When I joined the Board of Selectmen in 2010, there was no formal process in place for committee appointments made by the Board. Because of this committee appointments were made in a somewhat disorganized fashion.
The formal process now used includes submission of a standard committee volunteer interest form listing the top three committees for which applicant are volunteering, their qualifications, and provision of a resume. All committee members whose terms are expiring are notified and asked whether they wish to continue to serve through email or letter; those who don’t respond are called. Residents are notified about available committee appointments through the town website, social media and the local newspapers.
Once this process has been completed, the Board of Selectmen meets to discuss appointments; it usually takes two or three meetings to complete this process. The Board along with the Town Administrator, evaluates volunteers’ qualifications; committee chairs are asked for input concerning needed skills. Typically, people who want to continue to serve are reappointed especially if their contributions to the Committee have been strong; attendance is a factor. The individual Selectman, who serve on different committees as liaisons to the Selectmen’s office, provide input as can the Chairs of given committees.
While individuals can serve on more than one committee, in my experience, with rare exceptions, this does not happen. A lot of residents volunteer for committees; the Selectmen try to appoint as many as possible. In addition, where volunteers serve on committees that require considerable work, such as the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, or Conservation Commission, serving on more than one committee can be a burden.
The formal process has brought professionalism to committee appointments. I believe it has generally worked well.