City Commission to Appoint Vacant Seat

November 16, 2022

City Commission Seeking Replacement for Commissioner Walter's Seat
Letters of Interest and Resumes Accepted

The City of Traverse City City Commission is seeking an individual to serve the remainder of Commissioner Ashlea Walter’s term through November 13, 2023. 

Walter, who has served as a City Commissioner since 2019, was recently elected to the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners to represent District 3 at the November 8, 2022 General Election. She has submitted her formal resignation and will continue serving on the City Commission through December 31, 2022. Walter will assume her seat on the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners on January 1, 2023. 

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette stated, “We thank Commissioner Ashlea Walter for her work while serving on the City Commission and congratulate her on being elected to the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners. We look forward to working with her in her capacity on the County Board.” He continued, “Appointing a replacement for the remainder of the term will allow a community member the opportunity to actively and intentionally participate in City leadership for almost 11 months. We look forward to the process and encourage City residents to step forward and express their interest.”

The City Commission is the legislative body of the City of Traverse City, essentially functioning as the City's "board of directors." 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 individual appointed to this seat will receive compensation in the prorated amount of $7,059.78 annually, paid every two weeks. There are no other forms of compensation provided to members of the City Commission. 

Those seeking interest should do/meet the following;

  • Submit a letter of interest, and resume, to the City Clerk, with such to be received (electronically or in-person) by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30, 2022
  • With the letter, those interested should articulate why they desire to serve on the City Commission and why they believe they would contribute meaningfully on the City Commission
  • Individuals must be a resident of the City of Traverse City, be a registered voter for at least 30 continuous days prior to the appointment, and not be in default to the City

Provided there are no more than 12 individuals who meet the qualifications under the Charter who apply, all will be invited for an interview on December 14, 2022, at 7 p.m. An additional date of December 21, 2022 has been secured for interviews, if also needed; and that meeting, if necessary, will also begin at 7 p.m. If there are more than 12 such individuals, the City Commission will discuss who they wish to invite for interview; and regardless, all individuals who apply should hold both dates on their calendars. The City Clerk’s Office will inform candidates on December 1, if they are being interviewed; or, if more than 12 applied, that the Commission will meet and decide who to invite for interview. 

Interviews will be open to the public, televised, and streamed through the City’s current methods used for City Commission meetings. Interviews will begin with allowing candidates up to three minutes to make an opening statement. Candidates will be interviewed individually, and will participate in a randomly selected order, with each member of the Commission posing question(s). (Questions will not be provided in advance.) 

The City Commission will ultimately appoint an individual to serve by four (4) affirmative votes. The individual selected will be sworn in by the City Clerk at their first official City Commission meeting. In addition, an orientation will be provided to the appointed Commissioner with City Manager Martin Colburn, City Attorney Lauren Trible-Laucht, and City Clerk Benjamin Marentette. 

Letters of interest, along with a resume, may be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office at 400 Boardman Avenue or electronically emailed to