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Legislative Reference

All County Mental Health Boards in California are mandated by California’s Welfare and Institution Codes as follows:




Section I        NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Alameda County Mental Health Board.

Section II      DEFINITION AND PURPOSE (Welfare & Institutions Code, Section 5604)

a.     Review and evaluate the Alameda County mental health needs, facilities, services and special problems.

b.     Advise the County Board of Supervisors on any aspect of the local mental health programs.

c.     Advise the Alameda County Local Mental Health Director on any aspect of the local mental health program.

d.     Review any county agreements or contracts entered into pursuant to Section 5650 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

e.     Submit an annual report to the County Board of Supervisors on the needs and performance of the county’s mental health system.

f.      Review and approve the procedures used to insure citizen and professional involvement in all stages of the planning process.

g.     Review and comment on the county’s performance outcome data and communicate its findings to the California Mental Health Planning Council.

h.     Review and make recommendations on applications for the appointment of a local director of mental health to the County Board of Supervisors. The Mental Health Board shall be included in the Selection process prior to the vote of the Governing Body (Welfare and Institutions Code 5604.2a (6).

i.      The Mental Health Board shall assess the impact of the realignment of services from the state to the county, on services delivered to clients and the local community.

j.      Perform any other duties requested by the County Board of Supervisors.

k.     The Mental Health Board shall develop bylaws to be approved by the Board of Supervisor in accordance with Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5604.5.


The Mental Health Board will be formalized by County ordinance. It is anticipated that the County Board of Supervisors, by virtue of ordinance and appointment, shall rely on the individual and collective judgment of the board and its members for input on all mental health related issues.

Section IV     MEMBERSHIP (Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 5604)

a.     The membership of the Mental Health Board shall be determined by the County Board of Supervisors and established by ordinance. The Alameda County Mental Health Board will have 16 members, one of whom shall be a member of the County Board of Supervisors.

b.     There shall be an equal number of appointees by each member of the Board of Supervisors. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of the governing body to increase the number of members. Local mental health boards may recommend appointees to the county supervisors. Counties are encouraged to appoint individuals who have experience and knowledge of the mental health system. The Mental Health Board membership should reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the client population in the county.

c.      Fifty percent of the Mental Health Board membership shall be consumers or the parents, spouse, sibling, or adult children of consumers, who are receiving or have received mental health services (8). At least twenty percent of the membership shall be consumers (at least 3), and at least twenty percent shall be families of consumers (at least 3).

d.     The Term of each member of the Mental Health Board shall be for three years. The governing board shall equitably stagger the appointments so that approximately one-third of the appointments expire in each year.

e.     Each Board member shall serve no more than three consecutive full three-year appointed terms. If appointed to a vacant term, the total service shall not exceed 10 years. Mental Health Board staff shall keep a record of appointment for each board member.

f.      No member of the board or his or her spouse shall be a full-time employee or part time county employee of a county mental health service, an employee of the State Department of Mental Health, or an employee of, or paid member of the governing body of a mental health contract agency.

g.     Members of the board shall abstain from voting on any issues in which the member has financial interest as defined in Section 87103 of the Government Code (Conflict of Interest).

Section V        MEETINGS (Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 56050)

Mental Health Boards shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part I of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code, relating to meeting of local agencies (The Brown Act).

In addition:

a.     Regular meetings shall be held at least 10 times each year.

Regular meetings are currently scheduled for the third Wednesday of the month at Eden Area Multiservice Center, 24100 Amador Street, Hayward, CA from 5:30-8p.m. A change of meeting site will be posted according to the Brown Act.

b.     Special meetings shall be convened in the following matter:

1) Upon call of the Chair;

2) In accordance with Government Code section 54956, the Brown Act.

Section VI    OFFICERS

a.     At the time of election of a Chair there shall also be elected a Vice-Chair, and Secretary.

b.     The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Chairs of other committees or their Mental Health Board Designee shall constitute the Executive Committee. These meetings should be attended by appropriate Mental Health Administration staff.

c.     The officers shall serve on a yearly basis and be subject to election in June of each year.


a.     A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Chair in May of each year to consist of no less than two members of the Mental Health Board.

b.     The Chair, and Vice-Chair, and Secretary shall not sit as Ex-Officio members of the Nominating Committee.

c.     The Nominating Committee shall:

1) Select a slate of officers for the coming year.

2) Secure the verbal consent to serve of those selected.

3) Report back to the full Board in June with a slate of officers for the coming (fiscal—July through June) year.

4) The Chair of the Nominating Committee shall assume the Mental Health Board Chair to accept further nominations and conduct the election of officers during the June meeting of the year.


