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Posted on: June 22, 2023

Serve Your Community by Applying to be a Member of a Town Board

Serve on a Town Board

Much of the work of Town government could not be accomplished without the tremendous help of our volunteer board members, and serving on a board can be a rewarding experience and an excellent way to contribute to the Provincetown community.

Any registered voter in the Town of Provincetown is eligible to serve on a Town Board, including regulatory boards like the Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Historic District Commission, Licensing Board, Board of Health, Water and Sewer Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals. Non-residents or part-time residents are able to serve as alternates on non-regulatory boards.

All board members must have the ability to work and interact effectively with individuals and groups with a variety of identities, cultures, backgrounds, and ideologies. Younger residents, women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Are you ready to play a critical role in shaping Provincetown’s civic landscape?

Below is an overview/description of some of the Town Boards/Committees the Town has:

  • Historic District Commission: The mission and authority of the Historic District Commission is to promote the cultural, economic, educational and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Provincetown through: 1.) the preservation and protection of the distinctive characteristic of buildings and places significant in the history and development of Provincetown; 2.) maintaining and improving the settings of these buildings and places; and 3.) the encouragement of design compatible with buildings existing in the area, so as to continue to maintain the historic village, fishing, artistic, cultural, commercial and residential character and other qualities which distinguish the town as a desirable community for permanent and seasonal residents and visitors.
  • Bicycle Committee: The Provincetown Bicycle Committee was created in 2011 to advise the Select Board on planning and policy to improve conditions for riding bicycles in town. This includes recommendations for improvements to on- and off-road bicycle facilities, installation of bike racks and other bicycle-specific amenities, public safety education, and encouragement of riding bicycles for both recreation and active transportation.
  • Conservation Commission: The Provincetown Conservation Commission is a regulatory board and is responsible for the protection of wetland resource areas and their values and interests within the Town of Provincetown. The Commission also manages conservation lands and conducts outreach and education to further natural resource planning and environmental programs.
  • Charter Compliance Commission: The mission of the Charter Compliance Commission is to encourage and compel compliance with the Provincetown Charter.
  • Art Commission: In 1959 the Board of Selectmen created the Provincetown Art Commission and charged it with the responsibility for cataloging, appraising, restoring and maintaining the many works of art owned by the Town of Provincetown. The Commission meets regularly at Town Hall to develop policies for the care and management of the collection. They set priorities, review new gifts of art to the collection, and determine how best to care for, store and display it.
  • Airport Commission: The Airport Commission oversees the Provincetown Municipal Airport, which is a public airport located at the end of Cape Cod, two miles northwest of the central business district of Provincetown. This airport is operated by the Town of Provincetown on land leased from the National Park Service. It is used for general aviation and by one commercial airline, Cape Air.
  • Zoning Board of Appeals: The Zoning Board of Appeals is an adjudicatory board that hears and acts on requests for variances and special permits, as well as appeals from decisions of the Building Commissioner. The Board of Appeals may refer a project to the Cape Cod Commission if the project is a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) based on thresholds set by the Commission.
  • Council on Aging: Since 1972, the Provincetown COA has been a welcoming resource and activity center for older adults and their families. Our mission is to promote the well-being and independence of older residents by identifying their needs and interests, developing supportive programs, coordinating community services and advocating on their behalf.
  • Animal Welfare Committee: The mission of the Animal Welfare Committee is to advise the Board of Selectmen, Animal Control Officer, or other pertinent municipal entities on issues relating to animal welfare for domestic and urban wildlife in Provincetown.
  • Community Housing Council: To mission of the Community Housing Council is to oversee the Provincetown Housing Office; to perform all of the functions of the Provincetown Local Housing Partnership, which shall be abolished upon the appointment of members to said council; and to administer the Affordable Housing Trust Fund established under Chapter 230 of the Acts of 2002 upon the transfer of said function from the Provincetown Housing Authority.
  • Cultural Council: The Provincetown Cultural Council is the Local Cultural Council of the larger Massachusetts Cultural Council Program. The Local Cultural Council (LCC) Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences annually.
