We know that thriving communities are key to Michigan’s long-term success and sustainability!  If we are going to compete globally in the 21st century, then we have to create communities that can attract and retain talent and offer the amenities that people of all ages are seeking.  As changing demographics have begun to reshape how we build places for the future, old ways of meeting these challenges have become outdated.  Oftentimes, bad policy gets in the way of creating great places.  The League has put forth a proactive policy agenda called Partnership for Place that proposes a commitment of action in partnership between the State and its municipalities.   Our goal is that these policies will facilitate Michigan’s economic growth and allow for the development of places to provide key services and amenities that contribute to a high quality of life.  Check out our new video that illustrates some of Michigan’s challenges and what we need to do to move forward!

 

Better Communities. Better Michigan. The Podcast!Partnership for Place

Thriving communities are a key to Michigan’s long-term success and sustainability. If we are going to compete globally in the 21st century, then it is critical to create communities that can attract and retain talent and enterprise.

We’ll discuss the League’s Partnership for Place agenda and the increased support for placemaking locally with League Executive Director and CEO Dan Gilmartin, University of Michigan’s Debra Horner and State Representative Gretchen Driskell.  The Partnership for Place agenda proposes a commitment of action between the State and its municipalities that will facilitate Michigan’s economic growth and allow for the development of places to provide key services and amenities that contribute to a high quality of life.  Also, a recent study released by the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy shows that more local governments than ever before are utilizing placemaking as an economic development tool in their communities. Finally, we’ll discuss what this means for advancing state policy changes here in Michigan.

Better Communities Better Michigan The Podcast!

The Michigan Municipal League is the one clear voice for Michigan communities, working in Lansing and throughout the state for the unique and vibrant places where people want to live. From state policy to cutting edge local initiatives, we’ll discuss issues that impact us all, and identify key strategies to promote highly adaptable, economically competitive communities that are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

Better Communities. Better Michigan. The Podcast!Will the Legislature Support the Governor’s Proposed Revenue Sharing/EVIP Budget?

Governor Snyder recently proposed an additional 15% in funding for the statutory revenue sharing program, known currently as the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP). But with the additional funds comes yet another layer of requirements local leaders must adhere to in order to obtain the funds. How likely is it the legislature approves this plan? House General Government Subcommittee on Appropriations Chairman Earl Poleski (R-Jackson) and Senate General Government Subcommittee on Appropriations member Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton Township) talk to us about their views on local government funding, short term and long term.

Better Communities Better Michigan The Podcast!

The Michigan Municipal League is the one clear voice for Michigan communities, working in Lansing and throughout the state for the unique and vibrant places where people want to live. From state policy to cutting edge local initiatives, we’ll discuss issues that impact us all, and identify key strategies to promote highly adaptable, economically competitive communities that are ready to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

A street artist performs in downtown Flint.

A street artist performs in downtown Flint.

There was an excellent editorial in Thursday’s (Feb. 13, 2014) Lansing State Journal about the value of Michigan’s cities (aka placemaking: placemaking.mml.org) to our state’s economic recovery. You can read the editorial here but the LSJ is paid-based website so if you don’t have an LSJ account let me summarize it for you.

The headline of the editorial, “Michigan needs its cities to thrive” is an amen-moment for the League. We’ve been saying this for year’s now and it’s nice to see more and more media understand. A recent survey by the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy also showed local municipal officials also increasingly embrace the placemaking concept.

Placemaking (placemaking.mml.org) essentially is creating places or communities where people want to work, live and raise families. Placemaking takes a variety of forms (check out placemaking examples on this League placemaking webpage.)

The editorial explains that for Michigan to thrive it must have vibrant cities and for too long now the state has taken revenue sharing that our communities were entitled to. It said Governor Snyder’s proposed 2014-15 budget would increase constitutional revenue sharing to communities by 3 percent and statutory revenue sharing by 15 percent. The League has stated this increase is appreciated but it doesn’t even scratch the surface toward to $6.2 billion the state has diverted away from communities in the last decade (read more about that in this new revenue sharing fact sheet put out by the League this week).

Furthermore, the increase in statutory revenue sharing being sought by the governor comes with strings. That money would be tied to performance requirements under the Governor’s Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP). This EVIP program, in the League’s opinion, simply is not working and creates unnecessary inefficiencies for our communities.

The LSJ editorial says (and I love this part) “it’s high time the state committed more resources to making local communities strong. While all state residents live in Michigan, their quality of life is substantially defined by the quality of cities, villages, townships and counties in which they live. … Distressed areas don’t suffer alone. They spread economic unease to neighborhing communities and, in the case of Detroit and its bankruptcy, potentially to the entire state.”

It concludes with this one-two punch: “… It is essential that the state resume stronger support for local government. Details can and will be negotiated, but Snyder’s proposal should be the minimum that lawmakers consider as they continue reviewing the FY 2014-15 budget.”

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