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Get involved in local government: City of Columbia needs to fill vacancies on various boards and commissions

From zoning appeals and climate change to trees and hospitality taxes, interested individuals have until Oct. 5 to apply to serve
Credit: wltx

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The City of Columbia is seeking civic minded individuals to fill vacancies on various city boards and commissions. Applicants must have an interest or background on the subject matter and agree to serves the full term -- ranging from 2 to 5 years, depending on the board or commission.

All applicants must live within Columbia city limits. Deadline for filing an application is 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

Vacancies include:

Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee (A-TAX) Seeking seven (7) applicants. Four (4) must be designated hospitality industry representatives, two (2) of which must be from the lodging sector; one (1) must be a cultural interest representative; two (2) may be At-Large businesspersons/citizens in the community. The purpose of this committee is to review applications submitted for Accommodations Tax funding and make recommendations to Columbia City Council. Term: 2 years.

Board of Zoning Appeals- (BOZA) Seeking to fill one (1) vacancy. The Board of Zoning Appeals is a quasi- judicial board that makes decisions regarding zoning issues. Cases are posted and advertised in accordance with Chapter 17, Article III, Division 3, Section 111 & 112 of the City Code of Ordinance and with title 30, Chapter 4 of the code of laws of South Carolina. The Board does not act as a recommending body to City Council; instead appeals of decisions of the Board are heard in Circuit Court. Term: 3 years.

Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development Seeking to fill three (3) vacancies. The purpose of the Citizens Advisory Committee is to make important recommendations for the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Housing Opportunities for persons with Aids (HOPWA), and other federal grant programs as assigned. They advise the Mayor and council on the needs of neighborhoods, review amendments, and make appropriate comments on policies. Term: 4 years.

Climate Protection Action Committee Seeking to fill four (4) non-voting vacancies. The Climate Protection Action Committee (CPAC) is a volunteer group whose mission is to develop and advocate effective strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change, conserve natural resources and otherwise protect the environment at a City level, while also fostering an improved quality of life for the citizens of the City of Columbia. The purpose of CPAC is to recommend and oversee the development and implementation of mission-based programs and projects within the City of Columbia. Click here for much more information about CPAC. Term: 3 years

Citizens Advisory Committee for CPD Seeking to fill ten (10) vacancies The Citizens Advisory Committee for CPD fosters proactive relationships with an open dialogue between CPD and Citizens. The purpose of the Citizens Advisory Committee is to review police actions and determinations of complaints received by the Police Department. Term: 2 years

Columbia Museum of Art Seeking to fill one (1) vacancy. The Columbia Museum of Art Commission manages the investments and the maintenance, preservation and exhibition of its art collection. The commission in comprised of five (5) individuals. All applicants must reside within the corporate limits of the City of Columbia. Term: 5 years

Columbia Prepares Advisory Committee Seeking to fill six (6) vacancies. The purpose of the Columbia Prepares Advisory Committee is to provide increased transparency in the implementation of CDBG-MIT funds; inform the community at large and other stakeholders of mitigation projects and strategies; improve the community’s understanding of the importance of hazard mitigation activities and projects to the health and well-being of all residents; solicit and respond to public questions, comment and input on the City’s mitigation activities; serve as on on-going public forum to continuously inform Columbia’s CDBG-MIT project and programs. Click here for more information. Term: 2 years

Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission (CTAC) Seeking to fill four (4) vacancies; three At-Large members and one Architect or Engineer. The Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission has the following powers and duties: To review and recommend policies and ordinances affecting the planting, removal and preservation of trees on public and private property; provide advice on the allocation of resources and policies for the planting, care and removal of trees in the City of Columbia; serve as an advisory body to the City Forestry and Beautification Superintendent in the administration of this article; review and make recommendations related to the City Forestry and Beautification Division’s annual work plan and any comprehensive urban forestry or reforestation plans; provide public education and advocacy on tree value, preservation and care; make recommendations to City Council on disbursements of the Columbia Landscape and Tree Fund; oversee the development and implementation of a master plan for the beautification of the City of Columbia; and advise the City and its boards and commissions regarding landscaping, tree planting, protection and removal. CTAC helps sponsor the annual Arbor Day celebration, Treasured Tree program and Columbia Choice Awards. Term: 3 years

Design Development Review Commission (DDRC) Seeking to fill one (1) vacancy for an Architectural Historian. Applicants must have experience as an architectural historian. The purpose of the Design/Development Review Commission (DDRC) is to review and approve work proposed within the City's historic districts, urban design areas, and upon designated landmarks. Term: 3 years

Hospitality Tax (H-TAX) Seeking to fill eleven (11) vacancies. Six (6) must be from the restaurant/catering industry and five (5) At-large businesspersons. The purpose of this committee is to review applications for hospitality funding and make recommendations to Council for the disbursement of those funds. Term: 2 years

Richland County Board of Assessment Appeals  Seeking to fill one (1) vacancy. The purpose of the Board of Assessment Appeals is to provide an independent and neutral body to review property tax disputes between the Assessor and the Taxpayer. The Board is charged with making a fair and impartial decision that takes into account the facts as presented by the Assessor and the Taxpayer along with applicable South Carolina law. This board consists of seven (7) members to be appointed as follows: One (1) by the city council of the City of Columbia, who shall reside within the corporate limits of Columbia; three (3) by a majority of the county council; one by the board of trustees of School District No. 1 of the county, who shall be a resident of School District No. 1; one by the board of trustees of School District No. 2 of the county, who shall be a resident of School District No. 2; and one by the board of trustees of School District No. 6 of the county, who shall be a resident of the county, residing in School District No. 6. The City appoints one (1) member, who shall reside within the corporate limits of Columbia. The terms of the members shall be for three (3) years or until their successors are appointed and qualify. The by-laws also specify that one appointment must be from the real estate business. All board members should have a background in one of the following fields: Appraisal, Real Estate Development, Condemnation experience, or experience with Real Estate Litigation matters. Each Board member is charged with making a fair and impartial decision that takes into account the facts as presented by the Assessor and the Taxpayer in accordance with applicable South Carolina laws. The Board shall annually elect a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, and a secretary. (All per the S.C. Code of Laws (see S.C. Code Ann. § 12-60-2530[1]) Term: 3 years