Boards & CommissionsGeneral Information

The City of Escondido encourages citizens to take an active interest in their community. Eight (8) Boards and Commissions advise the City Council on policy issues before the Council makes its final decisions. Board and Commission members are a critical part of local government. You can make a difference in your community and take a leadership role by volunteering to serve on a board or commission!

How to Apply

An application form is available online or you may call the City Clerk's office at 760-839-4617 to request a copy mailed to you.

Applications are active for two years when submitted during the regular recruitment period. Applications received after the regular recruitment period are active and will be considered for an unexpected vacancy until January of even numbered years.

Appointment Process

The City Council ratifies the Mayor's selections for appointments to the boards and commissions. During January and February of even-numbered years, the City of Escondido solicits applications from persons interested in actively participating in local government. Interviews are conducted by the full Council and each application is carefully reviewed before an appointment is made. Terms of office expire on March 31 of even numbered years. Applications are accepted throughout the year, however, in case additional appointments need to be made due to resignations or other unforeseen circumstances. (Note: Because the Library Board of Trustees has 3-year terms, recruitment is conducted on a yearly basis due to staggered expiration of terms of office.)

Tips on increasing your chances of being appointed

  • Fill out a separate form for each board or commission in which you are interested. It is to your advantage to tailor each application to the specific board or commission for which you are applying. Emphasize different aspects of your background to match those needed for a particular board or commission.
  • Emphasize your talents. Clearly indicate how your particular talents, skills, training, or experience will benefit the board or commission for which you wish to be considered. Be ready to discuss the skills or talent you would bring to a specific board or commission.
  • Become familiar with the appropriate board or commission. Attend meetings, talk with board or commission members, or read documents they have developed to acquaint yourself with their work.

Terms of Office

Most commissions/board terms of office are four-years. The exception is the Library Board of Trustees (3 years). There are no term limits.

Residency Requirements to Serve

With very few exceptions (i.e., allowing persons that own a business in Escondido or have a certain expertise), applicants must live within the geographic boundaries of the City's General Plan. If you have a question of whether or not you qualify, contact the City Clerk's office at 760-839-4617.


Commission requirements vary (for example, the Public Arts Commission encourages their membership to be involved in the arts; Historic Preservation requires representation from a variety of historic perspectives), but a genuine interest in the commission's mission and in serving the community are the principal requisites for service.


For the most part, serving on a board or commission is a volunteer position with no compensation. Only Planning Commission members receive a meeting stipend of $100 due to the intensive time requirements and lengthy preparation for meetings. Commissioners may receive mileage or travel expense reimbursement if traveling outside Escondido on approved commission business.

Time Requirements

The Planning Commission requires a number of hours for meetings and reviewing agenda materials or actual development sites. Other commissions have shorter meetings, but commissioners may find themselves involved in subcommittee or project work at various times during the year. It's best to talk with city staff or another commissioner.

Meeting Time and Place

Meeting locations can vary, but most are held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. Most commissions meet once a month; Planning Commission  meets twice a month.

Staff Support

Each commission has a staff liaison designated to assist with the administrative work of the commission and to serve as the commission's link with other city staff.

Personal Finances and Reporting Requirements

All public officials, include commissioners, must file annual conflict of interest forms with the City Clerk's office as required by State law. Those forms are public records which are available to the public upon request. The forms require disclosure of information about income, business and property interests in the community, gifts, and the like. As to income, officials are required to disclose sources, but not exact dollar amounts.

Open Meeting Requirements for all Boards and Commissions

The Brown Act requires that all board and commission meetings be open to the public, be noticed, and be conducted according to a posted agenda. Also, members of the public must be given an opportunity to attend the meeting and comment on all agenda items and any other aspect of the commission's work. A quorum of commissioners cannot discuss their work, either as a group or serially, outside the public meeting setting. Complete Brown Act information is available from the City Clerk and City Attorney.

Ethics Training

Recent legislation requires elected officials and appointees to have two hours of training every two years. The City Attorney's office offers this training to all Board and Commission members in compliance with the law.

Board and Commission Defined

Commissions are advisory to the City Council, established by ordinance and are involved in programs and activities that advance the group's mission. In addition to their advisory capacity, certain commissions (e.g., Planning, Historic Preservation, etc.) have regulatory functions.

Boards (e.g., Personnel, Library, etc.) also have an advisory role but are charged as well by local or state law with administrative, regulatory or review authority.

Additional Information

The City Clerk and staff in the department are happy to answer questions about commission service and to refer interested residents to commission staff liaisons or their departments for inquiries about specific boards/commissions. The City Clerk can be reached at 760-839-4617 or by e-mail.

Thank you for your interest in serving your community!

Boards and Commissions