Residents Provide Leadership on City Committees and Boards

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Thursday August 13, 2015

South Burlington has been extremely fortunate over the years to benefit from the volunteer efforts of many residents who serve on advisory boards, committees, commissions and task forces. These civic minded individuals bring a diverse and varied set of skills to the table, but they all have one thing in common – a commitment to the community. They participate in discussions that affect and shape the future of the city, provide leadership, establish policy, and address specific projects, policies and issues in regard to city actions and decision making. While some are standing committees, such as the Planning Commission and DRB, others such as the recently concluded Master Planning and Visioning Task Force, provide short-term opportunities for residents to become involved.

At the July 20 City Council meeting, a number of new volunteers, along with many residents returning to serve another term, were appointed to serve on committees.

Bike and Pedestrian Committee

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee is an advisory committee of seven to nine volunteer citizens of South Burlington, who are appointed by the city council. The mission of the committee is to oversee the general operation of the city’s many recreational paths, including field trails and sidewalks, and to advise the city council of operational needs and future development plans for the path network.
All meetings are open to the public and are typically held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The current members are: Roy Neuer, Cathy Frank, and Dana Farr. The newly appointed members are Jamieson Goodwin, Amanda Holland, and Robert Britt. Donna Leban returns for another term.

Chittenden Country Transit Authority (CCTA)

CCTA is a regional entity and is supported, in part, by funds from the city. The board sets goals of promoting the safe, accessible, innovative, and sustainable operation of a public transportation service in Chittenden County. The city’s new representative to this board is Tom Chittenden.

Chamberlin Neighborhood Airport Planning Committee (CNAPC
The Chamberlin Neighborhood Airport Planning Committee is a special, 15 member board established to guide a neighborhood planning project throughout 2015. The committee arose amid concerns about the neighborhood, pertaining to preservation and noise, as a result of the airport’s home demolition project. The committee is working with staff and the project’s consultant to develop a vision and plan for the neighborhood. Community input is a critical piece of this project.

Members of this committee include: Walden Rooney, Greg Severance, Linda Brakel, Marc Companion, Lisa LaRock, Carmine Sargent, George Maille, Kim Robison, John Simson, Patrick Clemins,Tracey Harrington, Karsten Schlenter, Pat Nowak, Bill Keogh - Burlington Airport Commissioner, and David Hartnett - Burlington City Councilor.

City Charter Committee

The South Burlington City Charter Committee receives referrals from city council regarding potential changes to the City Charter. Upon review and study the Charter Committee will make recommendations to city council addressing the matters which have been referred to it. The Charter Committee is appointed by city council and the members of the Charter Committee select their own Chair and Vice-Chair.

The current members are: Agnes Clift and Donna Kinville. New appointees include Naa Addo and Chuck Hafter. Peter Taylor returns for another term.

Development Review Board (DRB)

The Development Review Board is charged with overseeing subdivision, site plan, conditional use, and all other board review applications. All meetings are open to the public and are typically held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm in the City Hall Conference Room at 575 Dorset Street.

DRB Members include: Marc Behr, John Wilking, David Parsons, Jennifer Smith, and Bill Miller. Matthew Cota is newly appointed. Tim Barritt returns for another term.

Design Review Committee (DRC)

The South Burlington Design Review Committee is a five member board of South Burlington citizens. The Committee is charged with review of applications for development subject to design review and for providing support and recommendations for plans and regulations related to design, particularly in the City Center area. Design Review Committee meetings are open to the public and meet as needed in the City Hall Conference Room.

Members are Sheema Fahim, Nicolas Jaramillo, Jean-Sebastien Chaulot, Marcel Beaudin, and Adam Davis.

Energy Committee

The mission of the South Burlington Energy Committee is to promote energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy resources among the city’s residents, businesses, and in municipal affairs. The committee aims to assist the city in addressing the goals “to promote energy efficiency, affordable energy, and lessen our reliance (per capita) on non-renewable energy resources.”

The Energy Committee regularly meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7-8:30 p.m. generally at City Hall. From time to time the date and location may change.

Current members include: Keith Epstein, Marcy Murray, Sam Swanson, Linda McGinnis, Karen McKenny, and Fred Kosnitsky. Thor Vue and Patti Tashiro are new members. Don Cummings and Wayne Maceyka return for additional terms.

Library Board of Trustees

The South Burlington Community Library has a board of six to nine trustee board members who serve renewable terms of three years. The board works closely with the Community Library Director, to meet the library’s mission. Board members attend one evening board meeting a month and also serve on subcommittees related to different aspects of running a successful and vital community library, such as finance, grant-writing, and strategic planning. The library board are members in the Vermont Library Association and the American Library Association.
The members meet monthly and currently include: Mark Coel, Bonnie Finnigan, Don Jenkins, Jake Jurmain, Kathy Mackin, and Jay Pasackow. New members include: Susie Merrick, Beth Wood, and Margaret Ann Cross.

Natural Resources Committee

The mission of this committee is to preserve, create, and restore adequate public and private open spaces throughout the city that address needs for recreation and leisure arts, agriculture, habitat, environmental stewardship, and important public scenic views.

Current members include: Russell Agne, Jeff Dickson, and Larry Michaels. Melissa Cuke is a new member and Patrick Clemins and Betty Melizia return for another term.

Pension Advisory Committee

The pension advisory committee reviews South Burlington retirement income plan investments, plan documents and makes recommendations to city administration.

Members include: City Manager Kevin Dorn, Deputy City Manager Tom Hubbard, Councilor Pat Nowak, City Clerk Donna Kinville, one member from each bargaining union, and a citizen from the community which is Spencer Baker.

Planning Commission

The South Burlington Planning Commission is a seven member board of South Burlington citizens. The Planning Commission is charged with overseeing revisions to the Land Development Regulations (i.e., Zoning and Subdivision Regulations), undertaking planning studies, and updating the Comprehensive Plan. Planning Commission meetings are open to the public and typically meet at 7 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month in City Hall.

Members include: Jessica Louisos, Tracey Harrington, Sophie Quest, and Ted Riehle. New members include: Art Klugo and Duncan MacDonald. Bernie Gagnon returns for another term.
Public Art Selection Committee

This is a brand new, ad-hoc committee that will meet as needed to recommend public art for projects.
Their purpose is to make recommendations at the request of the city council on the selection of artists and acquisition of permanent public art located on property owned or controlled by the city, including public facilities.

The committee includes, as voting members, Trice Stratmann, Mary Olmsted, and Amanda Holland, the five members of the Design Review Committee, and a member appointed by the Vermont Arts Council.

The Recreation and Leisure Arts Committee

The Recreation and Leisure Arts Committee is an advisory committee to the Recreation and Parks Department, made up of seven volunteer citizens of South Burlington.

All meetings are open to the public and are typically held on the 3rd Monday of the month at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

The current members are: Edie Robenstein, Jennifer Kochman, Liz Robitaille, Glenn Sproul, and Rebecca Poquette. New appointees include Naa Addo, Mary Olmsted, George Donovan and Mike Simoneau.

Red Rocks Committee

The Red Rocks Park Committee is an advisory committee to the Recreation and Parks Department, made up of seven volunteer citizens of South Burlington. The mission of the committee is to advise the city council as to its operational needs. All meetings are open to the public and are held as needed.

The current members are: Lisa Yankowski, Erwin Cohen, and Yiota Ahladas. The committee’s newest member is Melissa Cuke.

In addition to the members of these boards and commissions, there are many more dedicated residents who serve behind the scenes to support our local government. Many thanks to all who share their time and talents to make valuable contributions to the city and its residents.

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent