Official Web Site of the City of Houghton, Michigan USA 


City Council & Commissions

Houghton City Council

Council Meetings are held in the City Council Chambers in the City Center, 616 Shelden Avenue, downtown Houghton. The City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. The phone number for the City Offices is 482-1700. City Council members are listed below.

View and search meeting minutes, agendas, etc.


Council Members

Robert Backon
  Robert X. Megowen
Mayor Pro Tem
  Philip Foltz
  Mike Needham
Rachel Lankton
  Dan Salo   John Sullivan    

City Commissions:

There are five city commissions and boards that require valuable volunteer time by community members.  Attached is a handbook detailing the appointment process and procedures for commission and board members to follow.  If you are interested in serving on one of Houghton’s commissions or boards, please review the handbook and fill out the attached application and return it to the clerk.

Houghton's commissions or boards, please fill out the attached application and return it to the clerk. [ Application ]

Planning Commission:

The Planning Commission consists of the mayor, city manager, one council member, and six citizen members. The commission has powers and duties set forth by the Michigan Planning Enabling Act and the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act. The commission meets the fourth Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the City Center. The commission may hold special meetings when necessary and often appoints subcommittees of members to work on projects.

View and search meeting minutes, agendas, etc.

Current Members:

Eric Waara, City Manager
Robert Backon, Mayor
Tom Merz, Chairperson
Mike Needham, Vice Chairperson

Gary Lubinski, Secretary
Kristine Bradof
Bill Leder
Dan Liebau

Travis Pierce

Planning Commission Annual Report 2018 (PDF)

Planning Commission Annual Report 2017 (PDF)


Downtown Development Authority and Tax Increment Finance Authority (DDA/TIFA)

The DDA/TIFA is comprised of the city manager and eight citizen members. At least five of the members must own property located in the downtown district and one member must be a resident of the downtown district. The DDA/TIFA board approves the budgets and projects for the authorities. The DDA/TIFA meets at least two times per year at the City Center. Special meetings are called when necessary.

View and search meeting minutes, agendas, etc.

Current Members:

Richard Gray, Chairperson
John McRae, Vice Chairperson
Jeff Bugni, Secretary
Mike Tomasi
Jack Swift
Jim Cortright
Dennis Garver
Alan Kiley
Eric Waara, City Manager

Board of Review

The Board of Review serves at a system of checks and balances between the assessor and the general public. In March of each year the board receives and examines the assessment roll from the assessor and hears appeals from property owners regarding their assessments and values established by the assessor. In July and December the board meets to approve qualified errors that are discovered after the March meetings. Board members must be able to meet for a total of 12 hours on two different days in March. The remaining meetings during the year last approximately one hour.

Current Members:

Debra Zei
Hilary Sproule
Tracy Welch

Housing Commission

The Housing Commission meets once per month at Heritage Manor. The commission oversees the director who manages the day-to-day operations of Heritage Manor and 30 family houses located throughout the city.

Current Members:

James Gentry
Hazel Tepsa
Jean LaBerge
Polly Salmi
Debra Zei

Portage Lake District Library Board

The property owners in the City of Houghton and Township of Portage fund the Portage Lake District Library. The Houghton City Council appoints four of the members of the board from residents of the city. The remaining members are appointed by the Township of Portage. The library board oversees the director who manages the Library located on the waterfront in downtown Houghton. The board meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the library.

Current Houghton Members:

Christopher Archer
Jennifer Donovan
Joan Suits
Bob Kinnunen



City of Houghton

City Center
616 Shelden Avenue Houghton, MI 49931

(906) 482-1700 tel
(906) 482-0282 fax

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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