More What’s New…
2021 Bridge Builder Microgrant Project Winners Announced
The Michigan Municipal League Foundation recently announced the recipients of its two Bridge Builders Microgrant programs. The Foundation recently announced the 12 grant winners of the Bridge Builders Neighborhood Microgrants program and the five recipients of the Main Street Microgrants. These projects reimagined the future of their communities in a way that value and celebrate individual well-being, diversity, and culture as local community assets. View the press release about the Neighborhood Microgrants here and the Main Street Microgrants here.
League Supports Clean Water Plan; Historic $500 Million Investment
Michigan Municipal League President Bill Wild, Mayor of Westland, is quoted in this press release in support of abipartisan package of bills that will make a historic $500 million investment to rebuild Michigan’s water infrastructure. Mayor Wild explains this investment will pay dividends for our communities for years to come. Read more.
$20,000 DTE Energy Foundation Commitment Expands Bridge Builders Microgrant Program
There is still time left to apply for Bridge Builders Main Street Grants being offered by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation with the support from the DTE Energy Foundation. The deadline for these $5,000 Main Street Grants is June 21. Click here for more information.
MDHHS: Public Bodies Can Meet in Person
The DHHS amended its Gatherings and Mask Order on March 31 to exempt gatherings of public bodies and attendees from indoor and outdoor gathering limits. Public bodies can now meet in person with social distancing and mask requirements. The original order expires on April 19.
Recapping a Year Like No Other – State of Your League Report
Without a doubt, 2020 will go down as a year unlike any other in modern memory. Behind the dramatic scenes and shocking headlines, the Michigan Municipal League has actively and persistently served and assisted you—our members. In this annual report, we take a step back to look at where we’ve been as an organization and where we’re going to best serve the membership. View the report here.
ServeMICity Aims to Help You Navigate American Rescue Plan Support
The ServeMICity program that the Michigan Municipal League launched nearly a year ago to help our communities navigate COVID-19-related funding is gearing up to continue providing this assistance now that the American Rescue Plan (ARP) investment support is on the way. To help inform our members about this ServeMICity program we created a new report about it. You can check out the report here. To get our help, email us at [email protected] using the subject line “ARP support.”
President Signs American Rescue Plan; ‘Historic Moment’ for Local Government
President Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan and here’s a portion of the Michigan Municipal League’s statement about this: “The passage of the American Rescue Plan will bring desperately-needed relief to municipal governments large and small across the state of Michigan. This is a historic moment for Michigan local governments and communities across the nation.” Read the full statement from League Board President Bill Wild, Mayor of Westland.
‘No One Should Be Left Behind in our Communities’
The Michigan Municipal League Foundation was proud to be the statewide grant administrator for the recently completed Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. Nearly 700 small businesses across Michigan were awarded $10 million in grants, but much work remains to help our communities and businesses emerge from COVID-19. The League is ready to help. Read more.
$13.6 Million Dollars Returned to MML Risk Program Members
Members of the Michigan Municipal League’s insurance programs will share dividends totaling $13.6 million in 2021. This is welcome news for almost a thousand Michigan cities, villages, counties, townships, and other public entities whose finances have been severely affected by the pandemic. View our press release about it here.
‘I Am Black History’ Series Now on MML Social Media
The League is very excited about the new story-focused direction of our social media efforts and particularly with our ongoing “I Am Black History” series. In this feature, we are focusing on League members who are part of a living history in their community, such as the first woman black city council president in their community, or the first black city manager. Read more.
League President Bill Wild Meets with US Secretary Yellen
Michigan Municipal League Board President Bill Wild,mayor of Westland, and other board members were actively fighting on behalf of Michigan communities in recent days on a number of fronts. There was so much going on that we’ve decided to post this blog detailing it all. The big news of the week was Mayor Wild meeting with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen. Read more.
Grand Rapids City Manager Named to MML Board
Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington was recently appointed to the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees. Washington will join a diverse group of community leaders representing communities of all shapes and sizes. With his appointment, the League board will now have 10 elected officials serving alongside nine municipal managers. Read more.
League Issues Statement On Governor’s Address
Pleased to hear the Governor talk about the need to better fund local roads, Michigan Municipal League Board President William Wild issued a statement Wednesday night about the speech. View it here and go here to view a column about what we hope state lawmakers accomplish this year.
League Members Serving on Protect Michigan Group
The Michigan Municipal League is well represented on a new bipartisan “Protect Michigan Commission” tasked with rolling out a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Deirdre Waterman, League Board Vice President and Pontiac Mayor, has been selected to lead the Local Government workgroup for the new commission and the League’s John LaMacchia was also appointed to the commission. Several other League members were also appointed.
Governor Whitmer Unveils $5.6B COVID Plan for Michigan
Gov. Whitmer unveiled a $5.6 billion COVID-19 “recovery plan” to expand vaccine distribution, help schools resume in-person instruction and aid businesses and residents across Michigan. The plan relies almost exclusively on federal funding. The state must act quickly to spend more than $5 billion in new funding from the federal government. Read
That’s A Wrap – 100th Legislative Session Finalized
With the expiration of fourteen days on the Governor’s desk this past week, the last bills presented from December’s Lame Duck legislative action brought the 100th Legislative Session to an official close. Nearly 300 new bills were introduced during the Lame Duck period. Read more.
Jacqueline Noonan Receives Honorary Life Membership
The League awarded retired long-time Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan with our highest individual honor – the Honorary Life Membership Award. She received the recognition in conjunction with the release of a tribute video and a podcast conversation about her work. Read more.
Webinars Cover Essential Coronavirus-Related & Other Topics
The League has developed a variety of webinars related to COVID-19 and other current topics, including Live with the League (Jan. 25, 12pm), and Finance for the Non-Finance Municipal Official (Feb. 4, 12pm). For upcoming webinars, view our calendar. After the webinars air, they are available on our Coronavirus Resources page, YouTube page, and podcast page.
Governor Whitmer’s Update on the State’s Response to COVID-19
In Gov. Whitmer’s Jan. 13 press conference, she announced that Michigan is updating its epidemic order to allow the re-opening of additional activities, including indoor group exercise and non-contact sports. The order continues to temporarily pause indoor dining in bars and restaurants, with a possible opening date of Feb. 1. Read more.
Virtual CapCon 2021 Registration Now Open!
Michigan, along with our entire country, has experienced a tumultuous year. From the COVID-19 pandemic to racial strife, a contentious election, and exceptionally high water levels along our coasts, we’ve faced a lot of challenges. At this year’s CapCon, we’ve designed sessions to cover some of those issues and a whole lot more. Enlightening speakers will share their expertise on topics such as coastal remediation, legislators working together for local government, and changes to the Open Meetings Act. Plus, we’re offering special community pricing, an event community, a sponsor showcase, and affiliate events. We hope you’ll join us March 16-17 for this exciting virtual experience. Get the details and register today.
City Leaders Urge Legislature to Adopt Community Stabilization Plan
Municipal leaders from across the state held a video news conference to urge state lawmakers to adopt a Community Stabilization Plan that addresses the fiscal situation facing Michigan communities due to COVID-19. You can use this special email tool to send a letter to your state lawmakers, or access the letter and a fact sheet explaining the plan. Read more.
MBC-LEO Releases Racial Equity Playbook for Communities
The Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials has completed their publication, A Racial Equity Playbook. It deals with racial tension and provides strategies to help people get started on their own journey to having a more equitable community. Download here.
Michigan Legislature Lame Duck Round Up – Week 3
The Michigan Senate concluded Lame Duck action on Dec. 18. During the third week, action was taken on OMA virtual meetings, solar projects tax exemptions, summer tax deferral, poverty exemption, Meijer warehouse equipment PPT cut, historic tax credit, water shutoffs, tax foreclosure proceeds, rental inspections, and more. Read more.
Happy Holidays from the Michigan Municipal League!
The Michigan Municipal League wishes you a very happy holiday season! Our offices will be closed from 3:00 pm Dec. 23 until 8:00 am Jan. 4. While we are away, please check out our Community Wealth Building page, Coronavirus Resources page, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion page, Inside 208 blog, We Love Where You Live podcasts, and YouTube videos. See you next year!
We Need Your Help to Secure Much-Needed COVID Stimulus Package
Our partners at the National League of Cities need your help to secure critical stimulus support for states and local governments NLC would like our members to use this tool to contact your federal lawmakers TODAY and this week. Urge them to include aid to local governments in a final COVID package. Read more.
Dr. Sheryl Mitchell Theriot Receives Community Builder Award
Congratulations to Dr. Sheryl Mitchell Theriot, Lathrup Village city administrator, on being awarded the League’s 2020 Community Builder Award. She was honored for her ongoing work in building vibrant and inclusive communities. Read more.
MEDC Small Business Grant Application Is Now Closed
Thank you for your interest in the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. The program was anticipated to support approximately 650 small businesses and 8,020 applications were submitted. An additional 14,208 remained in the queue. Due to this overwhelming demand, the grant application has now closed. We appreciate the ongoing support of all our partners, and particularly the MEDC and Michigan Strategic Fund. We will continue to advocate for the clearly needed additional relief for Michigan small businesses – whether through legislative action here in Michigan or at the federal level. For additional COVID-19 relief resources, please visit Michiganbusiness.org/COVID19.
Legislature Should Uphold Local Control in Zoning Decisions
SB 431 ,written by the sand and gravel mining industry, is an outrageous attack on local zoning decisions and our environment. In a joint letter to the editor, the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Townships Assoc., and Michigan Assoc. of Counties urge members and lawmakers to oppose this bill. Read more.
Help Oppose Bill that Strips Local Control Over Gravel Mining!
Contact your state Senator today to oppose Senate Bill 431. It may come up for a vote as soon as this week. This bill strips away local government’s already very limited to make decisions regarding gravel mining, processing, and crushing. Tell your state legislators to oppose SB 431 and not rush it to a vote during Lame Duck! Read more.
Encourage Your Small Businesses to Apply for Relief Grants on Dec. 15
Starting 9 a.m. Tuesday, grant funds totaling $10 million will be made available to Michigan small businesses disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and particularly impacted by the current shutdown authorized by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Michigan Municipal League Foundation has been notified of its selection as the administrator of the grants for this project. The grants will be awarded on a ‘first in” basis and are expected to GO VERY QUICKILY. This Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative will utilize CARES Act funding to award individual grants of up to $15,000 to approximately 665 small businesses. Direct your business owners to this website for details: They can also review a sample application and this application walkthrough video. These federal CARES Act dollars were distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program. A complete list of Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative grant recipients will be posted to michiganbusiness.org/relief, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Former Kalamazoo Mayor Receives Guido Leadership Award
Former Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell has received the Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award for his outstanding contributions to his community and state. To celebrate his accomplishments, we created a press release, tribute video, and podcast.
Gov. Whitmer Extends COVID-19 Pause Through Dec. 20
Gov. Whitmer’s administration extended the closure of some Michigan businesses, the halt on indoor dining at restaurants, and more through Dec. 20 as COVID-19 surges on. Whitmer is already discouraging people from gathering for the holiday. Read more.
Governor Announces New Michigan Health Department Epidemic Order
Gov. Whitmer announced that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a three-week epidemic order which, among other things, requires face masks at gatherings and specifically references government offices. The League hosted a webinar, New Pandemic Order: What it Means for Your Community. Read more.
Urge Your State Senator to Oppose Commercial Equipment PPT Tax Cut
Six bills that would exempt consumer goods and micro-fulfillment centers from personal property tax assessment are expected to be brought up in the Senate for a full vote soon. League members are urged to contact their State Senator TODAY to express opposition to these bills, Read more.
New Report Offers Prescriptions for Broken Municipal Finance System
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has spent months researching Michigan’s “unique” statutory and constitutional restrictions surrounding local finance. The formal findings of their research are in a report entitled, Towards Fiscally Healthy Michigan Local Governments. Download the report. Read more.
Please Complete Survey in Support of COVID Relief for Communities
The League needs your help in getting federal COVID-19 relief to Michigan communities. Please complete this survey from the COVID Relief Now Coalition. The information collected will be extremely important in the National League of Cities fight to get financial support for our communities as they battle the coronavirus. Read more.
Tell Your Legislators to Support Communities in Lame Duck Session
Leading up to the Lame Duck legislative period that starts in early December, the League will be aggressively rolling out our Community Stabilization Plan. We need your help to make this effort a success! This three-part plan explains the financial crisis our communities are facing due to COVID-19 exacerbated by the state’s broken municipal finance system. You can use this special email tool to send a letter to your state lawmakers, or access the letter and a fact sheet explaining the plan. Learn more at our press conference at 10am TODAY, which you can access on our Facebook page or by registering for the free event. Read more.
Governor Whitmer Has Signed Open Meetings Act Legislation!
Gov. Whitmer signed SB 1108 amending the Open Meetings Act. On Monday Morning Live, we discussed the changes with special guests Sen. Lana Theis and League General Counsel Chris Johnson. The changes allow public bodies to conduct virtual meetings for any reason through Dec. 31, 2020. Read more.
Boyne City Wins Great American Main Street Award
Congratulations to Boyne City, which has been named one of three recipients of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award! “Boyne City’s inspiring transformation serves as a model for downtowns looking to appeal to tourists while investing in the quality of life of year-round residents.” Read more.
Seven Projects That Build Community Win Microgrants
Projects ranging from community-building bike rides to supporting neighborhood entrepreneurs received the first-ever Bridge Builders microgrants by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. The winners are from Detroit, ClintonTwp.,Flint, Harper Woods, Middleville, and Ypsilanti. Read more.
Dark Store Problem Continues for Michigan Communities
A recent Sault News article details the ongoing saga of the “Dark Stores” issue facing Michigan communities. The dark store theory is a tax loophole used by retailers to lower the amount they pay in property taxes. Read the article and review our Dark Stores resource page
Westland Mayor William Wild Named League President
Westland Mayor William Wild has been named as the League’s 2020-21 president. He was selected by the 18-member Board of Trustees during the League’s annual Convention. The Board also named Pontiac Mayor Dr. Deirdre Waterman as vice president. Read more.
League Board Elects Three New Members; Re-Elects Three
Six officials from across the state were recently elected and re-elected to the League Board at Convention. New Board members are: Detroit City Councilmember Andre L. Spivey, Mason City Manager Deborah Stuart, and Monroe Mayor Robert Clark. Read more.
Open Meetings Act Legislation on its Way to the Governor!
Great news for Michigan communities! The Senate has concurred on Senate Bill 1108, as passed on Oct. 13 by the House of Representatives, and granted immediate effect. It will now be enrolled, printed, and presented to the Governor for signature. Some of the changes include retroactive application to March 18, 2020 to cover virtual meetings that have taken place since then; and it allows for the continuation of virtual meetings for any circumstances through Dec. 31, 2020. Read more.
