Eastpointe encourages residents to fill open board and commission seats

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 27, 2020


EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe is putting a call out for residents to consider filling one of several openings and vacancies on its local boards and commissions.

The boards and commissions help run and regulate a wide range of local matters.

“The city of Eastpointe is encouraging all of our residents to apply for a number of open and available positions on our boards and commissions,” said Eastpointe Assistant City Manager Brian Fairbrother. “We’re looking for residents who are active, who are positive, and who are looking to play a role in their city and local government.”

There is no crisis with the seats being unfilled; however, local leaders want issues determined by the bodies to be addressed as efficiently and effectively as possible, and that means having all the seats occupied.

“Obviously, we want to get the word out and get these positions filled,” said Eastpointe City Councilwoman Sarah Lucido. “One of our goals this year is to encourage more community involvement, and getting them involved in how Eastpointe is managed is a great way to do so.”

Each board or commission deals with something different and requires a different time commitment from its members.

“Their roles vary ever so slightly,” said Fairbrother. “For the most part, they are only a one or two day a month commitment. Some of them are even less and just meet a few days per year. All these different groups have different roles, but they are all crucial to the management of government at a local level. … This is everything from our Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission to our Assessment Board of Review to the Downtown Development Authority.”

The groups will either have openings, which are seats whose terms are expiring and a current member could reapply in addition to new members applying, or vacancies, which are seats that are entirely unoccupied. An alternative vacancy means they are looking for an alternate, or someone who can sit on the board or commission when an ordinary member is unavailable.

The Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission has two openings and one vacancy.

“The first is the Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission, which is responsible for displaying the different arts and culture of the community,” said Fairbrother. “For instance, they just had a proclamation about Martin Luther King Day adopted by the City Council at its last meeting.”

The Assessment Board of Review has three openings and two additional openings for alternate members.

“The Assessment Board of Review looks at property values in the city and hearing complaints on real property,” Fairbrother said.

The Beautification Commission has four openings.

“The Beautification Commission is responsible for helping the community stay beautiful and continue to be beautiful, such as by planting flowers with our adopt-a-garden-bed program,” Fairbrother said.

The Downtown Development Authority, focused around the Nine Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue area, has three openings.

The Local Officers Compensation Committee has one vacancy.

“We have a Local Officers Compensation Committee, which is appointed by the mayor and approved by council, and they give recommendations to council as to what their compensation should look like, and they only meet every other year to offer that recommendation as to whether the mayor and council deserve a pay increase or a pay decrease,” Fairbrother said.

The Parks Commission has one vacancy.

“The Parks Commission obviously handles our parks and recreation issues and works with the Recreation Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe regularly,” said Fairbrother.

The Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals have three openings and two alternate vacancies, respectively.

“The Planning Commission and our Zoning Board of Appeals meet once or twice a month and determine different planning or zoning issues throughout the community,” Fairbrother said. “For instance, right now we have a proposal to build container homes in the city, so the Planning Commission will be holding a public hearing to hear feedback from the community as to what they think of those container homes being allowed in the city.”

There are few prerequisites for joining any of these bodies, but expertise of any kind in their area of influence is preferred.

“They need to be over the age of 18 and a resident of Eastpointe,” Fairbrother explained. “There are additional qualifications that can be helpful. For instance, to be a member of the Assessment Board of Review, it would help to be some sort of builder or a Realtor so they have a good working knowledge of property values and how houses get appraised.”

A resident who is looking to apply for a board or committee position can go to www.cityofeast pointe.net, where there is a list of all positions.

“There’s always vacancies in local boards and commissions; people are always moving into the city and moving out of the city,” said Fairbrother. “It’s pretty common to have a natural turnover at the local level. I don’t think this is an exorbitant amount by any means, but we are looking to see these seats get filled. We want to put the call out for people who want to see the city of Eastpointe get better and more beautiful. I’d like to encourage all of our residents to go to our website and look at these vacancies and see if they want to apply.”