Chatham Borough residents have a long history of volunteering for their community. Volunteers perform many functions that are vital to our community. Each year, many of our residents offer their time, energy, knowledge and talent to our municipality by serving on the Chatham Emergency Squad, Chatham Borough Volunteer Fire Department, or on one or more of our boards, commissions, or committees.
If you have interest or expertise in a particular area and a desire to volunteer, Chatham Borough needs you! Please consider volunteering and supporting your community. Many opportunities exist.
Chatham Emergency Squad
Individuals interested in joining the Chatham Emergency Squad as a full-fledged member, should visit the Chatham Emergency Squad webpage for information. Send an email to the Squad’s Personnel Vice President to express your interest in joining the squad. Download the Chatham Emergency Squad Membership Application
Chatham Borough Volunteer Fire Department
Individuals interested in joining the Chatham Borough Volunteer Fire Department should visit the Chatham Borough Volunteer Fire Department webpage for more information. The application process for volunteering with the Chatham Borough Volunteer Fire Department starts with sending an email to the Fire Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org and expressing your interest in joining the Fire Department.
Boards, Commissions and Advisory Committees
Please consider serving on any of the public bodies listed below. Submit a completed Volunteer Application Form to the Borough Clerk’s office at email@example.com or stop by Borough Hall. Visit the Boards & Commissions webpage to learn more about these volunteer opportunities. After you submit your application, you will be contacted.
Boards and Commissions
- Board of Health
- Board of Trustees of the Library
- Environmental Commission
- Historic Preservation Commission
- Planning Board
- Shade Tree Commission
- Zoning Board of Adjustment
- Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
- Civilian Emergency Response Team
- Chatham Joint Community Garden Advisory Committee
- Chatham Joint Recreation Advisory Committee
- Communications & Technology Advisory Committee
- Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee * [non-residents are welcome]
- Historic Riverside Trail Advisory Committee
- Mayor’s Wellness Advisory Committee * [non-residents are welcome]
- Municipal Alliance Committee of the Chathams
- Municipal Pool Advisory Committee
- MyChathamNJ Advisory Committee
- Open Space & Historic Preservation Trust Advisory Committee
- Pilgrim Pipeline Advisory Committee
- Public Arts Council (Advisory Committee)
- Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee
- 9/11 Memorial Advisory Committee
In addition to joining the Fire Department, Emergency Squad or one of the municipal boards/commissions/committees, there are numerous opportunities for individuals or groups to do projects on their own. Over the years, volunteers have completed a wide range of projects, including building or rebuilding walking trails, erecting benches and tables in local parks, and operating the cameras in the Council Chambers at Borough Hall to record meetings of the Borough Council and of boards/commissions/committees. Since many of these projects will require Borough Council approval, please contact Robin Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
The following are some suggested projects — but be creative and come up with your own ideas. One of the things that makes Chatham Borough so special is that its residents will identify things they think will make the community a better place, and then make them happen!
Media and Communications Projects:
- Operate the cameras in the Council Chambers to record meetings
- Design and compose web pages for the Borough website on "Living in Chatham" and "Chatham Borough History".
- Take new photos for the Borough website.
- Compose music for the TV bulletin board.
- Trash clean-up: Day's Brook, Wuhala Woods and other conservation lands.
- Remove invasive plant species at Wuhala Woods, Kelley's Pond, or in the conservation lands along the Passaic River.
- Identify opportunities to plant pollinator-friendly plants and provide residents with education on how to do this. Or plant a garden of pollinator-friendly plants.
- Picture taking of birds, plants, nature for the Environmental Commission; take pictures during walks of sidewalks in need of repair; pictures of Borough trees in need of attention.
Other Project Ideas:
- Assist residents in preparing emergency preparedness kits containing food, water, flashlights and other emergency supplies. –
- Assist residents in signing up for AlertChathamBorough.
- Update our inventory of historical structures and include photos.
- For the computer savvy, create Access® databases of historical structures or open space.
Local and State Laws that Govern Citizen Volunteer Appointments
Ordinance #08-02 adopted by the Mayor and Borough Council on February 25, 2008, was enacted to foster the openness of government and provide citizens with information concerning the various appointed municipal positions that exist within the Borough of Chatham. The Ordinance further provides the procedure whereby a citizen can indicate his/her desire to serve in a particular appointed municipal position requires that notification be given with respect to consideration and action taken on appointments.
In 2009, the New Jersey State Legislature enacted the Citizen Service Act, which requires all municipalities to follow a uniform process to allow all citizens an equal opportunity and manner in which to express their interest in serving on local boards, commissions and committees. Any person interested in serving on a municipal board, commission or committee must file a Volunteer Application Form with the Borough Clerk to start the process.
Once an appointment is made by the Mayor and Council, the law then requires the newly appointed volunteer to take an oath of office for that specific position. Under previous law, individuals were only required to take the general oath of office. The law further permits the oath of office to be administered by the chairperson of a board or commission, Borough Clerk, or by any other person authorized under law to administer oaths (N.J.S.A. 41:2-1). All oaths of office are filed with the Borough Clerk.
The state law further requires that the Borough Clerk must compile and maintain a directory of all boards, commissions and committees. The directory must include the name of the authority, board or commission; the number of members or positions; a list of currently appointed members, along with their terms of office; vacancies; general frequency of meetings; the appointing authority, and enabling statute, ordinance or resolution that describes the entity and responsibilities of the members.
The Citizen Services Act also amended N.J.S.A. 40A:9-12.1, the law that determines when a position becomes vacant due to unexcused absences. A position can now to be declared vacant when a member is absent from meeting for 8 consecutive weeks, or 4 consecutive regular meetings, whichever is longer.
Please consider volunteering and supporting your community.