Your Local Government

Board of Directors

Board Responsibilities and Functions


The board of directors holds the critical responsibility of crafting the policies that guide District operations, keeping the District on track with the Mission and Vision. Their function is to balance public sentiment and community needs, and translate that into actionable policies, delegating the execution of those policies to the General Manager. The Board receives guidance from five advisory committees, each of which specializes in a specific topic. These committees include 2 board members and 3 resident volunteers.

Members of the Board of Directors have an obligation to conduct business on your behalf in an ethical and impartial manner. They must be mindful of how they make decisions and to assure that they represent our community as a whole and not just one aspect or constituency.

The Board of Directors meets monthly on the second Thursday at 6:00 pm. Closed session items may be heard prior to convening or after adjournment of the open session meeting. Special meetings may be scheduled from time to time as needed.

The Mission

The Bear Valley Community Services District is committed to providing high quality municipal services to the residents of Bear Valley Springs in a reliable, professional, safe, cost effective and environmentally conscious manner.

The Vision

The Bear Valley Community Services District’s Board of Directors and Staff will team together to effectively fulfill the district’s mission statement. The district will not only provide basic services, but will continue to improve upon those services to enhance the lives of district residents. This will be accomplished through thoughtful planning, innovation and technology.

Board Decision-making Process

The Board of Directors meets monthly on the second Thursday at 6:00 pm. Closed session items may be heard prior to convening or after adjournment of the open session meeting. Special meetings may be scheduled from time to time as needed.

Public Comments: If you have something to say to the Board that is not on the Agenda, you can address them during the Public Comments section. The Board or staff may respond briefly or ask questions for clarification. You can also submit your comments for future consideration or direct them to the appropriate staff. There will be a separate opportunity for public comments for each Agenda item.

Here are the proper procedures to follow when speaking to the Board:

  • Let us know if your comment is about an Agenda Item or a Non-Agenda Item.
  • Fill out a separate speaker card for each item you want to speak about and give it to the Board Secretary.
  • When called upon, approach the podium. If you need assistance, please contact the Board Secretary.
  • Keep your comments within three minutes to allow others to speak as well.

Please remember that the Board cannot take action on any item not on the Agenda, and that the public comment period is not an opportunity for discussion. Please email the board members directly if you wish to engage in discussion.

We recommend using your allocated three minutes to share your comments fully. After the time expires, the Board or staff may briefly respond if they feel it is necessary.

The decision-making process for the Board of Directors of the Bear Valley Community Services District follows the meeting procedures and rules of order adapted from Judge David Rosenberg's Rosenberg's Rules of Order (2011 Revised Edition). The process ensures efficient and fair conduct of the meetings while allowing for full participation. This summary provides an overview of the key elements involved in the decision-making process.

Establishing a Quorum: Before conducting any business, the Board must establish a quorum, which is defined as the minimum number of members required to be present at a meeting. For the Bear Valley Board, a quorum consists of three members. If fewer than three members are present, the Board cannot legally transact business.

The Role of the Chair: The chair of the Board plays a vital role in applying the rules of conduct during meetings. They should be knowledgeable about these rules and consult with the General Counsel if necessary. The chair has the authority to make final rulings on the rules, and their decisions are generally considered final unless overruled by the Board.

Basic Format for Agenda Item Discussion: Each agenda item is handled in a structured format. The chair begins by announcing the agenda item number and subject, followed by inviting the relevant individuals to report or provide recommendations. Technical questions for clarification can be asked by Board members. Public comments or hearings may be opened for input. General discussion and deliberation by the Board members then take place. Finally, a motion is invited, followed by a vote.

Types of Motions: Motions are the vehicles for decision making by the Board. There are three common types of motions:

  1. Basic Motion: Puts forward a decision for the Board's consideration.
  2. Motion to Amend: Seeks to change a basic motion that is already on the floor.
  3. Substitute Motion: Aims to replace the basic motion entirely with a new motion.

Friendly Amendment: A friendly amendment allows for practical changes to a pending motion without going through formal motions. If the maker and the seconder of the original motion accept the suggested friendly amendment, it becomes the pending motion. Otherwise, a formal motion to amend may be made.

