July 22, 2018

Country ByLaws

ARTICLE I: GENERAL

The establishment of the Children’s Commission was provided for by Snohomish County Council adoption of Ordinance 85-060. The Commission shall be governed by said ordinance and by these bylaws.

ARTICLE II: MANDATE OF THE CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONA

The continuing mandate of the Children’s Commission is to serve as an advocate for children in the community, to provide a focus for children’s issues, to be a resource for community organizations, and to make recommendations.

To accomplish this mandate, the Children’s Commission is empowered and required by Snohomish County Code (SCC 2.410) to:

a. Conduct public hearings to determine the needs and priorities of children ages 0-18 in Snohomish County as related to health, safety, and social services issues, we interpret that to include recreation, education and quality of life;

b. Hold community forums for the investigation of issues affecting children’s well-being and service delivery needs;

c. Report within a year and at regular intervals thereafter on the status of children’s service needs and resources in Snohomish County, making its findings a written document on which advice and recommendations for future action and planning shall be based;

d. Advise county government on matters relating to the priorities, objectives and tasks to be performed in meeting the needs of Snohomish County infants, children, and youth;

e. Act as a resource center providing technical assistance to community based organizations dealing with children’s issues, assist in the development of grants affecting infants, children, and youth and provide input to local, state and federal agencies on these issues;

f. Act in an advocate role to public and private sector for the interest of children of Snohomish County; and

g. Such other duties as may be assigned.

The Children’s Commission may also review current and proposed county programs and activities to determine potential impact on children and on children’s issues.

The Office of Children’s Affairs of the Snohomish County Human Services Department will provide staff services necessary to carry on the work of the Children’s Commission.

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP

The Commission shall consist of twenty-five (25) voting members advising the Snohomish County Council and County Executive on matters and issues of health, recreation, education, quality of life, safety and social services for infants, young children and youth in the community.

Representation on the Commission shall be consistent with the requirements for appointment set forth in SCC 2.410.030.

The Commission may, at its own initiative, forward suggested recommendations for appointments to newly vacant Commission positions to the County Executive, for Executive nomination to the County Council.

The Snohomish County Council may also appoint, at its discretion, one (1) ex officio member. The ex officio member may participate in Commission deliberations, but may not vote or hold official positions within the Commission.

Commission members are expected to attend all meetings and actively participate in one or more committees or project teams.

ARTICLE IV: TERMS OF MEMBERS

Section 1. Length:

The term of office for members of the Commission shall be for four (4) years with the exception of youth appointments which shall be for terms of one year. A member may serve a maximum of three (3) consecutive terms on the Commission upon recommendations of the Nominations and Commission Development Committee and reappointment by the County Council. After a period of two (2) year absence from the Commission, a person may again be appointed for up to three (3) consecutive terms.

Section 2. Removal:

Commission members are expected to attend all meetings. After a member has missed three consecutive meetings, the Commission may recommend to the Executive and the County Council that the Commissionmember’s seat be declared vacant.

Section 3. Selection Procedure:

The Chairperson shall appoint a Committee on Nominations to solicit and screen potential Commission members. The Committee shall submit nominees and up to three alternates to the Commission for approval at the regular meeting in January each year. The Commission’s recommended slate of nominees shall then be submitted to the County Executive for approval and recommendation to the County Council for appointment. New or re-appointed members shall assume their seat on the Commission at the Annual Meeting in May, or as soon thereafter as the County Council approves the appointments recommended by the County Executive.

Section 4. Vacancies:

Vacancies may be filled as they occur. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment for the unexpired term of office being filled. The Commission may select one of the alternates, from the list established by the Nominations and Commission Development Committee, to recommend to the Executive for approval and recommendation to the County Council for appointment. In the event the Commission chooses not to select one of the alternates to fill such a vacancy, the Nominations and Commission Development Committee will solicit and screen potential members, and follow Section 3, above.

If an individual is appointed at any time during the first two years of a four year term of service the remainder of the term will constitute a full four year term. At the completion of their first four year term, that individual will be eligible for two additional four year terms.

ARTICLE V: OFFICERS AND AT-LARGE REPRESENTATIVES

Section 1 Selection:

The members of the Children’s Commission shall select a Chairperson and Vice Chair to coordinate the activities of the Commission. Three at-large representatives will also be elected to serve one year terms on the Executive Committee.

Section 2. The Officers of the Commission are:

Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.

Section 3. Responsibilities:

a. The Chairperson has the responsibility to:

Provide leadership and vision in carrying out the mandate of the Children’s Commission
Preside over all Commission meetings.
Assist in the preparation of agendas for Commission meetings.

b. The Vice Chairperson shall be responsible to:

Succeed to the role of Chair in the following year.
Assist the Chairperson in carrying out his or her duties.
Perform all duties of the Chairperson in his or her absence.
Chair the Nominations and Commission Development Committee and/or delegate this responsibility.
Plan and then facilitate, as the newly elected Chair, the Annual Retreat.

c. At-Large Representatives shall:

Maintain liaison with designated project teams/committees and perform other tasks as agreed upon by the Chair and themselves.

