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December 2020


City Leaders Urge Legislature to Adopt Community Stabilization Plan
Municipal leaders from across the state held a video news conference to urge state lawmakers to adopt a Community Stabilization Plan that addresses the fiscal situation facing Michigan communities due to COVID-19. You can use this special email tool to send a letter to your state lawmakers, or access the letter and a fact sheet explaining the plan. Read more.

MBC-LEO Releases Racial Equity Playbook for Communities
The Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials has completed their publication, A Racial Equity Playbook. It deals with racial tension and provides strategies to help people get started on their own journey to having a more equitable community. Download here.

Michigan Legislature Lame Duck Round Up - Week 3
The Michigan Senate concluded Lame Duck action on Dec. 18. During the third week, action was taken on OMA virtual meetings, solar projects tax exemptions, summer tax deferral, poverty exemption, Meijer warehouse equipment PPT cut, historic tax credit, water shutoffs, tax foreclosure proceeds, rental inspections, and more. Read more.

Happy Holidays from the Michigan Municipal League!
The Michigan Municipal League wishes you a very happy holiday season! Our offices will be closed from 3:00 pm Dec. 23 until 8:00 am Jan. 4. While we are away, please check out our Community Wealth Building page, Coronavirus Resources page, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion page, Inside 208 blog, We Love Where You Live podcasts, and YouTube videos. See you next year!

We Need Your Help to Secure Much-Needed COVID Stimulus Package
Our partners at the National League of Cities need your help to secure critical stimulus support for states and local governments NLC would like our members to use this tool to contact your federal lawmakers TODAY and this week. Urge them to include aid to local governments in a final COVID package. Read more.

Dr. Sheryl Mitchell Theriot Receives Community Builder Award
Congratulations to Dr. Sheryl Mitchell Theriot, Lathrup Village city administrator, on being awarded the League's 2020 Community Builder Award. She was honored for her ongoing work in building vibrant and inclusive communities. Read more.

MEDC Small Business Grant Application Is Now Closed
Thank you for your interest in the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. The program was anticipated to support approximately 650 small businesses and 8,020 applications were submitted. An additional 14,208 remained in the queue. Due to this overwhelming demand, the grant application has now closed. We appreciate the ongoing support of all our partners, and particularly the MEDC and Michigan Strategic Fund. We will continue to advocate for the clearly needed additional relief for Michigan small businesses – whether through legislative action here in Michigan or at the federal level. For additional COVID-19 relief resources, please visit

Legislature Should Uphold Local Control in Zoning Decisions
SB 431 ,written by the sand and gravel mining industry, is an outrageous attack on local zoning decisions and our environment. In a joint letter to the editor, the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Townships Assoc., and Michigan Assoc. of Counties urge members and lawmakers to oppose this bill. Read more.

Help Oppose Bill that Strips Local Control Over Gravel Mining!
Contact your state Senator today to oppose Senate Bill 431. It may come up for a vote as soon as this week. This bill strips away local government's already very limited to make decisions regarding gravel mining, processing, and crushing. Tell your state legislators to oppose SB 431 and not rush it to a vote during Lame Duck! Read more.

Encourage Your Small Businesses to Apply for Relief Grants on Dec. 15
Starting 9 a.m. Tuesday, grant funds totaling $10 million will be made available to Michigan small businesses disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and particularly impacted by the current shutdown authorized by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Michigan Municipal League Foundation has been notified of its selection as the administrator of the grants for this project. The grants will be awarded on a 'first in" basis and are expected to GO VERY QUICKILY. This Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative will utilize CARES Act funding to award individual grants of up to $15,000 to approximately 665 small businesses. Direct your business owners to this website for details: They can also review a sample application and this application walkthrough video. These federal CARES Act dollars were distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the MichiganCommunity Development Block Grantprogram. A complete list of Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative grant recipients will be posted to to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Former Kalamazoo Mayor Receives Guido Leadership Award
Former Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell has received the Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award for his outstanding contributions to his community and state. To celebrate his accomplishments, we created a press release, tribute video, and podcast.

Gov. Whitmer Extends COVID-19 Pause Through Dec. 20
Gov. Whitmer's administration extended the closure of some Michigan businesses, the halt on indoor dining at restaurants, and more through Dec. 20 as COVID-19 surges on. Whitmer is already discouraging people from gathering for the holiday. Read more.

November 2020



Governor Announces New Michigan Health Department Epidemic Order
Gov. Whitmer announced that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a three-week epidemic order which, among other things, requires face masks at gatherings and specifically references government offices. The League hosted a webinar, New Pandemic Order: What it Means for Your Community. Read more.

Urge Your State Senator to Oppose Commercial Equipment PPT Tax Cut
Six bills that would exempt consumer goods and micro-fulfillment centers from personal property tax assessment are expected to be brought up in the Senate for a full vote soon. League members are urged to contact their State Senator TODAY to express opposition to these bills, Read more.

New Report Offers Prescriptions for Broken Municipal Finance System
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has spent months researching Michigan's "unique" statutory and constitutional restrictions surrounding local finance. The formal findings of their research are in a report entitled, Towards Fiscally Healthy Michigan Local Governments. Download the report. Read more.

Please Complete Survey in Support of COVID Relief for Communities
The League needs your help in getting federal COVID-19 relief to Michigan communities. Please complete this survey from the COVID Relief Now Coalition. The information collected will be extremely important in the National League of Cities fight to get financial support for our communities as they battle the coronavirus. Read more.

Tell Your Legislators to Support Communities in Lame Duck Session
Leading up to the Lame Duck legislative period that starts in early December, the League will be aggressively rolling out our Community Stabilization Plan. We need your help to make this effort a success! This three-part plan explains the financial crisis our communities are facing due to COVID-19 exacerbated by the state's broken municipal finance system. You can use this special email tool to send a letter to your state lawmakers, or access the letter and a fact sheet explaining the plan. Learn more at our press conference at 10am TODAY, which you can access on our Facebook page or by registering for the free event. Read more.

October 2020

Governor Whitmer Has Signed Open Meetings Act Legislation!
Gov. Whitmer signed SB 1108 amending the Open Meetings Act. On Monday Morning Live, we discussed the changes with special guests Sen. Lana Theis and League General Counsel Chris Johnson. The changes allow public bodies to conduct virtual meetings for any reason through Dec. 31, 2020. Read more.

Boyne City Wins Great American Main Street Award
Congratulations to Boyne City, which has been named one of three recipients of the 2020 Great American Main Street Award! "Boyne City's inspiring transformation serves as a model for downtowns looking to appeal to tourists while investing in the quality of life of year-round residents." Read more.

Seven Projects That Build Community Win Microgrants
Projects ranging from community-building bike rides to supporting neighborhood entrepreneurs received the first-ever Bridge Builders microgrants by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. The winners are from Detroit, ClintonTwp.,Flint, Harper Woods, Middleville, and Ypsilanti. Read more.

Dark Store Problem Continues for Michigan Communities
A recent Sault News article details the ongoing saga of the “Dark Stores” issue facing Michigan communities. The dark store theory is a tax loophole used by retailers to lower the amount they pay in property taxes. Read the article and review our Dark Stores resource page

Westland Mayor William Wild Named League President
Westland Mayor William Wild has been named as the League's 2020-21 president. He was selected by the 18-member Board of Trustees during the League's annual Convention. The Board also named Pontiac Mayor Dr. Deirdre Waterman as vice president. Read more.

League Board Elects Three New Members; Re-Elects Three
Six officials from across the state were recently elected and re-elected to the League Board at Convention. New Board members are: Detroit City Councilmember Andre L. Spivey, Mason City Manager Deborah Stuart, and Monroe Mayor Robert Clark. Read more.

Open Meetings Act Legislation on its Way to the Governor!
Great news for Michigan communities! The Senate has concurred on Senate Bill 1108, as passed on Oct. 13 by the House of Representatives, and granted immediate effect. It will now be enrolled, printed, and presented to the Governor for signature. Some of the changes include retroactive application to March 18, 2020 to cover virtual meetings that have taken place since then; and it allows for the continuation of virtual meetings for any circumstances through Dec. 31, 2020. Read more.

Flint and Harper Woods Officials to Lead Statewide Organization
The Michigan Women in Municipal Government (MWIMG) recently named their new officers and board members. Flint City Council President Monica Galloway was selected as president and Valerie Kindle, mayor of Harper Woods, as the new vice president. Read more.

OMA Legislation Unaminously Supported in House Committee
Senate Bill 1108, amending the Open Meetings Act, was taken up in the House Ways & Means Committee this afternoon (Oct. 13). An H-1 substitute was adopted and unanimously supported. The bill now heads to the House floor for a vote. We anticipate this vote to happen sometime today. We will continue to update you on this important issue as more information becomes available. Previous blogs on this topic can be found here. Read more.

League Update on State Supreme Court Opinion, Pending OMA Bills
On Oct. 2 the Michigan Supreme Court issued an opinion on the extent of the Governor's powers under two emergency powers acts. Also, we're pleased to announce the introduction of SB 1108 and HB 6207, which would amend the Open Meetings Act to allow for electronic "virtual' meetings to take place without an executive order under specific circumstances. Read more on OMA bills. Read more on Supreme Court Opinion.

September 2020

League's First-Ever Virtual Convention Was a Big Hit!
The League's first-ever Virtual Convention was a big success! We had great keynotes from Faye Nelson of W.K. Kellogg Foundation, our own CEO Dan Gilmartin, Gov. Whitmer, and National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony; a legislative panel led by Congressman Dan Kildee; along with lot of breakouts and networking opportunities. Get the details.

League Launches New Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resource Page
A federal judge has stopped the 2020 csnsus from finishing at the end of September and ordered the once-a-decade count of every U.S. resident to continue through the end of October. She says a shortened schedule likely would produce inaccurate results. Read more.

League Launches New Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resource Page
The League's new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) resource page is part of the long-term external and internal DEI strategies we've implemented in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and countless other victims of racial violence. The site features our DEI webinars as well as informational blogs and articles. Check it out.

League Honors Sen. Moss and Rep. Howell as Legislators of the Year
The League has honored Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Rep. Gary Howell (R-North Branch) as our 2020 Legislators of the Year. They received the recognition in conjunction with the release of tribute videos- Moss and Howell - and podcast conversations about their work on behalf of Michigan's communities. Read more.

NEW Fact Sheet Outlines Details of Social Districts Law
Michigan enacted a new law intended to spur economic activity and provide flexibility for hospitality businesses by enabling the on-site sale and off-site consumption of alcoholic beverages in designated “Social District” areas. See our new Fact Sheet for details and sample documents.

League's John LaMacchia to Be Featured in HIgh Water Levels Panel
HIgh water levels is a critical environmental issue facing Great Lakes communities. On Sept. 29, Bridge Michigan is presenting a panel of experts - including the League's John LaMacchia - to discuss the impacts and preparations in coastal communities. Read more.

Special Affiliate Day at League Virtual Convention!
Friday, Oct. 2 is Affillate Day at the League's first-ever Virtual Convention. Michigan Women in Municipal Government (MWIMG), Michigan Association of Mayors (MAM), and Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO) invite members and other interested parties to join them for their sessions. MWIMG will host it's annual meeting and a presentation on Engaged Inclusiivity. MAM will also hold it's annual meeting along with a discussion of some difficult current topics, including COVID-19 and how it's impacting our communities. And MBC-LEO will host a screening and discussion of the film WALKING WHILE BLACK: L.O.V.E. Is the Answer. Get the details and register today.

COVID-19 & Broken System Paint Bleak Financial Pic for Communities
The COVID-19 pandemic and it's impact on Michigan's communities was the topic of an excellent panel discussion that included the League's Summer Minnick. The SaveMICity initiative has long talked about the state's broken system for funding local governments and the pandemic is another example of this. Read more.

Governor Launches Futures for Frontliners Tuition Program
Gov. Whitmer announced a first in the nation Future for Frontliners program to offer essential, frontline workers a tuition-free path to community college. It's available to about 625,000 Michiganders who provided essential services between April and June 2020. Read more.

League, Counties, State Budget Office Call for Additional Resources
The League, Michigan State Budget Office, and Michigan Association of Counties sent this joint letter to President Trump and the Michigan congressional delegation. It asks for financial assistance for the state and local communities as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Read more.

Bridge Builders Microgrant Program - Voting from now through Sept. 4
The MML Foundation launched a new microgrant program designed to support positive individual action, by citizens, in their local community. The application period ended Friday, Aug. 14, and the online voting phase of the program runs from Aug. 24 to Sept. 4. Read more.

Save Big Money on Convention with New Community Rate!
For the League's first Virtual Convention, we're offering an extra special Community rate! More people than ever can enjoy the benefits of Convention without an extra hit to the budget. If you purchase 5 attendee tickets for $159/ticket, you can order additional attendee tickets at NO COST! Communities like St. Joseph, Ironwood, Petoskey, and New Baltimore have already signed up groups as large as 13! All attendees will be treated to thrilling keynote speakers - such as Governor Gretchen Whitmer and National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony - and much more! Get the details and register today.

August 2020

Women's Municipal Leadership Program Graduates Honored
The League recently honored 28 women leaders from throughout Michigan for successfully completing the Women's Municipal Leadership Program presented by the 16/50 Project. The 2019 class was honored in a new video released this week. Read more.

Virtual Convention Breakouts Cover Lots of Bases!
At this year's Virtual Convention, you can boost your batting average with Breakout Sessions on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Building Community Wealth, and much more. You can also catch thrilling keynote speakers, great networking opportunities, and a virtual expo hall. See the complete lineup and register today!

2020-2021 Wage and Salary Survey Results Now Available
The 2020-2021 Statewide Pay and Benefits Survey of 143 titles is now available to full member communities that participated in the survey, with automatic access provided to managers, department heads, and elected officials. The League conducts this survey for the benefit of our member communities. Read more.

Convention Keynote Speakers Bring Diverse Perspectives
We've lined up some great keynote speakers for this year's Virtual Convention! Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Clarence Anthony, executive director of the National League of Cities, will join up for Leading in a Time of Crisis. They'll discuss the challenges of leading through a time of crisis, facing those challenges head-on, and emerging stronger and more resilient. Next up is Congressman Dan Kildee, who will head up a panel of federal legislators for Working Together: Effective Bipartisan Efforts at the Federal Level. Convention will also offer plenty of opportunities for networking with colleagues and interacting with vendors. Get the details and register today!

Flint's Monica Galloway Receives the League's Ambassador Award
The League honored Flint City Council President Monica Galloway with our Ambassador Award. She received the recognition in conjunction with a tribute video. The Ambassador Award is given to League members who successfully complete all four levels of the League's Elected Officials Academy program. Read more

Register Now for the League's First-Ever Virtual Convention!
Please join us for Michigan Municipal League's first-ever Virtual Convention - from the comfort of your home or office! This event will look and feel a little different than our traditional Conventions, but it will be full of the high-value content and networking you've come to expect. We'll have thrilling keynote speakers including Governor Gretchen Whitmer and National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony. Breakout Sessions will cover everything from Community Wealth to Cultural Diversity and Leading in a Time of Crisis. And you'll have plenty of opportunities for networking with colleagues and interacting with vendors. Get the details and register today!

Local Officials Seek Financial Help from President Trump, Congress
Michigan municipal leaders sent a letter to President Trump and Michigan's Congressional delegation seeking direct funding to communities battling the coronavirus. The League Board of Trustees asked for support of $375 billion in direct flexible aid for communities of all sizes. League members are also encouraged to send letters. Read more.

July 2020

Current Year Budget Deal Replaces August CVTRS with CARES Money
Following the governor's late June announcement of a budget deal to address the current year state budget shortfall, the House and Senate Appropriations committees acted on those negotiated reductions. For League members, a key component of this budget deal includes a suspension of the August CVTRS payment and replaces it with an additional $150 million in CARES Act federal money. Read more.

Aid to America's Hometowns Left Out of Senate Proposal
The Senate proposal for the next coronavirus relief package, the HEALS Act, does not include additional funds for state and local governments. We can't let it reach the President's desk without providing aid directly to cities, towns, and villages. Read more

CARES Act Application Deadline Extended to Aug. 7
Gov. Whitmer has made some changes to the previous CARES funded programs for local units. The application deadline for the public safety/public heath payroll reimbursement program has been extended until this Friday, Aug. 7 and public safety authorities may now be eligible. Read more.

New Version of Summer Tax Deferral Bill Raises Major Concerns
The Michigan House of Representatives passed a new version of SB 943 that doesn't provide for any advance payment or settlement that would have preserved local government cash flow. Instead, it creates a new deferment allowance for the 2020 summer property tax bill. Read more.

Listen. Act.
We must listen. We must act. Those are the key messages in a statement released to Michigan Municipal League members and the media by the League's President, Vice President, and board. The statement is about the tragic and brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and the resulting protests. View the full statement here.

League Honors Graduates of 2020 Elected Officials Academy
The League is honoring 22 graduates of our 2020 Elected Officials Academy, a voluntary education and recognition program created in 1997 by elected officials and League staff. See video of this year's graduates and view a video about the EOA program. Read more.

Gov. Allows Remote Public Meetings Until End of COVID-19 Emergency
Gov. Whitmer signed executive order 2020-154, which extends previous executive orders to provide temporary alternative means to conduct public meetings, conduct administrative proceedings, and provide the required notice under tax abatement statutes. Read more.

League Cancels Convention, Will Provide First-Class Virtual Event
We sadly announce that the League's 2020 Convention that was planned for Sept. 30-Oct. 2 will not be held as an in-person event. Instead, we are transforming Convention into a first-class virtual event. We'll bring you all the details in the coming weeks. Read more.

NEW Issue of The Review Magazine Now Available in Digital Format
With so many League members still working from home due to COVID-19, we wanted you to know that the July/Aug issue of The Review magazine is now available online! This issue highlights our recent Policy Forums, leading in a pandemic, and our new focus on community wealth building. Read it here.

June 2020

Budget Deal to Result in 150% Funding Replacement
Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders have reached a budget agreement. The plan calls for eliminating the August statutory revenue sharing payments, but then fully replacing it plus an additional 50 percent. The replacement will come from federal CARES Act dollars. Read more.

Michigan Local Governments Report Crisis-Level Impacts from COVID-19
Michigan leaders have reported problems supporting their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic - with many failing to get needed health or financial help, according to a survey by the UM Ford School of Public Policy. The assessments of local government leaders have grown more pessimistic. Read more.

Cities Making Huge Cuts in Response to COVID-19 Fiscal Pressures
The National League of Cities' new survey shows that the national economic recovery is at even greater risk if Congress fails to provide direct federal aid to cities, towns, and villages. The survey found that 65 percent of cities are being forced to delay or completely cancel capital expenditures and infrastructure projects. Read more.

CARES Act Spending Agreement Reached
The Whitmer Administration and House and Senate leadership came to an apparent agreement to begin spending more than $880 million of the state's allocation of federal CARES Act stimulus funding. Following significant lobbying by the League, the new agreement - SB 690 H-3 - provides substantial funding opportunities for local units of government. Read more.

Governor Extends Remote Public Meeting Executive Order
Gov. Whitmer has signed Executive Order 2020-129, which extends a previous executive order allowing public bodies to conduct public meetings remotely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new order expires on July 31, 2020. Read more.

Cities Are Essential. Join the Fight to Get More Federal Aid
The National League of Cities launched the Cities Are Essential campaign, asking the federal government for at least $500 billion over two years for local governments. We need all of you to get involved - write your Congressmember, post on social media, write an Op-Ed. Read more.

League President & VP Pen Op-Ed Urging Direct Federal Aid to Local Government
League President Brenda F. Moore and Vice President William Wild wrote an op-ed column stressing the importance of direct federal assistance for Michigan's local governments battling coronavirus. We call on all Michigan members of Congress to support our communities by voting for direct, unrestricted funding to local municipalities as called for in the HEROES Act. Read more.

Webinar: Mich. Delegation Leads Efforts to Protect Main St. Busineses
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-5) and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6), the bill's co-sponsors, discussed the RELIEF for Main Street Act, which would create a new $50 billion fund to provide direct allocations to cities, counties, and states to seed and scale small business local relief funds. Review the webinar on our Coronavirus Resources page.

Whitmer Lifts More Restrictions, Moves Northern Michigan to Phase 5
Gov. Whitmer announced that the Upper Peninsula and Traverse City Region will move to the "Containing" phase of her plan, starting June 10. On June 15, personal services including hair, massages, and nails will reopen statewide. Read more.

Whitmer Lifts Stay-Home Order, Allows Dine-in Restaurants, Bars
Gov. Whitmer is partially lifting Michigan's stay-at-home order by loosening restrictions on the operations of businesses and workplaces, while allowing larger outdoor gatherings and outside sporting events with certain restrictions. Whitmer's decision allows dine-in service in restaurants and bars by June 8, reopening of retail stores on June 4, opening of swimming pools and day camps for children, and outdoor crowds of up to 100 individuals. Under the revised order, Whitmer would also allow employees to work from the office if their work couldn't be done remotely. Read more.

May 2020

Mayor Barnett Testified at Congressional Briefing on Fed. Aid
On May 29, Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett testified before a congressional Coronavirus panel. The video briefing examined what communities need from the federal government to stabilize local economies, protect the health and well-being of their residents, and safely reopen. Read more.

New Streamlined Licensing Process for Outdoor Liquor Services
To assist with the safe reopening of bars and restaurants, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has announced a streamlined licensing process for outdoor services and additional bar permits. More information is available on their new web page. Also, HB 5781 has been introduced, which would allow a local governing body to designate a social drinking district. Read more.

Cities Are Essential. Join the Fight to Get More Federal Aid.
Local governments need direct support and economic relief and we need it NOW. That is why the National League of Cities launched the Cities Are Essential campaign, asking for at least $500 billion over two years for local governments. We need all of you to get involved - send a letter to your Congressmember, make noise on social media, and write an Op-Ed. Read more.

Gov. Whitmer Starts to Loosen Restrictions in Michigan
In a May 21 press conference, Gov. Whitmer announced a huge wave of changes. She is allowing gatherings of 10 or fewer people, as long as everyone practices social, re-opening retail and auto dealers on May 26, and allowing dental and vet procedures to resume May 29. Read more.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to Return More than $100M to Customers
Our partners at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan asked us to share this news: Due to disruptions in previously anticipated health care services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will be returning more than $100 million to many fully insured customers this year. Read more.

League CEO Highlights Support for HEROES Act on WJR Radio
League CEO Dan Gilmartin was a guest on Guy Gordon's show on WJR/News Radio. They talked about the HEROES Act recently introduced in the U.S. House and the need for direct federal support of Michigan communities battling coronavirus on the front lines. Tune in now.

Gov. Whitmer Extends Stay at Home Order, Details MI Safe Start Plan
Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-77 to extend Michigan's Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 28. The order allows manufacturing workers to resume work on May 11. She also detailed the six phases of her MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage Michigan's economy. Read more.

League Connects Local Leaders with Senate Appropriations Chair
Several local officials met virtually with State Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland) for an update on the state budget process and the Legislature's view of the state revenue picture. He also wanted to hear first-hand about the financial impacts of COVID-19 on Michigan communities. Read more.

Midland Mayor Donker Fights for Michigan Communities in D.C.
Midland Mayor Maureen Donker was fighting on behalf of Michigan communities across the nation as she spoke before a U.S. House of Representatives member forum on the Coronavirus Community Relief Act (HR 6467). She discussed the unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 is causing for cities and villages. Read more.

NEW Issue of The Review Magazine Now Available in Digital Format
With so many League members working from home due to COVID-19, we wanted you to know that the May/June issue of The Review magazine is now available online! This issue delves into another challenge facing Michigan communities: legalized marijuana. Read it here.

Gov. Whitmer Extends Virtual Meetings Executive Order to June 30
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Whitmer has issued an Executive Order allowing local boards, commissions, councils and others to continue meeting and conducting business via phone or video conferencing. The order expires June 30. Read more.

April 2020

Response & Recovery Survey of Municipal Operations & Finances
The League and Plante Moran are gathering data from Michigan municipalities on the workplace and financial impacts from the coronavirus pandemic and how local governments are reacting. The survey is open to all local government officials.

Governor Extends Stay at Home Order to May 15, Some Businesess to Reopen
Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-59 extending the stay at home order until May 15. The new order allows some businesses to reopen, including some retailers to open for curbside pick-up, and garden centers, nurseries, and lawn care service. Read more.

League, MAC, MTA Seek COVID-19 Funding for Members
The League has joined with the counties and townships associations to seek $1.1 billion to support COVID-19 expenses incurred by local governments. The three organizations sent a letter to Governor Whitmer urging the state to use some of the nearly $4 billion Michigan is receiving from the CARES Act to support local governments of all sizes affected by this pandemic. Read more.

Your Help Needed to Secure Federal Stimulus Funds for Municipalities
The League sent a letter to Michigan's congressional delegation asking them to include direct support for local governments, regardless of population size, alongside any new investment in the Paycheck Protection Program. We need your help TODAY! Please use the League's Voter Voice system to urge your Congress member to support this issue. Read more

Procedures Set for Changes To Upcoming Elections
Earlier this week a court order changed the April 21 filing deadline and some rules for the upcoming elections. The Bureau of Elections has now released complete regulations for digital signature collection for collecting and submitting signatures by e-mail as soon as possible. View our blog about these procedures.

Gov. Whitmer Re-issues Executive Order Allowing Virtual Meetings
Executive Order 2020-48 extends until May 12 the ability of local boards, commissions, councils, etc. to use phone or video conferencing methods to continue meeting and conducting business while ensuring the public has access to join the meetings. Read more.

Mich. Treasury Dept. Seeking Input on Local Govt. Cash Flow Needs
The Michigan Finance Authority is exploring ways to assist local governments that might need to access cash due to the COVID-19 crisis. They're trying to deterimine if there is interest in a statewide pool of tax anticipation notes. If your local governement might be interested in participating, please provide feedback by May 1. Read more...

Federal Update - Support Needed for Additional Local Goverment Relief
In working with our partners at the National League of Cities, there has been a lot of activity on the implementation efforts surrounding the recently passed CARES act. There is also activity on new federal proposals to address some of the shortcomings for local governments within the federal stimulus efforts. The Coronavirus Community Relief Act (H.R. 6467) would provide $250 billion in funding to all local governments with fewer than 500,000 residents. League members are urged to contact their member of Congress to urge them to support and co-sponsor this important piece of legislation. Read more..

Census Deadlines Extended; How You Can Help Get People Counted
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline to fill out the 2020 Census has been moved to Oct. 31. The League has a new Census Toolkit to help community leaders in their efforts to get a complete count. The toolkit offers numerous suggestions and ideas to help your communities get the most accurate Census counts possible. There are a variety of action steps you can take this week, including call, email, or text 20 friends or family and encourage them to complete the Census form; host a Zoom Happy Hour; write a letter to your local newspaper; or join a virtual townhall. Read more.

League Partners with Governor to Answer COVID-19 Questions
The League has partnered with the Governor to help answer and address our members COVID-19 questions. To submit a question, or view preciously submitted questions and answers, visit our Coronavirus Resources page.

Governor's Executive Order Protects Workers Who Handle FOIA Requests
Gov. Whitmer has signed Executive Order 2020-38 which relaxes requirements for responding to FOIA requests during the COVID-19 emergency. The League has issued a statement thanking Gov. Whimer for this FOIA accommodation. We covered this subject in our New FOIA Executive Order - Flexiibility During COVID-19 webinar, which is on our Coronavirus Resources page. Read more.

2020 Census Webinar: Getting a Complete Count During COVID-19
Due to COVID-19, 2020 Census operations have been extended. This webinar highlights the changes and new deadlines. Michigan's Complete Count strategy, how to mobilize citizens to "Get Out the Counts," and more. Check it out on our Census Resources for Municipalities page.

League and NLC Advocate for Flexibility with Stimulus Funds
National League of Cities and League staff have been reaching out to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and members of Michigan's congressional delegation requesting flexibility as Treasury develops guidance on "necessary expenditures" related to the authorized use of Coronavirus Relief Funds with the recently passed CARES act stimulus package. Read more.

Webinar With U.S. Sen. Gary Peters on Federal COVID-19 Response
U.S. Senator Gary Peters has been on the front lines of the federal stimulus package designed to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a special League webinar, Sen. Peters shared a first-hand account of the stimulus as well as the national response to the COVID-19 crisis. Check out the video and podcast in the "Webinars" section of our Coronavirus Resources page.

TODAY Your Help Needed to Gather COVID-19 Data in Community Cost Survey
The COVID-19 pandemic has very likely generated unexpected costs and budget impacts for Michigan communities. Through the League's advocacy work at the State and Federal level, we have been making efforts to help communities offset these costs. You can help by participating in a short survey developed by the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors. This survey is designed to demonstrate the direct fiscal impact of the pandemic on municipal governments. Data gathered will be used to make the case in Congress and the State for direct funding to all municipalities. Please take the survey by end of business TODAY. Read more.

March 2020

The U.S. 2020 Census is Underway - Be Counted!
The Census is critical in providing nearly $30 billion in federal funding to our state each year. These funds are used for education, public safety, public health, infrastructure, and more. Check out our resources for getting a complete count in your community. Read more

Michigan Issues Stay-at-Home Order Amid Coronavirus Crisis
Gov. Whitmer issued a statewide stay-at-home order to fight the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Executive Order 2020-21 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes unless they are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Read more.

League Thanks Gov. for Flexibility in Running Local Govt. Meetings
Given the conflicts between traditional meetings of elected officials and the public health recommendations to limit face-to-face gatherings, we are pleased that Governor Whitmer has issued an Executive Order and given us the clear ability to use remote-access technology for necessary community meetings. View our media statement. Read more.

League Creates Coronavirus Resources Page for Communities
Are you growing concerned about how to respond if coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads to your community? The League wants to make sure Michigan communities have access to the most up-to-date resources for a potential public health outbreak. Check out our Coronavirus Resources page.

League Cancelling Future In-Person Events; Staff to Work from Home
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the League has made the unprecedented decision to cancel all face-to-face events for the remainder of March and all of April, including our CapCon 2020. We have also instructed League staff to work from home until April 6. Read the full explanation from League CEO Dan Gilmartin. Read more.

Lt. Gov. to Speak to Local Govt. Leaders in "Stay at Home" Webinar
What does the Governor's new "Stay Home. Stay Safe" Executove Order mean for your workers and your community? Find out in a free webinar featuring Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, March 24, 10 am. Read more in our Inside 208 blog. Register now.

League COVID-19 Webinar Now Available Online and as Podcast
More than 300 League members participated in a webinar Monday about the COVID-19 virus. Numerous questions were answered by Elizabeth Hertel of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. You can watch the webinar or listen to the podcast format.

Policy Forum Series Prepares Michigan Comunities for the Future
The League has been hosting a series of policy forums titled Fast Forward: Leading the Future of Michigan Cities. We've been discussing how communities in Michigan will address accelerating technology, climate, and population changes in the coming decades. Read more

TODAY CDC to Answer Important COVID-19 Questions in Webinar
The CDC is presenting a live webinar today to discuss the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak, what CDC is doing to respond, and how partners, organizations, and the public can help slow the spread in the U.S. At 1pm today, watch on CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Facebook page.

Monday Morning Live Focused on Local Preemption and CapCon
Mining operations and short-term rentals are just two of the areas where the state is trying to preempt local government authority. See our team discuss that challenge and our upcoming CapCon on the latest Monday Morning Live.View video on Facebook. or listen to podcast.

RECAP: White House Briefing for State & Local Officials on COVID-19
The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs has provided an update on the federal government's current efforts to address coronavirus (COVID-19). They recommend following the CDC's website and the site. Read more on our Inside 208 blog.

League Insurance Boards Announce 2020 Member Dividends
Members of the League's insurance programs will share dividends totaling over $15.5 million in 2020. The Workers' Compensation Fund Board voted to return $14 million in dividends to its member-owners. The Liability & Property Pool Board authorized returning $1.575 million in dividends to member-owners who renew coverage in 2020. Read more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Michigan Municipal League CEO
As you've heard by now, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state of emergency regarding the COVID-19 viral disease, and the World Health Organization has officially classified it as a pandemic. The League is actively working to make sure our communities have the most up-to-date information. Here are some key things you should know: The League is hosting a free coronavirus webinar for members featuring the state's top medical expert. We are reviewing all future planned events, including CapCon, and decisions will be made and shared shortly. We've also created a Coronavirus Resources page that is updated regularly with the latest information. The League is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they are known.