Multiple Motions Before the Board: The chair can handle up to three pending motions simultaneously. A fourth motion can be rejected until the previous three have been resolved. This rule prevents confusion and ensures orderly decision-making.

Debatable and Non-Debatable Motions: In general, motions are subject to discussion and debate, allowing members to express their opinions. However, there are exceptions. Certain motions, such as a motion to adjourn, a motion to recess, a motion to fix the time to adjourn, and a motion to table, are not debatable and are immediately voted upon.

Majority and Super Majority Votes: Most motions require a simple majority vote, meaning one vote more than 50% of the Board. However, extraordinary motions that significantly impact the minority's ability to act or discuss an item require a two-thirds majority vote (super majority) to pass.

Motion to Reconsider: A motion to reconsider can be made at the same meeting where the original motion was voted upon. It requires a majority vote and must be made by a member who voted in the majority on the original motion.

Courtesy and Decorum: Members of the Board are expected to maintain common courtesy and decorum during meetings. One person should have the floor at a time, and all remarks should be addressed through the chair. Personal attacks or discussions should be avoided. The chair has the authority to limit discussion time and ensure a focused and respectful environment.

Interruptions and Points of Order: Interruptions during a speaker's turn are generally discouraged, except in specific cases. Members may interrupt for points of privilege, points of order, appeals, or to call for a return to the agenda. The chair determines the validity and appropriateness of such interruptions.

It is important to clarify that the General Manager is obligated to act solely at the direction of the board as a whole, rather than individual members. This ensures consistent decision-making and maintains the integrity of the board as a collective governing body. By following this principle, District staff can effectively implement the board's decisions and policies in a fair and impartial manner, serving the best interests of the community as a whole.


Bear Valley Community Services District is governed by a 5-member Board of Directors, elected at large from the community for staggered 4-year terms.  “At large” means the board of directors are elected by the voters of the entire district.

Qualifications: Board member qualifications are established by California Government Code § 61040, which states “No person shall be a candidate for the board of directors unless he or she is a voter of the district”. This means candidates must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of the District and registered to vote. Property ownership is not a requirement to serve on the Board of Directors.

Process: Elections are conducted by Kern County Elections Division and consolidated with November general elections. Kern County prepares and delivers a Notice of Election with instructions, filing dates and information on when, where and how to obtain candidacy papers. Once this notice is received by the District, it is posted at the District office and publicized on our website, social media platforms and electronic newsletter. It is also included as an information item at the next regular meeting of the Board of Directors.

Filing Deadlines: The filing period for the November consolidated general election begins 113 days prior to the general election date and ends 88 days prior to the election date. If no current Board Member has filed by this date, the deadline is extended an additional 5 days for non-incumbents only to file. (California Elections Code Section § 10516)

Newly elected Directors take office at noon on the first Friday in December following the general district election. (CA Elections Code Section 10554)

Ethics & Transparency

Ethics Requirements for the Board of Directors

Members of the Board of Directors have an obligation to conduct business on your behalf in an ethical and impartial manner. They must be mindful of how they make decisions and to assure that they represent our community as a whole and not just one aspect or constituency.

There are a great many laws that govern the ethical conduct of public officials; laws that not only address conflicts of interest, but criminal activity and corruption as well. In addition, in 2005 California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1234  requiring, among other things, that local agency officials “receive at least two hours of training in general ethics principles and ethics laws relevant to his or her public service every two years.”

The Board of Directors has adopted an Ethics Policy to guide those who serve and to demonstrate their commitment to act and govern transparently and ethically. In addition, the Board members have agreed to abide by the following:



The Board of Directors meets monthly on the second Thursday at 6:00 pm. Closed session items may be heard prior to convening or after adjournment of the open session meeting. Special meetings may be scheduled from time to time as needed

California's Open Meeting Law is officially known as the Ralph M. Brown Act and is found in the California Government Code § 54950 and following. The Brown Act was adopted in 1953 to guarantee the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. The Brown Act is pivotal in making public officials accountable for their actions and in allowing the public to participate in the decision-making process.