Flint and Harper Woods Officials to Lead Statewide Organization
The Michigan Women in Municipal Government (MWIMG) recently named their new officers and board members. Flint City Council President Monica Galloway was selected as president and Valerie Kindle, mayor of Harper Woods, as the new vice president. Read more.
OMA Legislation Unaminously Supported in House Committee
Senate Bill 1108, amending the Open Meetings Act, was taken up in the House Ways & Means Committee this afternoon (Oct. 13). An H-1 substitute was adopted and unanimously supported. The bill now heads to the House floor for a vote. We anticipate this vote to happen sometime today. We will continue to update you on this important issue as more information becomes available. Previous blogs on this topic can be found here. Read more.
League Update on State Supreme Court Opinion, Pending OMA Bills
On Oct. 2 the Michigan Supreme Court issued an opinion on the extent of the Governor’s powers under two emergency powers acts. Also, we’re pleased to announce the introduction of SB 1108 and HB 6207, which would amend the Open Meetings Act to allow for electronic “virtual’ meetings to take place without an executive order under specific circumstances. Read more on OMA bills. Read more on Supreme Court Opinion.
League’s First-Ever Virtual Convention Was a Big Hit!
The League’s first-ever Virtual Convention was a big success! We had great keynotes from Faye Nelson of W.K. Kellogg Foundation, our own CEO Dan Gilmartin, Gov. Whitmer, and National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony; a legislative panel led by Congressman Dan Kildee; along with lot of breakouts and networking opportunities. Get the details.
League Launches New Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resource Page
A federal judge has stopped the 2020 csnsus from finishing at the end of September and ordered the once-a-decade count of every U.S. resident to continue through the end of October. She says a shortened schedule likely would produce inaccurate results. Read more.
League Launches New Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resource Page
The League’s new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) resource page is part of the long-term external and internal DEI strategies we’ve implemented in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and countless other victims of racial violence. The site features our DEI webinars as well as informational blogs and articles. Check it out.
League Honors Sen. Moss and Rep. Howell as Legislators of the Year
The League has honored Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Rep. Gary Howell (R-North Branch) as our 2020 Legislators of the Year. They received the recognition in conjunction with the release of tribute videos- Moss and Howell – and podcast conversations about their work on behalf of Michigan’s communities. Read more.
NEW Fact Sheet Outlines Details of Social Districts Law
Michigan enacted a new law intended to spur economic activity and provide flexibility for hospitality businesses by enabling the on-site sale and off-site consumption of alcoholic beverages in designated “Social District” areas. See our new Fact Sheet for details and sample documents.
League’s John LaMacchia to Be Featured in HIgh Water Levels Panel
HIgh water levels is a critical environmental issue facing Great Lakes communities. On Sept. 29, Bridge Michigan is presenting a panel of experts – including the League’s John LaMacchia – to discuss the impacts and preparations in coastal communities. Read more.
Special Affiliate Day at League Virtual Convention!
Friday, Oct. 2 is Affillate Day at the League’s first-ever Virtual Convention. Michigan Women in Municipal Government (MWIMG), Michigan Association of Mayors (MAM), and Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO) invite members and other interested parties to join them for their sessions. MWIMG will host it’s annual meeting and a presentation on Engaged Inclusiivity. MAM will also hold it’s annual meeting along with a discussion of some difficult current topics, including COVID-19 and how it’s impacting our communities. And MBC-LEO will host a screening and discussion of the film WALKING WHILE BLACK: L.O.V.E. Is the Answer. Get the details and register today.
COVID-19 & Broken System Paint Bleak Financial Pic for Communities
The COVID-19 pandemic and it’s impact on Michigan’s communities was the topic of an excellent panel discussion that included the League’s Summer Minnick. The SaveMICity initiative has long talked about the state’s broken system for funding local governments and the pandemic is another example of this. Read more.
Governor Launches Futures for Frontliners Tuition Program
Gov. Whitmer announced a first in the nation Future for Frontliners program to offer essential, frontline workers a tuition-free path to community college. It’s available to about 625,000 Michiganders who provided essential services between April and June 2020. Read more.
League, Counties, State Budget Office Call for Additional Resources
The League, Michigan State Budget Office, and Michigan Association of Counties sent this joint letter to President Trump and the Michigan congressional delegation. It asks for financial assistance for the state and local communities as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Read more.
Bridge Builders Microgrant Program – Voting from now through Sept. 4
The MML Foundation launched a new microgrant program designed to support positive individual action, by citizens, in their local community. The application period ended Friday, Aug. 14, and the online voting phase of the program runs from Aug. 24 to Sept. 4. Read more.
Save Big Money on Convention with New Community Rate!
For the League’s first Virtual Convention, we’re offering an extra special Community rate! More people than ever can enjoy the benefits of Convention without an extra hit to the budget. If you purchase 5 attendee tickets for $159/ticket, you can order additional attendee tickets at NO COST! Communities like St. Joseph, Ironwood, Petoskey, and New Baltimore have already signed up groups as large as 13! All attendees will be treated to thrilling keynote speakers – such as Governor Gretchen Whitmer and National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony – and much more! Get the details and register today.
Women’s Municipal Leadership Program Graduates Honored
The League recently honored 28 women leaders from throughout Michigan for successfully completing the Women’s Municipal Leadership Program presented by the 16/50 Project. The 2019 class was honored in a new video released this week. Read more.
Virtual Convention Breakouts Cover Lots of Bases!
At this year’s Virtual Convention, you can boost your batting average with Breakout Sessions on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Building Community Wealth, and much more. You can also catch thrilling keynote speakers, great networking opportunities, and a virtual expo hall. See the complete lineup and register today!
2020-2021 Wage and Salary Survey Results Now Available
The 2020-2021 Statewide Pay and Benefits Survey of 143 titles is now available to full member communities that participated in the survey, with automatic access provided to managers, department heads, and elected officials. The League conducts this survey for the benefit of our member communities. Read more.
Convention Keynote Speakers Bring Diverse Perspectives
We’ve lined up some great keynote speakers for this year’s Virtual Convention! Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Clarence Anthony, executive director of the National League of Cities, will join up for Leading in a Time of Crisis. They’ll discuss the challenges of leading through a time of crisis, facing those challenges head-on, and emerging stronger and more resilient. Next up is Congressman Dan Kildee, who will head up a panel of federal legislators for Working Together: Effective Bipartisan Efforts at the Federal Level. Convention will also offer plenty of opportunities for networking with colleagues and interacting with vendors. Get the details and register today!
Flint’s Monica Galloway Receives the League’s Ambassador Award
The League honored Flint City Council President Monica Galloway with our Ambassador Award. She received the recognition in conjunction with a tribute video. The Ambassador Award is given to League members who successfully complete all four levels of the League’s Elected Officials Academy program. Read more
Register Now for the League’s First-Ever Virtual Convention!
Please join us for Michigan Municipal League’s first-ever Virtual Convention – from the comfort of your home or office! This event will look and feel a little different than our traditional Conventions, but it will be full of the high-value content and networking you’ve come to expect. We’ll have thrilling keynote speakers including Governor Gretchen Whitmer and National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony. Breakout Sessions will cover everything from Community Wealth to Cultural Diversity and Leading in a Time of Crisis. And you’ll have plenty of opportunities for networking with colleagues and interacting with vendors. Get the details and register today!
Local Officials Seek Financial Help from President Trump, Congress
Michigan municipal leaders sent a letter to President Trump and Michigan’s Congressional delegation seeking direct funding to communities battling the coronavirus. The League Board of Trustees asked for support of $375 billion in direct flexible aid for communities of all sizes. League members are also encouraged to send letters. Read more.
Current Year Budget Deal Replaces August CVTRS with CARES Money
Following the governor’s late June announcement of a budget deal to address the current year state budget shortfall, the House and Senate Appropriations committees acted on those negotiated reductions. For League members, a key component of this budget deal includes a suspension of the August CVTRS payment and replaces it with an additional $150 million in CARES Act federal money. Read more.
Aid to America’s Hometowns Left Out of Senate Proposal
The Senate proposal for the next coronavirus relief package, the HEALS Act, does not include additional funds for state and local governments. We can’t let it reach the President’s desk without providing aid directly to cities, towns, and villages. Read more
CARES Act Application Deadline Extended to Aug. 7
Gov. Whitmer has made some changes to the previous CARES funded programs for local units. The application deadline for the public safety/public heath payroll reimbursement program has been extended until this Friday, Aug. 7 and public safety authorities may now be eligible. Read more.
New Version of Summer Tax Deferral Bill Raises Major Concerns
The Michigan House of Representatives passed a new version of SB 943 that doesn’t provide for any advance payment or settlement that would have preserved local government cash flow. Instead, it creates a new deferment allowance for the 2020 summer property tax bill. Read more.
We must listen. We must act. Those are the key messages in a statement released to Michigan Municipal League members and the media by the League’s President, Vice President, and board. The statement is about the tragic and brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and the resulting protests. View the full statement here.
League Honors Graduates of 2020 Elected Officials Academy
The League is honoring 22 graduates of our 2020 Elected Officials Academy, a voluntary education and recognition program created in 1997 by elected officials and League staff. See video of this year’s graduates and view a video about the EOA program. Read more.
Gov. Allows Remote Public Meetings Until End of COVID-19 Emergency
Gov. Whitmer signed executive order 2020-154, which extends previous executive orders to provide temporary alternative means to conduct public meetings, conduct administrative proceedings, and provide the required notice under tax abatement statutes. Read more.
League Cancels Convention, Will Provide First-Class Virtual Event
We sadly announce that the League’s 2020 Convention that was planned for Sept. 30-Oct. 2 will not be held as an in-person event. Instead, we are transforming Convention into a first-class virtual event. We’ll bring you all the details in the coming weeks. Read more.
NEW Issue of The Review Magazine Now Available in Digital Format
With so many League members still working from home due to COVID-19, we wanted you to know that the July/Aug issue of The Review magazine is now available online! This issue highlights our recent Policy Forums, leading in a pandemic, and our new focus on community wealth building. Read it here.
Budget Deal to Result in 150% Funding Replacement
Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders have reached a budget agreement. The plan calls for eliminating the August statutory revenue sharing payments, but then fully replacing it plus an additional 50 percent. The replacement will come from federal CARES Act dollars. Read more.
Michigan Local Governments Report Crisis-Level Impacts from COVID-19
Michigan leaders have reported problems supporting their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic – with many failing to get needed health or financial help, according to a survey by the UM Ford School of Public Policy. The assessments of local government leaders have grown more pessimistic. Read more.
Cities Making Huge Cuts in Response to COVID-19 Fiscal Pressures
The National League of Cities’ new survey shows that the national economic recovery is at even greater risk if Congress fails to provide direct federal aid to cities, towns, and villages. The survey found that 65 percent of cities are being forced to delay or completely cancel capital expenditures and infrastructure projects. Read more.
CARES Act Spending Agreement Reached
The Whitmer Administration and House and Senate leadership came to an apparent agreement to begin spending more than $880 million of the state’s allocation of federal CARES Act stimulus funding. Following significant lobbying by the League, the new agreement – SB 690 H-3 – provides substantial funding opportunities for local units of government. Read more.
Governor Extends Remote Public Meeting Executive Order
Gov. Whitmer has signed Executive Order 2020-129, which extends a previous executive order allowing public bodies to conduct public meetings remotely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new order expires on July 31, 2020. Read more.
Cities Are Essential. Join the Fight to Get More Federal Aid
The National League of Cities launched the Cities Are Essential campaign, asking the federal government for at least $500 billion over two years for local governments. We need all of you to get involved – write your Congressmember, post on social media, write an Op-Ed. Read more.
League President & VP Pen Op-Ed Urging Direct Federal Aid to Local Government
League President Brenda F. Moore and Vice President William Wild wrote an op-ed column stressing the importance of direct federal assistance for Michigan’s local governments battling coronavirus. We call on all Michigan members of Congress to support our communities by voting for direct, unrestricted funding to local municipalities as called for in the HEROES Act. Read more.
Webinar: Mich. Delegation Leads Efforts to Protect Main St. Busineses
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-5) and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6), the bill’s co-sponsors, discussed the RELIEF for Main Street Act, which would create a new $50 billion fund to provide direct allocations to cities, counties, and states to seed and scale small business local relief funds. Review the webinar on our Coronavirus Resources page.
Whitmer Lifts More Restrictions, Moves Northern Michigan to Phase 5
Gov. Whitmer announced that the Upper Peninsula and Traverse City Region will move to the “Containing” phase of her plan, starting June 10. On June 15, personal services including hair, massages, and nails will reopen statewide. Read more.
Whitmer Lifts Stay-Home Order, Allows Dine-in Restaurants, Bars
Gov. Whitmer is partially lifting Michigan’s stay-at-home order by loosening restrictions on the operations of businesses and workplaces, while allowing larger outdoor gatherings and outside sporting events with certain restrictions. Whitmer’s decision allows dine-in service in restaurants and bars by June 8, reopening of retail stores on June 4, opening of swimming pools and day camps for children, and outdoor crowds of up to 100 individuals. Under the revised order, Whitmer would also allow employees to work from the office if their work couldn’t be done remotely. Read more.
Mayor Barnett Testified at Congressional Briefing on Fed. Aid
On May 29, Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett testified before a congressional Coronavirus panel. The video briefing examined what communities need from the federal government to stabilize local economies, protect the health and well-being of their residents, and safely reopen. Read more.
New Streamlined Licensing Process for Outdoor Liquor Services
To assist with the safe reopening of bars and restaurants, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has announced a streamlined licensing process for outdoor services and additional bar permits. More information is available on their new web page. Also, HB 5781 has been introduced, which would allow a local governing body to designate a social drinking district. Read more.
Cities Are Essential. Join the Fight to Get More Federal Aid.
Local governments need direct support and economic relief and we need it NOW. That is why the National League of Cities launched the Cities Are Essential campaign, asking for at least $500 billion over two years for local governments. We need all of you to get involved – send a letter to your Congressmember, make noise on social media, and write an Op-Ed. Read more.
Gov. Whitmer Starts to Loosen Restrictions in Michigan
In a May 21 press conference, Gov. Whitmer announced a huge wave of changes. She is allowing gatherings of 10 or fewer people, as long as everyone practices social, re-opening retail and auto dealers on May 26, and allowing dental and vet procedures to resume May 29. Read more.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to Return More than $100M to Customers
Our partners at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan asked us to share this news: Due to disruptions in previously anticipated health care services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will be returning more than $100 million to many fully insured customers this year. Read more.
