The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

June 20, 2013

Appointment process realigning

CLINTON — City officials want to update the way Clinton residents are recruited to serve on the city's boards and commissions and streamline the process for their appointments.

Several citizen boards and commissions, such as the Airport Commission, the Civil Service Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission operate under the city umbrella. Residents are appointed by the Advisory Appointments Committee to serve on the boards for terms ranging from two years to six years depending on the position.

After reviewing the guidelines for the various boards and commissions, members of the Internal Operations Committee on Tuesday decided the guidelines needed to be updated as well as the recruiting practices.

Committee members said, in particular, a state requirement that deals in board and commissions members' gender should be addressed when updating the guidelines.

According to Iowa Code, boards, commissions, committees and councils shall be gendered balanced, meaning no more than half of the members can be of one gender.

The code states that an exception can be made if the board has made a "good faith" effort to appoint someone for three months, but has been unable to find someone who would bring the board into compliance with the gender balance.

"By code, we're supposed to be working towards a gender balance on these boards and commissions and we should be doing a better job of it," At-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf said. "We also need to do a better job of our recruitment and advertising as well."

Graf also suggested training the people who fill the 100-plus positions on the boards and commissions.

"There is clearly background information that they need to have in order to be successful in their positions. Some people get on these commissions and don't have a clue what they're supposed to do," Graf said.

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