As a former Fresno County grand juror (2003-2004), I read with interest Judge Houry Sanderson’s op-ed (Feb. 14) on serving on the grand jury.
Often referred as the people’s watchdog over government affairs, the grand jury, composed of 19 citizen volunteers, is the constitutionally mandated body charged with the responsibility of investigating and monitoring local government operations to make them more transparent, efficient, and effective.
At a time of growing cynicism and exasperation with the governmental process, serving on the grand jury is one way that citizens can exert control over their local government.
Other boards and commissions may exist that provide oversight over certain government functions, but these are usually narrow in focus, restricted to just one agency. No one performs the oversight function as comprehensively as the grand jury who is authorized to delve into all areas of local government operations.
I strongly encourage civic-minded citizens of Fresno County interested in making a worthwhile contribution to their community to apply to serve in the grand jury.