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.
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.
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.