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Types of Boards, Committees & Commissions

The City of Longmont has a total of 22 citizen based boards, committees, and commissions on which approximately 160 citizens serve. Generally, the terms board, committee, commission, and authority are synonymous, however, there are a few differences in the functions and powers of some boards. These differences are outlined below. Regardless of which type of board you may serve on, your participation will help ensure that our local government is truly addressing the needs of our entire community through the services, planning and decision making it provides.

Advisory Boards/Committees/Commissions

The majority of boards appointed by City Council operate in an advisory capacity to the Council. Most of the boards are made up of between five and seven members with at least one staff liaison and a secretary. Several of these boards also have a Council member sitting on the board as a member.

Advisory boards are standing committees and have specific areas for which they are responsible. Each board reviews, discusses and makes recommendations to Council on a variety of issues associated with its function. The issues reviewed by these boards may deal with City policies, budgets, fees, programs, services, etc. Recommendations from advisory boards are forwarded to the City Council by the staff liaison or Committee Chair. The City Council has the final decision making responsibility and must carefully weigh board recommendations with citizens, business owners, staff and other interested party comments to arrive at a decision that Council believes is in the overall best interest of the Longmont community.

Quasi-Judicial Boards

Quasi-judicial boards are the second major category of standing boards appointed by City Council. These boards are given specific powers through State statutes and are created by ordinance. Quasi-judicial boards deal with specific items which, at one time, Council heard and made decisions on at its regular meetings. The ordinances creating these boards delegate Council’s authority to act to the specific boards. Unlike the advisory board recommendations, the decisions made by the quasi-judicial boards are final and can only be appealed to, and overturned by, a court.

The City currently has two quasi-judicial boards: The Board of Adjustment and Appeals and the Master Board of Appeals. Both of these boards deal with requests for exception to various building codes.

Alternate Board Members

Several of the standing boards appointed by Council have Alternate members. Currently the City has alternate board members for the Master Board of Appeals, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Senior Citizens Advisory Board, the Airport Advisory Board, the Board of Adjustment and Appeals, and the Historic Preservation Commission. Alternate members are generally designated for boards which require a certain level of expertise or familiarity with state or local laws. While service as an alternate is not a prerequisite to filling a vacant position on the board, serving as an alternate can provide a citizen with a level of experience which allows them to step in at a moment's notice as a fully functioning regular board member. Alternate members require the same level of commitment as regular board members because alternates are expected to attend all meetings of the regular board. Alternates sit on the regular board in the event a regular member is absent; therefore, it is critical that the alternates be as well informed about issues the board is working on as regular members are.

Task Forces

Task forces are committees that Council sets up from time to time to focus on a specific item or task. A task force is given direction from Council and serves only until the task for which it was created is accomplished. In the past, Council has created task forces for such items as establishing priorities for Parks and Recreation needs, reviewing potential uses for the Carnegie building, and making recommendations on a solid waste collection program. The size of these committees can vary from a few individuals to many depending on the issue and the scope of the assigned task.

With few exceptions, the meetings of City Council and any of its appointed boards are open to the public. Citizen participation is encouraged and welcomed at these meetings. Council and staff believe that the more involved citizens are in the early stages of program and legislation development, the better local government can meet the needs and expectations of this community.

Boards and Commissions

The provisions for the City’s boards and commissions are set forth as follows in Article VII of the City Charter:

Unless otherwise provided by the Charter or by ordinance,
all Boards and Commissions shall be appointed by the Council, shall be advisory in character, shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid their authorized expenses actually incurred in the discharge of their official duties, and shall have such powers, and perform such duties as are provided by Ordinance. Council shall establish policy for appointing members of boards and commissions and for the terms of said appointments. All members shall serve at the pleasure of the City Council and shall be subject to removal by two-thirds vote of the entire Council. The Council shall make appointments to fill vacancies of the unexpired terms.

Each Board and Commission shall choose its own Chairman and Vice-Chairman and shall adopt its own rules of procedure for the proper conduct of its business. Persons shall be eligible to serve on Boards and Commissions who have been qualified electors of the City of Longmont for one (1) year prior to their appointment. (Amendment No. 8, November 8, 1983; Amendment No. 9, 1975, which also repealed Secs. 7.2-7.6)