Section 4. Term of Service:

The term of selected officers shall be for one (1) year from the date of their selection or until successors are elected by a majority of the Commission members. Officers may be reelected for one (1) additional term.

Section 5. Selection Procedure:

The Nominations and Commission Development Committee will present a slate of officers at the regular March meeting. The election will be held in April.

The new officers will take office in May at the Annual Meeting. Vacancies shall be filled as they occur. The Nominations and Commission Development Committee shall make recommendations for filling officer vacancies at the next regularly scheduled Commission meeting after a vacancy occurs.

ARTICLE VI: COMMITTEES/TEAMS

Section 1. Standing Committees:

a. Executive Committee:

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Past Chairperson, and three (3) At-Large representatives.
It is the expectation that all Officers regularly participate in Executive Committee meetings.
Executive Committee meetings will be scheduled on a regular basis at the beginning of the annual year and the schedule distributed to the membership. Chairpersons of Commission committees are encouraged to regularly attend Executive Committee meetings. All Commission members are also invited to attend.
Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the Chairperson of the Commission or any other two (2) members of the Executive Committee, and the Commission membership notified of said meeting.
A quorum for Executive Committee meetings shall consist of a simple majority of the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee shall be empowered to transact routine business and act in emergencies between regular meetings of the Commission, when necessary because of timing.

b. Nominations and Commission Development Committee:

The Nominations & Commission Development Committee shall be responsible for Commission membership including soliciting and screening potential members, establishing a list of alternates; and forwarding nominations to the County Executive to recommend to the County Council for approval.
The Committee shall submit nominees and up to three alternates to the Commission for approval at the regular meeting in January each year.
The Committee shall develop and present a slate of officers at the regular March meeting.
The Committee shall make recommendations for filling any vacancy at the next regularly scheduled Commission meeting after a vacancy occurs.
The Committee shall maintain a current membership matrix by annually reviewing expiring memberships.
The Committee shall be responsible for identifying training and board development issues and assuring that they are addressed.
The Committee shall orient new members to the Commission

c. Public Relations Committee:

The Public Relations Committee shall be responsible for increasing the visibility of the children’s Commission and its values, and in promoting Children Commission activities.
The Committee will coordinate information exchange between other committees in order to develop timely pres releases.

Section 2. Committees/Teams:

a. The Children’s Commission shall appoint committees and work teams that define and carry out projects that further the mandate of the Children’s Commission. Such teams shall also prepare recommendations and reports for action to the full Commission. Substantive actions of the groups must be approved by the Commission or the Executive Committee.

b. At least one member will be a Commission member. The Committee Chair will recruit membership from members of the Commission and the community.

c. Periodically the committees or teams will be re-evaluated by the Commission members and staff to assure that the mandate is efficiently and effectively carried out.

d. The Office of Children’s Affairs of the Snohomish County Human Services Department will provide staff services necessary to implement and support the work of the Children’s Commission.

ARTICLE VII: MEETINGS

The regular meetings of the Commission, and of each committee/work team, shall be held according to a schedule available to the public.

a. Special meetings may be called by the Executive Committee if it or a majority of the members determine a need.

b. An annual meeting will be held in May. The new officers will take office at this meeting.

c. All regular and special meetings of the Commission, and meetings of the committees, shall be open and the public shall be permitted to attend in accordance with state law (RCW 42.30.080).

ARTICLE VIII: AGENDA FOR REGULAR MEETINGS

A copy of the agenda for every regular meeting of the Commission shall be provided to each member prior to the date of the meeting at which such agenda is to be considered.

ARTICLE IX: RECORD OF MEETING

A written summary of deliberations and actions taken at official Children’s Commission meetings shall be prepared by, and maintained in the Department of Human Services. Committees shall keep a summary of deliberations and actions which will be distributed to all committee members and maintained in the Human Services Department.

ARTICLE X: QUORUM

Ten (10) current Commission members shall constitute a quorum for regular meetings.

ARTICLE XI: STANDING RULES AND POLICIES

The Children’s Commission may adopt by majority vote such standing rules and policies as deemed appropriate. Adopted standing rules and policies shall be written, distributed to Commissioners and maintained in the Office of Children’s Affairs of the Snohomish County Human Services Department.

ARTICLE XII: PROCEDURES

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Commission in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws of the Commission and its standing rules.

ARTICLE XIII: AMENDMENTS

Bylaws can be amended when:

a. Previous notice of proposed action has been given as defined by Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised; and

b. A majority of the current voting membership votes for the amendment.