  • Cemetery Commission: The mission and authority of the Cemetery Commission is to have sole care, superintendence and management of all public burial grounds in the Town. May lay out any existing public burial grounds or any land purchased and set apart for cemeteries with proper paths and avenues; may plant, embellish, ornament and fence the same and erect therein such suitable edifices and conveniences and make such improvements as it considers convenient; and, subject to the approval of the Town, may make such regulations, consistent with law, as it deems expedient.
  • Disability Commission: To coordinate and carry out programs designed to meet the problems of the handicapped in coordination with programs of the Office of Handicapped Affairs. Shall research local problems of the handicapped and shall coordinate the activities of other local groups organized for similar purposes, and may advertise, prepare, print, and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets necessary for its work.
  • Economic Development Committee: The mission of the Economic Development Committee is to encourage initiatives that will increase year-round economic opportunities for Provincetown citizens without creating adverse impacts on the character of our community or our natural environment.
  • Personnel Board: The Personnel Board works on matters of personnel policy, practices and Bylaws, and make needed changes in the personnel administrative rules and regulations.  
  • Open Space Committee: The Open Space Committee acts as stewards of Provincetown’s open spaces and is composed of a group of appointed volunteer citizens whose primary responsibility is the recommendation of expenditures from Land Bank funds, which result from a 3 % surcharge on Provincetown property taxes.  
  • Human Service Committee: The mission and authority of the Human Services Committee is to administer Town human service grants and identify human service needs in the Town of Provincetown.
  • Scholarship & Trust Administration Committee: The Scholarship and Trust administration Committee was created by Article 18 at the Annual Town Meeting in April, 2017, to replace the John Anderson Francis Family Scholarship Committee and the Town Scholarship Committee. It is an advisory Board comprised of three regular members and one alternate member appointed by the board of selectmen, and two regular members and one alternate member appointed by the School Committee to administer the John Anderson Francis Family Scholarship Fund, the Captain Joseph F. Oliver Scholarship Fund, the Town Scholarship Fund and such other public Trusts as the Committee may be assigned by the Board of Selectmen. Such administration is in accordance with the terms of each Trust, as amended, or, if changed circumstances necessitate amendment, by agreement of the Board of Selectmen, and, in the case of Scholarship Funds, the School Committee. Investment of principal of each Trust is determined by the Town, unless otherwise provided by the creator of such Trust.
  • Recreation Commission: The mission of the Provincetown Recreation Commission is to advise the town on the development of safe, welcoming and well-maintained facilities and provide engaging affordable programs for all ages.
  • Community Preservation Committee: The Community Preservation Act (the "CPA" MGL C.44B) was enacted by state legislators allowing any town in the Commonwealth to adopt a property tax surcharge of up to 3%, the revenues from which, along with any matching state funds, could be directed to open space and recreation, community housing, and historic preservation. The Town of Provincetown adopted the CPA at its May 4, 2004 Annual Town Election. The CPA mandates that each fiscal year Provincetown must spend, or set aside for later spending, at least 10% of the annual revenues in the Town of Provincetown Community Preservation Fund for each of the three CPA target areas: community housing, open space/recreation, and historic preservation. 
  • Board of Assessors: The mission and authority of the Board of Assessors is to assess taxes and estimate the value of property for the purpose of ad valorem taxation and to assess state and county taxes duly certified to them.
  • Regional District School Committee for the Cape Cod Regional Technical High School: Serves as the Town of Provincetown representative to this committee.

More information about each of these vacancies, their terms, appointing authority, etc. can be found here: 

Application Process

Any registered voter in the Town of Provincetown is eligible to serve on a Town Board. Applications to serve on any Town board can be submitted to the Town Clerk. 

You must now apply online by filling out a Town Board Application.  We will keep your application on file for 364 days.

Check out this guide for members of public boards and commissions! If you serve as a member on a local board, the Office of the Inspector General encourages you to use this guide to understand your obligations and help you perform your duties as a public board member to the best of your abilities!

Please contact the Town Clerk’s Office with questions, for more information, or to discuss which board may be the best fit for you at (508) 487-7013 or

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