Residents who want to serve as watchdogs on the Santa Clara County civil grand jury now have until March 22 to apply, after the deadline was extended by two weeks.

The civil grand jury has the power to examine and audit all aspects of county and city government, schools and special districts. They also inspect jails and juvenile detention facilities.

"Civil grand juries are the cornerstones of democracy that ensure county and local government are wholly accountable to the people they serve," said presiding Santa Clara County Superior Court presiding Judge Brian C. Walsh in a media release. "Civil grand jury service offers everyday citizens a unique opportunity to contribute to the efficiency of local government and to hold elected and appointed officials accountable for the use of our precious tax dollars."

The civil grand jury is sworn in each June and serves for a year.

Anyone interested in applying can contact Gloria Alicia Chacon at the civil grand jury's office, 408-882-2722; or visit the website: www.scscourt.org. Click on civil grandjury to obtain an application online.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.



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