Policies and Procedures for Boards and Commissions
Download: Print version of the following policy
CITY OF BRENHAM, TEXAS
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
MARCH 1, 2012
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The purpose of this Policy is to establish uniform procedures for all advisory boards and commissions of the City. Board and commission members are selected by the City Council and serve at the pleasure of the Council, and will not be granted special privileges because of their appointment.
This Policy applies to all persons appointed by the Brenham City Council. Persons appointed by other entities may not be required to abide by all the rules outlined in this Policy.
Applicant qualifications include the following:
- Must be a resident of Washington County for at least one (1) year;
- Must be a qualified voter;
- Must not be in arrears in the payment of any taxes or other liability due to the City;
- May not apply to serve on a board with their immediate family members; and
- Regular full-time City employees are not eligible unless required by State statute
All qualified candidates, applying for the first time, must complete an Application for Appointment to City of Brenham Boards and Commissions form and submit it to the City Secretary before October 1st. Current members wanting to be reappointed to their current board/commission must submit a Request for Re-Appointment to the City Secretary prior to October 1st. If a current member would like to be considered for appointment to a different Board, they will need to submit a new application.
Members shall be appointed for terms of three (3) years, and may be removed at any time by the City Council. Terms of office will be staggered. In the event a vacancy occurs prior to the expiration of a full term, the City Council may appoint a new member to complete the unexpired term. Any member of a board or commission may be eligible for re-appointment by the City Council.
In addition to these eligibility requirements, the City Council shall set specific skills and experience desired for each Board. Also, in the event that State statutes require certain qualifications, those qualifications will be required of all applicants.
Advertising of scheduled vacancies for terms expiring in December will begin on or near August 1st.
Advertisement for citizen involvement may happen in a variety of ways including, but not limited to:
- posting of notice on official bulletin board
- press releases
- utility billing inserts
- website advertisements
- social media resources
- nomination by invitation
On or before August 1st of each year, the City Secretary will post information on the city's official bulletin board and on the city's website listing all openings on any City of Brenham board or committee. The City Secretary's office will mail notices to all current board members with an expiring term.
The application will solicit information about the applicant's background, including current and past occupations and involvement in and knowledge of issues related to the subject of the board to which they are applying. In addition to the completed application, applicants are encouraged to submit a short bio or resume. Persons may apply for more than one board.
A shorter application form will be used for incumbent board members seeking another term. Incumbents will also be required to submit their request to serve another term to the City Secretary's office.
All application forms will be due on October 1st. Any applications received after the deadline date will not be considered.
The Mayor and City Manager will review all submitted applications and at the first council meeting in December, the Mayor and/or City Manager will make a recommendation of Board and Commission appointments to the City Council. The City Council will appoint members to the Boards and Commissions at the second council meeting in December. In the event appointments are not made in December, all members will continue to serve until their successor is appointed by Council.
Applications are considered current for one year from submittal date, after which the application will be removed from consideration In order to be considered in the next recruitment period, the applicant will be required to submit a new application.
Upon receiving the applications, the Mayor and City Manager will review the eligibility requirements and identify those applicants that are eligible for appointment before submitting any applications to the City Council for review.
Additional information that could be used in reviewing applications include: evaluations from the staff liaison and/or member attendance records. The Mayor and City Manger may also take into account past applications submitted by a candidate and previous experience on other boards.
TERM OF OFFICE
Board members serve for a staggered term of three (3) years with the exception of the Brenham Community Development Corporation (BCDC), the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the Board of Adjustments and Appeals whose members shall serve for staggered two (2) year terms. All terms expire on December 31. In the event that appointments are not made prior to the expiration of the member's term, the board member shall continue to serve until their successor is appointed by Council.
The City Council retains the right to replace any appointed member at any time and for any reason. Board members are appointed for a limited purpose and time, and once the assigned term of office is completed, they are excused from this appointment unless the City Council selects them for another term of service in accordance with this policy.
MID TERM APPOINTMENTS
Occasionally a board member may be unable to finish his or her term or will be removed by the City Council prior to the term ending. In such cases, the vacant position must be filled by a mid-term appointee who will serve out the remainder of the other applicant's term.
