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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