City Hall wants to streamline rules governing the two-dozen volunteer board/commissions/committees that advise the Council.

Santa Monica has 24 boards, commissions, committees or task forces that make recommendations to the City Council. The 171 members of the various groups cover the Airport, Architectural Review, Arts, Audit, Building and Fire-Life Safety, Clean Beaches and Ocean Parcel Tax, Disabilities, Downtown Santa Monica, Environment, Housing, Landmarks, Library, Personnel, Planning, Recreation and Parks, Redevelopment, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Travel and Tourism, Senior Community, Social Services, Status of Women, and Urban Forest.

Three different ordinances currently govern the boards/commission. The first allows for reimbursement of expenses, the second establishes rules for making appointments to boards/commission and the required ethics training, established term limits and extended rules limiting membership to one board/commission at a time.

Staff are recommending the governing rules be consolidated into a single ordinance that would include revisions to the application process, notification requirements, spending, written communication and absences.

“The proposed resolution outlines the application process for appointments,” said the staff report. “In the past, concerns were raised to Council over the boards, commissions, committees and task forces, reviewing, deliberating and providing recommendations to the City Council regarding applicants. Based on Council direction, staff recommends the addition of Section 1.D., indicating that the City Council will not accept recommendations regarding appointees for board, commission, committee, or task force vacancies.”

The new rules will require the city Clerk to provide a Local Appointments List to the Main Library each May. The list would include all current boards/commissions/committees/task forces, all current vacancies, the terms of all individuals currently serving and the qualifications for serving.

Staff are proposing clarifications for the use of City funds, specifying spending is restricted to “participation or sponsorship fees for local events, dues/memberships to other organizations that align with board, commission, committee, and task force goals, conferences/training that aligns with board, commission, committee, or task force goals, costs related to commission materials, including printing of materials, business cards, postage, giveaways for events of minor/nominal value, supplies for City-sponsored events, food for City retreats, and accommodation services such as signing and closed captioning.”

Under the new rules, members of boards/commissions will be required to use a Santa Monica email address.

“In an effort to ensure compliance with the Brown Act and transact City business through City email, additional language is proposed to require all City appointed board, commission, committee, and task force members to utilize their City issued email address for City business,” said the staff report.

The final revision allows extended absences if approved by the body itself. The City Clerk will report attendance on a bi-annual basis.

Council will meet at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18 in City Hall, 1685 Main St. Visit for more information.

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Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...