You can help shape the direction of our city by serving in public office. Kalamazoo voters elect a Mayor and City Commissioners in ever odd-numbered year, but there are other offices that have a big impact in our community too. You can also get involved by applying to serve on an advisory board or commission.
City Commission elections take place in November of each odd-numbered year. The Mayor is elected to a two-year term and three City Commissioners are elected to four-year terms in each municipal election. The City Commissioner that receives the most votes serves the first two years of their term as Vice Mayor.
The requirements for running for City Commission are established in the City Charter. Candidates must be residents of and qualified electors in the City of Kalamazoo.
Candidates for elective offices in the City of Kalamazoo must be nominated by petitions from the city at large. Candidates must obtain signatures of support from qualified electors in the City of Kalamazoo. To be valid, each nominating petition must contain at least 50 signatures but not more than 75.
In May of each election year, the City Clerk provides packets to all interested candidates that include the nominating petition and affidavit of identity. Packets can be picked up in the City Clerk's Office at City Hall during regular business hours. This is also a great time to ask any questions about the requirements or process of running for mayor or city commissioner.
Once you have completed your nomination petition and affidavit of identity, return them to the City Clerk's Office. The City Clerk will verify you have met the requirements to run for office and if successful your name will be placed on the November ballot.
Members of the Kalamazoo Public Library Board of Trustees must be qualified electors of the Library District. Candidates for this office must file nominating petitions with the City Clerk. There are two ways to file:
Candidates must file by one of the options above and submit the Affidavit of Identity form to the City Clerk's Office. The City Clerk will verify you have met the requirements to run for office and if successful your name will be placed on the ballot.
Members of the Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education must be qualified electors of the School District. Candidates for this office must file nominating petitions with the City Clerk. There are two ways to file:
For public offices that represent a district that extends beyond a single county (Appeals Court Judge, Circuit Court Judge, District Court Judge, Probate District Judge), you can find information from the Michigan Secretary of State's Office.
For public offices that represent a district located within Kalamazoo County (Probate Judge, County Offices, District Library Board), you can contact the Kalamazoo County Clerk for more information.