League CEO Highlights Support for HEROES Act on WJR Radio
League CEO Dan Gilmartin was a guest on Guy Gordon’s show on WJR/News Radio. They talked about the HEROES Act recently introduced in the U.S. House and the need for direct federal support of Michigan communities battling coronavirus on the front lines. Tune in now.
Gov. Whitmer Extends Stay at Home Order, Details MI Safe Start Plan
Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-77 to extend Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 28. The order allows manufacturing workers to resume work on May 11. She also detailed the six phases of her MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage Michigan’s economy. Read more.
League Connects Local Leaders with Senate Appropriations Chair
Several local officials met virtually with State Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland) for an update on the state budget process and the Legislature’s view of the state revenue picture. He also wanted to hear first-hand about the financial impacts of COVID-19 on Michigan communities. Read more.
Midland Mayor Donker Fights for Michigan Communities in D.C.
Midland Mayor Maureen Donker was fighting on behalf of Michigan communities across the nation as she spoke before a U.S. House of Representatives member forum on the Coronavirus Community Relief Act (HR 6467). She discussed the unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 is causing for cities and villages. Read more.
NEW Issue of The Review Magazine Now Available in Digital Format
With so many League members working from home due to COVID-19, we wanted you to know that the May/June issue of The Review magazine is now available online! This issue delves into another challenge facing Michigan communities: legalized marijuana. Read it here.
Gov. Whitmer Extends Virtual Meetings Executive Order to June 30
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Whitmer has issued an Executive Order allowing local boards, commissions, councils and others to continue meeting and conducting business via phone or video conferencing. The order expires June 30. Read more.
Response & Recovery Survey of Municipal Operations & Finances
The League and Plante Moran are gathering data from Michigan municipalities on the workplace and financial impacts from the coronavirus pandemic and how local governments are reacting. The survey is open to all local government officials.
Governor Extends Stay at Home Order to May 15, Some Businesess to Reopen
Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-59 extending the stay at home order until May 15. The new order allows some businesses to reopen, including some retailers to open for curbside pick-up, and garden centers, nurseries, and lawn care service. Read more.
League, MAC, MTA Seek COVID-19 Funding for Members
The League has joined with the counties and townships associations to seek $1.1 billion to support COVID-19 expenses incurred by local governments. The three organizations sent a letter to Governor Whitmer urging the state to use some of the nearly $4 billion Michigan is receiving from the CARES Act to support local governments of all sizes affected by this pandemic. Read more.
Your Help Needed to Secure Federal Stimulus Funds for Municipalities
The League sent a letter to Michigan’s congressional delegation asking them to include direct support for local governments, regardless of population size, alongside any new investment in the Paycheck Protection Program. We need your help TODAY! Please use the League’s Voter Voice system to urge your Congress member to support this issue. Read more
Procedures Set for Changes To Upcoming Elections
Earlier this week a court order changed the April 21 filing deadline and some rules for the upcoming elections. The Bureau of Elections has now released complete regulations for digital signature collection for collecting and submitting signatures by e-mail as soon as possible. View our blog about these procedures.
Gov. Whitmer Re-issues Executive Order Allowing Virtual Meetings
Executive Order 2020-48 extends until May 12 the ability of local boards, commissions, councils, etc. to use phone or video conferencing methods to continue meeting and conducting business while ensuring the public has access to join the meetings. Read more.
Mich. Treasury Dept. Seeking Input on Local Govt. Cash Flow Needs
The Michigan Finance Authority is exploring ways to assist local governments that might need to access cash due to the COVID-19 crisis. They’re trying to deterimine if there is interest in a statewide pool of tax anticipation notes. If your local governement might be interested in participating, please provide feedback by May 1. Read more…
Federal Update – Support Needed for Additional Local Goverment Relief
In working with our partners at the National League of Cities, there has been a lot of activity on the implementation efforts surrounding the recently passed CARES act. There is also activity on new federal proposals to address some of the shortcomings for local governments within the federal stimulus efforts. The Coronavirus Community Relief Act (H.R. 6467) would provide $250 billion in funding to all local governments with fewer than 500,000 residents. League members are urged to contact their member of Congress to urge them to support and co-sponsor this important piece of legislation. Read more..
Census Deadlines Extended; How You Can Help Get People Counted
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline to fill out the 2020 Census has been moved to Oct. 31. The League has a new Census Toolkit to help community leaders in their efforts to get a complete count. The toolkit offers numerous suggestions and ideas to help your communities get the most accurate Census counts possible. There are a variety of action steps you can take this week, including call, email, or text 20 friends or family and encourage them to complete the Census form; host a Zoom Happy Hour; write a letter to your local newspaper; or join a virtual townhall. Read more.
League Partners with Governor to Answer COVID-19 Questions
The League has partnered with the Governor to help answer and address our members COVID-19 questions. To submit a question, or view preciously submitted questions and answers, visit our Coronavirus Resources page.
Governor’s Executive Order Protects Workers Who Handle FOIA Requests
Gov. Whitmer has signed Executive Order 2020-38 which relaxes requirements for responding to FOIA requests during the COVID-19 emergency. The League has issued a statement thanking Gov. Whimer for this FOIA accommodation. We covered this subject in our New FOIA Executive Order – Flexiibility During COVID-19 webinar, which is on our Coronavirus Resources page. Read more.
2020 Census Webinar: Getting a Complete Count During COVID-19
Due to COVID-19, 2020 Census operations have been extended. This webinar highlights the changes and new deadlines. Michigan’s Complete Count strategy, how to mobilize citizens to “Get Out the Counts,” and more. Check it out on our Census Resources for Municipalities page.
League and NLC Advocate for Flexibility with Stimulus Funds
National League of Cities and League staff have been reaching out to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and members of Michigan’s congressional delegation requesting flexibility as Treasury develops guidance on “necessary expenditures” related to the authorized use of Coronavirus Relief Funds with the recently passed CARES act stimulus package. Read more.
Webinar With U.S. Sen. Gary Peters on Federal COVID-19 Response
U.S. Senator Gary Peters has been on the front lines of the federal stimulus package designed to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a special League webinar, Sen. Peters shared a first-hand account of the stimulus as well as the national response to the COVID-19 crisis. Check out the video and podcast in the “Webinars” section of our Coronavirus Resources page.
TODAY Your Help Needed to Gather COVID-19 Data in Community Cost Survey
The COVID-19 pandemic has very likely generated unexpected costs and budget impacts for Michigan communities. Through the League’s advocacy work at the State and Federal level, we have been making efforts to help communities offset these costs. You can help by participating in a short survey developed by the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors. This survey is designed to demonstrate the direct fiscal impact of the pandemic on municipal governments. Data gathered will be used to make the case in Congress and the State for direct funding to all municipalities. Please take the survey by end of business TODAY. Read more.
The U.S. 2020 Census is Underway – Be Counted!
The Census is critical in providing nearly $30 billion in federal funding to our state each year. These funds are used for education, public safety, public health, infrastructure, and more. Check out our resources for getting a complete count in your community. Read more
Michigan Issues Stay-at-Home Order Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Gov. Whitmer issued a statewide stay-at-home order to fight the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Executive Order 2020-21 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes unless they are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Read more.
League Thanks Gov. for Flexibility in Running Local Govt. Meetings
Given the conflicts between traditional meetings of elected officials and the public health recommendations to limit face-to-face gatherings, we are pleased that Governor Whitmer has issued an Executive Order and given us the clear ability to use remote-access technology for necessary community meetings. View our media statement. Read more.
League Creates Coronavirus Resources Page for Communities
Are you growing concerned about how to respond if coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads to your community? The League wants to make sure Michigan communities have access to the most up-to-date resources for a potential public health outbreak. Check out our Coronavirus Resources page.
League Cancelling Future In-Person Events; Staff to Work from Home
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the League has made the unprecedented decision to cancel all face-to-face events for the remainder of March and all of April, including our CapCon 2020. We have also instructed League staff to work from home until April 6. Read the full explanation from League CEO Dan Gilmartin. Read more.
Lt. Gov. to Speak to Local Govt. Leaders in “Stay at Home” Webinar
What does the Governor’s new “Stay Home. Stay Safe” Executove Order mean for your workers and your community? Find out in a free webinar featuring Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, March 24, 10 am. Read more in our Inside 208 blog. Register now.
League COVID-19 Webinar Now Available Online and as Podcast
More than 300 League members participated in a webinar Monday about the COVID-19 virus. Numerous questions were answered by Elizabeth Hertel of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. You can watch the webinar or listen to the podcast format.
Policy Forum Series Prepares Michigan Comunities for the Future
The League has been hosting a series of policy forums titled Fast Forward: Leading the Future of Michigan Cities. We’ve been discussing how communities in Michigan will address accelerating technology, climate, and population changes in the coming decades. Read more
TODAY CDC to Answer Important COVID-19 Questions in Webinar
The CDC is presenting a live webinar today to discuss the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak, what CDC is doing to respond, and how partners, organizations, and the public can help slow the spread in the U.S. At 1pm today, watch on CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Facebook page.
Monday Morning Live Focused on Local Preemption and CapCon
Mining operations and short-term rentals are just two of the areas where the state is trying to preempt local government authority. See our team discuss that challenge and our upcoming CapCon on the latest Monday Morning Live.View video on Facebook. or listen to podcast.
RECAP: White House Briefing for State & Local Officials on COVID-19
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs has provided an update on the federal government’s current efforts to address coronavirus (COVID-19). They recommend following the CDC’s website and the coronavirus.org site. Read more on our Inside 208 blog.
League Insurance Boards Announce 2020 Member Dividends
Members of the League’s insurance programs will share dividends totaling over $15.5 million in 2020. The Workers’ Compensation Fund Board voted to return $14 million in dividends to its member-owners. The Liability & Property Pool Board authorized returning $1.575 million in dividends to member-owners who renew coverage in 2020. Read more.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Michigan Municipal League CEO
As you’ve heard by now, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state of emergency regarding the COVID-19 viral disease, and the World Health Organization has officially classified it as a pandemic. The League is actively working to make sure our communities have the most up-to-date information. Here are some key things you should know: The League is hosting a free coronavirus webinar for members featuring the state’s top medical expert. We are reviewing all future planned events, including CapCon, and decisions will be made and shared shortly. We’ve also created a Coronavirus Resources page that is updated regularly with the latest information. The League is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they are known.
League to Post Blog About White House COVID-19 Briefing
Today’s 1 pm White House briefing call about the coronoavirus as it relates to local governments is now full and not accepting new registrations. However, the League’s Herasanna Richards will be posting a blog about what is discussed on the call. You’ll be able to read it on our Inside 208 blog here.
You Hit the Jackpot! Early Bird Rate Extended to TODAY!
We spun the roulette wheel and hit “Extend Early Bird Deadline” – so you’re the winner! The CapCon early bird deadline has been extended to TODAY. Get your registration in now, then look forward to in-depth workshops, engaging General Session speakers, enlightening Breakout Sessons, an Expo Hall full of municipal-related vendors, and … try your luck at exciting casino-style games at the Welcome Reception! Get the details and register today!
Marijuana Resource Page Offers Helpful Information for Communities
The League has assembled a marijuana resource page with valuable information for municipalities. It contains sample ordinances (opt in & opt out), a link to our adult use marijuana webinar ($20 fee), adult use Q&As, emergency rules, and more.Visit marijuana resource page.
Michigan’s Local Communities Need Comprehensive Transportation Plan
The League’s legislative advocacy team testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation about the need to increase funding for our local roads. League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued a statement advocating for a long-term, comprehensive transportation plan. Read the complete statement.
Podcast Focuses on the Important Role of Crowdfunding in Michigan
On the latest episode of the Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, the League’s Matt Bach talks about the power of crowdfunding for Michigan communities with the League’s Melissa Milton-Pung and Angela Barbash of Revalue. Tune in now.
Funding Local Govt.: Broken System Puts Services at Long-Term Risk
The system of funding for local government in Michigan is broken, as confidence of officials across the state to meet their fiscal needs has been stagnant for the past three years despite a growing economy, according to ongoing analysis of the Michigan Public Policy Survey. Read more.
Saginaw Councilmember Receives Education Scholarship
Saginaw City Councilmember Jamie Forbes has received a leadership education scholarship to help her further her training an an elected official. The Michigan Municipal League Foundation awarded Forbes a $1,000 John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship to attend the League’s CapCon in March. Read more.
2020 Coastal Community Resilience Matching Grants Available
Matching grants to help Michigan coastal communities develop master plan content that will contribute to greater coastal and community-wide resilience are being offered by the nonprofit Land Information Access Association. To apply, visit the LIAA website. Read more
League Pres. Moore Was in D.C. Fighting for Michigan Communities
League President Brenda F. Moore was in Washington, D.C. for the National League of Cities’ 2020 State Municipal League Executive Directors and Presidents Fly-in. This event provides an important opportunity to advocate for city priorities with Congress and network with peers. More.
Demolition Grants Available to Help Rural Communities Fight Blight
The State Land Bank Authority is rolling out a second round of Michigan Rural Community Demolition Grants. Smaller communities in Michigan can apply for a $50,000 grant to help eliminate blight and revitalize their communities. Applications are due March 13. Read more.
Budget News, Local Preemption, and More on Monday Morning Live
Gov. Whitmer released her proposed 2020-21 budget. What does that mean for Michigan communities? What’s in store at CapCon and the next issue of our magazine on local preemption? That’s what our team covered on Monday Morning Live. View video on Facebook. or listen to podcast.
Detroit City Council President Shares Her Experience and Advice
At the League’s 2019 Convention, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones sat down for a wide-ranging conversation on the Limelight podcast. She shared her path in Detroit politics, advice for women and young people interested in entering politics, and more. Listen in now.
Goodman Scholarship Goes to Grand Valley Student
The Michigan Municipal League Foundation recently awarded the George and Judith Goodman Scholarship to Alayna Knarian, a Grand Valley State University student and Bad Axe native. The scholarship is committed to building the pipeline of future local leaders in Michigan. Read more.
Census Counts in Properly Funding Michigan Communities
The League’s own Kelly Warren is first up in this brand new 9-second video promoting Michigan’s 2020 Census efforts. Read more about how the Michigan Municipal League is preparing our member communities for the Census in this new SaveMICity.org blog.
League Statement on Governor Whitmer’s Proposed 2020-21 Budget
League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin released a statement regarding the 2020-21 proposed budget from Gov. Whitmer. He expressed concern about statutory revenue sharing and local road funding, but is pleased with the funding for high lake level and shoreline erosion grants. Read more.
