[Adopted 12-19-2013 by Ord. No. 289-2013]
There is hereby created and established an Agricultural Commission. The Agricultural Commission shall consist of five members who shall be substantially engaged in either the pursuit of agriculture or forestry or supporters of agriculture and shall either be residents of Fitchburg or owners and farmers of agriculture or forestry with the City.
Initially the Mayor shall appoint two members for three years, two members for two years and one member for one year, and thereafter each member shall be appointed for a three-year term. All appointments shall be subject to confirmation by the City Council.
To assist in carrying out the duties of the Agricultural Commission there shall be two associate members appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the City Council. The associate members shall sit on the Agricultural Commission in the case of absence, inability to act or conflict of interest on the part of any member of the Agricultural Commission or in the event of a vacancy on the Commission. Initially the Mayor shall appoint one associate member for a one-year term and one associate member for a two-year term, and thereafter each associate member shall be appointed for a three-year term.
Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the Agricultural Commission, it shall be filled in the same manner as provided for the regular appointment of members, except that the member so appointed shall be appointed to serve the balance of the unexpired term only.
The members of the Commission shall annually choose from their own membership a Chairperson and a Secretary.
A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.
The purpose of the Agricultural Commission will be to support commercial agriculture and other farming and forestry activities in the City of Fitchburg.
The Commission's duties shall include but will not be limited to the following:
Serve as facilitators for encouraging the pursuits of agriculture in Fitchburg;
Promote agriculture-based economic opportunities in the City;
Act as mediators, advocates, educators, and/or negotiators on farming issues;
Work for the preservation of agricultural and forest lands;
Advise the Mayor, City Council, Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, Board of Health, Historical Commission, Board of Assessors, and any other appropriate City boards, on issues involving agriculture;
Pursue all initiatives appropriate to creating a substantial agricultural community;
Receive gifts, grants, bequests, and devises, whether real or personal, from any source, whether public or private, for the purpose of assisting the Commission in the discharge of its duties with the approval of the City Council.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
No member of the Commission shall receive compensation for his or her services.