The City Commission is the legislative body of the City of Traverse City, essentially functioning as the city's "board of directors."
Very broadly speaking, the functions of the City Commission for the City of Traverse City are to:
- Set public policy for the city through ordinances and other official actions
- Allocate public funds under the city's control and responsibility, including the adoption of the City Budget
- Exercise policy oversight of the city's resources
- Appoint the City Manager and City Attorney; and to maintain a system of checks and balances, and to provide for appropriate separation of duties and autonomy in conducting and performing official and corporate functions, the City Commission also approves the City Manager's appointment and removal of the City Clerk and the City Treasurer.
- Appoint individuals to various boards and commissions
- Exercise other authority and powers granted to it by the Michigan Constitution, Michigan Law, Michigan Promulgated Rules, the City Charter, and other authorities
The City Commission consists of six members and the Mayor, all elected at-large (all members of the City Commission represent the entire city, as the city is not broken into "wards" or "districts"). All offices on the City Commission are non-partisan. The Mayor is elected for a two-year term and Commissioners are elected for four-year terms. City Commission terms are arranged so that no more than four terms (or "seats") expire every two years. City Commission elections are held in November of odd years.
As provided by Michigan Law and the City Charter, for ceremonial purposes, the Mayor is the chief executive officer of the city. The Mayor presides over all meetings of the City Commission and has a voice and vote on all matters before the City Commission, but is without veto power. Along with the City Clerk, the Mayor executes various items by signature as the City Commission, City Charter, Michigan Law require.