Serving on a Board or Commission

Learn the basics of being a board member and find links to resources for current board members.

Getting started

All boards have department staff to help manage the business of the board. Board staff will help new members through the appointment process and help them get started.

Once appointed, members must first take an oath of office.


Each boards or commission has bylaws which govern how they conduct business. Bylaws will tell you how the board is organized and how meetings are run.

Open Meeting Law

Board meetings must follow the Open Meeting Law. This law requires all meetings to be open to the public. Members cannot meet outside of public meetings.

See Minnesota Statutes § 13D.020

A meeting must have a quorum. Quorum is the smallest number of board members present to conduct business. If there aren't enough members present, the board can't meet.

Additional requirements include:

  • The public must be given notice of meetings
  • All votes must be recorded
  • Any written materials the board considers must available to the public.

Some meetings may be closed to the public. For example, if the meeting involves disciplinary proceedings, labor negotiations, or law suits.

Laws governing ethics

Board members must follow the City's Ethics Code.

All members must complete ethics training within 6 months of starting, and must retake it every 4 years.

Some boards require members to complete the Statement of Economic Interest. This form discloses any financial interests members may have in city-related business.