Town Manager Paul Bockelman seeks volunteers to serve on Town Boards and Committees.
The Town has over 30 boards and committees that support the work of Town government and each has multiple residents who are members. Terms of service are typically three years; some may be shorter. Members typically serve for two terms. Members with terms expiring who have served one term may be seeking reappointment.
Boards and Committees that have or may have vacancies include the Affordable Housing Trust, Community Safety and Social Justice Committee, Conservation Commission, Design Review Board, Energy and Climate Action Committee, Human Rights Commission, Local Historic District Commission, Recreation Commission.
Here is a summary of the duties of some of the committees. More information on each committee may be found on the Town’s website here: https://www.amherstma.gov/82/Boards-Committees
- Affordable Housing Trust: The Trust's mission, as an instrument of Town government, is to promote the Town's affordable housing priorities as determined through the most recent town housing plan, particularly to create safe, decent, and affordable housing for our most vulnerable populations. The Trust meets monthly.
- Community Safety and Social Justice Committee: The Committee will work to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and community safety in Amherst. The Committee will have seven voting members. No fewer than five of the seven voting members shall represent Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), or other historically marginalized communities. Appointments shall strive to represent a broad range of the Town’s socio-economic diversity. To that end, financial stipends will be provided to support the work of Committee members. Included in its charge will be support for the work of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department; support of the Community Responders for Equity, Safety, and Service program; and working to address the needs of BIPOC and other marginalized groups including people with disabilities, immigrants, and LGBTQIA.
- Conservation Commission: The Conservation Commission is a seven-member board appointed by the Town Manager and charged with ensuring the protection of the Town's natural resources and conservation areas. The Commission is responsible for administering and enforcing both the state Wetlands Protection Act and the Town of Amherst Wetlands Protection Bylaw, which involves reviewing and permitting projects within and near wetlands. The Commission also works closely with the Conservation Department on management of conservation land, including over 80 miles of trails, and establishing environmental policy such as updating the Open Space and Recreation Plan.
- Design Review Board: The Design Review Board (DRB) is to preserve and enhance the Town's cultural, economic, and historical resources by providing for a detailed review of all changes in land use, the appearance of structures and the appearance of sites which may affect these resources. The DRB exercises this responsibility by providing design review and recommendations to private applicants and permit granting boards within specific overlay zoning districts in the Town Center--the Design Review (DR) overlay district and the Town Common Design Review (TCDR) overlay district. Design Review is also provided for Town departments and permit granting boards with respect to Town projects anywhere in Amherst “which will result in substantial alteration to the form or appearance of a structure or site.
- Energy and Climate Action Committee: The Committee is building on the efforts of the Town to address climate change at the municipal level and broaden those efforts to include the greater community. The Committee is responsible for recommending long-term climate action goals that focus on reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and building adaptation and resilience within and across the Town’s residential, commercial, and municipal sectors. It will also guide the Town in establishing and meeting its climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience goals.
- Human Rights Commission: The Human Rights Commission promotes the Town’s Human Rights Policy to insure that no person, public or private, shall be denied any rights guaranteed pursuant to local, state, and/or federal law on the basis of race or color, gender, physical or mental ability, religion, socio-economic status, ethnic or national origin, affectional or sexual preference, lifestyle, or age for all persons coming within the Town of Amherst.
- Local Historic District Commission: The Commission administers and regulates the construction and alteration of any structures or buildings within the Town’s historic districts as set forth by the Town’s bylaw. There is one seat for a resident of one of the Town’s local historic districts.
- Recreation Commission: The Recreation Commission assists the Recreation Department by advising on recreational facilities and a variety of leisure and recreational programs and supplemental education classes. The Commission develops policies, rules and regulations governing the operation of the facilities and the delivery of Recreation programs. The Commission also advises on public playgrounds, parks, and athletic facilities.
A complete list of all boards and committees can be found here: https://www.amherstma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/37003/Committee-and-Board-Vacancies-Report-05042022?bidId=
The Town Manager seeks residents who have relevant expertise or experience. We are especially seeking individuals of diverse backgrounds to serve on all boards, committees, and commissions.
If you are interested in volunteering to serve, please fill out a Community Activity Form at: https://www.amherstma.gov/caf . If you have questions, reach out to our Community Participation Officers at firstname.lastname@example.org