Office of Board Secretariat

Table of Contents

Mission Statement for the Board of Public Works

To support and enhance a high quality of life for the City's residents, businesses and visitors by providing well planned, environmentally sensitive, cost effective infrastructure and services to promote public health, personal safety, transportation, economic growth and civic vitality.

To respond to and aid in recovery from earthquakes, storms and other emergencies as an integral part of providing and managing public works services.

To provide for public participation in departmental policy consideration.

To accomplish the foregoing through effective oversight of the Department of Public Works including the Bureaus of Accounting, Contract Administration, Engineering, Financial Management and Personnel Services, Sanitation, Street Services and Street Lighting.

Rules of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works

CHAPTER I: BOARD MEETING DAYS AND TIME, ORDER OF BUSINESS, AND QUORUM

  • Regular meetings of the Board of Public Works shall be held in the Edward R. Roybal Session Room, Room 350, City Hall on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week, excluding recess dates and holidays, commencing at 10:00 am, unless otherwise directed by the President of the Board. Meetings are audiocast via Council Phone and on the City of Los Angeles webpage. 
    The Executive Officer’s minutes shall remain the official records of the Board proceedings, and audio recordings may be used as an aid in the preparation of those minutes.
  • All members shall be in the Board Session Room at said time of each regular Board meeting or at the time and place set for any special meeting.
  • Special meetings may be held in City Hall or elsewhere in the City upon the call of the Presiding Officer or of a majority of the members, provided that notice prescribed by law is duly given.
  • The Executive Officer shall cause to be printed and posted for each meeting a list of all items to be considered at the meeting. The list shall be known as the "Agenda." The agenda shall contain a brief general description of each item to be transacted or discussed at the meeting. No other business may be considered except as otherwise provided by law.
  • The agenda shall reflect, and the business of the regular meetings of the Board shall be transacted, as far as practicable, in the following order:

    a. Roll call
    b. General Public Comment
    c. Approval of the Minutes
    d. Commendatory Resolutions
    e. Bid Openings
    f. Assessment Hearings
    g. Board Reports
    h. Motions
    i. Administrative Items
    j. Communications
    k. Oral Reports
    l. Adjourning Motions
    m. Board Adjournment

    If an agenda item or other item has been placed before the Board for consideration at a regular or special Board meeting and the Board has failed to approve or reject the item, the item is continued to the next regular meeting unless the Presiding Officer takes affirmative action to continue the item beyond such next meeting. Any item so continued to the next regular meeting shall be considered at said meeting. The Executive Officer shall provide the Board with, and post notice of, such items.

  • The Presiding Officer will determine the actual order in which each agenda item will be considered.
  • The Board may act in a regular meeting on an item not posted on its agenda for the meeting if it determines by a two-thirds vote that there is a need to take immediate action, and that the need for such action arose after the posting of the agenda; or, if the item was continued from a meeting of the Board which occurred not more than five days prior; or, if a majority determines that an emergency, as defined by state law, exists.
  • Each member shall attend all regular and special meetings (except for illness) unless a leave of absence has been granted by the Executive Officer. Requests will be reviewed on a first-come, first-approved basis. No leave of absence shall be granted if such will result in a quorum not being present for that meeting.
  • Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time until a quorum is present and may compel the attendance of the absentees. Except as otherwise required by the Charter or other law, or by these Rules where not inconsistent therewith, action by the Board shall be taken by a majority vote of the Board.
  • No member shall be considered present unless the member is within the Board Hearing Room.
  • No member shall leave a Board meeting without permission from the Presiding Officer of the meeting.

