Boards, Commissions, & Committees

Boards and commissions are established to address specific needs of our community. Contact the office of the City Clerk or review our current list of boards, commissions, and committees for additional information. If you are interested in being appointed to a board, commission, or committee, please complete our online application and submit it to the City Clerk’s office.

City Structure and Governance

In order to be more effective in fulfilling their purpose, board and commission members should understand the organizational structure of the City.

The City of Wyoming is a home rule city under the laws of the State of Michigan, operating under a voter-approved Charter which was first adopted in 1959.

The citizens have chosen a council-manager form of government.  Under this form, the citizens elect a mayor and three councilmembers “at large” from the entire City, and a councilmember to represent each of three geographic wards.

Together the mayor and councilmembers set policy and goals for city government and annually adopt a budget in support of City activities. The mayor serves as the chief executive official of the City for ceremonial purposes and as required by statute, and is the chairman of the council. However, the mayor’s participation and vote in all proceedings of the Council is equal to that of the other members.

The City Council appoints a city manager, who is the chief administrative official of the City and responsible for the day-to-day operation of the City and implementation of the Council’s policies. Department managers and their staff report to the city manager.

The City of Wyoming is governed by a Charter, which is similar to a constitution, and adopted ordinances. Nearly every board or commission is affected by the Charter and one or more ordinances, as their power, duties, and responsibilities are usually laid out in one of those documents.

Board Member Expectations

Persons wishing to be considered for appointment to a board or commission must submit an application to the city clerk on a form provided. Depending on the particular board, appointments are made by the City Council, by the mayor with the concurrence of the Council, or by the city manager with the concurrence of the Council. The length of the appointment term varies by board; some members may be appointed for a shorter time to fill a vacant unexpired term.

Persons appointed to most boards and commissions of the City must be a qualified and registered elector of the City on the date of appointment and throughout the tenure of the office. In some cases, state law supersedes this Charter requirement, where specialized knowledge or experience is required. When a member is no longer able to serve the City due to a change in residency or another reason, a letter of resignation should be sent to the City Clerk’s Office.

The effective operation of a board depends upon regular attendance of the members at all meetings. As a result, a member may be removed from the position prior to the expiration of a term when that member is absent from four consecutive meetings, or twenty-five percent of the meetings in a fiscal year, unless the absence is excused by the board and the reason noted in the minutes of the meeting. Contact the board chairperson or assigned staff liaison in advance of the meeting if you are unable to attend.

An appointed member should avoid any conflict of interest, whether real or perceived. Members should also carefully avoid even the appearance of impropriety or partiality. 

Members should request permission from the other members of their board to abstain from voting on any issue where the member has a personal financial interest. An explanation of the conflict should be provided to the board; a motion, second, and vote is required to permit the member to abstain. Members may not ask permission to abstain from voting because they know one or more of the participants, are neighbors, friends, or even relatives. The abstention from voting should be for personal financial interest.

However, it is entirely proper and expected that the member reveal such a connection to an issue being voted upon before discussion begins.

Each board and commission is responsible to investigate and take action or make thoughtful recommendation to the City Council and staff on issues coming before it. The normal channels of communication between the City Council and the boards and commissions are through the minutes and other formal actions or documents prepared by staff for the board or commission. The staff liaison will forward such reports to the manager and City Council.  At the same time, the board and commission members are always free to communicate directly with councilmembers on any matter concerning their area of responsibility.

Most boards and commissions are organized with a chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary.  The chairperson conducts the meetings according to any adopted by-laws and, to the extent feasible, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. The chairperson’s duty is not to control or dominate discussion or decisions but to ensure the discussion remains on track, that all members and the public are given a fair opportunity to be heard, and that the motion to be decided is clear before voting begins. The chairperson may participate in preparation of the agenda before the meeting; normally the staff liaison handles this function. The secretary may be responsible for taking and preparing minutes of each meeting and keeping a permanent record; in some cases the staff liaison department may provide assistance in minute-taking.  If the original, signed minutes are retained by the department as a permanent record, a copy must be provided to the City Clerk.

Meetings, Records, and the Law

All meetings of any board or commission of the City of Wyoming are subject to the Open Meetings Act, Public Act 267 of 1976, as amended. All of its records, whether held by members, staff, or the City Clerk’s Office, are subject to the Freedom of Information Act, Public Act 442 of 1976, as amended.

Open Meetings Act

The most important thing to remember about the Open Meetings Act is that every decision made by a board or commission, and all deliberation toward that decision, must be made at a meeting that is open to the public at a time and place that has been noticed to the public at least 18 hours in advance.

The meetings must be held in a public place, preferably a building owned by the City of Wyoming that is handicap-accessible. The meeting must include an opportunity for the public to address the members of the board or commission, preferably before actions are taken. Boards or commissions may adopt rules that limit the length of time someone may speak; these rules must be applied consistently. Rules may not be made to allow only residents to speak.

The City Council has also adopted rules and ordinances that govern meetings.  The regular meeting schedule of each board and commission must be approved by City Council at the beginning of each year and then posted at City Hall.  Any temporary change from this schedule, such as a meeting cancelled or rescheduled, must be posted by the Clerk’s Office at least 18 hours in advance.  Any permanent schedule change desired by the board or commission must be approved by City Council prior to implementation.

Members must not circumvent the Open Meetings Act through the use of telephone, email, or other communication to deliberate toward a decision outside the meeting.  Members may seek and acquire information and talk to persons with that information but should not conduct any business of the board or commission outside a public meeting.