Seeking members for Conservation Commission (and more)

Above: If you’re interested in getting more involved in how the Town is run, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities you can sign up for (image cropped from Town website)

The Conservation Commission is promoting the need for two new members. There are still many other vacancies on Town committees. So, I’m sharing an update on the opportunities to support Southborough.

Conservation Commission

Conservation volunteers needed flyerThe announcement posted yesterday states:

The Conservation Commission is seeking two volunteers to fill current vacancies. The Commission is the local authority for the protection of Southborough’s natural resources and advises other boards and departments on related conservation issues. The Commission is charged with administering the MA Wetlands Protection Act, Southborough Wetlands Bylaw, Southborough Stormwater & Erosion Control Bylaw and overseeing the management of town owned open space and passive recreational areas.

While primarily a permitting board, the Commission is also charged with management of properties owned by the Conservation Commission or protected with a Conservation Restriction, such as Breakneck Hill Conservation Land & Town Forest (with daily oversight and management provided by Stewardship Committee), Southborough Golf Course, Halloran Property, and many more. As a permitting board, the Commission reviews proposed work near or within wetland resource areas for compliance with state and local wetlands regulations and projects applicable under our Stormwater bylaw to control stormwater and erosion during construction.

No experience is necessary to serve on the Commission as long as volunteers have a willingness to learn current regulations and practices. We do ask that any volunteers be willing to attend a free Orientation for Conservation Commissioners provided by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissioners (MACC). Regular attendance at Commission meetings is expected and meetings are typically held on Thursdays at 7pm every three weeks. Conservation Commission meetings are currently held on Zoom, but prospective volunteers should be able to attend in person meetings if required.

Read more about how to apply and interview for these specific seats here.

On Tuesday night, Sam Stivers of the Select Board noted that Russell Gregory was stepping down from the commission after 15 years of service. He lauded Gregory for combining his “on the ground experience from his landscape and construction business and dedication to wetlands” to frequently offer solutions and alternatives when applicants ran into issues.

Additional Vacancies

The Town updated membership list shows the following vacant seats. Some of them offer multiple opportunities (e.g. positions on the CPC that are for representatives of a committee that also has vacancies).

Unless otherwise noted, members are appointed by the Select Board:

  • Advisory Committee (1 vacancy) (appointed by Moderator)
  • Cable Television Committee (3 vacancies)
  • Capital Improvement & Planning Committee (2 vacancies)
  • Community Preservation Committee (4 vacancies)
    • SHOPC Representative
    • Open Space Preservation Commission Representative
    • Citizen-at-large
    • (There is also a vacancy for Housing Authority Rep., but no current openings on that committee)
  • Council On Aging (Alternate Member) (1 vacancy)
  • Economic Development Committee (3 vacancies)
  • Golf Course Committee (1 vacancy)
  • Historical Commission (2 vacancies)
  • Metropolitan Area Planning Council (1 vacancy)
  • Municipal Technology Committee (1 vacancy)
  • Open Space Preservation Commission (2 vacancies)
  • PILOT Committee (2 vacancies) — (read more here)
    • 1 Citizen-at-large
    • Council on Aging Representative
  • Southborough Cultural Arts Council (1 vacancy)
  • Southborough Housing Opportunity Partnership Committee (SHOPC) (1 vacancy)
  • Southborough Public Accessibility Committee (2 vacancies)
  • Southborough Scholarship Advisory Committee (5 vacancies)
  • Southborough Stewardship Committee (2 vacancies)
    • 1 Citizen-at-large
    • (There is also a vacancy for Recreation Rep., but no current openings on that Commission)
  • Taxation Aid Committee (1 vacancy)
  • Tricentennial Committee (3 vacancies) — (read more here)
    • 2 Citizens-at-large
    • Veteran
  • Zoning Board Of Appeals (Alternate Member) (1 vacancy) — (read more here)

You can learn more about the committees through links to their website pages here, which includes their responsibilities and links to recent agendas and minutes. For many, you can also view past meetings here.

To apply for any of the above open seats, use the New Citizen Activity Form here.

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