Boards & Commissions

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are interested in serving on a Board or Commission, the first step is to complete an application form, found here: https://duluthmn.gov/boards-commissions/   

Click on the blue Apply button.  

Note that you can apply for more than one Board or Commission!  When your application is submitted, you should receive an emailed receipt if you applied online.

Recruitment cycles generally happen twice each year but there are often vacancies throughout the year.  There is a recruitment cycle in Spring which focuses on appointments to City Boards and Commissions and a recruitment cycle in Summer that focuses on regional Authorities and Boards. 

Vacancies are posted here: https://duluthmn.gov/boards-commissions/  Select the Vacancies tab.

Vacancies generally occur when serving members have reached their term limits or when a member leaves a Board or Commission for another reason, such as resignation. Recruitment cycles generally happen twice each year, in the Spring and Summer, but there are often vacancies throughout the year. 

Applications may be submitted at any time and will be considered should openings occur during the year. 

Board & Commission members are volunteer positions that generally appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Some appointments to regional Authorities and Boards are made only by the City Council.

Some Boards and Commissions have criteria or qualifications for appointment, for example, you may need to reside in a particular Council District or be a representative from a certain industry, while many boards do not require previous experience. Beyond technical expertise, we’re looking for people who are broadly representative of Duluth and willing and passionate about using your knowledge, skills, lived experiences, time and talents to improve the quality of life in Duluth.

Applicants are first reviewed by City staff to see if they meet any required qualification for appointment.  Then, if you meet the qualifications desired for the Board or Commission, City staff may contact you for active consideration for the position.  This may involve an interview to evaluate your strengths for the position. Appointments to regional Authorities and Boards (such as the Duluth Airport Authority or Spirit Mountain Recreational Area Authority) also require an interview with the City Council. Selections are based on current board-specific needs, qualifications (professional, educational, or community involvement), interest and desire to serve, special knowledge or strengths that may be important to a particular board or commission.

For more information about a position, you can click on the title of the Board or Commission here: https://duluthmn.gov/boards-commissions/   and select Board Details or Member Roster. 

If you’re interested in serving, please read over the webpage of each Commission or Board to get a better idea of requirements for serving. Commissions and Boards each have their own qualifications so we encourage you to attend a meeting and/or reach out to the respective staff liaison for questions about a specific board or commission. Please consider looking at our boards and commissions opportunities to see if any of the opportunities resonate with who you are, what you are seeking, and the strengths you have to offer in service to our community!

Yes, City staff will contact if you are selected for appointment.  Once confirmed by the City Council, City staff will then contact you to provide you with a new member orientation.  

Boards and Commissions have a critical role in the City of Duluth. Members should think of themselves as advisors to the City Council and ambassadors for the City, where they serve as a conduit for community input, gathering, analyzing, and informing the decision making by the City. Boards and commissions serve a critical role in informing the decisions taken by the Mayor and City Council, who are ultimately responsible for making policy decisions and additional formal action.  The individuals who serve on the Commissions are respected and appreciated volunteers in the community. 

Some boards and commissions have a recommended deadline for consideration, in that case applicants are contacted for board-specific interviews or to notify you that the appointment has been filled; however, applications are also considered on a rolling basis as openings become available (for example, if a member resigns).  If you are not selected for appointment, your application will remain on file for a period of one year and will also be considered during the next set of appointment openings.

The City’s Boards, and Commissions all vary in their time commitments and requirements for serving.  Most City Boards and Commissions meet once or twice a month for 1-2 hours on a set day and location. However, there are some boards that meet quarterly or even as little as twice a year. Occasionally, some boards and commissions will also ask board members to volunteer, complete additional work outside of the regularly scheduled meeting, or to serve on a subcommittee that reports back to the entire board or commission. Due to Covid-19 all City Boards and Commissions are currently meeting virtually.

Term length is two, three, or four years, depending on the Board or Commission. With some exceptions, Board and Commission members may not serve more than two terms on a particular commission.  For more information on a particular Board or Commission, click on the Board or Commission title here: https://duluthmn.gov/boards-commissions/.

The City encourages members to be as engaged as possible!

The City of Duluth has over 30 volunteer-based boards, Commissions, Authorities, and advisory committees whose input and advice constitutes a major component of the City’s community engagement work. The City also has Authorities which have special purpose and spending power.

To find more information about what a particular Board or Commission does, click on the Board or Commission title here: https://duluthmn.gov/boards-commissions/. Enabling legislation for Boards and Commissions is also available in Chapter 2 of the Duluth City Code: https://library.municode.com/mn/duluth/codes/legislative_code

All Board and Commission meetings are open to the public pursuant to the Minnesota Open Meeting Law. To view agendas and minutes for a particular Board or Commission select the Board or Commission title here: https://duluthmn.gov/boards-commissions/. Agendas and Minutes are also consolidated and archived in the Legislative Action Center here: https://duluth-mn.legistar.com/Departments.aspx .

It depends, some Boards and Commissions do have a residency requirement. When you apply, the position description will indicate whether there is a residency requirement for a particular position.