I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with an upcoming resolution that will be presented on Tuesday Nov. 20 at the Township of  Nutley Board of Commissioners meeting.

I recently learned of a resolution that would limit voluntary members on township appointed boards to two consecutive terms. While it is possible to see what the intent is, the fact is that volunteerism is down nationwide - we can not afford to lose what would be a significant amount of volunteers due to this action.

 I am unaware of any situation where a board was excluding someone for joining and if there was such a case then the answer is to address that situation directly with that specific board.

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Implementing this resolution to fix a situation that MAY occur is not the thing to do. With about 29,000 residents Nutley’s main volunteer core is about the same 50 people or even less. This resolution could easily extricate about half of this group within a short matter of time.

Every volunteer board I have been on has struggled to fill its board or retain the members for any significant time. A board I am on now ran short of 2 alternates for quite a while and I don’t believe that any board in town is conspiring to keep new applicants out. One board I can think of has just lost two of its long time members and if this resolution passes there would almost be no one who would have any experience to run it.

Most volunteer boards have rules about term limits for certain board positions such as president, V.P., etc. and I can see the reasoning for that as it keeps the board fluid. There are volunteers on some boards (and even several boards) that have been involved with those groups for decades and not through some desire to control the group but because without them there would not be enough volunteers to fill all the positions.

Lets not punish these people who have selflessly given their time for free to their respective boards and lets not punish the residents of Nutley who thoroughly enjoy or need these volunteer boards that keep our town running.

I encourage as many people as possible to attend this Tuesdays meeting and to write your commissioners expressing your concerns about this proposed resolution.

I would like to see this proposed resolution tabled for a time until the petitioners, affected board members and commissioners can get together and bring forward a resolution that keeps corruption and inefficiency out of public boards yet one that does not punish a dedicated seasoned board member just because of their “start date”.

We simply can not afford to lose our volunteers

John Demmer Town Historian  Nutley NJ