League to Post Blog About White House COVID-19 Briefing
Today's 1 pm White House briefing call about the coronoavirus as it relates to local governments is now full and not accepting new registrations. However, the League's Herasanna Richards will be posting a blog about what is discussed on the call. You'll be able to read it on our Inside 208 blog here.

You Hit the Jackpot! Early Bird Rate Extended to TODAY!
We spun the roulette wheel and hit "Extend Early Bird Deadline" - so you're the winner! The CapCon early bird deadline has been extended to TODAY. Get your registration in now, then look forward to in-depth workshops, engaging General Session speakers, enlightening Breakout Sessons, an Expo Hall full of municipal-related vendors, and ... try your luck at exciting casino-style games at the Welcome Reception! Get the details and register today!

Marijuana Resource Page Offers Helpful Information for Communities
The League has assembled a marijuana resource page with valuable information for municipalities. It contains sample ordinances (opt in & opt out), a link to our adult use marijuana webinar ($20 fee), adult use Q&As, emergency rules, and more.Visit marijuana resource page.

February 2020

Michigan's Local Communities Need Comprehensive Transportation Plan
The League's legislative advocacy team testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation about the need to increase funding for our local roads. League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued a statement advocating for a long-term, comprehensive transportation plan. Read the complete statement.

Podcast Focuses on the Important Role of Crowdfunding in Michigan
On the latest episode of the Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, the League's Matt Bach talks about the power of crowdfunding for Michigan communities with the League's Melissa Milton-Pung and Angela Barbash of Revalue. Tune in now.

Funding Local Govt.: Broken System Puts Services at Long-Term Risk
The system of funding for local government in Michigan is broken, as confidence of officials across the state to meet their fiscal needs has been stagnant for the past three years despite a growing economy, according to ongoing analysis of the Michigan Public Policy Survey. Read more.

Saginaw Councilmember Receives Education Scholarship
Saginaw City Councilmember Jamie Forbes has received a leadership education scholarship to help her further her training an an elected official. The Michigan Municipal League Foundation awarded Forbes a $1,000 John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship to attend the League's CapCon in March. Read more.

2020 Coastal Community Resilience Matching Grants Available
Matching grants to help Michigan coastal communities develop master plan content that will contribute to greater coastal and community-wide resilience are being offered by the nonprofit Land Information Access Association. To apply, visit the LIAA website. Read more

League Pres. Moore Was in D.C. Fighting for Michigan Communities
League President Brenda F. Moore was in Washington, D.C. for the National League of Cities' 2020 State Municipal League Executive Directors and Presidents Fly-in. This event provides an important opportunity to advocate for city priorities with Congress and network with peers. More.

Demolition Grants Available to Help Rural Communities Fight Blight
The State Land Bank Authority is rolling out a second round of Michigan Rural Community Demolition Grants. Smaller communities in Michigan can apply for a $50,000 grant to help eliminate blight and revitalize their communities. Applications are due March 13. Read more.

Budget News, Local Preemption, and More on Monday Morning Live
Gov. Whitmer released her proposed 2020-21 budget. What does that mean for Michigan communities? What's in store at CapCon and the next issue of our magazine on local preemption? That's what our team covered on Monday Morning Live. View video on Facebook. or listen to podcast.

Detroit City Council President Shares Her Experience and Advice
At the League's 2019 Convention, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones sat down for a wide-ranging conversation on the Limelight podcast. She shared her path in Detroit politics, advice for women and young people interested in entering politics, and more. Listen in now.

Goodman Scholarship Goes to Grand Valley Student
The Michigan Municipal League Foundation recently awarded the George and Judith Goodman Scholarship to Alayna Knarian, a Grand Valley State University student and Bad Axe native. The scholarship is committed to building the pipeline of future local leaders in Michigan. Read more.

Census Counts in Properly Funding Michigan Communities
The League's own Kelly Warren is first up in this brand new 9-second video promoting Michigan's 2020 Census efforts. Read more about how the Michigan Municipal League is preparing our member communities for the Census in this new blog.

League Statement on Governor Whitmer's Proposed 2020-21 Budget
League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin released a statement regarding the 2020-21 proposed budget from Gov. Whitmer. He expressed concern about statutory revenue sharing and local road funding, but is pleased with the funding for high lake level and shoreline erosion grants. Read more.

Reflections on State of the State, Challenge of High Water Levels
On Monday Morning Live, we analyzed Gov. Whitmer's State of the State and looked ahead to her response to the State of the Union. We also discussed Michigan's high water level crisis and what's being done to help communities. View video on Facebook. or listen to podcast..

Michigan Municipal League Names Three New Board Members
Three city officials were recently chosen to serve on the League Board of Trustees. During the League's board meeting, the following were selected: Holland City Manager Keith Van Beek; Muskegon Mayor Stephen Gawron; and Ypsilanti City Manager Frances McMullan. Read more.

Ottawa County Official to Lead Michigan Municipal Executives
Ottawa County Deputy Administrator John Shay is the new president of the statewide association representing Michigan's municipal managers. He was selected as the 2020 president of the Michigan Municipal Executives during the organization's annual Winter Institute. Read more

Get One-on-One Time with Vendors and State Agencies at CapCon 2020!
As part of the CapCon 2020 experience, you'll have an opportunity to talk with representatives from many state agencies and municipal vendors. During our State Agencies Office Hours, you can get the latest information on grants as well as state and federal programs that might benefit your community. You'll also have several chances to network with a wide variety of vendors in the Expo Hall. Each one offers products and services designed specifically for municipalities. Plus, we have lots of other engaging sessions planned. Get the details and register today!

League Foundation-backed Study Unveiled in Hamtramck
The Hamtramck Recreation District Plan, backed by the League Foundation, could create a destination for tourists and a vibrant gathering place for residents and visitors. A preliminary summary of the plan was presented during a community celebration dinner Jan. 31. Read more.

January 2020

State Transportation Commission Approves $3.5B Road Bonding
As part of the Rebuilding Michigan program, the State Transportation Commission (STC) approved a $3.5 billion bonding program. It will add and expand 122 major new road projects and nearly double the amount available to fix state roads over the next five years. Read more.

Monday Morning Live Zeroed in on State of State, State of Union
On Monday Morning Live, we analyzed Gov. Whitmer's State of the State and looked ahead to her response to the State of the Union. We also discussed Michigan's high water level crisis and what's being done to help communities. Tune in now.

Plans Unveiled for Hamtramck's Veterans Memorial Park
A long-term plan to rejuvenate Hamtramck's Veterans Memorial Park, which includes Hamtramck and Keyworth stadiums, was released during a special community event on Jan. 31. The League and the League Foundation have played significant roles in this effort. The plan aims to transform the site into a major recreation destination. More.

Reflections on Governor Whitmer's 2020 State of the State Address
In the Governor's second State of the State speech, she focused on four key themes: infrastructure, jobs and the economy, education, and healthcare. She announced that she'll be asking the State Transportation Commission to issue $3.5 billion in state road bonds. Read more.

Facebook Rep Leads Off Bold Lineup of CapCon Breakout Sessions!
A representative from Facebook's Politics and Government Outreach Team is jetting in for CapCon 2020's first breakout session! She'll guide attendees through Facebook's latest tools to reach and connect with your community. And there's a great selection of other sessions. Get the details and register today!

Transportation Reform Bills Pass the Michigan Senate
The Michigan Senate and House have been working on bills to reform the transportation landscape in Michigan. This week, the Senate passed most of them. The League has been involved in the negotiation of this package and secured a number of changes. Read more.

Rebuild With Us' Effort Showing Signs of Hope in Congress
After months of persistent pushing, the National League of Cities "Rebuild With Us" campaign is seeing some results. The U.S. House Democrats released a plan to support the nation's infrastructure. Livestream of press conference is available here. Read more.

The Community-Shaping Potential of Ride-Sharing Services
The future of transportation was the topic of the Economics of Place podcast. Lilly Shoup, policy director of ride-sharing service Lyft, shared how her company sees the ability of transportation to shape communities and the way people interact with their city and fellow citizens. Tune in

Westland Mayor William Wild Named League Vice President
Congratulations to Westland Mayor William Wild, who was named as the League's 2019-20 vice president at the Jan. 24 Board of Trustees meeting. He will help lead the organization with Board President Brenda F. Moore, and is in line to become League president in 2020-21. Read more.

Unveiling Set for Revitalization Planning Effort in Hamtramck
A long-term plan to rejuvenate a historic recreation area in Hamtramck is being released during a special community event on Jan. 31. The League and the Michigan Municipal League Foundation have played significant roles in this effort and we're excited to see the results. Read more

League Members Plea for Help with Record High Water Levels
Record high water levels on the Great Lakes are wreaking havoc along Michigan's coastlines. On Jan. 23, several League members testified before the state House Appropriations subcommittee that they're trying to fight the tides with dwindling resources. Read more.

League Partnership Works to Restore Historic Hamtramck Stadiums
Keyworth and Hamtramck stadiums have a storied history in Hamtramck. On this SaveMICity podcast, learn how the League has partnered with the city, schools, and others to leverage an $800K grant to restore the stadiums and create a comprehensive recreation plan. Listen in now.

SEMCOG Workshop Offers Tools to Promote U.S. Census Participation
The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments is presenting a workshop on the 2020 Census, which will highlight how to use SEMCOG data on hard-to-reach populations in SE Michigan and share a toolkit of media products for local outreach. Detroit, Feb. 4. Register now.

CapCon Workshops Offer In-depth Look at Key Municipal Topics!
Join us on March 24 - just before the start of CapCon - for one of four in-depth workshops on vital municipal topics. Choose from sessions on clean energy and green building; 2020 Census; Michigan's liquor licensing process; and Michigan Dept. of Treasury. Get the details and register today!

League Insurance Programs Have Refunded $272M to Communities
It literally pays to be a member of the League's risk management programs! Since their inception, our programs have refunded a combined $272 million to members! Is your community a member of these programs? Check out our new video and learn more in our blog.

Monday Morning Live Now Available on Facebook and Podcast
Due to the Martin Luther King holiday, Monday Morning Live aired on Wed., Jan. 15. We discussed the state's Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference, the Governor's upcoming State of the State, CapCon 2020, and more. View video on Facebook. or listen to podcast.

League CEO Op-Ed: Time is Now to Invest in Michigan Communities
Making changes to the way local government operates in concert with state budget decisions is the key to long-term prosperity. For decades, Michigan has disinvested its cities and villages to the point that they're struggling to survive, as shown in recent PSC report - City Revenue Snapshot. Read more.

Lt. Governor Gilchrist to Kick Off 2020 Capital Conference!
Lt. Gov. Gilchrist is a big fan of placemaking and the power of communities! His keen interest has been on display over the past several months as he has toured Michigan cities. Along the way, he has been listening to residents and officials and collecting information about how the State can help improve the quality of life in our communities. Join us for CapCon's opening General Session to hear what the Lt. Governor has learned on his tour and how you can advocate for action at the local, state, and federal levels. CapCon also offers a multitude of other sessions on key municipal topics. Get the details and register today!

Weigh in on Michigan's Proposed Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy this week is beginning to accept public comment on proposed new limits for PFAS in drinking water, including three comunity meetings. The rules would require municipalities to test for the seven PFAS compounds at least once a year. Read more.

Monday Morning Live Covered Lansing Expectations, Policy Forums
On the first Monday Morning Live of 2020, we discussed some introduced bills that will move forward, the expectation that the Governor will propose a new approach to road funding, and the League's Policy Forums on future city issues. View video on Facebook or listen to podcast.

December 2019

Michigan, We Have a Budget Deal. (Give or Take $400 Million)
After weeks of stalled negotiations, Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders agreed on a plan to spend more than half of the nearly $1 billion that Whitmer vetoed from the budget. The House and Senate nearly unanimously passed supplemental spending bill. Read more.

Great Time to Listen to Podcast on Civility in Government
On our Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, we focus on a topic that's frequently in the news these days - civility in government. State Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) shares her thoughts on constructive ways to talk about communities' futures and how to get there. Listen in now..

Happy Holidays from the Michigan Municipal League!
The League wishes you a very happy holiday season! Our offices will be closed from 3:00 pm Dec. 23 until 8:00 am Jan. 2. While we are away, please check out our Monday Morning Live broadcasts, Inside 208 blog, We Love Where You live podcasts, and SaveMICity site.

Webinar Provides Information on Broadbrand ReConnect Program
The Broadband ReConnect Program offers loans and grants to facilitate broadband deployment in rural America. in this webinar, the USDA will share an overview of the funding program, including eligibility, required documentation, and more. Dec. 30, 1:00 pm Read more.

Monday Morning Live Covered Budget Finale and Upcoming Events
A tentative budget deal has been reached between Governor Whitmer and the legislature. See what that means for cities and hear about bills involving historic tax credits and regional transit authorities on Monday Morning Live. View video on Facebook or listen to podcast.

Podcast Dives into New Report on Revenue Decline in Michigan Cities
A new study and online database shows that Michigan cities on average have 12 percent less revenue today than they did 15 years ago. On the SaveMICity podcast, we delve into the reasons for the revenue sharing decline with Tim Dempsey of Public Sector Consultants. Tune in now.

Flint an Ongoing Example of Successful Placemaking
Matt Bach, the League's Director of Communications, is a big fan of the placemaking happening in Flint. There's a new downtown hotel, new and updated parks, dozens of renovated buildings, and positive economic, cultural, and social changes. Those changes played a critical role in his recent move to Flint, which will appear on a future episode of HGTV's House Hunters. Read more.

Accelerator for America Amps Up Investment in Transit & Infrastructure
After an engaging presentation at the League's 2019 Convention, Rick Jacobs expanded on the work of Accelerator for America on the Economics of Place podcast. Their mission is to find local transit/infrastructure projects they can scale to help communities deal with economic insecurity. Listen to the podcast.

New Report Paints Bleak Financial Picture for Michigan Cities
A new study and online database shows that Michigan cities on average have 12 percent less revenue today than they did 15 years ago. The report, by Public Sector Consultants released by the League and the SaveMICity initiative, is accompanied by an online look-up tool. See the press conference on Facebook, listen to an interview with the League's Chris Hackbarth on Michigan Radio and view the study and online tool.

In the Spirit of Giving Tuesday: Empower Women to Lead Mich. Communities
Women make up over 50 percent of Michigan's population, but just 16 percent of our local government chief administrative officials. The League's 16/50 Project is putting women in leadership positions right now - and together, you can help us do even more. The Michigan Municipal League Foundation's 2019 Giving Tuesday campaign supports the 16/50 Project. Join us in standing together for future women leaders - and making gender equity a reality for Michigan communities. Share our campaign with your network, or go ahead and make your gift right now. Thank you for your support!. Read more.

November 2019

League Pres.: Mich. Cities Not Ready to Endure Another Long Recession
In an Op-Ed in Crain's Detroit Business, League Pres. Brenda F. Moore delves into whether Michigan's cities are ready for the next recession. Simply put, no. The League, through our SaveMICity initiative, has been sounding the alarm that we need to fix our municipal finance system.. Read the online article in Crain's or download a pdf..

Monday Morning Live Covers Giving Tues., New Revenue Loss Report
On this week's Monday Morning Live, our team highlighted our Giving Tuesday campaign to support the 16/50 Project, the new PSC revenue snapshot report, and the impasse between the Governor and legislature on the state budget. View the video on Facebook.or listen to the podcast.

League's Herasanna Richards Selected for Crain's 20 in Their 20s
Congratulations to the League's Herasanna Richards on being selected as one of Crain's 20 in Their 20s! This award recognizes outstanding young leaders who are stepping up and making a difference in metro Detroit. We're proud to have Herasanna's energy and expertise on our team! Read more.

Michigan Communities Recognized for Sustainability Achievements
Three dozen Michigan communities will be recognized as part of the 2019 Michigan Green Communities Challenge for their commitment to sustainability projects. They'll receive awards at the annual Michigan Sustainability Conference on Nov. 20-21 in Lansing. Read more.

Urban Futurist Keys in on How Cities Can Prepare for the Future
In October, urban futurist and architect Dr. Cindy Frewen spoke at the League's Policy Forum on the future of cities. On this Economics of Place podcast, she shares how cities can prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the next 50-100 years Tune in now..

Michigan Municipal League Foundation Selects New President
We are pleased to announce that Helen D. Johnson has been named president of the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. For the past two decades, she has worked with communities across the country to leverage assets and approach challenges with boldness and creativity. More.

Local Govt. Leaders Can be Part of Citizens Redistricting Commission
The League's Tony Minghine has been speaking at press events with the Secretary of State in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City to promote the state's new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. You can apply to serve as one of 13 commissioners unless you're a partisan elected official. Get more details and apply here.

Budget Updates, Transportation Reform, Giving Tuesday & More
On this week's Monday Morning Live, our team covered the latest on the state budget and transportation funding reform, the League Foundation's Giving Tuesday campaign to benefit the 16/50 Project, and much more. Watch the video on Facebook or listen to the podcast.

PSC to Unveil Report, Online Tool Chronicling City Revenue Loss
Public Sector Consultants, along with the League through our SaveMICity initiative, will debut a report that chronicles the loss of revenue in dozens of Michigan cities due to severe cuts to funding over the last two decades. We'll also unveil a new online tool that lists data for more than 200 Michigan cities. The press conference will take place at the League's Lansing office, Nov. 20, 11:00 am. Read more.

2019 City Fiscal Conditions: Gilmartin pleas for 'a better way'
League CEO Dan Gilmartin spoke about the state of Midwest economies at the 2019 City Fiscal Conditions panel in Washington, D.C. "So if our state governments and, to some degree, our federal government aren't going to join with local units and actually invest in these places, it's not going to be a great outcome. "We've got to figure out a better way to do that." Read more.

New Flint City Council President Cites MML for Her Success
Flint’s new City Council President Monica Galloway specifically mentioned the training she received from the Michigan Municipal League in explaining her professional growth and knowledge she’s attained since serving on the city council. Read this article about it on

City Manager Wants Reform after State Denies Emergency Funding
Portland City Manager Tutt Gorman is pushing for reform after the state twice denied Ionia County's requests for emergency funding after serious storm damage. Gorman met with state and county officials and the League's Chris Hackbarth to discuss Michigan's Emergency Management Act regarding emergency funding. Read more

Podcast Focuses on Unique Role of Local Government in the Community
At the League's 2019 Convention in Detroit, Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett made an inspring presentation on the power of local government leaders to effect change in their community. On this episode of the Economics of Place podcast, Barnett expands on that and his new role as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Tune in now.

October 2019

League CEO Discusses Municipal Finance Challenges on Natl. Stage
League CEO Dan Gilmartin was in Washington, D.C. to participate in a panel discussion about the fiscal conditions of American cities. Gilmartin discussed the ongoing concerns of the SaveMICity initiative, particularly the financial plight facing Michigan communities. Read more.

Policy Forums, Revenue Sharing, State Budget, Marijuana Deadline
On this week's Monday Morning Live, our team discussed a whole host of topics - our new Policy Forums, revenue sharing, housing summit, state budget, Nov. 1 recreational marijuana deadline, the 2020 Census, and more. Watch the video on Facebook. or listen to the podcast

Southfield Councilmember, League Support Myron Frasier Retires
After 25 years on the Southfield City Council, Myron Frasier is retiring. As a founding member of MBC-LEO, he served as a board member, vice president, and on many committees. He also served on the League Board of Trustees (2000-2002) and as League vice president (2002-2003). In addition, he received the League's Special Award of Merit. We genuinely thank Myron for all that he has done for his community and the League!

Podcast Shares the Journey of First Female Indian-American State Rep.
State Rep. Padma Kuppa is the first Indian-American woman and first Hindu to serve in the Michigan Legislature. On the Limelight podcast, hear how she started in local government in Troy and now uses her power to empower other immigrant voices. Tune in now.

Adult Use/Recreational Marihuana Rules Released
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has issued emergency rules for adult use/recreational marihuana. It's crucial that municipal officials decide soon whether to opt out or remain opted in to recreational marihuana businesses in their municipalities. MRA will start accepting applications on Nov. 1. For sample ordinances and other resources, visit our marijuana resource page.

Local Govt. Leaders Can be Part of Citizens Redistricting Commission
Last year, Michigan voters amended the Michigan Constitution to put responsibility for redistricting Michigan's state legislative and congressional districts into the hands of a new independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Members of that commission will be selected in a random process from a pool of applicants - and it's important that local government leaders consider applying. The commission will also hold a series of public hearings before considering maps and after the maps are drawn, and local government officials need to be ready to voice their views. Get more details and apply here.

Podcast Shares Rep. Mark Huizenga's Path from Local to Lansing
What's the difference between local and state office? How can offricials translate their local experience to a statewide position? We dive in on those questions and more with State Rep. Mark Huizenga (R-74th District) on the Limelight podcast. Tune in now.

NLC Releases Cybersecurity Preparedness Guide for Cities
The National League of Cities just released their newest guide, Protecting Our Data: What Cities Should Know About Cybersecurity. The guide outlines steps for city officials hoping to improve cybersecurity. It also includes case studies of local security breaches and a checklist local IT directors can use to get started. Read more

League's 16/50 Project Spurs New Texas Women's Program
Women aspiring to be city managers in Texas now have a new leadership program to help them. The first Texas Women's Leadership Institute was inspired by the 16/50 Project's efforts to bridge the gender gap in the top positions of local government management. Read more.

Former Birmingham Mayor & Holland City Attorney Receive Honors
The Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys recently honored two municipal officials. Former Birmingham Mayor Eleanor "Coco" Siewert received the William L. Steude Ethics & Civility in Local Government Award. Long-time Holland City Attorney Andrew J. Mulder received the Distinguished Municipal Attorney Award.

League Staffer Chooses to Live the Placemaking Dream in Flint
The League's Matt Bach embraces our placemaking mission wholeheartedly! That led him and his family on a journey to find a home in Flint and become part of the city's revitalization story. To top it off, his search was filmed for an upcoming episode of HGTV's House Hunters! Read more.

Monday Morning Live Focused on Intl. Placemaking, State Budget
On Monday Morning Live, League CEO Dan Gilmartin shared some of his experiences at a recent placemaking conference in Denmark. We also covered the state budget, PFAS, and upcoming League trainings on the 2020 Census, transportation funding, and crowdfunding. Watch the video or listen to the podcast.

Tapping Neighborhood Enhancement Program for Collective Action
MSHDA issued a call for proposals for their Neighborhood Enhancement Program. Municipalities and 501(c)3 nonprofits can apply for up to $50,000 for improvements to home exteriors or public spaces. These small grants can be used on clusters of properties for bigger impact. Read more.

The Census Goes Digital: What Communities Need to Know
Elected officials gasped when they heard the 2020 Census would be done mostly online, said Oakland County Times in an article on our Convention Census session. The U.S. Census Bureau is encouraging cities to promote the Census to ensure an accurate count. Read more.

Podcast Shares Progress of Headlee Lawsuit in the Courts
Taxpayers for Michigan Constitutional Govt. is suing the state for violating the Michigan Constitution by inappropriately applying the Headliee amendment. In this SaveMICity podcast, John Philo, lead counsel on the lawsuit, discusses the case as it goes through the courts. Tune in now.

Farmington Hills Domestic Violence Prevention Serves as Model for Cities
Four people died of domestic violence in a brief period of time in Farmington Hills in 2011, prompting police and community leaders to do something about it. An Oakland County Times article on the League's domestic violence session at Convention shares the city's efforts and how you can apply them in your community. Read more.

The League's Convention in the D Was a Huge Success!
At Convention, attendees experienced a revitalized Detroit. They also dived into sessions on the topics that YOU told us are most important. We hope everyone went home with great ideas to share with their community. Check out photos, blogs, and Power Points

Michigan's State Budget Battle Goes into Overtime
As expected, following the Legislature's movement of budget bills that the Administration had not signed off on, Gov. Whitmer responded aggressively to the legislative spending proposal by issuing 147 separate line item vetoes within the 16 departmental budget bills she signed. Many of those line items may be of interest to League members. Read more.

Battle Creek Celebrates Being Named an All-America City
Battle Creek was one of 10 cities to win the 2019 All-America designation for its health programs. The All-America City Award recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness, and innovation to successfully address local issues. Read more.

Monday Morning Live Focused on Convention, State Budget
The League's Convention in Detroit was packed full of energy and excitement! On the flip side, the state budget is on anything but a smooth ride. To get the scoop on both topics, watch Monday Morning Live video on Facebook or listen to podcast.

September 2019

Important Updates to 911 Multi-line Telephone System Requirements
I n the Sept/Oct issue of The Review magazine, Abilita Inc. wrote an article on 911 Changes in Michigan and How they Affect You. They have now provided an update based on new legislation that Gov. Whitmer recently signed into law - Public Act 30 (HB4249). Read more.

Whihtmer Signs Budgets, Blocks Road Aid Boost as Part of Line-item Vetoes
Gov. Whitmer signed 16 appropriations bills on Sept. 30, blocking a GOP effort to boost road aid by $400 million and reversing more than $500 million in Republican-inspired cuts to her spending plan. In total, Whitmer's more than 147 line item vetoes amount to $947 million of the $59.9 billion spending plan adopted by the state Legislature last week without reaching prior consensus with the governor. Read more.

Podcast Features Local News Publication Oakland County Times
Crystal Proxmire, publisher of the Oakland County Times, strives to make her publication a resource for communities and local governments on many of the same issues on which the League focuses. Learn how she keeps communities informed in this age of declining newspapers. Tune in now.

League Highlights Municipal Finance Issues on Deadline Detroit Podcast
The League's Tony Minghine was a guest on the Sept. 13 episode of The Friday Morning Podcast sponsored by Deadline Detroit. He focused on a variety of issues related to municipal finance and our SaveMICity initiative. Tony's segment begins at the 9:04 mark. Tune in now to this great interview! Also, read our blog.

MDOT and EGLE Budgets Pass with More Money for Locals
The Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) budgets have been sent to the Governor for her signature. Both budgets include more money for local communities. The Governor was not part of the negotiations, so it is not known if she will sign the MDOT, EGLE, or any of the other budgets before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Read more.

Monday Morning Live Focused on Mayalsian Guests, Budget, Roads
Meet our Malaysian urbanist guests on this week's Monday Morning Live. We also talked about the twists and turns of budget negotiations between the Governor and Senate and House leaders, and delved into what that means for road funding. Watch video on Facebook or listen to podcast.

Malaysian Urbanists Exchange Ideas with Michigan Municipal League
Two Malaysian urbanists are spending time with the League to explore what we do. Aufa Abd Rahman and Daniel Lim Jian Yi of Think City are also sharing ideas they've used to regenerate cities in Malaysia. At Convention, Think City's Program Director, Jia-Ping Lee, will be a keynote speaker. Get the details and register today!

Get a Kick Out of League Foundation Reception at Convention!
You can help support the great work of the League Foundation at this year's Foundation Reception at Convention. Join us at the Detroit City Football Club Fieldhouse on Sept. 26 for a night of food, drinks, games and networking. Tickets are $55/person. Buy your tickets here.

Revenue Sharing Budget Hearing Scheduled - Contact Your Legislator
The Legislature is moving forward with the budget process, despite not having an agreement in place with the Governor on final spending for each department for the 2019-20 fiscal year, set to begin on Oct. 1. Ten budget conference committees are scheduled for TODAY, including the conference committees for MDOT and General Government, which includes revenue sharing. League members are urged to contact their House and Senate legislators to request that any budget produced by the Legislature reverse the trend of the past decade and begin reinvesting in revenue sharing and the communities in each of their districts. Read more.

Podcast Highlights Community Investment for Small Investors
On the Economics of Place podcast, we focus on community investment vehicles available to small investors who want to make a difference in their community. Learn how donation-based and investment crowdfunding have met with success in Michigan communities. Listen in.

Municipalities Hope for Legislation on Dark-Store Loophole
In July, another big box retailer - Meijer Inc. - used the "dark store" theory to significantly reduce the taxable value of its Marquette store. Municipalities and community advocates hope bipartisan legislation in Lansing will make a difference in curbing the dark-store loophole. Read more.

Whitmer Agrees to Delay Road Funding Talks to Finish State Budget
Gov. Whitmer has agreed to put aside negotiations on how to raise $2.5 billion annually in revenue for the state's roads and infrastructure. In a joint statement with Republican leaders, Whitmer said, "...we've agreed that the best course of action is to immediately begin target-setting with legislative and executive leadership to get a budget passed by Oct 1st." Read more.

Monday Morning Live Covered New Legislative Session, Convention
Due to the Labor Day holiday, this week's episode of Monday Morning Live aired on TUESDAY, Sept. 3. Our team talked about what to expect in the new Fall legislative session and shared a sneak peek at Convention. Watch it on Facebook or listen to podcast.

Podcast Shares How Municipalitlies Benefit from U-M Public Policy Survey
On the SaveMICity podcast, we talk with the University of Michigan's Debra Horner, who heads up the annual public policy survey conducted by rhe Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy. She shares how the survey results help municipalities in their policy-making deisions.Listen in.

Mich. & Calif. League Leaders Co-Author Blog on Natl. Housing Crisis
MML CEO Dan Gilmartin and League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman collaborated on a blog about the housing crisis. Most states struggle with homelessness, affordable housing, and lack of synchronicity between federal, state, and local housing strategies. Read the complete blog.

Convention Early Bird Registration Deadline Extended to Sept. 9!
Great news! We've extended the Convention early bird registration deadline to Sept. 9. So, you still have time to get in on the discounted rate and enjoy all that Convention has to offer. Join enlightening General and Breakout sessions on topics YOU said you want; mobile tours throughout the exciting city of Detroit; and fun activities like a Tigers game, Fowling (a unique combination of Football and Bowling), and a Welcome Reception filled with music and food at DTE Energy's new Beacon Park, sponsored by DTE. Also, hotel space is still available at Courtyard Marriott Downtown Detroit Get the League rate through Sept. 3. Get the details and register today!

August 2019

Sign up Now to Get the Best Deal on Convention!
League Convention is quickly approaching! We have lots of great sessions and activities planned that you won't want to miss. Sessions will cover everything from everyday bias and crowdfunding to revitalization and cyber security. You'll have plenty of opportunities to explore the city on mobile tours and fun walk/runs. And some great social activities are on the agenda too, including Fowling (football and bowling) and a cool reception at DTE's new Beacon Park, sponsored by DTE. Keep these deadlines in mind: Early bird registration ends Aug. 30, and League hotel rate ends Sept. 3. Get the details and register today!

Monday Morning Live Covered Headlee and Building Fees Lawsuits
On Monday Morning Live, we talked about two recent court rulings that impact local government - the Headlee amendment and contract building officials Learn how those decisions might affect your community from the League's General Counsel. Watch on Facebook or listen to podcast..

Apply Now for 2020 All-America City Award
The National Civic League is now accepting applications for the 2020 All-America City Award, focused on enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement. Cities, counties, towns, and tribes wishing to apply have until Feb. 19, 2020 to submit their application. Read more.

Convention Hits the Bulls Eye with Sessions Targeted to YOUR Interests
A wide array of topics fills the agenda for this year's League Convention. Among them are sessions and events targeted toward the interests of mayors, managers, councilmembers, women, and members of the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (MBC-LEO). Several groups are holding a special breakfast or lunch along with their annual meeting, including the Michigan Association of Mayors, Michigan Women in Local Government, and MBC-LEO. And if you scan through the agenda, you'll find several sessions sponsored by those groups as well as Michigan Municipal Executives. Get the details and register today!

Podcast Shares Strategies for Successful Ballot Proposals
As more communities explore revenue-generating options, a successful ballot proposal requires significant groundwork, including smart messaging and voter engagement. On this episode of Limelight, communications expert Matt Resch shares his on-the-ground expertise. Tune in now.

Nominations Now Open for Guido and Sinclair Awards
Do you know an outstanding chief elected official? Or how about a great supporter of the League? Nominate them for a Michael A. Guido Leadership and Public Service Award or a Jim Sinclair Exceptional Service Award. Nominations are due by Oct. 11. Read more.

Learn How to Build Inclusive Communities & More at Convention
We're offering a variety of enlightening General Sessions at this year's Convention. Nikki Pardo, owner of Global Alliance Solutions, will lead a session on Building Blocks: Creating Inclusive Communities. She'll share insights and steps for discussing diversity, equity, and inclusion; how to avoid perpetuating stereotypes and biases; and more. Other engaging General Session speakers include Bryan K. Barnett, mayor of Rochester Hills, Mike Duggan, mayor of Detroit, Jon Robison, co-founder of Salveo Partners, and Jia-Ping LEE, program director of Think City. Get the details and register today!

Learn the Pros and Cons of Changing from a Village to a City
Over the years, a number of Michigan villages have incorporated as cities. Are there advantages to be gained? To find out, join us for our Impact of Changing from a Village to a City Workshop at our Lansing office, Oct. 4. Register now!

League Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients
The latest recipients of the League Foundation's John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship are Josh Clark, Clare city commissioner,and Monica Galloway, Flint city councilmember. The scholarship covers up to $1,000 each for municipal managers and elected officials to get training to help their communities. More.

Michigan Municipal League Agrees with Court Ruling on Headlee
League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued a statement after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the state has ignored its responsibility for reimbursing communities for mandates it has issued since 1979: Read the full statement here.

Join in on Munch and Mingle Events at Convention!
Good conversation and food go well together, so we're providing several such opportunities at Convention. Come enjoy the Welcome Reception, generously sponsored by DTE Energy at their new Beacon Park; first-timers meet-up; breakfast or lunch with affiliate groups; and more. Get the details and register today!

Monday Morning Live Covered PFAS, Lead and Copper Ruling, More
On Monday Morning Live, we talked about the new PFAS health-based values and the recent dismissal of the lead and copper court case. They also highlighted the four finalists in our Community Excellence Award competition. Watch the video on Facebook. or listen to the podcast.

Blue Cross Will Make Charitable Donations for New Online Accounts
Register for a Blue Cross member account and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will donate $5 to one of three eligible charities. In addition to supporting a great cause, you'll get easy online access to your account information, search for doctors, compare costs, and more. Read more.

Podcast Dives into Details of Adult-Use Marijuana Emergency Rules
Michigan recently released the emergency rules for adult-use/recreational marijuana. On the Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, we talk with Andrew Brisbo, head of the state's Marijuana Regulatory Agency, about the specifics and the deadline for communities to opt in or out. Tune in.

$100,000 in Grants Available for Urban, Community Forests
Michigan local units of government, nonprofits, and other public entities interested in furthering their urban forestry efforts are encouraged to apply for the DNR's Urban and Community Forestry program grant. A total of $100,000 is available. Apply by Sept. 20. Read more.

July 2019

Zero in on Your Interests at Convention Breakout Sessions!
We have designed this year's Convention Breakout Sessions with multiple interests in mind. Here's a sneak peek: affordable housing, everyday bias, managing pension and retiree health benefits, small communities networking, and cybersecurity. Come join us for the whole Convention experience in Detroit, Sept. 25-27. Get the details and register today.

Community Excellence Award Competition Down to Final Four
The final four projects in the statewide Community Excellence Award (CEA) competition have been selected: Bay City, Dearborn, Madison Heights, and Mason. The finalists will now go on to compete at the League's 2019 Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27, where attendees will vote for their favorite project. Read more.

Marijuana Rules, National League Trends on Monday Morning Live
On this week's Monday Morning Live, we dove into the new emergency rules for recreational marijuana. We also covered national trends facing state leagues, and the latest on the short-term rental issue. Watch it on Facebook. or listen to the podcast.

Local Officials and Experts Reveal Solutions to National Housing Crisis
The National League of Cities released a comprehensive affordable housing report entitled "Homeward Bound: The Road to Affordable Housing." League CEO Dan Gilmartin was part of the task force that helped create this report, which focuses on the challenges and solutions communities are using to address the growing affordable housing crisis. Read the report.

Experience the Refreshed City of Detroit at Convention!
We've planned several mobile workshops that will help you see some of the city's unique spaces and places. Visit neighborhoods and admire their historic housing; explore the Detroit Riverwalk and Dequindre Cut trail; and much more. Come join us at Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27! Get the details and register today.

Tony Minghine Talks Municipal Finance on The Craig Fahle Show
The League's Tony Minghine recently appeared on The Craig Fahle Show on Deadline Detroit to discuss municipal finance, our SaveMICity initiative, and our advocacy for major changes in how Michigan funds cities, villages, and townships. Listen to this great podcast!

Joyce Parker Selected as New Deputy State Treasurer
Long-time League member and supporter Joyce Parker has been selected as the Michigan Dept. of Treasury's new deputy state treasurer over state and local government finance programs, the state announced. Dan Gilmartin, League CEO and Executive Director, is quoted in the state's press release about Parker. Check it out.

Many Ways to Enjoy the Lighter Side of League Convention
Convention will be filled with many enlightening speakers and sessions. We also want you to enjoy the camaraderie of your colleagues and experience the flavor of the new Detroit, so we've planned some great activities. Swing over to Comerica Park to watch a Detroit Tigers game. Catch up with your peers at the Welcome Reception at DTE Energy's new Beacon Park. Try out Fowling (football and bowling) at the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck. Enjoy a casual evening of games and networking at the MML Foundation Reception at the Detroit City Football Club's Fieldhouse. Or join other attendees for a run or walk along an enjoyable downtown route. Come join us at Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27! Get the details and register today.

L'Anse Village Manager Selected for Michigan Municipal League Board
Congratulatons to Robert La Fave on being selected for the League Board of Trustees. La Fave has served as the village manager of L'Anse for the past 11 years. He has also served on the Michigan Municipal Executives board and the MSU Extension Statewide Board. Read more.

TODAY Conference Call on USDA Disaster Grant Funding for U.P.
As part of the Disaster Relief Act, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development has made additional grant funding available for communities in Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties. The funding targets equipment and vehicles, emergency/rescue gear, and more. An informational conference call will be held at 11:00 am July 17.To participate, call 888-844-9904 and enter access code 2086392.

Convention Speakers Share Ideas on Cultivating the Best in People
At this year's Convention, we're bringing in two General Session speakers who will help you get the best out of people - from two different angles. Of particular interest to those who deal with risk management is the session on Why Organizational and Employee Well-being are Critical to Your Community, led by Jon Robison of Salveo Partners. He'll explore the role of well-being at your workplace and how you can support everyone in bringing their best selves to work - and home - each day. In The Power of Small session, Jia-Ping Lee of Think City will share how her organization has turned things upside down in Malaysian cities by working with community members to create a more humane and livable city. Come join us at Convention in Detroit, Sept. 25-27! Register today.

Adult Use Marijuana Rules Webinar Rescheduled for July 16
The League's Adult Use Marijuana webinar has been rescheduled for 10:00 am July 16. You'll hear the latest on the recreational marijuana issue and the new Adult Use Marijuana Emergency Rules from Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the state's Marijuana Regulatory Agency. Register today. (If you registered for the canceled June 27 webinar, you do not need to re-register.)

Monday Morning Live Focused on Marijuana Emergency Rules, More
On the latest Monday Morning Live broadcast, our team discussed the new adult use marijuana emergency rules, PFAS and the recommended health-based values, short-term rentals, road funding, and more. Watch the Facebook video or listen to the podcast.

Rochester Hills Mayor Barnett Named President of US Mayors Association
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett has been selected president of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). Congratulations to Mayor Barnett for this major accomplishment. As the association’s president, Barnett presides over a group of 14,000 mayors from cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Read our blog all about it.

New Report Examines Crowdfunding Success in Michigan
A new report shows how Michigan is at the forefront of the community crowdfunding movement. The report, Community Investment, Community Growth: A Retrospective in Michigan Crowdfunding, tells the story of the evolution of crowdfunding, including the high fives, the hard work, and the hits and the misses. Read more.

Registration Now Open for 2019 Convention!
We're excited to be holding our annual Convention in the D! You'll get to experience Detroit's fresh, new look with a sizzling culinary scene, hip hotels, hot entertainment districts, eclectic shops, and beautiful riverfront parks. Against this backdrop, we will present sessions centered on the topics that YOU told us are most important. Learn how to turn a placemaking opportunity into a strong community partnership; explore creative approaches for affordable housing; learn how to deal with everyday bias, and more. You'll also have plenty of time to get out and experience some of Detroit's iconic sites and activities. We've planned an extra special Convention in the D. Come join us! Register today.

Informational Resources on Medical and Recreational Marijuana
Now that medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Michigan, many communities have questions. The League has assembled informational resources including a white paper, sample ordinances, fact sheets, and more on our Marijuana in Michigan web page. More.

Saginaw Receives Certification as Redevelopment Ready Community
For their efforts in establishing a solid foundation to attract private investment and build on municipal assets, the city of Saginaw has been awarded the Redevelopment Ready Communities certification by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Saginaw joins 32 other Michigan communities that have qualified as "thoroughly prepared." Read more.

June 2019

Governor Appoints Former City Official to Municipal Stability Board
Governor Whitmer has appointed John Lamerato, longtime League supporter and former city official in Grosse Pointe Farms and Troy, to the Municipal Stability Board. He'll represent local officials with knowledge in accounting, actuarial science, retirement systems, retirement health benefits, or government finance. Read more.

Flint Councilmember Monica Galloway on SaveMICity Podcast
On this episode of the SaveMICity podcast, the League's Tony Minghine talks with Flint Councilmember Monica Galloway about the impact that lost revenue sharing has had on her city. That situation inspired her to become a SaveMiCity Ambassador and spread the word. Tune in now.

Monday Morning Live Focused on CEA Voting, House Budget, More
On Monday Morning Live, we encouraged members to vote for their favorite projects in this year's Community Excellence Award competition. We also discussed the status of the state budget and road funding now that the legislature is in summer recess, and more. Watch us on Facebook.

Community Excellence Award Online Voting Now Open!
Let the voting begin! All 17 Community Excellence Award entries are now ready for viewing and voting. Your vote is important because it helps determine the top four finalists that will compete at Convention. Check out all the creative projects and vote for your favorite on the CEA website.

#WeLoveWhereYouLive Campaign Launches in July!
To celebrate Michigan communities, we are launching the #WeLoveWhereYouiLive social media campaign. In July, we'd like members to go on Facebook or Twitter and post a pic and short description of something they love in their community - and it might wind up in The Review magazine! Read more.

Monday Morning Live Video & Podcast on 19th Amendment, More
The video and podcast of the latest episode of Monday Morning Live are now available. Our legislative team discusses the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, recreational marijuana emergency rules, new auto inurance law, and more. Watch the Facebook video or listen to the podcast. .

League's Kelly Warren Appointed to Census Complete Count Committee
The League's Kelly Warren has been appointed by Gov. Whitmer to a new committee to lead the State of Michigan's 2020 Census efforts. She'll serve on the Census Complete Count Committee, which the governor described as being essential to making sure that Michigan has the resources and representation it needs. Read more

Help Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote
This week, the League is going gold to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote. Michigan was one of the first states to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, 1919. To help celebrate nationwide, the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission developed a Centennial Planning Toolkit to help states and communities plan commemorative activities. Read more.

League to Unveil Crowdfunding Retrospective Report at ComCap19
About 300 investors, community leaders, entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders from across the country will descend on Detroit this week for ComCap19, the annual conference of the National Coalition for Community Capital. The League is one of the conference's main sponsors and will unveil a report entitled Community Investment, Community Growth: A Retrospective in Michigan Crowdfunding. Read more.

Michigan Municipal League Seeks Comprehensive Plan of Action
League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued a statement in response to recent action by the House Transportation Subcommittee. "The Michigan Municipal League supports providing new and sustainable investment in our broken transportation system that is commensurate with the problem ... we oppose efforts that attempt to meet that goal at the expense of others." Read more.

Podcast Highlights Award-Winning Former State Rep. Rob VerHeulen
At the League's 2019 Capital Conference, former State Rep. Rob VerHeulen (R-Walker) was honored with one of the League's Legislative Awards of Merit. On the Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, he talks about what it means to him to be honored by the League for his legislative service. Tune in now.

Resources for Municipalities Regarding Active Shooters
On the League's Gun Regulation web page, we have assembled a variety of resources to help municipalities prepare for active shooter situations. There are links to FEMA's free online active shooter training program, Michigan firearms laws, Department of Homeland Security active shooter booklet, and more. Read more.

May 2019

League, Chris Hackbarth Named Among Top Lobbyists in State
The League and our own Chris Hackbarth, state and federal affairs director, were both recognized for being among the top lobbyists in the state. The recognition was part of the 2019 Capitol Insider Survey done by MIRS News Service and EPIC-MRA. Read more.

Michigan's Cities Must Succeed for Michigan to Succeed
"Are our cities struggling because our state is not growing, or is our state not growing because our cities are struggling?" This thoughtful question by U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee was one of many highlights during the highly informative panel discussion "Activate Change: Investing in Local Communities" at the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference. The event is available to view any time. Read more.

Michigan Leaders Urge Bipartisan Solutions to Fix State's Infrastructure
League CEO Dan Gilmartin was among the Michigan businesses and groups representing Michigan's municipalities urging the Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to work together to make fixing Michigan's infrastructure a priority at a news conference at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Read more.

Show Off Your Town on New Michigan Radio Series
What cool stuff is your city doing? Michigan Radio wants to know! They may even profile your community in their new series, In Focus. First up is the city of Jackson, home to Falling Waters Trail, Bright Walls Mural Festival, and much more. You can pitch your own town, too! Read more.

Limelight Podcast Focuses on Two Award-Winning Municipal Officials
On the Limelight podcast, we sit down with two municipal leaders who won prestigious awards at the League's 2019 Capital Conference - Burton Mayor Paula Zelenko and Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool. Learn more about their accomplishments. Tune in now.

Monday Morning Live is on Thursday This Week. What???
Due to the Memorial Day holiday, this week's broadcast of Monday Morning Live aired on Thursday, May 23. Our Lansing team covered the consensus revenue estimating report, auto insurance reform, a recap of Infrastructure Week - and the League's 120th birthday! Watch on Facebook.

Michigan Municipal League Celebrates 120th Birthday
The League turned 120 years old on May 23! It all began in 1899 when a group of mayors launched an organization to focus on 'good government' and to strengthen the concept of home rule. To help us celebrate, the Michigan Senate passed a special resolution. Read the resolution.

Importance of Placemaking in Infrastructure Investment
Quality infrastructure AND vibrant places are key to attracting talent and business. That was the consistent message during the Midwestern Infrastructure Summit. League CEO Dan Gilmartin participated in the event along with Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, and Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell. Read more.

League Announces Safety Achievement Awards
Thirty-five Michigan communities have earned statewide honors for their outstanding dedication to maintaining and improving workplace safety. We congratulate these commuinities on their excellent committment to safety! Read more.

Great Mix of Sessions on Tap at This Year's U.P. Education Summit
As municipal officials, you deal with nuts and bolts issues, major challenges, and controversial topics. At this year's U.P. Education Summit, we've planned sessions that touch all those bases. Please join us for this enlightening event in Escanaba, June 6-7. Register now.

Importance of Local Control Highlighted at Issues and Ideas Event
The League's Tony Minghine joined a panel of esteemed speakers at an Issues and Ideas event hosted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The panel discussed topics centered around the question: What is the right balance between local, state, and federal control? More..

Accepting Applications for Women's Municipal Leadership Program
Are you a female leader interested in pursuing a career as a local government executive? Our Women's Municipal Leadership Program offers the tools, techniques, and mentoring you need to reach that goal. Applications being accepted until June 7. Read more.

League Placemaking Efforts Featured in Report on Michigan's Downtowns
Michigan's downtowns used to be drowsy, but now many are dynamic. A special report looks at successful placemaking efforts across the state, and programs like the League's PlacePlans and our partnership with MEDC on the Public Spaces, Community Places crowdfunding program. Read more.

Podcast Shares Ideas for Practicing Civil Discourse in Your Community
Today's political climate is very contentious. In this week's Economics of Place podcast, Dan Gilmartin sits down with Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, to get her take on having tough conversations within your community. Tune in.

League Focuses on Municipal Finance, Midwestern Summit
There's a huge national event happening next week in which the League is playing a major role. We're heavily involved in the upcoming national Infrastructure Week (May 13-17), particularly the Midwestern Summit. There are still seats available for the summit, which will be held on May 14 in Lansing. Speakers include League CEO Dan Gilmartin, Gov. Whitmer, former U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, and several Michigan mayors. Infrastructure Week is an annual event that aims to raise awareness about the importance of community infrastructure and how the nation's deteriorating infrastructure needs more support. Read more.

The League's Tony Minghine to Speak on Local Govt. Control Panel
The League's Tony Minghine will be a featured speaker at The Mackinac Center for Public Policy's panel discussion on Local Control or Too Much Control? to be held in Lansing May 14. The event will be live streamed. Read more.

League's Herasanna Richards Named to Crain's 20 in Their 20s List!
The League's Herasanna Richards was recently named among the 2019 20 in Their 20s outstanding young leaders by Crain's Detroit Business. This is a special honor and the League is very proud to see Herasanna selected. Crain's list celebrates outstanding young leaders who are stepping up and making a difference in metro Detroit. Read more.

Michigan Faces a Shortage of Affordable Homes, Study Finds
The League was pleased to partner with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority on the Michigan Homeownership Study. The study finds that Michigan will have a deficit of more than 150,000 housing units by 2045. This is a major problem for creating vibrant communities that attract residents and businesses. Read more.

Great Turnout for Short-Term Rental Bill Committee Hearing
Thanks to all the League members who showed up to express their opposition to House Bill 4046 at last week's hearing. That turnout reflects the statewide impact of the bills, which seek to preempt local zoning authority. Read why the League is against these bills.

2018 Annual Roads & Bridges Report Now Available
The Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council has released the Michigan 2018 Annual Roads and Bridges Report. The report reveals further deterioration of Michigan's federal aid eligible roads. Also, bridges are "losing ground" due to an aging inventory and rising costs for repair and replacement. Read report.

April 2019

Monday Morning Live Video & Podcast on Roads, State Budget
On the current Monday Morning Live video and podcast, meet Herasanna Richards, our new legislative associate. Plus, get the latest information on the state budget, road funding, short-term rentals, and League activities in support of our members. Watch video and listen to podcast.

Changes in Michigan's First Election Since Voting Rights Amendment
On May 7, Michigan voters will participate in the first election since a voting rights constitutional amendment passed in November. Secretary of State Benson said it's a landmark to determine whether local clerks have enough staff to handle an expected influx of voters. Read more.

Governor, League CEO to Speak at Infrastructure Week 2019 Summit
The League is partnering with the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association to present a summit on the future of infrastructure in Michigan. Gov. Whitmer and League CEO Dan Gilmartin are among the key speakers in Lansing on May 14. Get the details and register

Huge Public Appetite for Mixed-Use Communities, Study Reveals
The popularity of retail centers as one-stop-shopping destinations appears destined to grow as developers continue to introduce new types of uses at their properties, including entertainment, medical services, and housing, according to a new report from ICSC. Read more.

Support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 27
Blue Cross Blue Shield and BCN continue to support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Please help stop prescription drug abuse and protect the environment by properly disposing of unused prescription medications. Read more.

Former League Employee John Hunnewell Passes Away
John Hunnewell, who passed away on April 13, believed in the possibility of good local government. He worked for several local government-related organizations, including the League (publications manager from 1960-1968). Our condolences go out to his family.

Blog, Radio Interview on Lack of Real Population Growth in Michigan
For Michigan to truly succeed, we must grow in population as a state. The latest U.S. Census data shows that our population is stagnant. The League's Anthony Minghine writes about it in a SaveMICity blog and talked about it on the Dave Akerly Radio Show. Listen here.

Support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, April 27
Blue Cross Blue Shield and BCN continue to support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which is Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Please help stop prescription drug abuse and protect the environment by properly disposing of unused prescription medications. Read more.

Herasanna Richards Joins the League's Advocacy Team
We are pleased to welcome Herasanna Richards as the League's newest legislative associate! She will be advocating on behalf of our members in the areas of energy, environment, municipal services, and elections. We're glad to have her on our team. Read more.

Michigan Politics, Huh? Podcast Highlights Legislators of the Year
On this episode of Michigan Politics, Huh? we talk with State Rep. Jim Lilly and State Sen. Jim Stamas, who've worked with the League to make a difference for Michigan communities. They were recently named Legislators of the Year by the League and we discuss the work they did to receive this recognition. Tune in now.

Fireworks: More Local Government Control
The 2018 amendments to the Fireworks Safety Act authorized more local control. Municipalities may enact an ordinance regulating the ignition, discharge, and use of consumer fireworks, including prescribing the hours which they can be used. See our new Fireworks Fact Sheet.

Monday Morning Live Podcast Covers Sanctuary City Bills, Road Funding
On the latest Monday Morning Live, now available in a podcast, we discussed the overly broad nature of two sanctuary city bills in the legislature; the status of the governor's road funding proposal; and the PPT exemption on broadband. Listen to podcast.

What Can be Done to Address Michigan's Infrastructure Problems?
A 12-year old Muskegon Heights boy filled potholes in his neighborhood and was honored by Mayor Kimberley Sims and the City Council. Sims stressed that Muskegon Heights has lost $10.2 million in revenue sharing since 2002 - money that could have been used to upgrade roads. Many other Michigan cities are facing the same challenge. Learn more on the League's SaveMICity site. Read more.

MME Pres. Shares Fenton's Municipal Finance Challenges on Podcast
Fenton may seem to be doing pretty well, but just below the surface it’s struggling. Fenton City Manager and MME President Lynn Markland shares the effect of years of state disinvestment on Fenton and other Michigan communities on the SaveMICity podcast. Listen in now..

Westland, Other Cities Turning to Dearborn for Emergency Dispatch
Potential cost savings are pushing Westland, Wayne, Inkster, and Garden City into the expanding coverage area of Dearborn's consolidated dispatch center. Their collective dispatching is supposed to mean quicker response times and save the four new communities thousands of dollars per year. Read more.

Special League Hotel Rate for EOA Weekenders Expires TODAY!
The special League room rate at the family-friendly Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City ends today! Sign up now for fun and education at the Elected Officials Academy Core Weekender and Budgeting and Finance Advanced Weekender, May 3-4. You'll come home with a wealth of new knowledge!

House Committee Reports Sanctuary City Bills Despite Opposition
The House Military, Veterans, and Homeland Security committee has reported House Bills 4083 and 4090 despite broad opposition from the League and other local government, law enforcement, and citizen organizations. League members are encouraged to contact members of the Ways and Means committee to express opposition to these bills. Read more.

Lansing Receives Technical Help to Examine Local Fines & Fees
Congratulations to Lansing on being selected by the National League of Cities to receive technical assistance to examine the negative impacts of municipal fines and fees on residents' financial health. Lansing is one of only 6 cities across the country to receive this assistance. More.

League Supports Road Funding Proposal, Equitable Distribution
The League Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support the Governor's recent proposal to raise $2.5 billion to invest in repairing the state's roads. They believe it's in the best interests of Michigan cities and villages, and authorized staff to advocate on behalf of a more equitable funding formula. Read more from Dan Gilmartin, the League's CEO and Executive Director.

Podcast Highlights Local Government Efforts to Tackle Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is happening in Michigan. On the Limelight podcast, Council members Kelly Breen (Novi) and Theresa Rich (Farmington Hills) discuss local government efforts to tackle the problem. Learn more at Human Trafficking and Our Community Town Hall, Novi, TODAY. View flyer. Tune in to podcast now.

Podcast Shares Value of Framing Message to Boost Engagement
After Jennifer Nichols of FrameWorks Institute inspired attendees at Capital Conference, she sat down for an Economics of Place podcast interview with the League's Dan Gilmartin and Melanie Piana. Hear her advice on framing messages to get your community members more engaged in important issues. Tune in now.

Michigan at the Forefront of Autonomous Technology with MCity
Michigan is known as the Auto Capital of the World, but has its eyes on a new prize ... being the Mobility Capital of the World. One of the ways the state is trying to be at the forefront of autonomous technology is MCity, a mock city built in Ann Arbor where autonomous cars are being tested and young people arte trained for jobs of the future. Read more.

NEW! Monday Morning Live Now Available as a Podcast
On this week's Monday Morning Live, we were covered the status of recreational marijuana regulation, the new TIF law, and recapped some of our award winners at Capital Conference. The discussion is now available on the Monday Morning Live podcast and on Facebook

League Bestows Awards on Many Supporters at CapCon2019
During the Awards Gala at this year's Capital Conference, the League honored many of our members and legislators whose contributions have improved our state and their communities. State Sen. Jim Stamas and State Rep. Jim Lilly were named Legislators of the Year, and Former State Rep. Rob VerHeulen received the Legislative Award of Merit. The following awards were also given out: Attorney Clyde Robinson, Outstanding Service Award; Maureen Donker, Community Builder Award; Paula Zelenko, Guido Leadership Award; Mark Vanderpool, Sinclair Exceptional Service Award; and David Lossing, Honorary Life Membership. We also honored the graduates of the 2019 Elected Officials Academy, as well as Board V.P. Brenda F. Moore, who completed the EOA's Level Four Ambassador Award. Read more.

Ypsilanti Just Rolled Out New Parking Strategy for Business Districts
Thanks to assistance from the League and MEDC's Redevelopment Ready Communities® program, Ypsilanti is ready to hit the gas on a new parking strategy for three of its business districts. The strategy - designed to help local businesses thrive - was unveiled at a series of public meetings on April 3. Read more.

March 2019

Podcast Sheds Light on Michigan's new Recreational Marijuana Law
On this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, the League's Matt Bach and Jennifer Rigterink sit down with Andrew Brisbo, head of Michigan's recreational marijuana bureau. He talks about his office's efforts to regulate the industry, the December licensing deadline, and more. Tune in now.

Women's Leadership Summit Offers Enlightenment on Valuable Topics
Join the Michigan Women in Municipal Government for the Women's Leadership Summit. You'll have an opportunity to explore communications and messaging, community engagement, and key legislative developments in Michigan. A panel of distinguished women leaders will also share their expertise in Lansing, May 22. Register today!

Crowdfunding Campaign Aims to Restore Historic Hamtramck Stadium
A new crowdfunding campaign seeks to restore Hamtramck Stadium, one of the few remaining Negro League ballparks in America. This project complements the MML Foundation's larger effort to create a master plan for Veterans Memorial Park, which includes the stadium. Read more.

MML Supports $2.5 Billion in New Transportation Revenue
The League Board supports Gov. Whitmer's overall plan to boost transportation revenue by $2.5 billion, whether that be a 45 cent gasoline and diesel fuel tax increase or by other means. The board encouraged the Governor and state policymakers to invest the new revenue in a way that addresses the needs of the entire state transportation and mobility network, including state roads, neighborhood streets, and public transit systems. Read more.

CRC Study Suggests Lack of Public Transit is Costing Michigan Jobs
At CapCon2019, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan unveiled a report that says regional public transportation in Michigan continued to be problematic for people looking to commute or travel with ease. "We've got to open our eyes and think about things a little bit differently," said League CEO Dan Gilmartin. Read more.

Hope You Were with us for MML's Premier Legislative Event!
This week, municipal officials from all over the state converged on Lansing for the League's annual Capital Conference. Gov. Whitmer, Lt. Gov Gilchrist, and Secretary of State Benson shared their expertise with us, as did a host of engaging speakers. For blogs, photos, and presentations, stay tuned to our Capital Conference website.

CapCon is On! Hope You're with us for MML's Premier Legislative Event
For the next few days - March 19-20 - municipal officials from all over the state will be converging on Lansing for the League's annual Capital Conference. We'll kick things off with a speech from Gov. Whitmer during Tuesday's Welcome Session. Then attendees will have an opportunity to get an update from the League's legislative team; talk with legislators at Wednesday's Legislative Breakfast; and get the latest information on grants and government programs during on-site office hours with state and federal agencies. Plus, we're offering numerous enlightening sessions, an Expo, and plenty of opportunities to network with colleagues. Tune in to the League's social media during the event, and look for photos and highlights in the near future. Read more.

MML to Host Press Conference on CRC Transit Report at CapCon2019
The League is hosting a press conference to unveil a new Citizens Research Council (CRC) report showing how public transit is vital as businesses are looking at quality transit when making location or investment decisions on. The press conference will take place at 1:00 pm Wednesday, March 20 in the Expo Hall of the Lansing Center. Read more.

Popular Placemaker: Sterling Heights Reclaims the Clinton River
The League's emphasis on placemaking has encouraged the City of Sterling Heights to invest in a variety of quality of life improvements, including cleaning up the Clinton River. The river is now a great source of recreation, and property values on its shores are rising. Read more.

League Members Meet with Senators and Representatives in D.C.
League members and staff were very busy in Washington, D.C., during the 2019 NLC Congressional City Conference. They spoke at education sessions and talked with numerous Michigan members of Congress, including U.S. Senators Stabenow and Peters, and U.S. Reps Dan Kildee, John Moolenaar, Paul Mitchell, Andy Levin, and Bill Huizenga. Read more

League President Participated in Congressional Staff Briefing
League President Melanie Piana participated in an "Infrastructure Financing Panel" on Tuesday during a briefing for Congressional staff in Washington, D.C. The panel discussed the importance of preservation of the tax-exemption, reinstatements of advanced refundings, and the expansion of private activity bonds in order for local government to drive capital infrastructure projects in their communities. This week, Piana and numerous other Michigan local government officials are in D. C. for the NLC's Congressional City Conference. Read more.

Dan Gilmartin Touts the Economic Power of Placemaking
The League is proud to have a column by our CEO in Crain's Detroit Business Forum series that focuses on the economic power of placemaking. "Businesses and communities agree on the need for a strong economy in Michigan, because we recognize our futures are inextricably linked together," said Gilmartin. The Forum also featured a column by Delta Dental CEO Goran Jurkovic on The case for corporate investments in placemaking. Read more.

Property Tax Hole Spurs Proposal A Reform Push
Many Michigan communities are cash-strapped, partly because of Proposal A, which capped annual growth in taxable property values at the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is less. There are signs that lawmakers could consider a course correction this year. Read more.

League Statement Regarding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Budget Proposal
League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued the following statement about the governor's new budget proposal.. "Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's budget proposal is a comprehensive, bold first step toward addressing a number of problems that have long confronted the state. Read more.

League CEO Part of Panel Discussion at D.C. Conference
Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League, spoke on a panel yesterday during the National League of City's Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C. The panel was exploring the topic of how to fund infrastructure projects. Gilmartin stressed the importance of having the federal government as a partner when it comes to infrastructure funding. "Our role as local officials is to continue to press the message. The more we press that here in D.C. and back in our states, the more space we create for [Congress] to vote the right way. Learn more about the conference.

Governor and Secretary of State to Speak at CapCon2019 !
Michigan Municipal League is very excited to announce that Governor Gretchen Whitmer has accepted our invitation to speak at the Capital Conference Welcome Session! Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has also agreed to speak at the breakout session on Implementing November's Election-Related New Laws & Ballot Questions. Get the details and register now! .

Help Us Celebrate & Support Women in Local Government and Beyond
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. We want to take this opportunity to thank all the women in our membership, board, and staff, and all the women who inspire us and contribute to making Michigan a better place! Our 16/50 Project's Women's Municipal Leadership Program empowers women to take the next step in their municipal management career. Be a part of closing the gender gap in Michigan municipal management by donating to the 16/50 Project. Learn more.

Podcast Finds Power and Humor in Social Media for Local Govt.
On this edition of Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, we chat with Amy Snow-Buckner and Det. James Thorburn about the power of social media in local governments.The conversation also delves into using humor to build an audience and lessons learned along the way. Tune in now.

Monday Morning Live Covers Gov. Whitmer's First Budget & More
On this week's Monday Morning Live, our legislativee team discussed their meet and greet sessions with legislators, what we expect from Governor Whitmer's first budget, and the League's SaveMICity work. Tune in any time on the League's Facebook page.

February 2019

Podcast Sheds Light on Changing Role of Leadership in Local Govt.
On this edition of Economics of Place: The Podcast, League CEO Dan Gilmartin talks with Mike Bills, an expert on leadership, executive coaching, and strategic planning. Mike sheds light on the ever-changing role of leadership at the local government level. Tune in now.

CapCon2019 Workshops Offer In-Depth Experience - and EOA Credits!
At CapCon2019, we're offering four workshops on March 19 that allow you do to a deep dive into important municipal topics - and earn Elected Officials Academy credits! Topics are Council-Manager Relations, Everyday Bias: Institutional and Implicit, Capitalizing on Local Assets in Economic Development, and Understanding the General Law Village Act. Get thedetails and register today!

SaveMICity Ambassadors' Municipal Finance Response to State of State
In relation to Gov. Whitmer's State of the State address, SaveMICity Ambassadors went on the radio to discuss the challenges facing Michigan communities. Listen to Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Fenton Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Lockwood, Grand Ledge City Councilmember Brett Gillespie, and League President Melanie Piana. Read more.

There's Still Time to Register for CapCon2019!
The early bird rate for CapCon2019 ended Feb. 28, but you can still sign up to enjoy great sessions, networking and several speakers with a national presence. Jennifer Nichols of the FrameWorks Institute and Kim Haddow of the Local Solutions Support Center will lead the Engage Constituents by Telling Your Community Story session. Learn from Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the Practicing Civil Discourse in Community Conversations session. Get the details and register now.

