Position In Brief: 

Support measures to ensure open and consistent procedures for the appointment of members to city boards and commissions.

Support measures to ensure the optimum function and performance of city boards and commissions.

Position History: 

The LWVCSMCo and LWVNSMCo positions were combined in 2006.

1962 - Study of advisory boards and commissions in the City of San Mateo

1968 - Study of advisory boards and commissions in the cities of San Mateo, Millbrae, and Burlingame

1973 - Study of the advisory boards and commissions in the City of San Carlos

1974 - Study of the advisory boards and commissions in North County cities


Appointment to city boards and commissions. Objectives:

  • No appointee should serve more than two consecutive terms on the same governmental agency.
  • When a vacancy occurs, there should be ample notice at council meetings and in the local newspapers so that interested citizens can apply, and civic groups can submit names to the council for consideration.
  • All persons proposed for such vacancies by a council member, by a citizen, or by a civic group should be considered on an equal basis. Appointments should ensure representation by a broad cross-section of the community.
  • Applications to serve on a city board or commission should be readily available. All candidates should be interviewed by the city council.
  • The council should establish regular times and procedures for notifying members of the expiration of their terms. This system would give the council a regular time to evaluate the contribution of board and commission members. It would avoid misunderstandings by providing members a termination date should they no longer wish to serve
  • The council should give itself time to consider appointments as soon after vacancies arise as is practical in order to keep the boards and commissions at full complement.

Function and performance of city boards and commissions. Objectives:

  • The city council should clearly define the charge of each board/commission/committee.
  • Every board and commission should have regular meeting dates with public notice thereof.
  • The city council should establish some method of regular, open communication with its boards, commissions, and committees (such as assigning liaisons to each board and commission, holding joint meetings, inviting the chair of the entire commission or board to occasionally make a public presentation at city council meetings, exchanging memos or letters, etc.).
  • All city council members should receive minutes of all meetings of boards/commissions/committees.
  • Boards/commissions/committees, being primarily advisory to the city council, should have the right to report directly to the council without having to go through staff.
  • The city council should clearly define the role of the city manager/administrator vis-a-vis the boards and commissions.The city council should conduct a periodic review of the charge and current function of the boards, commissions, and committees to ensure that the charge meets the current needs of the city.
  • The city council should be responsible for a process for training of the board and commission members in conjunction with the chair of each board/commission.
  • The city council should encourage members of boards/commissions/committees to attend League of California Cities’ workshops, updating and in-service programs.
League to which this content belongs: 
North & Central San Mateo County