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Press Release


Contact:

Matt Bach
Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
mbach@mml.org; www.mml.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 18, 2017

Southeast Michigan Cities Educate Residents about Broken Municipal Finance System

saveMIcity Initiative Goes to Ferndale, Berkley, Pleasant Ridge, Oak Park, Huntington Woods and Hazel Park area

A group of six Oakland County communities recently came together to host a series of events about the fiscal challenges facing the state’s municipalities.

City leaders representing the Michigan communities of Ferndale, Berkley, Pleasant Ridge, Oak Park, Huntington Woods and Hazel Park brought the Michigan Municipal League’s SaveMICity initiative to southeast Michigan this week and last week to explain the financial struggles of municipalities statewide.

The League’s Anthony Minghine led the presentations that took place Aug. 9 and Aug. 10 at the Ford Education Center at the Detroit Zoo, and Aug. 15 at the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale. Dozens of residents, business leaders and municipal officials attended the three events over the three days. The Michigan Municipal League’s saveMIcity initiative has been active for more than a year now and traveled to more than 60 communities speaking to thousands of people about the broken system and need for change. The Oakland County events were part of this statewide tour.

“Understanding how your cities are funded and the impact it has on their community is a topic that every citizen should care about,” said Minghine, the League’s deputy executive director and chief operating officer. “Our goal is to help residents and business leaders understand that our funding system is broken and it is severely impacting in the services both groups value most. Our system simply doesn’t track with the economy and that makes it unsustainable”

Minghine explained that Michigan ranks 50th in the nation in investment into its communities. He said since 2002 revenues to communities went down 56 percent while revenues to the state went up 29 percent. During the Great Recession, the state balanced its own budget on the backs of local governments.

“We have disinvested in our communities and that has got to stop,” Minghine said. “We must recognize the important role that great communities play in a strong economy, and to do that we have got to think differently about how we fund our communities. Over 85 percent of the GDP is generated in metro areas, in cities like Ferndale, Berkley and Oak Park,” Minghine said. “It’s good business to invest our resources in those metro areas and that’s how we must think about those things – as an investment in our future.”

Feel free to download photos from the Oakland County events at flickr.com/michigancommunities.

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The 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. Learn more at mml.org.

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