Time is running out for members of the Somerville community to help shape the future of the city’s open space, affordable housing and historic preservation.
The City of Somerville has extended the application deadline to Friday, Sept. 27 for the four public positions on the newly formed Community Preservation Committee, which is tasked with evaluating Somerville’s needs in open space and outdoor recreation, affordable housing, and historic preservation, and making recommendations to the Board of Aldermen on how Community Preservation Act (CPA) revenues should be spent. Somerville voters overwhelmingly approved adoption of the CPA in November 2012, which will raise an estimated $1.5 million in funding annually via a tax surcharge and state funds designated for those three specific areas.
The committee consists of nine volunteers, including four members from the general public and a member from each of the following bodies: the Planning Board, the Conservation Commission, the Historical Preservation Commission, the Parks and Open Space Department, and the Housing Authority.
The city is currently looking to fill the four general public positions. To ensure the most qualified applicants are selected, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has formed a planning team of city experts and community members to review applications, conduct interviews, and consider public feedback on candidates. From the group of applicants, they will nominate candidates for appointment for the Mayor to review. The Mayor will then submit candidate finalists to the Board of Aldermen for approval.
Committee members serve three-year terms, but initial appointments to the committee have been staggered, so the city is seeking to fill two one-year term positions, one two-year term position, and one three-year term position.
Though it is ultimately the decision of the Community Preservation Committee to decide when and how often to meet, the city expects that it will meet one to two times each month in the evening. The inaugural meeting of the committee will likely take place in December 2013 or January 2014.
Being an effective committee member will require that you:
- Familiarize yourself with Somerville’s affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space/outdoor recreation policies and needs
- Familiarize yourself with the law (Community Preservation Act, MGL Chapter 44B) that governs the committee
- Attend meetings regularly
- Foster good relations with other city departments, boards, and commissions
- Listen to and be responsive to community feedback
- Use fairness and objectivity when making decisions
The planning team is seeking candidates who:
- Are supportive of all three programmatic areas of the CPA: affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space and outdoor recreation AND
- Have demonstrated a commitment to at least one of these areas.
In addition, the goal of the planning team is to create a balanced committee that includes members who:
- Come from diverse demographic backgrounds
- Represent all geographic areas of the city
- Have financial expertise
- Have project management experience
- Are actively involved in the community
HOW TO APPLY:
Interested residents should complete the application available on the city’s website or outside the SomerStat Office at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave. Completed applications should be sent to Candace Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.625.6600 ext. 3306) by Sept. 27, 2013. All residents are welcome to apply, except for city employees or individuals holding elected or appointed positions. No nomination is required to submit an application.
Please note that if you choose to apply for the Community Preservation Committee, your name and a portion of your application (a brief summary describing why you are a qualified candidate) will be posted on the city website for public review between Sept. 30 and Oct. 13. All community members are invited to provide feedback on candidates during this time.
To find out more about serving as a CPC member, please visit the following websites: