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1-1 Policy for Advisory Bodies Roles and Relationships

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Approved: Board of Supervisors
Authority: County Administrator / Clerk of the Board
Resolution: 89-2131
Revised Date: 07/27/2004

  1. Purpose
  2. Policy
  3. Responsibilities

I. Purpose

To describe the role and establish guidelines for advisory bodies to the Board of Supervisors. In addition, this policy describes typical duties of staff support for advisory bodies and outlines the duties of the County Clerk with respect to the advisory bodies. Advisory bodies serve to increase public access to the decision-making process, thereby expanding interest, participating in, and understanding of public issues.

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II. Policy

  1. Roles of Advisory Bodies:

    1. To review, assess, make recommendations and provide comment to the Board of Supervisors regarding policy issues or funding allocations.
    2. To conduct such studies as deemed appropriate by the Board of Supervisors.
    3. To hold fact-gathering meetings with the public to better identify issues and problems, thus identifying community points of view.
    4. To identify issues and document needs for action by the Board of Supervisors.
    5. To perform other functions as required by Statute or as approved by the Board of Supervisors.
    6. A member of an Advisory Body, or the Body as a whole, shall not take a position on legislation or a policy issue on behalf of the County without prior approval of the Board of Supervisors.
    7. The following actions are the responsibility of county department heads and therefore, are not within the purview of advisory bodies:
      1. Appointment, removal or disciplining of an employee.
      2. Assignment and supervision of personnel and establishment of work schedules.
      3. Preparation of the annual budget unless mandated by federal or state statute or local ordinance.
      4. Negotiation of leases, contractual services, purchase, disposal, or property.
      5. Daily management of agency operations.
      6. Direction/supervision of staff services to advisory bodies.

  2. Types of Advisory Bodies:

    1. Permanent and on going – This type of Advisory Body has a purpose and function which is ongoing in nature, and no designated date of termination.
    2. Temporary or Ad-Hoc – This type of Advisory Body is established for a specified term or until completion of a particular task.

  3. Legal Authority to Establish:

    1. Advisory Bodies can be required by State Statute or County Ordinance, discretionary to the Board with some provision in State Statute, or established at the complete discretion of the Board of Supervisors.

  4. Information Required to Establish and Advisory Body:

    1. Legal Authority to establish (i.e., State Statute or discretionary);
    2. Type of body (on-going or if temporary, length of time);
    3. Clearly stated purpose;
    4. Number of members and conditions/length of term, including;
      1. Are members required to file a conflict of interest form?
      2. Are members appointed by supervisorial district or category of representation?
      3. If appointed by District, are terms coterminous with the appointing supervisor?
    5. Role of department assigned to staff the Advisory Body and budget implications, if any (i.e., mileage reimbursement, staff support, postage, travel).

  5. Requirements for Ongoing Advisory Bodies:

    1. Adopt By-laws within the first six months of operation. By-laws should include, but are not limited to:
      1. Manner of governance.
      2. Frequency, time, and location of meetings.
      3. Purpose and goals of Body per establishing resolution adopted by the Board of Supervisors Terms and condition of membership per establishing resolution adopted by Board of Supervisors.
      4. Process for amending By-laws.
      5. Existence of Sub-Committees.
    2. Adopt an annual work plan with specified goals and objectives.
    3. Submit bi-annual progress reports to the Board of Supervisors.
    4. Notify the Board of Supervisors of any resignations or potential applicants.
    5. Comply with any statutes or administrative requirements, which pertain to Advisory Bodies such as the Open Meeting Act (Brown Act).
    6. Encourage public participation by holding regularly scheduled meetings in accessible, public buildings.

  6. Staff Support to Advisory Bodies may include:

    1. Preparation of agendas, minutes, and routine correspondence.
    2. Research and studies for the Advisory Body to the extent such activities do not interfere with daily operation of the department. Major, time-intensive studies or projects should be included in the annual work plan and have the concurrence of the Board of Supervisors.
    3. Advice and assistance on complying with applicable state laws (e.g. Brown Act) and county policies. County Counsel should be consulted, if staff deems it necessary, for interpretation of legal requirements.

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    III. Responsibilities

    1. The Clerk of the Board shall:
      1. Maintain the official roster of boards, commissions, councils, and districts as required by Statute.
      2. Post all Advisory Body vacancies per statutory requirements.
      3. Notify appropriate persons of Board appointments.

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