The city is currently accepting applications for boards and commissions.
What do I need to know about becoming a Board or Commission member?
First, your service will not begin until you have submitted the Oath of Office and Acknowledgement of Responsibilities to the City Clerk’s Office. You will have 90 days to complete your training requirements.
Second, it takes time and work to be a good board or commission member. You will be expected to read and study materials in advance of meetings. You will have to listen to hours of discussion and testimony at public meetings from your colleagues and the citizens of Austin. You will make recommendations that impact Austin’s citizens, including your friends and neighbors.
Third, you will participate in a variety of discussions that will help the City Council do its job. Sometimes Council decisions will directly incorporate your recommendations into their decisions, while at other times your input will be only one of many factors that must be weighed by the Council in its final decision. Your job is to support the democratic process by considering the broadest set of perspectives on issues. You will no longer just consider your own perspective, but must consider the perspectives of all the stakeholders involved in any particular issue.
Fourth, your group has official status and must abide by a number of rules and laws. For instance, the Open Meetings Act requires all official meetings to be conducted in open meetings. Expect that all decisions made by your group to be reviewed and scrutinized by the public, the City Council, media and other interested parties. You must understand the rules and regulations under which your board or commission works, and stay focused on your assigned mission.
Finally, you will be a part of the City of Austin family. Your personal behavior, both inside and outside public meetings, will be observed and open to criticism by others. Ethical behavior, good judgment, dignity and respect are required. If you meet these expectations, you will enhance our citizens’ perception of the City of Austin government.
Being a board or commission member is not an easy job, but if you do it well, it will be rewarding and you can help shape the future of Austin.