City Seeks Advisory Board Members

Written by Estero Bay News

July 15, 2022

The City of Morro Bay is seeking several community volunteers to fill vacant seats on its advisory boards and the deadline to apply is the end of July.

The City has one seat each open on the Oversight/finance Committee, the Public Works Advisory Board, Rec & Parks Commission and the Harbor Advisory Board.

Born with 2006’s Measure Q sales tax initiative, “The Citizens Finance Committee, formerly the Citizens Oversight Committee,” reads a blurb from the City website, “was established to review the semi-annual expense report of the City relative to activities funded with the additional general purpose local sales tax monies. The Committee is to present its findings and conclusions to the City Council for its review not later than December 31 of each year.”

The Finance Committee also reviews the expenses with Measure E-20, another sales tax measure approved by voters in 2018. The Committee also reviews funding issues with the City’s $160 million Water Reclamation Facility Project for which there have been many.

The Public Works Advisory Board or PWAB “was established to provide advisement and recommendations relative to services, functions, and operation of the Public Works division, the priorities of and future planning for public works, as well as to conduct such studies and other duties and functions as may be requested by various Advisory Boards and to report those findings,” the website said.

Parks & Rec Commission acts, “in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all matters pertaining to parks and public recreation and to cooperate with other governmental agencies and civic groups in the advancement of sound recreation and parks planning and programming.”

The Harbor Advisory Board needs an alternate member representing the Commercial Fishermen’s Organization, which would fill in whenever the CFO’s main member can’t make a monthly meeting.

The HAB “reviews, advises, and makes recommendations to the City Council on items pertaining to use, control, promotion, and operation of vessels and watercraft within the harbor, docks, piers, slips, utilities, and publicly-owned harbor facilities and water commerce, navigation, or fishery in the Harbor. 

“The Board also reviews and recommends rates, tolls, fees, or other payments to be made for use or operation of the Harbor.”

The HAB could also soon be tasked with overseeing a new parcel tax that voters will decide on in November that would raise money specifically for repairing and maintaining public harbor facilities managed by the Harbor Department, including the T-piers, floating docks and slips, offshore moorings and more.

If the parcel tax of $120 a year on every privately owned parcel of land both residential and commercial passes with a simple majority of votes, provisions in the measure require the City Council to either appoint one of the existing advisory boards or create a new one for oversight duties of the estimated $680,000 a year it will raise. The HAB would seem the logical choice but that decision has yet to be made.

The deadline to apply for one or more of these vacancies is 5 p.m. Friday, July 29. Applications and eligibility information is available on the City Clerk’s webpage (see: www.morro-bay.ca.us/268/Boards-Committees-Commissions).

Completed applications can be emailed, mailed or returned at the drop box located at City Hall, corner of Harbor Street and Shasta Avenue.

It should be noted that none of the advisory board members are paid for their time and are strictly volunteers. Only the city council and planning commission members are paid for their service.

However, numerous residents who served on an advisory board then went on to more active participation in city government including as planning commissioners and on city council.

So if readers have an interest in politics, advisory boards are a chance to dip one’s proverbial toe in the pool and test the waters.

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