SaveMICity Ambassadors' Municipal Finance Response to State of State
In relation to Gov. Whitmer's State of the State address, SaveMICity Ambassadors went on the radio to discuss the challenges facing Michigan communities. Listen to Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Fenton Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Lockwood, Grand Ledge City Councilmember Brett Gillespie, and League President Melanie Piana. Read more

Monday Morning Live Covers League Efforts in D.C., State of State
League efforts to fight for infrastructure funding in D.C., Congressman Kildee's support of "legacy cities," and Gov. Whitmer's first State of the State – we discussed those issues and more on this week's Monday Morning Live. Tune in on the League's Facebook page.

Podcast Explores Reasons Michigan Didn't Get Amazon HQ2
Amazon is in the news again as they just pulled the plug on New York's HQ2. Michigan never got that far. On this episode of the SaveMICity podcast, Khalil Rahil of Wayne County's Economic Development Corp. shares why, particularly our poor municipal finance structure. Tune in now.

Great Opportunities for Networking at Capital Conference
At Capital Conference will provide plenty of opportunities to socialize and exchange ideas. Start the event with the MML Liability & Property Pool Welcome Reception. Network with senators, representatives, and more at the Legislative Breakfast. And join in an affiliate luncheon: Michigan Association of Mayors, Michigan Women in Municipal Government, and Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. Get the details and register now.

Rochester Hills Wins National Award for Election Day Innovation
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission announced that the City of Rochester Hills was the recipient of a 2018 "Clearie" Award for Outstanding Innovations in Elections. Rochester Hills received the award for an Election Day Precinct Support Portal. Read more.

League CEO Dan Gilmartin: Statement on Behalf of SaveMICity
In response to Gov. Whitmer's State of the State address, League CEO Dan Gilmartin issued this statement. When we talk about infrastructure, we hope the conversation focuses on more than bricks and mortar and roads and bridges. If we want to improve Michigan and bring jobs and talent and business to our great state, we must talk about every aspect of a community’s infrastructure. Read more..

League Insurance Boards Announce 2019 Member Dividends
Members of the League's insurance programs will share dividends totaling $10.8 million in 2019: $2.1 million in dividends to Liability & Property Pool member-owners who renew their insurance coverage in 2019, and $8.7 million in equity to Workers Compensation Fund renewing owner-members. Read more.

Podcast Shows Benefits of League, Counties, Townships Collaboration
On this episode of Michigan Politics, Huh? we sit down with the legislative advocates for the League, Michigan Association of Counties, and Michigan Townships Association and discuss how these three organizations work together to fight for their members. Tune in now.

Fenton City Manager to Lead Michigan Municipal Executives
Fenton City Manager Lynn Markland was selected as the new president of the Michigan Municipal Executives during the organization's recent Winter Institute. He has 32 years of experience in local government and has served the League and MME in many capacities. Read more

CapCon2019 Expo Brings Together Key Vendors for Municipalities
A wide variety of vendors will fill the Expo Hall at CapCon2019, offering products and services designed for municipalities. Check them out at the Welcome Reception or one of many conferrence breaks - some with dessert! View the current list of vendors. Get the details and register today!

League President and CEO Fight for Infrastructure Investment in D.C.
The League's President and CEO were in Washington, D.C.last week fighting on behalf of Michigan's communities. Among their many activities, League President Melanie Piana participated in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's summit America's Infrastructure: Time to Invest. League CEO Dan Gilmartin was involved in an NLC event titled City Hall 101: The Role of Cities in Moving America Forward. Read more.

Michigan Transportation Asset Mgmt Council Seeks Award Nominations
The Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council is seeking agencies and individuals to recognize for their asset management efforts and best practices. Nominations for the organizational and individual achievement awards are due March 29. Read more.

Spice Up Your CapCon2019 Experience with Variety of Breakouts
CapCon Breakout Sessions connect you with resources and opportunities to help your community thrive. We're offering such a wide variety of breakouts that you're sure to find one with just the right pinch of spice - everything from recreational marijuana and housing to lobbying and new election-related laws. Get the details and register today!

Community Environmental Projects Take Root on Podcast
Many Michigan municipalities are improving their community's environmental sustainability. On the Review Déjà Vu podcast, the League's Shanna Draheim shares some of the amazing success stories that have grown out of the Michigan Green Communities Challenge. Tune in now.

Dan Gilmartin: Let's move infrastructure talk beyond roads and bricks and mortar Infrastructure isn’t just bricks and mortar and roads. It’s so much more than that. Michigan Municipal League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin explains in his latest blog post how he hopes Governor Gretchen Whitmer in her State of the State address tonight discusses the importance of communities and in investing in the things today’s talent and businesses seek. Read the blog here.

January 2019

SaveMiCity Initiative Honored in Best of MichBusiness Awards Program
The SaveMICity initiative supported by the League and several partner organizations recently received a statewide honor from MichBusiness. SaveMICity received the Beacon Award in a competition dedicated to companies and individuals that make Michigan a top-notch place to do business. Read more.

CapCon2019 Workshops Offer In-Depth Experience - and EOA Credits!
Arrive at CapCon a little early on March 19 and get an extra boost of knowledge. We're offering four workshops that allow you to do a deep dive into important municipal topics. On top of that, you can earn Elected Officials Academy elective credits! Topics are Council-Manager Relations, Everyday Bias: Institutional and Implicit, Capitalizing on Local Assets in Economic Development, and Understanding the General Law Village Act. The workshops are included in your registration for CapCon2019, but space is limited so sign up early! Get the details and register today!

Local Officials Awarded Scholarships from League Foundation
Officials from Newberry, Pentwater, Ubly, and Hamtramck have been awarded the Tim Doyle Scholarship by the League Foundation. The scholarship will enable them to attend the League's Elected Officials Academy Core Weekender training Feb. 22-23 in Frankenmuth. Read more

Podcast Highlights New Book on Flint Water Crisis
Years later, Flint is still suffering from the tragic effects of lead-tainted water. On this SaveMICity podcast, Tony Minghine sits down with Anna Clark, author of The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy, to uncover the underlying facts. Tune in now.

League's Review Magazine Honored in Diamond Award Program
The League recently received a statewide honor for The Review magazine from the Michigan Society of Association Execurtives Diamond Award program. We received a Gold certificate for the Nov/Dec 2017 and Jan/Feb 2018 issues of the magazine. Read more.

Roseville Moves to Make Site More Attractive to Private Investors
Thanks to predevelopment assistance from the League and MEDC's Redevelopment Ready Communities® program, Roseville is closer to transforming a vacant city-owned lot. Their vision is to create a dining, shopping, residential and public gathering space. Read more.

New Administration and New Bills Top Agenda for Monday Morning Live
On the most recent Monday Morning Live, we talked about Gov. Whitmer's upcoming State of the State, recreational marijuana, new bills on Dark Stores, and more. Due to MLK holiday, this episode was pre-recorded, but it's OK to ask questions on Facebook. Tune in on League Facebook page.

House, Senate Bills Would End 'Dark Stores' Assessment Loophole
Some of the first bills introduced in the 2019-20 legislative session would reform Michigan's property tax system to ensure fair and equitable treatment of property values. The bills - House Bill 4025 and 4047 and Senate Bill 26 and 39 - would end the practice often used by so-called "big box" retailers that results in stores being assessed on the basis of the store being empty. Read more.

'Put Your Town on the Map' Pitch Competition Underway
The 'Put Your Town on the Map' competition sponsored by Consumers Energy will provide a total of $15,000 to three initiatives that are designed to build a stronger sense of community. The competition is for communities up to 10,000 in population, with a top prize of $7,500. Read more.

Podcast Explores Issues Related to Recreational Marijuana Legalization
The legalization of recreational marijuana has left many Michigan communities wondering what to do next. In this Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, the League's Matt Bach sits down with two attorneys and our legislative associate to discuss the legalities and logistics for municipalities. Tune in now.

SaveMICity Initiative Honored in Statewide Diamond Award Program
The SaveMICity initiative supported by the League and several partner orgrnizations received a statewide honor recently through the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE). The League received a Silver Certificate in the 17th annual Diamond Award program for the SaveMICity campaign that aims to fix Michigan's broken municipal finance system. The purpose and goal of the SaveMICity campaign is to raise awareness among the public, business leaders, state legislators, and the media that Michigan's system for funding its communities is broken and must be fixed for the state's economy to succeed. Read more.

In Memory of James Buck, Respected Mayor & League Supporter
The League is sad to share the news of the passing of James Buck, one of the most active and honored League members in modern memory. He was a current member of the League Foundation board and served as the Foundation chair for many years. Jim served as mayor of Grandville for nearly three decades. Read full obituary here.

CapCon2019 Session Highlights Telling Your Community Story
Constituent engagement is vital for many community issues. At CapCon2019, learn from experts at the general session Engage Constituents by Telling Your Community Story. Jennifer Nichols and Kim Haddow will share techniques for framing community issues in a story-like way that allows for better understanding and engagement. Get the details and register now.

Middleville Aims to Boost Developer Interest in Downtown Site
A vacant lot surrounded by attractive amenities is getting a shot at a new life, thanks to predevelopment assistance from the League and Michigan Economic Corporation's Redevelopment Ready Communities® program. The site is a good candidate for housing. More.

Monday Morning Live Broadcast Covers End of Lame Duck
Shortly before Christmas, one of the longest, most active Lame Duck sessions in Michigan history finally came to a close. Check out our latest Monday Morning Live broadcast for a run down on what did and didn't happen. Watch it on Facebook. .

Podcast Spotlights 2018 Community Excellence Awards Finalists
Innovative projects from the cities of Muskegon, Owosso, and Saginaw were in the running for the League's 2018 Community Excellence Awards. Learn how these communities brought new life to their downtowns on this week's Review Déjà vu podcast. Tune in now.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Signs LGBT Executive Directive
Gov. Whitmer has signed an executive directive extending discrimination protections to cover people based on sexual orientation and gender identity within the state workforce and for state contractors and services. "If we're going to attract the talented workforce our businesses need to create jobs and grow our economy, then we've got to get on the right side of history," said Whitmer. Read more.

Hudsonville's Village Green Moves Closer to Reality
Hudsonville's vision for a Village Green to enhance its downtown is closer to life, thanks to predevelopment assistance from the League and Michigan Economic Corporation's Redevelopment Ready Communities® program. The vision was initially laid out in the city's 2030 master plan. Read more.

The PIO and the Right to Know Communications Summit
DTE Energy and Wayne State University are joining forces to present the 2nd annual 2019 PIO Communications Summit. Get mission critical guidance for navigating communications before, during, and after a crisis. FREE to PIOS and other key personnel. March 14, Detroit. Read more.

5 Things Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Said in her Inaugural Address
Here are five things Gov. Whitmer said during her inaugural address on Jan. 1: Working together: "Let's ... be the state that's not paralyzed by partisanship, but works together." Closing the skills gap: "... some are betting against our ability to close the skills gap. But we are up to it, Michigan." Read more.

Podcast Brings Some Clarity to Fast-Paced Lame Duck Session
Bills on recreational marjiuana, PPT, fireworks, FOIA, and much more tried to make their way through the Legislature's Lame Duck Session. On this Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, our legislative team tries to make sense of it all. Tune in now.

Special Discount for 2019 Main Street Now Conference
The Main Street Now Conference will showcase best practices and innovative ideas for creating economic and social prosperity in downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. Discount available to local elected officials and senior local government staff. Read more.

December 2018

Major Grant to Support Hamtramck's Veterans Memorial Park Master Plan
The Michigan Municipal League Foundation just announced an $807,200 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to create a master plan and community engagement process for Hamtrack's 26-acre Veterans Memorial Park. The planning work is a significant first step toward the renovation, maintenance, and activation of the park campus. Read more..

Michigan Voters Approved Recreational Marihuana - Now What?
Following the recent passage of Proposal 1, the League has developed a Recreational Marihuana Proposition white paper. This new resource for municipal attorneys and their clients details what to expect and the issues to be addressed in regard to Proposal 1. Read more.

League CEO Speaks in China About Placemaking in Michigan
League CEO Dan Gilmartin was in China recently with League Board President Melanie Piana to attend the United Nation's Habitat Conference on Placemaking. During Placemaking Week in Wuhan, China, they represented Michigan's placemaking programs as invited guests of UN Habitat. Read more.

Happy Holidays from the Michigan Municipal League
The League wishes a very happy holiday season to all our members and friends. Our offices will be closed from 3:00 pm, Friday, Dec. 21 until 8:00 am, Wednesday, Jan. 2. While we are away, please check out some of our valuable resources. Get the latest information from Lansing on our Monday Morning Live broadcasts and Inside 208 blog. Listen to our We Love Where You Live podcasts for engaging interviews on everything from downtown revitalization to insights from a State Representative. And browse our SaveMiCity site to learn more about our efforts to reform Michigan's broken municipal finance system. See you next year!

League CEO Speaks in China About Placemaking in Michigan
League CEO Dan Gilmartin was in China recently with League Board President Melanie Piana to attend the United Nation's Habitat Conference on Placemaking. During Placemaking Week in Wuhan, China, they represented Michigan's placemaking programs as invited guests of UN Habitat. Read more.

Podcast Sheds Light on Present and Future of Downtown Revitalization
Bringing life back to downtowns is the mission of the National Main Street Center. On the Economics of Place podcast, Patrice Frey, the organization's CEO, sits down with Dan Gilmartin to discuss how to revitalize downtowns now and take adantage of globalism in the years ahead. Tune in now.

League's Anthony Minghine Talks Broken Municipal Finance on Radio
The SaveMiCity initiative is prominently mentioned in an excellent interview with the League's Anthony Minghine on Detroit's 910 am Superstation. He discusses revenue sharing, our state's broken municipal funding system, possible solutions, and more. Listen here (Tony starts at the 1 hour and 30 minute mark). Read more.

Podcast Zooms in on State Rep's Perspective on Auto Insurance, More
On this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, the League's Matt Bach sits down with State Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Casco Twp, at a coffee shop in downtown Allegan. They cover everything from revenue sharing to auto insurance - even drag racing and the flute! Tune in now.

November 2018

Is Michigan Prepared to Handle Growth if We Actually Get it?
In light of the extreme weather conditions continually hitting other parts of the U.S., Popular Science predicts that Michigan will be one of the best places to live in the year 2100. What economic development and community investment strategies can we employ to prepare for a potential new wave of residents? Read more.

Podcast Shares Great Reasons to Support Women in Local Government
This week's Limelight podcast focuses on the Michigan Municipal League Foundation's #GivingTuesday campaign, which is raising funds for the League's 16/50 Project. Hear from the Foundation president and the Ann Arbor finance director on the value of the project in helping women become successful managers.Tune in now!

Contact House Tax Policy Committee NOW to Support HB 4986
The League needs your support NOW to support HB 4986, a bill that would move the payment of a property tax credit for disabled veterans from local governments to the state. Please contact members of the House Tax Policy committee to encourage them to support HB 4986. Read more.

#GivingTuesday Campaign Raises Over $4,000 for Women Leaders!
THANK YOU to everyone who donated to the Michigan Municipal League Foundation's #GivingTuesday campaign! With your generous support, the campaign raised $4,015 for the League's 16/50 Project. The project is now much more able to provide the training needed to increase the number of women serving at the very top level of city and township governnment in Michigan - like Elizabeth King of Detroit and Frances McMullan of Ypsilanti. #GivingTuesday may be over, but donations are always welcome. Consider supporting this worthy cause.

TODAY is the Deadline for John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship
Five yearly one-time scholarships of up to $1,000 for training of local elected or appointed officials will soon be awarded by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. The training must have a leadership component and practical application to your role as a public official in municipal governnment. Get the details and apply by Nov. 30!

League Staff Talk Recreational Marijuana on Michigan Public Radio
The Michiganb Municipal League's Jennifer Rigterink was on Michigan Public Radio this week talking about the state's new recreational marijuana law and the many questions that surround it. View an online post about the news segment..

Proposal 1 - Recreational Marijuana - Has Passed. What Happens Now?
Proposal 1 passed and will create the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. The Act will require each community to decide if it's going to allow or prohibit state-licensed recreational marijuana establishments. Find a You Need to Know! session. More information is on our Marihuana in Michigan page.

New Video Shows Impact of Revenue Sharing Cuts on Communities
What have revenue sharing cuts done to your community? "We've had to do less with less," is what Pontiac Mayor Dr. Deirdre Waterman said. In a new SaveMICity video, Waterman and local leaders from all over Michigan told us about the essential services they've had to cut back. Read more.

Podcast Focuses on League Partnerships with MEDC
The League partners with Michigan Economic Development Corporation on a variety of projects. In the newest Review Deja vu podcast, MEDC'S Katharine Czarnecki highlights two of them: Public Spaces Community Places crowdgranting and Redevelopment Ready Communities®. Tune in now.

League CEO Dan Gilmartin Selected for NLC Housing Crisis Task Force
League CEO Dan Gilmartin has been appointed to a new National League of Cities task force to address how communities can better respond to the growing challenge of housing availability, affordability, investment and quality. Read more.

Help Close the Gender Gap in Local Government
Women represent just 16 percent of Michigan's local chief administrative officers despite making up more than half the population. You can help increase that number by providing women executives with content, tools, and opportunities. Our #GivingTuesday campaign for the 16/50 Project launches Nov. 27. Please make a gift then - or now!

NEW! Top 13 Consequential Legal Defense Fund Cases
A new publication from the League's Legal Defense Fund - Top 13 Consequential Legal Defense Fund Cases - highlights cases of statewide impact to municipalities, including PA 269 "gag order," on dark stores, annexation, medical marihuana, and governmental immunity. More.

New League Program Helps Prep Development Sites
The League has created a new program - Developing Great Places - to help prepare individual sites and connect them to private developers to move public sector efforts forward. Read more in The Review magazine, and check out resources, success stories, and more on our new Developing Great Places web page.

Podcast Shares the Philosophy Behind The Center for Michigan
After a long career in Michigan's newspaper industry, Phil Power still wanted to make a difference. On the latest Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, learn how he started and fostered The Center for Michigan based on sensible, rational, common sense political discussion. Tune in now.

Training Scholarships Available for Municipal Officials
Are you a newly elected official interested in attending the League's Core Weekender in February? Apply for Tim Doyle Scholarship by Dec. 14. If you're a local elected or appointed official interested in leadership training, apply for John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship by Nov. 30.

October 2018

Open Appeal to State Lawmakers: It's Time to Invest in Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie City manager Oliver Turner stressed how Michigan's municipal finance system is fundamentally broken. We need new ideas, innovative approaches, and bold action if we hope to create the kind of communities we all want and deserve. To learn more, visit SaveMICity. More

League CEO Talks About OPEB and Pensions at NLC City Summit
League CEO Dan Gilmartin is speaking at the National League of Cities City Summit on health care and pension issues. Other Post Employment Benefit (OPEB) reform has been a vital issue for the SaveMICity initiative. OPEB costs have hampered many Michigan communities' ability to provide services to their residents. More.

Michigan Municipal League's 16/50 Project is In Full Swing
The League's 16/50 Project has been advancing its mission of tackling gender diversity. We partnered with UM Ford School for Public Policy to present a panel session on Women Leading Local Government. Also, we're well into the first term of our Women's Municipal Leadership Program. Read more.

CityLab Detroit Gets Nerdy in Talk About How Data Can Help Cities
At the recent CityLab Detroit conference, cities were portrayed as the front line and last defense of advancement in the world by Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor. "Cities are now driving the agenda in this country ... leading in the way Washington will not. Read more..

Podcast Explores Reasons Michigan Didn't Get Amazon HQ2
Michigan made a valiant effort to lure Amazon's second headquarters to our state, but we fell short. On the SaveMICity podcast, Khalil Rahal of Wayne County Economic Development Corporation shares why, particularly our poor municipal finance structure. Tune in now.

Dan Gilmartin Discusses SaveMICity, MML Work in New Magazine Article
League CEO Dan Gilmartin talks about the SaveMICity initiative and other Michigan Municipal League work in serving communities throughout the state in the most recent edition of The "Ville magazine. Gilmartin is the focus of a two-page article in the magazine that focuses on the Northville area - his hometown. Read more

Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials Opposes SB 0924
Lois Allen-Richardson, president of the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, issued a statement regarding Senate Bill 0924. It reads in part: "The Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials adamantly opposes Senate Bill 0924 and its attempt to legalize the creation of private police forces." Read more.

Politicians Must See Importance of Michigan's Major Cities
Mayors of three Michigan urban centers - Grand Rapids, Dearborn, and Kalamazoo - jointly authored an op-ed in the Detroit News,They say it's vital for candidates for state office to realize the importance of our major cities and their value in attracting talent, jobs, and prosperity. More.

House Energy Committee Passes Small Cell Legislation
The League wants to make sure that deployment of small cell technology is done in a fair and balanced way. Since the introduction of SB 637, the League's advocacy team has been negotiating with the industry and the sponsor to protect municipal interests. Read more

Consumers Energy Seeks Personal Property Tax Cut, Faces Opposition
Consumers Energy proposes to curtail the $200 million in personal property taxes it pays annually to municipalities and schools for gas and electric transmission lines. Curtailing taxable growth in the PPT will further deteriorate city services and infrastructure. Read more

Podcast Shares European Secrets for Unlocking Public Wealth
Bruce Katz has long wondered why American cities can't fund services like infrastructure and early childhood education. On this episide of the Economics of Place podcast - and in his new book - Katz shares lessons from European countries about unlocking public wealth.Tune in now.

Podcast Shares Pros and Cons of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado
Colorado was the first state to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana. In this episode of Michigan Politics, Huh?, Denver City Attorney Charles Mitchell shares some of the benefits and challenges that have arisen. Tune in now. Also view Mitchell's 2018 Convention presentation.

Dan Gilmartin Speaks at Engaging Local Government Leaders' Event
League CEO Dan Gilmartin spoke at the Engaging Local Government Leaders' Milwaukee Pop Up Conference in Wisconsin on Oct. 12. He and Jerry Deschane, executive director of League of Wisconsin Municipalities, spoke on "Building Strong Communities, Inside & Out." Read more.

Podcast Shares Pros and Cons of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado
Colorado was the first state to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana. In this episode of Michigan Politics, Huh?, Denver City Attorney Charles Mitchell shares some of the benefits and challenges that have arisen. Tune in now. Also view Mitchell's 2018 Convention presentation.

Leaders Praise Late Rockford City Manager at Ceremony
On Sept. 28, a dedication ceremony was held in Rockford for the Michael F. Young Waterfront. Current City Manager Thad Beard said Young was the example of a dedicated public servant who made a tremendous impact on the community of Rockford. Read more.

Dan Gilmartin Delivers SaveMICity Message in Oklahoma
League CEO Dan Gilmartin will be taking the ongoing SaveMICity message national this week in Oklahoma. He'll be the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Water & Pollution Control Conference. This is one of three national speaking engagements he'll be doing this month. Read more.

Outgoing League Board President Shares Experiences on Podcast
Catherine Bostick-Tullius wrapped up her term as Board president at the League's 2018 Convention in Grand Rapids. On the latest Limelight podcast, Catherine reflects on her experience as president and her hopes for the League moving forward. Tune in now.

MML Foundation Announces Oct. 19 Scholarship Deadline
The Michigan Municipal League Foundation is relaunching the George and Judith Goodman Scholarship Fund to encourage Michigan high school and college students to pursue careers in local government. One scholarship of up to $1,000 will be awarded each year to a Michigan high school or college student pursuing a career in local government. Application deadline is Oct. 19. Read more.

Michigan Municipal League Board Endorses Proposal 2
The League Board supports the Proposal 2 Voters Not Politicians ballot initiative. Proposal 2 will amend the Michigan Constitution to establish an independent redistricting commission and eliminate the current process of having the Legislature draw district boundaries. More.

Everything You Need to Know About the New Lead & Copper Rule
Michigan municipalities and water suppliers participated in the stakeholder process during the rule revision. Join us for a free You Need to Know! event to find out about the changes and the potential impact on your community. Find a session near you.

Dan Gilmartin on Building Great Communities at Vermont League
This week, League CEO Dan Gilmartin will be the keynote speaker for the Vermont League of Cities & Towns annual Town Fair conference. He was asked to speak because event organizers were looking for a keynote address that combines placemaking with innovation and retaining and attracting young talent. Read more.

Michigan Women in Municipal Government Elects New Officials
Michigan Women in Municipal Government elected new officials: President Valerie Kindle, mayor pro tem of Harper Woods; VP Theresa Rich, Farmington Hills councilmember; secretary Jennifer Shuster, mayor of Leslie; and board members Monica Galloway, Flint councilmember, and Maria Willett, special assistant to Rochester Hills mayor. More.

October is Michigan College Month - Show Your Support
Michigan College Month is part of a national initiative to provide every graduating high school senior the opportunity to apply for college and financial aid. We are joining the Michigan College Access Network to encourage community leaders to volunteer at their local high school. Read more.

September 2018

Catch the Highlights of the League's Convention in Grand Rapids
More than 1,000 attendees from across Michigan converged on Grand Rapids for the first joint Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) Convention. Check out highlights on the Convention website and view lots of photos on Flickr.

Podcast Highlights 2018 Community Excellence Award Winner - Fraser!
The city of Fraser won the League's 2018 Community Excellence Award for McKinley Barrier-Free Park & Playground. On the Review Déjà vu podcast, hear how a 12-year volunteer effort transformed an underused park into a place that children and adults of all abilities can enjoy. More.

Michigan Municipal League Board Names Six New Members
At Convention, the membership elected six new board members: Midland Councilmember Diane Brown Wilhelm; Michael Cain, City Manager of Boyne City; Vassar City Manager Brian Chapman; Holland Mayor Nancy De Boer; Menominee Mayor Jean Stegeman; and Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman. Read more.

Expanded SaveMICity Initiative Launched at Convention
The League and its partners introduced a new branding effort for the SaveMICity initiative at Convention. The enhanced effort includes animated videos, storytelling efforts on behalf of individual communities, and an improved website and social media presence. Read more.

30 Michigan Communities Recognized for Sustainability
Thirty Michigan communities were honored in the statewide Michigan Green Communities Challenge for taking on a wide range of sustainability projects - everything from preparing for autonomous vehicles to using electric lawn mowers. Read more.

Michigan Municipal Executives Honor Retired Midland Assistant City Mgr.
Retired Midland Assistant City Manager Jack Duso received the 2018 John M. Patriarche Distinguished Service Award for his service to Michigan communities over many decades. The award was given to him during the MME Colloquium session at the League's Convention. More.

Congressman Kildee Shares Ideas to Strengthen Communities on Podcast
On the latest SaveMICity podcast, the League's Tony Minghine talks with Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) about his ideas for promoting a national agenda around strengthening communities. From the federal standpoint, he believes there should be more investment in communities to ensure less volatility as the economy goes through up and down cycles. Read more.

New State of the Cities Report Shows Economic Development Key Issue
The League just released its second annual State of the Cities report, which summarizes key themes and priorities presented in 28 state of the city speeches. Economic development was the top issue, followed by infrastructure and budget/management. Read more.

Kellogg Foundation Seeks Applicants for Community Leadership Network
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is seeking applicants for it's Community Leadership Network. This is an 18-month fellowship program offering hands-on training, personalized coaching, and community-based support. Applications are due by Sept. 30. Read more.

Guidelines for Responding to Emily FOIA Requests
The League recently created a new Fact Sheet regarding Emily FOIA requests. This Fact Sheet contains suggestions and legal sources to help guide FOIA coordinators and clerks in fulfilling FOIA requests for large amounts of election records. Read more.

New $550M Initiative to Create Economic Opportunity in Cities
JPMorgan Chase just launched Advancing Cities, a new $500 million, five-year initiative to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity in cities across the world. AdvancingCities will deploy investments and encourage creative, forward-looking solutions. Read more.

Convention Offers a Unique Event - A Live, Interactive Town Hall!
Watch and join in as your fellow attendees participate in a live town hall meeting on Convention's main stage to discuss and debate key issues facing local government leaders and community planners. The audience will use their mobile devices to actively participate. Read more.

Three Lessons From Muskegon, America's Strongest Town
Muskegon was the winner of the 2018 Strongest Town contest. StrongTowns founder Charles Marohn found three things worth noting: Muskegon solves problems incrementally; they have great, home-grown leadership; and they have great community participation and initiative. More.

Michigan Legislature Passes Wage Hike, Paid Sick Leave
State lawmakers voted to pass two ballot proposals that would raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour and require employers to provide paid sick leave for employees. Republicans intended to approve the proposals to keep them off the Nov. 6 ballot, and amend the laws later. More

Join us for League Affiliate Events at Convention
At Convention, three League affiliates are offering a chance to get together for breakfast, conversation, and their annual meetings. Join Michigan Association of Mayors, Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, and Michigan Women in Municipal Government on Sept. 21. Get the details and register today!

The Latest Issue of The Review Magazine is Hot off the Presses!
The League and our partners recently expanded our SaveMICity initiative. Read all about it in the Sept/Oct issue of The Review magazine, along with stories on the business side of placemaking in Grand Rapids, governor candidate Q&As, and much more. Read it now.

August 2018

Grand Rapids and Lansing Selected for NLC Cities of Opportunity Project
The National League of Cities has selected Grand Rapids and Lansing as part of their Cities of Opportunity: Healthy People, Thriving Communities pilot technical assistance cohort. This program is designed to help cities improve residents' health and wellbeing. Read more.

Podcast Features State Senator's Insights on Municipal Challenges
State Senator Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) is familiar with the challenges facing Michigan communities. On this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, he opens up about affordable housing, road funding, revenue sharing, and legislators' view of our SaveMiCity message. More.

Online Sales Tax Revenue Must Benefit Communities
A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has leveled the playing field for Michigan's business community, taking away the unfair advantage online businesses had over brick and mortar businesses that had invested in our local communities. Read more.

USDA Seeks Applications for Rural Economic Development Funding
The USDA is seeking applications to provide cooperative agreement funding for eligible partners to expand capacity for small and rural towns. The funding is to harness regional assets, create economic develolpment plans, and implement those plans. Read more.

Podcast Highlights Mott Foundation's Support of SaveMICity Initiative
Ridgway White, president of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, understands that educating residents and business leaders is key to improving Michigan's broken municipal finance system. On this week's SaveMiCity podcast, he shares why the Foundation is supporting the SaveMICity effort. Tune in now.

Cutting State Taxes is not the Path to Prosperity
How should Michigan regain its status as THE economic powerhouse in the U.S.? Some folks in Lansing would lower taxes. But Michigan has disinvested in public schools, higher education, roads, and water infrastructure. Our state needs to invest for the future. Read more.

TODAY IS Convention Early Bird Deadline - Register Now!
The League's exciting 2018 Convention is almost here! For the first time, we're partnering with Michigan Association of Planning to bring you MORE of what you want. To get in on the action—and save $75—register by the early bird deadline TODAY. Get the details and register now!

Michigan Sales Tax to be Collected from Out of State Online Retailers
The State Treasurer announced a change to the state's sales tax administration that will require many online and out of state retailers to pay Michigan's 6 percent sales tax. That could amount to more than $200 million in additional state revenues annually. Read more.

Local Ballot Proposal Success a Sign of Broken Municipal Finance System
Thank you voters! But to the State of Michigan: There is a lot of work that needs to be done to fix Michigan's broken municipal finance system. That's the best way SaveMICity can summarize the election results from Tuesday regarding the overwhelming success of the hundreds of proposals on local ballots. Read more.

Enjoy the Lighter Side of this Year's Convention!
Unwinding and chatting with new and old friends is an important part of Convention. This year, we've planned three social events for you to enjoy: Pre-Conference Meet and Greet Mixer, Host Cities Reception at Grand Rapids' exciting Downtown Market, and the MML Foundation Reception featuring Midwest Dueling Pianos. Tickets to the Foundation Reception can be purchased when you register for Convention. Get the details and register today!

Podcast Shares a Retrospective with Recently Retired General Counsel
On this week's Economics of Place podcast, League CEO Dan Gilmartin talks with Bill Mathewson, the League's recently retired general counsel. Bill shares his thoughts on the changes he has seen in local, state, and federal government over the past 40 years. Read more.

Thanks for Showcasing Your Civic Pride on #CityHallSelfie Day!
Yesterday's annual #CityHallSelfie Day, sponsored by ELGL, was a chance to showcase local gov love. Many communities across the U.S. - including some here in Michigan - took creative pictures of themselves in front of their local government building. Read more.

