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Join Hamilton’s new government
November 19, 2006

The election of a new mayor and council also means the appointment of new citizen volunteers to more than two dozen city committees and local government agencies. A notice inviting applications to sit on the Police Services Board appeared in the Hamilton Spectator on Friday and other advertisements will be appearing over the next few weeks.

Council appoints citizen representatives to the four area conservation authorities, the Royal Botanical Gardens, Symphony Hamilton, the public library board, the Port Authority, and the Hamilton Waterfront Trust. Positions are also available on joint council-citizen committees such as LACAC (the municipal heritage committee), the transit master plan steering committee, the development charges stakeholder committee, two railway liaison groups, and the Glanbrook landfill committee.

Some committees are composed entirely of citizens such as the property standards committee and the Committee of Adjustment, for which there is both an urban and a rural section.

Membership is open to “residents and business owners” over the age of 17. By the end of this month, councillors will have chosen at least five of their colleagues to sit on the selection committee that will interview applicants and make recommendations to the full council.

Council has a policy “to ensure that its Agencies, Boards and Committees reflect the diverse nature of the City of Hamilton’s population” and consequently officially encourages “applications from women, persons with disabilities, native persons, and racial and ethnic minorities”. Those chosen usually serve until the next municipal election in four years time.

With dozens of positions open, the appointments offer an opportunity for individuals to participate directly in government, learn how and why things are done, and make a contribution to their community. Those interested can attend an orientation session early in December to learn more.

Application forms are supposed to be available on the city website no later than December 1, with the deadline for applications set at Friday, December 15. Some information is already on the city website, especially for the Police Service Board which requires applications to be submitted by December 1.

© Citizens At City Hall (CATCH)