CHAPTER II: PUBLIC NOTICE, ATTENDANCE, AND COMMENT

  • The agenda for each regular meeting of the Board shall be posted at least 72 hours before the meeting. It shall contain a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at a meeting.
  • Public Comment on Agenda Items: The Board shall provide an opportunity in open meetings for the public to address the Board on each agenda item for a cumulative total of up to ten minutes for each item. A member of the public will be limited to speaking in two minute increments per item. A member of the public wishing to speak on more than one agenda item at a single meeting shall limit his or her remarks on agenda items to a total of ten minutes per meeting. The Presiding Officer may grant or deny speakers additional time, subject to reversal by a majority of the Board pursuant to Rule 21. Speakers shall limit their comments to matters relevant to the item on the agenda. The Presiding Officer may rule that the speaker is out of order if the comments are not germane to the item under consideration. If multiple speaker cards are submitted on one agenda item, preference will be granted to members of the public who have not spoken previously during the meeting, either during general public comment or on another agenda item. The Presiding Officer, in his or her discretion, may allow a speaker to combine remarks on multiple items so as to speak to them during one appearance at the podium. The Presiding Officer shall have the sole authority to grant a speaker’s request to loan, cede, defer or yield time to another speaker. The time limits on public comment set forth above are not applicable to quasi-judicial hearings before the Board.
  • General Public Comment: The Brown Act requires the Board to provide an opportunity in regular meetings for members of the public to address it on any non-agenda item generally considered to be a municipal affair and within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Board. This shall be referred to as “general public comment.” Only items not on the agenda may be addressed during this period. The Board has determined that a reasonable amount of time for general public comment shall be up to two minutes per person, for a cumulative total of twenty minutes. The Presiding Officer may exercise his or her discretion, subject to reversal by a majority of the Board, pursuant to Rule 21, in conducting the public comment period, including, but not limited to: reordering the order of business, as set forth in Rule 6; determining an equitable amount of time that each member of the public may speak; granting or denying speakers additional time to speak, individually or collectively. If multiple speaker cards are submitted for general public comment, the speakers shall be called in the order submitted by the Executive Officer to the Presiding Officer. However, preference shall be granted to elected and appointed City officials or their representatives and members of the public who have not spoken previously either during general public comment or on agenda items. The Board shall not discuss or take action relative to any public comment unless authorized by Section 54954.2(b) of the California Government Code.
  • No person shall be permitted to interrupt Commissioners, bureau representatives, the City Attorney or the Executive Officer during a Board meeting.
  • No person, other than members of the Board, City officers, and City staff shall be admitted into the Board business area of the Board chambers (separated by wooden swing doors and a divider from the public seating area), while the Board is meeting except upon the request of a Board member and consent of the Presiding Officer.
  • To facilitate the orderly process of general public comment and agenda-item public comment time periods, and to assist the Board in conducting its business as efficiently as possible, members of the public who wish to address the Board shall hand a speaker card, which includes the speaker’s name, or other identifying designation, to the Executive Officer prior to the start of that particular comment period. Failure to submit the speaker card in a timely manner may preclude a member of the public from speaking during the subject public comment period. A member of the public whose name has been called by the Presiding Officer shall approach the podium promptly. Failure to approach the podium in a prompt manner may preclude a member of the public from speaking during the subject public comment period. Members of the public shall speak from the podium in the center aisle. Each speaker shall promptly conclude all comments when his or her time to speak has expired. Unless otherwise required by law, speakers’ comments shall be limited in time as determined by the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer may exercise discretion in determining the duration of speakers’ comments based upon factors such as the length of the agenda or substance of the agenda items, the number of public comment speaker cards submitted, the need for the Board to conclude its business as expeditiously as is practicable, and whether the Board is in danger of losing a quorum.
  • Rules of Decorum: During a meeting of the Board, there is the need for civility and expedition in the carrying out of public business in order to ensure that the public has a full opportunity to be heard and that the Board has an opportunity for its deliberative process. While any meeting of the Board is in session, the following rules of decorum shall be observed:

