Volunteer Opportunities

Council on Aging  

The Council on Aging is the Town’s general advisory board for matters affecting elders, and works directly with department staff and other town agencies on a wide range of programs and issues.   The responsibilities of this Board include (1) To assist in identifying the needs and concerns and strengths of Needham’s elderly and retired persons and those approaching retirement age; (2) To assist in designing, promoting, coordinating or implementing services and programs to meet those needs and concerns; (3) To assist in informing the community and enlisting the support and participation of all citizens in this effort; and (4) To work in coordination with programs of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Ideally candidates would have a connection to the Veteran community.  Committee meetings are at least monthly from September through June, and more often as necessary.  Membership terms are for three years.

Design Review Board (alternate)

The Design Review Board (DRB) reviews and approves signage under the Town sign by-law, evaluates and makes recommendations regarding design elements of construction projects on Planning Board submissions and on applications for renovations and new construction on commercial and institutional properties of the town, and certain other categories of development. The purpose of the Committee is to encourage quality design, including architectural appearance, historic considerations, enhancement of landscape, and relationships to the visual environment. For the current vacancy, candidates with experience in art or design or working in retail business within the town are preferred. The DRB meets about twice a month (typically the first and third Monday in the evening). Membership terms are for three years.

Human Rights Committee (two vacancies)
The Town of Needham is seeking volunteers to serve on the Human Rights Committee. Through education, community outreach and community response, this Committee strives to reaffirm the dignity of every human being by addressing matters pertaining to human and civil rights and problems related to that may arise in the Town. The charge of the Committee is to advocate appreciation and respect for human and civil rights in our Town (Education); organize and/or recommend community events to constructively promote respect for human civil rights in our Town (Community Outreach); and provide advice and assistance to the Town Manager, Chief of Police, and/or other Town offices in response to issues that challenge the human and/or civil rights of any individual or group in our Town (Community Response).

The Committee consists of 12 members. When practicable, the committee should include representatives or designee’s of the Needham Police Department and the Needham School Department (ex-officio and non-voting), the Needham Commission on Disabilities and the Needham Housing Authority. Membership should also include a representative of the local clergy, a senior citizen, a tenant of the Needham Housing Authority, a realtor and a Needham High School student.

Currently the Town is seeking individuals that may fill the following roles: representatives or designee of the Needham Housing Authority and representatives or designee from the Commission on Disabilities. The Committee meets once a month, generally on a Thursday evening.

MBTA Advisory Board

The MBTA Advisory Board is comprised of members (either chief elected officials or their designee) of each of the 175 cities and towns in the district.  This representative of the Select Board will serve as Needham’s voting member to the MBTA Advisory Board.  The Advisory Board mandate includes, but is not limited to, the following:  provide public oversight of MBTA expenditure through a rigorous, MassDOT Board policy-mandated review of MBTA annual operating budget, review, advise, and confer with local leaders on the MBTA multi-year capital budget, consult with the Authority to create mechanisms for ensuring reliable, high-quality and cost-effective operations and implementing service quality standards (Chapter 161A, Section 5p) and consult with the Authority to maximize revenues, ridership growth and transit oriented development.  This is a three-year appointment.  Candidates for this appointment must be able to attend monthly meetings.  Meetings are held once a month, in Boston, usually around 10:00 a.m.  

Solid Waste Disposal & Recycling Advisory Committee

The general purpose of this committee is to 1. review proposals for changes to general user fees and charges prepared by the town, and make recommendations to the Select Board as to whether such proposed rates are adequate to sustain the services to be provided; 2. at the request of the Department of Public Works or the Select Board, review existing and / or proposed policies and procedures for residential and commercial disposal, making recommendations to the Department of Public Works (or the Select Board as appropriate) regarding changes;  3.  and at the request of the Department of Public Works, review and recommend measures to promote recycling.   There is one vacancy open on this committee which meets several times each year.

Water Sewer Rate Structure Committee

This Committee annually reviews the block rate structure and makes a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen. Qualified candidates would have previous experience or interest in public utilities and how rate structures work. This Committee meets several times each year. Membership terms are for three years.

With respect to all of the above vacancies, interested residents are requested to submit a brief letter of interest, summary of relevant experience, and contact information. Applications may be submitted in writing or by email, or may be completed online at: www.needhamma.gov/committeeform.   Vacancies may remain open until a suitable candidate has been appointed.

Applications, or any questions or requests for information, may be submitted to:

Needham Select Board, Attn: Ms. Sandy Cincotta, Needham Town Hall, 1471 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02492 Tel: 781-455-7500 Email: scincotta@needhamma.gov