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A. Role and Responsibilities of Council Liaisons.

1. The primary role of a Council Liaison is to facilitate communication between the City advisory body and the Council. A Council Liaison shall be an ex officio nonvoting member of the advisory body, not a regular voting member, and shall not serve as Chair, unless the Mayor specifically proposes, and Council approves, the appointment of the Council Liaison to act in a voting capacity and/or as the Chair to City advisory boards and/or ad hoc committees, or unless the Ashland Municipal Code specifically requires the Liaison to serve as Chair or in a voting capacity. Notwithstanding the above, the Council Liaison to the Planning Commission shall be considered a nonmember Liaison and not an ex officio member as regards quasi-judicial matters.

2. City Councilors serve as liaisons to the City’s regular and ad hoc advisory bodies and are expected to represent the full City Council objectively and accurately in interacting with such entities.

3. City Councilors may attend meetings of the City’s regular and ad hoc advisory bodies as citizens of Ashland. When attending as a citizen, Council members must identify their comments as personal views or opinions and not as a representation of City Council policy.

B. Attendance. Liaisons should attend regular meetings of the regular and ad hoc advisory bodies to which they have been assigned as time permits and should make special efforts to attend meetings in response to specific requests to participate in discussions on topics the Council may need to be aware of or provide input on. In the event a Council Liaison has difficulty attending, the Liaison should find an alternate to attend or review the video or other record of the proceeding. In the event of a continuing scheduling conflict, the Liaison should ask the Mayor to be reassigned. Liaisons shall not attend quasi-judicial proceedings when the final appeal or final decision is to or could come before the City Council.

C. Deliberations. The City Council values diversity of opinion. A significant role of an advisory body is to represent many points of view in the community and to provide the Council with advice based on a full spectrum of concerns and perspectives. Accordingly, Council Liaisons to City advisory bodies should not attempt to direct debate, lobby, or otherwise influence the direction or decisions of any advisory bodies to which they have been assigned. Council Liaisons are encouraged to field and answer questions as appropriate for an ex officio member of the advisory body. Undue influence over the decisions of any City advisory body shall be grounds for removal of a Liaison assignment as set forth in subsection H of this section.

D. Respect for Presiding Officer. City Councilors attending advisory body meetings as Liaisons shall accord the same respect toward the Chair and other members as they do towards the Mayor, the presiding officer or each other.

E. Council Information. City Councilors will inform the advisory bodies to which they have been appointed Liaison about Council agenda items and Council decisions that may be of interest to the advisory body. Liaisons shall also encourage advisory board members to attend Council meetings to keep abreast of Council action, policy matters and the activities of the City.

F. Advice on Filling Vacancies. The Council Liaison for each advisory body, together with the advisory body chair and assigned staff Liaison, will make recommendations to the Mayor for appointment of citizens to fill vacancies on their respective advisory bodies.

G. Liaison Appointment Process and Term. The Mayor will appoint Councilors to act as Council Liaisons to each and every regular advisory commission or board. Councilors interested in a particular subject area should inform the Mayor of their interest, and the Mayor should take the expression of interest and/or a Councilor’s preference into account when making appointment decisions. Liaison appointments shall be for a term of one (1) year unless otherwise expressly stated. Appointments are generally made on an annual basis in January, and the Mayor shall make an effort to rotate Liaison assignments if there is more than one (1) Councilor expressing a preference for a specific appointment.

H. Removal from a Liaison Assignment. The Mayor or a Councilor may be removed for any reason from a specific Liaison assignment upon a two-thirds vote of the entire Council. (Ord. 3224, replaced, 07/18/2023)