Current Board Vacancies: Board of Zoning Appeal, Human Services, Leaf Blower Use Review Group, Water Board, and Net Zero Action Plan Task Force.

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The City of Cambridge encourages and promotes involvement by residents in the decision-making process through participation on a variety of boards and commissions, as well as temporary advisory committees and task forces. Serving on a board or commission can be a rewarding experience and an excellent way to contribute to the quality of life of the community in which you live or work. We rely greatly on the interest and involvement of those volunteers who seek a more active role in the functioning of their local government.

Selection for appointment to one of our boards and commissions is generally based on the following characteristics:

• A broad perspective and concern for the welfare and progress of the City
• A familiarity with the City’s history, issues, and goals
• City residency, in most cases
• A willingness to devote time and effort to the work of said board or commission
• Awareness of and understanding of the City’s ordinances and policies
• Balanced and diverse representation on boards and commissions as feasible

Vacancies being advertised at this time:

Board of Zoning Appeal (Application Deadline 1-31-20)
The Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA) reviews applications for special permits and applications for variances from the terms of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance, in accordance with G.L. c.40A and the Zoning Ordinance. The BZA also hears and decides appeals of orders and determinations made by the Commissioner of the Inspectional Services Department pursuant to G.L. c.40A, §8 and the Zoning Ordinance. Additionally, the BZA reviews applications for comprehensive permits, pursuant to G.L. c.40B. In evaluating applications and petitions, the Board conducts public hearings and votes on the application or petition’s conformance with the provisions of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance.

Human Services Commission (Application Deadline 1-17-20)
The Human Services Commission advises the City Manager and the Assistant City Manager for Human Services on human services policy issues, needs assessment, and funding allocations. With the Department of Human Service Programs, the Commission also promotes activities that enhance the quality of life for Cambridge residents. Over the years, the Commission has responded to local needs by recommending Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for a wide range of programs offered by the City and community agencies. 

Net Zero Action Plan Task Force (Application Deadline 1-24-20) 
This Task Force, which will meet once a month from February through June 2020, will contribute to the comprehensive review of the Cambridge Net Zero Action Plan to phase out greenhouse gas emissions from buildings throughout the community. The Net Zero Action Plan, zero, was adopted by the Cambridge City Council in June 2015. The review process will include evaluation of the program impact to data; consideration of options to adjust the Net Zero Action Plan Framework; and adoption of an updated framework that reflects current climate science, policy, technology, and equity considerations. The Task Force will provide feedback and input to each of the project elements and represent essential stakeholder interests in the implementation of the updated Net Zero Action Plan.

Leaf Blower Use Review Group (Application Deadline 2-14-20)
The Group will review the City of Cambridge Noise Ordinance specific to the use of leaf blowers in the community and will meet monthly over the next 6 months. Subcommittees may be set up to investigate specific topics to report back to the full committee. All Leaf Blower Use Review Group meetings will be open to the public. Applicants are sought from various stakeholder groups, including residents, neighborhood groups, city boards/committees, universities, property owners, and local businesses.

Cambridge Water Board (Application Deadline 2-15-20)
The Cambridge Water Board is a five-member board appointed by the City Manager that acts in an advisory role to the Managing Director of the Cambridge Water Department.  Members typically assist in developing, modifying and approving policy related to Water-department owned land and land use. The board generally meets on the second Tuesday of the month, from 5-6:30 p.m., at the Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility.

Application Process

Applications to serve on any of these committees can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at and selecting the respective committee(s) of interest.  A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.  Please note the application deadlines for the respective committees listed above.

Page was last modified on 1/16/2020 7:08 PM
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