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Incompatible Offices in Planning and Zoning


February 17, 2021 - <>

Incompatible Offices in Planning and Zoning

  1. Incompatible Public Offices Act[1] – “Incompatible offices” means public offices held by a public official which, when the official is performing the duties of any of the public offices held by the official, results in any of the following with respect to those offices held:
    1. The subordination of 1 public office to another
    2. The supervision of 1 public office by another
    3. A breach of duty of public office
  2. What are subordination, supervision?
    1. Establishes wage
    2. Appoints, removes
    3. Reviews performance
    4. Reviews financial accounting
  3. What is a “breach of duty?”
    1. Cannot protect, advance the interests of both offices simultaneously
    2. Interpreted as a current contractual relationship (i.e., not potential)
  4. There are specific offices that are deemed to be incompatible because of statutory duties and functions. This table is a working draft of incompatible offices with respect to the planning and zoning function of local government. It is based on statutes, Michigan Attorney General opinions, and court decisions, and may be incomplete. There are many more local government incompatible offices than those detailed herein. Individuals are encouraged to work with a municipal attorney to fully-assess the compatibility of two offices in question. Look across the top of the table (first row on the top of each page) to find the body you are a member of. Then look down the left column to find the other office. The box where the column and row intersect will indicate if the two offices are compatible or incompatible. “Yes” indicates that it is okay to be a member of both offices; they are compatible. “No” indicates it is not proper to be member of both offices; they are incompatible. Sometimes the “Yes” and “No” is qualified by the word “Probably.” That means there is no statute, Attorney General opinion, or court case that directly addresses the two offices, but the situation is very similar to two offices which were addressed.

[1]            PA 566 of 1978, as amended, being MCL 15.181 et seq.



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