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Roseville seeks to fill vacant board and commission seats

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 3, 2020

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ROSEVILLE — The city of Roseville is calling on residents who want to get more involved in their city to consider taking up one of several vacant seats on the city’s various boards and commissions.

City Manager Scott Adkins said that having vacant seats on such local bodies is a common issue, and he hopes that Roseville residents will see it as an opportunity to get involved in local government.

“Like many communities, we struggle to fill positions on boards, committees and commissions, but these are the fact-finding and advisory groups that allow a city to function,” Adkins said. “This is how to start to get involved in your local city government.”

Adkins said there are several seats open that members of the Roseville community can consider applying for.

“We have two openings on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board,” he said. “We have one position open on the Housing Commission, and we have three positions open on the Downtown Development Authority; however, per state statute, two of them have to either own or lease property in the downtown area, reside within the district or work within the district.”

The Downtown Development Authority’s district is defined as being between Gratiot Avenue, from Florence Street to Martin Road, and Utica Road, from Martin Road to Birmingham Street.

The Housing Commission has five members with the one vacancy. The Parks and Recreation Board has eight members plus the city manager and has the two openings, and the Downtown Development Authority currently has 11 members with the three openings.

The Housing Commission authorizes cities to purchase, acquire, construct, maintain, operate, improve, extend and repair housing facilities. It also works to eliminate housing conditions that are detrimental to the public peace, health, safety, morals and welfare.

Duties include overseeing the purchasing, leasing, selling, exchanging, transferring, assigning and mortgaging of any property under eminent domain; establishing and revising rents of any housing projects; owning, holding, clearing and improving properties in the city; engaging in or contracting for the design and construction, reconstruction, alteration, improvement, extension or repair of any housing projects; leasing or operating any housing project or projects; and controlling and supervising all parks and playgrounds that are parts of housing developments.

The Downtown Development Authority’s responsibilities include preventing the deterioration of business districts; encouraging historical preservation; creating development plans for the city; promoting economic growth; and authorizing the use of tax increment financing plans. The Downtown Development Authority also has some input in design review; promotion and marketing; business assistance programs; and public engagement through meetings, programs and events within the district.

State regulations state that no less than a majority of the members shall be people having an interest in property located in the downtown district or officers, members, trustees, principals or employees of a legal entity having an interest in property located in the downtown district. Not less than one of the members shall be a resident of the downtown district, if the downtown district has 100 or more people residing within it.

The Parks and Recreation Board is in charge of operating the public parks and recreation facilities of the city. This includes acting as an advisory board to suggest changes, such as park improvements, expansions and the acquisition of park property.

The time commitments for each board or commission vary, but Adkins said that each position fulfills a vital role in making Roseville work.

“Most meet monthly,” he explained. “The Parks and Recreation Board meets as needed, which can be anywhere between bimonthly to every two months.”

Roseville Mayor Robert Taylor encouraged anyone interested to consider taking up one of the unoccupied seats, but said that those who can’t make such a commitment are still invited to attend the board and commission meetings.

“If people don’t want to be on a committee, they can just go to the meetings,” Taylor said. “Obviously, their input is important. Even if you want to just attend a meeting, it helps. Everyone has an opinion, and we want to hear those opinions. We need to hear from Roseville residents in order to help Roseville residents.”

Anyone interested in applying can do so online or by picking up a paper application.

“They can obtain a paper application at City Hall, 29777 Gratiot Ave., or go to the ‘Apply’ section at www.roseville-mi.gov,” Adkins said.

Taylor said filling these seats and getting the input and participation of residents is a crucial aspect of getting any municipality to run properly.

“We’re always taking applications, and we’re happy to hear from people,” he said. “These groups are necessary to keep Roseville running properly.”

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