The City of Bloomfield Hills became a City by writing a Charter and getting it approved in by the State of Michigan in 1932.
The alternative was annexation by the City of Birmingham.
The Charter called For Government of Five Elected City Commissioner who divided the governing tasks among themselves. One might BE Mayor Another Secretary and City Clerk a third might be constable or Road commissioner.
The First Mention of a City Manager occurs in the on line CITY COMMISION MINUTES OF occurred in the December of 1953. His name was Elmer Kephart and in the minutes he and the Highway commissioner were to visit Linda Lane and determine what should be done to correct the existing condition there.(Editor's note there may have even an earlier mention of a City Manager in City record keeping 1932 to 1950 but they are kept in bound volumes and may be read by the interested at City Hall).Little is known about City Manager Kephart aside from the City minutes. Most likely he was a City Resident with authorization to write checks for the City.In 1958 he presented detailed plans for the proposed DPW Building modification. Ten years later he announced that he would be retiring at the end of the Calender year(1968.
In those day as now the CITY Manager was the highest paid City Employee with a salary of a $17500. That number was the same salary offered to Bo Schembleckler when he hired on as the University of Michigan Football Coach. Of Course Bo had other sources of revenue Like endorsements and revenue from a Replay Show that our City Manager did not have, Still the $17000 was a respectable figure in those days and then as now made The City Manager the Highest paid city Employee in town.
In 1960 it was suggested by an unrecorded individual at a City Commission Meeting that the City investigate the possibility of hiring a Junior Planner to report to the City.
That suggestion was twenty years ahead of time and perhaps anticipated the hiring of Jay Cravens from the planning department of Cascade (Western Michigan) Planning department.