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Capital Conference 2014 Photos Now Available on Michigan Municipal League Flickr Page

clock March 26, 2014 12:04 by author Matt Bach

Check out photos from the 2014 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference here. Check out all the media coverage from Capital Conference.

Did we take your photo at the 2014 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference (March 18-19, 2014)? Find out by viewing the more than 200 photos that League has posted on our flickr page at flickr.com/michigancommunities. Feel free to download the photos using the photo credit: "flickr photo by Michigan Municipal League/mml.org".

More than 500 municipal leaders from throughout Michigan attended the conference in Lansing. The officials representing Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships attended education sessions on an array of topics, including revenue sharing, the personal property tax, crowdfunding, transportation, talent in place, municipal funding and many other issues.

This year's conference focused on the how thriving communities are critical to Michigan’s long-term success and sustainability. Specifically, the conference was structured around the League’s Partnership for Place policy agenda. This agenda, approved by the League board in summer of 2013, proposes a partnership of action between the State and its municipalities to facilitate economic growth and develop places with a high quality of life, while using a regional approach to services, resources, and systems. The conference informed members about how this proactive policy agenda will help drive the future for Michigan communities in the key areas of municipal funding, transportation, talent retention, infrastructure, and development.

Keynote speakers included League President Jacqueline Noonan, mayor of Utica; Lt. Gov. Brian Calley; Salt Lake City Utah Mayor Ralph Becker; John Norquist, president and CEO of the Congress for New Urbanism; and the League’s advocacy team – Samantha Harkins, Nicole Brown, John LaMacchia, and Summer Minnick. Multiple awards and honors were also given out during the event including outstanding service awards to the City of Midland, Chris Miller of Adrian; West Branch City Manager Tom Youatt and former Portland City Manager Tom Dempsey. View a press release about the Oustanding Service Award recipients.

In addition, the seven regional winners of the League's annual Community Excellence Award program were selected. The winners, now going on to compete for the statewide title at the League's Convention in October in Marquette are: Region 1: Fenton; Region 2: A group of six Lansing area jurisdictions; Region 3: Grandville; Region 4: Ithaca; Region 5: Harbor Beach; Region 6: Cadillac; and Region 7: Gladstone. Read a press release about the regional CEA winners.

Check out all the media coverage from Capital Conference.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 anbd mbach@mml.org.

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Two Media Events Planned during 2014 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference

clock March 13, 2014 15:10 by author Matt Bach


A media roundtable discussion like this one will take place at the League's 2014 Capital Conference.

This year's Capital Conference is so action-packed that the Michigan Municipal League is having not one, but TWO, newsworthy events in which the media have been invited.

One of the news events surrounds a live joint hearing of the Michigan House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation. The League is hosting this joint hearing at the Lansing Center during our Conference. To testify to the committee, the League is bringing in Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and John Norquist, President and CEO of the Congress for New Urbanism. Becker, who is also a keynote speaker during the Conference, will discuss how transit has created jobs and economic development in his city and surrounding communities. Mayor Becker will also discuss how transit could benefit Michigan cities. Norquist will discuss the importance of building streets that promote livable, walkable and vibrant communities and explain the economic benefits of creating urban environments that support multiple modes of transportation. The media has been invited to the joint hearing, which is 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, March 19, in the Lansing Center, Room 203.

The other newsworthy event is a media roundtable discussion involving League staff and members. The discussion taking place Tuesday at the League's Lansing office will be on revenue sharing and the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP). At the media roundtable, the League will release a list of more than 50 Michigan cities and the amount of revenue sharing funds that the Legislature and governor diverted from each of them over the past decade. Cities on the list include Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Traverse City, Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, and dozens more around the state.

Go here to view a media advisory on the two news events. You can follow this year's @mmleague Capital Conference on Twitter using the #mmlconf hashtag.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or mbach@mml.org.

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League Capital Conference Photos, Presentations Now Available

clock April 16, 2013 08:29 by author Matt Bach

Greenville Councilmember Jeanne Cunliffe attends the 2013 League Capital Conference. View more photos here. Get all Capital Conference resources, including press releases and presentation powerpoints, here.

The 2013 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference is over, but the education received, information learned and networking opportunities gained live on. Check out presentations from the Conference here and view all the images from the two-day conference here in this collection on the League's flickr page. Event highlights included general sessions and breakout sessions with Governor Rick Snyder; Polly Trottenberg, U.S. Under Secretary for the Department of Transportation Policy; Michigan Budget Director John Nixon; Michigan Sen. Roger Kahn; Michigan Sen. Gretchen Whitmer; Michigan Rep. Wayne Schmidt; and League staff members Samantha Harkins, Nikki Brown, John LaMacchia and Summer Minnick.

There were sessions on numerous topics including the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP); the personal property tax; term limits; the state budget; liquor control rules; the environment; town-gown partnerships; and many other issues. In addition, League President David Lossing told his personal story of donating his bone marrow to a stranger with luekemia and multiple League members signed up for the Michigan Blood Be The Match bone marrow donor program.

