City lays out new guidelines for area commissions

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By Sandi Latimer
Staff Writer

New city guidelines could change operations for local area commissions.

Melissa Green, West Side Pride Center manager, visited with Westland Area Commission members at the Jan. 16 meeting to explain the proposed changes.

According to Green, one thing the city is trying to do is get detailed information about every area commission to post on the city’s website. That includes dates, time, location, and directions to the meeting place, she said.

“We’re regular as clockwork,” commissioner Nancy Day-Achauer said about the commission’s meetings held the third Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. Meetings are held on the second floor of Doctors Hospital’s Osteopathic Heritage Center.

The Westland Area Commission encompasses the area bounded on the north by the Conrail tracks; on the east by I-270; on the south by Big Run; and on the west by Hellbranch Creek.

Another change concerned the length of service.

“There are no limits on how long you can serve as a commissioner,” Green said.

Area commissions would be allowed no fewer than seven and no more than 15 members. Odd numbers are required for a decisive vote, according to the proposed guidelines.

The selecting process for members would be held in September, certified by the city in October, and a start of a new year in January. Lately, the Westland commission has been holding elections during the Westland Area Business Association Parade and Prairie Township Fire Department fish fry in an attempt to get more response from the public.

Officers are chairperson, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, and zoning committee chair. The chairperson, vice chairperson, and treasurer would serve no more than six consecutive years to rotate leadership, Green explained.

In other meeting news, Erin Gibbons, director of community engagement for the city, advised commissioners that budget time is drawing near and they should get their financial requests in.

“If they’re not funded this year, maybe they will be next year,” she said.

Shawn Thomas, who serves as recreation and parks chair, put in his usual plea for a park or recreation facilities for the area. Bill Steiner, the planning and development chair, spoke about extending Galloway Road over the Conrail tracks.

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