Form of Government

The City of Kalamazoo was incorporated as a commission-manager form of government in 1918, which establishes the City Commission as the legislative and governing body of the City.

The City Commission consists of seven members who are elected at-large on a non-partisan basis. City Commissioners are elected to staggered four-year terms, with three Commissioners elected every two years. The Mayor is elected on a separate ticket in each election to serve two-year terms, and the Commission candidate receiving the most votes at EACH election serves as Vice Mayor (this office will change at each election, the Vice Mayor will serve the final two years of their term as Commissioner). The Mayor holds executive power over the Commission, and the Vice Mayor performs mayoral duties in his/her absence. Elections are held in each odd-numbered year.

City Commission meetings are held on the first and third Mondays of each month in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 241 West South Street. A meeting with neighborhood associations is held immediately preceding the second meeting of each month, and special meetings are held as needed due to extraordinary circumstances. City Commission meetings are broadcast live on Public Media Network and are available on their website after a brief post-production period. Meetings are also streamed live and available on the City's YouTube Channel.

To learn more about the 54th City Commission visit the City's website at

The City of Kalamazoo - 54th City Commission

In order, from the left:

Vice Mayor Don Cooney

Commissioner Qianna Decker

Commissioner Stephanie Hoffman

Mayor David Anderson

Commissioner Chris Praedel

Commissioner Esteven Juarez

Commissioner Jeanne Hess

The City Commission appoints a City Manager who functions as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City. The City Manager is responsible for all administrative appointments with the exception of the City Assessor, City Attorney, City Clerk, and Internal Auditor, who are also appointed by the City Commission.

The City of Kalamazoo - Organization Chart


City Manager, James K. Ritsema

City Attorney, Clyde J. Robinson

City Clerk, Scott Borling

Internal Auditor, Ann Videtich


Deputy City Manager, Jeff Chamberlain

Chief Operating Officer, Laura Lam

Assistant City Manager, Rebekah Kik

311 Customer Service Manager, Mimi Leake

Community Planning & Economic Development Director, Antonio Mitchell

Communications Public Information Officer, Michael Smith

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director, Tanya Hewitt-Smith

Human Resource/Labor Relations Director, Shelly Dusek

Information Technology Director, Tim Dubois

Management Services Director/CFO, Steve Vicenzi

Parks & Recreation Director, Patrick McVerry

Public Safety Chief, Vernon Coakley

Public Services Director, James Baker

Distinguished Budget Presentation Award

Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) presented a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to City of Kalamazoo, Michigan, for its Annual Budget for the fiscal year beginning January 01, 2022. In order to receive this award, a governmental unit must publish a budget document that meets program criteria as a policy document, as a financial plan, as an operations guide, and as a communications device.

This award is valid for a period of one year only. We believe our current budget continues to conform to program requirements, and we are submitting it to GFOA to determine its eligibility for another award.