Grosse Pointe Woods charter change not yet implemented

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 18, 2021

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — On Nov. 2, voters in Grosse Pointe Woods overwhelmingly approved two charter amendments that will change how City Hall operates administratively.

However, to implement the changes approved by voters, the Woods City Council will still need to take action.

City Administrator Bruce Smith is retaining his current title, but the Woods is moving to a form of administrative government more akin to the city manager version in place in many other communities, including the other four Grosse Pointes. Under the charter changes, the city clerk and treasurer will now report to, and be supervised by, the city administrator. Traditionally, the clerk and treasurer had been independent of the city administrator and reported directly to the City Council. The council will still appoint the city clerk and treasurer, as well as establish their salaries.

In order for the charter changes to take effect, Smith said the council would need to approve an ordinance to this effect. That didn’t happen at the council’s first post-election meeting, on Nov. 8, nor was it on the agenda for the council’s next meeting Nov. 15.

At press time, Smith said he wasn’t sure when the council would be considering such an ordinance.

“It should be forthcoming,” Smith said.

Following the election, Mayor Arthur Bryant said the approval of the charter amendments took effect immediately but still requires council action to be effective.

“We, the council, will now have to put forth a proposal to make our city administrator be in charge of (the city clerk and treasurer),” Bryant said.

Bryant said he and some other city officials were in favor of the change because the council and mayor aren’t full-time positions, whereas the city administrator is full-time.

“This will make one person — who is here every day — able to be responsible for everyone in the building,” Bryant said.

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