Boards & Committees

There are a number of volunteer boards, committees, councils and commissions that work with city government to maintain and improve the quality of life in Northampton. Most of the boards are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council.

The term of service on most boards is three years with reappointment to additional terms possible. Boards typically meet once a month, and some have subcommittees that meet in between monthly meetings.

The City Council, School Committee, Forbes Library Trustees, Smith Vocational and Agricultural Board of Trustees and two members of the Community Preservation Committee are elected by the voters of Northampton.

Current Vacancies

Boards, Committees, & Commissions Vacancies
Arts Council 3 (2 Pending)
Central Business Architecture Commission
1- Historical Commission
1-Building/Construction Rep
1-Architect rep
Disability Commission 1
Historical Commission 2
Housing Partnership 1 - Planning Board Rep
1 - ZBA Rep
Human Rights Commission
Parks & Recreation Commission 1
Planning Board 1 - Member
1 - Associate Member
Trust Fund 1
Whiting Street Committee 1

Boards, Committees & Commissions


If you are interested in volunteering for a board or committee, you may fill out an online application for appointment, download the application for appointment (PDF), or pick up an application at the Mayor's Office during business hours. If you are unable to come into the office, you may call or email and we will send a form to you. Appointments to boards are made on a rolling basis, as members resign or retire from service.

After you submit an application:

  • After an application is submitted to the Mayor by email, mailed through the US Postal System, or dropped off at the Mayor's Office.
  • The Mayor's Office staff reviews the application and determines if a vacancy exists on desired board, committee or commission.
  • If no vacancy exists, the application is put on file for two years.
  • If a vacancy exists, the application is sent to board committee/commission staff person for review of experience and qualifications.
  • In some cases, the applicant is contacted and asked to attend a board committee or commission meeting to better confirm the                     applicant's interest.
  • After staff review and/or applicant attends a meeting, the Mayor will review the application and a phone interview will be scheduled               between the two.
  • The Mayor makes the final decision about making an appointment.
  • The name of the mayoral appointee is then submitted along with a copy of their application to City Council through a written appointment memo.

After the name of the mayoral appointee is submitted to City Council:

  • At a full City Council meeting, the City Council will formally refer the mayoral appointment to their Committee on City Services.
  • The Committee on City Services will review and often interview the mayoral appointee. The mayoral appointee will be contacted by the City Council  Administrative Assistant for scheduling
  • After an affirmative vote by Committee on City Services, the mayoral appointee will be sent back to City Council for a vote of confirmation.
  • Once confirmed by the City Council, the mayoral appointee will be contacted by the Administrative Assistant of the City Council with an appointment certificate and by the City Clerk with instructions on being sworn in for public service.

The process for appointment from submitting an application to official acceptance can take 2-3 months.