Rebuild America's Communities Week Webinar Features Lansing Mayor
Hear from Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and other local leaders about Rebuild America's Communities Week, Sept. 15-22. Learn what several U.S. communities are doing to show Congress how important federal programs and funding are to their prosperity. Aug. 15. Read more.

Christopher J. Johnson Named New General Counsel for League
The League has selected long-time municipal attorney and former Northville Mayor Christopher J. Johnson as the organization's new general counsel. "Chris's vast experience in municipal law as well as having served as a mayor made him an ideal choice for the League and our membership," said League CEO Dan Gilmartin. Johnson's new position is in the Detroit Legal News. Read more.

Assessing Reform Forum Scheduled in Gaylord
State Treasurer Nick Khouri and the legislative sponsors for SB 1025 and HB 6049 are planning a series of "listening tour" forums to hear from local officials about ways to improve administration of Michigan's property tax laws. The first will be in Gaylord, Aug. 14. Read more.

Convention Mobile Tours Offer Unique, Interactive Experiences
Grab your walking shoes or bike and get ready for an up-close exploration of the Grand Rapids area! Convention mobile tours include ArtPrize, Hudsonville's Terra Square, Vital Streets in Action Bike Tour, Restoring the Rapids. and much more! Get the details and register today!

Where Michigan Governor Candidates Stand on City Problems
From joblessness to crime and bank-breaking auto insurance rates, Michigan's cities suffer the state's most intractable challenges. Many are considered to be financially distressed due in part fo underfunded pensions and decreasing revenue sharing payments from the state. Learn about the candidates' stance on city issues. Read more.

July 2018

$5 Billion in USDA Rural Development Loans and Grants
USDA Rural Development has two programs to help communities build critical infrastructure. Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program provides funding for schools, infrastructure improvements, etc. Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program finances drinking water, stormwater drainage, and waste disposal. Read more.

League Hosts Webinar on New OPEB/Pension Reporting Guidance
After recent action by Treasury’s Municipal Stability Board, new guidance is now available for communities when developing any necessary Corrective Action Plans. The League hosted a webinar this week with Treasury staff to provide an overview of their implementation of PA 202 of 2017. View the full webinar.

Podcast Shines a Light on Ypsilanti's Solar Power Accomplishments
Dave Strenski, founder of SolarYpsi, and his volunteer team have amped up Ypsilanti's sustainability and turned the city into a "solar destination" where people can learn about solar power and tour solar installations. Learn more on this week's Review Déjà vu podcast. Tune in now.

Electric Scooters Have Arrived - Don't Panic!
Electric scooter sharing has arrived in Michigan. Last week, Bird Rides Inc. deployed e-scooters in downtown Detroit. These scooters are "dockless," so they could create problems. Before e-scooters hit your downtown, think about how to manage them. Read more

Convention Keynote Speaker to Highlight Value of Inclusivity
As the first female to lead the city of Gary, Indiana—and Indiana's first African-American female mayor—Karen Freeman-Wilson brings a unique perspective to the profession. At Convention, you'll get a chance to hear Freeman-Wilson in the General Session Civic Engagement Strategy: Inclusivity for the Win. Get the details and register today!

League Signs Letter Supporting Civility in Public Discourse
League CEO Dan Gilmartin and more than 220 individuals and groups signed on to a letter supporting civility in public discourse, spearheaded by Gov. Rick Snyder. "We ... do hereby commit to standing up for civility in public debate and discussions of policy." Read more

How Much in Additional Road Funding is Your Community Receiving?
More money for roads is coming your way. We’ve broken it down for you by community in a chart on our SaveMICity website. League CEO Dan Gilmartin sent a personal letter to more than 800 League members last week explaining the increased road funding money. Read more.

CMU Offers Tuition Discount to League Members and Families
A new agreement between Central Michigan University and the League gives League members and employees, their spouses and qualified dependents a 15 percent tuition discount to online programs and classes taken at CMU's satellite locations. Read more.

Huge Selection of Breakout Sessions at 2018 Convention!
At this year's Convention, our partnership with Michigan Association of Planning gives us double the power! One of the benefits is a wider array of breakout sessions than ever before. Attendees will be able choose from over 40 sessions, including Amazon: Michigan's Wakeup Call or the Beginning of the End?; HR Up in Smoke: The Intersection between Marijuana Legalization and Employment Law; and Game of Floods. The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is filling up quickly - and you must be registered for Convention to book your hotel room. Get the details and register today!

Voting Closed for 2018 Community Excellence Awards Projects
Voting is now closed for this year's Community Excellence Awards projects. We're tallying the total votes and compiling the judges' rankings. Stay tuned for the announcement of the top four finalists that will go on to compete at Convention in Grand Rapids.

MAMA Publishes New Guide on Freedom of Information Act
The Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys just published Michigan's Freedom of Information Act: A Guide to Statutory Exemptions. It's meant to assist municipal attorneys in determining whether certain public records may be exempt from disclosure under FOIA. More.

Mobile Home Taxes Trashed as 'Unfair' by Property Owners
The Tyrone Township Board approved special assessment rates in wihch mobile homes will pay $20/year for police and fire services, while homes will pay $150/year. "We need to ask, is that tax fairness?" says the League's Chis Hackbarth. Read more.

Hear First-Hand from Renowned Urbanization Expert at Convention!
Would you like to have lunch with a famous author? Join us at this year's Convention, where you can dine with author Bruce Katz and get a first-hand account of his latest book, The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism. Get the details and register today!

Podcast Shares Insights from Communiy Builder Award Winner
Deb Stuart, Mason city administrator, was the recipient of the League's 2018 Community Builder Award. On this week's Limelight podcast, she talks about the transition to municipal management, advice for women in government, and Mason's unique characteristics.Tune in now.

Webinar - Community Crowdfunding: Learn from the Experts
Have you thought about running a crowdfunding campaign for a community project with MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places program? Learn from experts who have already run successful campaigns with the help of Patronicity. Webinar, Aug. 8. Read more

June 2018

NEW Career Search Site Available to League Members
The new Michigan Career Hub site aims to help match Michigan job seekers and employers find their best fit, faster. As an added bonus, the site is available at no extra cost to League members who submit an ad through the League's classified ads system. Read more.

Registration Now Open for Unique 2018 Convention!
For the first time ever, the League and Michigan Association of Planning are joining forces to hold our annual fall conventions - together! This event combines the best of both organizations to present a stellar education and networking event. With double the power, we'll bring you more of what you want: MORE breakout sessions, topics, and mobile tours. Sessions will cover everything from establishing traditional neghborhoods to marijuana legalization. Plus, the famous ArtPrize international art competiiton will be in full swing! Get the details and register today!

Fixing Michigan's Roads Can Be a Political Hot Potato
It's easy for candidates and lawmakers to express support for fixing the roads. But League CEO Dan Gilmartin has seen local governments stretch their wallets. "They're tapped out, and we need real leadership at the state level, real leadership at the federal level, to truly step up and be a partner in infrastructure." he said. Read more.

Podcast Explores Legislative Issues with League Lobbyist Team
On this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, we talk with the League's Lansing team about upcoming legislative issues of importance to Michigan communities, the impact of term limits, revenue sharing, what to expect during the Lame Duck session, and more. Tune in now.

Free Webinar on Michigan’s New Lead and Copper Rule July 10
Register now for a free webinar at 10 a.m. July 10 to get familiar with Michigan’s new Lead and Copper Rule. Municipalities and water supplies across Michigan participated in the stakeholder process during the Rule revision. Find out what changes made it into the final rule. Get the details here.

DEADLINE TODAY for Women's Municipal Leadership Program
The 16/50 Project seeks to grow the pool of dedicated, professional women with the skills to become strong local managers. To help women reach those heights, we have developed the Women's Municipal Leadership Program. Get details and apply by July 9.

U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down Major Victory for Local Government
The League is excited about the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the ability of states to collect sales tax on Internet purchases. The League has long advocated for this as the current system penalizes businesses that provide critical local funding. Read more

Bill Ford Shares Vision for Detroit's Train Station, Corktown
Ford Motor Company's purchase of the Michigan Central Station in Detroit brings to life Bill Ford's vision. He views the site as a place to re-create what mobility means for modern times, test autonomous vehicles, and build business models around them. Read more.

Michigan Set to Adopt Strictest Lead Water Rules in Country
The new lead drinking water rules from the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality will lower the lead action level to 12 parts per billion starting in 2025 and require communities to remove all lead service lines, including those on private property. Read more.

Podcast Reports on MIRS Newsletter and Changing Role of the Media
So just what is MIRS Newsletter? In this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, the League's Matt Bach talks with Kyle Melinn, editor, v.p., and co-owner of MIRS, about what MIRS is, what it's like to cover Lansing politics, and the changing role of the media. Tune in now.

Podcast Explores Municipal Impact of PA 202 OPEB/Pension Reforms
What is OPEB and why is it important to local government? Learn more as the League's Tony Minghine talks with attorney Brandon Fournier, a leader in labor relations and OPEB issues, on the latest SaveMICity podcast. Read more.

Michigan Legislature Wraps Up Action on State Budget
Both chambers completed action on the state's omnibus budget bill for the coming fiscal year. Senate Bill 848 includes many items of interest to municipalities related to general government/revenue sharing and the budgets for MDOT, LARA, DEQ, and DNR. Read more.

View New Video of SaveMICity Panel at Mackinac Policy Conference
At the recent Mackinac Policy Conference, SaveMICity's panel discussion— "Not Open for Business: Why Disinvestment in Michigan Cities is Hampering Economic Opportunity"—was a huge hit! A video of the session is now available of this great discussion. Watch the video now.

Community Excellence Awards Online Voting Starts June 29!
Thank you to everyone who submitted projects for the League's annual Community Excellence Awards competition. We received some really creative entries and can't wait to share them with you. Get ready to view them and vote for your favorite starting June 29. Read more..

Podcast Shares Approaches to Tackle Opioid Crisis in Michigan
Families, communities, and local governments are falling victim to the opioid crisis in America. On this week's Review Déjà vu podcast, guest Marci Scalera advocates for a multi-faceted approach: prevention, treatment, and stopping drug trafficking. Tune in now.

Community Excellence Awards Projects due TODAY!

We love hearing about all the creative projects going on in our communities and sharing that news with the world. But first, you need to enter this year's Community Excellence Awards. Entering is easy - just give us a description of your project, add a couple photos or a video, and hit "Submit Your Entry" by TODAY. Enter today.

16/50 Project Debuts New Women's Municipal Leadership Program
Growing the pool of dedicated, professional women with the skills to become strong local managers is the goal of the 16/50 Project. To help women reach those heights, we've developed the Women's Municipal Leadership Program. Get details and apply by July 9.

Podcast Explores Municipal Impact of PA 202 OPEB/Pension Reforms
Brandon Fournier, a leader in labor relations and OPEB issues, has worked with the League on OPEB reforms. On this week's SaveMICity podcast, Fournier shares his insights on the complexities of PA 202 for municipalities and the OPEB reform efforts that still need to occur. Tune in now.

Funds Available to Promote Positive Relations with State's Indian Tribes
The Native American Heritage Fund is providing funding for local governments and other entities for projects that promote positive relationships and accurate information about the history and role of Michigan's Indian tribes. Apply by July 6. Read more.

Next Big Corporate Tax Cut? It Could Hurt Local Government Funding
A bill reported out of a Senate Committee would exempt Michigan utilities from personal property taxes on their transmission lines and pipelines–a change that could cost local governments $576.3 million annually within 10 years. "There's no way local governments can absorb this," said the League's Chris Hackbarth. More.

MME Summer Workshop Focuses on Building Better Communities
This year's Michigan Municipal Executives Summer Workshop will offer education and enjoyable networking. Sessions will focus on creating sustainable, vibrant, and engaging public spaces. Charlevoix, July 17-20. Register and reserve your hotel room now.

Free Technical Assistance for Small-Scale Manufacturing, Neighborhoods
Small-scale manufacturing can be a powerful tool to revitalize downtowns of all sizes. Smart Growth America is offering free technical assistance for communities interested in using this strategy to create economic opportunity and build great places. Apply now.

SaveMICity Panel a Huge Hit at 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference
The League had a fantastic panel discussion at the recent Mackinac Policy Conference The session and enhanced education campaign are generously sponsored by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. We did extensive Facebook and Twitter posts during the session, and we've already gotten tremendous media coverage. More

SaveMiCity 2.0 Launched at Mackinac Policy Conference
The League launched the newly expanded SaveMiCity effort at the Mackinac Policy Conference. We've updated our website with fresh content, created a new, informative animated video, and launched new SaveMiCity Facebook, and Twitter pages. Read more.

MAMA Summer Conference Offers Education, Networking, and Fun
At this year's Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys/GLS Summer Conference, attendees will enjoy a special presentation from Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen J. Markman. There will also be lots of other opportunities for education and fun networking with colleagues. Crystal Mountain, June 22-23. Register now.

Port Huron Officials to Visit Holland for Mayor's Exchange
Holland Mayor Nancy DeBoer will host Port Huron Mayor Pauline Repp and several other Port Huron officials for the Michigan Mayor's exchange. The visiting officials will tour sites such as the Holland Museum and Hope College. Holland officials will then visit Port Huron July 30. More.

May 2018

The Municipal Finance Dilemma: Cities Must Be the Engine
As Michigan continually ranks dead last in the country for funding infrastructure and services that improve citizens' overall quality of life, investing in cities must remain a top priority, panelists said in the Mackinac Policy Conference session Not Open for Business: Why Disinvestment in Michigan Cities is Hampering Economic Opportunity, hosted by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Read more.

After Flint, Michigan Pushes Toughest Lead Water Rules in the Country
Four years after the Flint water crisis began, Michigan state regulators are on the verge of approving some of the strictest rules in the country. But local governments warn that the rules are needlessly expensive, likely unconstitutional, and won't necessarily improve public health. Read more.

Podcast Delves into Ferndale's Welcoming, Collaborative Nature
Fourteen years ago, Ferndale's openness to diversity and collaborative spirit drew Melanie Piana to move to the city. Now, as city councilmember and vice president of the League board, she's an active part of the city's success. Learn more on this week's Economics of Place podcast. Tune in now.

Many Metro Area Cities Paralyzed by Inability to Raise Revenues
Analysts say the downward spiral in local tax and other revenues started when Michigan voters approved the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A. Both severely limit local governments' ability to levy property taxes. The League's Tony Minghine says the two measures crippled local governments financially. Read more.

NLC Webinar: Parent-Centered Employment Strategies
NLC is launching a new initiative to strengthen economic stability for families in cities through a parent-centered approach to employment strategies. This webinar will share information about how cities can help families succeed by targeting parents in their workforce development efforts. June 6, 3:00 p.m. Register today.

Communities with Pension/OPEB "Underfunded Status" Identified
The final OPEB-pension "underfunded status" list is out now. The large number of communities on the list representing all corners of the state further demonstrates how Michigan's system for funding municipalities is broken and needs fixing. Read more.

Panel to Focus on Michigan's Broken Municipal Financing System
As Michigan looks to create greater economic opportunities, the state needs to assess how the system of municipal financing affects communities. A panel sponsored by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation at this week's Mackinac Policy Conference will provide context on how—and why—Michigan got to this point and how change can create stronger, more vibrant communities moving foward. The panel discussion—entitled Not Open for Business: Why Disinvestment in Michigan Cities is Hampering Economic Opportunity—will feature the League, local government leaders, and business officials. Read more. Learn more from the League and the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan May Soon be Forced to Pay Cities Under Headlee
The Michigan Court of Appeals is poised to decide the case known as Taxpayers for Michigan Constitutional Government v. State of Michigan, brought in Sept, 2016, which claims that the state is shorting local governments billions of dollars annually in state revenue required to be paid under the Headlee Amendment to the Michigan Constitution. More.

Strongest Town 2018 Winner Muskegon Showcased on Podcast
The City of Muskegon won this year's Strongest Town Contest! Learn how they earned that honor with enthusiastic citizen spirit, a wildly successful farmers market, a commitment to rebuilding downtown, and much more on this week's Limelight podcast. Tune in now.

Early Bird Deadline Approaching for MAMA/GLS Summer Conference
This year's Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys/GLS Summer Conference will be held at Crystal Mountain.Get updates on emergent legal issues, hear from Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen J. Markman, and more. For best rates, register and reserve hotel by June 1.

Local Governments are the Big Losers Under Michigan's Term Limits
Under Michigan's term limits, legislators lack the experience and the institutional knowledge they used to have. The result: "In the decade from 2002 to 2012, Michigan was the only state that decreased its spending on municipal governments and the services they provide, making local governments the big losers under term limits." Read more.

You Need to Know! Event Shares Strategies to Battle the Opioid Crisis
America's opioid crisis has decimated communities and families, and become a financial crisis for local governments. Join us for The Opioid Crisis in Michigan Communities, an educational and networking event where you'll learn how local governments are battling the crisis. Fenton, June 12. More sessions in August. Read more.

Step Forward Michigan Provides Financial Assistance to Homeowners
Since 2010, MSHDA's Step Forward Michigan program has been helping Michiganders recover from the recession and foreclosure crisis. Assistance with interest-free loans to help with mortgage payments, condo fees, or property taxes is still available. Read more.

Podcast Shares Insights from Michigan Political Reporters
Journalism has changed a lot in recent years due to the Internet and social media. On this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, get tips on how to get local government stories covered from Michigan political reporters Emily Lawler and Jonathan Oosting. Tune in now.

Michigan Property Values Roar Back, but Many Communities Left Behind
Property values are rising in Michigan, which helps owners but has been less helpful to many older municipalities. That's been true since Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment went into effect. "It's a horribly designed system," said the League's Tony Minghine. More.

Community Excellence Awards Deadline Approaching!
We love hearing about all the creative projects going on in our communities and sharing that news with everyone in Michigan and beyond. But first, you need to enter this year's Community Excellence Awards. Want to be the next winner in the Race for the Cup? Enter by June 15!

MBC-LEO Presents Fourth Race & Law Enforcement Forum
Building Community Trust is the theme for this year's Race & Law Enforcement Forum, presented by the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. Topics include race, equity, and leadership, racial profiling, hiring minorities, and much more. Hamtramck, June 9. Register today

League Partners with Mich. Dept. of Treasury for U.P. Education Summit
Join your fellow local government officials from Northern Michigan for two days of training. The League has partnered with the Michigan Dept. of Treasury for sessions on brownfield authorities and land banks, rural development grants, and more. Houghton, June 6-7. Register now.

Podcast Highlights Exemplary Spring Lake Village/Township Collaboration
Spring Lake Village and Spring Lake Township have found myriad ways to collaborate that greatly benefit both entities. Learn more from each community's manager—Christine Burns and Gordon Gallagher—on this week's Review Déjà vu podcast. Tune in now.

SaveMICity Message Heads to Mackinac Policy Conference
The League's SaveMICity message will be featured in a session at the Mackinac Policy Conference. The session is titled Not Open for Business: Why Disinvestment in Michigan Cities is Hampering Economic Opportunity. It will take place May 30 at the Grand Hotel. Read more.

The Town of West Branch Waves as I-75 Drivers Barrel Past
West Branch has familiar challenges: Not enough skilled, high-paying jobs, not enough housing, including middle- to upper-income apartments. The state's Rising Tide program could be a turning point for them. But attracting new employers requires infrastructure and the city doesn't have enough money to fix "nearly failed " water mains. Read more

Foundation Donor Story: It's an Investment in Michigan Communities
A photo of a Welcome to Pure Michigan sign with the words "pavement ends" gives Geoff Crosbie pause. That's why he supports the MML Foundation. He sees his gift as an investment in educating decision-makers on the need for a better way fo fund Michigan communities. More.

New Updates to League's Medical Marihuana Facilities Report
To keep you up-to-date on Michigan's Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, the League has updated our Medical Marihuana Facilities - Opt In/Opt Out report to include LARA's Emergency Rules and information on November's recreational marihuana ballot proposal. More.

Sterling Heights Plants the Seed for a Future Boosted by Recreation
The Seed's installation last year was part of Sterling Heights' renewed push for public art, a branch of the city's "2030 Visioning" plan. As they celebrate the city's 50th anniversary, officials are looking to the long-term future with a three-year, $45 million "Recreating Recreation" project to bring new energy into the area. Read more.

League Magazine Salutes Bill Mathewson's Distinguished Career
As General Counsel Bill Mathewson winds down his long career at the League, he will leave a legacy of which he can be proud. Learn more about Bill in the current issue of the League's magazine, along with stories on the state's disinvestment in communities, why Michigan failed to get the new Amazon headquarters, and much more. Read more.

Podcast Takes a Deeper Dive into the Headlee/Prop A Lawsuit
The state is being sued for Headlee violations by Taxpayers for Michigan Constitutional Government. Get a deeper understanding of the issues on this week's Episode 5—and Episode 2—of our SaveMICity podcast. Available on iTunes, Google Play, SaveMICity Podcasts.

League Fund Announces Loss Control Achievement Awards
The League Workers' Compensation Fund has issued its annual Loss Control Achievement Awards for 2017-2018 to 32 communities. "These awards represent the best of the best when it comes to communities being safe places for their employees and citizens," said Michael Forster, director of risk management services. More.

April 2018

Michigan Approves Marijuana Legalization Vote for Nov. Ballot
The Board of Canvassers has ruled that a proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use got enough signatures to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot. But getting the proposal passed is not a foregone conclusion, despite recent polls showing more than 60% support. Read more.

Podcast Shines a Light on Muskegon Heights Mayor Kimberley Sims
Kimberley Sims, one of the League's newest board members, has served as mayor of Muskegon Heights since 2015. Learn how she's re-framing mindsets, community actions, and advocacy on this week's Limelight podcast. Available on iTunes, Google Play, and our Podcasts page.

Kaleva and Oxford Officials Awarded MML Foundation Scholarships
Joseph Frost, Village of Oxford, and Kim Somsel, Village of Kaleva, have been awarded the Tim Doyle Scholarship by the MML Foundation. The scholarship will cover the costs to participate in an upcoming League training for recently elected local officials. Read more.

Enter the Michigan Green Communities Challenge Now!
The Michigan Green Communities Challenge measures communities' progress toward meeting their current and future energy needs. Participation is free and open to any local government. To show off your community's sustainability projects, enter by May 31. More.

Gov. Snyder Appoints Daryl Delabbio to Municipal Stability Board
Gov. Snyder has appointed Daryl Delabbio, retired former Kent Co. administrator, to the Municipal Stability Board. Pursuant to PA 202 of 2017, also known as the Protecting Local Government Retirement and Benefits Act, the board is housed within the Michigan Dept. of Treasury. Read more.

Jobs Alone Won't Reverse Michigan's Youth Exodus
Enhancing the job readiness of Michigan residents won't be enough to grow the state's economy unless they choose to stay in (or move to) Michigan. So it makes sense to reinvigorate revenue sharing for cities, reallocate state transportation funds to urban areas, and adopt other policies consistent with millennial attitudes. Read more

Grand Rapids' Rosalynn Bliss: Social Worker First, Mayor Second
Before she entered politics, Rosalynn Bliss was a social worker for child welfare and domestic violence cases. At some point, she shifted her strategy for making a difference. She spent a decade on the Grand Rapids City Commission and is now the city's first female mayor. More.

Revenue Sharing Cuts Outlined in Initial House/Senate Budget Plans
The Senate General Government subcomittee's budget report, drafted into Senate Bill 855, removes the 2.5% increase that cities, villages, and townships received this year. League members are urged to contact their legislators and ask them to retain the current statutory revenue sharing funding. More.

Podcast Highlights Karen Majewski, Life Membership Award Winner
Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski has long been an integral part of her community and the League, earning her the 2018 Life Membership Award. Learn more about her illustrious career on this week's Review Déjà vu podcast, available on iTunes, Google Play, and our Podcasts page.

League CEO to Guest on WDET Education Policy Twitter Chat
Dan Gilmartin, League CEO, will be a guest panelist on WDET's Education Policy Twitter Chat with state education leaders. Panelists will share what their organizations are working on and respond to listeners' questions and ideas. April 25, 10-11 am.

Water Infrastructure Bill Would Undermine Local Pros, Control
Most of Michigan's water infrastructure needs to be repaired or replaced. But communities don't need constraints on materials. Proposed legislation will alter the procurement process and eliminate collaborative designing between utilities and their engineers. Read more

Detroit City FC Crowdfunding Brings New Life to Hamtramck Stadium
League CEO Dan Gilmartin is featured in a new video that shares the inspiring story of the popular Detroit City FC. Through crowdfunding, the soccer club was able to restore Hamtramck's 80-year old Keyworth Stadium as well as create a great new home for the club. View video.

Keeping Harmony Between Local Officials and City Managers
Capital Conference's Council-Manager Relations workshop focused on the dynamic between elected and appointed officials. "Poor relationships lead to mixed messages and chaos ... and none of us want to be known for that," said the League's Kathie Grinzinger. Read more.

Podcasts: New Ways to Listen and 2018 Legislators of the Year
League podcasts are now available on iTunes and Google Play. Check out this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast with guests House Democratic Leader Sam Singh and Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth) - winners of MML's 2018 Legislator of the Year awards! Tune in now.

SaveMICity Campaign Looks at Lessons from Amazon Loss
Other states have been increasing their investment in communities, while Michigan has been decreasing it. Detroit was recently passed over by Amazon to be home to their second North American HQ for the same reasons other companies choose to locate elsewhere. Read more.

Can 'Localism" Restore Sanity to U.S. Politics?
Localism is a bottom-up, practically oriented way of looking at today's biggest policy dilemnas. Instead of always seeking to fix municipal issues through national policy, localism suggests that communities can and should find solutions to their own problems. It hands power back to those who feel powerless in the face of federal stasis. More.

Cities, Counties Still Losing Out on Revenue Sharing Money
Since 2002, the Legislature has withheld more than $8 billion in funding earmarked for local governments. This means they've had to make cuts across the board, from services like public safety and public health to institutions like parks, says the League's Chris Hackbarth. Read more.

TODAY is the Application Deadline for Tim Doyle Scholarship
The Tim Doyle Scholarship helps provide access to the most critical information for newly elected officials through the League's Elected Officials Academy Core Weekender seminar. To take advantage of this great opportunity, apply by April 13. Read more.

EPA Region 5 Presenting a Water Finance Forum
The EPA Region 5 Water Finance Forum will bring participants together to discuss ways to manage water system improvements. Particplants will learn to plan, finance, build, and operate improvements made to water infrastructure, Findlay, Ohio, June 7. Read more.

Podcast Explores State Treasurer's Views on Investing in Local Govt.
What's the State Treasurer's take on investing in Michigan's local governments? On this week's SaveMICity podcast, the League's Tony Minghine sits down with State Treasurer Nick Khouri to get his thoughts on that and the future of our state's economy. Tune in now.

The Future of Parking Lots and Commercial Real Estate
Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is investing millions in a real estate company that focuses on distressed real estate assets that will need to be repurposed for the digital era. Community leaders should start to consider what happens if large chunks of land in their downtowns and commercial districts become available. Read more.

The League's William Mathewson Receives Honorary Life Membership
The League awarded long-time employee and current General Counsel William Mathewson with our highest individual honor - the Honorary Life Membership Award - at the Capital Conference Awards Gala. He's planning to retire at the end of June. Read more.

DNR Seeks U.P. Input on Use of Off-Road Vehicles on State Forest Roads
DNR is working to implement PA 288, which requires an inventory of thousands of miles of state forest roads and regulates the use of Off-Road Vehicles on those roads. A stakeholder meeting will be held to provide opportunity for input, Marquette, April 18. Read more.

Muskegon Wins Third Annual Strongest Town Contest!
Congratulations to Muskegon, winner of the 2018 Strongest Town Contest! The city shone in the competition as it touted the community's enthusiastic citizen spirit, wildly successful farmers market, commitment to rebuiliding its downtown, and active Lake Michigan waterfront. More.

MDOT Category F Call for Projects Now Open
MDOT is now accepting Transportation Economic Development Fund Category F applications for fiscal year 2020. Eligible applicants include cities, villages, and road commissions. Proposed projects must be on federal-aid designated routes within federal aid urban areas. More.

March 2018

Dan Gilmartin Featured in Reports on Infrastructure and Municipal Funding
League CEO Dan Gilmartin and the League have been featured in multiple news articles recently about the funding crisis facing Michigan communities, Michigan's infrastructrure, and the nation's infrastructure woes in general. The coverage was sparked by Gilmartin's recent testimony before Congress. Read more.

Podcast Highlights NLC's Efforts on Behalf of Cities on Capitol Hill
Irma Esparza Diggs fights for cities!.On this week's Economics of Place podcast,. learn how the National League of Cities' director of federal advocacy - a speaker at our recent Capital Conference - gets the job done and the important issues on her radar. Tune in now

League Board VP Melanie Piana Gets Summer Fellowship to Harvard
Melanie Piana, League Board VP and Ferndale councilmember, will go to Harvard this summer as a Taubman fellow. The program gives local public officials with demonstrated leadership a chance to attend the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. More.

Federal Budget Deal Protects Critical Local Government Programs
President Trump signed a budget deal that reverses many of the spending cuts he had originally proposed. A $1.3 trillion spending proposal maintains or increases funding for key programs used to fund infrastructure, economic development, public safety, and more. Read more.

Capital Conference was a Huge Success in Lansing Last Week
Almost 500 municpal officials attended this year's Capital Conference in Lansing - the largest group in years! That led to many packed sessions, lively discussions, and plenty of enjoyable networking. Check out all the action on the League's Conference site, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr

League Launched New 16/50 Project at Capital Conference
At Capital Conference, the League launched the 16/50 Project - developed to highlight and bridge the gap between the percentage of women in the state of Michigan (50.8%) and the percentage of women that hold positions as municipal managers (16%). Read more.

Raise Your Voice for the Arts on Michigan Arts Advocacy Day April 18
The League is a proud partner of Michigan Arts Advocacy Day. Join Creative Many on April 18 to stand with our creative community in Lansing. We'll connect with other advocates, learn about challenges facing the creative community, and meet with our state lawmakers. Read more

Treasury Releases Raw Data Behind Latest PPT Reimbursements
Many communities were confused by their Personal Property Tax loss reimbursement check in November 2017. 167 cities and villages received less in 2017 than in 2016, and several received zero. The complex formula of recalculation of prior years is the main culprit. Read more.

Podcast Shares Insights into Colorado's Marijuana Legalization
On this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast, 2017 Convention speaker Chelsey Clarke of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area shares Colorado's experience since becoming one of the first states to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana. Tune in now.

Airbnb Rental Explosion Splits Traverse City
Traverse City is in a quandary on how to manage demand for short-term vacation rentals. The League's Jennifer Rigterink has expressed our opposition to bills in the House and Senate that would prevent local governments from enacting zoning ordinances that ban or restrict owners from renting out homes for short-term stays. Read more.

Okemos is One of the Best Places to Live in the United States
According to Niche, a website that ranks the best places to live and go to school, Okemos is the fifth best place to live in the United States. And it's the best place to live in Michigan. Okemos received A+ ratings for its public schools and housing, as well as being family friendly.More.

Dan Gilmartin Gave Washington, D.C. an Earful on Michigan's Lousy Roads
A congressional subcommittee got an earful March 13 about the poor state of Michigan's roads as League CEO Dan Gilmartin pleaded for help in fixing them. He said that many local governments are already at their limits on taxing authority and cannot raise millages. Read more.

Dan Gilmartin Gave Washington, D.C. an Earful on Michigan's Lousy Roads
A congressional subcommittee got an earful March 13 about the poor state of Michigan's roads as League CEO Dan Gilmartin pleaded for help in fixing them. He said that many local governments are already at their limits on taxing authority and cannot raise millages. Read more.

"Michigan Divided" Special Film Screening at Capital Conference
On Tuesday afternoon before Capital Conference's opening General Session, the League will present a special screening of "Michigan Divided," a documentary film that follows six families through a tumultuous year of politics to see if they can find common ground. Read more.

Podcast Shares the Story of Milan's Downtown Redevelopment
This week's Review Deja vu podcast features a finalist for our 2017 Community Excellence Awards - Milan's Downtown Redevelopment & Revitalization. Guests Jade Smith and Jill Tewsley share how one redevelopment project is jumpstarting a rejuvenation of downtown. More.

Michigan's Economy is Improving, Suburbs May Face Next Fiscal Crisis
Michigan's economy is mostly recovered from the Great Recession, but more than 150 communities still face serious long-term financial challenges. Deputy Treasurer Eric Scorsone says the next wave of fiscal problems will be in the surburbs - the problems are moving. Read more.

