Friday, November 27, 2015        

Boards & Commissions

Smithfield Boards & CommissionsThe Town of Smithfield is continually seeking volunteers to serve on various boards and commissions. These boards and commissions act as an an advisory committee to the Town Council. Town residents with an interest in serving on any of these boards or commissions are encouraged to apply.  Meetings are generally held once a month on a weeknight; see each individual listing below for more detailed information.  To see a schedule of meetings for each board or commission, please visit the Town Calendar.

This page was updated September 8, 2015

Interested parties should submit a letter of interest to the Town Manager’s Office, 64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI 02917 along with an application form that can be obtained on this page or at the Town Hall in the Town Manager’s office. A letter of interest may contain your interest or experience in the field of each particular board or commission that you are applying for and, optionally, resume information.

Application Form • Re-Application Form


Planning Board

The Smithfield Town Council is seeking local applicants for the Planning Board.  The Planning Board shall act in an advisory capacity to the Town Council in all matters concerning the physical growth and development of the Town and affecting the health, safety, and general welfare of the people and the economy of the Town, and shall perform such related functions as may be required now and hereafter by Ordinance or State law.  The general duties are as follows:

  • The Board shall make studies and prepare plans and reports in accordance with the purpose of said Board. Such studies, plans and reports shall concern but shall not necessarily be limited to the following:
  • Land use and land use regulation;
  • Transportation facilities;
  • Public facilities including recreation areas, utilities, schools, fire stations, police stations and others;
  • Blighted areas including the designation of general areas for redevelopment, renewal, rehabilitation or conservation;
  • Problems of housing and the development of housing programs;
  • Environmental protection;
  • Natural resource conservation;
  • Protection from disaster;
  • Economic and social characteristics of the population;
  • Preservation of historic sites and buildings; and
  • Economic development.
  • Prepare capital budget; capital improvements.
  • Prepare subdivision regulations.
  • Prepare Comprehensive Plan
  • Adopt said Comprehensive Plan.
  • Modify Comprehensive Plan Zoning matters; other referrals.
  • Other duties.

Zoning Board of Review (Alternate Member)

The Smithfield Town Council is seeking local applicants for the Zoning Board of Review. There shall be a Zoning Board of Review consisting of five (5) members, appointed by the Town Council from among the qualified voters of the Town each to hold office for a term of five years with terms so arranged that one (1) member shall be appointed each year. The Council shall each year name two (2) alternate members of said Board who shall sit as active members whenever required. The Zoning Board of Review shall have such powers and duties as may be required now and hereafter by Ordinance or State law.  Duties include:

  • To hear and decide Appeals in a timely fashion where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by an administrative officer or agency in the enforcement of interpretation of this Ordinance.
  • To hear and decide Appeals from a party aggrieved by a decision of an Historic District Commission, when and if historic district zoning is established in the Town.
  • To authorize upon Application, in specific cases of hardship, Variances in the application of the terms of this Ordinance.
  • To authorize upon application, where specified in this Ordinance, Special Use Permits.
  • To refer matters to the Planning Board, Planning Department, Town Engineer, or to other boards or agencies of the Town as the Board may deem appropriate, for findings and recommendations.
  • To provide for issuance of conditional zoning approvals where a proposed Application would otherwise be approved except that one (1) or more state or federal agency approvals which are necessary are pending. A conditional zoning approval shall be revoked, upon motion of the Board, after a public hearing with due notice, in the instance where any necessary state or federal agency approvals are not received within a specified time period.
  • To hear and decide such other matters, according to the terms of this Ordinance or other statutes, and upon which the Board may be authorized to pass under this Ordinance or other statutes.

Economic Development Commission (Alternate Member)

The Smithfield Town Council is seeking local applicants for the Economic Development Commission to encourage and enhance the business climate by promoting a variety of incentive programs and support services for both new and existing businesses consistent with the goals of the community.  The Commission is an advisory board to the Town Council, the Planning Board and Zoning Board.