    A. All remarks shall be addressed to the Board as a whole or to the Presiding Officer and not to any single member, unless in response to a question from a member.
    B. Persons addressing the Board shall not make personal, impertinent, unduly repetitive, slanderous or profane remarks to the Board, any member of the Board, staff or general public, nor utter loud, threatening, personal or abusive language, nor engage in any other disorderly conduct that disrupts, disturbs or otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of any Board meeting.
    C. No person in the audience or addressing the Board at a Board meeting shall engage in disorderly, contemptuous or insolent behavior toward the Board or any member thereof, which disrupts, disturbs or otherwise impedes the due and orderly course of the meeting.
    D. No person in the audience at a Board meeting shall engage in disorderly, violent or boisterous conduct, including the utterance of loud, threatening or abusive language, whistling, stamping of feet or other acts that disrupt, disturb, or otherwise impede the orderly conduct of any Board meeting.
    E. All persons attending a Board meeting shall obey any lawful order of the Presiding Officer, which shall include an order to be seated or to refrain from addressing the Board.
    F. Signs, placards, banners or similar items shall not be permitted at any time in the Board Session Room.
    G. Unless addressing the Board or entering or leaving the Board Session Room, all persons in the audience shall remain seated in the seats provided.
    H. No person shall stand or sit in the center aisle without the permission of the Presiding Officer, nor shall the doorways be blocked. The Presiding Officer of the Board, with the assistance of the Executive Officer, shall be responsible for maintaining the order and decorum of meetings, as set forth more fully below.

  • Enforcement of Decorum: The Rules of Decorum shall be enforced as follows:
    A. Warning – The Presiding Officer shall request that a person who is breaching the Rules of Decorum and disrupting the meeting be orderly and silent. If the person continues to disrupt, disturb or otherwise impede the orderly conduct of the Board meeting, the Presiding Officer shall order that person to leave the meeting. If such person does not remove herself or himself from the meeting, the Presiding Officer may order the Executive Officer to remove him or her from the meeting.
    B. Exclusion from the remainder of the meeting – Any person so removed pursuant to this Rule shall be excluded from further attendance at the meeting from which he/she has been removed, unless the decision of the Presiding Officer is overruled by a majority vote of the Board. Such exclusion shall be executed the Executive Officer upon being so directed by the Presiding Officer. These enforcement provisions are in addition to the authority held by law enforcement officials to maintain order and pursuant to his or her lawful authority as a peace officer.
  • Penalties: Any person who has been ordered removed from a meeting may be charged with a violation of Penal Code Section 403, or other appropriate Penal Code or Los Angeles Municipal Code Sections.

CHAPTER III: VOTING

  • When an action has been properly moved and seconded, the Presiding Officer will put the matter to a vote of all members and announce the disposition of the item. If no objection is raised, the Presiding Officer may announce unanimous approval of the item under consideration. The Executive Officer will record the action and disposition of votes.
  • A member may change his or her vote after it is tabulated, if the change does not affect the outcome of the vote, and if the Board does not object by majority vote to such a change. Otherwise, a member wishing to change his or her vote must receive approval of reconsideration and a new vote of all the members must be taken.
    Action by the Board shall be taken by order or resolution adopted by at least three of its members and recorded in the Minutes with the ayes and noes.

CHAPTER IV: Presiding Officer

  • The Presiding Officer shall take the Chair at any time the Board is scheduled to meet, call the meeting to order, and except in the absence of a quorum, shall proceed to business in the manner prescribed by these Rules.
  • The Presiding Officer shall adhere to and enforce the Board Rules so long as consistent with the Charter and other governing law. The Presiding Officer may refer to and use Robert’s Rules of Order Revised, for guidance, interpretation, or to supplement these Rules.
  • The Presiding Officer shall preserve order and decorum in the hearing room.

