Where do I recruit a new member for the Finance Committee?
August 1, 2022 11:10 AM   Subscribe

I am the moderator of a relatively small town of 15kish people, and one of my jobs is to appoint members of the Finance Committee. We are currently lacking on the civic engagement front, and this committee is one with a fair amount of scope and responsibility which would be much better handled by someone with town experience. I live in western Massachusetts. Where do I find these people?

So far, I have:
1) Emailed existing committees to ask for candidates and/or channels to reach out to (no replies)
2) Called town departments (nibbles, no bites)
3) Posted on three (don't ask) of the town's Facebooks and Nextdoor (one unqualified candidate)
4) Looked up the nonprofits in town and contacted them (no replies)
5) Contacted the library (they'll post the position, but no good ideas of local networks)
6) Cold-called a few businesses in town (banks, credit unions, small businesses that need to budget) and confused some people, no bites.
posted by Alex Haist to Law & Government (7 answers total)
CPAs. Whoever audits your town's books (not the same person, though!!!).
posted by praemunire at 11:13 AM on August 1, 2022 [5 favorites]

Search "board" on Linkedin, filter to "People", filter those results by location to your town, to find people with board-level professional experience near you.
posted by caek at 11:19 AM on August 1, 2022

Best answer: Search your town's name within the directory of the Massachusetts Government Finance Officials Association in hopes of finding someone who either works as a consultant, is employed by another municipality, or has retired to your community. You might also find recruitment ideas and/or candidates by contacting the Massachusetts Municipal Management Association and its Association of Town Finance Committees affiliate.
posted by carmicha at 11:37 AM on August 1, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I think banks and credit unions are good ideas, but I don't think cold-calling is the way to go about it. Instead, try looking up the bank on LinkedIn or its website to see if you can actually get some information about the people who may be qualified (i.e., you're probably not looking for tellers, but rather executives), then reach out to those people more directly.

I think you might also have some luck with health care and school administrators. Again, try to find who they are and ask directly rather than open-ended "anyone you know?" questions to a phone operator.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:42 AM on August 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Might be worth calling a few nearby towns and talking directly with their Finance Committee person/people. See who they know and/or can recommend.
posted by nkknkk at 11:47 AM on August 1, 2022

Best answer: If you have a community college, try contacting the folks who teach in the accounting department. I teach at a cc and there are a lot of us who get approached to sit on various boards according to our expertise/capacity.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:19 PM on August 1, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I am a Town Board member of a small town in upstate NY. The Town Board members view town committees as the "minor leagues" for people interested in running for office. Volunteer committees give a person insight into how government works, provide a close view of what an elected official does and helps build connections for a future run.

Therefore, we hit the local political committees for volunteers. If you are a committeeman, party zone chairman or even if you've ever expressed an interest in running for office (just once) to anyone - we'll call you and invite you to volunteer for a committee.

A good place to start aside from the local political committees is also the lists of donors to candidates. If you donate, you're often interested in town affairs.
posted by Colonel Sun at 5:16 AM on August 2, 2022 [1 favorite]

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