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Boards, Committees, and Commissions


Council Policy Regarding Appointments


Background

  1. The County Council recognizes that boards, committees, and commissions are an integral and important component of County government and that citizens provide the County government a vast resource of talent, expertise, and volunteer time.
  2. The County Council has asked that its adopted policies regarding appointments to boards, committees, and commissions be organized into one document for ease of reference and to reiterate its general policies with regard to appointing members to serve on boards, committees, and commissions. The Council also reemphasizes that reappointment to boards, committees, and commissions is not an automatic process.
  3. The County Council has previously adopted general policies affecting the solicitation and appointment of members to boards, committees, and commissions. These policies are contained in law, resolution, or Council rules of procedure, and are summarized here.

Policies

Appointment and Confirmation
 
Members of boards, committees, and commissions who are appointed by the Council are appointed for the term and for the compensation, if any, and in the manner as is prescribed by the Charter, or law or resolution. When a vacancy exists on any board, committee, or commission whose members are appointed by the County Executive, the Executive should appoint a successor within 60 days and the County Council should act within 60 days by resolution to confirm or disapprove the appointment. The affirmative vote of a majority of Councilmembers in office is required for confirmation. If the appointment is not confirmed, the County Executive should promptly appoint another person to the vacancy and submit the name to the Council for confirmation (Montgomery County Code Section 2-75).
 
Term
 
The law, resolution or executive order establishing or continuing any committee should specify the term of the committee’s existence. If no term is specified, then the committee continues until terminated. The Executive monitors the expiration date of those committees he appoints, and the Council monitors the expiration date of those committees that the Council appoints. (Montgomery County Code Section 2-146(a))
 
The standard term for each appointment is three years unless another term is established by law, resolution, or executive order. (Montgomery County Code Section 2-148(b))
 
To promote broad participation no individual should ordinarily serve more than two consecutive full terms or serve on more than two committees at any one time. (Montgomery County Code Section 2-148(a))
 
In addition to the requirements in the County Code, the Council has adopted a more restrictive policy regarding the number of terms served and for service on more than one board, committee, or commission:
 
Criteria
 
In making appointments to committees the appointing authority should consider the following criteria: interest, diversity of background and professions, relevant experience and expertise, and geographic balance. (Montgomery County Code Section 2-148(a))
 
Advertising and Solicitation
 
The Council will publish and solicit applications for any vacancy that exists on any board, committee, or commission appointed by the Council. (Council Resolution No. 10-1078, adopted December 11, 1984, and the Council Rules of Procedure)
 
The Council will not confirm appointments by the County Executive to boards, committees, and commissions unless, when a vacancy exists, the Executive publishes the vacancy and solicits applications to fill the vacancy. (Council Resolution No. 10-1078, adopted December 11, 1984, and the Council Rules of Procedure)
 
The Council may waive advertisement and solicitation requirements for Executive appointments on a case-by-case basis. (Council Resolution No. 10-1078, adopted December 11, 1984, and the Council Rules of Procedure)
 
These provisions do not apply to positions on County boards, committees, and commissions that must be filled by an employee representing a County department, office, or agency as a law, resolution or executive order provides. (Council Resolution No. 10-1078, adopted December 11, 1984)
 
Membership of Employees
 
Resolution No. 11-108 states that the Council may appoint a Montgomery County employee or confirm an appointment by the County Executive of a County employee to a board, committee, or commission, if:
 
(a) a law, resolution, or executive order directs that the position must be filled by a Montgomery County employee representing a department, office, or agency; or
 
(b) the employee is:
 
(i) the County Executive; 
(ii) a designated representative or liaison of the Executive; 
(iii) a member of the County Council; 
(iv) a designated representative or liaison of the Council; or 
(v) an employee or volunteer member of a fire department or rescue squad; or
 
(c) the appointment will not conflict with the employee’s official duties or the employment duties of the employee’s spouse. An appointment will conflict with an employee’s or spouse’s duties when:
 
(i) the board deals with a subject matter that falls within the scope of the employee’s or spouse’s duties as a Montgomery County employee;
 
(ii) the employee or spouse supervises, advises, represents, or reviews the budget of the board, or any department, office, or agency that the board oversees or advises;
 
(iii) the employee or spouse is the head of a County department, principal office, or office; or
 
(iv) membership on the particular board will otherwise (a) subject the employee or spouse to undue pressures or (b) create or appear to create a conflict between the employee’s or spouses’s duties and the duties of membership on the board.
 
(d) Failure to conform to the above criteria is grounds for the Council or Executive to refuse to confirm or approve an appointment. In approving or confirming an appointment that does not meet the standards of paragraph (c), the Council must describe the nature of the conflict with the employee’s duties and explain why it is approving or confirming the appointment.
 
(e) Employee means a paid employee of an agency covered by the Ethics law and board includes committee, council, task force, and commission.
 
(Resolution No. 11-108, adopted February 24, 1987, rescinded Resolution Nos. 10-560 and 10-631, repealing the policy that appointments of County employees on boards, committees, and commissions will not be confirmed by the Council.)
 
Interviews
 
Councilmembers must be afforded an opportunity to interview each County Executive or Council nominee before the Council acts on the appointment. (Council Rules of Procedure).
 
Publication
 
The name of each appointee should be published at least one week before confirmation (Council Rules of Procedure).
 
Action
 
Appointment resolutions are exempt from the rule that a resolution must not be acted on until the next meeting after it has been introduced. (Council Rules of Procedure)
 
Definition
 
Boards, committees, and commissions include any multi-member body established by law, resolution, or executive order, to assist the County government in carrying out its responsibilities. (Council Rules of Procedure)
 

Action

The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland, approves the above resolution. This resolution supplements Resolution Nos.10-1028, 11-98, and 11-108.