Board Referrals

The Board of Supervisors established a Board Referral process to facilitate requests by individual Supervisors for action by County staff.

County government is structured so that the CAO is the primary liaison between the Board of Supervisors and County Departments. The Board of Supervisors may make requests of the CAO, who in turn may provide direction to departments. The Board Referral process respects this chain of command and provides Supervisors with a transparent mechanism to make requests of County Staff via direction from the CAO.

Supervisors may use the Board Referral Process for a number of reasons, including:

1) to request that a County department place an item on the Board agenda for discussion and/or action by the full Board,

2) to make a request of staff to investigate a specific issue or concern,

3) to request a report from staff.

Individual Board Referrals are not deemed to be action by the Board. A Board referral simply allows a Supervisor to initiate the process of including an item on a future agenda for action by the full Board, or otherwise request action by the CAO. County staff has an important role to play in advising the Board on the relevant policy and best practices regarding the subject of the referral.

A summary of the Board Referral Process is as follows:

1) The Supervisor completes a Board Referral form and submits it to the CAO.

2) At the next Board meeting, the CAO provides a verbal report describing the referral and assigns the referral to the responsible department.

3) The department to which the referral is assigned prepares an initial response to the CAO outlining the plan to complete the referral, including a date that the referral will return to the Board.

4) Following the Department’s response to a referral, the referring Supervisors office shall confirm that their request has been satisfied and the referral will then be considered closed.

5) If the referring Supervisor or the Department Head has concerns about the completion of the referral, the CAO shall assist in resolving those concerns.

The referral process allows staff to perform initial research and report on an issue that is of interest to an individual Supervisor, so that the entire Board can take action about committing additional resources.

Departments, in consultation with the CAO, will determine the level of resources to commit in responding to a Board referral and how far to proceed with a referral before returning for Board direction and action in support of a referral.

A complete updated list of all pending Board referrals is included as part of each Board Agenda under the link "CAO Comments and Referrals".