Kalamazoo’s City Government

Kalamazoo City Hall

Kalamazoo Public Library Photo, Miller Davis Collection MD-501

Commission-Manager Form of Government

In 1836, the Village of Bronson was renamed Kalamazoo. Seven years later it was incorporated as a village. In 1884, the Village of Kalamazoo adopted a charter and was incorporated as a city. The city instated a commission-manager form of government in 1918, one of the first cities in the United States to adopt this style of local government.

City Commision

Under the city charter, the people of Kalamazoo elect seven city commission members: the mayor, the vice-mayor, and five commissioners. The commissioner who receives the highest number of votes becomes the mayor; the second highest vote-getter becomes the vice mayor.

City Manager

Under the current commission-manager form of government, the commission’s policies are administered by the city manager, who is appointed by and reports to the city commission. The city manager is responsible for the administrative affairs of the city, carrying out policies formulated by the city commission, and preparing the city’s annual budget.

Sources

Books

State and Local Government in Michigan

  • Lewis, Ferris E.
  • Hillsdale Educational Publishers, 1984, especially the chapters on village and city government
  • H 353.9774 L67 1984

City Documents

Charter of the City of Kalamazoo, as amended November 3, 1998

  • City Doc CH 5C48-1998

Local History Room Subject File

Kalamazoo (Govt.) and its subdivisions

Websites

City of Kalamazoo