NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The city’s Environmental Commission is one of several volunteer boards and commissions that have a very specific purpose in the New Brunswick government.
Made up of seven city residents, and some leaders in the city government who usually do not attend, the board meets in the Council Chambers of City Hall at 7pm on the third Tuesday of each month (except December).
The commission’s meetings are open to the public, though almost no one attends.
Because of this, the commissioners will often let anyone who joins them sit around the fancy table used by the City Council and other boards meeting in City Hall.
Unlike certain city boards, this one welcomes public input and participation. Its chairwoman is Erin Connolly, a resident of the Rutgers Village neighborhood.
The Environmental Commission has seen a number of newly-appointed members since 2013, when New Brunswick Today raised concerns about the lack of commissioners, and of a statutorily-required joint member on both the Environmental Commission and the Planning Board.
Jeffrey Crum is the Environmental Commission’s representative to the city’s powerful Planning Board, or perhaps its the other way around.
Either way, the Sixth Ward resident is filling a role that previously went unfulfilled in practice, as former Environmental Commissioner Carly Neubauer regularly failed to show up to meetings, or participate meaningfully in the commission’s work.
Still, Nuebauer was not the only member of the commission not to attend meetings. Fourth Ward resident Minnie Worley has not attended a meeting in years, but remains on the commission through the end of the year.
The commission will be meeting on the following dates in 2015:
- January 20
- February 17
- March 17
- April 21
- May 19
- June 16
- July 21
- August 18
- September 15
- October 20
- November 17
All meetings are held at 7pm, and are open to the public.
Free parking is available in the back of the building, located at 78 Bayard Street. Council Chambers is located on the top floor of the building.
Applications to serve on the Environmental Commission, or any of the city’s other appointed offices, are available at City Hall or by contacting the Citizens Campaign at 732-548-9798.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.