Open appointment process
Minneapolis Code of Ordinance Section 14.180 says the city shall create and support organizations that enhance community engagement in the city's decision-making process…a clear and easily accessible appointment system, available to all interested parties, and a recruitment process that ensures diversity of representation and ideas and takes into consideration the city's commitment to civil rights, affirmative action and geographic distribution wherever possible.
Vacancies are published on the city’s website, and applications are accepted by the City Clerk’s Office. See current boards and commissions openings.
Boards & commissions appointment process
Sends board staff a written notice detailing vacancies.
Notifies Mayor and City Council of current vacancies.
Council and Mayor
Review vacancies and make recommendations about recruitment to board staff.
Revises vacancy notice and sends information to City Clerk.
Writes final vacancy notice and sends to Communications, Neighborhood and Community Relations, the Mayor, Council Members and any interested parties.
Neighborhood and Community Relations
Sends notice to neighborhood organizations and neighborhood newspapers.
Completes application form and submits it to the City Clerk.
Receives applications (minimum three week period) and forwards copies to the board staff.
Reviews the applications with board members or a review committee, the Mayor and Council President, as appropriate; writes recommendation for committee action (or may recommend extension of the applications period); and sends the recommendation to the Council Committee Coordinator, 304 City Hall. Notifies all applicants of the upcoming committee meeting.
Appears at the committee meeting to be interviewed by Council Members.
Approves recommendations in committee and in full council.
Signs Council action. Appointments are effective on publication in Finance and Commerce.
Publishes the official Council action in Finance and Commerce. Notifies all applicants. Administers the oath of office to all new and reappointed members.
Boards & commissions appointment schedule
Appointments to City of Minneapolis boards and commissions are made two times each year using a regular schedule of a Spring Cycle and Fall Cycle.
An interim process is also used to accommodate appointments made mid-cycle if needed.
|Milestones||Spring Cycle||Fall Cycle|
|Publicize vacancies |
(5-7 weeks) Host open house
|Appointments made through formal processes||May||November|
|Orientation for new members||June||December|
|1st meeting for new members||July||January|
|Boards and Commissions||Spring Cycle||Fall Cycle|
Where to find out about vacancies
A vacancy exists when a member resigns or dies, or a member’s term expires, or when a member has failed to comply with the attendance requirements, duties and obligations required by the charter, articles of incorporation, bylaws or other organizational laws, rules or regulations of the organization.
- Vacancies are published on the City’s website in the Spring (Feb/March) and Fall (Aug/Sept) Cycle. Interim appointments may be made on an as needed basis.
- E-mail notices are sent via GovDelivery. Join our e-mail list.
- News releases are sent to local media (daily, community, and business media)
- Notices are sent to the neighborhood organizations, community organizations, and ethnic/cultural community media outlets
- The appointing authority and the board staff design additional recruiting strategies as needed
How the selection process works
- The City Clerk receives all applications and forwards them to the board or commission where the vacancy exists.
- Board and appointing authority staff review applications within 10 days after the closing of the application period. They work together on the process for making recommendations to the council. For example, some boards have a screening committee to make preliminary recommendations and others simply forward all applications to the council without any ratings, rankings or recommendations.
- The appointing authority staff writes the request for council approval with information supplied by board staff.
- Board staff notifies applicants about their status and whether they need to attend the council committee meeting.
Serving on a Board or Commission
Before serving on a board or commission
- After council approval of the appointments, the City Clerk provides oath forms to board staff.
- Board staff returns the signed oaths to the City Clerk.
- Board staff will notify new members of the next meeting and provide orientation materials.
By-laws: How meetings are run
- Boards and commissions have individual by-laws.
- These can be found either in the descriptions of boards and commissions or by calling the staff person for a particular board or commission.
Open Meeting Law
- Board meetings are covered by the MN Statute, Chapter 13D. Open Meeting Law. This statute requires all board meetings to be open to the public.