Reflections on State of the State, Challenge of High Water Levels
On Monday Morning Live, we analyzed Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State and looked ahead to her response to the State of the Union. We also discussed Michigan’s high water level crisis and what’s being done to help communities. View video on Facebook. or listen to podcast..
Michigan Municipal League Names Three New Board Members
Three city officials were recently chosen to serve on the League Board of Trustees. During the League’s board meeting, the following were selected: Holland City Manager Keith Van Beek; Muskegon Mayor Stephen Gawron; and Ypsilanti City Manager Frances McMullan. Read more.
Ottawa County Official to Lead Michigan Municipal Executives
Ottawa County Deputy Administrator John Shay is the new president of the statewide association representing Michigan’s municipal managers. He was selected as the 2020 president of the Michigan Municipal Executives during the organization’s annual Winter Institute. Read more
Get One-on-One Time with Vendors and State Agencies at CapCon 2020!
As part of the CapCon 2020 experience, you’ll have an opportunity to talk with representatives from many state agencies and municipal vendors. During our State Agencies Office Hours, you can get the latest information on grants as well as state and federal programs that might benefit your community. You’ll also have several chances to network with a wide variety of vendors in the Expo Hall. Each one offers products and services designed specifically for municipalities. Plus, we have lots of other engaging sessions planned. Get the details and register today!
League Foundation-backed Study Unveiled in Hamtramck
The Hamtramck Recreation District Plan, backed by the League Foundation, could create a destination for tourists and a vibrant gathering place for residents and visitors. A preliminary summary of the plan was presented during a community celebration dinner Jan. 31. Read more.
State Transportation Commission Approves $3.5B Road Bonding
As part of the Rebuilding Michigan program, the State Transportation Commission (STC) approved a $3.5 billion bonding program. It will add and expand 122 major new road projects and nearly double the amount available to fix state roads over the next five years. Read more.
Monday Morning Live Zeroed in on State of State, State of Union
On Monday Morning Live, we analyzed Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State and looked ahead to her response to the State of the Union. We also discussed Michigan’s high water level crisis and what’s being done to help communities. Tune in now.
Plans Unveiled for Hamtramck’s Veterans Memorial Park
A long-term plan to rejuvenate Hamtramck’s Veterans Memorial Park, which includes Hamtramck and Keyworth stadiums, was released during a special community event on Jan. 31. The League and the League Foundation have played significant roles in this effort. The plan aims to transform the site into a major recreation destination. More.
Reflections on Governor Whitmer’s 2020 State of the State Address
In the Governor’s second State of the State speech, she focused on four key themes: infrastructure, jobs and the economy, education, and healthcare. She announced that she’ll be asking the State Transportation Commission to issue $3.5 billion in state road bonds. Read more.
Facebook Rep Leads Off Bold Lineup of CapCon Breakout Sessions!
A representative from Facebook’s Politics and Government Outreach Team is jetting in for CapCon 2020’s first breakout session! She’ll guide attendees through Facebook’s latest tools to reach and connect with your community. And there’s a great selection of other sessions. Get the details and register today!
Transportation Reform Bills Pass the Michigan Senate
The Michigan Senate and House have been working on bills to reform the transportation landscape in Michigan. This week, the Senate passed most of them. The League has been involved in the negotiation of this package and secured a number of changes. Read more.
Rebuild With Us’ Effort Showing Signs of Hope in Congress
After months of persistent pushing, the National League of Cities “Rebuild With Us” campaign is seeing some results. The U.S. House Democrats released a plan to support the nation’s infrastructure. Livestream of press conference is available here. Read more.
The Community-Shaping Potential of Ride-Sharing Services
The future of transportation was the topic of the Economics of Place podcast. Lilly Shoup, policy director of ride-sharing service Lyft, shared how her company sees the ability of transportation to shape communities and the way people interact with their city and fellow citizens. Tune in
Westland Mayor William Wild Named League Vice President
Congratulations to Westland Mayor William Wild, who was named as the League’s 2019-20 vice president at the Jan. 24 Board of Trustees meeting. He will help lead the organization with Board President Brenda F. Moore, and is in line to become League president in 2020-21. Read more.
Unveiling Set for Revitalization Planning Effort in Hamtramck
A long-term plan to rejuvenate a historic recreation area in Hamtramck is being released during a special community event on Jan. 31. The League and the Michigan Municipal League Foundation have played significant roles in this effort and we’re excited to see the results. Read more
League Members Plea for Help with Record High Water Levels
Record high water levels on the Great Lakes are wreaking havoc along Michigan’s coastlines. On Jan. 23, several League members testified before the state House Appropriations subcommittee that they’re trying to fight the tides with dwindling resources. Read more.
League Partnership Works to Restore Historic Hamtramck Stadiums
Keyworth and Hamtramck stadiums have a storied history in Hamtramck. On this SaveMICity podcast, learn how the League has partnered with the city, schools, and others to leverage an $800K grant to restore the stadiums and create a comprehensive recreation plan. Listen in now.
SEMCOG Workshop Offers Tools to Promote U.S. Census Participation
The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is presenting a workshop on the 2020 Census, which will highlight how to use SEMCOG data on hard-to-reach populations in SE Michigan and share a toolkit of media products for local outreach. Detroit, Feb. 4. Register now.
CapCon Workshops Offer In-depth Look at Key Municipal Topics!
Join us on March 24 – just before the start of CapCon – for one of four in-depth workshops on vital municipal topics. Choose from sessions on clean energy and green building; 2020 Census; Michigan’s liquor licensing process; and Michigan Dept. of Treasury. Get the details and register today!
League Insurance Programs Have Refunded $272M to Communities
It literally pays to be a member of the League’s risk management programs! Since their inception, our programs have refunded a combined $272 million to members! Is your community a member of these programs? Check out our new video and learn more in our blog.
Monday Morning Live Now Available on Facebook and Podcast
Due to the Martin Luther King holiday, Monday Morning Live aired on Wed., Jan. 15. We discussed the state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference, the Governor’s upcoming State of the State, CapCon 2020, and more. View video on Facebook. or listen to podcast.
League CEO Op-Ed: Time is Now to Invest in Michigan Communities
Making changes to the way local government operates in concert with state budget decisions is the key to long-term prosperity. For decades, Michigan has disinvested its cities and villages to the point that they’re struggling to survive, as shown in recent PSC report – City Revenue Snapshot. Read more.
Lt. Governor Gilchrist to Kick Off 2020 Capital Conference!
Lt. Gov. Gilchrist is a big fan of placemaking and the power of communities! His keen interest has been on display over the past several months as he has toured Michigan cities. Along the way, he has been listening to residents and officials and collecting information about how the State can help improve the quality of life in our communities. Join us for CapCon’s opening General Session to hear what the Lt. Governor has learned on his tour and how you can advocate for action at the local, state, and federal levels. CapCon also offers a multitude of other sessions on key municipal topics. Get the details and register today!
Weigh in on Michigan’s Proposed Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy this week is beginning to accept public comment on proposed new limits for PFAS in drinking water, including three comunity meetings. The rules would require municipalities to test for the seven PFAS compounds at least once a year. Read more.
Monday Morning Live Covered Lansing Expectations, Policy Forums
On the first Monday Morning Live of 2020, we discussed some introduced bills that will move forward, the expectation that the Governor will propose a new approach to road funding, and the League’s Policy Forums on future city issues. View video on Facebook or listen to podcast.
Michigan, We Have a Budget Deal. (Give or Take $400 Million)
After weeks of stalled negotiations, Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders agreed on a plan to spend more than half of the nearly $1 billion that Whitmer vetoed from the budget. The House and Senate nearly unanimously passed supplemental spending bill. Read more.
Great Time to Listen to Podcast on Civility in Government
On our Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, we focus on a topic that’s frequently in the news these days – civility in government. State Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) shares her thoughts on constructive ways to talk about communities’ futures and how to get there. Listen in now..
Happy Holidays from the Michigan Municipal League!
The League wishes you a very happy holiday season! Our offices will be closed from 3:00 pm Dec. 23 until 8:00 am Jan. 2. While we are away, please check out our Monday Morning Live broadcasts, Inside 208 blog, We Love Where You live podcasts, and SaveMICity site.
Webinar Provides Information on Broadbrand ReConnect Program
The Broadband ReConnect Program offers loans and grants to facilitate broadband deployment in rural America. in this webinar, the USDA will share an overview of the funding program, including eligibility, required documentation, and more. Dec. 30, 1:00 pm Read more.
Monday Morning Live Covered Budget Finale and Upcoming Events
A tentative budget deal has been reached between Governor Whitmer and the legislature. See what that means for cities and hear about bills involving historic tax credits and regional transit authorities on Monday Morning Live. View video on Facebook or listen to podcast.
Podcast Dives into New Report on Revenue Decline in Michigan Cities
A new study and online database shows that Michigan cities on average have 12 percent less revenue today than they did 15 years ago. On the SaveMICity podcast, we delve into the reasons for the revenue sharing decline with Tim Dempsey of Public Sector Consultants. Tune in now.
Flint an Ongoing Example of Successful Placemaking
Matt Bach, the League’s Director of Communications, is a big fan of the placemaking happening in Flint. There’s a new downtown hotel, new and updated parks, dozens of renovated buildings, and positive economic, cultural, and social changes. Those changes played a critical role in his recent move to Flint, which will appear on a future episode of HGTV’s House Hunters. Read more.
Accelerator for America Amps Up Investment in Transit & Infrastructure
After an engaging presentation at the League’s 2019 Convention, Rick Jacobs expanded on the work of Accelerator for America on the Economics of Place podcast. Their mission is to find local transit/infrastructure projects they can scale to help communities deal with economic insecurity. Listen to the podcast.
New Report Paints Bleak Financial Picture for Michigan Cities
A new study and online database shows that Michigan cities on average have 12 percent less revenue today than they did 15 years ago. The report, by Public Sector Consultants released by the League and the SaveMICity initiative, is accompanied by an online look-up tool. See the press conference on Facebook, listen to an interview with the League’s Chris Hackbarth on Michigan Radio and view the study and online tool.
In the Spirit of Giving Tuesday: Empower Women to Lead Mich. Communities
Women make up over 50 percent of Michigan’s population, but just 16 percent of our local government chief administrative officials. The League’s 16/50 Project is putting women in leadership positions right now – and together, you can help us do even more. The Michigan Municipal League Foundation’s 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign supports the 16/50 Project. Join us in standing together for future women leaders – and making gender equity a reality for Michigan communities. Share our campaign with your network, or go ahead and make your gift right now. Thank you for your support!. Read more.
League Pres.: Mich. Cities Not Ready to Endure Another Long Recession
In an Op-Ed in Crain’s Detroit Business, League Pres. Brenda F. Moore delves into whether Michigan’s cities are ready for the next recession. Simply put, no. The League, through our SaveMICity initiative, has been sounding the alarm that we need to fix our municipal finance system.. Read the online article in Crain’s or download a pdf..
Monday Morning Live Covers Giving Tues., New Revenue Loss Report
On this week’s Monday Morning Live, our team highlighted our Giving Tuesday campaign to support the 16/50 Project, the new PSC revenue snapshot report, and the impasse between the Governor and legislature on the state budget. View the video on Facebook.or listen to the podcast.
League’s Herasanna Richards Selected for Crain’s 20 in Their 20s
Congratulations to the League’s Herasanna Richards on being selected as one of Crain’s 20 in Their 20s! This award recognizes outstanding young leaders who are stepping up and making a difference in metro Detroit. We’re proud to have Herasanna’s energy and expertise on our team! Read more.
Michigan Communities Recognized for Sustainability Achievements
Three dozen Michigan communities will be recognized as part of the 2019 Michigan Green Communities Challenge for their commitment to sustainability projects. They’ll receive awards at the annual Michigan Sustainability Conference on Nov. 20-21 in Lansing. Read more.
Urban Futurist Keys in on How Cities Can Prepare for the Future
In October, urban futurist and architect Dr. Cindy Frewen spoke at the League’s Policy Forum on the future of cities. On this Economics of Place podcast, she shares how cities can prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the next 50-100 years Tune in now..
Michigan Municipal League Foundation Selects New President
We are pleased to announce that Helen D. Johnson has been named president of the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. For the past two decades, she has worked with communities across the country to leverage assets and approach challenges with boldness and creativity. More.
Local Govt. Leaders Can be Part of Citizens Redistricting Commission
The League’s Tony Minghine has been speaking at press events with the Secretary of State in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City to promote the state’s new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. You can apply to serve as one of 13 commissioners unless you’re a partisan elected official. Get more details and apply here.
Budget Updates, Transportation Reform, Giving Tuesday & More
On this week’s Monday Morning Live, our team covered the latest on the state budget and transportation funding reform, the League Foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign to benefit the 16/50 Project, and much more. Watch the video on Facebook or listen to the podcast.
PSC to Unveil Report, Online Tool Chronicling City Revenue Loss
Public Sector Consultants, along with the League through our SaveMICity initiative, will debut a report that chronicles the loss of revenue in dozens of Michigan cities due to severe cuts to funding over the last two decades. We’ll also unveil a new online tool that lists data for more than 200 Michigan cities. The press conference will take place at the League’s Lansing office, Nov. 20, 11:00 am. Read more.
2019 City Fiscal Conditions: Gilmartin pleas for ‘a better way’
League CEO Dan Gilmartin spoke about the state of Midwest economies at the 2019 City Fiscal Conditions panel in Washington, D.C. “So if our state governments and, to some degree, our federal government aren’t going to join with local units and actually invest in these places, it’s not going to be a great outcome. “We’ve got to figure out a better way to do that.” Read more.
New Flint City Council President Cites MML for Her Success
Flint’s new City Council President Monica Galloway specifically mentioned the training she received from the Michigan Municipal League in explaining her professional growth and knowledge she’s attained since serving on the city council. Read this article about it on mlive.com.
City Manager Wants Reform after State Denies Emergency Funding
Portland City Manager Tutt Gorman is pushing for reform after the state twice denied Ionia County’s requests for emergency funding after serious storm damage. Gorman met with state and county officials and the League’s Chris Hackbarth to discuss Michigan’s Emergency Management Act regarding emergency funding. Read more
Podcast Focuses on Unique Role of Local Government in the Community
At the League’s 2019 Convention in Detroit, Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett made an inspring presentation on the power of local government leaders to effect change in their community. On this episode of the Economics of Place podcast, Barnett expands on that and his new role as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Tune in now.
League CEO Discusses Municipal Finance Challenges on Natl. Stage
League CEO Dan Gilmartin was in Washington, D.C. to participate in a panel discussion about the fiscal conditions of American cities. Gilmartin discussed the ongoing concerns of the SaveMICity initiative, particularly the financial plight facing Michigan communities. Read more.
