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Monday, June 18, 2012

Somerville’s Commissions Need Members!

A board order sponsored by Alderman at Large Bill White and Ward 6 Alderwoman Rebakah Gewirtz has revealed that many of Somerville’s commissions need members.

Legislative number 193203, asked that the Director of Commissions prepare a report for the Board of Aldermen on the status of Somerville commissions membership and activities and include in such report information on the following 4 items:
1. A list of the number of authorized members and vacancies for each commission,
2 A list of the commissions without sufficient appointed members to constitute a quorum so that they cannot meet,
3. The number of meetings held by each commission during calendar year 2011, and
4. Plans to fill vacant commission positions.

In her response, legislative number 193398, Director of Commissions Sonja Darai gives two detailed spreadsheets that include the commissions’ municipal code requirements on one (See that PDF here), the number of current members, their vacancies and information on their 2011 activities. According to this PDF, there are numerous commissions in the city of Somerville with vacancies.

At the June 14th Board of Aldermen meeting, I volunteered (in-person to the Mayor, then via email) to serve on a commission of their choice. Given the quorum requirements for some, I would like to see them meet and serve the residents of Somerville.

I’ll be sure to update on any appointment I’m given, but I’m not keeping my hopes up as I was told this past weekend that a couple of department heads have commented that I’m “not a friend of the city.” I don’t know what this means, however, in the grand scale of what the city has to deal with, I’ve always seen myself as minimal. I’m always available via phone and email if someone would like to explain themselves.

Have you ever considered volunteering for a commission? Usually, they meet once a month (or as needed) with meetings lasting an hour or so. Take a peek at the vacancies and see if anything sparks your interest.


Anonymous said...

PDF with vacancies doesn't work?

Ward Five said...

Hi Anonymous,

It works for me, but if it's still giving you an issue, you can click on "legislative number 193398" in the third paragraph and that will bring you to her answer on the city's meeting portal. From there, you can click on both PDFs.

Courtney O'Keefe

Anonymous said...

How does one indicate an interest in volunteering or find out what the qualifications are for the various commissions?

Ward Five said...

Good question!

I would contact your ward alderman/alderwoman, note the specific commission and ask for a nomination.


Ward Five said...

I included the link to the website page of all the commissions. Let me know how it works out for you!