LETTER: Long-Time ZBA Member Wants City To Hold a Volunteer Fair For Framingham Government Boards

FRAMINGHAM – Let’s have a party!

A Volunteer Fair to highlight volunteer positions in Framingham
government.

Framingham has so many openings for volunteer positions on boards and commissions, yet so few people seem to know about them.

I am sure that there are people across the whole city who would volunteer if they knew about the possibilities and what the positions entail.

So far, we have not gotten applications in the numbers we need and, most importantly, from different neighborhoods.

In addition to current vacancies and upcoming ones, we now have boards consisting entirely of members who have been holding over waiting for a replacement. Full disclosure, yes, as one of those holdovers on the Zoning Board of Appeals, I have a personal interest in this.

Many people are complaining and laying blame. That is not getting anything done.

We need to move forward- together-as one community

My suggestion is that we hold a volunteer fair, based on traditional job fairs. This would help to inform people about our government and, I hope, to encourage people who have not thought of serving to volunteer.

I envision tables for the various boards and commissions with a focus on the ones who have vacancies. We can group boards and commissions by general areas of interest. People who are currently serving could volunteer to discuss their boards. I know I would.

We would have information about the positions and about how to apply.

We could even have applications available to make it easy.

Let’s make it a party. We need to encourage participation. We will hold games, raffles, prizes, balloons, entertainment, whatever to make it fun and educational. Sign up food trucks. Hold it outside may be at Cushing or Farm Pond, wherever. The focus in to make sure it is accessible to all and inviting. Heck, I will run a shuttle bus myself.

This is exactly the type of activity I envisioned for Citizen Participation Officer when it was created in the Charter. I know Alaa AbuSalah would be great at this. It is not just about filling the positions, it is about getting our citizens involved in our government.

Who will join me in making this happen?

Susan S. Craighead
Vice Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeal (speaking only for myself)

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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