Open Space and Ecology Committee Bylaws

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Creation and Bylaws

Creation - Appointment - Qualification

There is hereby created a permanent Open Space and Ecology Committee which shall consist of five public members appointed by the City Council.  Such Committee members shall serve without compensation.  Members of the Committee must at all times during their service be residents of the City.

The Committee members shall be appointed by the City Council after soliciting applications from the community.  Applicants must be residents of Brisbane.  The following criteria shall be among those used for selecting appointees to the Open Space and Ecology Committee:

1.     Demonstrated interest in open space and ecological issues,

2.     Record of public service and commitment to the community,

3.     Willingness to dedicate sufficient time and effort

The interview and selection process shall be similar to the process utilized by the City Council in the appointment of Planning and Parks and Recreation Commissioners.

Term of office

Committee members serve in an advisory capacity to the City Council.  The Committee members shall be appointed for a term of four years unless the appointment is to fill a vacancy created other than by expiration of a term in which event the appointment shall be for the unexpired portion of the term.  The Committee members serve staggered, four-year terms, with three terms to commence in the years that three Council seats are scheduled to be filled by regular election and two terms to commence in the years that two seats are scheduled to be filled by regular election.  Any Committee member may be removed with or without cause by a vote of at least three members of the City Council.

Officers

The Committee shall elect from its members a Chair and a Vice Chair who shall hold office for a term of one year.  No member of the Committee may serve more than one consecutive term as Chair.

Meetings

The Open Space and Ecology Committee shall meet at least once a month or as otherwise approved by the Committee.  Meetings of the Committee shall be held at a location to be determined by the Committee or the Committee staff and notice of each meeting shall be provided in the manner prescribed by the Brown Act.  Time, dates, and location of the meetings will be determined by a vote of the majority of the Committee subject to the availability of meeting facilities and support staff.  Efforts will be made to encourage attendance and participation by members of the public.

Subject to approval of the City Council Open Space and Ecology Committee Subcommittee, the Open Space and Ecology Committee may, from time to time, hold joint meetings as needed with the City Council, the Planning Commission, and the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Quorum

A quorum is necessary for an Open Space and Ecology Committee meeting to be held. A majority of the members of the Open Space and Ecology Committee shall constitute a quorum.  In the event that there is no quorum, any discussions which are held by those assembled shall be regarded as informal and non-binding.

Subcommittees

Subcommittees may be formed, as needed, in relation to work of the Open Space and Ecology Committee.

Responsibilities

The primary responsibility of the Open Space and Ecology Committee is to make recommendations to the City Council on the implementation of relevant programs and policies of the Open Space and Conservation Elements as well as the environment and natural resources policies of the Local Economic Development chapter of the General Plan.  That responsibility includes preparing drafts of the relevant, regular reports called for in the General Plan, such as the annual report on the status of open space.  The responsibility of the Open Space and Ecology Committee does not include review and comment on applications submitted to the City under Titles 16 and 17 of the Brisbane Municipal Code unless specifically requested by the City Council. 

The function of the Open Space and Ecology Committee shall encompass consideration of the following areas of responsibility.

  1. Open space planning, maintenance and monitoring. 
  2. Ecological issues that affect the natural environment in Brisbane as guided by the principles of ecological sustainability.
  3. City practices and programs related to natural resource conservation.  

Some examples of specific issues and topics that the Open Space and Ecology Committee may address include:

  1. Water and energy conservation.
  2. Annual open space report.
  3. Annual evaluation of the HCP.
  4. Public information and education on ecological issues. 
  5. Recycling/solid waste reduction issues.
  6. Wetlands preservation and enhancement issues. 
  7. Preservation and enhancement of the Brisbane Lagoon pursuant to goals and objectives adopted by the City Council. 
  8. Issues related to pollution, toxic waste and contamination. 

In order for the Open Space and Ecology Committee to work expeditiously, its members should receive appropriate education in the tasks before them, pay close attention to timelines and priorities, meet as often as required, keep track of ideas not directly on agenda items for future reference, recognize that open space and ecological issues are necessarily holistic and connected, and pick a chair who will provide leadership consistent with these principles.

Staff support

The City Manager or his or her designee shall serve as the staff advisor to the Open Space and Ecology Committee and shall give notice of meetings, keep and maintain records of Committee meetings and recommendations, and generally provide such support and assistance as the Committee may require in order to perform its responsibilities.