The general purposes of the Commission are to:

  1. Establish long and short term economic development goals for the Town, including goals proposed for inclusion in the Comprehensive Community Plan;
  2. Provide support and outreach to existing businesses in the Town;
  3. Provide support and outreach to new businesses seeking to locate in the Town;
  4. Research properties in the Town that may be available for attracting new businesses;
  5. Develop a site inventory of potentially suitable sites for location and relocation of businesses; and
  6. Research local and statewide resources available to Smithfield businesses.

As an advisory board, the Commission is intended to provide assistance to the Town Council, Planning Board and Zoning Board and input to the Town administration regarding issues and programs relating to economic development in Smithfield. In addition, the Commission is intended to act as a local resource for the community relative to economic development issues.

Historic Preservation Commission

The Smithfield Town Council is seeking local applicants for the newly enacted Historic Preservation Commission.  The Commission will have the following powers and duties:

  1. Establish criteria for evaluating historical, architectural or cultural sites, buildings, places, landmarks or areas so as to determine their value in terms of the national, state or local importance;
  2. Conduct and maintain a comprehensive inventory of historic resources within the boundaries of the Town of Smithfield which shall be known as the Smithfield Historic Inventory, and publicize and periodically update said inventory. Properties listed on the inventory shall be recorded on official zoning records with an “HI” (for historic inventory designation).  This designation shall not change or modify the underlying zoning classification;
  3. Initiate and maintain the Smithfield Register of Historic Places.  This official register shall be compiled of buildings, structures, sites and objects which are included on the Smithfield Historic Inventory and which are identified by the Commission as having historic significance worthy of recognition and protection by the Town of Smithfield.  The Commission shall encourage and assist, where possible, efforts by owners to maintain, rehabilitate, and preserve such properties;
  4. Review nominations to the Smithfield Register of Historic Places according to criteria and standards which the Commission shall adopt as part of its rules;
  5. Review proposals to demolish historic structures as defined herein;
  6. Participate in, promote and conduct public information, educational and interpretive programs pertaining to Smithfield’s historic resources;
  7. Establish liaison support, communication and cooperation with federal, state, and other local government entities which will further historic preservation objectives, including public education within the town of Smithfield.
  8. Advise the Town Council and the Town’s Boards, Commissions and officials on matters of Smithfield history and historic preservation;
  9. Perform other related functions assigned to the Commission by the Town Council; and
    Review nominations of Smithfield properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Sewer Authority

The Smithfield Town Council is seeking local applicants for the Sewer Authority.  The Board will have the following powers and duties: 

  1. To insure proper removal and disposal of sewage wastes and wastewaters within the contributing areas of the Town of Smithfield.
  2. To insure the proper operation and maintenance of interceptors, the sewage treatment plant and other sewerage works within said Town.
  3. To provide for keeping adequate records of sewers, appurtenances and connections thereto, the following rules and regulations (comprising Articles I through XIII) which may be amended from time to time, governing the construction, use, repair, alteration, and discontinuance or abandonment of sewers and the substances to be discharged directly or indirectly into and through sewers and appurtenances of the public sewerage system of the Town of Smithfield, are adopted by the Town of Smithfield Sewer Authority as provided by Chapter 96 of the Public Laws of the State of RI, January Session, 1973 (as amended) creating and authorizing said Authority to prescribe rules and regulations relative to the regulation of, construction of, use of, discharge of substances into connections to the sewage works.

Financial Review Commission (Alternate Member)

The duties of the Commission shall include but not be limited to the following tasks:

  1. Verify revenue estimates;
  2. Monitor expenditures;
  3. Review monthly reports that detail the Town’s current financial condition;
  4. Receive and review the annual audit report and monitor the Town’s compliance with recommendations;
  5. Review the Town’s operations as necessary and make recommendations where applicable to improve productivity and/or reduce costs;
  6. Issue a report semi-annually to the Town Council and School Committee as to the financial health of the Town. In addition, the Board should notify Town officials immediately if it appears the Town is in danger of incurring deficits, budgetary problems, or cash flow problems which will prevent Smithfield from meeting its obligations as they come due.