Also numerous awards were given including four outstanding service awards to Brian Donovan, East Grand Rapids city manager; Jaymes Vettraino, Rochester city manager; Patrick Sullivan, Northville city manager; and Kara Wood, Grand Rapids economic development director. The regional winners of the 2013 Community Excellent Awards were selected at regional roundtable meetings during the conference. The seven regional winners are Linden/Fenton/Holly from Region 1; St. Joseph in Region 2; Belding in Region 3; DeWitt in Region 4; Imlay City in Region 5; Rogers City in Region 6; and Ironwood in Region 7.

Did you get your photo taken at the 2013 MML Capital Conference? Find out in this collection on the League's flickr page. Get all Capital Conference resources, including press releases and presentation powerpoints, here.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and mbach@mml.org.

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United States Under Secretary of Transportation Highlights Federal Transportation Initiatives at 2013 Capital Conference

clock April 11, 2013 07:59 by author dwestbrook

Polly Trottenbergy,m U.S. Under Secretary of Transportation Policy speaks at the 2013 MML Capital Conference.

By John LaMacchia

United States Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at our 2013 Capitol Conference Awards Luncheon. Due to President Obama's decision to release his budget on the same day their was a last minute change of plans and he was unable to attend. We were very fortunate that Polly Trottenberg, United States Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, was able to attend in his place and provided a very informative presentation on federal transportation initiatives and their role in Michigan.

As a result of President Obama's budget being released on the same day as her presentation, she was able to give specific details about his plan. He is going to be moving forward with his "Fix it First Model", and will be asking for $50 billion in upfront money to jump start his vision for improving infrastructure across America and creating a 21st century transportation system. The President is proposing that $10 billion of that $50 billion be specifically concentration on local efforts and is committed to working with individual communities to integrate this investment.

Ms. Trottenberg drew a very direct correlation between the the long-term sustainability of the Federal Highway Trust Fund and decreasing revenue for road funding in Michigan. Much like Michigan, the Federal Government has not seen an increase in the federal gas tax rate in many years. This has resulted in less dollars available as more fuel efficient vehicles take to the road and the number of vehicle miles traveled decreases. Even with these problems, she highlighted the importance of needed investment to build a complete transportation system.

Other exciting news included a $40 Billion commitment by the President to the rail system in the United States. This includes $6.4 Billion to intercity rail systems. Ms. Trottenberg highlighted how the State of Michigan has made great strides in the City of Detroit with the M1 Rail project and the recent passage of the Regional Transit Authority. She also mention that a 5th round of TIGER Grants will be made available by the Federal Government and encouraged the State of Michigan to continue to look for innovative ways to use those funds.

Ms. Trottenberg's presentation was one of hope and optimism. The commitment by the Obama administration to our local communities was well received by our member and she was rewarded with a enthusiastic applause upon conclusion of her presentation.

Following her keynote address, Ms. Trottenberg was kind enough to participate in a press conference with Executive Director of the League Dan Gilmartin, League President David Lossing, Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan, and State Senator Roger Kahn. She described how investing in transportation is key to our nations economic success, and to Michigan's economic success. Executive Director Gilmartin, League President Lossing, and Mayor Noonan, highlighted the need for Michigan to move its transportation system out out the 20th Century and into the 21st Century. Legislative inaction on this issue is no longer and option. New revenue for road is needed in this state and those new dollars need to be spent in our local communities building great place were people want to live, work, and play. Senator Kahn, who has been a great leader on the issue of increasing road funding in Michigan, highlighted the benefits of saving lives, creating jobs, and saving money, as a result of investing in infrastructure.

The Michigan Municipal League was honored to have Ms. Trottenberg participate in our Capital Conference this year. We are very please with the encouraging message she delivered about President Obama's commitment to the nations transportation system, and the recognition of Michigan's critical role in that system.

John LaMacchia is a Legislative Associate for the League handling transportation issues. He can be reached at jlamacchia@mml.org or 517-908-0303.

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2013 Capital Conference Gets Under Way with Inspirational Story

clock April 9, 2013 16:46 by author Matt Bach

LANSING, Michigan - Michigan Municipal League President David Lossing kicked off the 2013 League Capital Conference today with a personal story about how he recently donated his bone marrow to a complete stranger as part of the Michigan Blood Be the Match Program.

Lossing told his inspirational tale to encourage other municipal leaders at the conference to sign up for the bone marrow registry. Officials from Michigan Blood are attending the Conference at the Lansing Center to register attendees. Those signing up are asked to make a $25 donation and Lossing has generously offered to cover the fee for the first 10 League members who register.

In addition to sharing his bone marrow donation story, Lossing also outlined the successes and challenges experienced by Michigan communities in the past year. He discussed the League’s legislative priorities for the current 97th Michigan legislature. Those priorities are fixing the personal property tax legislation passed in December, ending non-stop cuts to revenue sharing to communities and increasing transportation funding.

About 500 municipal leaders from all portions of the state are attending this year's Capital Conference. Some of the speakers at this year’s event are Governor Rick Snyder, John Porcari, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation; Senator Gretchen Whitmer, and Michigan Budget Director John Nixon.

Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org and (734) 669-6317.

Linden Mayor and MML President David Lossing kicks off 2013 Capital Conference.

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