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Do Commissioners receive any compensation for serving?
There is no monetary compensation or benefits for Commissioners.
How can I apply?
Applications for vacancies are obtained from the City Clerk's Office or online at the City’s website. Completed applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office at 1500 Warburton Avenue or via email at Three to four weeks after the vacancy announcement, the completed applications are forwarded to the City Council in regular agenda packets for public review. The City Council interviews all applicants (except for the Youth Commission). The official appointment of Commissioners is made at a City Council meeting by at least four affirmative votes of the City Council. Submitted applications are kept confidential until placed on the Council agenda for consideration, at which time applications are made public in its entirety.
Here are some tips:
• Type or neatly print your application. Staff must be able to read your application in order to process it efficiently.
• Answer all questions on the application. The City Council reviews your application to get an understanding of your background and experience, and what skills and talents you believe you could bring to a particular Commission. Do not forget to sign your application.
• Attend one or two meetings of the Commission for which you are applying. Find out what kinds of issues the Commission is currently facing and what issues may be coming in the future. Review the minutes of the Commission’s meetings which are available in the City Clerk’s Office.
• Talk to Commissioners. Contact the City Clerk’s office or visit the City’s website at for a roster of Commissioners. Commissioners can share with you their experience on the Commission, give you an estimate of the time commitment involved in serving on a Commission, and share with you what they see as current and future issues for the Commission.
• Talk to City Staff Liaisons to the Commission. Listed on the above-mentioned roster is a City staff liaison who is assigned to work with a particular Commission. The City staff liaison serves as a good resource in learning more about the function and role of serving as a Commissioner. (City staff cannot recommend or lobby for any applicant for a Commission).
• Find out City Council’s priorities and interests. Attend City Council meetings and review meeting minutes. Contact the City Clerk’s Office for a schedule of meetings or visit
• Review the Code of Ethics for Appointed and Elected Officials. Included in your application materials will be a copy of the Code of Ethics. Review it and understand that if you are appointed to a Commission, you will be required to abide by it.
• Prepare for the interview. Although we do not know what specific questions the City Council will ask, it is suggested that you clarify for yourself why you are applying for a specific Commission, understand the role and function of the Commission, and be familiar with the current issues it is examining.
• Treat the interview with the City Council like a business interview. Professional business dress is appropriate. Understand that the City Council is not only considering what experience, skills and talents you bring to a Commission, but also how well you can represent the City.
How will I know when there is a vacancy?
When a vacancy on a Commission occurs, the City Manager’s Office staff prepares a press release which is distributed to all local media, including: the Santa Clara Weekly, Channel 15, the City’s website, and eNotify. In addition, the vacancy is announced during a City Council meeting, and copies of the announcement are sent to those individuals on a list of interested parties. Anyone may have their name added to the list of interested parties to be notified; this list is kept by the City Clerk’s Office.
Can anyone apply to be on a Board or Commission?
The City Charter requires that all members of City commissions be residents and qualified electors in the City of Santa Clara (Section 1004). While membership on a Commission requires no definite qualifications, there are desirable characteristics which the City Council looks for as they review applications. These characteristics include: being familiar with the community, being familiar with the major issues of the commission, having knowledge of the commission, and having a commitment to serve.
How long is a commissioner’s term?
Commissioners generally are appointed for a four-year term. A Commissioner’s term expires on June 30th and usually overlaps so the term of at least one member of each Commission may expire every year. New terms start on July 1st. The City Council may reappoint an existing member or fill the vacancy with a new applicant. The maximum time a Commissioner may serve is two consecutive terms for all Commissions except the Youth Commission who serve for a one-year term with a maximum of 4 years (4 terms). If an individual is appointed to fill a partial term (if someone resigns mid-term), he or she may still serve two additional terms of office. After a lapse of at least two years, an individual is eligible to reapply to serve on the same Commission and the same application process would apply as for individuals who have never served. Individuals may apply to serve on a different Commission once their term of office expires for their current commitment.
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Board & Commissions

The City's Board and Commissions act in an advisory capacity to the City Council, providing a conduit for citizen input on numerous issues pertaining to Santa Clara. From planning the City’s festivities or its physical environment; to preserving the City’s history and maintaining its parks or libraries, these positions are vital to a well-run and receptive city government. All offer an opportunity for citizens to truly be involved with their community and neighbors. They also providing networking opportunities, new skills, and can help strengthen resumes. To see and learn more, click your commission of interest below:

Current Openings:

Civil Service Commission

Parks & Recreation Commission

Deadlines to apply for these two positions are on May 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM.

Central Park Meeting Triton HorseWomen's Club Adobe Houses ParksPlanning Ice Cream Social Skate Park

Interested in serving and networking with other engaged citizens? Below is the Guide and application.

The following resources are also available online for your convenience:

If you'd like to serve in other ways, think about becoming a volunteer.

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Last updated: 4/13/2014 10:34:45 AM