Governor Snyder Signs Bills Consolidating TIF Authorities
Legislation consolidating tax increment finance districts into one section of law has been signed by Gov. Snyder. According to Senate Bill 393 (now PA 57), all of the authorities would be subject to the same reporting requirements and have to hold information meetings. More.

Cease & Desist Letters Going to Illegal Marihuana Businesses
On March 15, the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation and the Michigan State Police began serving cease and desist letters to open marihuana businesses that didn't meet the Feb. 15 deadline to apply, as well as those operating without municipal approval. More

SE Michigan Voters Could See New Mass Transit Plan on Nov. Ballot
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has proposed a new $5 billion mass transit plan for southeast Michigan that seeks to address the concerns that killed the regional transportation initiative two years ago. The proposal would make several major changes to the 2016 plan. More.

2018 Michigan Green Communities Challenge Now Open!
Is your community working on projects to move sustainability forward? If so, share your innovative solutions through the Michigan Green Communities Challenge! It's open to all Michigan local governments. Sign up and you could be on your way to certification and other benefits.More

Broken Municipal Finance System Highlighted In Traverse City Column
After hearing the League's Anthony Minghine speak to business officials in Traverse City, the Traverse City Record-Eagle ran a column on the topic. They pointed out that Michgan local governments have lost ground on funding related to sales tax as only the state can collect sales tax. Read more.

Podcast Focuses on the Business Case for Municipal Finance Reform
Strategic investments in "place" add tremendous value to communities. Learn how Traverse City has invested in amenities that draw in businesses and people from guest Kent Wood, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, on this week's SaveMiCity podcast. Tune in.

Hurry! Capital Conference Online Registration Ends March 14!
It only takes a couple minutes to register online for Capital Conference. In exchange, you'll get access to enlightening and sessions; time to talk with lawmakers; network with colleagues; and make connections with Expo vendors. After March 14, only on site registration will be available. Get the details and register today!

We Appreciate Our Female Leaders Every Day!
Yesterday, on International Women's Day, the League saluted all the outstanding women leaders who serve on a variety of League-related boards, as well as our staff. Their hard work and dedication on behalf of the League and all our members is inspiring. When you get a chance, thank them! For more information on these amazing women, check out our Facebook and Twitter pages.

LAST DAY to Vote in Marshall vs Muskegon Strongest Town Match-Up
Two Michigan cities - Marshall and Muskegon - have been matched up in the third annual Strongest Town Competiiton! They need your votes to advance to the next segment of the contest. Check out their entries and vote for your favorite. Good luck to both communities! Read more.

Localities Want More Affordable Retiree Bills, States Won't Let Them
Michigan communities asked the state to give them tools to address looming retirement benefit costs. "There are innovative ways to reduce costs, and put some of the responsibility for paying a share of those costs onto the individuals who are benefiting - just as happens at most companies," said League CEO Dan Gilmartin. More.

Michigan Legislature Gives Final OK to Extra $175M in Road Funding
Despite concerns that not enough money is being allocated for Michigan's pothole-pocked roads, the Michigan Legislature voted to pump $175 million more into road improvements. The bill is being sent to Gov. Snyder for his signature. Read more.

New Podcast Illuminates the Gender Balance Challenge in Government
Women fill over 50 percent of state and local government positions, but less than 20 percent are in chief executive roles. On this week's Limelight podcast, learn about the value of gender diversity from guest Pam Antil, president of League of Women in Government. Tune in now.

Detroit on Forbes' List of '10 Coolest U.S. Cities to Visit in 2018'
The Motor City is on Forbe's list of "10 Coolest U.S. Cities To Visit in 2018" along with cities like Savannah, Ga., Portland, Maine, Baltimore, and San Antonio. Projects such as The Heidelberg Project, Micihgan Central Station, and the Inn on Ferry Street are all mentioned. Read more.

Time is Running Out to Register for Capital Conference!
Capital Conference is only a few weeks away - March 20-21 in Lansing. Register now to have access to enlightening workshops and sessions as well as a chance to talk with legislators at the Legislative Breakfast, network with colleagues at a variety of events, and make connections with over 50 Expo vendors. Get the details and register today!

It's Time to Give Michigan Local Governments More Tax Options
Michigan's over-reliance on the property tax and the growth limitations we have placed in our state constitution means that tax revenues for most municipalities only grow at the rate of inflation. A new Citizens Research Council of Michigan study shows that local governments in other states have far more diverse tax options. Read more.

February 2018

New Podcast Tackles the Intricacies of Ethical Public Leadership
Ethics is more than following the law, it's a way of conducting yourself in all your affairs. Tune in to this week's Michigan Politics, Huh? podcast to hear Scott Paine of the Florida League of Cities talk about the ethical challenges that surprise even the best-intentioned local officials. More.

What Michigan Will Do With $175 Million More in Road Funding
The Michigan Legislature is poised to pass an additional $175 million in road funding for the upcoming construction season. Under the plan, $38.1 million would be distributed to cities and villages, the remainder to counties as well as state trunkline projects. Read more

TODAY Deadline to Save $75 on Capital Conference Registration!
Early bird registration for Capital Conference ends TODAY. Register now to save $75 and have access to enlightening workshops and sessions as well as a chance to talk with legislators at the Legislative Breakfast, network with colleagues at a variety of events, and make connections with over 50 Expo vendors.Get the details and register today!

LAST DAY to Order Cool League Shirts, Support Scholarships!
In our recent poll to select a design for League shirts, the results were a virtual tie! So we've decided to offer both designs for sale. Your purchase of one - or both - designs will help provide scholarships to local officials through the MML Foundation. Order by tomorrow!.

New Fact Sheet: PA 51 - MI Transportation Fund
PA 51 defines the formula the state uses to distribute money for road maintenance to cities and villages for major and minor streets. Learn more about Act 51 in our new Fact Sheet by Prein&Newhof. Read more.

Get to Know Colleagues and Vendors at Capital Conference
At Capital Conference, there's plenty of time for fun networking with peers and vendors. Head to the League's Liability and Property Pool Welcome Reception to mingle with colleagues, vendors, and League staff as you enjoy appetizers and beverages. And explore our annual Expo with more than 50 vendors! Get the details and register today.

Federal FY 2019 Budget Disinvests in Cities and Local Governments
President Trump's FY2019 budget proposal includes $3 trillion in domestic cuts over 10 years. They are a historic disinvestment from cities and local governments, including elimination or reductions to Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Community Development Block Grants, and more. Read more

Michigan Metros Need to be Competitive Talent Magnets
Amazon's HQ2 wanted to be in a community with high talent concentrations. Neither metro Detroit nor Grand Rapids is a competitive talent magnet. Michigan must develop a culture and make key public investments aimed at preparing, retaining and attracting talent. Read more.

Talent Attraction Ideas Fill New Review Deja vu Podcast
Talent attraction is vital to Michigan's economic success. Tune in to this week's Review Deja vu podcast to hear Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future, Inc., lay out his placemaking recommendations to help Michigan compete for talent nationallly and globally. Listen now.

Traffic Fine Decline Saps Local Coffers in Michigan
Cops are writing less traffic tickets - bad news for courts and municipalities that depend on that revenue. Experts attribute the decline to staffing shortages. The League' believes it's a symptom of a much larger issue - Michigan's consistent disinvestment in its communites. More.

Infrastructure Issues a Key Topic at Capital Conference
Dangerous potholes, collapsing water and sewer lines, and other infrastructure crises abound in Michigan. At Capital Conference, our League legislative team will cover the federal and state infrastructure plans in depth. We also have two breakout sessions dedicated to infrastructure issues: the Lead and Copper rule and smart technology. Get the details and register now.

Is Regional Transit in Southeast Michigan Dead?
In 2016, a regional transit ballot initiative narrowly failed to pass. It looks increasingly unlikely that the system will be funded anytime soon. Many transit advocates believe that a lack of regional transit is one reason SE Michigan won't get to host Amazon's new HQ. Read more.

Help Oppose Telecommunications Bill Detrimental to Communities
The House may soon vote on HB 5098, a bill that would require that notification be provided one year in advance to a telecommunications provider for any project that would require the relocation of their facilities. Please let your State Representative know you oppose HB 5098. More

Headlee/Proposal A Lawsuit is the Focus of New SaveMICity Podcast
For years, Michigan's Headlee Amendment and Proposal A have been taking a huge bite out of local government budgets. On this week's SaveMICity podcast, the League's Tony Minghine talks with Steve Duchane, founder of Taxpayers for Michigan Constitutional Government, about their lawsuit against the State on this issue. Listen in now.

Governor Snyder Presents Final Budget Recommendation
In Gov. Snyder's FY2019 state budget, the key announcement for League members concerns revenue sharing. Constitutional revenue sharing payments are expected to grow, but the Governor did not recommend a continuation of the 2.5% statutory revenue sharing increase. Read more.

Northville City Manager to Lead Michigan Municipal Executives
Patrick Sullivan, Northville's city manager, is the new president of Michigan Municipal Executives. He was selected during the organization's annual Winter Institute. MME also elected Fenton City Manager Lynn Markland as president-elect and Ludington City Manager John Shay as vice president. Read more.

Help Us Choose the Coolest League-Branded Gear!
The League is making some swag and we need your help. Before we go to print, let us know which design you like better. Once you help us choose, we'll share a link so you can order your items as part of an MML Foundation fundraiser for scholarships for local officials. Take the poll. (Poll is now closed.)

Column: Invest in Talent that Drives Economic Growth
Michigan lacks a very valuable resource - college-educated talent. For 20 years we have focused our attention on retaining and attracting capital with a strategy of cutting taxes, rather than preparing, attracting and retaining college graduates, which requires investment by the state. More.

Great Opportunities to Connect with Affiliate Organizations at Cap Con
Several Capital Conference events are designed with our affiliate organizations in mind. The Michigan Association of Mayors, Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, and Michigan Women in Government will all hold luncheon meetings where attendees can learn more about their activities and officers. Get the details and register today!

NEW Economics of Place Podcast Explores Trends in City-Making
League CEO Dan Gilmartin interviews Mark Nickita - renowned urban designer, architect, and Birmingham city comissioner - on this week's Economics of Place podcast. They discuss the transformation of Detroit's Campus Martius and trends in city-making. Listen in now.

Boyne City Adding Inclusivity and Fun to Annual Goal-Setting
Seeking to get more input from a broader cross-section of its citizens, the Boyne City Commission will be using a revised and expanded process for its regular goal-setting effort. It will include fun and festive events for input from the community as well as the "public reveal." More

January 2018

Nominations Open for 3rd Annual Strongest Town Contest
Is your town on track to become strong? Then consider entering Strong Town's 3rd Annual Strongest Town Contest. Show them the best your town has to offer and what you're doing to become even stronger. Applications are due by Feb. 25. Read more.

Get to the Heart of Legislative Issues at Capital Conference
The heart of the League's Capital Conference revolves around the state and federal legislative issues that affect Michigan communities. At this year's General Sessions, we'll show you today's political landscape through the eyes of our lobbyists. They'll cover everything from the federal budget to OPEB reform and infrastructure. Capital pundits will offer a different, behind-the-scenes look at the happenings in Lansing. And the National League of Cities will share their recent efforts on behalf of communities in Washington, D.C. Get the details and register today!

Apply Now: Better Streets, Better Michigan Award
The League and the Michigan Department of Transportation are excited to announce the 2018 Better Streets, Better Michigan Award. This award recognizes Michigan cities and villages that have undertaken creative road projects. Application deadline is Feb. 16. Read more.

TODAY Pension and Retiree Health Care Reports Due to Mich. Treasury
In accordance with PA 202 of 2017, pension and retiree health care reports for retirement systems must be filed with the Mich. Dept. of Treasury. If your fiscal year ended on or before June 30, 2017, your Form 5572 is due by Jan. 31. To get the form and instructions, click here.

House Considering Bill Limiting Millage Elections
The House Elections committee held a hearing Jan. 25 on House Bill 4814 (Albert). This bill would limit all local governments to only being able to offer a millage question on the November General Election date. Please call your State Representative and members of the House Elections committee to express your opposition. Read more.

NEW We Love Where You Live Podcast Episode Now Airing!
Tune in to this week's We Love Where You Live podcast - Michigan Politics, Huh? - with host Matt Bach. He talks about the U.S. Supreme Court and cities with one of the League's Convention keynoters - Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State and Local Legal Center. Listen in now.

Exciting Array of Workshops Planned for Capital Conference!
Would you like a chance to dive deeper into a subject of interest and ask more questions? Try one of our Capital Conference Workshops: Council-Manager Relations, Michigan Kids in Prison, Medical Marijuana and Cyber Security. Get the details and register today!

Great Media Coverage for SaveMICity Presentation in Traverse City
The League's SaveMICity initiative received excellent media coverage on our presentation in Traverse City about the state's broken system for funding municipalities. The League's Anthony Minghine talked about the broken system and possible solutions. Read more.

Call for Nominations for Community Storytelling Award
Is your local government sharing clear, compelling, engaging stories about your community? Are they moving the needle in measurable, actionable ways? Nominate your local government for the Clarity Awards, offered by Engaging Local Government Leaders, by Feb. 9. Read more

NEW We Love Where You Live Podcast Episode Now Airing
Tune in to this week's We Love Where You Live Review Deja vu podcast with host Lisa Donovan. You'll get a fresh take on the League's 2017 Community Excellence Awards winner - the City of Hudsonville's Terra Square project! Listen in now.

League PlacePlans Projects: Where Are They Now?
Throughout 2017, the League's Review magazine featured updates on the successes, failures, and lessons learned from the 20+ local community engagement and redevelopment initiatives that were part of the PlacePlans pilot program. Read more.

Sign Up Today for the League's 2018 Capital Conference!
For this year's Capital Conference, we've brought together a great roster of speakers to share their insights on a wide variety of topics: legislative update, municipal finance, medical marihuana, retiree health insurance, and much more. Register today.

Cool Heads Keep Local Govt. Open, Hot Heads Shutdown U.S. Govt.
With the federal government budget shutdown still ongoing, the League would like to remind everyone that local government remains open for business. In the words of Ithaca, NY Mayor Svante Myrick, "Due to staggering competence, your local government will remain open today." Read more.

Walled Lake and Sterling Heights Officials Receive Scholarships
Michael Radtke, Jr. (Sterling Heights) and Gabriel Constanzo (Walled Lake) have been awarded the Tim Doyle Scholarship by the MML Foundation. The scholarship will cover the costs for them to attend an Elected Officials Academy Core Weekender training. Read more.

Head to Washington, D.C. for NLC Congressional City Conference
Join city leaders from across the country at the National League of Cities 2018 Congressional City Conference as we advocate together for the priorities of cities in the nation's capitol. The conference will take place in Washington, D.C., March 11-14. Read more.

League Insurance Boards Announce 2018 Member Dividends
The board of directors of the League Liability & Property Pool voted to return $2.1 million in equity to members who renew coverage in 2018. The trustees of the MML Workers’ Compensation Fund authorized an equity return of $8.6 million as part of members’ July 1, 2018 renewal. More

You Won! Now What? Newly Elected Officials Training
The League has two more trainings for newly elected officials to help educate them on their roles as public leaders. Topics include an overiew of basic local government; roles and responsibilities; and more. Jan. 17 (Ann Arbor) and Jan. 23 (Coldwater).

New Report Highlights Plan to Create New Jobs and Business in Michigan
Michigan has the assets it needs to grow hundreds of businesses and tens of thousands of jobs in fast growing sectors like energy, water, and transportation, says the Michigan Economic Center's new report, Jobs, Michigan, and Leadership in the Economy of Tomorrow. Read more.

What's Happening Inside MDOT's Local Agency Program Webinar
The League invites you to the first installment of a free webinar series with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). We'll give you the latest information on everything from requests for information and important deadlines to streamlined communications. Register today.

New Pension/OPEB Reporting Requirement Released
Following the year-end passage of pension/OPEB legislation that implements the recommendations of Gov. Snyder's Responsible Retirement Reform task force report, Treasury released the reporting requirement documentation which ended up as the main component of Public Act 202 of 2017. Read more.

Michigan Dept. of Treasury Announces Regional Training Opportunities
The Michigan Dept. of Treasury is pleased to announce the development and implementation of a one-day course titled Understanding the Basics of Assessing for Local Unit Officials. This free course will be offered in locations across the state from April 27 - Aug. 6. Read more

League's Shanna Draheim Talks About State of the Cities on Radio
The League's Shanna Draheim had a great interview on WILS radio about our State of the Cities report and specifically the types of things Michigan's locally elected leaders are talking about. Listen to Shanna's interview and read the Michigan: State of the Cities 2017 report. Read more

Robots Don't Have to Win: Michigan Has What it Takes to Create Jobs
Today's economic transformation centers on solving the world's problems around living sustainably: How to meet the needs for energy, clean water, transportation, food, and more. As detailed in the new Michigan Economic Center report: Jobs, Michigan, and Leadership in the Economy of Tomorrow, in each of these sectors Michigan is one of the few places that has innovation assets which can create new jobs and businesses as part of this revolution. Read more.

The League's Kelly Warren Takes on a New Role
Long-time League employee Kelly Warren has recently taken on a new role as the League's director of membership and affiliate engagement. In this new role, she strategically engages members and connects them to the League's innovative programs and services. Read more

Check out the League's Brand New Podcast Series!
The League is now airing our exciting new podcast series, We Love Where You Live. We'll bring you insightful interviews on city innovations, politics, local government finance, and members' amazing accomplishments, and take a fresh look at stories in the League's magazine. Check out the first episode now.

New Session - Understanding the General Law Village Act
Back by popular demand! Atter the success of the Understanding the General Law Village Act session at last year's Convention, we've scheduled a new session for Jan. 27 at our Lansing office.Get the details and register today.

New League E-Newsletter Shares News at Lamborghini Speed!
What do a Lamborghini and the League's new e-newsletter - Leading Edge - have in common? They both get you to your destination in record time! For the Leading Edge, the destination is a quick source of information on League news and events. The LINK and The LOOP are being combined into one, easy-to-read publication. The first issue hit email boxes on Jan. 4.

League Study Highlights Priorities in Annual State of the City Addresses
Across Michigan in the upcoming days, dozens of locally elected mayors and council presidents will be delivering "state of the city" and "state of the village" presentations. A new League study, Michigan: State of the Cities 2017, analyzes these presentat6ions and shows some interesting themes and priorities of top concern to local leaders. More.

Add Tools to the Local Government Toolbox, Don't Remove Them
Bay City is debating a proposal to sell a bridge to a private company, which would rebuild it and charge a toll. Why? Michigan cities can't do tolls, and state law limits how much they can tax. That's how you bankrupt a city - take away all their tools and then watch while they fail to thrive. More.

Escanaba Rejects Offer in Menards 'Dark Store' Dispute
Recently, the Escanaba City Council rejected an offer from Menards to settle a tax battle that began in 2014 when the retailer won a state appeal that significantly lowered its property value. Negotiations have been ongoing between the city and Menards with no real progress. More.

December 2017

League CEO Guest Column: How to Tackle Retirement Costs
The League and other local government organizations in the state are sorely disappointed in the failure of the Michigan Legislature to help us address looming retirement benefits costs that threaten the ability to provide vital community services. Read more.

Michigan Legislature Finalizes Action on OPEB Bills
Following the initial action on the stripped down OPEB proposal on Dec. 7, the League identified a number of items and requested changes. On Dec. 12 we were provided an H-2 version of SB 686 that did include a few of our requested changes. Read more

The League Wishes Everyone a Very Happy Holiday Season
League offices will be closed for the holiday season from 3:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22 until 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. We will be home enjoying the holidays with our families and friends, and we hope you will be doing the same. In the meantime, catch up on some of the League's latest news and happenings on our main website as well as these League sites: Inside 208 legislative blog, saveMIcity (municipal finance reform), placemaking, crowdfundingmi, and Michigan Municipal League Foundation. We have lots of exciting plans ahead for 2018, so stay tuned!.

League Members Appointed to Trial Court Funding Commission
Gov. Snyder has appointed two League members to the Trial Court Funding Commission. Todd Drysdale, Wyandotte city administrator, is the League's nominee. Eric DeLong, deputy city manager and COO for Grand Rapids, is the nominee of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Read more.

Local Officials Say They Can Rein in Retiree Benefits Costs
With the state's failure to win more control over how local governments fund their retirement systems, the focus turns to what cities will do to fix the problem. Saginaw and other cities insist the steps they have have taken will be enough to safisfy the Legislature's concerns. Read more.

Governor Snyder Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Rules
A 2016 overhaul to the state's 2008 voter-approved Medical Marihuana Act allowed the licensing department to craft new rules as Michigan tries to transition to a fully legal medical marijuana business.Marijuana enterprises can begin applying for licenses on Dec. 15. Read more.

Important 2020 Census Information for Municipalities
Accurate data collection in the U.S. Census is vital for communities.The Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA) is the only opportunity for local governments to review and update the Census Master Address File for the 2020 Census. Deadline to register is Dec. 15, 2017. More.

New Medical Marihuana Report Aims to Help Communities Choose
Should your community opt in on medical marijuana licensing? The League, in conjunction with our Legal Defense Fund, has issued a new, insightful report that aims to help communities make that decision. Check out the report here. View a press release about it here.

Report Outlines Financial Challenges Ahead for Michigan Municipalities
The Citizens Research Council has issued a new report about the implications of state budget issues on local governments. This report is very much in line with the League's saveMIcity messaging about the state's broken system for funding municipalities. Read more.

OPEB Reform Efforts Scuttled, Represent Missed Opportunity
Efforts to provide comprehensive reform tools for communities to better manage rising retiree health insurance costs were derailed and a stripped down proposal was adopted on Dec. 7. House Bill 5298 and its identical counterpart, Senate Bill 686, served as the main vehicle of the revised package, which was scaled back to only address the few areas of concensus agreed to in the July release of the Governor's Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force report. Read Chris Hackbarth's blog here. Read a statement from League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin here.

Series Breaks Down State's Broken System for Funding Municipalities
An excellent series in the St. Joseph Herald-Palladium details revenue sharing and how the state's system for funding municipalities is broken. "Having reviewed the data, it is difficult not to say the current revenue sharing model in the state of Michigan is broken," stated State Rep. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Twp. Read more.

State House Considering Revenue Sharing Package
Three bills were introduced in the House to create a structure that attempts to address the chronic underfunding of revenue sharing for local units of government. The League supports the bill package in concept and continues to advocate for a plan that restores the revenue sharing cuts of the past decade and distributes dollars appropriately. More.

Stay Tuned: OPEB Revisions Forthcoming, May Need Your Help
The League has been told to expect substitute versions for the 16-bill OPEB reform package sometime this morning or later today. The original package of bills, as introduced Nov. 30, was approved without support from Democrats in House and Senate committees Tuesday and has been tentatively scheduled for action on today’s House and Senate agendas. The League continues to actively press for amendments to the bills that would address our concerns. Please stay tuned as the League may ask you – our members – to contact your lawmakers to support or oppose the forthcoming revisions. Read more here and stay tuned.

Why Michigan Needs Newcomers. Told in 5 Data Maps.
Michigan's economy would improve if more adults had college degrees. One solution is convincing more adults from other states and countries to move to Michigan. Vibrant cities are one important key to drawing more college graduates to our state. Read more.

League Testifies on OPEB Bills, Continues to Work on Revisions
On Dec. 5, the League's Chris Hackbarth and Anthony Minghine testified in opposition to the introduced versions of the identical OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefit) bill packages in the Michigan Senate and House committees. Negotiation on these bills is ongoing and we are working diligently with the Governor's Administration and House and Senate leadership staff to address our concerns. They have been receptive to our input so far and we are waiting for revisions that should reflect the input we have provided. A 16-bill package that aims to better manage retirement health benefit cost drivers was introduced in the House and Senate on Thursday, Nov. 30. Those bills followed months of discussions between the League, legislative and administration officials. Read more here and stay tuned.

UPDATE: Legislature Introduces OPEB Reform Proposal
Negotiations on the OPEB reform package remain fluid. The Michigan Municipal League has remained fully engaged, including meetings with the Governor, Treasurer, and legislative leadership to fully understand the various components of the package. We are continuing to express concerns and suggestions. We have identified additional issues in need of addressing, primarily related to changes to PA 345 which allow levying taxes for public safety pensions, and the elimination of the bonding provisions for closed plans. We will be working on this package throughout the week. Please check the website for further updates as things develop. A 16-bill package that aims to better manage retirement health benefit cost drivers was introduced in the House and Senate on Thursday, Nov. 30. Those bills followed months of discussions between the League, legislative and administration officials. Read more here and stay tuned.

Downsized Public Workforce May Be Permanent Result of Recession
As revenues fell in the Great Recession, states and localities cut back on services and left vacancies unfilled. In Michigan, the League's Shanna Draheim says the shrinking of local government payrolls began in the early 2000s due to mounting cuts to state aid. Read more.

Why Michigan Needs Newcomers. Told in 5 Data Maps.
Michigan's economy would improve if more adults had college degrees. One solution is convincing more adults from other states and countries to move to Michigan. Vibrant cities are one important key to drawing more college graduates to our state. Read more.

Legislature Introduces OPEB Reform Proposal
Following months of discussions between the League, legislative, and administration officials on the need for additional tools to better manage retirement health benefit cost drivers, negotiations took a turn within the last few days. This shift in content has resulted in identical 16-bill packages being introduced on Nov. 30 in both the House and the Senate. House Bills 5298-5313 and duplicate Senate Bills 686-701 now include a number of provisions that were outside the original scope of those conversations that pose serious concerns for municipalities. These bills were referred to the House and Senate committees on Michigan Competitiveness. We have been told to expect these bills to be brought up by those committees next week, starting Tues., Dec. 5. Read more.

The Quiet Revolution Happening in the Suburbs
All over the country, suburbs are rushing to develop new mixed-use corridors, complete with dense, walkable shopping areas. After decades offering themselves as safer, quieter alternatives to cities, suburbs are refashioning themselves to become more like them. Read more.

November 2017

Retirement Reform Battle Looms in Lansing
House Republicans are preparing to introduce a reform proposal that sponsoring Rep. Thomas Albert calls a "fair and balanced solution" to protect retirees while helping local governments avoid potentially budget-busting bills for retirement benefits. Read more.

Deadline Approaching for John Barr Leadership Education Scholarships
Need some help with leadership training? The John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship, through the MML Foundation, is offering two scholarships of up to $1,000 each for training opportunities for local elected and appointed officials. The deadline is Nov. 30, so apply today.

You Won! Now What? Newly Elected Officials Training
The League is offering training for newly elected officials that will help educate them on the basic functions in their roles as public leaders. Topics include an overiew of basic local government; roles and responsibilities of elected officials; and more. Find a training session near you.

Taxes, Big-Box Stores and the 'Dark Store Theory'
Cities accuse big box retailers of undervaluing their own properties so they can pay less tax. One method to appraise a property is to use comparables If you're a big-box retailer, you might want to compare yourself to a dark or vacant store. like the vacant Menards in Kalamazoo. More.

Michigan Wants All Lead Pipes Replaced Within 20 Years
Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is planning to require the replacement of every underground lead service pipe in Michigan within 20 years while delaying by four years a deadline to implement the nation's toughest lead limit for drinking water, in the wake of the Flint lead crisis. State officials plan to give communities 20 years to replace an estimated 500,000-plus lead service lines in a state with the third-most in the U.S. The goal is to push municipalities to replace the old lead pipes running from water mains to houses or else face "difficult" new operational rules. More.

Legislature Considering Retiree Health Care Reforms
The League participated in Gov. Snyder's Retirement Reforms workgroup and was disappointed with the results. Now, a prospective OPEB reform proposal could be introduced soon and we're hopeful that it will provide tools for local units to control their OPEB expenses. More.

MML Foundation Launches Inaugural #GivingTuesday Campaign
Today, we're launching our first Michigan Municipal League Foundation #GivingTuesday campaign! Our goal is to raise $1,000 to make thriving, safe, and beautiful communities a reality for families around the state. Your donation will help educate local officials so they can make the best decisions for their communities; support local public space projects that improve quality of life; and connect communities with funding so they can attract residents, visitors, and employers. Please make a #GivingTuesday donation today. Donate here. Thank you for your support!

The Nashville Experiment and How Michigan is Still in Retreat
Michigan continues to fall behind in the race to attract talent. While our lawmakers talk about tax cuts and regulations, other places are investing in what really matters - ommunities. Nashville just announced a $5.2 billion transit system overhaul that goes before voters in May 2018. More.

MML Foundation President Guests on Comcast Newsmakers
Michigan Municipal League Foundation President Gisgie Gendreau was recently a guest on Comcast Newsmakers, hosted by Laurel Hess. Gendreau shared highlights of the Foundation's work and how it's helping Michigan communities thrive. Read more.

USDA Now Accepting Applications for Solid Waste Management Grants
USDA is currently accepting applications for Solid Waste Management grants. Funds can use used to evaulate current landfill conditions, identify threats to water resources, and provide training to enhance operations. The deadline to apply is Jan. 2, 2018. Read more.

MSHDA Neighborhood Placemaking Grants Available
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) announced round two of the Neighborhood Enhancement grant program. The grants are targeted at beautifucation and public space improvements. Applications are due Dec. 20. Read more.

Important 2020 Census Information for Municipalities
Accurate data collection in the U.S. Census is very important for communities.The Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA) is the only opportunity for local governments to review and update the Census Master Address File prior to the 2020 Census. Deadline to register for LUCA is Dec. 15, 2017. Read more.

Voter Approval of Tax Hikes Proof of Broken Municipal Finance System
Local taxpayers were once again asked to step up to the plate and approve tax-related proposals during the recent Nov. 7 election. And, according to MIRS News Service, 75 percent of the tax questions seeking new money were approved. More

League Signs on to NLC Letter Urging Federal Tax Reform Changes
The League has signed on to a letter from the National League of Cities to the House Ways & Means committee expressing support for preserving the tax exempt status of municipal bonds, but relaying concern with some provisions that will negatively impact local governments. Please contact your Congress member and ask them to support the changes proposed by NLC. More.

New MWIMG Event - Advancing Women in Local Government
Please join us for a panel discussion, where successful women serving in local government will share their insights. There will also be time to learn more about Michigan Women in Municipal Government (MWIMG) and some lively networking, Nov. 28, 3:30 pm, Lansing. More.

Do Ride-Sharing and Driverless Cars Mean Fewer Parking Garages?
Cities should start thinking now about the impact driverless cars will have on everything from transit to parking. That's according to the new CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which commissioned a recent report as a road map for cities to consider the kinds of infrastructure and land use changes that the emerging mobility industry will bring. The report makes the case that the communities best suited to attract jobs and residents will be the ones that have invested in the infrastructure to be ready for things like ride-hailing and bike-sharing services and self-driving cars. More

Michigan Municipal League and Flint Celebrate a Decade of Placemaking
On Nov. 9, the League celebrated successes in community placemaking - and looked forward to what still needs to be done to make our state's cities more attractive - with a new report entitled "A Decade of Placemaking in Michigan." The celebration included comments from those leading the way: Tim Herman, CEO, Flint & Genessee Chamber of Commerce, Karianne Martus, market manager, Flint Farmers' Market; Shanna Draheim, League director of policy development, and Keysa Smith of Spectacular Spudz. The event was at Flint Farmers Market and Facebook Live. Read more

Great Places in the Great Lakes: 20 Years of Placemaking in Michigan
Michigan has found itself in another line of business: as a producer of great places.The word of these great places is spreading in Michigan. Organizations like the League are helping to scale up placemaking all over the state, as evidenced by the League's new report. Read more

Webinars on Local Regulation of Medical Marijuana Facilities
MSU Extension is offering webinars on "Next Steps in Local Regulation of Medical Marijuana Facilities." They'll review Michigan's medical marijuana facilities laws, summarize options for local govt. regulation, highlight ordinances that municipalities are adopting, and more. More

Invest in Cities to Narrow the Inequality Gap
In his new book "The New Urban Crisis," urbanist Richard Florida calls for cities and urbanism to be put at the center of the agenda for economic prosperity. He proposes a strategy that includes investing in infrastructure and empowering cities and communities. Read more

Michigan Secretary of State Releases May 2018 Election Deadlines
The Michigan Secretary of State recently released a calendar of deadline dates for the May 8, 2018 election. Please pay special attention to these deadlines as many of them are as early as January 2018. Read more.

ELECTIONS TODAY - Michigan Secretary of State Reminders
Many Michigan cities and school districts will hold elections Nov. 7. The Secretary of State has a lot of valuable information on their Elections in Michigan page. Residents can check their voter registration information, view their sample ballot, and more. Read more

October 2017

Michigan Must Look to Infrastructure, Policy to Lead Mobility Charge
Gov. Snyder unveiled a new report: "Future Cities: Navigating the New Era of Mobility." "We must arm our communities with the knowledge they need to develop a vision for tomorrow's infrastructure, neighborhoods and transportation systems, says one of the report's authors. Read more.

Water Crisis Hits Suburbs: 'We've Been Sounding Alarms for Years'
When a massive water main broke last week in Oakland County and made tap water unsafe to drink for 305,000 residents, a top utility official called the mishap "unprecedented." Experts fear it could be something else: a byproduct of aging infrastructure in Michigan whose failings are becoming more frequent and dangerous. Read more.

Meridian Township Commits to 100% Renewable Energy by 2035
The Meridian Township Board approved a Climate Sustainability Plan that provides a framework for the township to improve sustainability and reduce climate change. Objectives include energy and water cost savings, use 100% renewable energy by 2035, and more. Read more.

Municipalities, Investors Explore State's New Pot Opportunities
Developers and companies affiliated with medical marijuana are flocking to Michigan municipalities. The League's Jennifer Rigterink says it's an opportunity to put vacant properties back on the tax rolls, but it's unclear if licensing fees, etc. will be a windfall for local coffers. More.

Searching for Housing Solutions in the Grand Traverse Region
Michigan's current housing supply is not keeping up with modern needs. The rising interest in this topic was evidenced by the large turnout at Networks Northwest's recent Housing Summit, where community leaders shared success and aired challenges and frustrations. Read more.

Major Dark Stores VICTORY for Michigan Communities, Taxpayers
The Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling that Big Box stores can no longer use the “Dark Stores” property valuation method, which allowed them to escape paying millions in local property taxes. View decision and joint League and Michigan Townships Assoc. statement.

MDOT Performance Audits No Longer Required from Local Road Agencies
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has re-evaluated its decision regarding performance audits. Local road agencies are no longer required to submit Act 51 performance audits, and MDOT will reimburse agencies for costs incurred related to these audits. More.

League Lessons Learned and Shared at Placemaking Week
Michigan's experience with placemaking for the past decade makes it a perfect case study for others around the globe. That's why the League and our partners at MEDC were recently featured speakers at the Project for Public Spaces' Placemaking Week in Amsterdam. Read more.

John Barr Scholarships Offered for Leadership Training
Need some help with leadership training? The John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship, through the MML Foundation, is offering two scholarships of up to $1,000 each for training opportunities for local elected and appointed officials. The deadline is Nov. 30, so apply today

Nominations Now Open for the League's Guido and Sinclair Awards
Does your community have an outstanding chief elected official? Would you like to recognize someone who has provided exemplary service to the League? Nominate them for a Guido Leadership & Public Service or Sinclair Exceptional Service Award by Dec. 15. Read more

Training Videos Available for New Voting Systems
In 2017 and 2018, Michigan's counties, cities and townships are gradually replacing voting systems statewide. Dominion and ES&S have provided training videos for the new tabulators and voter assist terminals. Training documents are available for the Hart system. More

Bessemer Unveils New Branding for the City
The City of Bessemer recently unveiled a new branding logo, which focuses on what a person can "Be" in Bessemer. Slogans such as "Be Amazed" and "Be Proud" are part of a new branding video, and may also be used on banners to be hung along U.S. 2. Read more

TODAY League CEO to Keynote UM-Flint Placemaking Conference
League CEO Dan Gilmartin will be the keynote speaker at "Aspire to Transform: The Power of People and Place." Community leaders, local business owners, UM-Flint faculty and other influencers will discuss placemaking and its transformational impact, Oct. 24, More

Michigan Supreme Court Considers 'Dark Store' Case
Escanaba officials who attended a Michigan Supreme Court hearing in Lansing on Oct. 12 are hopeful justices will decide not to hear a "dark store" appeal by Menards to reverse a lower court's ruling which favors the city. Menards claims the store's value should be based on a closed and empty building - or a dark store. The League is among many state organizations that are backing Escanaba. Read more.

Sterling Heights City Manager Honored with ICMA Longevity Award
Mark Vanderpool, Sterling Heights city manager, has been honored with a 30-year service award from the International City/County Management Association. He was appointed city manager in Sterling Heights in 2004 after serving as assistant village manager in Skokie, IL. More

Airbnb Battle Brews in Lansing Over Local Control of Short-Term Rentals
Municipal leaders say they know better than Lansing how to govern their communities in regard to short-term rentals. Bills introduced in the Michigan House and Senate would allow short-term rentals in all residential zones and prohibit municipalities from restricting them. More

Suzanne Schulz Appointed to State Marihuana Advisory Panel
Gov. Rick Snyder announced initial appointments to the Marihuana Advisory Panel. One of those appointees is Suzanne Schulz, planning director and managing director of design, development, and community engagement for the city of Grand Rapids. Read more.

MBC-LEO Supports Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands in Crisis
Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials: We stand in agreement with the U.S. Conference of Mayors regarding the devastation that struck Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The White House should follow the example of the nation's mayors, and other locally elected officials, who form a united front to support their fellow Americans in times of crisis. Read full statement.

Special Discount for Grants Management Training in Detroit
SEMCOG and Grant Writing USA are presenting a grant management workshop in Detroit, Dec. 4-5. Attendees will learn how to administer government grants and stay in compliance. League members can get a $30 discount by using code "MIASSN" at registration. Read more.

MDOT Seeking Input From Local Agencies on Construction Services
The League is working with MDOT to identify areas of construction oversight inconsistencies and gauge the effectiveness of current activities. Your feedback will help them identify things that do or don't work well. Please complete their survey by Oct. 20. Read more.

Planning and Shaping Cities: Customer Service is Key
In local government, good customer service is just as important as in the private sector. It is crucial that we recognize the unique needs of each customer type and plan ways to be responsive to them. Helpful techniques range from speaking their language and presenting options to demystifying board and commission meetings. Read more.

Plymouth's Art Foundation Launches Campaign to Foster Creative Minds
Plymouth's Art Foundation believes that in the right environment, anyone can thrive as an artist. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to transform part of an old school into Warehouse Studio, with art classrooms, a gallery for budding artists, and more. More

League Promotes Summer Minnick to Executive Team
The League's Summer Minnick was recently promoted to deputy executive director and chief membership officer. She'll oversee the strategic direction and implementation of the League's external programming, including State and Federal Affairs. Read more.

saveMIcity Initiative Travels to Macomb County and Saline
The League's Anthony Minghine has been making presentations on municipal finance around the state. He was recently in Clinton Township, and spoke to members of the Michigan Library Association in Saline. He'll make another presentation in Macomb County on Oct. 18. Read more.

How You Can Help Hurricane Victims in Puerto Rico
After Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory is facing what local officials have described as a full-blown humanitarian crisis, with devastation they call "apocalyptic." Nearly all of the island's 3.4 million residents need assistance. Here's how you can help. Read more.

The League and Muskegon Celebrated a Decade of Placemaking
On Oct. 6, the League was in Muskegon to celebrate successes in community placemaking - and look forward to what still needs to be done to make our state's cities more attractive - with a new report and comments from those leading the way. Also on Facebook Live. Read more.

League Promotes Long-Time Employee Dene Westbrook
Long-time League employee Dene Westbrook has been promoted to director of internal operations. "She has worked her way up at the League by impressing us with her skill, knowledge and desire to learn at every step along the way," said League CEO Dan Gilmartin. Read more.

Alcona Co. Launches Campaign to Build Local Farm to Fork Movement
Alcona County wants to rejuvenate their economy by building a local farm to fork movement.. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to hold workshops, chef-inspired dinners, and more to attract visitors, young farmers, and budding entrepreneurs. More

What's Next for Regional Transit in SE Michigan?
Online retailer Amazon wants to open a second headquarters in North America, but. SE Michigan may not have a shot. One of Amazon's "Core Preferences" is access to mass transit - not exactly an asset in our region, especially after the defeat of last year's mass transit proposal. More.

September 2017

The League and Cadillac Celebrated a Decade of Placemaking
The League celebrated successes in community placemaking - and looked at what still needs to be done for our cities - with a new report and comments from those leading the way. The press conference was held in Cadillac Sept. 28, and on Facebook Live. Read more.

League Promotes Long-Time Employee Shari Milliken
Long-time League employee Shari Milliken has been promoted to finance director. "Promoting staff from within is important to our organization and I couldn't be more pleased to have Shari as the League's finance director," said Dan Gilmartin, League CEO. Read more.

Detroit Neighborhood Launches Campaign for Community Treehouse
Detroit's Manistique Block Club wants to create the Manistique Treehouse Center, a community-run center for occupational therapy and education. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to build an ADA-accesible building and offer special programs for veterans and people with disabilities. Read more

Marshall and Albion Bridge Divides Through Art and Theater
The recent merger of the Marshall and Albion school districts ran into some bumps in the road. The two towns have significant demographic differences. They came together to develop the Franke Center's Youth Theater Education Program to give the students exposure to one another and to creative expression. Read more.

saveMIcity Goes to West Michigan; Up Next Saline & Macomb County
The League's Anthony Minghine recently spoke to dozens of people for a presentation with West Michigan municipal leaders and a community event in Paw Paw. "We have disinvested in our communities and that has got to stop," said Minghine. More presentations are planned in Macomb and Washtenaw counties. Read more.

Hudsonville Emerges Victorious at Convention in the Race for the Cup!
Hudsonville came out on top in the League's annual Community Excellence Awards competition! Their Terra Square project transformed a 1950s Chevrolet dealership into the city's freshest, multi-purpose community venue. Read more about Hudsonville's Terra Square project and Convention highlights.

Gladstone Launches Crowdgranting Campaign for Disc Golf Park
Local disc golfers want to install a disc golf course at Gladstone Sports Park to enhance recreational opportunities, safety, and conservation. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to build a course for people of all ages and skill levels. Read more.

Internet Sales Tax Challenge Could Face Supreme Court
In a recent National League of Cities blog, MML Convention speaker Lisa Soronen says that South Dakota is expected to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that its law requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax is constitutional. Read more.

Several Michigan Communities Take a Stand Against Racism and Hate
Racism and hate, in any form, are detrimental to the development of welcoming, thriving communities. In response to national and local incidents, several Michigan municipalities recently passed resolutions opposing and condemning racism and hate. Read more.

Local Leaders Highlight Priorities in Annual State of the City Addresses
Many local leaders give a "State of the City/Village" address to highlight priorities, challenges and accomplishments. A new League report, Michigan: State of the Cities 2017, summarizes key themes and priorities presented in these speeches. Read more.

Governor Signs Fix for Local Candidate Filings
Gov. Snyder has signed HB 4892, which will allow any community that inadvertently followed candidate filing deadlines in their charter rather than the uniform filing date in Michigan election law, to place all otherwise eligible candidates back on the November ballot. Read more.

Want an Amazon HQ in Metro Detroit? Shoulda Voted for Transit
Amazon plans to open a second headquarters. Metro Detroit may already be out of the running due to lack of mass transit. League CEO Dan Gilmartin says our transit woes are part of a broader pattern of disinvestment that hobbles our state economically. More.

New Infrastructure Asset Management Fact Sheet
The goal of asset manaqement is to minimize the total cost of ownership of a community's infrastructure assets throughout their lifecycle. Prein&Newhof provides helpful information in this new Infrastructure Asset Management Fact Sheet. Read more.

Sault Ste. Marie Leaders Testify in Lansing, Work to Resolve Ballot Issue
A state ruling said city office candidates in Sault Ste. Marie filed their nominating petitions 3 weeks too late. City manager Oliver Turner, with support from the League, has been working to fix the filing deadline flub. Turner and the League's Chris Hackbarth testified in Lansing. More.

We Hope to See You in Holland This Week for Our Exciting Convention!
We've been hard at work all year creating a Convention experience that will educate and inspire you! From the opening day workshops to the closing session on The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, every session is designed with you in mind. You'll also have plenty of time to get out in the community on mobile workshops, have informal conversations on Convention topics at Meet-Ups, and mingle with your colleagues at fun events like the Host City and League Foundation Receptions. Complete details are available on our Convention website.

How to Help in Hurricane Harvey Recovery Effort
Images of desparate rescues and flooded neighborhoods prompt many of us to ask, "How can we help?" ICMA asked Texas City Management Association President David Harris for his advice. Coordinating disaster recovery efforts is an important part of the process. Read more.

August 2017

Treasury Announces Grants for Financially Distressed Communities
The Michigan Department of Treasury announced grants for financially distressed communities. Cities, villages, and townships experiencing financial struggles can now apply for a grant to help fund special projects and free up tax dollars for important services. Read more.

Michigan Bills Would Prohibit Bans on Short-term Rentals
SB 329 and HB 4503 would not allow municipalities to define a property renting for less than 28 days as a commercial use and would prohibht them from restricting short-term rentals in residential districts. The League is urging local governments to oppose the legislation. More.

New NLC Report Reveals Five Distinct Local Economies
The National League of Cities just released a new report - Local Economic Conditions: The Untold Story of the Varied Middle. The report reveals a dynamic economic landscape that has given rise to five distinct types of local economies: a highly rural cluster; a large central city cluster; and three types of mid-sized economies. Read more.

Convention "Nuts & Bolts" Sessions Keep Communities Humming
Local governments provide numerous "nuts and bolts" programs and services that keep their community functioning on a daily basis. At Convention, the League is offering several sessions that will share ideas on how to keep those activities running smoothly and efficiently. Try one of these Breakout Sessions: Illegal / Improper Municipal Expenditures or Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Legalities. AND everyone can save $150 if they register for Convention by Aug. 30! Read more.

State Disinvestment Hurting SE Oakland County Communities
Residents and officials from SE Oakland County came to learn why Michigan ranks last in the nation for investment in its communities. The League's Tony Minghine brought that message to leaders and residents from Pleasant Ridge, Huntintgon Woods, Ferndale, Berkley, Hazel Park and other communities. Read more.

Five Michigan Mayors Join Pledge to Fight Extremism After Charlottesville
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, Muskegon Mayor Steve Gawron and Westland Mayor William Wild all signed the "Mayors' Compact to Combate, Hate, Extremism and Bigotry" put together by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Anti-Defamation League. Read more.

Kalamazoo Mayor Appointed to State Community Corrections Board
Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell and several others to the Michigan Community Corrections Board. The board advises the director of the Michigan Department of Corrections. Hopewell will represent members of city government. Read more.

Earn EOA and ICMA Credits at Convention
For Convention attendees participating in the League's EOA, you can earn 4 credits for attending Convention, and 3 credits for attending a workshop. If you're participating in ICMA's voluntary credentialing program, many Convention sessions meet ICMA Core Competency requirements. Save $150 if you register for Convention by Aug. 30! Register now!

Grand Blanc Honored in Michigan Green Communities Challenge
In this year's Michigan Green Communities Challenge, Grand Blanc won a Bronze Certification for completing an energy audit and implementing energy-saving measures. The League's Emily Kieliszewski presented City Manager Wendy Jean Burher with the certificate. Read more

Sinister-Sounding Dark Store Theory is Corporate Welfare
The dark store theory gained traction in Texas, with recent protests in several counties. Large retailers have tax consultants, lawyers and lobbyists, so they keep pushing and eventually bully their way to lower values and lower taxes, leaving others to pick up the tab. More

saveMIcity Events: Let's Chat About Fiscal Challenges of Your City
The cities of Huntington Woods, Berkley, Pleasant Ridge, Oak Park, Hazel Park, and Ferndale hosted three saveMIcity presentations. The League's Anthony Minghine and local elected officials discussed ways to reform municipal finance policy. Read more.

Gov Snyder Signs Legislation to Make State More Jobs Competitive
Gov. Snyder signed into law the Good Jobs for Michigan package, which is designed to attract large employers to Michigan by allowing them to keep some or all of the state income tax paid by their employees if certain criteria are met. Read more.

Mobile Workshops Pave the Way to Explore Many Avenues of Holland
At Convention, the League is offering several opportunities to get out in the community and discover all that Holland has to offer. Choose the Walk: Downtown Holland or Ride: Downtown Holland tours to learn about the city's ongoing efforts to develop and sustain its vibrant downtown, as well as its historic preservation initiatives. Or find out about the city's innovative Holland Energy Fund and Community Energy Plan - twice recognized by the Governor's Energy Excellence Awards - on the Holland Energy Park Tour. Get the details and register today!

Michigan Pension Reformers Turn Their Attention to Local Governments
Gov. Snyder and legislative leaders want to devise a plan to rein in pension debt at the municipal level. The League and other municipal organizations caution a "one-size-fits-all" approach handed down from the legislature isn't the best for Michigan's local governments. Read more

MEDC Roadshow Celebrates Manistee's Vogue Theatre
MEDC was in Manistee Aug. 11 for a 5-year celebration of their Community Revitalization Program, which helped finance the renovation of the Vogue Theatre. The League is pleased to support projects like these that help create vibrant communities.

Convention Breakout Sessions Shed Light on a Multitude of Topics
Enlightening breakout sessions will be Interspersed throughout the three days of the League's Convention in Holland, Sept. 13-15. Want to learn how to present an engaging State of the City address or develop an energy strategy for your community? Or maybe you need to know more about passing millage proposals, best practices for emergency vehicle operation, or getting redevelopment sites moving. These sessions and more - along with plenty of opportunities to interact with your colleagues - will be available at Convention.Get the details and register today!

Finalists Revealed for 2017 Community Excellence Awards!
After receiving the judges' rankings and more than 11,000 votes for this year's Community Excellence Awards, we're ready to unveil the finalists! The communities of Cadillac, Hudsonville, Milan, and Wayne will be heading to Convention in the Race for the Cup! Read more.

July 2017

Ten Reasons to Build Community Through Urban Design
Mixed-use neighborhoods and great public spaces bring citizens together. The 10 best reasons to design and build places that support community include freedom and choice in mobility; support social interaction; great public places; healthy lifestyle opportunities, and more. Read more

Grand Rapids Named One of The 25 Best Towns of 2017
Grand Rapids was named "Best River Town" in Outside Magazine's national list of The 25 Best Towns of 2017. The city has high-paying jobs, 70 parks, and 10 mountain biking trails nearby. Mayor Rosalynn Bliss hopes to make the town more sustainable, too. Read more.

Council Recognizes Longest-serving Member in Madison Heights History
Margene Scott has long been passionate about history. Now, Scott herself has made history, becoming the longest-serving councilmember in the history of Madison Heights, with 24 years of service. On July 24, Scott's peers honored her for her impressive feat. Read more.

A Refreshing Way to Support MML Foundaton at Convention
Want to have fun while supporting Michigan communities? Then be sure to add the MML Foundation fundraising reception to your Convention registration. Held at the beautiful, lakeside Boatwerks in Holland and generously supported by DTE Energy, the event is a great opportunity to network while doing good. Your support will help sponsor scholarships for local elected and appointed officials to get the training they need. Refreshments and fun entertainment will make this a can't-miss event. Thursday, Sept. 14, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Get the details and register today!

Southfield Fire Chief, Councilman Recognized for Community Efforts
Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee and City Councilman Lloyd Crews were recognized by the Michigan Chronicle for their involvement in the community. The Chronicle's Men of Excellence Awards celebrate African-American men who inspire others. Read more.

League Statement on Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Govt.
A work group aimed at providing a comprehensive plan to substantially improve the ability of communities to address municipal fiscal stresses has failed to reach the League's goals. We were hopeful the work would have culminated in a real solution. Read more

Convention Workshops Offer a Deep Dive into Essential Topics
Arrive a little early to the League's Convention in Holland and you'll have an opportunity to participate in an in-depth, interactive session. This year, on the morning of Sept. 13, we'll be offering three different workshops: Building Trust Between Citizens and Law Enforcement, presented by the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials; Understanding the General Law Village Act; and Council-Manager Relations. Each workshop will provide you with valuable ideas to apply in your own community. Get the details and register today!

Plainwell Launches Crowdgranting Campaign for a New Dog Park
The residents of Plainwell would love to have a dog park where their furry friends can romp. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to transform part of Cook Park into a dog park with fenced areas, benches, water stations and more. Read more.

NLC Toolkit to Fight Federal Budget Cuts Affecting Michigan Communities
The federal budget proposal for FY 2018 cuts more than $54 billion in funding for domestic programs. It would have major consequences for every city and village in Michigan. The League is proud to be working with NLC on a toolkit to send a message to Congress. Read more.

"On the Ground" To Tell Stories of Ypsi People, Projects, & Innovations
Concentrate wil be conducting an embedded reporting program called "On the Ground" in Ypsi. The intent is to create "solutions-oriented" media coverage, community engagement, and understanding of the community. Find out how you can get involved. Read more.

#CityHallSelfie Day is August 15, 2017!
Local government professionals and elected officials from the around the globe are invited to participate in #CityHallSelfie day, organized by Engaging Local Government Leaders. The day is a chance to show pride in local government service and facilities. Get the details

At Convention: America in Bloom's Vision for Vibrant Communities
America in Bloom envisions communities across the country as welcoming and vibrant places to live, work, and play - benefiting from colorful plants and trees; enjoying clean environments; celebrating heritage; and planting pride through volunteerism. At Convention's Thursday morning General Session, Tony Ferrara, America in Bloom's first vice president, will share how his organization is using community engagement and successful local level leadership as part of their vision to help create better places to live. Get the details and register today!

League's Richard Murphy Featured in Article on Ypsi Housing Affordability
Increasing rents as well as the arrival of some upscale new businesses have led some Ypsi residents to worry about gentrification. The League's Murphy says there are a number of solutions in the urban planner's toolkit, including the 'market urbanist' approach. Read more

You Need to Know! Event: Medical Marihuana in Your Community
Michigan's new Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act is generating lots of questions. Join us for You Need to Know! , where we'll discuss your rights and what the new law can create in your community. Register now for sessions in Gaylord, Mt. Pleasant, Novi, and Kalamazoo

League Leadership Opportunities Now Easier to Locate
The League looks to members to lead in many ways, from legislative issue committees to affiliate boards to moderating a Convention session. Those opportunities are now all on one web page. Check out the options for putting your leadership skills to work. Read more

After Teacher Pensions, Legislature Wants More Benefits Changes
Now that Gov. Snyder has signed major changes to retirement benefits for new teachers into law, legislators hope to extend those changes to other public employees. The League's Chris Hackbarth says the largest spiraling cost for cities is retiree health care. Read more.

July/August Magazine Highlights Great Communication Ideas
Storytelling for Local Leaders, The Benefits of Low-Tech Engagement, and Governtainment - these are just a few of the articles in the new July/August magazine. Each story offers ideas on unique ways to keep your community informed and engaged. Read more.

Washington Decisions Affect Your Communty: See How at Convention
With ample chatter about what's going on in Washington, D.C., don't miss out on the happenings relevant to cities and villages. At Convention, Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, will share insights on this topic. You'll hear about cases being considered by the Supreme Court, the appointment of Justice Gorsuch, the relationship between the federal and local governments on immigration, and many other inside perspectives. Please join us for this engaging Michigan Municipal Executives Colloquium at Convention. Get the details and register today

New Report Chronicles a Decade of League Placemaking Efforts
Since the early 2000s, the League has been a leader and partner in bringing the concept and practice of placemaking to Michigan communities. Our new report, "A Decade of Placemaking in Michigan," is a retrospective of our efforts. The purpose is to remind us of what we've accomplished and set the stage for our future placemaking work. Read more..

Mayors Can Boost Local Biz with "I Buy Nearby Weekend" Proclamation
The Michigan Retailers Association's Buy Nearby campaign urges shoppers to patronize local businesses. A great way to promote the campaign is to issue a proclamation declaring Oct. 7-8 as "I Buy Nearby Weekend" in your community. View sample Resolution.

New Growth for Grayling: City Looks Back to Forest Industry
A Chilean forestry company's $400 million particleboard factory just south of downtown Grayling is poised to transform the area's economy. And its arrival may offer lessons for other Michigan towns on how to revive their financial fortunes. Read more.

Clean City Design, Park Proximity Boosts Trust in Local Government
Findings from the Assembly Civic Engagement Survey indicate that people living near well-maintained parks are more likely to show satisfaction with local police and their mayor. Results indicate that placemaking is just as important for smart cities as open data. Read more.

Grand Rapids Ranked No. 1 in U.S. for Job Growth
The Grand Rapids metropolitan area was the fastest growing economy in the U.S. last year, according to Headlight Data, a company that tracks economic and workforce development. Grand Rapids' workforce grew 4.4 percent last year. Read more.

Supreme Court Decision Affects Local Governments on Social Media
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that social media is "speech" under the First Amendment. As a result, local government officials and employees should make sure their social media use and policies comply with First Amendment principles. Read more.

AARP Funding Opportunity for Communities - Deadline July 15
AARP knows that great communities take time to build and sustain. But "quick actions" can be the critical spark for longer-term progress. That's why the AARP Community Challenge will fund projects to help build momentum. Apply by July 15. Read more.

June 2017

Experience Hip and Historic Holland at 2017 League Convention!
YOU can join hundreds of local government officials from across the state for the League's 2017 Convention in Holland. You don't need a passport to enjoy this unique city on the shores of Lake Michigan. In this European-inspired setting, municipal officials will have the opportunity to hone their leadership skills; learn how to make ethics an integral part of your leadership style; partner with the business sector to boost the vibrancy of your community, and much more. Join us in Holland, Sept. 13-15, for a Convention experience you'll never forget. Get the details and register today!

The Scoop on Comp, Master, General, Strategic, Vision Plans
A comprehensive plan articulates the vision for the community through the framework of goals and objectives. It typically involves land use, transportation, and economic development, but success of the plan also depends on departments such as finance and IT. Read more.

A Year After Leaving State Oversight, Pontiac Sees Successes
Pontiac is undergoing a transformation and positioning itself for the future. Since coming out of state oversight in 2016, Pontiac is on the move and headed in the right direction. The city is committed to safety and building a welcoming community for everyone. Read more.

Baroda Uncorks Placemaking Potential with Wine Tasting Room
Baroda was featured in the League's book, The Economics of Place: The Art of Building Great Communities, for its placemaking efforts to transition into a wine country destination. Baroda has taken a step in that direction with the opening of Lake Michigan Vintners Tasting Room. More.

Six Lessons From People Shaping Tomorrow's Cities
Coming up with a big idea to improve your city is one thing. Digging into the gnarly details of launching and scaling that project is quite a different story. Knight Foundation brought together winners from the past 3 years of Knight Cities Challenge to share the lessons they've learned. More.

Dark Stores Victory for the City of Sault Ste. Marie!
An ongoing dispute at the Michigan Tax Tribunal involving the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Wal-Mart has come to a conclusion, with Wal-Mart withdrawing its appeal and the taxable value previously set by the city for the Wal-Mart property remaining intact. View Order of Dismissal. More

Michign Counties Seeing Increased Young Adult Civic Engagement
The majority of Michigan counties exhibit moderate to high levels of opportunity to increase youth civic engagement, according to the Reaching All Youth Strengthens Engagement Index. According to the index, 64 of Michigan's 83 counties had a rating of 3 stars or higher. Read more

NEW Legal Defense Fund Online Amicus Brief Bank
The best legal thinking on key municipal issues is now at your fingertips! The MML Legal Defense Fund has created an online, searchable dababase of amicus curiae briefs, 1997-present. Municipal attorneys and elected/appointed officials will find this new resource helpful in managing and defending their municipality. Read more.

Urbanism & Tech - Pushing Cities to the Next Level
The resurgence of urban environments as desirable, thriving and productive areas has been amazing. Similarly, we've seen the global impact of digital. The uniting of these trends creates a fantastic opportunity to develop stronger, safer, more affordable and efficient cities. Read more.

5 Metro Detroit Communities Recognized in MGC Challenge
Dearborn, Ferndale, and five other communities in metro Detroit were recognized June 6 as part of a clean energy and environmental leadership event hosted by the Michigan Green Communities Network. The League is one of the MGC partners. Read more.

Marquette Launches Campaign for Extension of Noquemanon Trails
About 4 miles of Marquette's Yellow Loop singletrack trail network are already in regular use by hikers and bikers. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to complete the next phase: 2-3 miles of new singletrack near Marquette Mountain. Read more

Funding Michigan Cities: The Path Forward
Did you miss the League's Anthony Minghine and Rosalynn Bliss in a panel discussion on municipal finance reform at the Mackinac Policy Conference? Catch a replay of the Conference panel discussion.

Community Excellence Awards Entries Due TODAY
We love hearing about all the great stories and creative projects that are making your communities vibrant! Better yet, we'd love to share that news with everyone in Michigan and beyond. But first, you need to enter this year's Community Excellence Awards. We've made entering even easier this year. Hurry - the deadline is June 15. Read more.

Howell Launches Campaign to Transform Peanut Row Alley
We love hearing about all the great stories and creative projects that are making your communities vibrant! Better yet, we'd love to share that news with everyone in Michigan and beyond. But first, you need to enter this year's Community Excellence Awards. We've made entering even easier this year. Hurry - the deadline is June 15. Read more.

New Fact Sheet: Reed v Gilbert Sign Regulations
In Reed v Gilbert, the U.S. Supreme Court found that distinctions based on the content of a sign favored certain types of signs and violated the First Amendment. Signs should not be regulated based on the content of the message or the speaker. Find out how your municipality should respond to the ruling in our new Fact Sheet.

May 2017

Battle Creek's Cybersecurity Training Featured in National Article
Cyberattacks on local governments are increasing in frequency and severity, but few are equipped to stave off the threats. In Battle Creek, a training program and subsequent cultural shift resulted in a significant decline in cyber-related incidents. Read more.

League, Chris Hackbarth Named Among Top Five Lobbyists in State
The League and our own Chris Hackbarth, state and federal affairs director, were both recognized this week for being in the top five lobbyists in the state. The recognition of the League and Chris making a real impact in Lansing politics was part of the 2017 Capitol Insider Survey. More.

For 2018 Mackinac Conference, Let's Put More Focus on Cities' Needs
At the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss told a panel on cities that state cutbacks have cost her city $92 million in once-promised revenue-sharing cash over the last 15 years. Restrictions on raising property taxes built into the Michigan constitutuon further hamstring cities and their leaders in providing services. Read more.

Broken Municipal Finance System Topic at Multiple Recent Events
The League and saveMIcity held 3 events to spread the word about Michigan's broken system for funding municipalities: panel discussion at Mackinac Policy Conf. news conference on Michigan's failing infrastructure; and Small Business Assoc. of Michigan's Capitol Issues Forum. More.

TONIGHT Strong Towns Curbside Chat Comes to Traverse City
Traverse City won the March Madness-style tournament to be crowned the Strongest Town in North America. As part of their reward, Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns will visit Traverse City June 7 to present them with their award and talk about what can make the city even stronger. More.

Grand Rapids Launches Campaign for Sigsbee Playscape
At Grand Rapids Sigsbee Park, the playground equipment is falling apart and unsafe, and the grounds are in disrepair. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to build a new play structure, learning benches, and more. Read more.

Snyder Economy Commission Offers Strategies for Economic Prosperity
Leading on talent, investing in infrastructure, creating a competitive business climate, and ensuring a good quality of life are keys for Michigan economic success, according to a new report by Building the 21st Century Economy Commission. Read more.

Business, Government, Others Urge Legislature to Find Infrastructure Fix
While failing infrastructure threatens Michigan's waterways, economy, and public health, the Legislature continues to ignore this massive problem. Michigan business, government, transportation, and engineering groups urged the Legislature to make fixing infrastructure a priority. More.

We Need Your Help to Save Michigan Cities
In a guest column, the League's Anthony Minghine expounds on the state's disinvestment in Michigan cities. He recently engaged in community conversations which stressed that Michigan is failing to make strategic investments in its cities. Read more.

What Michigan Is - and Isn't - Doing for Local Governments
Michigan Treasurer Nick Khouri says the improving economy gives Michigan a chance to reform local governments' revenue, efficiency of services and unfunded retiree costs. Gov. Snyder's new task force on retirement reform is unlikely to recommend fixes. More.

Municipalities Can No Longer Regulate Taxicabs
A new law stripping all local control over taxi carriers went into effect on March 21. It prohibits a local unit of government from imposing a tax or fee upon, or requiring a license for, limousines, taxicabs, and Transportation Network Companies such as Uber or Lyft. Read new Fact Sheet.

TODAY League to Participate in Panel on Funding Michigan Cities
At 10:30 a.m. today, the League will be part of the panel for the "Funding Michigan Cities: The Path Forward" session at the Detroit Regional Chamber's upcoming Mackinac Policy Conference. Panelists include the League's Anthony Minghine; Rosalynn Bliss, League President and Grand Rapids Mayor; and Joshua Sapotichne, associate professor at Michigan State University. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is sponsoring the panel. They'll discuss how cities are facing unprecedented fiscal stress created by a broken municipal finance system. Read more.

