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Running for Office

Community members that are interested in running for office can find information below about the qualifications and requirements for certain local offices. Residents can also get involved locally by serving on an Advisory Board or Commission.

Kalamazoo City Commission

Elections for the Kalamazoo City Commission are held in every odd year. City Commissioners serve staggered four-year terms, with three commissioners selected in each election. The Mayor is elected to serve a two-year term in every election. The requirements to run for office are established in the pdf City Charter (268 KB) .

November 2, 2021 Municipal Election Deadlines: 

  • May 21, 2021 - Candidates may begin circulating nominating petitions
  • July 20, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. – Deadline for nomination petitions and affidavits of identity to be filed with the Kalamazoo City Clerk’s Office
  • July 23, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. – Last day for eligible candidates to withdraw their candidacy

Qualifications

§6. (a) A person seeking the office of City Commissioner shall be a resident of and qualified elector in the City at the time of filing for election or appointment to that office. The City Commission shall be judge of the election and qualification of its own members, subject to review by the Courts. No member of the city Commission shall, during his or her term of office, hold any other city office unless otherwise provided in this Charter.

(b) No member of the City Commission, or other officer, shall be interested directly or indirectly in the profits of any contract, job or work, or be financially interested directly or indirectly in the sale to the city of any land, materials, supplies or services (other than official services). Any member of the City Commission, or other officer of the city, offending against the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than Five Hundred ($500) Dollars, or be imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both, in the discretion of the court and shall forfeit office. The prohibitions of this section shall not apply if the City Commission shall declare on its records by a unanimous vote of the members thereof, other than the member so interested, that the best interests of the city are served in spite of a personal interest, direct or indirect.

Nominations

§32. (a) Candidates for all elective offices in the City shall be nominated from the City at large by petitions only. The name of any elector of the City shall be printed on the ballot whenever a petition, as hereinafter prescribed, shall have been filed in his or her behalf with the City Clerk. The City Clerk shall provide uniform nominating petition blanks

(b) Each petition shall contain the name of the candidate, along with the address of his or her residence, and shall specify the office for which the candidate is nominated. Each elector signing such petition shall add to his or her signature the address of his or her residence and the date on which he or she signed. Each elector may sign the nominating petition of no more than six (6) candidates for the office of City Commissioner and no more than one nominating petition for the office of Mayor, provided however, that beginning with the regular municipal election held in November 2017, an elector may sign the nominating petition of no more than three (3) candidates for the office of City Commissioner and the nominating petition of one candidate for each two-year unexpired term of the office of City Commissioner. The signatures to the nominating petition need not all be appended to one paper, but to each separate paper there shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof, stating that each signature appended thereto was made in the circulator’s presence, and is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. 

(c) Each nominating petition to be valid shall contain the names of not less than fifty nor more than seventy-five qualified electors. No such petition shall be circulated more than sixty days prior to the last day petitions may be filed and all such petitions shall be filed with the City Clerk no later than 4 o’clock P.M. on or before the twelfth Tuesday before the election.

PA 276 of 2012 is the statute that established the current filing deadline of 4:00 p.m. on the 15th Tuesday prior to the odd-year general election. This new filing deadline took effect January 1, 2014.  

Procedure

Submit properly completed petitions containing at least 50 valid signatures but no more than 75; and submit a completed Affidavit of Identity to the Clerk's office. Petition forms are available from the City Clerk's Office at City Hall during business hours. 

Library Board

Qualifications

Members of the Kalamazoo Public Library Board of Trustees must be qualified electors of the Library District. A current member list and/or calendar are available from the Kalamazoo Public Library.

Nominations

Members of the Kalamazoo Public Library Board of Trustees must file nominating petitions with the City Clerk. There are two ways to file:

  1. Submit petitions with at least 40 but not more than 100 signatures of registered voters within the School District.
  2. Submit a $100 nonrefundable filing fee.


Procedure

  1. Submit completed petitions or $100 nonrefundable filing fee to the Kalamazoo City Clerk; and
  2. Submit the form for Affidavit of Identity

School Board

Qualifications

Members of the Kalamazoo Public School Board of Trustees must be qualified electors of the School District. A current member list and/or calendar are available from Kalamazoo Public Schools.

Nominations

Members of the Kalamazoo Public School Board of Trustees must file nominating petitions with the City Clerk. There are two ways to file:

  1. Submit petitions with at least 40 but not more than 100 signatures of registered voters within the School District
  2. Submit a $100 nonrefundable filing fee


Procedure

  1. Submit completed petitions or $100 nonrefundable filing fee to the Kalamazoo City Clerk; and
  2. Submit the form for Affidavit of Identity

Other Offices

Information on running for a Federal or State office representing a district that extends beyond a single county, Appeals Court Judge, Circuit Court Judge, District Court Judge, and Probate District Judge is available from the Michigan Secretary of State's Office.

Information on running for a Federal or State office which represents a district that does not extend beyond a single county, Probate Judge, County Office, and District Library Board is available from the Kalamazoo County Clerk's Office.

Information for candidates provided by the Michigan Secretary of State's Office is available on their website here.

 

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

Contact

 hello@kalamazoocity.org
 3-1-1
 (269) 337-8000
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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