last time the group existed.
Alice Keyes, vice president of coastal conversation for One Hundred Miles, an environmental group that works to preserve Georgia’s coast, addressed the Jekyll Island Authority Board about the Citizens Resource Council during its recent meeting.
“I suggested they initiate the Citizen Advisory Council,” Keyes said Friday. “One of the things we’ve encouraged is to have a meaningful and formal process through which the public can engage. If the Citizens Resource Council or Advisory Forum results in that public engagement, we will be happy. Having stakeholders that have the public’s interest will help citizens better understand what is happening on the state park property and will also help the Jekyll Island Authority, promulgate trust in the decision they make.”