CHAPTER V: DISPOSITION OF ITEMS

  • Any member of the Board may move to reconsider any vote on any question except to adjourn, suspend the Rules, or to reconsider, or where an intervening event has deprived the Board of jurisdiction, provided that said member had voted on the prevailing side of the question. The motion shall only be in order once during the legislative day in which the given question was voted upon, and once during the next regular meeting. If a motion to reconsider is first made at the next regular meeting after the question first had been voted upon, the member requesting reconsideration shall identify for all members present the agenda number and subject matter previously voted upon. A motion to reconsider is not debatable and shall require an affirmative vote of three members of the Board. If a motion to reconsider is adopted, the subject matter shall be the next order of business after that which is before the Board at the time of the motion. This limitation shall not apply if the motion for reconsideration specifies a different time for further consideration of the subject and appropriate posting thereafter takes place where required by law.
  • No matter passed by the Board shall be processed to the Council, Mayor or other designated officer or finally acted upon until the adjournment of the regular Board meeting following the date of the Board action. A motion to send “forthwith,” if adopted by three votes, shall suspend this Rule and the action of the Board will be final upon the adjournment of the Board meeting and cannot be reconsidered.

CHAPTER VI: ELECTION AND APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS

  • At the last regular meeting in July of each year, or, if necessary, at a regular meeting within thirty days thereafter, the Board shall elect one of its members as President by a majority vote by open ballot. That member shall be known as the “President of the Board” and shall act as the Presiding Officer of the Board.
  • After a President is elected, the Board shall elect one of its members as “Vice President” in the same manner it has elected the President. The Vice President shall act as the Presiding Officer in the absence of the President of the Board.
  • The President shall appoint the “President Pro Tempore” of the remaining members of the Board. The President Pro Tempore shall serve for the period the President was elected, and shall act as the Presiding Officer in the absence of the President and Vice President.
  • All officers shall serve in that office for up to one year and until their successor is elected pursuant to these Rules, unless their membership on the Board expires sooner.
  • The Presiding Officer may name another member to temporarily perform the duties of the Chair during Board meetings, but the substitution shall not extend beyond adjournment.

CHAPTER VII: ASSIGNED DUTIES

  • It shall be the duty of the Executive Officer to keep record of the proceedings of the Board of Public Works meetings in the form of a Journal; and to have the Journal containing the proceedings of the meeting made available to the Board members before the second succeeding regular meeting convenes.
  • The Executive Officer shall keep index records convenient for reference of all matters introduced or presented to the Board, together with a complete chronological record of all actions taken thereon by the Board.
  • The Executive Officer shall notify all members of the Board of the time set for any special Board meetings.
  • The minutes from each Board meeting shall be signed by the officer presiding at that meeting and by the Executive Officer, after approval of said minutes by the Board.
  • As provided in Section 581 of the Charter, the five Members of the Board set policy for and manage the Department of Public Works. Each of the five Board Members shall serve as a liaison between the Board and one of the Department’s five Bureaus: Sanitation, Street Services, Engineering, Street Lighting and Contract Administration. Each of the five Board members shall also serve as a liaison between the Board and three Council Districts. The Board President shall consult with each of the Board Members and make such assignments, subject to Board approval.
  • Representatives of the Bureaus of Street Services, Sanitation, Engineering, and Contract Administration, the Executive Officer and the City Attorney shall attend all Board meetings for the purpose of giving necessary supporting information, service and advice. The Presiding Officer at his or her discretion may excuse any or all of said representatives except the Executive Officer and the City Attorney, from attending any Board meetings or portion thereof, when it appears to said officer that the matters to be considered at the meeting will not require the services of the excused representative. The Executive Officer shall maintain a thorough record of such meetings and shall record the “ayes” and “noes” upon all questions. If representatives of other City offices, bureaus or departments are necessary to furnish supporting information, service or advice, they shall respond without delay to a request of the Presiding Officer for attendance at the meeting during which their participation is required.

CHAPTER VIII: SPECIAL MEETINGS

  • The proceedings of special meetings of the Board shall be limited to those items provided for on the agenda of the meeting. The agenda for special meetings, including the time and place for such meeting, shall be posted at least 24 hours before the meeting.

