Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Time to Fix Michigan’s System of Funding Communities
For several years now the Prosperity Agenda radio show has discussed the importance of creating places where people want to live, work and enjoy. It’s a concept called placemaking or simply put – building communities that you love and never want to leave.
Inspiring and helping communities reach their potential and capitalize on their existing placemaking assets is a large part of what we do at the Michigan Municipal League.
To be frank, placemaking costs money. However, there’s a significant economic development argument about the advantages to placemaking. In other words, today’s communities of all shapes and sizes can’t afford not to create vibrant places.
On this most recent radio show on News/Talk 760 WJR we talk about the economic benefits to placemaking, the financial challenges facing Michigan’s communities and some proposed solutions.
My co-host for the show is Mike Wilkinson, who has covered this topic as computer-assisting reporting specialist for Bridge Magazine (Bridgemi.com). Our guests are Shanna Draheim of Public Sector Consults; my colleague Anthony Minghine, associate executive director and COO for the League; and Hazel Park City Manager and MML Board Member Ed Klobucher.
The show airs 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, on News/Talk 760 WJR, but you can listen anytime on the audio links below. Listen as we talk about the conference and how people are building better Michigan communities.
View past radio shows here. You can also listen anytime by clicking on the audio links below or by subscribing to the FREE iTunes podcast. Learn more about the League’s placemaking work here on this blog.
Listen to the full show: (37:50)
Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, explains that the Prosperity Agenda radio show is about challenging listeners to help make Michigan a better place to live, work and play. Gilmartin said having vibrant and prosperous local communities is a key factor.
- Dan Gilmartin explains this month’s show. (1:08)
Mike Wilkinson is Bridge Magazine’s (Bridgemi.com) computer-assisted reporting specialist. Mike performed a similar role at The Detroit News. He recently participated in an in-depth series for Bridge about Michigan’s broken municipal finance system.s.
- A Toledo resident, Wilkinson draws comparisons to the differences to how Ohio and Michigan fund their communities. Hear how Michigan stacks up. Hint: Not good. (6:56)
Shanna Draheim joined Public Sector Consultants in 2011 as a senior consultant. She conducts research and analysis, and manages projects for the firm and its clients on a wide range of subjects, including urban policy, community sustainability and economic development, natural resource management, and energy. Shanna also has substantial experience in state and federal government. Her firm recently completed a report on the economic impact of placemaking,
- Placemaking isn’t a “feel-good thing, it’s an economic imperative”. Hear about some communities having placemaking success. (9:47)
Tony Minghine is the associate executive director and chief operating officer of the Michigan Municipal League, and has devoted his career to the service of local government. Tony has been with the League for 10 years and has more than 25 years’ experience and expertise in municipal finance issues. He’s a regular speaker on a variety of topics effecting local government and plays a key role in training local officials. Tony explains why and how Michigan’s system for funding municipalities is fundamentally broken.
- One of the biggest impediments to creating great places is the financing to do it. Michigan has a booming economy but our communities aren’t sharing in the profits. That’s a problem. Tony has solutions – listen. (9:43)
Edward Klobucher has served as city manager for Hazel Park since 2002. He held multiple roles in Hazel Park before becoming city manager in 2002. He’s been working in the trenches so-to-speak for more than a couple decades now and has tremendous insight on how the state’s system for funding local government makes his job nearly impossible.
Ed explains the creative things his community has done to stay afloat, but barely surviving shouldn’t be good enough. He suggests some changes that can help communities. (10:17)