Detroit Charter

The Detroit Charter and City Government

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Annotations By: Jacqueline Bejma

Sec. 9-101. Definition and Purpose

Community Advisory Councils are established by ordinance by petition of city residents

Community Advisory Councils are meant to improve citizen access to city government

City council creates advisory districts based on 7 council districts or 9 contiguous districts of roughly the same size

Community Advisory Councils as used in this chapter are advisory councils established by ordinance upon the petition of city residents. The purpose of these Councils is to improve citizen access to city government. The City Council shall create advisory council districts by ordinance that shall be the same as districts from which council members are elected, exclusive of the at-large district. The ordinance shall be adopted within ninety (90) days after the effective date of this Charter.

Sec. 9-102. Creation and Composition of Advisory Councils

City council will accept the creation of a Community Advisory Council by ordinance after receipt of a petition from residents of the district

10% of qualified registered voters must sign the petition to create the Community Advisory Council

Each community advisory council will have 7 members as follows:

  1. 5 citizens elected from that district;
  2. 1 youth member from that district, chosen by the city councilperson;
  3. 1 member who represents the concerns of seniors in that district.

Members must live in the district and be registered voters

1 member of city council will also serve on the Community Advisory Council

Members are elected in regular municipal elections

Members serve 4 year terms, with a maximum of 2 consecutive terms

Members receive no compensation

The district City Council person, or their designee, must attend all Community Advisory Council meetings

City Council shall by ordinance establish seven (7) Community Advisory Councils upon receipt of a petition from the residents of districts created under section 9-101. The petitions shall be signed by a number of qualified registered voters who are residents of a district equal to not less than ten (10) percent of the number of persons voting at the last municipal general election in the district.

Each Community Advisory Council shall consist of five (5) members elected from a single non at-large district, who shall be residents and qualified and registered voters of the district; one (1) youth member between the ages of thirteen (13) and seventeen (17); and one (1) member selected as a representative for senior issues. City Council shall establish by ordinance a procedure for the selection and appointment of the high school member and senior issues representative on Community Advisory Councils. After creation of a Community Advisory Council, elected members shall be elected at the next election occurring in the city, if permitted by law, and shall serve until January 1 of the year following the regular city municipal elections. Thereafter, elected Community Advisory Council members shall be elected to four (4) year terms at the regular city municipal elections. Notwithstanding election to an initial term of less than four (4) years, an elected member may not be elected to more than two (2) consecutive four (4) year terms. The senior issues representative selected in accordance with the City ordinance shall serve one (1) four (4) year term, and may be reappointed. The youth member selected in accordance with City ordinance shall serve a one (1) year term and may be reappointed for as long as the person meets the age requirement. Reappointment of the youth member shall be for one (1) year terms. All members shall serve without compensation.

The City Council member elected from the non at-large district in which a Community Advisory Council resides, or their designee, shall attend all official meetings of that Community Advisory Council.

Sec. 9-103. Powers, Duties and Limitations

City council provides procedures, powers and duties for Community Advisory Councils by ordinance

Community Advisory Councils receive no city funds but may accept donations or grants

Community Advisory Councils can be dissolved by a petition signed by 10% of qualified, registered voters

Community Advisory Councils will hold public meetings with reasonable public notice at least 4 times per year

Community Advisory Councils have the power to communicate concerns about program and service delivery to city council

Assist in community problem solving to:

  1. Clarify issues
  2. Use proper procedures to access city government
  3. Disseminate information
  4. Provide advice to community representatives and city council on housing development, commercial blight, safety and security, economic opportunity and employment, code enforcement, or other concerns impacting social, economic, cultural and environmental conditions
  5. Assist in understanding the city charter
  6. Meet annually with the mayor and city council to discuss problems and needs in the district
  7. Familiarizing themselves with the Master Plan for the City of Detroit in relationship to the city generally and the landed area within their district generally

City Council shall, by ordinance, prescribe uniform procedures, for the exercise of the powers and duties for all Community Advisory Councils. Included in those powers and duties shall be the provision that a community council may require that the City Council representative receive prior consultation from the Community Advisory Council on all issues which relate exclusively to that district.

Community Advisory Councils shall receive no appropriations from city funds, but may accept donations or grants in accordance with state, federal or local law.

A particular Community Advisory Council shall be dissolved only by a petition signed by the same number of qualified voters residing in the Community Advisory Council district required above, and an ordinance adopted after public hearing by City Council with public notice to the Community Advisory Council district in question.

Each Community Advisory Council shall hold public meetings not less than four (4) times each year. The meetings will be held within the respective districts and will be held in donated facilities with an attempt to provide as broad of a geographical distribution for the meetings as possible. The meetings shall be held in accordance with the Michigan Open Meetings Act and the Community Advisory Councils shall comply with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

The powers and duties of each Community Advisory Council shall include:

  1. Communicating to City Council the concerns of groups, agencies, businesses and residents within its districts with respect to the delivery of programs and services.
  2. Assisting groups, agencies, businesses and residents in community problem solving by meeting with groups to:
    1. Clarify issues; and
    2. Demonstrate proper procedural approaches to accessing city government.
  3. Disseminating information to groups, agencies, businesses and residents on social and physical plans for the districts areas.
  4. Providing advice to community representatives and City Council on major issues within the council district which may include:
    1. Housing development;
    2. Commercial blight;
    3. Safety and security;
    4. Economic and community development;
    5. Employment opportunities;
    6. Code enforcement; and
    7. Other concerns impacting social, economic, cultural and environmental conditions within the district.
  5. Familiarizing themselves with the City Charter, with the objective of assisting the community in understanding the intent and relevance of Charter provisions.
  6. Familiarizing themselves with the Master Plan for the City of Detroit in relationship to the City generally and the land area within their district generally.
  7. Meeting annually with the Mayor and annually with City Council to discuss the challenges confronting the district and the resources required to advance the interest and support the viability of the district.

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