Section 14. In each area established under section twelve there shall be a community mental health area board, hereinafter called the area board, which shall be an agency of the commonwealth, and shall serve in the department. The area board shall consist of fifteen members, who shall be appointed by the commissioner. Two thirds of the members shall live within the area for which they are appointed, and the remaining members shall either live or work within said area. The commissioner shall seek to provide proper geographical representation in the membership of the board.
Two thirds of such members shall be persons other than employees of the commonwealth. No member shall be an employee of the department.
Upon the expiration of the term of any member of the area board, a successor shall be appointed, in like manner, for a term of three years. In the event of vacancy, the commissioner may, in like manner, appoint a member who shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. Members of the board shall serve without compensation, and shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties. The area board shall suggest for consideration by the commissioner one or more names for each such expiring term or vacancy. No member shall be appointed for more than two consecutive three-year terms.