Barnidge: Civil grand jury is the citizen watchdog for Contra Costa County

Tom Barnridge, columnist for The Contra Costa Times, published this article about the importance of the County's Grand Jury.   An excerpt follows:

The hours are long and the work intense. The pay is minimal and the recognition nonexistent. Duties require interviewing bureaucrats, conducting investigations and writing in-depth reports. If this is the way you'd like to spend your free time, July through June, you may want to volunteer for the Contra Costa Grand Jury. Applications close at 5 p.m. on March 28.

Oh, you'd like to know what it is?

The civil grand jury is a largely overlooked and rarely understood citizen tool that helps ensure local government operates efficiently and ethically. It's a watchdog group of 19 carefully selected Contra Costa residents -- a Superior Court judge interviews the finalists -- who probe the nooks and crannies of government agencies to see that they're functioning properly.

If you're interested in becoming a Grand Juror, applications are available here.