City Seeking Members for Boards and Commissions
Openings available on five essential Boards & Commissions
The City of Somerville is seeking to fill vacancies on five essential boards and commissions appointed by the Mayor and coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development. Boards and commissions offer an opportunity for community members with a range of experience, skills, expertise, and perspectives to share their talents and insights with their community. The Mayor’s office will be accepting applications for the open positions through Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Openings are available on the Planning Board, the Redevelopment Authority, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission, and the Somerville Housing Authority. All positions will remain open until filled.
There are currently five opportunities, as follows:
1. Planning Board
Open Positions: one alternate position available
Term: 2 years
The City seeks a Somerville resident with an interest in the implementation of SomerVision goals, including job creation, development of market rate and affordable housing, and the advancement of open space and multi-modal transportation strategies. A background in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, and/or land use law is beneficial, but not required. Applicants should be prepared to provide constructive input into zoning amendments and development proposals including multiple large-scale developments in the City.
The Planning Board is established to review long-term and large-scale planning throughout the city. It is tasked with approving and implementing the SomerVision Comprehensive Plan, and grants special permits for development projects in key transformational areas. The Planning Board also provides recommendations to the City Council on amendments to the Somerville Zoning Ordinance. The Planning Board typically meets two Thursday evenings per month at 6 p.m.
2. Redevelopment Authority
Open Positions: one position available
Term: 5 years
The City of Somerville seeks one resident with interest or experience in community planning, real estate development, housing, financial services, transit-oriented development, design, or architecture to serve on the Somerville Redevelopment Authority (SRA). The SRA has powers to plan and implement activities needed to redevelop underutilized, deteriorated, or blighted open areas, to encourage new development, and to promote sound growth. In recent years, the SRA has been instrumental in helping to facilitate the transit-oriented redevelopment of Assembly Row, as well as the Union Square Revitalization Plan.
The SRA consists of five members, one of whom is appointed by the Governor and four that are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Board of Aldermen. The members meet monthly on the second Thursday evening and serve staggered terms of five years or shorter, if the appointment comes during an unfulfilled term of a prior member. This position is for a full five-year term to be appointed by the Mayor.
3. Zoning Board of Appeals
Open Positions: one alternate position
Term: 2 years for alternate positions
The City seeks a Somerville resident for the Zoning Board of Appeals, with an interest in successful design and development of Somerville’s neighborhoods and squares. A background in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, and/or land use law is beneficial, but not required. The Zoning Board of Appeals is established to review proposals for most special permits and all variances under the Somerville Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Board typically meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.
The ZBA has full members and alternate members. Alternate members participate in all discussion on items before the board and vote in the place of full members when full members are absent from a meeting. The current opening on the ZBA is for one alternate member.
4. Somerville Historic Preservation Commission
Open Positions: multiple alternate positions available
Term: 3 years
The City is seeking multiple alternate members to the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission (SHPC). The SHPC is charged with protecting and enhancing historic resources in the City of Somerville. The SHPC seeks candidates with an interest in historic preservation and prefers applicants with a background in architecture, architectural history, historic preservation, urban planning, and/or building trades. The SHPC encourages residents of current Local Historic Districts (LCDs) to apply. The SHPC typically meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:40 p.m.
The SHPC has four important roles in the city: Reviewing any alterations or repairs to properties in a Local Historic District (LHD) that are visible from a public way and that would result in an irreversible change in the design, materials, or outward appearance of the structure, and any changes in the general arrangement of the building’s features or its architectural details; administering the city’s Demolition Review Ordinance; offering pro bono professional advice, practical information, and pertinent references about materials and techniques used in historic preservation and restoration, including providing technical assistance throughout design and construction; and sponsoring events and activities to highlight the importance of historic resources in Somerville.
The SHPC has full members and alternate members. Alternate members participate in all discussion on items before the commission and vote in the place of full members when full members are absent from a meeting. The current openings at the SHPC are for alternate members.
5. Somerville Housing Authority
Open Positions: one position available
Term: 3 years
The City of Somerville seeks one resident to fill a vacancy on the Somerville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
The SHA is a quasi-independent agency that provides access to subsidized housing for eligible low- and moderate-income families and seniors. The SHA oversees more than 1,400 units of affordable public housing in Somerville, as well as federal and state voucher subsidy programs.
The SHA’s Board of Commissioners is charged with overseeing the SHA’s operations, directing policy, planning to meet the mission and goals of the SHA, approving budgets, contracts, and other related financial documents as well as overseeing all aspects of employment for the Executive Director. The Board also ensures that the SHA is operating in compliance with federal, state and local laws, regulations, rules and guidelines.
The Board of Commissioners typically meets once per month and reviews a monthly report by the SHA Executive Director detailing financial information, data on the SHA’s housing units and programs, and policy revisions.
SHA Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor, confirmed by the Somerville City Council, and serve five-year terms with a stipend. This current vacancy is for a full, three year term. Commissioners must live in Somerville.
Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter, as well as any relevant supplemental material by email to: [email protected]. Questions may also be submitted to [email protected].
The City of Somerville does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities free of charge, upon request.
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at the address noted below:
Nency Salamoun, JD
(617) 625-6600, Ext. 2323 (Voice)
(617) 808-4851 (TTY)