The city of Gardner has ten citizens boards and commissions that oversee an array of services ranging from planning, utilities and airport- to police and sidewalk maintenance.
Members of these commissions are usually appointed by the city council, and they serve with no compensation. Traditionally – until recently – the committees have met once per month, and the meetings last for about a couple of hours. That’s a big time commitment, and the council recently changed meetings to quarterly, or on an as needed basis.
Committees do important work. Almost anything that gets to the elected council members for a vote has been considered by the relevant commission. most major purchases or projects that the city undertakes will have been scrutinized by the relevant commission.
Recently, the utilities commission helped complete a painstaking electric rates study.
The planning commission is always on deck for any developments coming up in the city including holding public hearings, while the airport commission has grappled with issues at the airport for a long time.
The citizens who choose to serve on the boards and commissions provide a needed service to their community; they stand in gap between vision and implementation, and we applaud their selfless commitment.
While citizens are not compensated for serving on the commissions, those involved do get first hand education on how their city works and have a say on how things are run in their community.
The city currently has some vacancies on some boards and commissions. We urge citizens to apply. It’s worth the effort