At the final part of the city-wide dialogue on “recovery, resilience and the future of Montpelier,” on Thursday, September 7th at Montpelier High School the Montpelier Foundation, Montpelier Alive and the City of Montpelier announced plans to convene the Montpelier Commission for Recovery and Resilience.
Public forums in the series have pointed to the fact that Montpelier’s recovery and renewal will take years, and resilience efforts should be instituted and grow with time under consistent, dynamic and unifying leadership. City government cannot carry the costs or leadership of the whole recovery effort, or the long-term efforts to expand the resilience of the city in the face of future floods and other climate change impacts.
At the recent flood recovery forums, community members have consistently called for the establishment of a new leadership structure to coordinate and drive forward recovery and resilience work. In response to this feedback, the Montpelier Commission for Recovery and Resilience will be formed to serve as a convening and resource partner for the City and all working groups advancing recovery and resilience projects in the City.
Chaired by a private sector member, the Commission will provide leadership to coordinate recovery and resilience strategies, advocate for the community, oversee staff, and support the progress of initiatives throughout the community.
The founding partners will work to raise funds to hire a Montpelier Recovery and Resilience Director answerable to the members of the commission. Under the oversight of the Commission and with support of staff of the City of Montpelier, the Director will:
• Provide support and coordination to recovery and resilience working groups in the City;
• Convene leadership around key aspects of recovery, from best practices for hardening buildings, to developing collective inventory space and other practical recovery projects;
• Convene public dialogues as needed;
• Bring together engineers and architects to envision and develop projects to advance the downtown and its resilience;
• Convene regional governments, planners, business leaders, engineers, architects, hydrologists and environmental scientists to evaluate opportunities, then plan and implement mitigation strategies to slow and hold water to minimize the impact of future flooding events.
Commissioners will be selected by a committee of Montpelier Alive, the Montpelier Foundation and the City of Montpelier which will each have equal weight in appointing members from the public. The City Manager, the Executive Director of Montpelier Alive, and the President of the Montpelier Foundation (or their designees) will be founding members.
Katie Krautz, Executive Director of Montpelier Alive notes, “Montpelier Alive is thrilled to be a part of this initiative. We have a deep interest in supporting downtown revitalization and are committed to a more resilient future.” Ed Flanagan from the board of the Montpelier Foundation sees the Commission “as an essential next step in the long-term vitality of Montpelier, a city we all care so much about.” Mayor Jack McCullough stated that, “We are confident that the new commission will be able to mobilize the incredible range of talents and energy that helps to make Montpelier the dynamic community it is. We look forward to working with community leaders to make this effort a success.”
Commissioners will be certified, and the authority established for two years, at which time the efficiency of the effort and implementation results will be evaluated toward a decision on continuing or reforming the initiative. The three organizing entities will work to raise funds toward a two-year budget for the Commission.
The Commission must represent the community and have needed expertise to be effective. Applicants to participate on the Commission should describe skills related to the following categories: Architecture; Hydrology/Engineering, Environmental Science; Downtown Development; Fundraising (especially related to state and federal resources); Land Use Planning; Property Ownership; Business; Low Income Issues; Non-Profit Management; Financing; Clean Energy Development; Housing; Public Health; Resilience Planning and Other pertinent skills. Applicants will also be reviewed with a lens to youth and diversity.
To apply or to nominate someone to the commission, email contact information and a one-paragraph description of qualifications to: firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of the day on September 14 with the Subject Line “Montpelier Commission for Recovery and Resilience.”