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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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 websitefor details: They can alsoreview a sample applicationand this application walkthrough video. These federal CARES Act dollars were distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the MichiganCommunity Development Block Grantprogram.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
$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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.