(a) In order to coordinate the activities of the Department of Mental Health and to advise with such department and to better acquaint the public with the needs and activities of such department, there is hereby created a board of trustees for the Department of Mental Health to be composed of 16 members. The Governor, the Commissioner of Mental Health, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be ex-officio members of such board of trustees. The remaining 12 members shall be appointed by the Governor, one from each of the congressional districts and the remainder from the state at large. One of the state at large positions shall be selected from nominations offered by the Association for Retarded Citizens of Alabama and one of the state at large positions shall be selected from nominations offered by the Mental Health Association of Alabama. All appointed trustees shall have demonstrated a concern for the programs and services provided by the Department of Mental Health and should represent a balance of primary interest areas or expertise.
(b) The Governor shall be chairman of the board of trustees and the Commissioner of Mental Health shall be the secretary. The board shall meet quarterly at a place to be designated by the chairman and may meet more frequently upon the call of the chairman, or a majority of the members.
(c) As soon as practicable after this section becomes law, the Governor shall appoint four members for a term of one year; four members for a term of two years; four members for a term of three years; all trustees shall take office effective upon appointment. No trustee shall serve more than three consecutive three-year terms; provided, however, that trustees shall continue to serve until their successors have been appointed.