Policy Forums, Revenue Sharing, State Budget, Marijuana Deadline
On this week’s Monday Morning Live, our team discussed a whole host of topics – our new Policy Forums, revenue sharing, housing summit, state budget, Nov. 1 recreational marijuana deadline, the 2020 Census, and more. Watch the video on Facebook. or listen to the podcast
Southfield Councilmember, League Support Myron Frasier Retires
After 25 years on the Southfield City Council, Myron Frasier is retiring. As a founding member of MBC-LEO, he served as a board member, vice president, and on many committees. He also served on the League Board of Trustees (2000-2002) and as League vice president (2002-2003). In addition, he received the League’s Special Award of Merit. We genuinely thank Myron for all that he has done for his community and the League!
Podcast Shares the Journey of First Female Indian-American State Rep.
State Rep. Padma Kuppa is the first Indian-American woman and first Hindu to serve in the Michigan Legislature. On the Limelight podcast, hear how she started in local government in Troy and now uses her power to empower other immigrant voices. Tune in now.
Adult Use/Recreational Marihuana Rules Released
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has issued emergency rules for adult use/recreational marihuana. It’s crucial that municipal officials decide soon whether to opt out or remain opted in to recreational marihuana businesses in their municipalities. MRA will start accepting applications on Nov. 1. For sample ordinances and other resources, visit our marijuana resource page.
Local Govt. Leaders Can be Part of Citizens Redistricting Commission
Last year, Michigan voters amended the Michigan Constitution to put responsibility for redistricting Michigan’s state legislative and congressional districts into the hands of a new independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Members of that commission will be selected in a random process from a pool of applicants – and it’s important that local government leaders consider applying. The commission will also hold a series of public hearings before considering maps and after the maps are drawn, and local government officials need to be ready to voice their views. Get more details and apply here.
Podcast Shares Rep. Mark Huizenga’s Path from Local to Lansing
What’s the difference between local and state office? How can offricials translate their local experience to a statewide position? We dive in on those questions and more with State Rep. Mark Huizenga (R-74th District) on the Limelight podcast. Tune in now.
NLC Releases Cybersecurity Preparedness Guide for Cities
The National League of Cities just released their newest guide, Protecting Our Data: What Cities Should Know About Cybersecurity. The guide outlines steps for city officials hoping to improve cybersecurity. It also includes case studies of local security breaches and a checklist local IT directors can use to get started. Read more
League’s 16/50 Project Spurs New Texas Women’s Program
Women aspiring to be city managers in Texas now have a new leadership program to help them. The first Texas Women’s Leadership Institute was inspired by the 16/50 Project’s efforts to bridge the gender gap in the top positions of local government management. Read more.
Former Birmingham Mayor & Holland City Attorney Receive Honors
The Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys recently honored two municipal officials. Former Birmingham Mayor Eleanor “Coco” Siewert received the William L. Steude Ethics & Civility in Local Government Award. Long-time Holland City Attorney Andrew J. Mulder received the Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award.
League Staffer Chooses to Live the Placemaking Dream in Flint
The League’s Matt Bach embraces our placemaking mission wholeheartedly! That led him and his family on a journey to find a home in Flint and become part of the city’s revitalization story. To top it off, his search was filmed for an upcoming episode of HGTV’s House Hunters! Read more.
Monday Morning Live Focused on Intl. Placemaking, State Budget
On Monday Morning Live, League CEO Dan Gilmartin shared some of his experiences at a recent placemaking conference in Denmark. We also covered the state budget, PFAS, and upcoming League trainings on the 2020 Census, transportation funding, and crowdfunding. Watch the video or listen to the podcast.
Tapping Neighborhood Enhancement Program for Collective Action
MSHDA issued a call for proposals for their Neighborhood Enhancement Program. Municipalities and 501(c)3 nonprofits can apply for up to $50,000 for improvements to home exteriors or public spaces. These small grants can be used on clusters of properties for bigger impact. Read more.
The Census Goes Digital: What Communities Need to Know
Elected officials gasped when they heard the 2020 Census would be done mostly online, said Oakland County Times in an article on our Convention Census session. The U.S. Census Bureau is encouraging cities to promote the Census to ensure an accurate count. Read more.
Podcast Shares Progress of Headlee Lawsuit in the Courts
Taxpayers for Michigan Constitutional Govt. is suing the state for violating the Michigan Constitution by inappropriately applying the Headliee amendment. In this SaveMICity podcast, John Philo, lead counsel on the lawsuit, discusses the case as it goes through the courts. Tune in now.
Farmington Hills Domestic Violence Prevention Serves as Model for Cities
Four people died of domestic violence in a brief period of time in Farmington Hills in 2011, prompting police and community leaders to do something about it. An Oakland County Times article on the League’s domestic violence session at Convention shares the city’s efforts and how you can apply them in your community. Read more.
The League’s Convention in the D Was a Huge Success!
At Convention, attendees experienced a revitalized Detroit. They also dived into sessions on the topics that YOU told us are most important. We hope everyone went home with great ideas to share with their community. Check out photos, blogs, and Power Points
Michigan’s State Budget Battle Goes into Overtime
As expected, following the Legislature’s movement of budget bills that the Administration had not signed off on, Gov. Whitmer responded aggressively to the legislative spending proposal by issuing 147 separate line item vetoes within the 16 departmental budget bills she signed. Many of those line items may be of interest to League members. Read more.
Battle Creek Celebrates Being Named an All-America City
Battle Creek was one of 10 cities to win the 2019 All-America designation for its health programs. The All-America City Award recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness, and innovation to successfully address local issues. Read more.
Monday Morning Live Focused on Convention, State Budget
The League’s Convention in Detroit was packed full of energy and excitement! On the flip side, the state budget is on anything but a smooth ride. To get the scoop on both topics, watch Monday Morning Live video on Facebook or listen to podcast.
Important Updates to 911 Multi-line Telephone System Requirements
I n the Sept/Oct issue of The Review magazine, Abilita Inc. wrote an article on 911 Changes in Michigan and How they Affect You. They have now provided an update based on new legislation that Gov. Whitmer recently signed into law – Public Act 30 (HB4249). Read more.
Whihtmer Signs Budgets, Blocks Road Aid Boost as Part of Line-item Vetoes
Gov. Whitmer signed 16 appropriations bills on Sept. 30, blocking a GOP effort to boost road aid by $400 million and reversing more than $500 million in Republican-inspired cuts to her spending plan. In total, Whitmer’s more than 147 line item vetoes amount to $947 million of the $59.9 billion spending plan adopted by the state Legislature last week without reaching prior consensus with the governor. Read more.
Podcast Features Local News Publication Oakland County Times
Crystal Proxmire, publisher of the Oakland County Times, strives to make her publication a resource for communities and local governments on many of the same issues on which the League focuses. Learn how she keeps communities informed in this age of declining newspapers. Tune in now.
League Highlights Municipal Finance Issues on Deadline Detroit Podcast
The League’s Tony Minghine was a guest on the Sept. 13 episode of The Friday Morning Podcast sponsored by Deadline Detroit. He focused on a variety of issues related to municipal finance and our SaveMICity initiative. Tony’s segment begins at the 9:04 mark. Tune in now to this great interview! Also, read our blog.
MDOT and EGLE Budgets Pass with More Money for Locals
The Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) budgets have been sent to the Governor for her signature. Both budgets include more money for local communities. The Governor was not part of the negotiations, so it is not known if she will sign the MDOT, EGLE, or any of the other budgets before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Read more.
Monday Morning Live Focused on Mayalsian Guests, Budget, Roads
Meet our Malaysian urbanist guests on this week’s Monday Morning Live. We also talked about the twists and turns of budget negotiations between the Governor and Senate and House leaders, and delved into what that means for road funding. Watch video on Facebook or listen to podcast.
Malaysian Urbanists Exchange Ideas with Michigan Municipal League
Two Malaysian urbanists are spending time with the League to explore what we do. Aufa Abd Rahman and Daniel Lim Jian Yi of Think City are also sharing ideas they’ve used to regenerate cities in Malaysia. At Convention, Think City’s Program Director, Jia-Ping Lee, will be a keynote speaker. Get the details and register today!
Get a Kick Out of League Foundation Reception at Convention!
You can help support the great work of the League Foundation at this year’s Foundation Reception at Convention. Join us at the Detroit City Football Club Fieldhouse on Sept. 26 for a night of food, drinks, games and networking. Tickets are $55/person. Buy your tickets here.
Revenue Sharing Budget Hearing Scheduled – Contact Your Legislator
The Legislature is moving forward with the budget process, despite not having an agreement in place with the Governor on final spending for each department for the 2019-20 fiscal year, set to begin on Oct. 1. Ten budget conference committees are scheduled for TODAY, including the conference committees for MDOT and General Government, which includes revenue sharing. League members are urged to contact their House and Senate legislators to request that any budget produced by the Legislature reverse the trend of the past decade and begin reinvesting in revenue sharing and the communities in each of their districts. Read more.
Podcast Highlights Community Investment for Small Investors
On the Economics of Place podcast, we focus on community investment vehicles available to small investors who want to make a difference in their community. Learn how donation-based and investment crowdfunding have met with success in Michigan communities. Listen in.
Municipalities Hope for Legislation on Dark-Store Loophole
In July, another big box retailer – Meijer Inc. – used the “dark store” theory to significantly reduce the taxable value of its Marquette store. Municipalities and community advocates hope bipartisan legislation in Lansing will make a difference in curbing the dark-store loophole. Read more.
Whitmer Agrees to Delay Road Funding Talks to Finish State Budget
Gov. Whitmer has agreed to put aside negotiations on how to raise $2.5 billion annually in revenue for the state’s roads and infrastructure. In a joint statement with Republican leaders, Whitmer said, “…we’ve agreed that the best course of action is to immediately begin target-setting with legislative and executive leadership to get a budget passed by Oct 1st.” Read more.
Monday Morning Live Covered New Legislative Session, Convention
Due to the Labor Day holiday, this week’s episode of Monday Morning Live aired on TUESDAY, Sept. 3. Our team talked about what to expect in the new Fall legislative session and shared a sneak peek at Convention. Watch it on Facebook or listen to podcast.
Podcast Shares How Municipalitlies Benefit from U-M Public Policy Survey
On the SaveMICity podcast, we talk with the University of Michigan’s Debra Horner, who heads up the annual public policy survey conducted by rhe Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. She shares how the survey results help municipalities in their policy-making deisions.Listen in.
Mich. & Calif. League Leaders Co-Author Blog on Natl. Housing Crisis
MML CEO Dan Gilmartin and League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman collaborated on a blog about the housing crisis. Most states struggle with homelessness, affordable housing, and lack of synchronicity between federal, state, and local housing strategies. Read the complete blog.
Convention Early Bird Registration Deadline Extended to Sept. 9!
Great news! We’ve extended the Convention early bird registration deadline to Sept. 9. So, you still have time to get in on the discounted rate and enjoy all that Convention has to offer. Join enlightening General and Breakout sessions on topics YOU said you want; mobile tours throughout the exciting city of Detroit; and fun activities like a Tigers game, Fowling (a unique combination of Football and Bowling), and a Welcome Reception filled with music and food at DTE Energy’s new Beacon Park, sponsored by DTE. Also, hotel space is still available at Courtyard Marriott Downtown Detroit Get the League rate through Sept. 3. Get the details and register today!
Sign up Now to Get the Best Deal on Convention!
League Convention is quickly approaching! We have lots of great sessions and activities planned that you won’t want to miss. Sessions will cover everything from everyday bias and crowdfunding to revitalization and cyber security. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore the city on mobile tours and fun walk/runs. And some great social activities are on the agenda too, including Fowling (football and bowling) and a cool reception at DTE’s new Beacon Park, sponsored by DTE. Keep these deadlines in mind: Early bird registration ends Aug. 30, and League hotel rate ends Sept. 3. Get the details and register today!
Monday Morning Live Covered Headlee and Building Fees Lawsuits
On Monday Morning Live, we talked about two recent court rulings that impact local government – the Headlee amendment and contract building officials Learn how those decisions might affect your community from the League’s General Counsel. Watch on Facebook or listen to podcast..
Apply Now for 2020 All-America City Award
The National Civic League is now accepting applications for the 2020 All-America City Award, focused on enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement. Cities, counties, towns, and tribes wishing to apply have until Feb. 19, 2020 to submit their application. Read more.
Convention Hits the Bulls Eye with Sessions Targeted to YOUR Interests
A wide array of topics fills the agenda for this year’s League Convention. Among them are sessions and events targeted toward the interests of mayors, managers, councilmembers, women, and members of the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO). Several groups are holding a special breakfast or lunch along with their annual meeting, including the Michigan Association of Mayors, Michigan Women in Local Government, and MBC-LEO. And if you scan through the agenda, you’ll find several sessions sponsored by those groups as well as Michigan Municipal Executives. Get the details and register today!
Podcast Shares Strategies for Successful Ballot Proposals
As more communities explore revenue-generating options, a successful ballot proposal requires significant groundwork, including smart messaging and voter engagement. On this episode of Limelight, communications expert Matt Resch shares his on-the-ground expertise. Tune in now.
Nominations Now Open for Guido and Sinclair Awards
Do you know an outstanding chief elected official? Or how about a great supporter of the League? Nominate them for a Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award or a Jim Sinclair Exceptional Service Award. Nominations are due by Oct. 11. Read more.
Learn How to Build Inclusive Communities & More at Convention
We’re offering a variety of enlightening General Sessions at this year’s Convention. Nikki Pardo, owner of Global Alliance Solutions, will lead a session on Building Blocks: Creating Inclusive Communities. She’ll share insights and steps for discussing diversity, equity, and inclusion; how to avoid perpetuating stereotypes and biases; and more. Other engaging General Session speakers include Bryan K. Barnett, mayor of Rochester Hills, Mike Duggan, mayor of Detroit, Jon Robison, co-founder of Salveo Partners, and Jia-Ping LEE, program director of Think City. Get the details and register today!
Learn the Pros and Cons of Changing from a Village to a City
Over the years, a number of Michigan villages have incorporated as cities. Are there advantages to be gained? To find out, join us for our Impact of Changing from a Village to a City Workshop at our Lansing office, Oct. 4. Register now!
League Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients
The latest recipients of the League Foundation’s John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship are Josh Clark, Clare city commissioner,and Monica Galloway, Flint city councilmember. The scholarship covers up to $1,000 each for municipal managers and elected officials to get training to help their communities. More.
