Requirements for Participation
There are many important legal requirements that must be satisfied by appointees to the County's boards, committees and committee, which are prerequisites to participation. Several of these are described below. Any questions about these requirements should be directed to the committee's County staff liaison or the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
Oaths of Office:
A formal Oath of Office is required, as provided in California law, for public officials in California. Whether an oath is required for a member of an advisory committee or other appointee of the Board of Supervisors depends on the committee's specific role in government. However, oaths of office are not required for members of committees that have been established by the Board of Supervisors as discretionary advisory committees. Oaths of office usually are required for members of boards commissions and committees that exercise independent decision-making authority (such as the Assessment Appeals Board and the Merit Board). The need for the oath should be determined in consultation with the committee's County staff liaison.
In contrast to Board of Supervisor's advisory committees, members of certain "mandated" committees, as well as members of independent boards, commissions and committees (including those whose local governing authority is the Board of Supervisors) usually are required to execute the Oath of Office for public officials.
Completing the Oath of Office:
For committees, boards or commissions whose appointees require an Oath of Office, oaths should be taken as soon as possible after the Board of Supervisors approves the appointment. The County staff liaison to the committee is responsible to distribute the Oath of Office form to the new appointee, if required. New appointees to such 'policy bodies' should contact the Chairperson, committee secretary or staff of the committee to confirm the Oath of Office requirement, and to complete and affirm the Oath of Office before a notary public., or before a Deputy Clerk in the Clerk of the Board of Supervisor's Office. The Oath of Office form appears in Appendix 6 of the Advisory Body Handbook.
The original "signed and notarized" Oath of Office should be retained by the committee as an official record for the period of time indicated in the Advisory Body Record Retention Schedule. As soon as it is executed, a copy of the signed and notarized Oath of Office should be sent to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 651 Pine Street, Martinez, CA 94533 as evidence of compliance.
All members of committees who are appointed by the Board of Supervisors are required to obtain mandatory training, by viewing two video programs that are provided by the County for this purpose.
1. County video training (2 videos)
Committee members must view both the “Brown Act and Better Government Ordinance,” and the “Ethics Orientation for County Officials” videos within 90 days of appointment and sign and submit the certification of viewing to the committee staff.2. Training Required under State Law (Assembly Bill 1234)
"The Brown Act and Better Government Ordinance", and, "Ethics Orientation for County Officials"
videos are broadcast on CCTV and also may be loaned on DVD to committee staff by the Clerk of the Board of Supervisor's office. The broadcast schedule for viewing the training videos on CCTV appears in Appendix 7 of the Advisory Body Handbook. Both videos are also available through the County website.
The training certification form is also available in Appendix 7 of the Advisory Body Handbook. The original training certificates should be retained by the committee. A copy of each signed trained certificate should be provided to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors to show compliance, or copies for all newly appointed members may instead be submitted annually with the committee's Annual Report.
California Law (Assembly Bill 1234) requires that local officials who receive compensation, salary, stipends, or expense reimbursements must receive training in public service ethics laws and principles every two years.AB 1234 Training Options:
The requirement applies to the governing body, as well as commissions, committees, boards, or other local agency bodies, whether permanent or temporary, decision-making or advisory. The AB 1234 training, if required, must be repeated and the certification renewed at two year intervals.
The ethics training that is required by the State of California under Assembly Bill 1234 is in addition to the "Ethics Orientation for County Officials" training video that is required by Contra Costa County for all appointees.
Each appointee to whom the requirement applies should complete the AB 1234 ethics training within 90 days of appointment and provide the original certificate of completion to the committee staff. Committee support staff must retain the original document (with the committee's other records) for the required retention period (five years under Government Code 53235.2(b).)
The appointee or the committee staff should submit a copy of each AB 1234 training certificate to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors office, 651 Pine Street, Room 106 Martinez, CA 94553 to confirm compliance. Copies of the certificates should also be included in the committee's Annual Report to the Board of Supervisors.
The AB 1234 training program is self-guided and is not provided directly by the County.
The program is available from two sources through the Internet:
(1) the California Fair Political Practices Commission,After completing the training you will be able to obtain a certificate of completion.
(2) the non-profit Institute of Government.
For complete details, please visit one of the AB 1234 training web sites above.
Boards and Commissions Required to Receive AB 1234 Training:
The AB 1234 training requirement currently applies to the following boards, committees, or commissions that are under the governing authority of the Board of Supervisors. Members of these boards and commissions are required to obtain AB 1234 training once every two years:
- Advisory Council on Aging
- Assessment Appeals Board
- Economic Opportunity Council
- In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority Advisory Committee
- Contra Costa County Planning Commission
- Contra Costa County Mental Health Commission
- Contra Costa County Merit Board
- Workforce Development Board.