Policy for Recruitment

POLICY FOR THE RECRUITMENT, APPLICATION, AND INTERVIEW PROCESS OF APPOINTING CITY BOARD AND COMMISSION MEMBERS AND CHAIR MEMBER TERM ROTATIONS

PURPOSE: The Mayor and City Council of the City of Ramsey have the authority to establish volunteer boards and commissions to advise them on matters affecting the City, as detailed in Chapter 2, Article V, Section 2-155 of the City Code. The purpose of this policy is to outline a process for the recruitment, application, and interview process of appointing City board and commission members, as well as to limit Chair terms to two terms in a row.

SCOPE: This policy applies to the following advisory commissions established by the City of Ramsey: the Economic Development Authority, Environmental Policy Board, Park and Recreation Commission, and the Planning Commission. This policy excludes the Charter Commission application process. For information on the Charter Commission please visit: Charter Commission | Ramsey, MN

PROCESS: The intent of this policy is to ensure that openings on City boards and commissions are publicized to the community at large, that applicants are evaluated objectively and treated fairly and courteously, and that members of boards and commissions are selected on the basis of their qualifications and suitability for the position.

INCUMBENTS

Incumbent reapplication process for odd number term reappointment requests

For incumbents seeking reappointment for the third, fifth, seventh, etc. term, the following policy applies: Annually, staff will notify commission members by December 1st reminding them of their upcoming term expiration and invite them to attend a voluntary interactive feedback session with the City Council to highlight information such as accomplishments, personal contributions to the commission, and ideas for improving the effectiveness of the board or commission. This will also be an opportunity for the City Council to ask additional questions of the incumbent.

The chair of each board or commission for which appointments are being considered will be invited to submit written comments to the City Council, making a recommendation regarding reappointment. If the chair is the incumbent, the vice-chair will be contacted; if both are incumbents, the most senior member of the board or commission will be contacted. The form for written comments will be provided by the city. The final decision regarding appointments will rest with the City Council.

Incumbent reapplication process for even number term reappointment requests

For incumbents seeking reappointment for the second, fourth, sixth, etc. term, the following policy applies: Annually, staff will notify commission members by December 1, reminding them of the upcoming term expiration. If the incumbent wishes to be reappointed, the incumbent will not be required to interview with the City Council and a brief letter of intent will not be required; however, the chair of each board or commission for which appointments are being considered will be invited to submit written comments to the City Council, making a recommendation regarding reappointment. If the chair is the incumbent, the vice-chair will be contacted; if both are incumbents, the most senior member of the board or commission will be contacted. The form for written comments will be provided by the city. The final decision regarding appointments will rest with the City Council.

The general policy for all incumbents will include the following process:

  • Regardless of the incumbent reapplication status, all boards and commissions will be advertised to the public. This is important in order to secure as many applicants as possible for unexpected or unforeseen mid-recruitment vacancies.
  • In one collective process, concurrent with new applicants, the City Council will meet, discuss, and determine whether or not a reappointment will be made.
  • If it is determined that the City Council does not wish to reappoint the incumbent, the incumbent will be notified. If it is determined that the incumbent will be reappointed, the incumbent will be notified.
  • In the event that a commissioner does not wish to be reappointed, staff will be offered an opportunity to contact member(s) of the City Council to discuss any concerns that they may have.

NON-INCUMBENTS

New member application process

Annually, prior to the normal ending date of boards' and commissions' terms, staff will prepare a detailed notice for publication in the City’s January/February newsletter and in the City’s official newspaper, as required by the Charter. The notice will publicize that applications are being accepted for boards and commissions, including the Economic Development Authority, Environmental Policy Board, Park and Recreation Commission and Planning Commission. The notice will provide language stating that applications will be considered by the City Council for current openings and future vacancies occurring in the next annual recruitment cycle. The notice will provide an application closing date of the last Friday in February.

The application materials will remain open on the City’s website year-round. When an application is received, staff will make contact with the applicant to confirm the receipt of the application and advise the applicant on what to expect going forward based on the current recruiting needs of the City.

Unexpected Vacancy Process

Periodically, when an unexpected vacancy on a board or commission occurs, the board or commission staff liaison will notify the head of human resources, who will take one of the following three actions:

  1. Refer back to the most recent recruitment file in an effort to identify a viable candidate who has already successfully passed the interview process. If a candidate is identified and willing to serve on the given board or commission, the head of Human Resources will consult with the City Administrator and act according to the City Administrator’s direction; if applicable, a resolution appointing the new member will be presented to the City Council.
  2. Refer to new applicants’ applications that have been received through the continuous posting period but have not yet been interviewed by the City Council and schedule mid-year interviews for the current vacancy.
  3. If options 1 and 2 above are not viable, staff will prepare a detailed notice of position availability for publication once in the City newsletter with an application deadline date of the last day of the month of the first month of the newsletter edition and in the City’s official newspaper, as required by the Charter. The City Administrator will provide the head of human resources with direction as to whether this step should occur or wait until the next annual recruitment process. Interviews

INTERVIEWS

  • Staff will arrange interview times and notify applicants and the City Council of the arrangements.
  • If there are more than five applicants per the total number of vacancies to be filled, the City Council will evaluate the applications and select five applicants to be interviewed.
  • Interview questions will be determined before the interview based on qualifications identified as necessary, as well as to accurately identify each applicant’s knowledge, skills, and abilities, and the benefits that the applicant, if appointed, may bring to the board or commission in the future.
  • All applicants will be asked the same questions. Depending on responses, some follow-up questions will differ from candidate to candidate for purposes of clarification.
  • The City Council will evaluate applicants by comparing responses to interview questions, information contained in the letter of interest/application, and potential contribution to the existing diversity of expertise, experience and geographic representation on the applicable board or commission.
  • Interviews will not be televised but will be held in an open meeting.