New Officers shall begin their terms in July and serve for one year. No member shall hold more than three consecutive one year terms in the same office.


The Mental Health Board shall hold an election to fill any vacancy occurring in any elective office for the unexpired term.


a.     The Chair shall be the principal executive officer. He/she shall carry out the policies of this organization, its Executive Committee and its general body. He/she shall do everything necessary to carry into effect the purposes of this organization including consultation with the local mental health director (5604.5(d).

b.     The Vice-Chair shall do everything necessary to assist the Chair in the performance of his/her duties. In the event of absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall exercise all the powers of the Chair.

c.     The Secretary shall take the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings, review the minutes of the Mental Health Board prior to public distribution and assist the Chair and Vice-Chair in the performance of their duties.


a.     An officer may be removed from office, for cause by the majority vote of all members casting secret ballots at an official Board meeting.

b.     Adequate formal notice, in writing and person, must be given to any officer of such an impending removal action.


When a vacancy occurs, board staff shall contact the appropriate Governing Board member to determine if she/he has a candidate for the vacancy and/or if the member would consider recommendations from the Mental Health Board.


A quorum is one person more than one-half of the appointed members.


a.     Committees shall be created as needed to do work of the Board. Standing Committees will meet on a regular basis and to develop and implement their work plans which shall reflect current board goals and priorities.

Each member of the Mental Health Board will serve on at least one committee, task force, and/or serve as a liaison to another entity or organization.

b.     The existing standing committee is the Executive Committee which plans the Board agenda and can act on behalf of the full board under unusual circumstances. The Executive Committee is composed of the Chair, Vice-Chair and Chairs of all other committees or their Mental Health Board designee. Any board member may attend the Executive Committee meetings. Other standing committees shall be approved by the Board to conduct its business in accordance to it’s legal responsibilities and corresponding to the current membership of the Board. Each standing Committee shall be chaired by a Mental Health Board member.

c.     Ad Hoc Committees shall be set up to reflect the interest and responsibilities of the board.

d.     Current liaison responsibilities shall be set up to reflect the interest and responsibilities of the Mental Health Board.

e.     The Chair of the Mental Health Board shall appoint the chair of each committee. Board members may choose upon which committee they wish to serve, or may be appointed to a committee or liaison role by the board chair.

f.      Committees shall develop annual work plans which will be reviewed by the full board. Any action recommended by a committee shall be acted on by the full board.


a.     Absence at three consecutive board and/or committee meetings, without just cause and advance notice of such cause prior to the meeting to be missed, shall be grounds to ask the governing board of member’s removal.

b.     Section 5-19.06 of the Alameda County Administrative Code states: “In cases of misconduct, inability of willful neglect in the performance of his duties, any member may be removed by the affirmative vote of four members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Such member sought to be removed shall be given an opportunity to be heard in his own defense at a public hearing, and shall have the right to appear by counsel and to have process issues to compel the attendance of witnesses , who shall be required to give testimony, if such member of the Board so requests. A full and complete statement of the reasons for such removal, if such member be removed, together with the findings of fact made by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, with the County Clerk and made a matter of public record.”


                   Appointments will be subject to State and Federal conflict of interest laws.


Meetings of this organization shall be governed by the authority of the Brown Act and Roberts Rules of Order modified to allow open participation of the Chair, who may also set discussion time limits as appropriate.

Section Section XVIII  EXPENSES

The Board of Supervisors may pay from any available funds the actual and necessary expenses of the members of the mental health board of a community mental health service incurred incident to the performance of their official duties and functions. The expenses of board members may include travel, lodging, child care, and meals for themselves while on official business as approved by the Mental Health Director and the Mental Health Board. A yearly finance report shall be presented to the Mental Health Board so that expenses can be reviewed.



These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of this organization by a two-thirds vote of the appointed membership of the Alameda County Mental Health Board. These bylaws shall be reviewed periodically to insure compliance with State Law.


These bylaws shall go into effect and become effective immediately upon their adoption, and shall be submitted to the Board of Supervisors for their approval and final adoption.

These articles were ratified by the Mental Health Board on February 21, 1996. They were then reviewed by County Counsel and the proposed revisions adopted on October 16th, 1996. The final draft was reviewed and endorsed by the Mental Health Board on November 19, 1997, and submitted for ratification by the Health Committee of the County Board of Supervisors. They were ratified by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on __________, 1997.

Signed: ____________________________________________________
                     Myrla Raymundo, Chair, Alameda County Mental Health Board


           Alane Friedrich, Chair Emertis, Alameda County Mental Health Board


           Keith Carson, Chair, Alameda County Board of Superisors

Revision of 8/20002 included