Boards & Commissions

The City of Dowagiac government is assisted by many dedicated people by serving on Boards and Commissions. Each Board or Commission has specialized responsibilities to monitor City operations, advise the City Council, or develop policy depending upon their legal authority.

The purpose of this section is to acquaint citizens with the functions and responsibilities of the Boards and Commissions. The links at the bottom include the membership, term of office and current meeting times of each Board or Commission, while also providing general information.

The City of Dowagiac welcomes the opportunity and encourages citizens to participate in their City government.

If you have an interest in serving on any of the boards or commissions, please click on "Download Central" to fill out an application and submit it to the City Manager's Office.

Tree Board

The Tree Board is comprised of five members and has the responsibility to study, investigate and counsel; develop or update and administer a written plan for the care, preservation, pruning, planting, replanting, removal or disposition of trees and shrubs in parks, along streets and in other public areas.

Planning Commission

The  Planning  Commission  is  comprised  of  seven  members,  whose  main  purpose  is  to regulate land use in the city. They formulate plans and make recommendations for the most effective economic, social and physical development of the city. Actions of these duties are based on the comprehensive Master Plan, which contains the entire geographical area of the city and the physical structures and services such as roads and utilities relevant to physical development for the next 15 to 20 years.

Parks and Recreation Board

This Board consists of five members, who afford citizenship participation in the affairs of the city government for the purpose of reviewing the needs of community park facilities.

Museum Advisroy Committee

This Committee consists of 14 members, whose role is to study, investigate and advise the Museum Director and City Council on artifacts, collections, and displays of local history at the Dowagiac Area History Museum.


This Committee consists of five members, who reviews and recommends to Council the salary adjustments for local elected officials.

Library Board

The Dowagiac District Library was established in 2003 to provide high-quality library services to residents of the Dowagiac Union School District, including Silver Creek, Keeler and Wayne Townships, excluding Pokagon and LaGrange Townships. Reciprocal borrowing agreements make it possible for residents of the Dowagiac, Cass and Van Buren District, and Watervliet and Hartford libraries to borrow and share resources. This Board consists of seven members, who are appointed by each of the participating governments. The City appoints two members of this Board.

Housing Commission Board

The Housing Commission consists of five members and strictly limits itself to the needs of those facilities and individuals (including, but not by way of limitation, the elderly, the handicapped, and those displaced by urban renewal or other governmental action) who are in the lowest income group and who cannot afford to pay enough to cause private enterprise in the city metropolitan area to build an adequate supply of decent, safe and sanitary dwellings for their use.

Electric Facilities Board

The Electric Facilities Board is a five-member advisory board to the City Council.  The Board advises Council on matters relating to the operation and maintenance of the electric utility.

Election Commission

The Election Commission is comprised of three members and was created to be in charge of all activities and duties required of it by state law and the City Charter relating to the conduct of City elections.


The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was created in 1986 by the City of Dowagiac to address, what was then, a deteriorating downtown.  Since its creation, through public and private partnerships, the community has invested more than $45-million in the revitalization of its Central Business District.  Multiple streetscape improvement projects created a pedestrian-friendly shopping district and a perfect setting for this community's niche of specialty shops, fine and casual dining, and seasonal events and festivals. The DDA's Facade Incentive & Architectural Design Services Program, coupled with the City's Rental Rehabilitation Program for the development of upstairs apartments,  has created a positive environment for property owners and investors.  The DDA maintains a database of available storefronts, as it actively assists building owners market their properties for lease or rent.  It also markets the Central Business District, businesses located therein, and community events and festivals to day-visitors and residents.  A growing database of day-visitors is maintained, who receive promotional mailings on a seasonal basis.



Design Review Committee

The Design Review Committee consists of five members, who provide information to assist homeowners in making appropriate exterior improvements to homes and administrates the cash incentive program for those property owners making said improvements.

Airport Board

Charged and entrusted with the duties, powers and responsibilites for the construction, management, supervision and control of any airport as may or shall be owned or operated by the city.  For meeting times, board members and more information click read more.

Current minutes for this board can be found here.

Board of Review

The Board of Review is a three-member board, which examines and reviews the assessment
roll for the current year as prepared by the supervisor/assessor. The Board of Review
endorses the completed assessment roll.

Brownfield Redev Authority

Provides assistance in the redevelopment of contaminated property throughout the city through the use of state and local incentives.  For meeting times, board members and more information click read more.

Current minutes for this board can be found here.

Building Authority

The Building Authority consists of three members and was created for the purpose of
acquiring, furnishing, equipping, owning, improving, enlarging, operating and maintaining a
building or buildings, automobile parking lots or structures, recreational facilities, stadiums,
and the necessary site or sites therefore, together with appurtenant properties and facilities
necessary or convenient for the effective use of the facilities, for use for any legitimate public
purpose of the city.

Cemetery Board

The Cemetery Board is comprised of five members and is an advisory board responsible for
the operation, maintenance and care of Riverside Cemetery.

Citizens Review Commission

Hears appeals of administrative orders issued for violations of the Exterior Property Maintenance Code.  For meeting times, board members and more information click read more.

Current minutes for this board can be found here.

Construction Board of Appeals

The Construction Board of Appeals consists of six members. If the City refuses to grant an
application for a building permit, or if the City makes any other decision pursuant or related
to Section 14 of Act 230 of 1972 or the code, an interested person, or the person's authorized
agent, may appeal in writing to the Board of Appeals.


The Dial-A-Ride Transportation Local Advisory Board consists of a minimum of six members.  The members review and recommend to City Council the DART budget, fare structure and improvements to services provided by DART under the direction of the DART Coordinator.  One of the oldest Dial-A-Ride services in Michigan, Dowagiac DART began demand-response services in June 1975 with a three-bus fleet.

Police Advisory Board

Provides assistance and advice to the Public Safety Director to foster positive communication between the police and the community.  For meeting times, board members and more information click read more.

Current minutes for this board can be found here.

Russom Park Committee

Formed to aid in the planning for improvements and developing of recommendations on Russom Park. For meeting times, board members and more information click read more.

Current minutes for this board can be found here.

Zoning Board of Appeals

Considers appeals of matters pertaining to the interpretation and enforcement of the City's Zoning Ordinance.  For meeting times, board members and more information click read more.

Current minutes for this board can be found here.