What's the Difference?

Boards. A Board is a formal committee with structure, duties, and powers established by ordinance. A Board usually performs a quasi-judicial or adjudicative function, such as licensing or regulation.

Commissions. A Commission is a formal, standing committee with structure, duties, and powers established by ordinance. Some Laurel Commissions have an administrative or functional responsibility, such as performing a review of economic development or preparing a land use plan, while others, such as the Ethics Commission, have equal or greater quasi-judicial and adjudicative functions than Boards have. (The reason for this non-standard designation of the Laurel Ethics Commission is it is created by Maryland State mandate with the Laurel’s Ethics Ordinance and the Ethics Commission mirroring Maryland’s Ethics Law and Ethics Commission.)

Committees. A Committee is advisory in nature and can be either a formal (standing) committee established by ordinance or resolution, or an informal (ad hoc) committee created by the Mayor and City Council. The Committee may oversee and advise in service areas, such as housing or transportation, or it may advise the Mayor and City Council on issues and recommend policy.