Hudson has a quite a few seats coming open on City Boards and Commissions this spring. It may be a great opportunity if you want to make an impact in your community, even if you don’t have a great deal of time or experience. The only requirement of most Boards is that you’ve lived in Hudson for two years and you are a registered voter.
The level volunteerism in Hudson amazes me. At the top of the list are the contributions of our volunteer EMS and Fire staffs. We all benefit from the high level of quality and hours provided by the mostly volunteer staff in Safety services. As an aside, if you want to learn more about EMS, or thank a member, stop by the EMS Open House this Saturday May 10 from 11AM – 3PM. Fire or EMS volunteer work is not for everyone; we have many “desk jobs” on or boards and commissions. Most board seats are limited to three, 4-year terms in order to assure we always have new faces and voices advising and assisting City Council.
City Council appoints over 60 citizens to seats on ten City Boards or Commissions. Collectively they give back on average of 6000 hours of service each year to Hudson. Can you spare a few hours and want to make a difference? It’s not that hard, and judging by the number who re-apply and those that serve 12 years and “termed out,” most find it rewarding!
I’ve pasted the details from the City of Hudson website below, which includes links for more info and an application. These Boards are an extension of City Council functions, and members are appointed by City Council after an interview session.
Here’s my quick take on the open board positions, ranked not by importance, but rather time commitment.
TREE COMMISSION. Time involved: Less than 6 hours a month. Meets monthly (last Thursday). Good board to “get your feet wet” and find out if serving on city boards is for you. No particular knowledge of horticulture or biology required (there are plenty of training opportunities once you are a member.) The City has an arborist; the Board’s role is more of an advocate for trees, advisory role to Council, and an educational resource for the Community. The Tree Commission was instrumental in advocating for street trees in the new Main Street project, for example.
PARK BOARD. Time involved: 6+ hours a month. Currently meets 6x a year (third Monday), active monthly subcommittee meetings on specific areas. With 1128 acres spread across 20 City parks, the Board balances active and passive park interests. It advises City Council on uses of a $1.5 million park budget and recommends long term strategies. With many “moving parts,” subcommittees have included Finance, Playgrounds/Ball fields, Trails, and Environment so there are many way to contribute.
ARCHITECTURAL AND HISTORIC BOARD OF REVIEW, also ARCH Board or AHBR. Time involved: 10+ hours of month. Meets 1-2x month depending on work load (second and fourth Wednesdays). The Architectural and Historic Board of Review (AHBR) reviews and approves/disapproves applications for zoning certificates other than for industrial buildings in industrial zones. The AHBR also issues certificates of appropriateness to construct, alter, remove or demolish structures, buildings or landmarks within any historic district. The AHBR maintains the high character of the community and protects public health, safety, and welfare. It reviews projects against the Architectural Design Standards. Members don’t need a background in architecture, planning or design, but are expected to do a fair amount of “homework” by reviewing cases before the meeting.
Hints when you are applying: Put down more than one board you may be interested in. We frequently will have more qualified candidates than slots for one board, but we may find that an applicant also would work on another board, and when a vacancy comes open, we appoint them to their second or third choice. Do your homework about the board before the interview. Read the meeting minutes, look at the agendas, and if possible, view a view minutes of the minutes of their meetings online.
City Council will have three at large seats up for election this November if you would like to join us and serve that way. Go to the Summit County Board of Elections http://www.summitcountyboe.com/Default.aspx in Akron to get started with filing to run for office.
If you want more info, you may also call or write me. Good luck!
(from city website:)
Council Accepting Applications for Boards and Commissions
Hudson relies on volunteer boards and commissions as part of its government process. City Council is accepting applications for openings on the following boards and commissions:
- Architectural and Historic Board of Review– applications due May 12, 2017
- Park Board– applications due May 26, 2017
- Tree Commission– applications due May 26, 2017
Please complete the online Boards and Commissions Application to apply to be considered for one of these openings. Alternatively, residents may print and fill out an application and return it to the Clerk of Council at City Hall, 115 Executive Parkway, Suite 400. The forms are available at the link below.
To qualify for a board or commission position, applicants must be a Hudson resident for at least two years prior to the appointment and remain a resident during the entire term. Only registered voters will be considered for the openings.
To learn about each board or commission, visit the Boards and Commissions page. For questions regarding the application, please call Hudson Clerk of Council Elizabeth Slagle at 330-342-1795