Voters in the Village of Wolverine Lake will see
nine Charter Amendments on their ballot on November 6. Changes to the Village
Charter can only occur by a vote of residents. Here is a brief explanation of
why these amendments have been proposed:
Amendments 1-5 - Elections
The Charter includes language that was relevant when
the Village conducted our own elections. Commerce Township now manages Village
elections and the proposed Charter Amendments, if adopted, will reflect that
reality and match current state election law.
*Amendment 1, if adopted, will remove an outdated
provision in the Charter that references a now nonexistent March election. This
amendment will match Charter language to the actual Village election date of
the even year general November election.
*Amendment 2, if adopted, will allow for terms of
elected Council members to begin the at the regular Council meeting in December
following the November election. The Charter currently requires that terms
begin on the Monday following the Village election. This timeframe makes it
difficult for certified election results to be available at the time the newly
elected members are required to take office. Moving the term commencement date
to December will provide sufficient time for the necessary post-election tabulations
to occur. This change would become effective following the 2022 elections.
*Amendment 3, if adopted, will update the Charter
and remove outdated references regarding the filing of nominating petitions with
Village Clerk. That language is no longer applicable. This amendment would
reflect current state election law requirements regarding filing deadlines and
specify that petitions are to be filed with the Commerce Township Clerk.
*Amendment 4, if adopted, will remove obsolete
requirements related to the filing, approval, and certification of nominating
petitions for Village Council offices. The amendment would reflect current
state election law on these topics.
*Amendment 5, if adopted, will remove obsolete and
superseded requirements related to canvass of votes on Village elections. The
amendment would reflect current state election law requirements and specify
that the Oakland County Board of Canvassers shall canvass the votes of Village
elections and perform all duties required by state law.
Amendment 6 – Council Compensation
*The Charter currently sets Council member pay at
$5.00 per meeting. This amount has remained unchanged since 1985. Amendment 6,
if adopted, will allow for the creation of a five person resident committee to make
a recommendation on Council compensation. An ordinance to establish Council
compensation could only be adopted after considering the committee
recommendation and would only apply to subsequently elected Council members.
Amendment 7 – Residency Requirements to
Run for Village Office
*Under the Charter, a resident can only run for
Village Council if they have lived in the Village for two years prior to the
election filing deadline. This two year residency requirement is unenforceable
under current court rulings. Amendment 7, if adopted, would reduce that residency
requirement to one year in line with current legal requirements and also
provide the opportunity for more people to be eligible to run for office.
Amendment 8 – Purchases and Sales
*The Charter now requires Council approval for any
purchase or sale of materials costing over $1,500. This amount has remained
unchanged since 1987 and now obsolete due to the passage of time and the rate
of inflation. This requirement inhibits efficient administration by causing
delays associated with the sale of property and purchase of items that are
included within the adopted budget. Amendment 8, if adopted, would enable
Council to establish a new spending and purchasing threshold by resolution as
needed and remove the outdated fixed dollar amount from the Charter.
Amendment 9 – Appointees Filling Council
*Amendment 9 relates to the procedure for filling
vacancies in Council and is a companion to Amendment 2. Amendment 9, if
approved, will remove obsolete language regarding an appointee to Council
serving until the Monday following a Village election. This Amendment will also
remove the 60 day requirement for holding a special election in the Village as
this requirement is contrary to state election law.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about these
proposed Charter Amendments. To see the Council resolution that submitted these
amendments to the ballot, please click here:
Council Charter Amendment Resolution