Updated 6/2/22 — Now’s your chance! The deadline for Civil Grand Jury has been extended until June 17. Check out more about this important role below.
MENDOCINO Co., 5/18/22 — Do you have questions or concerns about what local government agencies or officials are doing? The Mendocino County Civil Grand Jury plays an important oversight role in local government: every year, 19 residents work together to “investigate the operations of county, city and district governments… and respond to citizen complaints.” The jury then issues reports to which local agencies and officials are obligated to respond, effectively serving as an independent watchdog group.
In the past, the Grand Jury has investigated everything from the pandemic’s impact on local students, the state of emergency communications infrastructure, the lack of affordable housing in Mendocino County, and the role of the County CEO. You can read all our coverage of recent reports here, as well as explore more information about the history of grand juries, and what the responsibility entails. The county’s website also includes applications, as well as previous reports.
To apply for the position, residents must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and resident the county for at least one year, and not campaigning for or serving in public office, board, or commission. The jury members pick the questions or agencies they want to investigate, and there is a stipend to compensate participants for meeting time and mileage. The full details about requirements, compensation, and how to apply are included below.
Here’s the announcement from the county:
“All qualified citizens interested in serving on the 2022/2023 Mendocino County Civil Grand Jury are invited to submit their applications to the Superior Court for consideration,” announced the Honorable Jeanine B. Nadel, Presiding Judge of the Civil Grand Jury. The deadline for application submission is Friday, May 27, 2022. The 2022/2023 Grand Jury will be sworn in at the end of June, 2022.
Service on the Civil Grand Jury is an excellent opportunity to learn about the inner workings of government while providing a valuable service to the community. The 19 members of the Civil Grand Jury serve for one year and are empowered to investigate the operations of county, city and district governments; provide civil oversight of local government departments and agencies; and respond to citizen complaints. The Civil Grand Jury sets its own agenda and meeting schedule. Much of the work is performed in small committees allowing for considerable flexibility in the work schedule and meeting locations.
To attract more residents from the geographically distant regions of Mendocino County, the Civil Grand Jury is making it possible for interested members of the public to participate in a safe environment. The Civil Grand Jury has implemented remote meeting protocols to maximize participation while reducing the demand for travel.
Grand Jurors are compensated $25 per full panel meeting, $10 per committee meeting and committee attendance at public meetings. Mileage is reimbursed at the current County of Mendocino rate. There is free onsite parking. Prior to being nominated, each qualifying applicant is interviewed by a Superior Court judge. Training for Grand Jurors will be provided in early July 2022 either remotely or in the County offices.
To serve as a Civil Grand Juror, the following requirements must be met:
• At least 18 years of age
• United States citizen
• Resident of Mendocino County for at least one year
• Sufficiently fluent in written and spoken English
• Not currently serving on any other governmental board or commission during the term • Not presently holding a public office
• Not personally active in any campaign of a candidate for elective office
• Computer skills highly desirable
Applications and related information are available on the Internet at: Grand Jury (ca.gov). The application may also be obtained in person at the Superior Court, 100 North State Street, Rm. 303, Ukiah or by calling the Grand Jury at (707) 463-4320.