- A meeting is defined as a gathering of a quorum or more members of the body at which members discuss, decide or receive information as a group on issues relating to the official business of the body.
- Serial face-to-face or phone conversations between members of the board, to martial their votes on an issue, for the purpose of avoiding a public hearing, may be a violation of the statute.
- Additional requirements include: notice of meetings, recording votes, and providing written materials to the public.
- Meetings may be closed for quasi-judicial functions involving disciplinary proceedings, to consider strategy of labor negotiations and to discuss litigation strategy with legal counsel.
Privacy protections for those serving on a board or commission
- The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act defines public and private information for applicants for appointment to boards and commissions.
- The application form contains a notice stating what is public and private data.
- Public information for applicants: Name, Date, Ward, Application for Appointment to (Enter Title of Board, Commission, Committee or Task Force), Background related to any required or desirable qualifications listed in the Volunteer Opportunity Notice (Education, and Training, Employment History, Volunteer Work, Awards and Honors, Prior Government Service.)
- Once appointed to a board or commission, the following additional items from the application become public: residential address, either a telephone number or e-mail address where the appointee can be reached.
- The appointing body can see the entire application. The complete, un-redacted application forms can be given to those with administrative, interviewing, recommendation, and appointing responsibility. For example, Clerk’s Office, department personnel who staff the board or commission, the interview committee, the City Council committee and the Council and Mayor.
- The public can see only a redacted version. In order to comply with the open meeting law, a redacted version of the application must be available to the public because the application is a record of the open meeting of the committee considering the appointment.
Laws governing ethics of board or commission members
- Board members are required to abide by the City's Ethics in Government Ordinance and complete the City's ethics training.
- Board members for specific boards are required to complete the Statement of Economic Interest. These forms are returned to the City Clerk’s Office, Elections Department, Room 1B City Hall.
- Economic Interest Statements are required per Chapter 15.80(4) of the Minneapolis ethics ordinance, for the following boards:
- Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission
- Family Housing Fund, Minneapolis/St. Paul
- Planning Commission, Minneapolis
- Public Housing Authority, Minneapolis
- Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission
- Sports Facilities Authority, Minnesota
Resigning (or being removed from) from a board or commission
- Board members resign by sending a written notice to board staff.
- Boards dismiss members according to their own by-laws.
- Board staff notifies City Clerk staff of the resignation or dismissal and begins the vacancy notice process.
Creating or discontinuing a board or commission
Establishing a new board or commission
- The City Council creates new organizations by passing a resolution.
- City staff prepares a request for Council approval that contains the following information:
- The name, purpose and total number and type of members of the organization.
- The city department or division that will assist the organization.
- The budget for the organization, if any.
- Reporting requirements and a date when a final report, if any, will be due.
- When the organization will cease to exist (sunset provision) if applicable.
- How the chairperson and other officers will be selected.
- Whether members will receive compensation or privileges.
- Any meeting attendance requirements to retain membership.
- Limitations on reappointment, if any.
- The appointments process to be followed: open appointments or other method.
- Who appoints or designates original and succeeding members.
- What special membership qualifications are necessary or desirable.
- Whether exemptions to the residency requirement are necessary.
- If a public hearing is required for prospective appointees.
- The term of office of each member, including the day, month and year the term expires.
- The Council resolution for the new organization must be approved at least thirty (30) days before any appointments can be made.
Discontinuing a board or commission
Sun-setting is the Council process to discontinue a board, commission or committee.
- The originating ordinance may state that the board should be sunset at a specific time. If no provisions have been made to extend the time or remove the clause, the board is automatically sun-setted. In other situations, the City Clerk prepares a request to council to sunset a board when:
- The board ceases to exist in fact – i.e., no longer holds meetings
- The final report has been provided to the City Council
- The organization has served its public purpose, its mission is complete, or its services are no longer required
- The board, commission, or committee cost more than it benefits
- Staff support is no longer available and the group cannot support itself
For information, email [email protected] or 612-673-2216.
Last updated Aug 12, 2020