According to Detroit’s current city charter, the purpose of these Community Advisory Councils is to improve citizen access to city government. The Community Advisory Council (CAC) is established according to Article 9 Chapter 1 of the Charter and by an ordinance that was mandated there. CAC’s are the only elected body in Detroit government to be created by petition.
District 4 is the second district to establish one. The other is in District 7. On October 1st 2019 Scotty Boman filed the petition with the city clerk and on October 4th the petition was certified.
What can this CAC do?
- A community council may require that the City Council representative receive prior consultation from the Community Advisory Council on all issues which relate exclusively to that district.
- They don’t cost taxpayers any money; they may accept donations or grants in accordance with state, federal or local law.
- The Community Advisory Council must hold public meetings at least four times a year.
- The meetings will be held within the fourth district and must be held in donated facilities with an attempt to provide a broad geographical distribution of meetings.
Other powers and duties include:
- Communicating to City Council the concerns of groups, agencies, businesses and residents within its districts with respect to the delivery of programs and services.
- Assisting groups, agencies, businesses and residents in community problem solving by meeting with groups to:
a. Clarify issues; and
b. Demonstrate proper procedural approaches to accessing city government.
- Disseminating information to groups, agencies, businesses and residents on social and physical plans for the districts areas.
- Providing advice to community representatives and City Council on major issues within the
council district which may include:
a. Housing development;
b. Commercial blight;
c. Safety and security;
d. Economic and community development;
e. Employment opportunities;
f. Code enforcement; and
g. Other concerns impacting social, economic, cultural and environmental conditions within the
- Familiarizing themselves with the City Charter, with the objective of assisting the community in understanding the intent and relevance of Charter provisions.
- Familiarizing themselves with the Master Plan for the City of Detroit in relationship to the City generally and the land area within their district generally.
- Meeting annually with the Mayor and annually with City Council to discuss the challenges confronting the district and the resources required to advance the interest and support the viability of the district.
Who will be on the CAC?
Two of the members will be appointed. One senior citizen and one teenager. The remaining five members will be elected in the 2020 Presidential general election which will be held on November 3rd. The candidates will be listed on the non-partisan ballot and the five candidates receiving the highest number of votes will serve on the council until those elected in the 2021 election are seated in January of 2022 (assuming Charter revisions don’t change this).
The ordinance pertaining to Community Advisory Councils specifies a minimum of 200 signatures being required for ballot access. The filing deadline is July 21st. Contact the Detroit City Clerk‘s office for more information on petitioning for this office. A status update is posted here.
Who was that petitioner?
Scotty Boman was born on the East side, and has been a Detroit resident for most of his life. Most of the years he spent in Detroit have been in the region that is now the 4th District. He has been a continuous life-long resident of Michigan.
Professionally, he has been an educator for over a quarter century. He works as a physics and math professor at Wayne County Community College, and as an astronomy and physics instructor at Macomb Community College. He also substitute teaches in a few local school districts.
He received my B.S. from Western Michigan University in 1985, with a double major in Physics and Philosophy and a minor in Mathematics. I earned an M.A. in Physics from Western two years later, and an additional graduate degree from Wayne State University in 1999.
He has been a candidate for a variety of positions, including a 2017 campaign for Police Commissioner and 2013 campaign for City Clerk. In 1996 he ran for the Detroit City Council and received an endorsement from the Detroit News.
He is active in a few community organizations:
- He is a current member and former Vice President of the MEC neighborhood patrol.
- He was a member at large of the Morningside Community organization from 2013 to 2019
- He was on the 2013 AFT-2000 election committee, and remains an AFT member in good standing.
- He was elected to the Wayne State University Student Council in 1999.
He also volunteers for local actions for community improvement including the Motor City Makeover and Angels night.