Mayoral Candidate Preliminary Questionnaire: Boards and Committees

7. Boards & Committees

Much of Charleston’s policy-making is heavily influenced by the recommendations of dozens of Boards and Committees (“BCs”) whose members are selected by the mayor, and to some extent by City Council. While not all of the membership and activity of these BCs is readily accessible, the common understanding is that these BCs tend to draw from the same demographic, with some members sitting on several BCs simultaneously.

Question 7:

Assuming that there are Charlestonians that fall outside of the currently dominating BC demographic, and who are actively willing to participate as BC members, what would you do to include them in BCs?


Boards and commissions should represent diverse points of view; otherwise it’s a real roadblock to progress. Our selection standards should be high and neighborhood organizations could make recommendations for membership and have input in the selection process – diversifying boards and commissions in the city.


After a 40-year administration, there are sure to be some significant changes to the boards and committees. My goal as Mayor is to for any of the BCs for which I have appointment power to be as diverse and inclusive as our city. 


Of course. City boards and commissions should  represent  a broad cross­section of our City’s residents and, as Mayor, I will work to ensure that they do, by having an open and inclusive appointment process  that continually brings  new faces and new voices into City governance.

Question 7b:

Do the meetings of these BCs need to be more transparent? Why or why not?


The board and commission appointment process as well as meetings must be more transparent and representative of the city.

This is a good place to use technology to significantly improve the process and outcome of board appointments. A simple database could show the mission of all boards and commissions and list the members. Citizens interested in serving could search based upon interests and apply on the internet.  


One of the first things I will do as mayor is examine how to make city government more transparent - and that includes boards and committees. I have a long track record of being an advocate for more transparency in government and will continue that as mayor. 


Yes. I believe that transparency is essential  to good City government. That’s why, for example, I will be posting this questionnaire on my campaign  website, as I have all the other private, non­press questionnaires that I’ve filled out during  this race. It’s also why my plan for Charleston includes a specific pledge to make all budgets,  meetings  and public  information more readily available to the citizens  and taxpayers  of our city via the Internet.