Opportunities to serve the community

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 6:00pm

The following was sent to The Times by Town Clerk Fiona Fitzpatrick:

The Town has vacancies or upcoming vacancies on several boards, committees or commissions. People who are interested in serving should send a letter of interest with your qualifications or experience to: New Shoreham Town Council, PO Box 220, Block Island RI 02807, or email Town Clerk Fiona Fitzpatrick at townclerk@new-shoreham.com

Commission on Motor Vehicles for Hire

There is an opportunity to serve on the Motor Vehicles for Hire Commission. The individual must not hold a town taxi, bus or limousine license. The MVFH Commission’s duties include drafting regulations for the operation of motor vehicles for hire on Block Island, including rates for the hiring of such motor vehicles, receiving and investigating complaints lodged by members of the public, and maintaining a list of applicants for new licenses. The Commission has no jurisdiction over motor vehicles for hire that are not provided with a driver. The Commission meets monthly and not during the months of July and August except to receive and act on complaints.

Conservation Commission

There is an opportunity to serve on the Conservation Commission. Under state law, the purpose of the Conservation Commission includes promotion and development of the natural resources, protection of the watershed resources, and preservation of natural esthetic areas within the town. The commission shall conduct research into its local land areas and seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes. It shall make and keep an index of all open spaces within the city or town, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps, and other wetlands for the purpose of obtaining information on the proper use of those areas. It may recommend to the Town Council or other boards, a program for the better promotion, development, utilization, or preservation of open areas, streams, shores, wooded areas, roadsides, swamps, marshlands, and natural esthetic areas. Pursuant to G.L. 1956, § 45-51-3, the powers and duties of the Conservation Commission extend to the harbors of Block Island. The Conservation Commission may assist the Planning Board. The commission meets monthly. 

Deer Task Force

Three members are needed on the Deer Task Force. The primary task is to advise the Town Council about means of dramatically reducing or eliminating deer as a means to reduce the incidence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases on Block Island. It is expected that the Deer Task Force’s work will include, but not be limited to: reviewing hunting regulations; advising the Town Council regarding possible changes to state hunting regulations and Town of New Shoreham hunting practices; public education/information dissemination; continuing to monitor progress in other communities where efforts are being made to reduce or eliminate deer; continuing to monitor medical literature for breakthroughs in prevention and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases; studying deer ticks and how they may be reduced; identifying and facilitating the use of appropriate hunting areas that are not traditionally utilized; identifying potential services that could be enhanced and/or road blocks that could be removed (common butchering and cleaning site, entrails and carcass removal, meat processing, storage and distribution, marketing, and etc.) that would facilitate reducing Block Island’s deer herd; and determining ways to assess progress and/or success. It is anticipated the commission will meet monthly. 

North Light Commission

There is an opportunity to serve on the North Light Commission. The commission has responsibility for management, maintenance and use of the North Light house and grounds subject to approval by the Town Council. The North Light Commission meets quarterly. 

Planning Board

There will be an opportunity to serve on the Planning Board. The Planning Board has many duties, including but not limited to preparing the Town’s Comprehensive Plan; adopting Development and Subdivision Regulations and controlling land-development and subdivision projects pursuant to those regulations and rules. The board oversees requests for variances and special-use permits submitted as part of land-development and subdivision applications. Members prepare an annual capital budget and a comprehensive, long-range capital-improvement program for submission to the Town Council. The Planning Board creates advisory opinions and recommendations on all zoning matters referred to it by the Zoning Board of Review and other matters referred to it by the Town Council. The Planning Board reviews the Zoning Ordinances. Planning Board members shall participate in training and education classes concerning the effects of development in a flood plain and the effects of sea-level rise. The Planning Board meets twice a month.

Zoning Board of Review

There will be an opportunity to serve on the Zoning Board of Review. The duties of the Zoning Board of Review include but are not limited to hearing and deciding appeals of decisions made by an administrative officer, or by the Planning Board, on matters of review and approval of subdivisions and land development projects; and authorizing variances or special use permits under the Zoning Ordinance. The Zoning Board meets once a month or more.