Asset Management Commission

The Smithfield Town Council is seeking local applicants for the Asset Management Commission. The general duties and purposes of the Asset Management Commission are as follows:

1. Compile an inventory of all land and buildings owned by the Town.

2. Assess the condition of all buildings and establish and prioritize the need for major repairs or renovations.

3. Prepare and present to the Town Council a list of Town-owned property that could be sold or transferred. The Commission shall identify and recommend sites to be acquired for projects identified on the priority list.

4. Prepare with input from all departments of Town government a list of projected capital expenditures for five and ten year periods; prioritize the list and recommend sources of funding. The Commission shall annually report to the Town Manager and Town Council its recommendations.

5. Conduct the initial review of any project for which a Town department seeks funding, including planning, cost estimates for the project, and future operating costs associated with the project. This initial review shall be done by the Commission with assistance of the department making the request. Any building committee designated to build the project shall include representatives from the Asset Management Commission. All building committees shall be appointed by the Town Council.

6. The Commission on request of the Town Council may perform other specified tasks. The Town Manager shall provide necessary resources to the Commission to carry out its responsibilities.

Affordable Housing Advisory Board

The Town of Smithfield is seeking volunteers to serve on the Affordable Housing Advisory Board. The Board is an advisory committee to the Town Council and the Planning Board and persons with an interest in affordable housing are encouraged to apply.

Johnston- Smithfield Juvenile Hearing Board (Alternate Member)

The Smithfield Town Council is seeking local applicants for a Regional Juvenile Hearing Board for the purpose of hearing all cases referred to such Board by the Chief of Police, or his designee, from the Towns of Johnston and Smithfield, under the age of 18, who are charged with violating the criminal laws of the State of Rhode Island including wayward, misdemeanor and status offenses and violations of local Town ordinances.

The Juvenile Hearing Board shall hear all cases referred to it by the Chief of Police or his designee and shall determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that the person so referred has committed the offense alleged and whether such person shall be disciplined as a result thereof. A further condition of referral is that the juvenile agrees to his involvement in the incident and waives his rights. In making such determination, the Juvenile Hearing Board shall not be bound by the customary rules of evidence, and may consider all probative and relevant evidence whether or not such evidence would be admissible in a court of competent jurisdiction. In those cases in which the Juvenile Hearing Board shall determine that there is reasonable ground to believe that the offense was committed by the person so charged and that such person should be disciplined, it shall recommend sanctions (other than incarceration) and shall direct restitution, including without limiting the generality of the foregoing, an attempt to provide with cooperation of the Town administrator or the superintendent of schools suitable employment by the Towns of Johnston and Smithfield. In any such proceeding the Juvenile Hearing Board, prior to imposing sanctions, shall request the juvenile offender and his parents to agree to the sanctions imposed, and the amount of restitution and manner of making the same. In ordering restitution, the Juvenile Hearing Board shall take into account the juvenile offender’s ability to pay, and the amount of actual damage caused as a result of the commission of such offense.

Sanctions imposed by the Board shall be for a period of time not to exceed six months and may consist of, but not be limited to community service, reasonable restitution, direct work service for the victim, letters of apology, curfews, referrals for counseling and intervention services, alternative dispute resolution programs, driving license restrictions, etc. The sanctions or conditions set forth shall be in writing, clearly understood by the juvenile and his or her parents/guardian and a signed copy provided to them. The specific sanctions shall be completed within 60 days except with regard to school related and counseling issues. If sanctions are not agreeable to the juvenile or parents/guardian, the offense complaint shall be returned to the referring person which in turn may refer to Family Court. If a referral is made to Family Court under such conditions, a notation shall be included to inform the court of the action of the Juvenile Hearing Board to try to resolve the matter and the reasons why this was unsuccessful. Likewise if a juvenile fails to comply with the agreed upon sanctions, without good cause, the action of the Juvenile Hearing Board may be vacated and the matter referred to Family Court with a notation to that effect. The Juvenile Hearing Board shall provide the Chief Judge of the Family Court with an annual report as to their activity.

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