Member Sought for Community Preservation Committee

Residents encouraged to apply; Committee to identify funding priorities for ~$2 million per year in affordable housing, historic preservation, and open space projects

SOMERVILLE – Do you have a passion for affordable housing, historic preservation, and parks and open space? The City of Somerville wants your help and is now accepting applications for one public position on the Community Preservation Committee, which oversees the selection of projects to be recommended for funding by an estimated $2 million in annual Community Preservation Act (CPA) revenues. Residents are encouraged to apply and applications must be submitted by October 12, 2018.

To learn more about the application process, interested residents are invited to both the Volunteer Boards and Commissions Information Fair on Thursday, September 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Somerville Central Library, and the Community Preservation Committee Information Session on Thursday, October 4, at 6 p.m., also at the Somerville Central Library (79 Highland Ave). For those unable to attend the October 4 session, a video will be available after the event atwww.somervillema.gov/cpa

The Community Preservation Committee, required by the CPA, is tasked with evaluating Somerville’s needs across the three areas that CPA can fund: open space and outdoor recreation, affordable housing, and historic preservation and making recommendations to the Board of Aldermen on how CPA funding should be spent. Somerville voters overwhelmingly approved adoption of the CPA in November 2012. Since then, $21.4 million has been allocated for 55 projects across those three 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 one general public position. The ideal candidate will have a three-year term running January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2021, and will have the option to renew for a second three-year term. 

The CPC meets monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. When the CPC is considering applications for funding, it is possible that additional meetings will be held.

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
  • Support CPA outreach and efforts to raise awareness
  • Foster good relations with City departments and other boards, and commissions
  • Listen to and be responsive to community feedback
  • Use fairness and objectivity when making decisions

The review committee 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. For this search, preference will be given to candidates with professional historic preservation and/or American history experience            

In addition, the goal of the review committee 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

How to Apply

Interested residents should complete the application available on the City’s CPA website at: www.somervillema.gov/cpa or outside the SomerStat Office at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave. Completed applications should be sent to [email protected] by October 12, 2018. All residents are welcome to apply. No nomination is required to submit an application. This is a volunteer position.

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 October 15 and 29, 2018. All community members are invited to provide feedback on candidates during this time. 

To ensure the most qualified applicant is selected, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has formed a review committee of City experts and community members to review applications, conduct interviews, and consider public feedback on candidates. The review committee considers both professional and lived experience and seeks to nominate a candidate that has an interest in all three CPA areas and contributes to the diversity of background and perspectives of the committee. 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.

To find out more about serving as a CPC member, please visit the following websites: www.somervillema.gov/cpa or www.communitypreservation.org.

 


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, JD, at [email protected],  (617) 625-6600, Ext. 2323 (Voice),(617) 808-4851 (TTY).