City amends board appointment policy
City Commissioners voted unanimously during their Aug. 1 meeting to amend their appointment process for advisory boards.
The change came after some commissioners raised concern with the previous policy, in an apparent reaction to the recent library levy approval.
The previous policy was adopted by commissioners in 2018 as a resolution and states that in the case of a member eligible and interested in reappointment, as long as they’re in good standing and the applicable board recommends reappointment, the applicant shall be brought to the commission without advertising the position. Commissioners reserve the right to accept or reject the reappointment.
During the July 18 meeting, Commissioner Rick Tryon said he’d prefer to amend that resolution so that all board appointments be opened and advertised for applicants when the position is vacant or set to expire, regardless of whether a member is eligible for reappointment.
Staff’s revision, that commissioners approved Aug. 2, requires all board vacancies be advertised on the city website and sent to local media.
In the case of a member eligible and interested in reappointment, their application will be brought to the commission for consideration along with all newly received applications. Commissioners reserve the right to accept or reject the member for reappointment.
Several people, who were vocal in their opposition to the library levy, said that they supported the change.
Mitch Tropila, a former library board member, also supported the change to make the process more transparent to the public.
Tropila said the current library board took action and led the library levy process that was approved during a June 6 election.
“That was a huge vote of confidence,” by voters, he said.
Tropila told commissioners that they had discussed the need for revenue during their Aug. 1 meeting and that with the library levy approval, the library would no longer need the $350,000 annual subsidy from the city’s general fund, freeing that money up for other needs.
He asked commissioners to continue the good relationship with the library board, which also has county representation.
During their July 18, commissioners opted not to reappoint a current library board member who is eligible and interested in another term.
The position had not been advertised, following the existing city policy.
Commissioners said they had concerns, and had heard from others, about that position being reappointed without being advertised, in an apparent response to the recent library levy.
Following that meeting, the city reopened and advertised the library board position, as well as a new vacancy due to a member moving out of state.
As of July 25, the city had received four applications for the positions, Library Director Susie McIntyre told the library board.
During their July 5 meeting, commissioners reappointed two people to the Business Improvement District board.
Those positions were not publicly advertised and no commissioner raised concern about the process.
In July 2022, commissioners reappointed Whitney Olson to the library board.
The city did not advertise that position, nor did any commissioner or member of the public raise concern about the reappointment process during that meeting.
During the July 18 meeting, City Manager Greg Doyon said some city boards are hard to fill.
Several years ago, the city planning board struggled to get enough applicants and meet quorum requirements. At the time, it was a nine-member board and to remedy the issue, commissioners reduced it to a seven member board.
The city parking board has long struggled with getting enough applicants and officials are discussing reducing it from a five to three member board.
Often board positions are open until filled due to lack of applicants.
The city makes appointments to 19 advisory boards.
Doyon said it’s still up to commissioners whether they interview applicants for any advisory board.