Commissions

The City Council appoints more than 90 community members to the various committees, commissions, boards and task forces. With the dissolution of the Historic and Design Review Commission in May 2016the Planning Commission is the sole remaining commission with decision-making authority, providing advice and/or recommendations to the Council. The Commission's decisions can be appealed to the City Council.

Staff Liaisons
A staff liaison is appointed by the City Manager to assist each of the advisory bodies in carrying out their roles and to ensure compliance with protocol as defined by the following:
Relationship to the City Council
  • The City Council provides commissions with general policy direction while allowing them the freedom to fully investigate issues.
  • The City Council schedules study sessions with commissions annually, when needed, or as requested in writing to the Mayor by the Chair
  • Commissions are responsible for making an annual report to the City Council on their work activity.
Terms of Office
The term of office for Planning Commissioners is 4 years.

Removal from Office
The City Council may remove commission members by a majority vote. In addition, Section 2204(C) of the Arcata Municipal Code requires automatic removal of a commissioner upon notification to the Council of 4 absences from regular meetings within a calendar year.

Chair & Vice-Chair
The Chair and Vice-Chair of each commission are determined annually at the 1st regularly scheduled meeting of the fiscal year which begins July 1.

Conflict of Interest & Ethics Training
There are numerous potential conflicts of interest that may require a commissioner to disqualify him or herself from participating in decision making. The Political Reform Act (P.R.A.) controls financial conflicts of interest of public officials and advisory bodies.

Commission members are required to obtain ethics training as outlined in California Government Code Section 53234, et seq. In addition, the City’s Municipal Code requires each member of a commission to submit a California Fair Political Practices Commission (F.P.P.C.) Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) when:
  • Assuming office
  • Leaving office
  • Each year during their term of service
More Information
For more information and copies of F.P.P.C. forms, refer to the Conflict of Interest Provisions section of this website.