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Michigan Municipal League Board President Carol Shafto kicked off the League’s “2011Tour” (#mmltour on Twitter) in Kalkaska discussing the state budget situation and the impact it’s having on Michigan communities. Shafto criticized Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to have Michigan communities compete for a share of what was formerly called revenue sharing dollars and are now called Economic Vitality Incentive Program.
“The acronym for this new program would be EVIP, but I say it should be EZIP because we’re getting next to nothing,” Shafto told the 25-plus attendees at the Region 6 seminar in Kalkaska Wednesday, May 4, 2011. “I am angry and I do have my rant on that we’re having to be put in a position where our communities - the backbone of this state - are at risk. You can’t have strong Michigan without having strong cities. How can you undermine cities and have a strong Michigan. I don't like how cities are having to compete against each other for this funding. We should be helping each other, not competing. That really does a disservice to our citizens. I know our communities will somehow survive, I don’t know how yet, but we’ll survive.”
Others speaking at the seminar were League CEO Dan Gilmartin; League COO Anthony Minghine; League's Director of State Affairs Summer Minnick; Penny Hill, Kalkaska Village Manager; and Eric Grandstaff, Merit Member Relations Manager.
The Region 6 seminar (encompassing the northern half of Michigan’s lower peninsula) was the first of seven in a series of “Regional Meetings” the League is having throughout the state as part of it’s “2011 Tour”. The Tour culminates Oct. 4-7 with the League’s annual Convention, taking place this year in Grand Rapids during one of Michigan’s premiere events – ArtPrize. 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 next Regional meeting is Friday, May 4, in Hamtramck. The League is still accepting registrations from members for upcoming regional meetings Ludington (May 11), Marine City (May 18), East Lansing (May 20), Houghton (May 26-27) and Saginaw (June 1). View the full regional schedule here. Follow the tour on Twitter at #mmltour.
It is during these regional meetings, where attendees select the regional Community Excellence Award Winner. Each regional winner will have a chance to win the statewide 2011 CEA Trophy. Read more about this “Race for the Cup” here. Four communities competed for the Region 6 CEA honor. They are West Branch’s “Fabulous Fridays” program; Hillman’s “Extreme Makeover” bridge and street reconstruction project; Rogers City’s $7.6 million water and sewer project; and Petoskey’s Bear River Recreation Area and Whitewater Kayaking and Canoeing Adventure Course. The Region 6 winner will be announced later today.
The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington D.C. and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. For more information, visit www.mml.org.
Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 or email@example.com.
Alpena Mayor and MML Board President Carol Shafto speaks at Region 6 meeting in Kalkaska May 4, 2011.
The Michigan Municipal League is doing a statewide tour beating the drum loud and clear to make sure both our legislative leaders and our citizens understand Why Place Matters. The League's MML Tour (also on Twitter at #mmltour) is what we're calling our regional seminars leading up to our annual Convention, takng place Oct. 4-7, 2011 in Grand Rapids. But we need YOUR voice if we want to be heard above the background noise. This year we’ve seen a shift in legislative priorities and attitude that threatens the ability of local leaders to drive the change our communities need to compete on a national scale in the 21st century. That’s why we’re Taking it to the Streets at this year’s Convention. Our impassioned presenters are bringing a powerful message on how YOU can find your rhythm in today’s embattled economy. It’s time for Michigan municipalities to band together and show the world we are the people and places of Michigan. Sign up today for the tour stop near your community.This "MML Tour" is an exciting theme for what is destined to be an exciting Convention. Not only is Convention taking place in the same city and at the same time as ArtPrize (one of the state's fastest growing events), but it's also where the League membrs will select the Community Excellence Award winner.The Regional meetings kick off Wednesday, May 4, 2011 in Kalkaska and they 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. Registration remains open for all the regionals. The other regional metings are Friday, May 4, in Hamtramck; Ludington (May 11), Marine City (May 18), East Lansing (May 20), Houghton (May 26-27) and Saginaw (June 1). View the full regional schedule here. Then be sure to attend our Convention this fall in Grand Rapids. Remember Inspire. Innovate. Engage. Empower. Four days in October. That’s all it takes to put the power back in your hands.
Matt Bach is director of communications fr the Michigan Municipal League. He ca be reached at (734) 669-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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