Boards, Authorities, and Commissions

Photo credit: AP Photo/David Runk

There are 23 boards and commissions that are made up of appointees and instrumental to  city government decisions on a variety of policy issues. You can check these out at and

Board of Electrical ExaminersApproves examinations for electrical licensing, conducts hearings to determine if licensees have complied with the provisions of administrative rules and communicates any other administrative regulations necessary to make the provisions of the Michigan State Electrical Code effective to ensure that electrical, electronic, and fire safety installations are safe and effective for the citizens of Detroit. Nine members are appointed by the mayor.
Board of EthicsInvestigates and resolves complaints regarding alleged violations of the Ethics Ordinance by public servants and issues advisory opinions establishing standards of conduct for public servants. The Board is a seven-member body composed of residents of the City appointed by the Mayor and City Council.  One member is jointly appointed by the Mayor and City Council.
Board of Police CommissionersAn eleven-member board with  broad supervisory authority over the Police Department process and initiatives, and also resolves complaints against police.  Residents elect seven Police Commissioners by district. The Mayor appoints four additional Police Commissioners.
Board of Review – Property AssessmentHears and determines appeals along with certain other matters concerning real and personal property assessments and/or classifications. The Board of Review is one of the only opportunities in which a taxpayer may appeal before taxation on their real and/or personal property.  Council appoints seven members and two at-large, approved by a majority of the City Council members
Board of Water CommissionersThe governing body of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, including holding an annual public hearing on DWSD’s fiscal year budget which includes proposed water and sewer rates for the following fiscal year. All seven members are appointed by the mayor.
Board of Wrecking Contractors ExaminersAdvises the Director of Building Safety, Environment and Engineering Department [BSEED] on matters relating to the licensing of Wrecking Contractors.  The Board members shall communicate procedural rules for the administration of appeals of decisions, determinations and orders by the Building Official or his designee.  Seven members appointed by the mayor.
Board of Zoning AppealsHears and decides from, and reviews any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administration official with the enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance.They are also charged with accepting appeals from decisions made by the Buildings and Safety Engineering Department. Consists of not fewer than five (5) members and not more than nine (9) members appointed by the City Council. 
Detroit Local Emergency Planning CommitteeIncreases compliance with hazardous materials reporting requirements and continues to offer access to information on the storage of such materials for the benefit of the city’s residents, businesses and industries.
Historic Designation Advisory BoardAdvises City Council on all matters regarding historic preservation including requests for the designation of local historic districts. 
Belle Isle Advisory CommitteeAdvises the state on implementation of improvements, master planning and public safety for Belle Isle Park. The committee consists of three representatives appointed by the governor; one representative appointed by Detroit City Council; two representatives appointed by the mayor of the city; and one representative to serve as chair jointly appointed by the governor and mayor. 
Charter Revision CommissionTo propose revisions to the Charter of the City of Detroit, which [revisions] will be voted on by the citizens of Detroit. A nine member board elected by the voters. 
Citizens Review CommitteeAn eight member committee appointed by the City Council upon recommendation of the City Planning Commission.
City Planning Commission City Council’s advisory body, the CPC processes, advises, and makes recommendations to council on all amendments to the zoning ordinance and other development projects before City Council. 
Civil Service CommissionHeads the Human Resources Department. 
Community Advisory Committee – Brownfield Redevelopment AuthorityThis body offers advice to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority on the development projects it provides Tax Increment Financing, loans, and grants to. 
Detroit Building Authority CommissionHears appeals to the revocation of licenses by the Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental department. 
Detroit Elected Officials Compensation CommissionDecides the salaries of Detroit’s elected officials. 
Detroit Entertainment CommissionAdvises City Council for the growth and awareness of the cultural, athletic, and film industry in the City of Detroit. 
Detroit Housing CommissionBuilds and manages the city’s low income housing and Section * program primarily through annual funding from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. 
Detroit Promise Zone AuthorityHeads the Promise Zone program which provides  two and four year scholarships to Detroit High School graduates. 
Election CommissionHas general supervision over all elections in the city. 
Historic District CommissionSets the standards and reviews applications for exterior renovations in the City’s dedicated historic districts. 
Human Rights CommissionInvestigates complaints of unlawful discrimination within the City and ensures the equal protections of civil rights. 

Major Authorities & Roles

Detroit Land Bank AuthorityManages City of Detroit’s run down and foreclosed properties, homes, and lots. Actively sells properties to developers and residents. It had roughly 95,000 properties in 2018, making it the largest in the country.
Regional Transit AuthorityA body whose goal is regional transit across the four counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw. Has the power to propose millages [1] to voters and collect that property tax if approved.
Great Lakes Water AuthorityOperates a regional drinking water system for 126 municipalities and 8 counties in Southeastern Michigan.
Detroit Building AuthorityManages the facilities and real estate transactions of Detroit City Government.
Detroit Public Lighting AuthorityProvides street lighting for the city.
Downtown Development AuthoritySupports and promotes investment and businesses in a defined downtown Detroit district through loans, grants, capital improvements and sponsorships. Collects a 1 mill property tax from district property owners[2] .
Detroit Transportation CompanyOperates the downtown Detroit People Mover monorail