Michigan Municipal League Agrees with Court Ruling on Headlee
League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued a statement after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the state has ignored its responsibility for reimbursing communities for mandates it has issued since 1979: Read the full statement here.
Join in on Munch and Mingle Events at Convention!
Good conversation and food go well together, so we’re providing several such opportunities at Convention. Come enjoy the Welcome Reception, generously sponsored by DTE Energy at their new Beacon Park; first-timers meet-up; breakfast or lunch with affiliate groups; and more. Get the details and register today!
Monday Morning Live Covered PFAS, Lead and Copper Ruling, More
On Monday Morning Live, we talked about the new PFAS health-based values and the recent dismissal of the lead and copper court case. They also highlighted the four finalists in our Community Excellence Award competition. Watch the video on Facebook. or listen to the podcast.
Blue Cross Will Make Charitable Donations for New Online Accounts
Register for a Blue Cross member account and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will donate $5 to one of three eligible charities. In addition to supporting a great cause, you’ll get easy online access to your account information, search for doctors, compare costs, and more. Read more.
Podcast Dives into Details of Adult-Use Marijuana Emergency Rules
Michigan recently released the emergency rules for adult-use/recreational marijuana. On the Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, we talk with Andrew Brisbo, head of the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, about the specifics and the deadline for communities to opt in or out. Tune in.
$100,000 in Grants Available for Urban, Community Forests
Michigan local units of government, nonprofits, and other public entities interested in furthering their urban forestry efforts are encouraged to apply for the DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry program grant. A total of $100,000 is available. Apply by Sept. 20. Read more.
Zero in on Your Interests at Convention Breakout Sessions!
We have designed this year’s Convention Breakout Sessions with multiple interests in mind. Here’s a sneak peek: affordable housing, everyday bias, managing pension and retiree health benefits, small communities networking, and cybersecurity. Come join us for the whole Convention experience in Detroit, Sept. 25-27. Get the details and register today.
Community Excellence Award Competition Down to Final Four
The final four projects in the statewide Community Excellence Award (CEA) competition have been selected: Bay City, Dearborn, Madison Heights, and Mason. The finalists will now go on to compete at the League’s 2019 Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27, where attendees will vote for their favorite project. Read more.
Marijuana Rules, National League Trends on Monday Morning Live
On this week’s Monday Morning Live, we dove into the new emergency rules for recreational marijuana. We also covered national trends facing state leagues, and the latest on the short-term rental issue. Watch it on Facebook. or listen to the podcast.
Local Officials and Experts Reveal Solutions to National Housing Crisis
The National League of Cities released a comprehensive affordable housing report entitled “Homeward Bound: The Road to Affordable Housing.” League CEO Dan Gilmartin was part of the task force that helped create this report, which focuses on the challenges and solutions communities are using to address the growing affordable housing crisis. Read the report.
Experience the Refreshed City of Detroit at Convention!
We’ve planned several mobile workshops that will help you see some of the city’s unique spaces and places. Visit neighborhoods and admire their historic housing; explore the Detroit Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut trail; and much more. Come join us at Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27! Get the details and register today.
Tony Minghine Talks Municipal Finance on The Craig Fahle Show
The League’s Tony Minghine recently appeared on The Craig Fahle Show on Deadline Detroit to discuss municipal finance, our SaveMICity initiative, and our advocacy for major changes in how Michigan funds cities, villages, and townships. Listen to this great podcast!
Joyce Parker Selected as New Deputy State Treasurer
Long-time League member and supporter Joyce Parker has been selected as the Michigan Dept. of Treasury’s new deputy state treasurer over state and local government finance programs, the state announced. Dan Gilmartin, League CEO and Executive Director, is quoted in the state’s press release about Parker. Check it out.
Many Ways to Enjoy the Lighter Side of League Convention
Convention will be filled with many enlightening speakers and sessions. We also want you to enjoy the camaraderie of your colleagues and experience the flavor of the new Detroit, so we’ve planned some great activities. Swing over to Comerica Park to watch a Detroit Tigers game. Catch up with your peers at the Welcome Reception at DTE Energy’s new Beacon Park. Try out Fowling (football and bowling) at the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck. Enjoy a casual evening of games and networking at the MML Foundation Reception at the Detroit City Football Club’s Fieldhouse. Or join other attendees for a run or walk along an enjoyable downtown route. Come join us at Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27! Get the details and register today.
L’Anse Village Manager Selected for Michigan Municipal League Board
Congratulatons to Robert La Fave on being selected for the League Board of Trustees. La Fave has served as the village manager of L’Anse for the past 11 years. He has also served on the Michigan Municipal Executives board and the MSU Extension Statewide Board. Read more.
TODAY Conference Call on USDA Disaster Grant Funding for U.P.
As part of the Disaster Relief Act, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development has made additional grant funding available for communities in Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties. The funding targets equipment and vehicles, emergency/rescue gear, and more. An informational conference call will be held at 11:00 am July 17.To participate, call 888-844-9904 and enter access code 2086392.
Convention Speakers Share Ideas on Cultivating the Best in People
At this year’s Convention, we’re bringing in two General Session speakers who will help you get the best out of people – from two different angles. Of particular interest to those who deal with risk management is the session on Why Organizational and Employee Well-being are Critical to Your Community, led by Jon Robison of Salveo Partners. He’ll explore the role of well-being at your workplace and how you can support everyone in bringing their best selves to work – and home – each day. In The Power of Small session, Jia-Ping Lee of Think City will share how her organization has turned things upside down in Malaysian cities by working with community members to create a more humane and livable city. Come join us at Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27! Register today.
Adult Use Marijuana Rules Webinar Rescheduled for July 16
The League’s Adult Use Marijuana webinar has been rescheduled for 10:00 am July 16. You’ll hear the latest on the recreational marijuana issue and the new Adult Use Marijuana Emergency Rules from Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency. Register today. (If you registered for the canceled June 27 webinar, you do not need to re-register.)
Monday Morning Live Focused on Marijuana Emergency Rules, More
On the latest Monday Morning Live broadcast, our team discussed the new adult use marijuana emergency rules, PFAS and the recommended health-based values, short-term rentals, road funding, and more. Watch the Facebook video or listen to the podcast.
Rochester Hills Mayor Barnett Named President of US Mayors Association
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett has been selected president of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). Congratulations to Mayor Barnett for this major accomplishment. As the association’s president, Barnett presides over a group of 14,000 mayors from cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Read our blog all about it.
New Report Examines Crowdfunding Success in Michigan
A new report shows how Michigan is at the forefront of the community crowdfunding movement. The report, Community Investment, Community Growth: A Retrospective in Michigan Crowdfunding, tells the story of the evolution of crowdfunding, including the high fives, the hard work, and the hits and the misses. Read more.
Registration Now Open for 2019 Convention!
We’re excited to be holding our annual Convention in the D! You’ll get to experience Detroit’s fresh, new look with a sizzling culinary scene, hip hotels, hot entertainment districts, eclectic shops, and beautiful riverfront parks. Against this backdrop, we will present sessions centered on the topics that YOU told us are most important. Learn how to turn a placemaking opportunity into a strong community partnership; explore creative approaches for affordable housing; learn how to deal with everyday bias, and more. You’ll also have plenty of time to get out and experience some of Detroit’s iconic sites and activities. We’ve planned an extra special Convention in the D. Come join us! Register today.
Informational Resources on Medical and Recreational Marijuana
Now that medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Michigan, many communities have questions. The League has assembled informational resources including a white paper, sample ordinances, fact sheets, and more on our Marijuana in Michigan web page. More.
Saginaw Receives Certification as Redevelopment Ready Community
For their efforts in establishing a solid foundation to attract private investment and build on municipal assets, the city of Saginaw has been awarded the Redevelopment Ready Communities certification by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Saginaw joins 32 other Michigan communities that have qualified as “thoroughly prepared.” Read more.
Governor Appoints Former City Official to Municipal Stability Board
Governor Whitmer has appointed John Lamerato, longtime League supporter and former city official in Grosse Pointe Farms and Troy, to the Municipal Stability Board. He’ll represent local officials with knowledge in accounting, actuarial science, retirement systems, retirement health benefits, or government finance. Read more.
Flint Councilmember Monica Galloway on SaveMICity Podcast
On this episode of the SaveMICity podcast, the League’s Tony Minghine talks with Flint Councilmember Monica Galloway about the impact that lost revenue sharing has had on her city. That situation inspired her to become a SaveMiCity Ambassador and spread the word. Tune in now.
Monday Morning Live Focused on CEA Voting, House Budget, More
On Monday Morning Live, we encouraged members to vote for their favorite projects in this year’s Community Excellence Award competition. We also discussed the status of the state budget and road funding now that the legislature is in summer recess, and more. Watch us on Facebook.
Community Excellence Award Online Voting Now Open!
Let the voting begin! All 17 Community Excellence Award entries are now ready for viewing and voting. Your vote is important because it helps determine the top four finalists that will compete at Convention. Check out all the creative projects and vote for your favorite on the CEA website.
#WeLoveWhereYouLive Campaign Launches in July!
To celebrate Michigan communities, we are launching the #WeLoveWhereYouiLive social media campaign. In July, we’d like members to go on Facebook or Twitter and post a pic and short description of something they love in their community – and it might wind up in The Review magazine! Read more.
Monday Morning Live Video & Podcast on 19th Amendment, More
The video and podcast of the latest episode of Monday Morning Live are now available. Our legislative team discusses the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, recreational marijuana emergency rules, new auto inurance law, and more. Watch the Facebook video or listen to the podcast. .
League’s Kelly Warren Appointed to Census Complete Count Committee
The League’s Kelly Warren has been appointed by Gov. Whitmer to a new committee to lead the State of Michigan’s 2020 Census efforts. She’ll serve on the Census Complete Count Committee, which the governor described as being essential to making sure that Michigan has the resources and representation it needs. Read more
Help Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote
This week, the League is going gold to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Michigan was one of the first states to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, 1919. To help celebrate nationwide, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission developed a Centennial Planning Toolkit to help states and communities plan commemorative activities. Read more.
League to Unveil Crowdfunding Retrospective Report at ComCap19
About 300 investors, community leaders, entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders from across the country will descend on Detroit this week for ComCap19, the annual conference of the National Coalition for Community Capital. The League is one of the conference’s main sponsors and will unveil a report entitled Community Investment, Community Growth: A Retrospective in Michigan Crowdfunding. Read more.
Michigan Municipal League Seeks Comprehensive Plan of Action
League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued a statement in response to recent action by the House Transportation Subcommittee. “The Michigan Municipal League supports providing new and sustainable investment in our broken transportation system that is commensurate with the problem … we oppose efforts that attempt to meet that goal at the expense of others.” Read more.
Podcast Highlights Award-Winning Former State Rep. Rob VerHeulen
At the League’s 2019 Capital Conference, former State Rep. Rob VerHeulen (R-Walker) was honored with one of the League’s Legislative Awards of Merit. On the Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, he talks about what it means to him to be honored by the League for his legislative service. Tune in now.
Resources for Municipalities Regarding Active Shooters
On the League’s Gun Regulation web page, we have assembled a variety of resources to help municipalities prepare for active shooter situations. There are links to FEMA’s free online active shooter training program, Michigan firearms laws, Department of Homeland Security active shooter booklet, and more. Read more.
League, Chris Hackbarth Named Among Top Lobbyists in State
The League and our own Chris Hackbarth, state and federal affairs director, were both recognized for being among the top lobbyists in the state. The recognition was part of the 2019 Capitol Insider Survey done by MIRS News Service and EPIC-MRA. Read more.
Michigan’s Cities Must Succeed for Michigan to Succeed
“Are our cities struggling because our state is not growing, or is our state not growing because our cities are struggling?” This thoughtful question by U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee was one of many highlights during the highly informative panel discussion “Activate Change: Investing in Local Communities” at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference. The event is available to view any time. Read more.
Michigan Leaders Urge Bipartisan Solutions to Fix State’s Infrastructure
League CEO Dan Gilmartin was among the Michigan businesses and groups representing Michigan’s municipalities urging the Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to work together to make fixing Michigan’s infrastructure a priority at a news conference at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Read more.
Show Off Your Town on New Michigan Radio Series
What cool stuff is your city doing? Michigan Radio wants to know! They may even profile your community in their new series, In Focus. First up is the city of Jackson, home to Falling Waters Trail, Bright Walls Mural Festival, and much more. You can pitch your own town, too! Read more.
Limelight Podcast Focuses on Two Award-Winning Municipal Officials
On the Limelight podcast, we sit down with two municipal leaders who won prestigious awards at the League’s 2019 Capital Conference – Burton Mayor Paula Zelenko and Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool. Learn more about their accomplishments. Tune in now.
Monday Morning Live is on Thursday This Week. What???
Due to the Memorial Day holiday, this week’s broadcast of Monday Morning Live aired on Thursday, May 23. Our Lansing team covered the consensus revenue estimating report, auto insurance reform, a recap of Infrastructure Week – and the League’s 120th birthday! Watch on Facebook.
Michigan Municipal League Celebrates 120th Birthday
The League turned 120 years old on May 23! It all began in 1899 when a group of mayors launched an organization to focus on ‘good government’ and to strengthen the concept of home rule. To help us celebrate, the Michigan Senate passed a special resolution. Read the resolution.
Importance of Placemaking in Infrastructure Investment
Quality infrastructure AND vibrant places are key to attracting talent and business. That was the consistent message during the Midwestern Infrastructure Summit. League CEO Dan Gilmartin participated in the event along with Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, and Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell. Read more.
League Announces Safety Achievement Awards
Thirty-five Michigan communities have earned statewide honors for their outstanding dedication to maintaining and improving workplace safety. We congratulate these commuinities on their excellent committment to safety! Read more.
Great Mix of Sessions on Tap at This Year’s U.P. Education Summit
As municipal officials, you deal with nuts and bolts issues, major challenges, and controversial topics. At this year’s U.P. Education Summit, we’ve planned sessions that touch all those bases. Please join us for this enlightening event in Escanaba, June 6-7. Register now.
Importance of Local Control Highlighted at Issues and Ideas Event
The League’s Tony Minghine joined a panel of esteemed speakers at an Issues and Ideas event hosted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The panel discussed topics centered around the question: What is the right balance between local, state, and federal control? More..
Accepting Applications for Women’s Municipal Leadership Program
Are you a female leader interested in pursuing a career as a local government executive? Our Women’s Municipal Leadership Program offers the tools, techniques, and mentoring you need to reach that goal. Applications being accepted until June 7. Read more.
