STOW — The Town of Stow invites residents who wish to serve their community to apply to become a member of one of its many boards and commissions.
Stow relies on residents who volunteer their time, energy, and skills to make the town a better place. Board and commission members review and set town policy; administer state laws and support town staff. Much of the town’s business could not be conducted without them.
Some Town boards have both full members and associate members. Associate members must be ready to fill in when a full member is unable to perform their duties.
The Town is seeking to fill the following vacancies:
Agricultural Commission: three members, five-year terms
The Commission facilitates and advocates farming and agriculture in Stow; promotes agricultural-based economic opportunities; provides dispute resolution services; and works with Town officials and boards to promote and protect agricultural interests. The Commission meets as needed.
Capital Planning Committee: One member, three-year term; three associate members, one-year terms
The Capital Planning Committee studies, with the Town Administrator, proposed capital outlays involving the acquisition of land or any expenditures of $10,000 or more, having a useful life of at least three years. The committee also prepares an annual report containing a budget of such capital outlays and a capital program for the following four years.
Charter Review Committee: Five members, three associate members; appointments last through acceptance of final charter review report
The Committee will review the Stow Town Charter to determine if amendments should be proposed and report those recommendations to Town Meeting.
Council on Aging: One member, indefinite term
The COA coordinates and carries out programs designed to meet the needs of the senior population in coordination with programs of the Massachusetts Department of Elder Affairs as established under the Massachusetts General Laws. A sincere interest in the welfare, health and well-being of senior citizens is desired, and a willingness to accept and carry out assignments in that regard. Meetings are the second Thursday of the month at 10 a.m.
Conservation Commission: One member, three-year term
The Commission administers and enforces the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the Town of Stow Wetlands Protection Bylaw and Regulations. The Commission reviews all proposed activity within 100 feet of wetlands and 200 feet of ponds, rivers, and streams, and oversees management of nearly 1,600 acres of conservation land throughout Stow. A commitment to environmental issues or related background, and willingness to acquire a working knowledge of the Wetland Protection Act Regulations and the Town of Stow Wetland Protection Bylaw & Regulations, is desired.
Meetings are the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7:30 p.m.
Economic Development and Industrial Commission: One member, five-year term
Commission goals include working toward broadening the economic development potential of the community by engaging business owners in communicating business interests to Town Boards and Committees, evaluating policy and planning initiatives, and promoting Stow’s economic development potential. Members work closely with Town committees involved in business, industrial and commercial planning efforts, as well as offer input and guidance on economic development prospects throughout Stow.
Green Advisory Committee: Two members, one-year terms ending June 30, 2022
This new Committee will assist the Select Board and the Town Administrator in developing programs and projects to foster energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy generation and sustainable planning. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate knowledge of energy conservation, sustainability, environmental, and climate impacts. Applicants must be available to attend most scheduled meetings.
Historical Commission: One member, filling an unexpired term ending June 30, 2023
The Commission oversees the preservation and stewardship of Stow’s historic structures and properties, and oversees summer offerings at the Stow West School. A willingness to be involved in other duties pertaining to local historical needs is desired, and an interest in the history of Stow and its preservation.
Housing Authority: One member, filling an unexpired term ending with 2022 election
The Authority studies the housing needs of Stow, develops policies and strategies to meet those needs, and provides programs to make available housing for families of low income. (Also has such other powers and duties as are given to local housing authorities, under Mass. General Laws Chapter 121B.) An interest in short and long-term affordable housing in Stow is desired.
Open Space Committee: One member, three-year term
The Committee advises the Select Board, and other public and private stakeholders, on the protection of the Town’s open space priorities, and leads the implementation and updating of the Open Space and Recreation Plan. It prioritizes and evaluates Chapter 61 and other parcels for their significant conservation and open space values.
Planning Board: One associate member, one-year term
Applicants should have an interest in all aspects of planning the preservation and use of Stow’s physical and aesthetic character, natural environment, historical and cultural resources and the “built” environment. The voting Associate Member may sit on the Board for the purposes of acting on a special permit application in the case of absences, inability to act, or conflict of interest, on the part of any member of the Planning Board. Associate members attend all Board meetings and actively participate in Board discussions and projects.
Registrar of Voters: One member, three-year term
Registrars are responsible for the entire voter registration process, maintaining registration records, and preparing the street list, annual register of voters, and the voting lists. Registrars certify petitions and nomination papers for municipal elections, primaries, and state elections. You must be a registered voter in Stow and a member of either the Democratic Party or Republican Party for at least the previous two years. Members must hold no other public office, by public election or by appointment of the Select Board, per Mass. General Laws Chapter 51, Sections 15 and 25.
SpringFest Committee: Three members, two-year terms
The Committee plans and oversees SpringFest, the town’s annual festival held in May. Members identify and schedule events for the weekend, recruit and organize participants and volunteers, and promote and publicize the festival. Members also supervise site set-up and cleanup. Energy and enthusiasm to create an enjoyable community-wide celebration for all ages, the ability to commit time to planning and event management, and being a team player with a good sense of humor is desired.
Town Hall Restoration Committee: One member, resident at-large, three-year term
The Committee will provide direction with the design and engineering phase, to review qualifications of architects/engineers, and to approve the suggestions of the chosen architectural firm. Following completion of the design phase, the committee will report to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) seeking support for the use of CPC funds and make a presentation at future Town Meeting. If successful, this committee will then begin the public bidding process, award a contract, and oversee the renovation project.
Traffic Safety Advisory Committee: One position, resident at-large, one-year term
This is a new committee composed of the Chief of Police or designee, the Superintendent of Streets or designee, the Fire Chief or designee, the Town Planner or designee, and one resident, preferably with an engineering background. The charge of the committee is to receive and consider requests and suggestions for traffic safety improvement in the Town of Stow.
Zoning Board of Appeals: Two full member and two associate member positions, five-year terms
The ZBA is a quasi-judicial board as established by state law and has specific duties including:
- Hear appeals from parties aggrieved by the decision of an administration official concerning zoning issues.
- Hear and decide applications for certain special permits as provided by the zoning bylaws.
- Hear and decide petitions to vary specific requirements of the zoning bylaws.
- Hear and decide applications for comprehensive permits.
The applicant should have sound independent judgment, a sense of fairness and an ability to act on the evidence (and information) as determined with reference to the applicable sections of the Town of Stow’s zoning bylaws and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40A, The Zoning Act.
Associates must be prepared to assume the position of full-time member of the Board if a vacancy occurs. The ZBA meets on the first Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m.
These board members are appointed by a vote of the Select Board, except for Capital Planning Committee and Charter Review Committee members who are appointed by the Town Moderator. Volunteers may seek re-appointment at the conclusion of their terms.
Residents who are interested in learning more about the duties of these positions may visit here.
Residents interested in applying to serve their community are asked to send a letter of interest and/or resume to the Select Board’s Office via email to email@example.com.