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by Fern Shen4:21 pmFeb 15, 20170

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Mayor Pugh solicits candidates for 70 city boards and commissions. Who knew there were so many?

Above: A 7:30 a.m. meeting of the board of the Baltimore Development Corporation. (Fern Shen)

Psst. Any interest in sitting on Baltimore’s Trespass Towing Board? How about the Gas Appliance Board?

Perhaps the Art Museum Building Commission is more your civic cup of tea?

A list of 70 city boards and commissions was included by Mayor Catherine Pugh in her announcement of a website where citizens can submit an application to be considered for appointment to one of them.

“CALLING ALL COMMUNITY AND CAUSE LEADERS: I want you to serve [on] city boards and commissions. Deadline 3/1,” Pugh tweeted Monday.

The list includes some of the most powerful entities at the center of the city’s most pressing issues:

The Board of School Commissioners, Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), Board of Finance, Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), Baltimore Public Markets Corporation (BPMC), Downtown Partnership, Civilian Review Board, Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC), and many more.

Some of the positions are for the governing boards of quasi-public non-profits, such as the Baltimore Hotel Corporation and East Baltimore Development, Inc.

Still others are special taxing districts, such as the Charles Village Community Benefits District and Management Authority.

Glimpsing the Oblique and Arcane

Navigating the website is relatively straightforward – upload a cover letter, resume and photo, click the public body or bodies you’re interested in joining, and you’re done. Just keep your expectations in check.

“Submission of this application is not an appointment,” the website cautions.”If you are selected to continue in the appointment process, the Mayor’s Office will contact you for more information. ”

Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, March 1, at 4:30 p.m.

A little less straightforward is the accompanying Baltimore City Boards and Commissions Reference Guide.

In theory, it’s a helpful place to find out when terms expire or who serves at the moment. But information on some entities is out of date or incomplete.

Who, besides, Kenneth Thompson and Senator Catherine Pugh, sits on the board of the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation? “Not listed,” the guide says.

The guide explains in detail how the Inclusionary Housing Board should be composed (one must be a lender involved in residential projects, one must be developer or builder involved in multi-family dwellings, etc.), but describes its current membership as “unknown.”

The Reference Guide pdf in effect acknowledges that the Pugh administration is bringing an obscure set of civic entities into the light of day.

“This is just a working draft,” it notes of the 70 boards and commissions, “and may contain information that is dated.”

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