Outstanding Service Award Winners Brian Donovan, Jaymes Vettraino, Patrick Sullivan and Kara Wood. View more photos here and here.LANSING, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League honored four state officials during the League's annual Capital Conference held April 9-10 in Lansing.Officials from Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Northville, and Rochester received the League's Outstanding Service Award on Wednesday (April 10, 2013). The honor recognizes those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in supporting the League's legislative efforts in Lansing on behalf of Michigan communities.Here is a look at the recipients:Brian Donovan, City Manager, East Grand Rapids; Pat Sullivan, City Manager, Northville; and Jaymes Vettraino, City Manager, Rochester: In their roles of city managers in their respective communities, Donovan, Sullivan and Vettraino have been instrumental in working on legislation to give communities additional pension flexibility. In the last session, they worked with the League on a package of legislation designed to maximize resources and allow communities to make more cost-effective pension decisions. Last fall the governor signed a bill that allows communities with an AA bond rating to bond for the cost of switching from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. The League continues to work on legislation allowing communities to switch from DB to DC more easily, as well as remove barriers to more cost-effective pensions. The three have come to Lansing to testify on multiple occasions, as well as worked regularly with the League reviewing legislative language and talking to legislators. They have been instrumental in working on this legislation, and the League is grateful for their invaluable counsel.Kara Wood, Economic Development Director, Grand Rapids: In her role as Grand Rapids Economic Development Director, Kara Wood is a major voice in the League’s Land Use and Economic Development committee. Her knowledge and insight in many areas surrounding the economic development arena make her a strong advocate for the revitalization of not only Grand Rapids but Michigan as a whole. Wood has partaken in stakeholder workgroups at the state level, most recently a workgroup on a bill to make changes to the Brownfield program that was passed into law last year. Her expertise has been utilized to help many communities across Michigan by her participation in panel discussions on various economic development issues during concurrent sessions at both past and present League Capital Conferences. Wood’s assistance at the committee level and at an advocacy level is invaluable.For additional photos of the Outstanding Service Awards go here. For more photos from the 2013 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference go here.Matt Bach is director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317.
LANSING, Michigan – Michigan Municipal League President Karen Majewski discussed League success stories and ongoing issues being faced by Michigan communities in her welcoming session presentation Tuesday during the League’s 2012 Capital Conference at the Lansing Center in Lansing.
Majewski, mayor of Hamtramck, explained 2011 saw the successful passage of long-awaited reforms to Public Act 312 involving police and fire arbitration and changes to the Urban Cooperation Act and Municipal Partnership Act to ensure more efficient and effective process in sharing services.
“But storm clouds remain as we have a number of issues we continue to keep an close eye on, such as state transportation funding concerns and the new Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP), formerly known as our statutory revenue sharing,” Majewski told the crowd of more than 400 municipal leaders from throughout the state. “Our most pressing issue currently revolves around the effort to reform the personal property tax.”
Majewski explained how the League is leading a coalition of organizations in a campaign called “Replace Don’t Erase”. The group is working to get guaranteed funding replacement should the personal property tax be eliminated. Cutting the tax without a guaranteed replacement would negatively impact the essential services Michigan citizens expects from their local governments, such as police and fire protection, road repair and snow removal.
Following Majewski on the stage was Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who also talked about the personal property tax issue. Calley was joined by Michigan Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, and the moderator of the session, League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. The lawmakers explained the latest news on the issue.
Up next on Wednesday - the second of two days - in the conference are sessions about “Eye on the Environment: How Green is our Government”; “Bridging the Coverage Gap in the Media Landscape”; ”Legislative Ins and Outs”; “Media Officials Talk Politics” with Tim Skubick and “Transportation: Taking the Inside Track” featuring Sen. Tom Casperson.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 734-669-6317 and email@example.com.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley at the 2012 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference in Lansing.
Saginaw City Manager Darnell Earley opens the Region 4 Education Seminar in Saginaw Wednesday, June 1, 2011.
SAGINAW, Michigan - Saginaw City Manager Darnell Earley says the new emergency manager law is “good public policy and there are cases where it’s definitely needed.” He should know - he worked in Flint when that city was under the former emergency financial management law. He also was part of the financial management review team in Benton Harbor. Earley was part of the conversation about the new Michigan emergency manager law discussed during the Michigan Municipal League’s Region 4 Education Seminar that took place in Saginaw, June 1, 2011.
The discussion was led by the League’s Anthony Minghine, Associate Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Michigan Municipal League. Minghine was among several speakers during the session for nearly 20 municipal leaders from the central part of the state. Other planned speakers are League President and Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto, League CEO Dan Gilmartin, Terence Moore, president and CEO of the Great lakes Bay Regional Alliance, and Andy Schor, of the League. The League’s Region 4 covers the counties of Arenac, Bay, Clare, Clinton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Shiawassee.
Later today during the regional meeting, the attendees will select the Region 4 Community Excellence Award so stay tuned.
The regional meetings are part of the League’s 2011 MML Tour that culminates in October with the 2011 League Convention. Follow the tour on Twitter at #mmltour. The Regional Meetings give Michigan Municipal League members a chance to hear from League staff and state officials about the latest municipal-related legislation in Lansing and ways communities are becoming the types of areas where people want to live, work and play. Other tour stops have been in Houghton, East Lansing, Kalkaska, Hamtramck and Ludington. View blog posts from every regional meeting here. View the full regional schedule here.