The Brown Act governs local agencies, legislative bodies of local government agencies created by state or federal law and any standing committee of a covered board or legislative body, and governing bodies of non-profit corporations formed by a public agency.

It is important that District employees and members of the Board of Directors understand the requirements and limitations under the Brown Act. It is equally important that members of the Bear Valley Springs community know and understand the requirements imposed upon their local government and their rights under the Brown Act.  

In that spirit, the Board of Directors has adopted the Brown Act Compliance Policy,

Conflict of Interest

The Political Reform Act (Government Code Section 81000 and following) requires government agencies to have conflict of interest codes. The Fair Political Practices Commission has a regulation (2 California Code of Regulations Section 18730) that sets out a standard code. The Commission can change this regulation to match any changes to the Political Reform Act. This document incorporates the terms of Section 18730 and any amendments made by the Commission. The Conflict of Interest Code of the Bear Valley Community Services District includes this document, Section 18730, and an appendix with Exhibits 1, 2, 3, and 4 that list positions and categories for disclosing conflicts of interest.

Statement of Economic Interest

California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) requires every elected official and public employee who makes or influences governmental decisions to annually submit a Statement of Economic Interest, also known as the Form 700. The Form 700 provides transparency and ensures accountability in two ways:

  1. It provides necessary information to the public about an official’s personal financial interests to ensure that officials are making decisions in the best interest of the public and not enhancing their personal finances.
  2. It serves as a reminder to the public official of potential conflicts of interest so the official can abstain from making or participating in governmental decisions that are deemed conflicts of interest.

All officials and designated employees and consultants required to submit a statement of economic interests (Form 700) must file their statements with the Secretary of the District, who will serve as the District’s filing officer.  Under Government Code section 81008, all originals or copies of statements maintained by the District will be available for public inspection and reproduction upon request during the District’s regular business hours.

Public Records Requests

Section 6253 of the California Government Code provides that every person has a right to inspect any public record except those specifically exempted by law. The California Public Records Act (CPRA) was adopted to ensure that every person in California has access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business. The CPRA governs state and local agencies, which includes special districts such as Bear Valley Community Services District.

We are committed to promoting transparency and open governance, and as part of this commitment, we are pleased to offer a user-friendly online request form for the public to access important documents and information.

Why Your Participation Matters

Public participation is the cornerstone of a strong democratic society. Your input helps us make informed decisions that reflect our community's needs and aspirations. Your voice is powerful - it shapes our policies and drives our actions. Remember the public sentiment against the AT&T 5G cell towers? Your collective voices swayed our decision.

Participating in Board Meetings

We convene monthly on the second Thursday. Additionally, committee meetings are held every other even-numbered month, and special meetings can be called as required. To stay updated, visit our District website agendas page, or our events calendars on Facebook and Nextdoor.

We encourage you to voice your thoughts and concerns during these meetings. Just fill out a speaker card before the meeting to share during the public comment section, or for a specific agenda item. Can't attend in person? No problem! Email your comments to the Board Secretary. Your written comments will be read aloud during the appropriate section of the meeting. Plus, every meeting is live-streamed and the recording is available 24 hours later.

Volunteering for Bear Valley CSD

Our district thrives because of our volunteers. If you're looking for ways to contribute and influence local policies, consider joining one of our committees - Administration, Finance, Infrastructure, or Public Safety. These committees help shape our community and ensure that we continue to prosper.

We also have a Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council (DPAC) composed entirely of resident volunteers. DPAC is dedicated to preparing our district and our community for wildfires, earthquakes, and other potential disasters. As a DPAC volunteer, you'll report to the public safety committee and play a pivotal role in our community's safety and resilience.

Bear Valley CSD Citizens' Academy – Coming Soon!

We're in the process of developing a Citizens' Academy to give you a deeper understanding of our operations and equip you to participate more effectively. Stay tuned!

How We Talk to Each Other

In our small, rural community, we cherish our neighborly spirit. While we maintain professionalism, we're just as inviting and friendly as chatting over a cup of coffee. We encourage all residents to get involved in shaping our community.

This is your community. Your participation and volunteering have the power to shape our collective future. Bear Valley CSD is here to listen, understand, and act. Get involved today!