· The City of Alma has seven elected City Commissioners. Every even year four positions are up for election. The three candidates with the most votes receive a four-year term. The fourth place winner receives a two-year term. To run for City Commission, the person needs to be at least 18 year of age, live within the City and be a registered voter. The City Commission, at their organizational meeting, selects the Mayor and Vice Mayor from their membership.
· The City Commission is the legislative and governing body for the City. It is responsible for hiring and supervising the City Manager, setting policy, adopting ordinances and approving the budget.
· The City Commission meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.
· People interested in running for City Commission should contact the City Clerk.
Board of Review
· The Board of Review reviews the assessment roll from the Assessor and hears tax appeals from property owners. Most of the work is hearing tax appeals for three days in March. The Board of Review may meet as needed at other times of the year.
· The City Commission appoints the three-member Board each year. The Board of Review must live in the City and have the same qualifications required of County Commissioners. The City Commission prefers Board members with a good understanding of Alma real estate valuation.
Downtown Development Authority
· The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) oversees and promotes the economic development of the downtown district.
· The governing Board of the DDA is the Mayor and a Board of at least 8 and not more than 12 people. The Mayor makes the appointments subject to the approval of the City Commission. A majority of the Board shall have a property interest in the district. At least one member, shall live within the district.
· The DDA meets as needed.
· The Housing Commission oversees senior and low-income housing. The Housing Commission owns a number of multi-residential housing units and administers the local federal Section 8 rental voucher program.
· The five-member Board is appointed by the City Manager. The Manager prefers a diverse Board with housing, social service or financial background. The Manager tries to have at least one resident of the Housing Commission on the Housing Commission Board.
· The Housing Commission meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month.
· The Library Board oversees the management of the Alma Public Library.
· The five-member Board is appointed by the Alma City Commission. The Commission prefers appointing users of the library.
· The Library Board meets the last Wednesday of every month.
· The Planning Commission develops the community’s master plan, reviews site plans for larger developments, reviews and issues special use permits, and makes recommendations about zoning ordinance changes.
· The Planning Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor subject to the approval of the City Commission. Planning Commissioners must be qualified electors of the City except one non-qualified elector may be appointed to the Board. The Mayor and Commission prefer a diverse Board by geography, occupation, employer, ethnicity, and gender.
· The Planning Commission meets on the first Monday of every other month.
Zoning Board of Appeals
· The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) interpret the zoning ordinance, hears appeals, and grants variances.
· The five-member ZBA is appointed by the City Commission. One member shall be a member of the Planning Commission. All shall be citizens of the City who represent various interests and population distribution of the City.
· The ZBA meets as needed.
· The Building Authority is able to finance certain public buildings. The Building Authority is essentially dormant.
· The Building Authority includes four members appointed by the City Commission and the City Manager.
Local Development Finance Authority
· The Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA) is able to finance public infrastructure to facility industrial development in the LDFA district. The LDFA is essential dormant and only meets if needed.
· The seven-member LDFA Board is appointed by the City Commission.
Construction Board of Appeals
· The Construction Board of Appeals hears and decides appeals of the fire code official decision requiring action by property owners.
· The five-member Board is appointed by the City Commission. The fire code official is one of the members but does not have vote. Members of the Board should have knowledge and experience in construction.
· Meets as needed.
Some Boards are strictly advisory in nature. These include:
Committee on Parks and Recreation
· This committee advises the City Commission on issues related to parks and recreation. The committee takes the lead in developing the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
· City Commission appoints members. The Commission wants a diverse Board of many ages and interests. There is no set number of members.
· Meets as needed.
DART Local Advisory Council
· The Local Advisory Council (LAC) advises Alma Transportation about operations of the bus services in the area.
· The Director of Transportation Services appoints the members of the LAC. LAC members should be either users of the service or work closely with users of the service. LAC is particularly interested in having members who understand the needs of people with handicaps or the needs of the elderly.
· Meets quarterly.
The City is a member or participant in a number of other Boards and Commissions. Generally, the Board members are elected or appointed officials with the City of Alma. While City Commission may appoint others for some of these positions, the nature of the representation requires in-depth understanding of the interests of the City.
· The Election Commission oversees the operation of elections in the City of Alma including approving election workers, establishing election Receiving Boards and items required by state law.
· By City Charter, the election Commission is Mayor, City Clerk, and the Director of Police.
· Meets before each election.
Tree Appeal Board
· Citizens unhappy with a decision made by the City Forester can appeal the decision to the Tree Appeal Board.
· By ordinance, the Tree Appeal Board consist of the City Manager and members of the City Commission
· Meets as needed.
Gratiot Community Airport Authority Board
· The responsibility of the management and the budget of the airport is under the direction of the Gratiot Community Airport Authority Board.
· Each contributing member appoints one member to the Board.
· Meets as needed.
Rural Urban Fire Board
· The Rural Urban Fire Board sets the budget for the fire department that serves the City of Alma, Arcada, Pine River, Seville and Sumner Townships.
· The City Commission appoints three people to the Rural Urban Fire Board.
· Meets once or twice each year.
Gratiot Area Solid Waste Authority
· Alma and Saint Louis work together for bidding a solid waste and recycling contract. The interlocal agreement is governed by the Gratiot Area Solid Waste Board.
· Each community appoints one representative to the two-member Board.
· Meets as needed.
Gratiot Area Water Authority
· The communities’ wells, booster stations and water treatment plant are owned and operated by Gratiot Area Water Authority.
· Alma and Saint Louis each appoint three members to the Authority Board.
· Meets on the second Friday of each month.
Gratiot County Central Dispatch Authority
· All police, fire and rescue services in Gratiot County are dispatched by one dispatch center.
· Alma City Commission appoints one member of the Board.
Greater Gratiot Development
· Greater Gratiot Development is the economic development office for Gratiot County and all the communities within Gratiot
· Alma City Commission appoints one member to the Greater Gratiot Development Board.
· Meets on the third Thursday of each month.
Gratiot County GIS Authority
· Managing and proving access to geographical information; as aerial maps, tax information, property ownership and flood plains.
· Alma has one member on the GIS Board. Meets quarterly.