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commissioner recruitment: some thoughts

From: domainremoved <Katie>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2018 08:50:32 -0700

Dear council members,

I noticed that there are a lot of commission openings coming up this month,
and that the city has been encouraging people to apply.

I've also noticed that when sitting commissioners apply for a second
four-year term, they typically are reappointed. In fact, this is such a
norm that *not* reappointing someone to a commission can be seen as a slap
or judgment.

So I have a request, on behalf of citizens eager to engage:

Can you consider modifying the commission appointment process in one of the
following ways?

1) Advertise commission vacancies–but alert citizens to the fact that x of
the vacancies are likely to be filled by reappointments. In some cases, x
is 100%.

This way people can gauge how much time to spend on an application, or
whether they want to apply at all, knowing that it could be a pointless
exercise (and for that matter, asking seated commissioners to fill out an
application for renewal when we all know that they are likely to be
reappointed *also* feels like a waste of everyone's time.)


2) Change the norm by fully considering every application you receive, even
if there is an existing commissioner who wishes to re-up. After all, you
have to run for your council seats every 4 years. It's not crazy to do the
same thing with the commissions. We all know incumbents have
advantages–knowing the system and so forth–but I personally know a few good
people who have wanted to serve and been denied the chance, multiple times.
If we tell people that they shouldn't run for office before they've been
seated on a commission then we should ensure that there are more real
opportunities to serve.

Disclaimer: I really enjoy my fellow commissioners and would happily serve
with them until the end of time. I also fully plan to reapply when my first
term is up, and I'll probably be bummed if you don't reappoint me. But I'm
also uncomfortably aware of how opaque the process appears from the
outside, and of how disappointing it is for someone to pour their effort
into an application, only to see reappointments fill the spots without any
real discussion.

Thank you for your consideration.

Warm regards,


Katie Behroozi
650.804.1812 (cell)
Received on Thu Apr 05 2018 - 08:53:20 PDT

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