Kyle City Council members approved a policy earlier this month establishing a process for appointing members to boards and commissions.
“We didn’t have an existing policy,” said Mayor Todd Webster. “It was being handled inconsistently.”
According to the policy, staff will post an official job description for vacant board and commission positions and an application on the volunteer application webpage.
Interested individuals must complete the application before 5 p.m. on the specified deadline date.
City staff will then evaluate applications from those who meet the city charter’s basic criteria for membership in a first-round evaluation.
Staff may reopen the application or extend the deadline if they determine the size of the pool or qualifications of applicants are insufficient.
Based on evaluation of applications, applicants who staff determined best meet the requirements of the position will be selected to participate in a second-round interview process.
The final candidate will be selected from the interview process and be presented to the mayor and city council for confirmation at a regular city council meeting.
While previously the candidate wasn’t required to attend the meeting, the policy states the candidate must now be present.
Before being approved by city council, the candidate may make a statement and answer any questions city council members may ask.
During the March 7 city council meeting, council members added a non-discrimination clause to the policy.
Additionally, the revised policy states the mayor, city manager, or the board chair or their respective designees, and the city staff member who works with the board, will participate in the second-round interview process.
When last appointing a Planning and Zoning commissioner, Webster said he spoke on the dais about the need for a policy.
After a P&Z vacancy brought the issue on the council’s agenda again, Webster spoke to City Manager Scott Sellers about the policy.
“We need to make sure those positions are handled appropriately,” Webster said.
There needs to be an open, fair and transparent process for selecting and appointing board members, Webster said. The process created in the policy is “pretty simple,” he said.
“There’re some things that need to be revisited, things we might not have thought of, but it’s a good start,” Webster said.
Webster said the policy ensures applicants are “on a level playing field” and understand the process and how those decisions are made.
“Historically the process was political,” Webster said. “It’s been one where who you know mattered a lot more than what you knew.”
The policy is a move toward having a more qualifications-based appointment process, he said.
“The city, as it’s growing and maturing, needs to move toward qualification based decisions with respect to appointments,” Webster said.