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Historical Commission

Created by Ordinance 466


From the Code of Ordinances:


The Commission shall have the following powers and duties to be exercised and performed in conformity with the City Charter and state statutes.

(A) In general, it shall be the duty of the Commission to collect, arrange, catalogue and preserve historical material including books, pamphlets, maps, charts, manuscripts, papers, records and archives, paintings, statuary and other objects and materials relating to teh history of the city; to procure and preserve narratives and oral histories of the early residents of the city; to collect, prepare and display objects indicative of the life, customs, dress and resources of the early residents of this area; and to make available from time to time publications, source materials and historical studies relative to and illustrative of the history of the area.

(B) The Commission shall have power, and it is hereby made the duty of all public officials to assist in the performance of this power, to collect from the public offices in the city reproductions of any records, files, documents, books and papers as are not in current use and which are, in the opinion of the Commission, of historical value. The Commission shall provide for the classification, arranging and indexing of the reproductions so that they may be available for the use of the public.

(C) The Commission shall cooperate with and assist the State Historical Commission in carrying out its powers and duties as established by of the Public Act 271 of 1913, being MCLA §§ 399.1 through 399.10, as amended, and Public Act 10 of 1955, being MCLA §§ 399.151 et seq., as amended.

(D) The Commission may recommend to the Council purchases of historical material including books, pamphlets, maps, charts, manuscripts, papers, copies of domestic and foreign records and archives, paintings, statuary and other objects and material illustrative of and relating to the history of the city; provided, however, that all purchases shall be accomplished in accordance with the City Charter and applicable ordinances of the city.

(E) The Commission may recommend to the Council the establishment of Historical Districts throughout the city, in conformity with all relevant local, state and federal laws.

(F) The Commission may receive any money appropriated to it by the state and shall deposit same with the City Treasurer as provided in the City Charter.

(G) Subject to the approval of the City Council, the Commission, in the name of the city, may acquire and hold by purcahse, lease, gift, devise, bequest or otherwise any historical sites, buildings, landmarks or properties which it may deem suitable or appropriate for carrying out the objects, functions or purposes of the Commission. Furthermore, with the approval of the Council, the Commission may use any building or property for the purpose of housing or displaying any part of its collection of objects or documents therein. The Commission may locate and erect plaques or markers at historic sites, buildings or properties in the city with the consent of the owner or owners of any property and subject to approval of the Council. The disposal of any real property or building shall be subject to approval of the Council.


(1) The Commission shall make and submit to the Council and to the Mayor an annual report of the general activities, operation and condition of the Commission for the preceding year. This report shall include, but not be limited to, an accounting of all accounts, funds, monies and other property under the control of the Commission, the number and nature of historical materials on hand, the number added by gift, purchase and otherwise during the year and other statistical information and suggestions as may be required by the City Council. This report shall be verified by affidavit. This report shall be submitted by the first day of May every year.

(2) The Commission shall, from time to time, as the occasion requires, either in the annual report, or at any time deemed necessary by the Commission, advise the city in writing on all matters necessary and proper for the operation of the Commission and any of its activities or properties.

(I) The Commission shall present to the Budget Board according to provisions of the City Charter, a complete itemized budget for the ensuing fiscal year.


(1) The Commission shall have the right to accept donations of money or personal property or real estate for carrying out the historical purposes as provided in this subchapter.

(2) Gifts of money shall be deposited in a special account to be established by the Treasurer, upon resolution of the City Council authorizing the establishment, from which disbursements shall be made as provided in the Charter, in accordings with the terms of the instruments making the gifts.

(Ord. 466, passed 4-30-1998)

Current Members

Greg Kowalski (Chair)
Lisa Straske
Cynthia Cervenak (Treasurer)
Joe Kochut (Vice Chair)
Sarah Cook (Secretary)
Joan Bittner
Philip Digby

Meeting Notices

Historical Commission Meeting April 30th