The City of Rohnert Park currently has four vacancies for various volunteer positions on several boards, commissions and committees and is hoping members of the public will step up to get involved. The open positions are on the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Building Appeals Board and acting as the Rohnert Park Representative for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District and the Sonoma County Library Commission. Each appointment will play a pivotal part in either making recommendations that affect public policy and city improvement projects, studying and investigating specific topics, or representing the city on a multi-agency board.
“The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District and the Sonoma County Library Commission are not commissions that the city council created,” says Joanne Buergler, City Clerk for the City of Rohnert Park. “These two positions are unique in that the person selected to sit on this becomes part of a multi-agency type of commission or board. For example, for the Mosquito and Vector Control District, a person can serve for two years or four years – whatever council appoints them to. Then they represent Rohnert Park on that board. They’re more than advisory, they make decisions.”
The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District organizes and carries out mosquito and vector control programs and is governed by a Board of Trustees with one person from each of the 20 cities in the district’s service area representing their city. This is an unexpired term, meaning that the current representative resigned before his term was completed. This next representative will simply finish the term, which is set to expire December 31, 2020. The city hopes to receive applicants that have a strong interest in public health and the prevention, elimination or control of mosquitoes and other arthropods known to be potential carriers of infectious diseases, or presenting a public nuisance. The board meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in Cotati.
The city is also seeking a resident to serve as the Rohnert Park representative on the Sonoma County Library Commission. The commission provides structure and direction for operational, administrative and fiscal oversight of the county libraries. This four-year term expires August 1, 2022 and the applicant is obligated to attend monthly meetings, usually held on the first Monday of the month, at 6:30 p.m. in Santa Rosa. The city is seeking a person with expertise in either finance, marketing, or business, as well as a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the library.
“Barbara Mackenzie is our current library commissioner and her term expires in August,” says Buergler. “She may request reappointment and then council would consider any new person who has put forth interest.”
The appointment for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will be made by Mayor Pam Stafford and is filling a vacancy brought on by the previous representative moving out of the city limits and no longer able to complete his term. The term is set to expire on December 31, 2018 and the committee currently meets the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in Rohnert Park. Preference in the selection of applicants will go to interested and responsible bicycle enthusiasts who have a vested interest in future bike path plans and projects in the community. The individual will be asked to review the bicycle master plan and make recommendations to the city council on those projects and bicycle transportation safety.
“This position will be going to a four year term because council has always wanted for the terms to line up,” says Buergler. “If there is a five member board, commission or committee, each council member makes an appointment for a nomination. We were running into these terms expiring every two years. There’s a potential of having all five people be new and you would lose all your history and continuity of the board. So by moving them to four-year terms you wind up with staggered terms and they’ll align with the council member who nominated or appointed them.”
Lastly, the Building Appeals Board is a new entity with three current vacancies that will meet as needed to hear and decide on appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the Rohnert Park building official. The appointments are four-year terms, set to expire on December 31, 2022. The city is hoping for applicants that have related qualifications such as being a professional civil, structural or geotechnical engineer, architect, geologist, building inspector or official, or contractor.
“The city council adopted the 2016 California Building Codes as our codes, and in that code if a building official makes a decision, there is a process to be able to appeal the building official’s decision,” says Buergler. “The building appeals board is the appeals process. We haven’t had one in the past. Because the members of this board would be looking at the building code and looking at the decision made, they’re more of a decision making body than an advisory body. They will be looking at the decision the building official made and decide if it’s in alignment with their interpretation of the building code or not.”
At the time of this writing there have not been many applications submitted yet for these positions. If the city does not receive any applications, they will repeat the process for seeking applicants, announcing it on social media, at town hall meetings, and community events.
“If you’re not involved, some of the things we really hold dear and enjoy, we take for granted,” says Buergler. “If there’s no interest in something you run the risk of it going away or not being the way you want it to be. Public involvement is so important on building the community that the public who lives and works here wants to continue to see. Also, serving on some of these things, especially for a person who doesn’t have a lot of experience, can be a resume builder. You can be involved and see how the local government works and how the process works. The stronger the pool is that council has to consider generates excitement too. Don’t wait for your neighbor to do it – sign up and say ‘pick me!’”
Interested applicants are encouraged to submit an application either by mail or in person to the City Clerk’s Office. For more information, visit www.rpcity.org or call 707-588-2227.