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CONTACT: Matt Bach
Ishpeming Hosts Successful Region 7 Education Seminar
Michigan Municipal League event focuses on entrepreneurship, firearms, social networking
ISHPEMING, Michigan - More than 50 local officials from across the Upper Peninsula turned out for The Michigan Municipal League educational seminar hosted by the Upper Peninsula city of Ishpeming, May 12-14. “U.P. citizens and communities have a solidarity that was evidenced by the great participation we received,” said Ishpeming Mayor Pro Tem Pat Bureau, League Trustee and regional chair. “We’re no strangers to economic hardship. Gathering to learn from the League and from each other, to share our successes and failures, helps strengthen each community.”
Local officials learned of the unique municipal impact of current issues such as the importance of entrepreneurs to economic growth, medical marijuana, the open carry of firearms, and the use of social networking in communicating with residents. Municipal concerns with medical marijuana comprise differing legal aspects related to patients, prescribers, growers and distributors. A social network page for public entities, versus private entities, needs policies addressing the Open Meetings Act, the Freedom of Information Act and the public’s first amendment rights. The ability of the public to openly carry firearms impacts citizenry and law enforcement with a considerable learning curve about the difference between open carry and concealed weapons, types of weapons included, and even how they are carried and where. “Each issue uniquely impacts the governance angle of a community,” states Scott MacInnes, Houghton city manager and host of next year’s meeting. “You can acquire educational degrees in governance, but the issues impacting communities and their citizens are a continual learning process. It’s never static.”
Munising councilman Robert Beaupry observes, “From each host community we gain new perspectives and learn unique ways of promoting our own assets that we may have overlooked or never thought possible.” Beaupry refers to other highlights of the regional meeting which included a welcome reception with educational tour of the Ishpeming Mining Museum and two mobile workshops. One workshop highlighted Ishpeming’s many sites related to the Anatomy of a Murder book and movie, which are popular tourist attractions. Another workshop highlighted a local trip to the 48-mile Iron Ore Heritage Trail, which focused on the benefits of locating trailheads downtown, and how a millage proposal across multiple jurisdictions is achieved. Munising hosts the annual meeting in 2012 and Houghton will host in 2011. Menominee will be the host community for 2013. Menominee Mayor George Krah said, “Hosting is an opportunity to pay forward the intangible fortunes of knowledge we accumulate in public service. And selfishly, we gain the feedback of dozens of community officials while they are here.”
The Region 7 Community Excellence Award competition took its own unique turn this year with the majority of attending communities presenting their most current and exciting projects. Announcement of the project representing Region 7 at the statewide competition is forthcoming.
Others attending the Region 7 event included officials from the communities of Norway, Ishpeming, Iron River, Stephenson, Bessemer, Calumet, Wakefield, Marquette, St. Ignace, Caspian, Baraga, Galdstone, Wakefield, Ontonagon, L’Anse, Sterling Heights and Sault Ste. Marie.
View photos from the Region 7 education seminar.
The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington D.C. and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. For more information, visit www.mml.org.