CHAPTER IX: RULES

  • A majority vote of all existing members of the Board of Public Works shall be necessary to amend these Rules.
  • A proposed amendment to these rules shall be presented to the Board during a regularly held or special Board meeting and then laid over one week before it can be adopted.
  • These rules, any one or more thereof, may, by vote of three members of the Board, be suspended except as prohibited by law.
  • A copy of these Rules and each Board of Public Works agenda shall be available for public review at the Office of the Board of Public Works.

Commission Secretariat & Staff

The Commission Secretariat

The Board Secretary/Executive Officer and staff are collectively known as the Commission Secretariat. The Secretariat, with seven clerical employees, prepares agendas, journals, and minutes of Board meetings and provides for permanent accessibility to these records. It directs correspondence to appropriate bureaus or offices for necessary action and monitors responses.

The Secretariat advises prospective bidders, the public and other City offices about Board and Department procedures, processes and activities. It is also responsible for the advertising and receipt of bids for construction projects; for processing of contract awards through the acceptance and custody of appropriate bonds and insurance documents; for scheduling contract execution; and for issuing the Notice to Proceed. During construction, the Board Secretary receives and processes Stop Notice claims and helps resolve disputes between prime contractors, subcontractors or suppliers in accordance with the California Civil code.

Additionally, the Board Office is considered a "department" for budget and administrative purposes, but a "bureau" at other times. This unique structure requires staff to prepare and administer its budget, prepare, process and maintain auditable records of all financial transactions, and to respond to the numerous reporting requirements imposed by the CAO, Controller, Ethics Commission, City Clerk, CLA, Council, Mayor or other departments.

The Board Secretary / Executive Officer

The position of Board Secretary/Executive Officer has been filled by only six individuals since the Board's first meeting in 1906. The Secretary/Executive Officer oversees a multi-purpose organization which includes the Board Secretariat, the Office of Community Beautification, and Administrative Services.

The Assistant Board Secretary / Executive Officer

The Assistant Executive Officer is authorized to act on behalf of the Executive Officer on all matters for which the Executive Officer has responsibiltity. The Assistant Executive Officer also has direct supervision of the Secretariat, including Administrative/ Budgetary Services.

Board of Public Works Insurance Forms and Procedures

The City Administrative Officer's Insurance and Bonds Compliance Unit reviews and maintains insurance documents submitted in connection with Public Works construction projects, personal services contracts, and permits.

Forms:

Business Certifications

All business certifications are managed throught the Bureau of Contract Administration's Office of Contract Compliance.

Holiday Recess Schedules

Brown Act

PDF icon View and Download Brown Act - Open Meetings for Legislative Bodies

Historic Documents

Formal recognition of the special problems connected with public works in the City of Los Angeles was first given by the City Council in 1872. At that time a committee of five of its members, with the City Clerk as Secretary and the Mayor as an ex-officio member, was formed as a Board of Public Works.

This Board supervised the activities of two operating Department Heads - a Street Superintendent and a City Surveyor (the City Engineer), each appointed by the Mayor. In 1882 each of these positions became elective offices and remained so until 1906. At that time the voters approved a Charter amendment that created a Board of Public Works to consist of three prominent citizens. Also, the functions assigned to the Street Superintendent, the Superintendent of Buildings, the Electrical Department, and the Street Assessment Bureau were placed under the jurisdiction of the new citizen board. The City Engineer was also placed under the Board in the following year, 1907.

The Charter was again revised in 1925 to include a provision to increase the Board of Public Works Commissioners from three to the present five members. The Board of Public Works Commissioners are now the chief administrators of a department of more than 5,400 employees who design and execute public projects from sidewalks to bridges to wastewater treatment plants and libraries.

The Board holds public meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 9:30 a.m., in City Hall, Room 350, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles.

Historic Documents: