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Governor Snyder kicks off 2013 MML Capital Conference

clock April 9, 2013 22:08 by author aweinfeld


Governor Rick Snyder speaks at the 2013 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference.

LANSING, Michigan - Michigan Governor Rick Snyder opened the 2013 MML Capital Conference discussing the differences he has discovered in running state government as compared to private business.

Noting that unlike a business, whose bottom line is about profit, government is about service and carries with it a much broader array of issues to be addressed than any private sector entity.  In a usual refrain however, the governor also noted that while government is not a business, neither is it a funding mechansim.

From there the governor settled into familiar themes about how government needs to be closer to its customers. As he has previously stated, the governor told the crowd that they need to be continue to be more efficient, that he wants to do more together to provide more value to our mutual customers and that points of difference shouldn't get in the way.

As is his custom, the governor took questions. Regarding a question about language in appropriations bills penalizing local governments for settling contracts prior to the effective date of the new right to work law, the governor said that while he didn't advocate for the language, he said he needs to be cognizant of the fact that such language was a priority of House Republicans, with whom he must negoitate a final bill.

The governor was also asked about the lack of an increase in revenue sharing given the state has a $500 million surplus. To that, the governor said the constitutional portion has increased. Regarding legality of the essential services assessment of the new personal property tax legislation, he would be willing to look at it but has take into consideration other opinions he might seek from the Supreme Court. In regards to the EVIP program, he said that the goal is not to make locals lives more difficult.

The governor also said that he isn't interested in taking credit or blame and just wants to address problems together. He reiterated his mantra of "relentless positive action" but one has to wonder if the governor really understands that no amount of "rpa" can diminish the fact that the ability of local offiicials to serve their customers continues to be negatively impacted by a broken municipal finance system.

Without such recognition and a renewed state/local partnership to address this important issue, the governor just might find a growing number of well-run communities with urgent budget issues sooner rather than later.

Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.

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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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Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley to Discuss Personal Property Tax with Municipal Leaders at Conference

clock February 21, 2012 15:38 by author Matt Bach


Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley to speak at Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference March 20 in Lansing.

LANSING, Michigan - Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has taken the lead on the effort to reform the Michigan's personal property tax (PPT) and soon he'll be stating his case to municipal leaders whose communities could lose a lot if the PPT is cut without a guaranteed replacement.

Calley is the kick-off, keynote speaker for the Michigan Municipal League's 2012 Capital Conference taking place March 20-21 in Lansing. Calley is scheduled to speak 2:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20. The Michigan Municipal League and its members have maintained that repealing the personal property tax without replacing the revenues through a constitutional guarantee would be financially devastating to local governments across the state.

About Brian Calley: Before being elected to this position, Calley served two terms in the Michigan Legislature as a state representative. In that role, Calley served as minority vice chair of the House Tax Policy Committee where he worked with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. Calley is committed to continuing this spirit of bipartisanship to bring an end to the bitter fighting and divisiveness that has held Michigan back for so long. Prior to his time as a state lawmaker, Calley worked 10 years as a community banker and small business lender. He was also elected to the Ionia County Board of Commissioners, serving from 2003 to 2006 as the vice chairman for all four years of his tenure there. Calley graduated from Michigan State University in 1998 with a B.A. in business administration and received his MBA from Grand Valley State University in 2000.

Read additional posts about the 2012 Capital Conference here:
- Michigan Municipal League Launches Mobile App for Capital Conference
- Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett to Discuss Placemaking at Capital Conference
- Energy, Environment, Transportation Policy: What's Ahead? Find out at Capital Conference
- Capital Conference General Session To Have Transportation Focus

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

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Clare's Cops and Doughnuts Wins Michigan Municipal League's 2011 Community Excellence Award

clock October 9, 2011 09:04 by author Matt Bach

View photos from the 2011 MML Convention here

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan - Clare's Cops & Doughnuts business won the 2011 Community Excellence Awards Friday (Oct. 7, 2011) during the Michigan Municipal League's 2011 Convention in Grand Rapids during ArtPrize. This is the highest statewide honor bestowed on a Michigan community by the League.

The peer-nominated CEAs (affectionately called "The Race for the Cup" because the winner gets a gold cup as a trophy) starts at the regional level where a finalist from each of the League's seven region is selected by community peers at regional meetings. The seven finalist then presented their entires at Convention on Wednesday (Oct. 5, 2011) and the Convention attendees voted for the winners in a competition monitored and sponsored by Plante & Moran.

All seven nominees were excellent. The other finalists were West Branch for its Fabulous Friday's program; Paw Paw for its Uncork Paw Paw initiative; Ludington for its New Years Eve Ball Drop event; Marquette for its water safety initiative; Southfield for its youth 'field Zone program; and Vassar for its Chill on the Hill event. 

League members said picking a winner this year was especially difficult because all the presentations were outstanding, but Clare's program really showed how a small group of people can make a difference in a community. The historic bakery in downtown Clare was going to close and the nine Clare police officers decided iin the 11th hour to purchase it. Not only did they save the bakery, but they turned it into a tourist destination that has benefitted the entire community.

On the Michigan Municipal League's Facebook page, Eastpointe Mayor and MML Board member Suzanne Pixley said this about Cops & Doughnuts and the other finalists:"To all...Clare's Cops and Doughnuts is such a great story for the small city of Clare...Long time donut store gave up with the economy and decided to close...The "Cops" in Clare decided that the donut shop was a tradition and couldn't close...The police (9 of them) went together and bought the store, did some fancy marketing and are now a destination spot for many heading up north...They went from 1.8 employees to 28...Great story for a small community of just over 2,000...They won the award, but the other cities up for the award were just great."

The announcement of the CEA winner concluded the League's 2011 Convention in Grand Rapids. Next year's Convention will take place in October on Mackinaw Island. Other highlights - and there were many - at this year's Convention included a talk by Gov. Rick Snyder, the honoring of numerous award winners, including Speaker of House Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, as the League's 2011 Legislator of the Year, and State Rep. Vicki Barnett, D-Farmington Hills, getting the 2011 Honorary Life Membership Award, and the unveiling of the League's new book, "The Economics of Place: The Value of Building Communities Around People" (now available at economicsofplace.com and on Amazon.com). View press releases sent out and coming soon here.

For details about Convention go here. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/mmleague and on Twitter at @mmleague and the hashtag #mmltour.

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

Clare officials Bill Horwood, Greg Rynearson, Al White, and Mayor Patrick Humphrey Celebrate Clare Winning the 2011 Community Excellence Award from the Michigan Municipal League. View more photos from the CEA competition here.

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Gov. Snyder Coming to Michigan Municipal League Convention

clock August 15, 2011 16:22 by author Matt Bach

Gov. Rick Snyder is to speak at the Michigan Municipal League's 2011 Convention in Grand Rapids. Photo from Snyder's visit with the League Board of Trustees in January.

The Michigan Municipal League is pleased to announce that Governor Rick Snyder will attend our annual Convention taking place in October in Grand Rapids.

This is great news for the 400 to 500 municipal officials expected to attend our Convention Oct. 5-7 during ArtPrize in Grand Rapids because it gives them a chance to personally hear from the governor about the many changes taking place in Lansing under his leadership. Stay tuned to this Convention blog for more details about the governor’s presentation and the Convention in general. The Convention officially starts Oct. 5, but the League also is having pre-conference sessions Oct. 4 in Grand Rapids. Also be sure to follow Convention updates on the League’s Twitter page here (@mmleague) and here #mmltour.

Governor Snyder has worked closely with the League in his first eight months in office on a variety of issues and has met with the League Board of Trustees in January and the League affiliate organization, Michigan Local Government Management Association (MLGMA) in July. He also attended the 2010 Convention as a candidate for governor.

The theme of this year’s Convention is the League's 21c3 program and “Why Place Matters”. The governor has discussed the large role communities play in the state’s future and the importance of placemaking.

“Neighborhoods, cities and regions are awakening to the importance of ‘place’ in economic development,” the governor stated in a March 21 special message about community development and local government reform. “They are planning for a future that recognizes the critical importance of quality of life to attracting talent, entrepreneurship and encouraging local businesses. … A community without place amenities will have a difficult time attracting and retaining talented workers and entrepreneurs, or being attractive to business.”

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

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