Town Manager Paul Bockelman continues to seek volunteers to serve on Town Boards. Boards and Committees that might have vacancies include the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) Advisory Committee, Council on Aging, Conservation Commission, Cultural Council, Energy and Climate Action Committee, LSSE Commission, Participatory Budgeting Commission, and Public Art Commission.
Residents interested in volunteering to serve on a committee or board can should fill out a Community Activity Form (CAF) at: www.amherstma.gov/caf as the first step of the application process.
A current list of vacancies can be found here. A list of all boards and committees can be found here. A brief description of some of the committees that currently have vacancies follows along with links to their web pages.
- CDBG Advisory Committee: The CDBG Committee makes recommendations to the Town Manager regarding the Town’s CDBG program that includes both social service and non-social service community development activities. CDBG funds—$825,000 in FY19—are awarded to projects, programs, and services that improve the lives of Amherst’s low- and moderate-income residents and/or increase the accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
- Council on Aging: The Council is a nine member body that acts as a policy-making board and an advocate for the elderly of Amherst before local, state, and national bodies. The Council helps seniors remain independent and in the community by providing information and linking them to resources in the community.
- 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.
- Cultural Council: The Cultural Council allocates state Arts Lottery funds and works to support and nurture arts activities in the community by seeking private or other public funds and initiatives.
- 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.
- LSSE Commission: The LSSE (Leisure Services) Commission, which is Amherst’s version of a recreation department, assists the LSSE 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 LSSE programs. The Commission also advises on public playgrounds, parks, and athletic facilities.
- Participatory Budgeting Commission: The Town Charter also calls for the creation of a Participatory Budgeting Commission to propose a measure to adopt participatory budgeting or other similar method of resident participation in the budgeting process in Amherst. Two residents have been appointed by the Town Council and three residents shall be appointed by the Town Manager. There is one opening available. The Commission shall propose a measure to the Town Council by September 1, 2020. The Town is seeking individuals of diverse backgrounds to serve on this commission.
- Public Art Commission: The Public Art Commission fosters a greater community awareness of the interaction with public art, and through public art, promotes cultural diversity and an improved quality of life for Amherst’s residents.