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Residents needed to serve on boards and commissions in Madison Heights

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published July 23, 2019

File photo

MADISON HEIGHTS — The city of Madison Heights currently has about two dozen open spots on the citizen-led boards and commissions that help advise the City Council on policies and initiatives. 

Residents interested in serving can find applications at the city’s website, Applications are due Friday, Aug. 2, and can be submitted at the City Clerk’s Office inside City Hall, located at 300 W. 13 Mile Road. If a resident is interested in serving on multiple boards, they must submit a separate application for each board.

The boards that currently have vacancies include:

• The Community Development Block Grant Review Committee, which advises on federal CDBG funds and their usage. 

• The Construction Board of Review, which reviews the appeals of cases under the building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical and fire prevention codes of the city. Members on this board must have expertise in one or more of the following professions: architect/builder, architect/structural engineer, mechanical engineer/contractor, electrical engineer/contractor or fire protection engineer/contractor. 

• The Crime Commission, which studies the crime situation in the city and makes recommendations on preventing and eliminating crime. The group also advises on building bonds between residents and law enforcement. Members must be registered voters of the city.

• The Elected Officials Compensation Commission, which reviews the salaries of the mayor and council and issues salary orders based on state law. Members of this commission meet only in odd-numbered years.

• The Environmental Citizens Committee, which advises and assists on eco-friendly programs. The committee’s work also includes educating the public on environmental matters and encouraging participation in programs and projects.

• The Historical Commission, which collects and preserves historical material related to the city of Madison Heights and the surrounding area.

• The Information Technology Advisory Committee, or ITAC, which serves as a forum for sharing ideas, trends and perspectives with regard to IT and their applications in the city.

• The Library Advisory Board, which studies and makes recommendations for short- and long-term improvements to the city’s library system.

• The Multicultural Relations Advisory Board, which studies issues affecting minority groups in the city and monitors policies and practices in the city to ensure fairness to minority communities. This board also promotes intercultural awareness, education and appreciation of all people.

• The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which promotes recreational and parks programming for residents and visitors to the city.

• The Planning Commission, which makes recommendations to the council on issues regarding rezoning requests, zoning ordinance text amendments, easement/right-of-way matters and approvals for subdivisions. 

• The Zoning Board of Appeals, which hears, reviews and decides variance requests, decision appeals and ordinance interpretations.

The terms vary, anywhere from two to seven years, depending on the board, but most positions are three-year terms. The Historical Commission, ITAC, Library Advisory Board and Multicultural Relations Advisory Board each have multiple openings; the other groups are nearly full but need one or two additional members. Alternate seats are also available. In all, there were about 25 vacant regular or alternate seats across the boards and commissions at press time. 

 “City Council values the input they gain from these boards and commissions because it brings together citizen views that might not otherwise be heard,” said Melissa Marsh, the city manager of Madison Heights. “This is a way to gain interested residents’ feedback on issues that City Council are or will be considering.”

Added Cheryl Printz, the city clerk: “The key to government representing the values of the citizens is for the citizens to be engaged in the process. Being a member of a local board or commission allows the community to have a direct, hands-on impact on what the priorities of their government will be.” 

Most boards and commissions meet quarterly or monthly, while some meet only as needed. Specific expertise is not a requirement for most boards and commissions, and city officials encourage residents to apply even if they’re not sure they have the right knowledge or skill sets.

“Choosing to serve as a member of a board or commission is a meaningful way to participate in your local government,” Marsh said. “It gives residents a way to share their expertise while directly participating in shaping your community.”

Printz agreed.

“Often people say they can’t make a difference when it comes to how their government is run. This is a direct way to have an impact on your local government, meet members of the community, and become involved in shaping how you want to see your community grow,” Printz said. “I hear over and over again by our leaders that they want input from our boards and commissions as they are deciding public policy and moving Madison Heights forward.”

For more information, call the City Clerk’s Office at (248) 583-0826.

Call Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at (586) 279-1104.