Does this pony in a cow costume make you smile? View more photos.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Building great communities is more about putting smiles on people’s faces than it is fixing potholes. Yes, pothole repair is important, but seeing a child laugh at a pony dressed up as a cow in a downtown parade or eating a formal dinner on a bridge with friends can be ever-lasting memories.
This was the message by placemaking expert Peter Kageyama in an education session on citizen engagement Friday, Jan. 18, 2012, at the Michigan Municipal League headquarters in Ann Arbor. Kageyama spoke to about 20 southeast Michigan community leaders as part of a series of training weeks being offered by the League. He explained that the key to creating vibrant communities is finding what people love about their city and town and then building upon that.
He gave examples of a farming community that has a parade of cows and a river-community that turns a pedestrian foot-bridge into an elegant dinner to raise funds for the local chamber of commerce. The training week concept is a new service the League is providing to bring our vast array of education offerings to various parts of the state. League members and non-members can register for a whole week of trainings or pick and choose the topics that interest them. The first training week was this week and the next training week is Feb. 14-15 in Frankenmuth. Go here for details.
All the education sessions are excellent, but hearing Kageyama, of Florida, is a special treat in such a small setting. He often speaks around the world to large groups. If you missed him Friday he’s speaking again during training weeks in Kalamazoo, March 13-15; Lansing, April 24-26; and Mackinaw City, May 15-17; and Muskegon, June 5-7. Other topics planned at the training week sessions include the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) parliamentary procedure, municipal finance, service consolidation and shared services, and engaging your citizen change makers. You can register for the sesions here.
View additional photos from the training week in Ann Arbor here and here.
Matt Bach is the League's director of media relations. He can be reached at (734) 669-6317 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Kageyama talks about citizen engagement at a Michigan Municipal League training session Friday, January 18, 2013. View more photos.
Consumers Energy has launched a safety campaign to make the public aware of the many natural gas pipelines that exist in Michigan communities. Recognizing the importance of this effort, the Michigan Municipal League is helping Consumers Energy spread the word about this campaign.
Because League members and other public officials have authority over land, streets or roads along a Consumers Energy natural gas pipeline, it is very important that they are aware of Consumers Energy’s continuing efforts to keep Michigan communities safe and secure. Your awareness of these pipelines and any unusual activity around them can help Consumers Energy maintain the safety and security in your community. The tips at the Consumers Energy post here provide guidance on how to manage activity around our pipelines, the properties of natural gas and how to determine if there is a leak. These tips are also available as a downloadable brochure.
Go here for more information about the Consumers Energy Natural Gas Pipeline Safety program.
The University Center for Regional Economic Innovation at MSU will be holding a full-day event featuring presentations on innovative economic development tools, models, policies, practices, student technical assistance projects and Michigan inventions. The Summit will be held on September 6th at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing.
The REI at MSU has been established to bring together and establish networks between Michigan higher education institutions, local public and private sector leaders, workforce development boards, community action agencies, state agencies, public utilities, commercial lenders and EDA Economic Development Districts. The goal is to support regional commercialization efforts; advancing entrepreneurship; and cultivate a high-skilled regional work force through strategic partnerships and collaboration.
See the full event flyer and register for the event here.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.
Such is the title of the most recent Outlook series from the Lansing State Journal.
Articles from League partners, Lou Glazer at Michigan Future, Dave Waymire of Martin-Waymire Communications detail the importance of smart, young workers and present a different kind of scorecard matching up Michigan with Massachuetts.
Pat Gillespie, a Lansing-based developer discusses the kinds of development needed to make a vibrant 21st Century commuity and Holly Hetzner of the Prima Civitas Foundation talks about the importance of nurturing entrepreneurs. Other articles describe the importance of public art and social networking.
Sound familiar.. it should. Each and every topic is among the eight assets of vibrant communities we've outlined in our "Center for 21st Century Communities." Through the work of the center, our blogs, books and radio show the conversation is changing to a understanding that Michigan's future economic prosperity rests on investing in Michigan's communities.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Inititiaves and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.