Commonly Asked Questions

What is your relationship with the City Council?

The primary responsibility of most boards, commissions and committees is to advise and make recommendations to the City Council. The nature and purpose of an advisory board is to provide advice to the council without the influence of political activity. Because the recommendations of City Boards are advisory, the Council may not always follow the recommendations offered.

What is your relationship with City Staff?

Staff is provided to facilitate effectiveness. Staff shall provide guidance related to obedience the Open Meetings Act, shall provide technical expertise and research assistance, shall answer questions related to City policies and procedures and shall coordinate the involvement of other departments, as needed. No staff liaison is entitled to vote or preside over meetings.

How is a board, commission or committee established?

Each standing board, commission or committee is established by ordinance. Ad hoc committees and focus groups are typically established by resolution, but can also be established by informal action of the City Council. The term of ad hoc committee members or focus groups is usually equal to the life of the committee itself.

Who is eligible to serve on a board, commission or committee?

All resident citizens and qualified voters of the City of Greenville who have been residents of the city for at least six months, hold no other public office, including employment with the City, may be appointed or re- appointed to a board, commission or committee. Members must maintain these qualifications during their appointed term. All qualified candidates applying for the first time must complete an application form and forward it to the Office of the City Secretary

Who appoints board commission or committee?

Members are appointed by the City Council and serve at the pleasure of the Council. Appointments are made when terms expire or vacancies occur. Appointments to fill vacancies are for the remainder of the unexpired term.

What is my term of office?

Board members are typically appointed for a two or three -year term. However, there are instances when a member is appointed to fill a vacancy and therefore is appointed for the remainder of the unexpired term, which would be less than three years. The length of your term can be found in the resolution formally appointing you as a member to a board and may also be included in the letter notifying you of the appointment.
The terms of members are staggered to ensure continuity on the board. This means that the term of approximately one third of the members of any board would expire one year and the term for the remaining members would expire the following year. The term of office shall expire when a successor has been appointed and qualified to serve.

The Office of the City Secretary maintains a listing of all city board, commission and committee members and their terms of office.

A person who has served as a member of a Board of Commission for two (2) consecutive terms shall not again be eligible for appointment to that same Board or Commission until at least one (1) term had elapsed. They shall however, be eligible for appointment to any other Board or Commission without a waiting period. "Term" as used in this paragraph is defined as that period of time beginning with the taking of the Oath of Office and running through the Oath of Office following the next appointment for that position. Filling an unexpired term does not constitute a "full" term.

Do I have to take an Oath of Office for this appointment?

Yes, all appointed board members must take the Oath of Office and Statement of Appointed Officer provided in the City Charter and maintained by city staff because they are official documents of the City. The staff liaison assigned to the Board will secure the necessary oath. You must take the Oath of Office prior to the time you participate in a meeting or otherwise exercise the powers of the office you were appointed to hold.

What constitutes a quorum?

The Open Meetings Act states that a quorum for boards, commissions and committees of the State or its Political subdivisions is a majority of the number of members established by the ordinance creating the board. For example, if there are nine authorized members on your board, then there must be five members present, regardless of vacancies, to have a quorum.

How are meetings conducted?

Many boards have established their rules of order in their bylaws; otherwise, Robert's Rules of Order may be used as the basis for conducting all board meetings. There is, however, one exception to Robert's Rules that is used by the City of Greenville; the Chair is allowed to vote on all motions. Furthermore, unless there is a conflict of interest that meets the legal definition, you must vote on matters before the board.

Are there attendance requirements?

Yes. It is important that members maintain regular attendance. Three consecutive absences or the absence of a member from more than 25% of the meetings in any six -month Period shall cause the board, commission or committee to review the attendance record of the member and make a
recommendation to the City Council on the appointment.

The Council is most appreciative of the dedication and contribution by those who are willing to donate their time to community service. However, decisions reached by many of these boards impact the entire community. Therefore, if a quorum is not present because of habitual absenteeism, the integrity of the board as a whole is affected.

The minutes taken at each meeting will reflect attendance. The chairman should announce for the record the names of the members that are absent. Members who cannot attend a meeting should contact the chairman or appropriate staff member concerning the absence prior to the meeting.

Are public records kept concerning all meetings?

Yes, records of all meetings are to be established and maintained. Some board and commission meetings are tape recorded. The staff liaison will be responsible for keeping an accurate record of all meetings. The minutes shall include a description of business conducted, a record of attendance and a voting record indicating by name, members voting in favor of or in opposition to all items of business, unless the vote is unanimous. The minutes are permanent records maintained in the City secretary’s office.

How does the Conflict of Interest law apply to board members?

Texas statutes regarding conflicts of interest apply to all appointed and elected officers of any city, including members of any city boards, commission or committee.

Do I have liability insurance as a board member?

All city officials are protected by the City's risk assumption program when acting in the scope of their employment. As a duly appointed official, you too are protected against third party liability when acting within the scope of your appointment. As a board member, your performance and ethics must meet the highest standards.

Does the public have access to records of board meetings?

Yes. Minutes and records are kept in the Office of the City Secretary. Minutes and all background material are subject to the Public Information Act.

Will there be any training available?

The staff liaison assigned to your board will advise you of training conferences, if any, suggested for your board.

Show All Answers

1. Commonly Asked Questions
2. How do I apply and when are board appointments made?