The mission of the Conservation Commission is to enhance the conservation of natural or scenic resources, to protect natural streams or water supplies, to promote conservation of swamps, wetlands, beaches or tidal marshes, to enhance the value to the public of abutting or neighboring parks, forests, wildlife preserves, nature reservations or sanctuaries or other open areas or open spaces, to effect or enhance public recreations opportunities, to preserve historic sites, to implement that plan of development adopted by the Planning Board of the municipality, and to promote orderly urban or suburban development.
The Conservation Commission shall conduct research, in conjunction with the Planning Board, if any, into the local land areas and shall seek to coordinate the activities of conservation bodies organized for similar purposes and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary. It shall keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, within the municipality, including open marsh lands, swamps and other wetlands, for the purpose of obtaining information pertinent to proper utilization, protection, development or use of such open areas and may recommend to the municipal officers and any municipal body or board, or any body politic or public agency of the State of Maine, a program for the better utilization, protection, development or use of such areas, which may include the acquisition of conservation easements. The Conservation Commission shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report to the municipality to be published as part of the Annual Municipal Report.
With the approval to the Town by vote of any Special or Annual Town Meeting, the Commission may acquire land or any interest therein in the name of the municipality for any purpose set forth in 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3264, as amended, and may accept gifts of land, money or easements for conservation purposes.
The Commission shall, prior to making any recommendations pursuant to this section, submit its recommendations to the Planning Board at least 30 days in advance.
Members shall have:
A general boards and committees application is available from the Town Clerk or at barharbormaine.gov. Applications should be returned to the Town Clerk for consideration by the Town Council Appointments Committee. The Appointments Committee will contact candidates with interview times and make their recommendation to the Town Council at the next Town Council meeting. The Town Council will vote on the nominations. It is best to attend the nominating meeting, in case Councilors have questions. Approved members will need to be sworn in by the Town Clerk and take an ethics training exam. Members cannot vote in their committee until these steps have been completed.
This Commission has seven members. All members are voting members.
The term of each member shall be three years. There are no limits to the number of terms served. All appointments run from August 1 to July 31.
Vacancies occurring during the middle of a term served shall be filled by the Town Council from recommendations from the Appointments Committee. The candidate will serve out the remainder of the vacated term. Commission openings shall be filled by vote of the Town Council from recommendations from the Appointments Committee.
All absences must be excused prior to the start of the meeting, and all attendance shall be recorded in meeting minutes. If a member missed more than 75% of the regular meetings within a twelve-month period, regardless of being excused, the member forfeits their membership on the Commission.
All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public, and notice thereof shall be given that all members shall have reasonable opportunity to make plans to attend. Notices shall be posted on the bulletin board in the Town Hall, on the Town calendar, and on social media at least three days prior to the meeting.
The Chair shall call a meeting at least once a month unless there are no agenda items; however, the Commission must meet a minimum of four times a year, including an organizational meeting. Meeting agendas shall maintain the following order:
A majority of members appointed on the Commission shall constitute a quorum. A quorum is necessary to call a meeting to order as well as take a vote.
A Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary should be elected at the first meeting of the Commission after August 1. The Chair is responsible for calling meetings, the meeting agenda, and leading meetings. The Vice Chair will take over the responsibilities for the Chair if the Chair is unable to preside over a meeting. The Secretary shall take minutes at each meeting and send approved minutes to the Town Clerk. No elected official can act as an officer of this Commission.
Bylaws may be adopted and amended only by the Town Council. The Commission may suggest bylaws to the Town Council for its consideration.
The Commission shall follow Robert's Rules of Order for all other procedures.
All Commission members, voting and nonvoting, are subject to the Town-Council-approved social media policy found at barharbormaine.gov and in the Committee Handbook.