A few times a year, the town of Pittsford will solicit for open positions on one of our seven volunteer boards. Some of the boards are advisory boards which means that they make recommendations and provide advisory comments on specific issues to the Town Board while some boards operate independently and have decision-making authority.
Nowadays, many people feel over committed and are hesitant to take on one more responsibility. However, there are very few things as rewarding as having direct input into how your town government operates. Additionally each volunteer board has varying commitment levels — some boards meet once a month and some meet more frequently and require more of a time commitment. There is usually a match to fit your schedule and interests. Another common concern that I hear when asking people if they would consider applying is that they are not “qualified.” My answer is always the same — if you live in town and care about the future of our town, you are qualified!
Here are a list of Pittsford Volunteer Boards and an approximate time involved in each one.
Assessment Review Board: This board meets annually in May, and members are responsible for hearing and deciding grievances filed by citizens who are dissatisfied with the assessment determined on their property by the town assessor.
Design Review and Historic Preservation: This board meets twice a month and is responsible for review and approval of architectural plans for all new structures, as well as renovations or additions to existing structures. This board is also responsible for Landmark Designation of historically significant structures. This is a passionate board and is a great fit for residents with an interest in architecture and/or historic preservation.
Environmental Board: This board meets monthly and serves in an advisory capacity, reporting to the Town Board and the Planning Board on matters pertaining to environmental issues within the town.
Library board of trustees: Under New York State law, the library board of trustees is charged with the governance of the library. This board is a fun and enthusiastic board filled with book and library lovers and meets monthly.
Parks and Recreation Advisory Board: This is an advisory board to the Town Board and Planning Board on matters related to parks and recreation within the town. This group meets monthly and is a wonderful fit for anyone who loves the outdoors, has an interest in parks or is a user of any of the town’s recreation services.
Planning Board: This board meets twice a month and is responsible for the review and approval or denial of development applications in the Town, which primarily relate to new homes (subdivision approval) or are related to construction or expansion of business (site plan approval).
Zoning Board of Appeals: This board meets once a month and is responsible for making decisions on any requests to vary from the zoning ordinances.
Since taking office, Supervisor Smith has also added a youth advisory position on each of the boards. Typically, this is a position for a junior or senior in high school and an awesome opportunity for students to learn about local government or a particular area in which they are interested. We have found that students have provided valuable insight and often a new perspective.
For more information about any of the town’s volunteer opportunities, please feel free to contact me at kmunzinger@townofpittsford.org.