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Can a Township Supervisor also serve on the Planning Commission as a representative of the Township Board?

Under the Planning Enabling Act, the Township Supervisor appoints the members of the Planning Commission, subject to approval by the Township Board. MCL 125.3815. This Section permits one member of the Township Board (or two in certain circumstances) to be appointed as a commission member of the Planning Commission for the length of his or her term on the Township Board. Thus, the Planning Enabling Act deems this acceptable.

On its face, an incompatible office issues appears to arise. The Supervisor is the appointing official of commission members, and also has a role in removing a commission member. Significantly, the Supervisor’s ability to exercise his or her appointment duty is not without limitations. In either appointing a new member or removing a member, the action must be approved by the Board. This check imposed by the Township Board as a whole appears to relieve the potential incompatible office. Moreover, the Planning Enabling Act does not expressly exclude the Supervisor from this role, thus there is an argument any incompatible office issues are also resolved by the express language of the Planning Enabling Act.

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