League Placemaking Efforts Featured in Report on Michigan’s Downtowns
Michigan’s downtowns used to be drowsy, but now many are dynamic. A special report looks at successful placemaking efforts across the state, and programs like the League’s PlacePlans and our partnership with MEDC on the Public Spaces, Community Places crowdfunding program. Read more.
Podcast Shares Ideas for Practicing Civil Discourse in Your Community
Today’s political climate is very contentious. In this week’s Economics of Place podcast, Dan Gilmartin sits down with Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, to get her take on having tough conversations within your community. Tune in.
League Focuses on Municipal Finance, Midwestern Summit
There’s a huge national event happening next week in which the League is playing a major role. We’re heavily involved in the upcoming national Infrastructure Week (May 13-17), particularly the Midwestern Summit. There are still seats available for the summit, which will be held on May 14 in Lansing. Speakers include League CEO Dan Gilmartin, Gov. Whitmer, former U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, and several Michigan mayors. Infrastructure Week is an annual event that aims to raise awareness about the importance of community infrastructure and how the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure needs more support. Read more.
The League’s Tony Minghine to Speak on Local Govt. Control Panel
The League’s Tony Minghine will be a featured speaker at The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s panel discussion on Local Control or Too Much Control? to be held in Lansing May 14. The event will be live streamed. Read more.
League’s Herasanna Richards Named to Crain’s 20 in Their 20s List!
The League’s Herasanna Richards was recently named among the 2019 20 in Their 20s outstanding young leaders by Crain’s Detroit Business. This is a special honor and the League is very proud to see Herasanna selected. Crain’s list celebrates outstanding young leaders who are stepping up and making a difference in metro Detroit. Read more.
Michigan Faces a Shortage of Affordable Homes, Study Finds
The League was pleased to partner with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority on the Michigan Homeownership Study. The study finds that Michigan will have a deficit of more than 150,000 housing units by 2045. This is a major problem for creating vibrant communities that attract residents and businesses. Read more.
Great Turnout for Short-Term Rental Bill Committee Hearing
Thanks to all the League members who showed up to express their opposition to House Bill 4046 at last week’s hearing. That turnout reflects the statewide impact of the bills, which seek to preempt local zoning authority. Read why the League is against these bills.
2018 Annual Roads & Bridges Report Now Available
The Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council has released the Michigan 2018 Annual Roads and Bridges Report. The report reveals further deterioration of Michigan’s federal aid eligible roads. Also, bridges are “losing ground” due to an aging inventory and rising costs for repair and replacement. Read report.
Monday Morning Live Video & Podcast on Roads, State Budget
On the current Monday Morning Live video and podcast, meet Herasanna Richards, our new legislative associate. Plus, get the latest information on the state budget, road funding, short-term rentals, and League activities in support of our members. Watch video and listen to podcast.
Changes in Michigan’s First Election Since Voting Rights Amendment
On May 7, Michigan voters will participate in the first election since a voting rights constitutional amendment passed in November. Secretary of State Benson said it’s a landmark to determine whether local clerks have enough staff to handle an expected influx of voters. Read more.
Governor, League CEO to Speak at Infrastructure Week 2019 Summit
The League is partnering with the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association to present a summit on the future of infrastructure in Michigan. Gov. Whitmer and League CEO Dan Gilmartin are among the key speakers in Lansing on May 14. Get the details and register
Huge Public Appetite for Mixed-Use Communities, Study Reveals
The popularity of retail centers as one-stop-shopping destinations appears destined to grow as developers continue to introduce new types of uses at their properties, including entertainment, medical services, and housing, according to a new report from ICSC. Read more.
Support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 27
Blue Cross Blue Shield and BCN continue to support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Please help stop prescription drug abuse and protect the environment by properly disposing of unused prescription medications. Read more.
Former League Employee John Hunnewell Passes Away
John Hunnewell, who passed away on April 13, believed in the possibility of good local government. He worked for several local government-related organizations, including the League (publications manager from 1960-1968). Our condolences go out to his family.
Blog, Radio Interview on Lack of Real Population Growth in Michigan
For Michigan to truly succeed, we must grow in population as a state. The latest U.S. Census data shows that our population is stagnant. The League’s Anthony Minghine writes about it in a SaveMICity blog and talked about it on the Dave Akerly Radio Show. Listen here.
Support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 27
Blue Cross Blue Shield and BCN continue to support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Please help stop prescription drug abuse and protect the environment by properly disposing of unused prescription medications. Read more.
Herasanna Richards Joins the League’s Advocacy Team
We are pleased to welcome Herasanna Richards as the League’s newest legislative associate! She will be advocating on behalf of our members in the areas of energy, environment, municipal services, and elections. We’re glad to have her on our team. Read more.
Michigan Politics, Huh? Podcast Highlights Legislators of the Year
On this episode of Michigan Politics, Huh? we talk with State Rep. Jim Lilly and State Sen. Jim Stamas, who’ve worked with the League to make a difference for Michigan communities. They were recently named Legislators of the Year by the League and we discuss the work they did to receive this recognition. Tune in now.
Fireworks: More Local Government Control
The 2018 amendments to the Fireworks Safety Act authorized more local control. Municipalities may enact an ordinance regulating the ignition, discharge, and use of consumer fireworks, including prescribing the hours which they can be used. See our new Fireworks Fact Sheet.
Monday Morning Live Podcast Covers Sanctuary City Bills, Road Funding
On the latest Monday Morning Live, now available in a podcast, we discussed the overly broad nature of two sanctuary city bills in the legislature; the status of the governor’s road funding proposal; and the PPT exemption on broadband. Listen to podcast.
What Can be Done to Address Michigan’s Infrastructure Problems?
A 12-year old Muskegon Heights boy filled potholes in his neighborhood and was honored by Mayor Kimberley Sims and the City Council. Sims stressed that Muskegon Heights has lost $10.2 million in revenue sharing since 2002 – money that could have been used to upgrade roads. Many other Michigan cities are facing the same challenge. Learn more on the League’s SaveMICity site. Read more.
MME Pres. Shares Fenton’s Municipal Finance Challenges on Podcast
Fenton may seem to be doing pretty well, but just below the surface it’s struggling. Fenton City Manager and MME President Lynn Markland shares the effect of years of state disinvestment on Fenton and other Michigan communities on the SaveMICity podcast. Listen in now..
Westland, Other Cities Turning to Dearborn for Emergency Dispatch
Potential cost savings are pushing Westland, Wayne, Inkster, and Garden City into the expanding coverage area of Dearborn’s consolidated dispatch center. Their collective dispatching is supposed to mean quicker response times and save the four new communities thousands of dollars per year. Read more.
Special League Hotel Rate for EOA Weekenders Expires TODAY!
The special League room rate at the family-friendly Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City ends today! Sign up now for fun and education at the Elected Officials Academy Core Weekender and Budgeting and Finance Advanced Weekender, May 3-4. You’ll come home with a wealth of new knowledge!
House Committee Reports Sanctuary City Bills Despite Opposition
The House Military, Veterans, and Homeland Security committee has reported House Bills 4083 and 4090 despite broad opposition from the League and other local government, law enforcement, and citizen organizations. League members are encouraged to contact members of the Ways and Means committee to express opposition to these bills. Read more.
Lansing Receives Technical Help to Examine Local Fines & Fees
Congratulations to Lansing on being selected by the National League of Cities to receive technical assistance to examine the negative impacts of municipal fines and fees on residents’ financial health. Lansing is one of only 6 cities across the country to receive this assistance. More.
League Supports Road Funding Proposal, Equitable Distribution
The League Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support the Governor’s recent proposal to raise $2.5 billion to invest in repairing the state’s roads. They believe it’s in the best interests of Michigan cities and villages, and authorized staff to advocate on behalf of a more equitable funding formula. Read more from Dan Gilmartin, the League’s CEO and Executive Director.
Podcast Highlights Local Government Efforts to Tackle Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is happening in Michigan. On the Limelight podcast, Council members Kelly Breen (Novi) and Theresa Rich (Farmington Hills) discuss local government efforts to tackle the problem. Learn more at Human Trafficking and Our Community Town Hall, Novi, TODAY. View flyer. Tune in to podcast now.
Podcast Shares Value of Framing Message to Boost Engagement
After Jennifer Nichols of FrameWorks Institute inspired attendees at Capital Conference, she sat down for an Economics of Place podcast interview with the League’s Dan Gilmartin and Melanie Piana. Hear her advice on framing messages to get your community members more engaged in important issues. Tune in now.
Michigan at the Forefront of Autonomous Technology with MCity
Michigan is known as the Auto Capital of the World, but has its eyes on a new prize … being the Mobility Capital of the World. One of the ways the state is trying to be at the forefront of autonomous technology is MCity, a mock city built in Ann Arbor where autonomous cars are being tested and young people arte trained for jobs of the future. Read more.
NEW! Monday Morning Live Now Available as a Podcast
On this week’s Monday Morning Live, we were covered the status of recreational marijuana regulation, the new TIF law, and recapped some of our award winners at Capital Conference. The discussion is now available on the Monday Morning Live podcast and on Facebook
League Bestows Awards on Many Supporters at CapCon2019
During the Awards Gala at this year’s Capital Conference, the League honored many of our members and legislators whose contributions have improved our state and their communities. State Sen. Jim Stamas and State Rep. Jim Lilly were named Legislators of the Year, and Former State Rep. Rob VerHeulen received the Legislative Award of Merit. The following awards were also given out: Attorney Clyde Robinson, Outstanding Service Award; Maureen Donker, Community Builder Award; Paula Zelenko, Guido Leadership Award; Mark Vanderpool, Sinclair Exceptional Service Award; and David Lossing, Honorary Life Membership. We also honored the graduates of the 2019 Elected Officials Academy, as well as Board V.P. Brenda F. Moore, who completed the EOA’s Level Four Ambassador Award. Read more.
Ypsilanti Just Rolled Out New Parking Strategy for Business Districts
Thanks to assistance from the League and MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities® program, Ypsilanti is ready to hit the gas on a new parking strategy for three of its business districts. The strategy – designed to help local businesses thrive – was unveiled at a series of public meetings on April 3. Read more.
Podcast Sheds Light on Michigan’s new Recreational Marijuana Law
On this week’s Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, the League’s Matt Bach and Jennifer Rigterink sit down with Andrew Brisbo, head of Michigan’s recreational marijuana bureau. He talks about his office’s efforts to regulate the industry, the December licensing deadline, and more. Tune in now.
Women’s Leadership Summit Offers Enlightenment on Valuable Topics
Join the Michigan Women in Municipal Government for the Women’s Leadership Summit. You’ll have an opportunity to explore communications and messaging, community engagement, and key legislative developments in Michigan. A panel of distinguished women leaders will also share their expertise in Lansing, May 22. Register today!
Crowdfunding Campaign Aims to Restore Historic Hamtramck Stadium
A new crowdfunding campaign seeks to restore Hamtramck Stadium, one of the few remaining Negro League ballparks in America. This project complements the MML Foundation’s larger effort to create a master plan for Veterans Memorial Park, which includes the stadium. Read more.
MML Supports $2.5 Billion in New Transportation Revenue
The League Board supports Gov. Whitmer’s overall plan to boost transportation revenue by $2.5 billion, whether that be a 45 cent gasoline and diesel fuel tax increase or by other means. The board encouraged the Governor and state policymakers to invest the new revenue in a way that addresses the needs of the entire state transportation and mobility network, including state roads, neighborhood streets, and public transit systems. Read more.
CRC Study Suggests Lack of Public Transit is Costing Michigan Jobs
At CapCon2019, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan unveiled a report that says regional public transportation in Michigan continued to be problematic for people looking to commute or travel with ease. “We’ve got to open our eyes and think about things a little bit differently,” said League CEO Dan Gilmartin. Read more.
Hope You Were with us for MML’s Premier Legislative Event!
This week, municipal officials from all over the state converged on Lansing for the League’s annual Capital Conference. Gov. Whitmer, Lt. Gov Gilchrist, and Secretary of State Benson shared their expertise with us, as did a host of engaging speakers. For blogs, photos, and presentations, stay tuned to our Capital Conference website.
CapCon is On! Hope You’re with us for MML’s Premier Legislative Event
For the next few days – March 19-20 – municipal officials from all over the state will be converging on Lansing for the League’s annual Capital Conference. We’ll kick things off with a speech from Gov. Whitmer during Tuesday’s Welcome Session. Then attendees will have an opportunity to get an update from the League’s legislative team; talk with legislators at Wednesday’s Legislative Breakfast; and get the latest information on grants and government programs during on-site office hours with state and federal agencies. Plus, we’re offering numerous enlightening sessions, an Expo, and plenty of opportunities to network with colleagues. Tune in to the League’s social media during the event, and look for photos and highlights in the near future. Read more.
MML to Host Press Conference on CRC Transit Report at CapCon2019
The League is hosting a press conference to unveil a new Citizens Research Council (CRC) report showing how public transit is vital as businesses are looking at quality transit when making location or investment decisions on. The press conference will take place at 1:00 pm Wednesday, March 20 in the Expo Hall of the Lansing Center. Read more.
Popular Placemaker: Sterling Heights Reclaims the Clinton River
The League’s emphasis on placemaking has encouraged the City of Sterling Heights to invest in a variety of quality of life improvements, including cleaning up the Clinton River. The river is now a great source of recreation, and property values on its shores are rising. Read more.
League Members Meet with Senators and Representatives in D.C.
League members and staff were very busy in Washington, D.C., during the 2019 NLC Congressional City Conference. They spoke at education sessions and talked with numerous Michigan members of Congress, including U.S. Senators Stabenow and Peters, and U.S. Reps Dan Kildee, John Moolenaar, Paul Mitchell, Andy Levin, and Bill Huizenga. Read more
League President Participated in Congressional Staff Briefing
League President Melanie Piana participated in an “Infrastructure Financing Panel” on Tuesday during a briefing for Congressional staff in Washington, D.C. The panel discussed the importance of preservation of the tax-exemption, reinstatements of advanced refundings, and the expansion of private activity bonds in order for local government to drive capital infrastructure projects in their communities. This week, Piana and numerous other Michigan local government officials are in D. C. for the NLC’s Congressional City Conference. Read more.
Dan Gilmartin Touts the Economic Power of Placemaking
The League is proud to have a column by our CEO in Crain’s Detroit Business Forum series that focuses on the economic power of placemaking. “Businesses and communities agree on the need for a strong economy in Michigan, because we recognize our futures are inextricably linked together,” said Gilmartin. The Forum also featured a column by Delta Dental CEO Goran Jurkovic on The case for corporate investments in placemaking. Read more.
Property Tax Hole Spurs Proposal A Reform Push
Many Michigan communities are cash-strapped, partly because of Proposal A, which capped annual growth in taxable property values at the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is less. There are signs that lawmakers could consider a course correction this year. Read more.
