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Grandville to Compete for Community Excellence Award at League Convention in October

clock August 17, 2012 08:01 by author Matt Bach


Grandville Councilmember Joshua Meringa, Mayor James Buck and councilmember Steven Kauffman accept the Region 3 CEA nomination in March. View and download additional photos of the 2012 CEA finalists.

Seven projects from around the state will be vying for top honors in the Michigan Municipal League's Community Excellence Award competition October 3-5 at the League's 2012 Annual Convention on Mackinac Island.

Region 3 (all communities in the west-central area of the state’s Lower Peninsula) will be represented by the city of Grandville’s clean water plant expansion and renovation project. The project earned top honors as the Michigan Municipal League’s Region 3 Community Excellence Award winner at the Michigan Municipal League 2012 Capital Conference Lansing in March. Grandville’s expansion and renovation project created a clean water plant that incorporates innovative wastewater treatment technology. Grandville will now compete against the other six regional winners (Alpena, Baroda, Bessemer, Durand, Port Huron and Utica) for the statewide CEA at the League’s Annual Convention Oct. 3-5 on Mackinac Island. The CEA program, affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships.

Only Convention-goers may vote on the CEA winners so make sure to support your region by attending. Register now!

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Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett Inspires Michigan Municipal League Members About Placemaking

clock March 21, 2012 14:08 by author Matt Bach

LANSING, Michigan - Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett told Michigan Municipal League members Wednesday how placemaking has helped his city reinvent itself. Cornett spoke at the Michigan Municipal League's 2012 Capital Conference in Lansing.

With Mayor Cornett leading the way, Oklahoma City became a major league city with the arrival of the National Basketball Association. During his tenure, Oklahoma City’s economy has been one of the strongest in the nation. Standing for efficient government and responsible leadership, Mayor Cornett has worked to promote an inclusive and optimistic vision of Oklahoma City, fueled by bold ideas. Cornett's humble nature, intense work ethic and optimistic attitude have become emblematic of a city that, as Cornett says, "works hard and dreams big."

Cornett received applause from League members at several points in his highly-enthusiastic presentation. He explained how his city used a penny on the dollar sales tax approved by voters to make numerous improvements to the city, including redeveloping a river front, refurbishing and building new schools and tackling the obesity problem of the city's citizens.

To stay up to date on the latest news from Capital Conference, read the Capital Conference blog or go to the League’s website at mml.org. Want to be sure you know what's happening as it happens? Follow the Capital Conference Twitter feed by searching the hashtag #mmlconf. View photos from Capital Conference here on the League's flickr page. View press releases from the conference here. Read more about placemaking at mml.org and the blog by League CEO Ddan Gilmartin at economicsofplace.com.

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

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett speaks at 2012 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference.

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Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett to Discuss Placemaking at Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference

clock February 14, 2012 09:33 by author Matt Bach


Oklahoma City has a canal through a part of the city to promote placemaking. Hear Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett speak during the League's annual Capital Conference March 21, 2012, in Lansing, Michigan.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett has been at the forefront of the Oklahoma City renaissance. This revitalization has centered around "placemaking," which is a concept thoroughly advocated by the Michigan Municipal League. Cornett will be a guest speaker March 21 at the Michigan Municipal League's 2012 Capital Conference in Lansing.

With Mayor Cornett leading the way, Oklahoma City became a major league city with the arrival of the National Basketball Association. During his tenure, Oklahoma City’s economy has been one of the strongest in the nation. Standing for efficient government and responsible leadership, Mayor Cornett has worked to promote an inclusive and optimistic vision of Oklahoma City, fueled by bold ideas. Cornett's humble nature, intense work ethic and optimistic attitude have become emblematic of a city that, as Cornett says, "works hard and dreams big."

For details about his talk during the League's Capital Conference go here. To register go here (early bird rate ends Feb. 23). View additional speakers here. To get a glimpse of what Cornett will say during the League's Capital Conference listen here to a recent National Public Radio with Cornett about the placemaking effort in Oklahoma City.


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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Urban Leaders Promote Placemaking, Civic Engagement at League Convention

clock October 6, 2011 10:56 by author lforrest


League CEO Dan Gilmartin discusses placemaking at the 2011 Convention.

Leading urban thinkers and doers Peter Allen, Sadicka White, Ernesto Sirolli and Helen Davis Johnson focused on many aspects of economic development and placemaking during this morning's Convention general session, but the unifying theme was the importance of engaging and learning from citizens of all ages. White, an experienced city administrator and urban planner in Ohio, promoted "intergenerational wisdom" as a key to adapting neighborhoods to the changing economic times. She advocated for an approach that combines cutting-edge research and knowledge with an appreciation for the positive aspects of how walkable, safe neighborhoods were designed in the past. Sirolli, who specializes in training community leaders to discover and assist entrepreneurs, picked up on that theme by discussing the essential nature of a team approach to economic success. "It wasn't Sam Walton who created Wal-Mart," explained Sirolli. "It was Sam, Helen and Helen's dad....No one can do it alone." Johnson brought the "intergenerational knowledge transfer" 2theme home by sharing practical examples of social change brought about in her hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee through the "Chattanooga Way" of diverse community conversations. She described the ground rules as, "If you sit at this table, you have to be part of this place and proud of this place." In Chattanooga, this led to millions of dollars in waterfront investment as well as grassroots initiatives like CreateHere.

Peter Allen, an urban developer, planner and educator, focused on the importance of multiple generations as well, but from the perspective of marketing and attraction. He encouraged community leaders to focus on the "bookend generations" - the Millennials and Baby Boomers - when creating their economic development strategy. He also encouraged them to nurture and cultivate community champions and "update and take advantage of original arguments for why your town was created." This includes preserving and enhancing historic structures and promoting walkable commercial centers.

Community leaders can learn more economic development strategies by visiting the Center for 21st Century Communities. For more about the Michigan Municipal League go to www.mml.org and for details about our 2011 Convention go to tour.mml.org.

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