One of the roles of government is the participatory process which involves the citizenry serving on County boards and commissions. In Talbot County, there are over 25 boards and committees which serve in an advisory role making recommendations to the County Council and to County departments.
Corey Pack, Talbot County Council President, comments, “The boards and committees are an extension of our government and play a vital role in what we do each and every day. The Council appreciates the efforts and dedication of the members who serve, particularly the time spent in preparation for their service and the time spent away from their families in meetings.”
Positions open regularly on Talbot County’s boards and committees as members complete their terms and citizens are encouraged to apply to be considered for these appointments. Among the boards and committees that operate under the Talbot County Council which are currently seeking new members are: the Animal Control Board, the Commission on Aging, the Emergency Services Advisory Board, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board, the Public Works Advisory Board, and the Social Services Board of Directors. All of these boards have specific criteria for the members who comprise the board. Most boards require members to be registered voters, while others may require members to be residents of specific election districts. For a complete list of Talbot County Boards and Committees visit http://www.talbotcountymd.gov/index.php?page=Boards_and_Committees.
The Talbot County Planning and Zoning Commission, one of the boards which currently has a vacancy, plays an important role in making recommendations to the Council on land use. The Commission makes advisory recommendations to the County Planning Officer and the County Council relating to the Comprehensive Plan, the zoning maps, and rules and regulations relating to zoning and has final decision-making authority over major subdivisions and commercial and industrial site plan review. Bill Boicourt, who just completed his 20th year on the Planning Commission, and who served two terms as the Commission’s Chairman, comments, “I have been a part of two Comprehensive Plan updates and it has been exciting to see more Talbot County citizens getting involved in that process. It is a delicate balance upholding people’s property rights while trying to preserve Talbot County’s rural character.”
For Boicourt, the experience on the Commission has been a rewarding one. He adds, “The most satisfying part of the effort is working with Talbot County staff to help our citizens get through the zoning and permitting process.”
Harriette Lowery, Chairman of the Talbot County Ethics Committee, states that community service was the reason she got involved 10 years ago. She comments, “We all have a stake in this community. I wanted to do something that would encourage people of all backgrounds to volunteer. We need diversity in these positions. I have enjoyed meeting people of different backgrounds and cultures, with different viewpoints, who feel the same way about giving back. The County appreciates us and needs our help in these various roles.”
The County also works with regional boards, including Mid-Shore Behavioral Health, the Regional Behavioral Health Advisory Committee (RBHAC), Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, and Upper Shore Aging. At this time, Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board is looking for members to fill several vacancies.
The Talbot County Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB) currently has two vacancies for full-time members. Each county and Baltimore City have a PTAAB which has jurisdiction over all appeals in its area concerning property tax assessments, the Home Owners’ Tax Credit Program, the Renters’ Tax Credit Program, the Agricultural Land Preservation Easement Program, and other local tax matters assigned to the board for hearing. The County is actively seeking prospective candidates for the PTAAB, whose names will be forwarded to the Governor for consideration of appointment.
Should you be interested in serving on County boards and committees, please complete the “Request for Appointment” form found on the County’s website www.talbotcountymd.gov under the Talbot County Council tab, then the Boards and Committees tab. Applicants should forward the form and a one-page resume to the Office of the County Manager, Talbot County Courthouse, 11 North Washington Street, Easton, Maryland 21601. Individuals requiring communications assistance or desiring additional information should contact the County Manager’s Office at (410) 770-8010.