Superior Court Executive Officer Gary Blair announced Tuesday that Santa Barbara County Superior Court is seeking volunteers for the 2010-11 Civil Grand Jury.

To be considered for service, the volunteer must be a U.S. citizen, age 18 years or older, be of good character, have been a resident of Santa Barbara County for at least one year, and have never been convicted of a felony or malfeasance in office.

Some of the principal functions of the Grand Jury include investigation and review of the departments and special districts of county and city government; involvement in fiscal or management audits; and the preparation of reports on related matters. Reports are then filed with recommendations for improvement of operations.

Service on the Grand Jury lasts one year, from July 1 through June 30, and usually involves about 25 hours per week. There is no question that service on the Grand Jury is an enormous sacrifice of time; but it’s also an opportunity to learn about the inner workings of government while providing a valuable service to the community.

Applications for the 2010-11 Grand Jury can be obtained from the court’s Jury Services office in Santa Barbara at 805.882.4530 or Santa Maria at 805.614.6464, or click here to download an application online.

Applications should be submitted to Santa Barbara Superior Court, Jury Services, 1108 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 no later than May 7. The new Grand Jury will begin July 1 and serve through June 30, 2011.

— Mark Hanson is the judicial services manager for Santa Barbara County Superior Court.