Harvard’s town-meeting style of government is powered by its volunteer committees, more than 35 of them. Although committee members rely on the town’s paid professional staff for the day-to-day administration of town affairs, volunteers are the ones who set policy and plan for the future. Positions on town committees are open to any resident of Harvard and filling most of them is the responsibility of the Select Board.
As reported in this week’s paper (see story on page 1), the board has updated its appointment policy and procedure, making changes it hopes will encourage more residents to apply for vacancies. Most appointments are for three years, expiring on June 30 of a term’s final year.
If you’ve ever had an interest in participating in Harvard’s government, now’s a good time to think about joining a committee. All you need to do is to fill out a volunteer application and send it to Executive Assistant Julie Doucet at Town Hall no later than May 1. The application asks that you name the board you’re interested in joining, why, and what relevant expertise you’d be able to provide. The town administrator’s office will distribute copies of every application to the Select Board and the chair of the board to which you are applying. Sometime before June 30, the board will invite you to an interview. You can expect a decision before the start of the new fiscal year. And the board’s latest policy makes it clear that applicants should not be deterred by the prospect of competing with currently serving board members who have asked to be reappointed.
Why not spring forward and join the scores of volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to making Harvard a better place for everyone?