TODAY is the Deadline for John Barr Scholarship for Local Officials
The John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship was created from its namesake's vision to provide local elected and appointed officials with the knowledge and skills they need to lead and govern their communities. Apply TODAY. Read more.

League Speaking on Municipal Finance at Capitol Forum May 24
The League's Tony Minghine will be part of a panel discussion on "Tax Dilemna: Finding Funding for Failing Cities," hosted by the Small Business Association of Michigan. He'll explain the challenge of advocating for more state revenue sharing when the budget is already cash-strapped. Tune in to Facebook Live, 8 am, May 24.

Innovation in Government? Yes, Where Else?
League staffers advocated for the Public Spaces, Community Places crowdfunding initiative, a finalist for Harvard University's Innovations in American Govt. Award. Some think innovation and government is an oxymoron. We've forgotten proactive government investments. Read more.

Tax Credit Plans Would be Good for Michigan Cities
The League supported the tax incentive bills (S.B. 111-115) on Gov. Snyder's desk, which promise to transform challenging brownfield sites in our state into new engines of growth. The legislation is designed to strengthen our local communities and grow their tax base. Read more.

Deadline Nearing for Input on Talent Retention and Attraction Survey
The League is working with the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation to explore talent retention and attraction in Southeast Michigan. They're created an online survey to gather input that will inform initiatives they'll be leading. Please complete the survey by May 19. Read more.

Is Modern Streetcar First Step Toward Improving Transit in Detroit?
The QLINE streetcar in Detroit officially launched service on May 12. Matt Cullen, CEO of QLINE, was on the radio to talk about the launch. Hear how they are going to define the success of the QLINE and what public transportation in Metro Detroit could look like. Read more.

Pontiac Launches Campaign for Community Backyard
A group of Pontiac high school students want to reclaim three vacant lots in a lively neighborhood. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to create a community backyard with a playground, picnic tables, and a sprawling fruit orchard. Read more.

NEW Revenue Sharing Data: See How Much Your Community Lost
The State has now diverted more than $8.1 billion in revenue sharing from Michigan municipalities since 2002. The League's saveMIcity initiative has been educating people on the broken system and the need for change.See how much your community has lost in our updated Revenue Sharing Database. More.

League Speakers to be Featured at Mackinac Policy Conference
Nearly 1,700 Michigan leaders will attend the Detroit Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference. The League's Rosalynn Bliss and Anthony Minghine will participate in a panel discussion, hosted by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, on how Michigan cities are funded. Read more

saveMIcity Takes Broken System Message to Central & West Michigan
The League's saveMIcity initiative has done many presentations so far this month about the state's broken system for funding municipalities. The League's Anthony Minghine has spoken in Alma, Mt. Pleasant, Clare, Spring Lake, Grand Haven, and Muskegon. Read more.

Michigan Program Recognized for Crowdfunding Innovation
Harvard University announced that the Public Spaces, Community Places crowdfunding program is one of 7 finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award! The League's Luke Forrest and Summer Minnick are on the team that will make the final pitch, May 16-17. More.

League Opposes New Legislation to Eliminate Local Control in Zoning
House Bill 4503 and Senate Bill 329 are intended to eliminate a local unit of government's ability to regulate short-term rentals. The League disagrees and believes short-term rentals operated as commercial businesses are inconsistent with residential land use. More

Patronicity Crowdgranting Platform in the Running for National Award
Patronicity, the crowdgranting platform that partners with the League and MEDC for Public Spaces, Community Places, has been nominated for ELGL's 2017 Haverford Award! The award recognizes the best companies working in partnership with local government. Vote for Patronicity!

Flint Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Maker Space
Flint residents, students, entrepreneurs, artists, small businesses, and inventors need a community maker space. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they'll assemble the most desired gear, including a wood shop, metal shop, computer lab, and more. More.

League Hosted Community Financial Health Forum in Mount Pleasant
In Mount Pleasant, the League addressed how local governments across the state are financially struggling. At our saveMIcity Community Financial Health Forum, attendees joined the conversation and discussed possible solutions with executives from the League, Clare, Alma, and Mount Pleasant local government. Read more.

MSU Extension Webinar on Local Government Finance Reform
The next webinar in MSU Extension's series focused on current issues affecting Michigan local governments will be efforts to reform the state's local government finance system. The featured speaker will be Deputy State Treasurer Dr. Eric Scorsone, May 15, 10:00 a.m. Read more

Michigan's Roads and Bridges 2016 Annual Report Now Available
The Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council has released the Michigan 2016 Roads and Bridges Annual Report. The report summarizes road and bridge conditions and provides projections into the future. It also provides a synopsis of TAMC activities. Read more.

April 2017

Ford, City of Dearborn Work Together to Build Millennial Talent Pipeline
To attract and retain younger talent in-house, Ford is working with the City of Dearborn and its downtown district to make Dearborn the kind of place millennials want to live, work and play. Transforming vacant buildings into the mixed-use Wagner Place is part of that process. More.

Longtime Supporter Pens League Tribute Poem
Daniel Matson has a rich history of service to local government. He served as Dewitt's city attorney for 45 years and as president of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys. In honor of the League, he composed a poetic statement about its value to all involved. Read more.

Michigan Future: Path to Good-Paying Careers for All Michiganders
Michigan Future released is first set of policy recommendations, calling for state policy makers to make increasing household income for all Michiganders the goal of state economic policy. It recommends placemaking, education attainment, and expanding the social safety net. More.

League Fund Announces Loss Control Achievement Awards
Thirty one Michigan communities earned honors for their outstanding efforts to maintain safe work environments. The League's Loss Control Achievement Awards reflect excellent management and making safety a priority to protect staff, residents, and budgets. Read more.

Detroit Neighborhood Launches Campaign to Beautify GRANDcorridor
Consultants have suggested major changes to make Grand River in Detroit's Grandmont Rosedale area more attractive and pedestrian friendly. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to start small with murals and street trees. Read more

Metropolitan Revolution: The Reality of Main Street
Main streets have been battered in recent decades. Big-box and Internet retail have exposed communities to unprecedented competition. Sprawling development and migration have emptied out many small downdowns. Yet far from a myth, some main streets are thriving. Read more.

Legacy Costs for Pensions, Health Care Threaten State Comeback
The League's Tony Minghine spoke at the Business Leaders for Michigan Summit on Fiscal Stability. A hot topic was legacy costs for municipal pensions and retiree health care, which claim 19% of government revenues in payments that cities, townships and school systems must make. More.

Brighton Passes Resolution in Support of saveMIcity Initiative
Brighton is the first city to pass a resolution in "support of fiscal sanity to save Michigan's communities." The city resolves to urge the Michigan legislature and governor to immediately restore the full amount of statutory revenue sharing to Michigan's cities and villages. More.

Retail Evolution Could Benefit City Centers Over Malls
The supposed bricks-and-mortar retail apocalypse is overstated. But the face of the industry and its jobs is changing drastically, in ways that are likely to benefit city centers like Detroit, Royal Oak, and Grosse Pointe at the expense of rural and suburban shopping centers. Read more.

League, MSHDA Use Matchmaking to Make Great Places Happen
Many Michigan communities have undertaken PlacePlans, target market analyses, or the Redevelopment Ready Communities program. To advance this placemaking planning into implementation, the League partnered with MSHDA to help cities develop RFQs for property developers. More.

St. Louis, Alma Officials Exploring Possible Merger
In an effort to save money amid dwindling revenues, the central Michigan cities of Alma and St. Louis are exploring the possibility of merging in some capacity. Both cities have seen minimal growth in revenue over the past 20 years, without much hope of improvement. More

Hometown Summit Shares Best Practices for Smaller Cities
The national Hometown Summit brought together leaders of small and mid-sized cities who have spearheaded creative initiatives for community problem-solving. They tackled talent attraction, universities as economic drivers, and open data and civic engagement. Read more.

Go Green! Get Involved in the MGC Challenge and Conference!
The MGC Challenge helps communities measure their progress towards sustainability. Complete the MGC Challenge by April 30 to be eligible for 2017 certification and prizes! Attend the MGC Conference to build capacity for energy and sustainability, Muskegon, June 6. More.

Six Mayors Team with League for SaveMICity Financial Health Forum
At the recent Community Financial Health Forum, six West Michigan cities teamed up with the League to discuss municipal funding, ways to improve the current system, and the local impact of state revenue-sharing declines. See event photos on flickr. Read more

Ypsilanti Mayor Chosen for Marshall Memorial Fellows Program
Ypsilanti Mayor Edmonds will travel to Europe this month as part of a 24-day leadership program. She was chosen to be a fellow of the Marshall Memorial Fellows program, which sends emerging U.S. leaders to Europe to enhance their understanding of transatlantic relations. More.

Flint Launches Campaign to Light Up Downtown's Brush Alley!
Two years ago, Flint was successful in lighting Buckham Alley, making it an inviting destination. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to create another engaging public space in Brush Alley, with hanging lights, art work, planters, and seating. Read more.

Communities of All Kinds Facing Missing Middle Housing Issues
Access to housing is not just an issue that affects low income people. Those in the "middle" - workers and professionals - have trouble finding adequate living arrangements in their price range. This was the subject of a panel discussoin at the League's Capital Conference. More

Webinar on Legal Issues Surrounding Sanctuary Cities
The National League of Cities is offering a FREE webinar at 1:00 pm April 18 designed for local government officials on the legal issues surrounding Sanctuary Cities. The webinar will discuss Pres. Trump's Executive Order on "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States." More.

Successful Forum on Race & Law Enforcement in Urban Communities
MBC-LEO's Race & Law Enforcement in the Urban Community Forum was a huge success. More than 100 people turned out to hear police chiefs from SE Michigan discuss proactive approaches to community policing and racial inequities. View handouts and presentations. More.

League to Offer Valuable Insights at Summit on Fiscal Stability
We all want Michigan and its communities to be financially stable. Join the League's Tony Minghine and other experts for a high-impact discussion of the fiscal challenges facing the state and local government. Business Leaders for Michigan Leadership Summit on Fiscal Stability, April 17. More.

League Presenting on Municipal Finance at Mackinac Policy Conf.
At this year's Mackinac Policy Conference, May 30-June 2, the League's Anthony Minghine and League president Rosalynn Bliss will be participating in a panel discussion on municipal finance in a session hosted by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Read more

'Govtech' Can Change the Ways Cities Function: Lessons from Paris
In recent years, Paris has distinguished itself as a leader in experimenting with digital tools for citizen participation - "civic tech" or "govtech." In 2014, the city committed to a new vision of how to build a city that will be both "smart" and "sustainable " by 2020. Read more

Alpena Launches Campaign for Downtown Dog Park
There are over 6,000 Alpena area residents with dogs, and lots of visitors that bring their dogs while exploring the city. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to build a downtown dog park with benches, picnic tables, landscaping, and more. Read more.

MML Foundation Donors and Scholarship Recipients Tout Benefits
One of the primary missions of the League Foundation is to educate community leaders and advocates. Donors and scholarship recipients have shared how donations benefit communities. Read their stories and consider lending your support to the Foundation. Read more

March 2017

Iron Mountain Launches Power of Words Mural Campaign
Iron Mountain has been voting online for the ONE WORD that describes the future of the their community. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, award-wining artist Mia Tavonatti will use that word as the theme for a new public mural downtown. Read more.

Project Rising Tide Communities Create Promotional Videos
Michigan's Rising Tide initiative provides at-risk communities with tools to design and build a successful economic framework. As part of that initiative, Newberry, Central Lake, Grayling, Evart, Harrison, Sandusky, Charlotte, Paw Paw, Hillsdale, and River Rouge have created engaging promotional videos. Read more.

Funding Squeeze Could Mean Financial Disaster for Communities
Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia and Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski were interviewed on Michigan Radio about the financial challenges facing Michigan municipalities. Many have had to cut services or reduce the size of their police and fire departments. Read more.

Ann Arbor Ranks High in 2017 Top 100 Best Places to Live!
Ann Arbor has been named one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live 2017 by, outpacing more than 2,100 cities in this data-driven ranking. Data experts scoured thousands of cities to build a list that truly encompasses the things that make a city ideal. Read more.

Detroit Launches Motown Movement Home Energy Efficiency Campaign
Detroit has plenty of homes with high gas and water bills. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, three architecture students from The Netherlands plan to create a training center to teach low-cost DIY methods to make homes energy efficient. Read more.

League Honors Graduates of 2017 Elected Officials Academy
The Elected Officials Academy is an ongoing 4-level program that educates and recognizes elected officials across the state for their dedication to becoming as professional and knowledgeable as possible. Eleven graduates were honored at Capital Conference. Read more

Michigan's Traverse City Wins 'Strongest Town' Contest!
In a contest with 15 other communities throughout the nation, Traverse City was named the winner in Strong Towns 2017 'Strongest Town' competition. The contest is about showcasing towns that have the building blocks in place to be strong towns today and in the future. Read more

Rochester Hills and Harper Woods Officials Join Statewide Board
The Michigan Women in Municipal Government (MWIMG) recently elected two new members to the board: Marie Willett, special assistant to the mayor in Rochester Hills, and Valerie Kindle, Harper Woods city councilmember. Each received two-year terms. Read more.

New Law Would Challenge Michigan's "Dark Stores" Problem
At Capital Conference, Rep. David Maturen announced HB 4397, a state bill seeking to close the tax loophole that allows the largest retailers to reduce property taxes to the level of an empty building. The press conference was live on the League's Facebook page. Read more..

League Foundation Announces New Scholarship
The League Foundation launched a new scholarship to provide educational opportunities for municipal managers and elected officials.The John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship was setup with a generous $10,000 investment from Foundation Board Member John Barr. More

Detroit Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Kite Festival
Detroit has a rich history of kite flying and making. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, Belle Isle Conservancy plans to create a variety of annual kite events and workshops to bring together people in Detroit. Read more.

Dowagiac Honored with First Better Streets, Better Michigan Award
Dowagiac received a statewide award March 22 for its creative downtown gateway project that makes the city more welcoming and pedestrian-friendly. This was the first year for the Better Streets, Better Michigan Award, a joint recognition by the League and MDOT. Read more.

Wetlands Mitigation May Get Cheaper for Local Governments
A new partnership of state and local agencies is working to set aside state lands to make it easier for public entitites with expansion needs to fulfuill wetlands replacementt requirements. The League is part of the new partnership - Michigan Municipal Wetland Alliance. More.

State Sen. Marty Knollenberg Named Legislator of the Year
The League honored State Sen. Marty Knollenberg as our 2017 Legislator of the Year during the League's Capital Conference Awards Gala in Lansing. Former League Pres. Robin Beltramini said Knollenberg is always open to addressing the League's concerns. More.

State Rep. Robert Kosowski Named Legislator of the Year
State Rep. Robert Kosowski was also honored as the League's 2017 Legislator of the Year at the Capital Conference Awards Gala. Wayne Mayor Susan Rowe said Kosowski has been an outspoken, supportive voice on many issues critical to the League and its members. More.

Traverse City in the Finals of Strongest Town Competition!
LAST DAY! Traverse City is in the final two of #StrongestTown contest! Vote for them by 5 pm today! More.

Broken Cities, Elusive Recoveries: Property Values Still Very Low
More than 1.4 million people live in Michigan communities where property values are less than half of where they were at the beginning of the recession. Those declines have gutted property tax collections and affected what cities can offer citizens in security and amenities. More.

Capital Conference is in Full Swing in Lansing This Week
Capital Conference is the source for answers on all the state and federal issues that impact local communities. There will be a legislative update from the League's Lansing staff, and presentations on autonomous vehicles, housing, medical marihuana, and much more! Stay tuned to the Conference blog for all the action. More.

Funding Squeeze Could Prompt Proposal A Update
The League's Dan Gilmartin has a warning for Michigan's policymakers: The way the state funds its cities is squeezing them dry. Gilmartin and others are proposing an update to Proposal A, the 1994 Michigan constitutional amendment that caps property tax increases. Read more.

Bark for Your Park™ Grants Available for Off-Leash Dog Parks
Dog parks have become an essential amenity for communities nationwide. The PetSafe® Bark for Your Park™ program has been helping to feed that need by funding community projects to build, improve, and maintain off-leash dog parks. Submit applications May 1-June 30. Read more.

Create a Spark for Arts in Your Community
March is Arts Advocacy Month, and Creative Many Michigan is encouraging people to help "create the spark" for arts. They're celebrating the impact of arts and creativity in Michigan and highlighting the importance of the arts on lndividual lives, quality of life, and economic prosperity. More

Hillsdale Professor Writes About Importance of Revenue Sharing
There's a fascinating, important column in the Detroit News entitled “Revenue sharing boosts Michigan communities.” Conservative Hillsdale College Economics Professor Gary Wolfram echoes many of the messages in our saveMIcity municipal reform effort. Please check it out..

Welcoming Cities: Immigration, Economic Prosperity, Public Safety
One of the 8 assets that help communities succeed is being a "welcoming" community. A recent report found that foreign-born workers and students have positive effects on local employment, levels of educational attainment, populations, and incomes. Read more.

Rebuilding Local Manufacturing, One Job at a Time
Communities are often identified by what they make, but for many that identity is past. Replacing a few big businesses with many small ones can grow good jobs and good places. An I-69 Thumb Region workshop helped communities understand small-scale manufacturing sectors. More.

TODAY is Capital Conference Registration Deadline - Sign up Now!
We have planned an exciting Capital Conference for you! As always, this event is the source for answers on all the state and federal issues that impact local communities. It's also the best place to network and make your voice heard on matters of public policy. This year's conference will cover a wide array of topics - legislative update, municipal finance, autonomous vehicles, equity and inclusion, missing middle housing, medical marijuana, and much more. We're saving a seat for you. Save some money by signing up by today's registration deadline. Get the details and register now!

Wyandotte Launches Campaign to Create Arrowhead Pavilion
Outdoor gathering spaces are at a premium in downtown Wyandotte. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to construct Arrowhead Pavilion with outdoor seating, lighting, art, and space for programs such as the Wyandotte Street Art Fair. Read more.

League to Share Municipal Finance Reform Update at Capital Conference
Over the past two years, the League has made municipal finance reform our top legislative priority. Over the last 12 months, we embarked on a major communication and education effort around this topic. Additionally, we have developed a policy agenda around revenues, costs, and structure that will be the basis of our advocacy agenda. At Capital Conference, the League's Anthony Minghine will outline where we've been, what we are doing, and what we need to do to invoke real change in our municipal finance system. Get the details and register today!

February 2017

League Testifies on Need to Restore Revenue Sharing
The House Appropriations subcommittee began considering Gov. Snyder's budget recommendation for the 2017-18 fiscal year. The League shared our position that it's critiical to include additional funding for revenue sharing above the Governor's recommendation. Read more.

Capital Conference: Filling the Missing Middle Housing Gap
Michigan communities need a variety of housing types to attract and retain talent, but often they have a missing middle - desirable, affordable housing. At Capital Conference, hear from experts on national housing trends, barriers and opportunities. Get the details and register today!

Michigan Municipal League Foundation Selects New President
Gisgie Gendreau was officially selected as the Michigan Municipal League Foundation's president during the Foundation's Board of Directors' meeting. She has an extensive background in strategic communications and building partnerships in state and local government. More.

Republican Tax Cut Plan Fails in Michigan House
A controversial plan to cut Michigan's personal income tax rate was defeated in the state House. The bill was opposed by Gov. Snyder, the League, and a broad coalition of organizations. House Minority Leader Sam Singh said Democrats are open to more targeted tax relief. More.

Learning from the Success of Dig Jackson
In the current issue of the League's Review magazine, we have a new column entitled "Place Plans: Where Are they Now?" In this issue, the focus is downtown Jackson, where we explore what factors laid the groundwork for their burgeoning downtown development boom. Read more.

Immerse Yourself in Capital Conference Workshops!
Capital Conference Workshops offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in a topic of interest. These 3-hour sessions allow lots of time to interact with presenters. Topics range from Redevelopment Ready Communities to Storytelling. Get the details and register today!

Brighton City Council Grills State Lawmakers on Revenue Sharing
Two state lawmakers, who attended the Brighton City Council meeting Feb. 16, were told that the city needs more revenue sharing funds from the state or it could face bankruptcy if there is another recession. The state has recovered, but the city has had to pinch pennies. Read more.

League Statement on Governor Snyder's Budget Proposal
Governor Snyder's proposed budget does little to alleviate the financial stresses facing Michigan's local governments. The state provides for no increase in statutory revenue sharing, allowing that important revenue source to be further eroded by inflation. Read more.

TONIGHT Romulus to Host Free Community Financial Health Forum
At 5:30 tonight, the League's saveMIcity initiative and its message about the state's broken system for funding municipalities will be in Romulus. The forum will feature the League's Tony Minghine and Frank Audia with Plante Moran. Learn about Romulus' struggles and get the event details.

Contact Your State Reps Today to Oppose Income Tax Elimination Bill
On Feb. 21, the House adopted substitute version H-3 for HB 4001 that would reduced the income tax rate from 4.25% down to 3.9% by Jan. 1, 2021 and stopping at that point. The House Fiscal Agency analysis of the new proposal. pegs the state's General Fund loss in the first year at $195 million and progressing upwards to $1.1 billion in FY 2021-22. The H-3 version of the bill is now on 3rd reading in the House and has been listed for action on TODAY'S House calendar. Gov. Snyder opposes the revised bill. Contact your Reps today and ask them to oppose the sub version of HB 4001. Read more.

New MSHDA Grant to Fund Neighborhood Placemaking
The Michigan State Housing Authority has announced a request for proposals (RFP) for a new "Neighborhood Enhancement Program" that provides communities an opportunity to fund placemaking projects in priority neighborhoods. Proposals are due March 15. Read more.

Tune in to Changes in Washington at Capital Conference
Major changes are taking shape in Washington. At Capital Conference, a panel of Michigan local government officials who are involved with national organizations will share their thoughts and concerns about what is happening at the federal level. Get the details and register today!

League to Work with Gov. Snyder's Retirement Benefit Committee
Gov. Snyder created a Task Force on Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government. to address unfunded health care and pension liabilities in Michigan communities. The League's Tony Minghine has been appointed to the committee. Read more

Legislative Committee Orientation Teaches Ins and Outs of State Politics
About 60 local municipal officials from across the state were at the state Capitol Feb. 9 for the League's first-time Legislative Committee Kick-Off Orientation. Committee members heard from state lawmakers, League staff, and communications experts. Read more.

Last Day to Apply for MDOT-MML Better Streets, Better Michigan Award
MDOT and the League are excited to announce the Better Streets, Better Michigan Award, which recognizes Michigan cities and villages that have done creative road projects aimed at improving the function and aesthetics of a busy street. Apply by TODAY. Read more.

Birmingham: A Small City Embraces Walkability and Reverses Decline
After three decades of 20th century population loss and commercial decline, Birmingham, MI committed to building a new identity: "The Walkable Community." Now, thanks to forward-thinking planning, the city has grown steadily since the turn of the millennium. Read more.

Open Letter: This is What Democracy Looks Like
Fred Kent, founder of Project for Public Spaces, says that true placemaking is not just about creating places where we want to spend time. It's about creating communities that have a greater capacity to self-organize - pilot their own destinies, express outrage, solidarity or celebration. More.

Autonomous Vehicles Drive onto Capital Conference Agenda
Michigan is committed to being the global leader in the development of autonomous vehicles. At Capital Conference, Nicole DuPuis, principal associate for Urban Innovation at the National League of Cities, will share her insights on this topic. Get the details and register today!

Jackson City Council Approves Non-Discrimination Ordinance
The Jackson City Council has approved a long-debated non-discrimination ordinance by a vote of 5-2. The ordinance prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. Read more.

Gov. Appoints Portland City Manager to Emergency Response Council
Governor Rick Snyder has appointed S. Tutt Gorman, Portland city manager, to the Michigan Citizen-Community Emergency Response Coordinating Council. After leading his city's recovery from a 2015 tornado, his experience will benefit the rest of the state. Read more.

Ottawa Co. Deputy Administrator to Lead Michigan Municipal Executives
Keith Van Beek, Ottawa County's deputy county administrator, is the new president of Michigan Municipal Executives, the statewide association representing Michigan's municipal. managers. He was selected at MME's recent Winter Institute in Kalamazoo. Read more

January 2017

Michigan Leads Effort to Shift Workers Away from Pensions
Struggling under the weight of pension and health care obligations, Michigan lawmakers appear ready to take another whack at public employee benefits - a move that reflects renewed determination to shift workers to 401(k)-style retirement systems. Read more.

Sturgis Launches Campaign to Create Off-Leash Dog Park
Old Depot Park in Sturgis needs a facelift and the city needs a dog park. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to transform the park into an inviting space for dog lovers with safe fencing, watering stations, benches, and more. Read more

League Insurance Boards Announce Millions in 2017 Member Dividends
Many Michigan communities are expected to share millions in dividends for keeping their communities safe. The League Liability & Property Pool voted to return $2.2 million in equity to members. MML Workers' Compensation Fund authorized an equity return of $8.2 million. Read more.

Racial Justice Will Be at the Forefront at Capital Conference
Racial justice is at the center of systems that work well for all the people they serve. Rinku Sen, presdent and executive director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, will lead a general session on this topic at Capital Conference. Get the details and register today!.

Marshall Launches Campaign to Create a Downtown Pocket Park
Four years ago, a fire destroyed a cafe in downtown Marshall, leaving behind an unsightly vacant lot. With help from MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to transform the lot into a community-designed park with a mural, seating, landscaping and more. Read more

Taking Sides? With Walkability, There's No Need
To get walkable places, advocates of good urbanism have to answer the question "What's the value to me?" for both developers and the public. Many discussion points have gained traction with both "sides" of the urban design discussion. Read more.

Michigan Municipal Executives: Ready for Anything
Municipal Executives now have a new name and brand to guide them. The organization representing city, county, township and village officials from throughout the state officially unveiled its new name - Michigan Municipal Executives (MME) - and branding on Feb. 1 at its annual Winter Institute taking place this week in Kalamazoo. More.

Solutions for Fixing Broken System for Funding Communities
As part of our initiative, the League had a successful news conference outlining our proposals to fix the state's broken system for funding municipalities and unveiled a new report, Michigan's Broken Municipal Finance System: Issues and Proposed Actions, Read more.

League CEO Helps Kick-Off One Lenawee Community Visioning
On Jan. 26, League CEO Dan Gilmartin helped launch One Lenawee's community-wide visioning project. It's all about place! One Lenawee is a collaboration of volunteers dedicated to the vision of making Lenawee County a great place and keeping it that way. Read more

How Technology is Making Urban Planning More Inclusive
Having a say in what your city should be like is often complicated, time-consuming and full of confusing jargon. A new wave of digital tools are trying to make the process transparent and interactive. One tool - CitySwipe - is modeled after the dating app Tinder. Read more.

Recruiting, Retaining & Fostering Talent: A Desire for Place
One of the biggest things that has changed for talent recruitment is the emphasis on place, as in the city in which one lives and works, over position. This sense of place is particularly important due to the decrease in time that the average worker is spending in each position. Read more.

Main Street Gets a Boost from Washington
Mixed-use development is getting a fresh look in Washington, D.C. Federal housing programs that support multi-family housing have started to make it easier to get loans for projects in smaller downtowns that combine residential space with ground-floor retail. Read more.

Registration Now Open for 2017 Capital Conference!
Capital Conference will cover a variety of topics sure to pique the interest of every attendee. We'll share the League's legislative efforts, progress on our municipal finance reform campaign, and offer sessions on autonomous vehicles, medical marihuana, and more. Get the details and register today!

Patronicity is a Bright Spot in Public- Private Crowdgranting
With tight city budgets and rising urban needs, cities seek out new ways to raise funds to support public spaces. One tool is crowdgranting - crowdfunding paired with a matching grant from a sponsor. Patronicity is a successful crowdgranting practitioner with partner MEDC. Read more.

Bronson Launches Campaign to Improve Memorial Park
The City of Bronson is in the home stretch of a 4-year redevelopment project for downtown's Memorial Park. With help from MEDC-MSHDA Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to add a water feature and improved landscaping to complete the popular park. Read more

League Calls on State to Address Municipal Finance Concerns
In Gov. Snyder's State of the State address, the League was pleased to hear him acknowledge the key role of communities in the success of our state, his support for placemaking efforts, and more. But there is still a systematic disinvestment in Michigan's communities. Read more.

How a Place-Based Approach to Economic Development Won 2016
An economic development fix that cities are taking into 2017 is the importance of a place-based approach that is shaped locally, by the industries, people and infrastructure that already exist. But cities are faced with very different federal and local policy changes this year. More.

Gear Up for the 2017 Community Excellence Awards Competition
Start planning now to enter this year's exciting CEA competition! Entries will be accepted from March 21 - June 15. Show us your creative projects and you could join communities like Beaverton, whose Beaverton Activity Center won the race for the cup last year. Read more.

New Fact Sheets: Medical Marihuana and Open Meetings Act Ruling
The League has two new Fact Sheets on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA) - a summary and a Q&A. We've also created a Fact Sheet on the Open Meetings Act ruling that email deliberations among a quorum of public body members violates the OMA. More.

Detroit News Editorial: State Can't Shirk Pension Reform
Flint is facing another crisis. The city's pension system is severely underfunded and getting worse, leaving the future viability of the city uncertain. The basic problem is that promised benefits can't be met by Flint or many other communities with current municipal revenues. Read more.

League Calls on State to Address Municipal Finance Concerns
Revenue projection shows modest additional funds available for state government for the 2017-18 fiscal year, but cuts have cost communities $7.5 billion since 2002, hampering their ability to provide services. To retain and attract talented individuals, we need help from our lawmakers and the governor to address these issues.More.

The League's Anthony Minghine Appears on Westland In The W Show
The League's Anthony Minghine discussed our saveMIcity work, municipal finance, and the recent Lame Duck legislative session with Westland Mayor William Wild on the city's cable access program "In the W." Check out the city's Vimeo page, beginning at the 10:52 mark. Read more.

Nominations Due Soon for Guido and Sinclair Awards
Does your community have an outstanding chief elected official? Would you like to recognize a person who has provided exemplary service to the League? Nominate them for the Guido Leadership & Public Service Award or Sinclair Exceptional Service Award by Jan. 15. More

Jackson Launches Campaign for Pangborn Museum of Art
Dominic Pangborn grew up in Jackson and his artwork draws people from all over. With help from MEDC-MSHDA Public Spaces Community Places, the Jackson Arts Network plans to acquire a downtown building to house the Pangborn Museum of Contemporary Art. Read more.

What Could Lowell Do With $1.4 Million? Find out Tonight in Lowell
The League's Anthony Minghine will be in Lowell tonight to discuss the state's broken system for funding Michigan's municipalities. This saveMIcity event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Lowell High School, 6-8 pm. The presentation will include data spedific to communities surrounding the Lowell area. For example, what could Lowell do with the $1.4 million that it should have received in revenue sharing since 2002? Learn why Michigan communities are continuing to struggle financially, and hear and share ideas for change. Please RSVP. Read more.

Grayling Launches Campaign for Artisan Village Creativity Center
Grayling's Artisan Village has transformed the downtown and led to several new developments. With help from MEDC-MSHDA Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to transform the Artisan Village's basement into a Creativity Center for art, music, and drama. Read more.

A New Year Brings New Trends for Michigan and the Country
2017 brings change on many fronts: a new presidential administration with different priorities; new lawmakers take office in Michigan's Capitol; Detroit's resurgence seems likely to continue; and a new House Speaker aims to tackle public employee retirement costs. Read more.

Governor Snyder Vetoes School Billboard Bill
After strong opposition from the League, the Governor has vetoed SB 953. This legislation would have amended the Highway Advertising Act to exempt private commercial uses from zoning when located on a school-owned property. Read more.

Several Issues Get Pushed Through During Last Day of Lame Duck
A number of legislative issues were sent to the governor for signature: an energy deal, a bill that would eliminate local cost sharing with MDOT, an amendment that would require lead action level notifications,. bills that address speed limits, and a TIF library opt out package. More.

Gladstone Launches Campaign for Little Bay de Noc Trail
The idea of a trail between Gladstone and Escanaba has been talked about for at least 15 years. With help from MEDC-MSHDA Public Spaces Community Places, they plan to build a 2.5 mile waterfront trail for bicyclists, runners, dog walkers, and much more. Read more.














































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