Thanks again to all those attended the regional meetings. We hope to see you —as well as those who weren’t able to attend their Region Seminar — at the League’s 2011 Convention Oct. 4-7 in Grand Rapids. Find out more about the MML Tour here: http://www.mml.org/events/regional/index.html.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 6696317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MML's Anthony Minghine discusses emergency financial management.
MARINE CITY, Michigan - Michigan Municipal League CEO Dan Gilmartin explained that nothing is impossible with the current Michigan Legislature as shown in the recent agreement to tax pensions. “No one saw that one coming,” Gilmartin told about 30 League members during the Region 5 Education Seminar in Michigan’s eastcoast port city, Marine City, Wednesday, May 18 2011.
Gilmartin explained that things are chaotic in Lansing right now, but he sees this time as an opportunity for change in ways that can benefit Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships.
“The state is chaotic, local government is good and the future is bright. Despite all the chaos in Lansing I do feel we are moving ourselves forward.”
Gilmartin was the first of several speakers planned for the day-long regional meeting that is part of the League’s 2011 “MML Tour”.
Other planned speakers were Keith Creagh, director of agriculture for Michigan; League Board President and Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto; Marine City Manager John Gabor; Tony Minghine, associate executive director for the League; and Summer Minnick, director of state affairs for the League. The event is among seven regional meeting the League is doing throughout the state as part of our 2011 MML Tour: tour.mml.org. Also later today the meeting attendees will select the Region 5 Community Excellence Award winner, so stay tuned.
The MML Tour culminates in October with the 2011 League Convention. Follow the tour on Twitter at #mmltour. The Regional Meetings give Michigan Municipal League members a chance to hear from League staff and state officials about the latest municipal-related legislation in Lansing and ways communities are becoming the types of areas where people want to live, work and play. Other tour stops have been in Kalkaska, Hamtramck and Ludington. View blog posts from every regional meeting here. The League is still accepting registrations from members for upcoming regional meetings: East Lansing (May 20), Houghton (May 26-27) and Saginaw (June 1). View the full regional schedule here.
Thanks again to all those who have attended so far and for those of you planning to attend! We hope to see you—as well as those who weren’t able to attend the Region Seminar—at Convention Oct. 4-7 in Grand Rapids. Find out more about the MML Tour here: http://www.mml.org/events/regional/index.html.
LUDINGTON, Michigan - The Michigan Municipal League continues to fight for funding and programs that Michigan’s communities most care about, such as revenue sharing, Brownfield Tax Credits and other issues. This was the main message of League CEO Dan Gilmartin during the Region 3 Education Seminar Wednesday (May 11, 2011) as part of the 2011 MML Tour (on Twitter at #mmltour).
Gilmartin briefed the 30-plus attendees about the latest news out of Lansing and said there is a long ways to go before Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget plan is finalized. Gilmartin’s sentiments were echoed by League staff Anthony Minghine and Summer Minnick, who gave additional details and behind-the-scenes insight into the League’s continuing work in Lansing.
“How many of you in here today have used the Brownfield Tax Credit to help revive portions of your communities,” said Gilmartin to the crowd where nearly everyone raised their hand to answer “yes.” “It just doesn’t make any sense to remove the Brownfield Tax Credit. These are tools our members use to make the types of places that people want.”
Others speaking at the event were Alpena Mayor and League Board President Carol Shafto; Ludington Mayor John Henderson; Ludington Council Member Kaye Holman; Becky Anderson, president of Becky Anderson Consulting; William Anderson, former director of the Michigan Department of History, Arts & Libraries and Chair of the Ludington Economic Development Task Force; and Cheryl Hargrove, president of Hargrove International Inc. and League staff Anthony Minghine and Summer Minnick. Read more about the Region 3 event here. For more about the MML tour go to tour.mml.org.
Also during the regional meeting three communities presented projects in the League’s annual Community Excellence Award program. Kentwood officials showed a humorous video about the city’s new library; Ludington discussed it’s “Ball Drop” celebration that takes place to bring in the New Year and Reed City Manager Ron Marek reviewed his community’s effort to collaborate in economic development initiatives with the surrounding township. The winner will be announced later today so stay tuned here http://www.mml.org/events/blog/.
The event in Ludington Wednesday is part of the League’s 2011 MML Tour. The tour will conclude with the League’s annual Convention that began in Kalkaska with the Region 6 seminar. The Regional Meetings give Michigan Municipal League members a chance to hear from League staff and state officials about the latest municipal-related legislation in Lansing and ways communities are becoming the types of areas where people want to live, work and play. The League is still accepting registrations from members for upcoming regional meetings are in Marine City (May 18), East Lansing (May 20), Houghton (May 26-27) and Saginaw (June 1). View the full regional schedule here. Cost for League members is just $25 and includes lunch - a great deal!
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or email@example.com.
Dan Gilmartin speaks during Region 3 Seminar in Ludington May 11, 2011.
Alpena Mayor and League President Carol Shafto speaks during Region 3 meeting May 11, 2011.
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