Those who serve
One of the greatest gifts the municipality of Hammonton has is the number of people willing to volunteer to serve the town in some capacity on one of its many volunteer boards or commissions.
This week’s edition of The Gazette features articles about three such entities: the Hammonton Planning Board, the Hammonton Environmental Commission and the Hammonton Parks and Recreation Commission.
The people who serve on these boards and commissions do so because they love their town. They are volunteers; there is no remuneration for their efforts. The tasks are often thankless, with hours being put in largely anonymously and sometimes, decisions being made that residents do not agree with or support. And yet, in many cases, these volunteers continue their work despite the negatives, because they feel, rightfully, that they are making a positive difference in Hammonton.
They feel their work is making our town a better place. They are right.
In a democracy, the appointments that are made help define the character of the government. In turn, the town is defined by those appointments and the character they infuse the town with through their decisions and leadership. In Hammonton, the people who serve on the boards and commissions that influence the direction of the town are, in most cases, everyday individuals. They are members of the general public, not career politicians. As a result, their decision-making is fueled more by “what’s best for the town” than “what’s best for a chosen few.”
In a sense, the appointees to our local boards and commissions serve as an excellent “checks and balances” system, a system that includes the town council and municipal departments. Together, all these entities work to make Hammonton the best municipality it can be. This system has been working, which is why Hammonton has, thankfully, seen more success than not, even during difficult times. We thank everyone—especially the volunteers serving on local government boards and commissions—for their service.