SELECTION

  • Recommendations from the City Council regarding appointments will be forwarded to the next regular meeting of the City Council for consideration.
  • When vacancies occur on the EDA, the Mayor will make a recommendation for appointment to the City Council.
  • Except where a vacancy unexpectedly occurs, creating a vacant seat mid-term, all new appointments or reappointments to regular terms on a City board or commission will be effective on April 1. This is to allow the current members of the City Council the opportunity to review and select individuals for seats on boards and commissions.
  • Chair and Vice-chair selections are generally decided by each board or commission in April. The City Council desires to offer members the opportunity to grow their experience on the commission; therefore, following a maximum of two consecutive terms as Chair of the respective commission, a new Chair will be selected. The outgoing Chair may be appointed to the Vice-chair role

NOTIFICATION TO APPLICANTS

After appointments have been approved, the staff will notify all applicants of the results of the process and take the necessary steps to onboard new members.

TERMS

Board and Commission members shall serve four-year terms, with the exception of members of the Economic Development Authority serving six-year terms. There will be no limit to the number of terms that can be served. Terms will expire annually on March 31. Incumbents will be allowed to continue to serve until a successor is appointed.

STIPENDS FOR MEMBERS OF CITY BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

Effective July 1, 1996, members of all City boards and commissions are eligible for stipends to cover expenses for meetings actually attended. The amount of the stipends is established by City Council resolution and subject to change as deemed necessary by the City Council. Elected officials seated on a board or commission are not eligible for a stipend.

Stipends paid to members of City boards and commissions will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as required by law.

SERVICE ON MORE THAN ONE CITY BOARD OR COMMISSION

Resolution 89-11-302 states that it is the policy of the Ramsey City Council “to avoid appointing individuals to more than one Board or Commission unless adequate representation cannot be accomplished or it is clearly in the best interest of the City of Ramsey to make such appointments to multiple Boards or Commission.”

REVISIONS

Adopted by the City Council August 13, 1996 Revised by the City Council August, 11, 1997

  • Ordinance #97-10 amended City Code 2.03.02 changing terms of office for boards and commissions from two years to four years and establishing a limitation of two consecutive four-year terms, effective August 11, 1997.

Revised by the City Council December 11, 2001 Revised by the City Council December 17, 2002

  • Evaluation panel is defined as the three members of the Personnel Committee
  • The two Board/Commission representatives will have 1.5 votes each Revised by the City Council November 25, 2003
  • New application/questionnaire to be reviewed and scored by the evaluation panel. Top five scorers invited to interview.

Revised by the City Council December 9, 2003

  • Incumbents who wish to apply for another term will submit a letter of interest which will be reviewed by the evaluation panel. The incumbent will be reappointed or the seat will be advertised.

Revised by the City Council March 14, 2006

  • Each member of the evaluation panel will receive one vote in order to avoid a tie
  • Term limits are abolished.
  • Members of the evaluation panel will meet in person to discuss applications for reappointment, as they do with new applications

Revised by the City Council January 27, 2009

  • Incumbents and new applicants will be considered in one collective recruitment, interview and selection process.
  • Term expiration dates will be adjusted for current and future board and commission members to March 31
  • Applicants will be interviewed by the full City Council (the evaluation panel) and the City Council will consult with the chair and vice chair of each board or commission regarding appointments, as deemed necessary; however, chairs and vice chairs will not vote on appointments
  • If there are more than five applicants for a vacancy, the City Council will screen the applications and select five applicants to be interviewed

Revised by the City Council June 28, 2011

  • Advertising for unexpected vacancies, if needed, will be advertised only once in the Ramsey Resident
  • Interviewees will be invited to a short open house prior to interviews
  • Interview questions will be revised to more accurately identify each applicant’s knowledge, skills, and abilities based on the qualifications identified as necessary and the benefits that the applicant, if appointed, may bring to the board or commission in the future

Discussion by the City Council April, 2014 to make the following revisions:

  • Omit “Incumbents seeking reappointment will be required to complete a City of Ramsey application for boards and commissions and will be considered in one collective recruitment, interview and selection process
  • Omit inviting applicants to a short open house prior to interviews.
  • Remove the term “evaluation panel” and replace it with the term ‘City Council.”
  • Remove “Reviewing applications -- After the application deadline has passed, the Human Resources Manager will forward all applications to the City Council for scoring. The Human Manager will total the scores and invite the top five scorers to interview.”
  • Omit several unnecessary headings / improved formatting.
  • Omit the Charter Commission from the policy. Revised by the City Council June 28, 2016
  • Simplified the incumbent reapplication process
  • Simplified the process to fill unexpected vacancies due to unforeseen resignations.
  • Removed unnecessary Charter Commission language from the updated policy.

Revised by the City Council February 14, 2023

  • Changed title of document to include Chair member term rotations.
  • Clarify Charter Commission as a separate policy with link.
  • Changes to the incumbent reappointment process including language regarding incumbents being considered in one concurrent process with new applicants.
  • Language changes related to maintaining a continuous recruitment and processes for receipt of new applications.
  • Added footer and format changes.