GRANTS PASS – At their workshop Jan. 6, Grants Pass City Councilors received requested information from City Manager Aaron Cubic regarding options available for adopting new language to provide additional definitions to behavioral guidelines issued to volunteers who serve on city committees, commissions, and task forces, as well as provide clarity to volunteers regarding grounds and procedures for removal from appointments.
“Volunteers lack a required set of agreed upon rules of conduct. What they have is ground rules and guidelines,” said Cubic.
When a volunteer is appointed to a committee, they receive a letter of appointment and a copy of the city’s committee member handbook, said City Recorder Karen Frerk.
Currently those guidelines include details such as committee meeting schedules, public meeting laws, and grounds for removal from appointment based on excessive absences.
There are nearly 100 volunteers serving on 13 city committees. Committee members are appointed and serve at the discretion of the Mayor and City Council.
Examples of additional language to be added to the guidelines would “provide more definition to what currently you have authority to do right now,” said Cubic.
The proposed resolution will include further language describing additional causes for removal, including violation of ethical standards, disruptive behavior, repeated failure to abide by committee handbook rules, and/or “other reasons deemed by the City Council as inappropriate action or conduct.”
“I do like the more specific language. I do think that is important,” said Councilor Valerie Lovelace.
Lovelace was also a proponent of including a provision that any discussion regarding removal of an appointed volunteer be preceded by a letter from the Mayor to the Council.
“We do need to have an agreed upon process,” agreed Councilor Joel King.
Councilors also discussed codifying their intent to limit volunteer participation to one committee appointment at a time, except under extenuating circumstances, “such as the specialized expertise that a citizen may bring to more than one advisory body, or lack of other qualified applicants, that will justify multiple advisory body membership.”
“This is something you currently do not have language or guidelines on,” said Cubic.
The new resolution is expected to come before the Council for further deliberation at their regular business meeting, Feb. 5.