Charter changes pass in Flint, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo

Nov 5, 2014

Voters in Grand Rapids, Flint and Kalamazoo approved changes to their city charters.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Kalamazoo voters approved proposals that will change the way their mayor and city commissioners are elected. The mayor will be elected separately from the rest of the city commission and commissioners will serve longer terms.

Flint voters split on six proposed changes to the way their city runs. Voters rejected proposals to eliminate the city’s ombudsman office, the city’s civil service commission and several departments.   

But they did approve new budget “best practices," reducing the number of mayoral appointments and the creation of a charter commission, which could completely rewrite Flint’s 40-year-old city charter.

“The voters have embraced the most important changes,” says Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. He calls the vote a “step forward for the community.”

And in Grand Rapids, voters said "yes" to a term limits measure that will prevent its mayor from seeking re-election.