CARLSBAD — A new rule and ordinance regarding the appointments on city boards and commissions was unanimously approved by the City Council during its Sept. 25 meeting.
The changes will affect the Planning, Parks and Recreation and Traffic Safety commissions. Two additional seats on the Traffic Safety Commission were also approved, which brings the total to seven members.
Each nominee still must be approved by a majority of the council, Councilman Michael Schumacher said.
“We are in the process of effectively reconstituting what the Traffic Safety Commission is and what is does,” he added. “It would also include all aspects of mobility, more than just cars.”
Also discussed was a preference to include individuals living in the newly formed voting districts, as in City Council elections, although it is not a requirement. Each council member would have one nomination, while the mayor would have three at-large choices.
If appointments are not approved, each council member can continue to appoint a candidate from their district until one is approved by the council.
Another aspect, Schumacher said, is to allow the existing commissioners to serve their terms to avoid having three new boards with all new commissioners. The loss of “institutional knowledge,” along with a new work plan was not a wise course of action.
New planning commissioners, meanwhile, would be nominated in January and seated by Feb. 1 to coincide with training from the League of California Cities in March. Term limits will also remain in place (two four-year terms), unless a member has served less than two years. They would then be eligible for two full terms (10 years minus one day).
“Each council member will not independent authority to appoint,” Councilman Mark Packard said, clarifying any confusion.
Councilwoman Cori Schumacher, meanwhile, has been pushing the council to change its methods for this process since she was elected nearly two years ago. During the Sept. 24 mayoral forum, it will help bring more transparency to the city and the selection for boards and commissions.
She added that the changes such as revising the municipal code and procedure for nominations offer a more transparent way of running boards and commissions.
“It’s worth it and it’s working,” she said.