League Statement Regarding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Budget Proposal
League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued the following statement about the governor’s new budget proposal.. “Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal is a comprehensive, bold first step toward addressing a number of problems that have long confronted the state. Read more.
League CEO Part of Panel Discussion at D.C. Conference
Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League, spoke on a panel yesterday during the National League of City’s Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C. The panel was exploring the topic of how to fund infrastructure projects. Gilmartin stressed the importance of having the federal government as a partner when it comes to infrastructure funding. “Our role as local officials is to continue to press the message. The more we press that here in D.C. and back in our states, the more space we create for [Congress] to vote the right way. Learn more about the conference.
Governor and Secretary of State to Speak at CapCon2019 !
Michigan Municipal League is very excited to announce that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has accepted our invitation to speak at the Capital Conference Welcome Session! Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has also agreed to speak at the breakout session on Implementing November’s Election-Related New Laws & Ballot Questions. Get the details and register now! .
Help Us Celebrate & Support Women in Local Government and Beyond
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. We want to take this opportunity to thank all the women in our membership, board, and staff, and all the women who inspire us and contribute to making Michigan a better place! Our 16/50 Project’s Women’s Municipal Leadership Program empowers women to take the next step in their municipal management career. Be a part of closing the gender gap in Michigan municipal management by donating to the 16/50 Project. Learn more.
Podcast Finds Power and Humor in Social Media for Local Govt.
On this edition of Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, we chat with Amy Snow-Buckner and Det. James Thorburn about the power of social media in local governments.The conversation also delves into using humor to build an audience and lessons learned along the way. Tune in now.
Monday Morning Live Covers Gov. Whitmer’s First Budget & More
On this week’s Monday Morning Live, our legislativee team discussed their meet and greet sessions with legislators, what we expect from Governor Whitmer’s first budget, and the League’s SaveMICity work. Tune in any time on the League’s Facebook page.
Podcast Sheds Light on Changing Role of Leadership in Local Govt.
On this edition of Economics of Place: The Podcast, League CEO Dan Gilmartin talks with Mike Bills, an expert on leadership, executive coaching, and strategic planning. Mike sheds light on the ever-changing role of leadership at the local government level. Tune in now.
CapCon2019 Workshops Offer In-Depth Experience – and EOA Credits!
At CapCon2019, we’re offering four workshops on March 19 that allow you do to a deep dive into important municipal topics – and earn Elected Officials Academy credits! Topics are Council-Manager Relations, Everyday Bias: Institutional and Implicit, Capitalizing on Local Assets in Economic Development, and Understanding the General Law Village Act. Get thedetails and register today!
SaveMICity Ambassadors’ Municipal Finance Response to State of State
In relation to Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State address, SaveMICity Ambassadors went on the radio to discuss the challenges facing Michigan communities. Listen to Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Fenton Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Lockwood, Grand Ledge City Councilmember Brett Gillespie, and League President Melanie Piana. Read more.
There’s Still Time to Register for CapCon2019!
The early bird rate for CapCon2019 ended Feb. 28, but you can still sign up to enjoy great sessions, networking and several speakers with a national presence. Jennifer Nichols of the FrameWorks Institute and Kim Haddow of the Local Solutions Support Center will lead the Engage Constituents by Telling Your Community Story session. Learn from Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the Practicing Civil Discourse in Community Conversations session. Get the details and register now.
SaveMICity Ambassadors’ Municipal Finance Response to State of State
In relation to Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State address, SaveMICity Ambassadors went on the radio to discuss the challenges facing Michigan communities. Listen to Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Fenton Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Lockwood, Grand Ledge City Councilmember Brett Gillespie, and League President Melanie Piana. Read more
Monday Morning Live Covers League Efforts in D.C., State of State
League efforts to fight for infrastructure funding in D.C., Congressman Kildee’s support of “legacy cities,” and Gov. Whitmer’s first State of the State – we discussed those issues and more on this week’s Monday Morning Live. Tune in on the League’s Facebook page.
Podcast Explores Reasons Michigan Didn’t Get Amazon HQ2
Amazon is in the news again as they just pulled the plug on New York’s HQ2. Michigan never got that far. On this episode of the SaveMICity podcast, Khalil Rahil of Wayne County’s Economic Development Corp. shares why, particularly our poor municipal finance structure. Tune in now.
Great Opportunities for Networking at Capital Conference
At Capital Conference will provide plenty of opportunities to socialize and exchange ideas. Start the event with the MML Liability & Property Pool Welcome Reception. Network with senators, representatives, and more at the Legislative Breakfast. And join in an affiliate luncheon: Michigan Association of Mayors, Michigan Women in Municipal Government, and Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. Get the details and register now.
Rochester Hills Wins National Award for Election Day Innovation
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission announced that the City of Rochester Hills was the recipient of a 2018 “Clearie” Award for Outstanding Innovations in Elections. Rochester Hills received the award for an Election Day Precinct Support Portal. Read more.
League CEO Dan Gilmartin: Statement on Behalf of SaveMICity
In response to Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State address, League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued this statement. When we talk about infrastructure, we hope the conversation focuses on more than bricks and mortar and roads and bridges. If we want to improve Michigan and bring jobs and talent and business to our great state, we must talk about every aspect of a community’s infrastructure. Read more..
League Insurance Boards Announce 2019 Member Dividends
Members of the League’s insurance programs will share dividends totaling $10.8 million in 2019: $2.1 million in dividends to Liability & Property Pool member-owners who renew their insurance coverage in 2019, and $8.7 million in equity to Workers Compensation Fund renewing owner-members. Read more.
Podcast Shows Benefits of League, Counties, Townships Collaboration
On this episode of Michigan Politics, Huh? we sit down with the legislative advocates for the League, Michigan Association of Counties, and Michigan Townships Association and discuss how these three organizations work together to fight for their members. Tune in now.
Fenton City Manager to Lead Michigan Municipal Executives
Fenton City Manager Lynn Markland was selected as the new president of the Michigan Municipal Executives during the organization’s recent Winter Institute. He has 32 years of experience in local government and has served the League and MME in many capacities. Read more
CapCon2019 Expo Brings Together Key Vendors for Municipalities
A wide variety of vendors will fill the Expo Hall at CapCon2019, offering products and services designed for municipalities. Check them out at the Welcome Reception or one of many conferrence breaks – some with dessert! View the current list of vendors. Get the details and register today!
League President and CEO Fight for Infrastructure Investment in D.C.
The League’s President and CEO were in Washington, D.C.last week fighting on behalf of Michigan’s communities. Among their many activities, League President Melanie Piana participated in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s summit America’s Infrastructure: Time to Invest. League CEO Dan Gilmartin was involved in an NLC event titled City Hall 101: The Role of Cities in Moving America Forward. Read more.
Michigan Transportation Asset Mgmt Council Seeks Award Nominations
The Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council is seeking agencies and individuals to recognize for their asset management efforts and best practices. Nominations for the organizational and individual achievement awards are due March 29. Read more.
Spice Up Your CapCon2019 Experience with Variety of Breakouts
CapCon Breakout Sessions connect you with resources and opportunities to help your community thrive. We’re offering such a wide variety of breakouts that you’re sure to find one with just the right pinch of spice – everything from recreational marijuana and housing to lobbying and new election-related laws. Get the details and register today!
Community Environmental Projects Take Root on Podcast
Many Michigan municipalities are improving their community’s environmental sustainability. On the Review Déjà Vu podcast, the League’s Shanna Draheim shares some of the amazing success stories that have grown out of the Michigan Green Communities Challenge. Tune in now.
Dan Gilmartin: Let’s move infrastructure talk beyond roads and bricks and mortar Infrastructure isn’t just bricks and mortar and roads. It’s so much more than that. Michigan Municipal League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin explains in his latest blog post how he hopes Governor Gretchen Whitmer in her State of the State address tonight discusses the importance of communities and in investing in the things today’s talent and businesses seek. Read the blog here.
SaveMiCity Initiative Honored in Best of MichBusiness Awards Program
The SaveMICity initiative supported by the League and several partner organizations recently received a statewide honor from MichBusiness. SaveMICity received the Beacon Award in a competition dedicated to companies and individuals that make Michigan a top-notch place to do business. Read more.
CapCon2019 Workshops Offer In-Depth Experience – and EOA Credits!
Arrive at CapCon a little early on March 19 and get an extra boost of knowledge. We’re offering four workshops that allow you to do a deep dive into important municipal topics. On top of that, you can earn Elected Officials Academy elective credits! Topics are Council-Manager Relations, Everyday Bias: Institutional and Implicit, Capitalizing on Local Assets in Economic Development, and Understanding the General Law Village Act. The workshops are included in your registration for CapCon2019, but space is limited so sign up early! Get the details and register today!
Local Officials Awarded Scholarships from League Foundation
Officials from Newberry, Pentwater, Ubly, and Hamtramck have been awarded the Tim Doyle Scholarship by the League Foundation. The scholarship will enable them to attend the League’s Elected Officials Academy Core Weekender training Feb. 22-23 in Frankenmuth. Read more
Podcast Highlights New Book on Flint Water Crisis
Years later, Flint is still suffering from the tragic effects of lead-tainted water. On this SaveMICity podcast, Tony Minghine sits down with Anna Clark, author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy, to uncover the underlying facts. Tune in now.
League’s Review Magazine Honored in Diamond Award Program
The League recently received a statewide honor for The Review magazine from the Michigan Society of Association Execurtives Diamond Award program. We received a Gold certificate for the Nov/Dec 2017 and Jan/Feb 2018 issues of the magazine. Read more.
Roseville Moves to Make Site More Attractive to Private Investors
Thanks to predevelopment assistance from the League and MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities® program, Roseville is closer to transforming a vacant city-owned lot. Their vision is to create a dining, shopping, residential and public gathering space. Read more.
New Administration and New Bills Top Agenda for Monday Morning Live
On the most recent Monday Morning Live, we talked about Gov. Whitmer’s upcoming State of the State, recreational marijuana, new bills on Dark Stores, and more. Due to MLK holiday, this episode was pre-recorded, but it’s OK to ask questions on Facebook. Tune in on League Facebook page.
House, Senate Bills Would End ‘Dark Stores’ Assessment Loophole
Some of the first bills introduced in the 2019-20 legislative session would reform Michigan’s property tax system to ensure fair and equitable treatment of property values. The bills – House Bill 4025 and 4047 and Senate Bill 26 and 39 – would end the practice often used by so-called “big box” retailers that results in stores being assessed on the basis of the store being empty. Read more.
‘Put Your Town on the Map’ Pitch Competition Underway
The ‘Put Your Town on the Map’ competition sponsored by Consumers Energy will provide a total of $15,000 to three initiatives that are designed to build a stronger sense of community. The competition is for communities up to 10,000 in population, with a top prize of $7,500. Read more.
Podcast Explores Issues Related to Recreational Marijuana Legalization
The legalization of recreational marijuana has left many Michigan communities wondering what to do next. In this Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, the League’s Matt Bach sits down with two attorneys and our legislative associate to discuss the legalities and logistics for municipalities. Tune in now.
SaveMICity Initiative Honored in Statewide Diamond Award Program
The SaveMICity initiative supported by the League and several partner orgrnizations received a statewide honor recently through the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE). The League received a Silver Certificate in the 17th annual Diamond Award program for the SaveMICity campaign that aims to fix Michigan’s broken municipal finance system. The purpose and goal of the SaveMICity campaign is to raise awareness among the public, business leaders, state legislators, and the media that Michigan’s system for funding its communities is broken and must be fixed for the state’s economy to succeed. Read more.
In Memory of James Buck, Respected Mayor & League Supporter
The League is sad to share the news of the passing of James Buck, one of the most active and honored League members in modern memory. He was a current member of the League Foundation board and served as the Foundation chair for many years. Jim served as mayor of Grandville for nearly three decades. Read full obituary here.
CapCon2019 Session Highlights Telling Your Community Story
Constituent engagement is vital for many community issues. At CapCon2019, learn from experts at the general session Engage Constituents by Telling Your Community Story. Jennifer Nichols and Kim Haddow will share techniques for framing community issues in a story-like way that allows for better understanding and engagement. Get the details and register now.
Middleville Aims to Boost Developer Interest in Downtown Site
A vacant lot surrounded by attractive amenities is getting a shot at a new life, thanks to predevelopment assistance from the League and Michigan Economic Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities® program. The site is a good candidate for housing. More.
Monday Morning Live Broadcast Covers End of Lame Duck
Shortly before Christmas, one of the longest, most active Lame Duck sessions in Michigan history finally came to a close. Check out our latest Monday Morning Live broadcast for a run down on what did and didn’t happen. Watch it on Facebook. .
Podcast Spotlights 2018 Community Excellence Awards Finalists
Innovative projects from the cities of Muskegon, Owosso, and Saginaw were in the running for the League’s 2018 Community Excellence Awards. Learn how these communities brought new life to their downtowns on this week’s Review Déjà vu podcast. Tune in now.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer Signs LGBT Executive Directive
Gov. Whitmer has signed an executive directive extending discrimination protections to cover people based on sexual orientation and gender identity within the state workforce and for state contractors and services. “If we’re going to attract the talented workforce our businesses need to create jobs and grow our economy, then we’ve got to get on the right side of history,” said Whitmer. Read more.
Hudsonville’s Village Green Moves Closer to Reality
Hudsonville’s vision for a Village Green to enhance its downtown is closer to life, thanks to predevelopment assistance from the League and Michigan Economic Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities® program. The vision was initially laid out in the city’s 2030 master plan. Read more.
The PIO and the Right to Know Communications Summit
DTE Energy and Wayne State University are joining forces to present the 2nd annual 2019 PIO Communications Summit. Get mission critical guidance for navigating communications before, during, and after a crisis. FREE to PIOS and other key personnel. March 14, Detroit. Read more.
5 Things Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Said in her Inaugural Address
Here are five things Gov. Whitmer said during her inaugural address on Jan. 1: Working together: “Let’s … be the state that’s not paralyzed by partisanship, but works together.” Closing the skills gap: “… some are betting against our ability to close the skills gap. But we are up to it, Michigan.” Read more.
Podcast Brings Some Clarity to Fast-Paced Lame Duck Session
Bills on recreational marjiuana, PPT, fireworks, FOIA, and much more tried to make their way through the Legislature’s Lame Duck Session. On this Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, our legislative team tries to make sense of it all. Tune in now.
Special Discount for 2019 Main Street Now Conference
The Main Street Now Conference will showcase best practices and innovative ideas for creating economic and social prosperity in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. Discount available to local elected officials and senior local government staff. Read more.