Scranton Creates Online Membership Application for Authorities, Boards, Commissions

September 6 – SCRANTON – In the city, shade trees, historic architecture, recreation, parking, housing, planning, zoning, public service, libraries and ethics all have one thing in common. common: the volunteer members of the Board of Directors.

The city has 14 authorities, councils and commissions, each with a varying number of members serving terms of certain lengths.

Vacancies inevitably arise. Some members retire at the end of their term or are not reappointed.

To encourage citizens to consider serving on council and build a pool of candidates, the city has created an online application on the city’s website,

“This new tool will help us reach Scranton residents who want to become more involved and contribute their time and talents to the city,” said Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti.

The online application invites applicants to provide their contact details, select the boards that most interest them, upload a CV and write a brief statement of interest.

Once completed, an application will remain on file with the city. As board seats become available, the city will review the candidate pool and contact applicants.

Board members serve on a voluntary basis and their time commitments and roles vary.

Retired Norma Jeffries serves concurrently on the Shade Tree Commission and the Recreation Authority. She first joined the Shade Tree Commission, in December 2019. At that time, she recalls, then-Mayor Wayne Evans urged anyone interested to serve on a council, an authority or commission to submit a letter of interest and curriculum vitae.

“And that’s what I did,” Jeffries said. “I love the outdoors and the trees, and I learned a lot from (city forester) Tony Santoli.”

She was later appointed to the Recreation Authority and is its secretary. She cites her involvement in the community for securing the recreation position.

“I used to go to (authority) meetings before I was on the board and always had something to say, and they got to know me,” she said.

The two councils require different levels of commitment. The Shade Tree Commission meets four times a year, at Santoli’s discretion, while the Recreation Authority meets monthly. Serving as an authority secretary also comes with its own duties.

Jeffries appreciates his civic involvement in both councils.

“It’s a great way to meet people and find out what’s going on in the city,” Jeffries said. “One of these days I’m just going to sit down and put my feet up, but not yet.”

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