Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Boards and commissions are civic bodies of knowledgeable local residents who have been appointed by the King County Executive and confirmed by the King County Council, and who serve in an advisory capacity to county leaders. They play an important role in governance by lending professional expertise, facilitating community decision-making, and serving as a primary conduit between citizen, County staff and County elected officials. Some boards and commissions are mandated by State or Federal Statute. Others are established by King County Charter, King County ordinance, or Inter-local Agreement.
King County has 49 active citizen boards and commissions with more than 500 volunteers. Click here for a a complete list of King County boards and commissions.
Approximately 43 of King County 49 boards and commissions are appointed by the King County Executive and confirmed by the County Council to serve as representatives of the public at-large. Individuals can either apply directly to the department that staffs the board on which they want to serve or submit their application to Rick Ybarra, Liaison for Boards & Commissions, King County Executive Office, at the address listed at the end of these FAQs. The department conducts interviews of prospective candidates and then submits their top two candidates for each vacant position to the Executive. The Executive reviews the top candidates, makes his selection, and directs staff to prepare the appointment materials.
The remaining six boards and commission are nominated by the King County Council – meaning that for each of these six boards and commissions, each councilmember gets to nominate one person to serve as their district representative. To apply for a Council-nominated board or commission, an individual must contact their King County Councilmember to express interest in being appointed as a Council District representative on a King County board or commission. The Council nominations are submitted to the Executive for appointment. Upon appointment by the King County Executive, the appointments are transmitted to the King County Council for approval by confirmation.
Click here to find your King County Council district.
For the majority of King County boards and commissions, all that is required is an interest in the topic and in serving your community. Others, like the Board of Appeals and Equalization or the Washington State Boundary Review Board, require professional experience in related fields.
Yes, you must be a resident of King County to be eligible for an appointment to a King County board or commission, unless stated differently in the board or commissions enabling legislation.
The term length for most of our King County boards and commissions can be two, three, four, or five years, depending on the board. King County Executive Policy LES 7-1 (AEP), Section 6.4, limits board members from serving no more than two full terms on all King County boards and commissions, unless stated differently in the board or commission enabling legislation.
Yes, as long as you have the time available to devote to the boards and commissions on which you were appointed to serve.
No. Our boards and commissions members serve as volunteers, with the exception of the Board of Appeals and Equalization and the Washington State Boundary Review Board for King County. These two boards are required to meet several times each week for more than six to eight hours per day and are paid a per diem.
Each board or commission has a Staff Liaison (who in most cases is a King County employee) who assists the board with the administrative work of the board or commission. The staff liaison also serves as the board or commission's link to County staff.
Most boards and commission meet once a month for one to two hours per meeting. Occasionally, some boards and commissions will also ask board members to volunteer to serve on a subcommittee that reports back to the entire board or commission. If you volunteer to serve on a subcommittee of the board or commission you were officially appointed to, you may be required to attend an additional monthly meeting.
No. However, anyone seeking an appointment to a King County board or commission must complete a King County Board of Ethics Financial Disclosure Form. This form does not ask for specific personal financial information. However, it does ask that you respond to four 'yes' or 'no' questions regarding any possible financial transactions with King County or conflicts of interest.
Yes. Per RCW 42.30, "meetings of the governing body of a public agency at which actions are taken shall be open and public. All persons shall be permitted to attend such meetings of the governing body."
The King County Council convenes an annual reception for boards and commission members. This event usually occurs in February. All officially appointed board members receive an invitation sent to their preferred mailing address. The invitation is also sent electronically to the King County email address of each board member.
Rick Ybarra, the liaison for Boards and Commissions, is happy to answer questions about boards and commissions service. He may also refer you to the Staff Liaison or a King County department for questions about specific boards or commissions.
Liaison for Boards and Commissions
King County Executive Office
401 Fifth Ave., Suite 800
Seattle, WA 98104