Article VII
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

Sections:

7.01    Boards, Advisory Only

7.02    Library Boards

7.03    Boards Of Adjustment Or Appeal

7.04    Civil Service Commission

7.05    Civil Service Commission – Appointment And Term

7.06    Civil Service Commission – Powers

7.07    Civil Service – Employees Included

7.08    Civil Service – Promotions

7.09    Civil Service – Suspensions, Removal Or Discharge

7.01 Boards, Advisory Only

The Council may, by ordinance, establish advisory boards with such functions and number of members as it may determine. The members of such boards shall be appointed and removed by the Mayor. No elected City official, or City officer, or City employee, or citizen having a conflict of interest shall be eligible for appointment to such boards. No compensation will be paid to members of advisory boards, except as provided by ordinance.

Unless otherwise provided in this Charter, or by state law, all boards, commissions, committees or other such bodies (herein referred to as “Boards”) shall be advisory only, and shall be for the purpose of assisting the Mayor or Council in the performance of their duties.

7.02 Library Boards

The direction of the library shall be under a Board of Trustees, as provided by state law and City ordinance. The membership, terms, and eligibility for such Board shall be determined by the City Council. The members shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council.

7.03 Boards Of Adjustment Or Appeal

The City Council may provide by ordinance for boards of adjustment or appeal which shall be given authority to hear and determine appeals from administrative rulings of City officials or inspectors, or to hear and resolve citizen complaints and grievances in general, with such jurisdiction and power as may be prescribed by ordinance.

The membership, terms, and eligibility for such boards shall be determined by the City Council. The members of said boards shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council, and removed by the Mayor with the approval of a majority plus one of all members of the City Council.

7.04 Civil Service Commission

There shall be a civil service system in the City of Bellingham which shall be administered by a Civil Service Commission of 5 members.

The commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business and shall meet at least once monthly.

The rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission of Bellingham existing at the time of the adoption of this Charter shall continue to exist under this Charter until, or unless, changed by or pursuant to this Charter, state law, ordinance, or the commission.

7.05 Civil Service Commission – Appointment And Term

One member of the commission must be chosen from 2 names submitted to the Mayor by the uniformed employees’ representatives, and one member must be chosen from 2 names submitted to the Mayor by the non-uniformed employees’ representatives. The other three members shall be named by the Mayor.

The members of this commission shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of a majority of all members of the City Council.

Each year the Mayor, with the approval of a majority of all the members of the City Council, shall appoint the successor of the commissioner whose term of office expires. Each term of office shall be for 5 years, starting on the first day of January, Provided; That the terms of offices of the commissioners appointed under the provisions of the existing Charter superseded hereby shall not be affected by the provisions herein, and, upon the effective date of this Charter, 3 commissioners shall be appointed for terms of 3, 4, and 5 years, respectively.

A commissioner shall not hold any other City office or City employment. A commissioner shall not be an officer or employee of any labor organization that represents City employees.

The Mayor may, with the approval of a majority plus one of all the members of the City Council, remove any civil service commissioner.

Three commissioners shall constitute a quorum.

[Amended April 18, 2008 (Ord. 2008-04-033)]

7.06 Civil Service Commission – Powers

The commission shall provide for the classification of all employees except temporary extra help and the appointive and elective officers otherwise mentioned in this Charter; for open, competitive and free examination as to fitness for an eligibility list from which vacancies shall be filled for a period of probation before employment is made permanent and for promotion on the basis of merit, experience and record.

Employees within the scope of this article who are in office at the time of the adoption of this Charter shall retain their positions, unless removed for cause.

The Council may, by ordinance, confer upon the commission such further rights and duties as may be deemed necessary to enforce and carry out the principles of this article.

7.07 Civil Service – Employees Included

The provisions of this Charter relative to civil service shall apply to all employees in existing departments of the City now under civil service and all employees in new departments created by City ordinance unless specifically exempted therefrom by Charter, ordinance, state or federal law; Provided; That all elective officers, the heads of all departments, one chief deputy of any department when so provided by ordinance, professional engineers, attorneys, and certified public accountants when employed in their professional capacity, and temporary extra help, shall not be included within the classified civil service.

7.08 Civil Service – Promotions

The Civil Service Commission shall, by its rules and regulations, provide for promotions in the classified civil service on the basis of merit, seniority in service and examinations, and shall provide in all cases, where it is practicable, that vacancies shall be filled by promotion. All examinations for promotion shall be competitive among such members of the next lower rank who desire to submit themselves to such examination, and it shall be the duty of the commission to submit to the appointing power the names of the 3 highest eligibles for each promotion. The appointing authority shall then appoint one of the 3 certified persons to such vacant position. In fixing said rating, a uniform allowance of credits, to be stated at the time of the announcement of said examination, shall be made for each year of past service. The method of examination, the rules and regulations governing the same and the method of certifying, shall be the same as provided for applicants for original appointment.

7.09 Civil Service – Suspensions, Removal Or Discharge

The Civil Service Commission shall, by its rules and regulations, provide for the suspension, removal or discharge of any civil service employee for cause; Provided; That said rules shall guarantee to the affected employee:

1. The right to a written statement as to the reasons for such suspension, removal or discharge;

2. The right to a prompt investigation and public hearing;

3. Reinstatement without penalty if the charges are not upheld by the Civil Service Commission; and

4. The right to appear with or without council and to be heard in the employee’s own defense.

[Amended April 18, 2008 (Ord. 2008-04-033)]