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Placemaking to be Featured at the Michigan Municipal League's Annual Convention

clock July 12, 2011 09:12 by author Matt Bach

Cities like Ferndale and Detroit are reinventing themselves through placemaking efforts that build on the 21c3 assets. Want to learn how to apply these same concepts to your community? Placemaking will be the central theme among the key speakers at the League's Annual Convention, Oct. 4-7 in Grand Rapids, including: Sadicka White on Physical Deisgn & Walkability, Ernesto Sirolli on Entrepreneurship, Josh McManus on Placemaking and Toby Barlow on Messaging & Technology. Click here for the Convention flyer. Click here to register.


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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New Michigan Emergency Management Law Discussed at Michigan Municipal League Region 4 Seminar

clock June 1, 2011 10:43 by author Matt Bach

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 mbach@mml.org.

MML's Anthony Minghine discusses emergency financial management.

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Placemaking Expert Featured at Region 2 Education Seminar in East Lansing

clock May 23, 2011 09:23 by author Elizabeth Shaw

Michigan State University's Director of Arts and Cultural Initiatives Kurt Dewhurst, Ph.D, talked about how to identify, promote and protect a sense of place in a community during the League's Region 2 Education Seminar on May 20 at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing.

Dewhurst discussed how our places connect us to the past and our community and cultural traditions, while keeping the local environment distinctive. During his talk on developing strategies to reach placemaking goals, he proposed key questions to ask.

1. To identify your community's sense of place, ask what is distinctive about your community, inventory your cultural resources and collect the vfoices and stories of creative people and businesses. Interactive web tools can be a tremendous asset in this process.

2. To promote your sense of place, think beyond the standard, conventional forms of artistic expression to consider aspects of creativity like food and event traditions. Authentic character should be promoted to create a more distinctive sense of place, Dewhurst said.

3. Protect your community's sense of place through historic preservation programs integrated with the living, creatve and cultural heritage of your community. Maximize your investment by using your cultural inventories to guide an adaptive use of your places and spaces.

East Lansing itself was a great example of many of the day's key themes. Its Hannah Community Center is the city's historic high school, rehabbed and repurposed into an attractive community facility. It was also the weekend for the city's annual art festival, which draws thousands of residents and visitors to the downtown and campus area for a celebration of arts, crafts, music, food and entertainment.

The seminar also included six great presentations for the Region 2 Community Excellence Award. Click here to read more about the CEA presentations.

The League's Andy Schor presented an update on Lansing, including the recent victory in securing more funding for revenue sharing and brownfield and historic funding. He also moderated a legislative panel featuring Sen. Rick Jones, Rep. Mark Meadows, Rep. Paul Opsommer and Sen. Gretchen Whitmer. 

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Two More Region Seminars This Week in Marine City and East Lansing as 'MML Tour' Continues

clock May 16, 2011 08:18 by author Matt Bach

The Michigan Municipal League's 2011 "MML Tour" Continues this week with stops in Marine City on the state's east side and in East Lansing.

The Marine City Region 5 Education Seminar is Wednesday, May 18, and will include a presentation about rural development by Keith Creagh, director of agriculture for Michigan. View the full agenda. Region 5 covers the state's Thumb area and the counties of Huron, Tuscola, Lapeer, Sanilac, and Saint Clair.

The Region 2 Education Seminar will take place Friday, May 20, in East Lansing and will feature a presentation on cultural economic development by Dr. Kurt Dewhurst, director of arts and cultural initiatives at Michigan State University. View the full agenda. Region 2 includes the southern portion of the state and the counties of Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lenawee, Saint Joseph and Van Buren.

The two seminars are among seven regional seminars the League is doing throughout the state as part of our 2011 MML Tour. The 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: Marine City (May 18), 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.

Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at (734) 6696317 or mbach@mml.org.

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Michigan Municipal League Fights for Communities, explain officials at Region 3 Seminar in Ludington

clock May 11, 2011 12:53 by author Matt Bach

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 mbach@mml.org.

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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