Each year Mayor Marion Barry appoints 600 to 700 persons to serve on the city's boards and commissions.
While preference is usually given to the mayor's supporters, the city is also advertising for candidates.
Betty King, special assistant to the mayor for boards and commissions, said that her office conducts an aggressive outreach for candidates to make certain that all races, both sexes and each of the city's wards are represented.
"I am unabashed in saying that if you've been in the Barry army -- one who has been a supporter of the mayor and the mayor's administration -- you're going to have veteran's preference." King said.
"But names are accepted from wherever they come from and people the mayor may not know may be appointed," she said. "This office does not filter out anyone unless they are not qualified under the law."
Some of the mayor's appointments must be approved by the City Council.
Applicants are needed to fill 121 vacancies immediately and more than 136 additional vacancies will occur during the year.
While many of the posts are unpaid, compensation for others ranges from a reimbursement of expenses to the $250 per day paid to members of the Public Employee Relations Board that deals with labor matters.
Persons selected to fill some of the boards with vacancies will find themselves dealing with some crucial matters for the city.
For example, the city needs 40 persons to serve on the mayor's 80-member advisory committee on resources and budget.
Members are selected from each of the city's eight wards and have the opportunity to review city programs and give the citizen's view on budget plans and tax proposals.
There are two vacancies on the D.C. Lottery Board, whose members receive an annual salary of $15,000 while the chairman receives $18,000. The board regulates and coordinates the city's legalized gambling operation, which generates millions of dollars in revenue for the city.
The mayor is also looking for candidates for the board of directors for the new Economic Development Finance Corp., a quasi-public, non-profit body responsible for stimulating economic and business development and creating jobs.
A complete list of the positions available can be obtained by writing to King at the District Building, Room 402 or calling 727-1372.
"We've got some boards and commissions, like the Arts and Humanities Commission, that we might have 10 candidates for each vacancy," said King. "But somewhere in the city there is someone who would kill to get on every one of the boards."
People are encouraged to nominate themselves and others by writing to the mayor at the District Building.
The nomination should include a name, home address, day and evening telephone numbers and a resume or biographical sketch.
In preparation for yesterday's open house, the City Council Chambers received a face lift for the first time since the early 1970s.
The gold room became the beige room and the carpet received a much-needed cleaning.
"This rug is an embarrassment to the government and the citizens who utilize this space," said council secretary Russell Smith. "The chambers has not been painted since the early 1970s."
The doors to council members offices were also painted a bright blue.
The color has received less than a warm welcome from some council employes who quickly point out that it does not match the blue in the hallway.
Meanwhile, some council members were busy playing an office shuffle.
Frank Smith (D-Ward 1) moved to Hilda Mason's (Statehood-At-Large) office and Mason moved to the office of William R. Spaulding (D-Ward 5). Spaulding moved to the office of former City Council member Jerry A. Moore Jr., who was defeated by Republican Carol Schwartz. Schwartz moved into Smith's former office. All the offices are still located on the first floor of the District Building.