Princeton Council moves to create a new super-committee

Public hearing on ordinance is set for Jan. 22

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Princeton’s Affordable Housing Board, Civil Rights Commission and Human Services Commission may be abolished and consolidated into a new super-committee.

The Princeton Council introduced an ordinance at its Jan. 8 meeting to consolidate the board and commissions into a new Community Services Advisory Committee.

A public hearing on the ordinance is set for the Princeton Council’s Jan. 22 meeting.

The move is part of the town’s goal to streamline municipal operations. Municipal staff work with the advisory board and commissions. Combining them into one committee would save staff time and resources, according to the ordinance.

The proposed Community Services Advisory Committee would consist of seven regular members plus two alternate members, all of whom would be Princeton residents. The term would be for three years, although the initial terms would be staggered. The alternate members would serve a one-year term.

There are several benefits to combining the advisory board and the two commissions into one committee, according to the ordinance.

The current model calls for each one to focus narrowly on its mission, but combining them into one seven-member committee would lead to more collaboration and to provide the best service possible to the community, the ordinance said.

It would also reduce the challenge of finding enough residents to serve on the advisory board and the commissions. Together, 29 residents are needed to fill the seats on the Affordable Housing Board, the Civil Rights Commission and the Human Services Commission.

“With fewer seats to fill and less siloed topic areas, the super-committee can be staffed with candidates with broader perspectives on all issues impacting equity, civil rights, social services and affordable housing,” the ordinance states.

The new committee, which would meet monthly, would also make the best use of volunteer time and maximize the benefit to the town, while also saving staff time and resources, according to the ordinance.