What to Know Before you Apply to a City Council Board or Committee

What to know before you apply for a council appointed board or committee.

Many of the important decisions made by City and County leadership are influenced by local boards and committees. These committees are made up of community members who care about specific issues or topics. You can weigh in on decisions being made about housing, the environment, public parks, community safety and the arts. Here are 6 tips to know before grabbing your seat at the table.

1) Be aware of Application Deadlines

Many of these board or committee applications have staggered term limits and therefore staggered new applicant deadlines. Give yourself enough time to apply and advocate for yourself before the deadline. Unfamiliar with typical deadlines? Your City Clerk will have more information.

2) Take note of special eligibility requirements

Some boards or committees require that members show proven knowledge of a certain industry or skill. Sometimes, boards require that you complete civic leadership courses in order to apply. Become familiar with these requirements and make sure you’re a good fit.

3) Ensure there are no conflicts of interest.

This applies for government employees looking to serve on local boards. Oftentimes, this presents a conflict because the board may make decisions that an employee may have special access to or may be impacted by. It’s best to steer clear of these conflict. See: The Hatch Act.

4) Take note of time committments and meeting times.

Each board is unique in its characteristics and needs. And some boards meet more frequently than others. Make a plan with your loved ones if this schedule may impact your daily routine.

5) Advocate for yourself by writing or calling your elected official.

Don’t be afraid to contact your local elected representative. That’s what they’re here for. Their information can usually be found on your City’s Website. In Charlotte, you can find that information here for the City and here for Mecklenburg County.

Not sure How to write a letter/email? Not sure what to say? Check out our Civic Handbook for a step by step guide.

6) Plan to be present the night of council appointments.

Showing up tells the City Council two things about you: you know when and where council meetings take place (you’re civically savvy) and you’re passionate about the community you wish to serve. Being there is a great way to hear directly about your appointment.

Good Luck with applying to your first board! if you want this information delivered to your Civic or Neighborhood Group, send us a message to info@amplifycharlotte.org.