Instead of soliciting applicants for the vacancy, the Council may refer to the applicant pool kept by the City Secretary's Office. If the applicant pool is deemed too small to accommodate the vacant position(s), a new application solicitation campaign could take place in the same manner as the typical annual recruitment process.
Upon completion of the selection process, all new members should make every effort to become as familiar as possible with all aspects of his or her particular board. To aid in the process, new members will be furnished copies of pertinent telephone numbers of other members, as well as applicable information and regulations that govern that board.
Members of all boards will be required to attend specialized training on the Open Meetings Act, Public Information Act, and any State statues pertinent to their position on the board within ninety (90) days of their appointment by Council. Such training shall be coordinated by the City Secretary's office and all expenses will be paid by the City.
Members of all boards, who are considered by State statute to be an officer (quasi-judicial authority) of the City, must be administered a Statement of Officer and must receive the Oath of Office upon induction. The members must sign the oath and it must be notarized and kept in the appropriate file in the City Secretary's Office. Those persons authorized to administer the statement and the oaths are: the Mayor, the City Secretary, and any notary public. These boards include: the Brenham Community Development Corporation, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Board of Adjustments and Appeals.
DUTIES OF BOARD AND COMMISSIONS GENERALLY:
All boards and commissions shall act in an advisory capacity to the City Council with the exception of the Board of Adjustments and Appeals and the Planning and Zoning Commission. All actions taken by these boards, as outlined in the City of Brenham Code of Ordinances, are final.
Boards and commissions shall advise the Council on issues specific to their particular interests. No member of a board or commission shall become involved in the daily operations of the departments of the City or in personnel matters.
ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS
The Council is most appreciative of the dedication and contribution by those who are willing to donate their time to community service. Any decision reached by any of these boards has an impact on the entire community. Therefore, if a quorum is not present because of habitual absenteeism by certain members, the integrity of the board as a whole is affected.
Therefore, it is imperative that members maintain regular attendance. Members who cannot attend a meeting should contact the chairman or appropriate staff member concerning his or her absence prior to the meeting.
Three (3) consecutive absences from regular sessions, or absence from more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the meetings in any six month period, shall cause the board liaison to report the member's attendance record to the City Manager. The City Manager will review each situation and determine if the board member should be recommended to Council for removal, due to excessive absences.
ROLE OF STAFF LIAISON
The role of the staff liaison is to act as a communication conduit between the City Council and the board or commission. The liaison shall take no part in the board or commission discussions unless requested to do so.
A staff member shall be assigned to each respective board to perform support services, provide technical data, prepare agendas, post notices of meetings, prepare minutes of the meetings, and other related functions. The staff member is an ex-officio member of the board, but is not entitled to vote or preside over meetings.
The staff member will arrange a meeting with all new members prior to the first meeting date for briefings on procedures, legal responsibilities, duties of the board, and background information on items that may be considered at the next meeting.
CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
- The Chair shall preside at the meetings and in his or her absence the Vice-Chair shall preside. The Chair shall call the meeting to order.
- The Chair shall address the posted items on the agenda in any order he or she chooses as long as every item is addressed.
- A motion may be made by any member other than the presiding officer. A second to the motion is required before a vote can be taken. Any motion dies from a lack of a second.
- Roberts Rule of Order shall be used as a guideline to conduct meetings.
All meetings will be held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act and shall be open to the public.
RECORDS OF MEETINGS
The City Secretary's Office shall maintain records of all board and committee meetings. Records that will be maintained include the following:
- AGENDA: The agenda will serve as the order of business and provide the form for posting of the notice of meetings. The official posting of the agenda must be at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting in a place(s) readily accessible to the public. A copy of the agenda should also be made available to local news media. Copies of the agenda, along with supporting data, shall be provided to each member in advance of the meeting date. In the event a regularly scheduled meeting is cancelled, notices should be posted stating that the meeting has been cancelled.
- AGENDA PACKET: Agenda packets shall be made available in advance of the meetings on the City's web site.
- MINUTES OF MEETING: The staff liaison will be responsible for keeping an accurate record of all meetings. The minutes shall include a record of attendance, summary of the discussion, recommendations, and a record of voting.
- ATTENDANCE RECORD: Minutes of each meeting shall accurately reflect the names of those members in attendance.