The Michigan Municipal League’s saveMIcity initiative recently did two presentations in West Michigan about the state’s broken system for funding municipalities. More presentations are planned in Macomb County and Washtenaw County.
On Sept. 19, the League’s Anthony Minghine, Deputy Director and COO, spoke to dozens of people for a presentation with West Michigan city managers and community administrators and an evening community event in Paw Paw. The presentations were about municipal finance and how the state’s system for funding cities and villages does not track with economy.
Minghine explained during the events that Michigan ranks 50th in the nation in investment into its communities. He said since 2002 revenues to communities went down 56 percent while revenues to the state went up 27 percent. During the Great Recession, the state balanced its own budget on the backs of local governments.
“We have disinvested in our communities and that has got to stop,” Minghine said. “The true way to fix this broken system is to raise the value of a community. We got to think differently how we fund our communities.”
Next month, on Oct. 5, Minghine plans to present at a Town Hall meeting at Macomb Community College as part of an event that will include Crain’s Detroit Business reporter Chad Livengood, event emcee, and case study presentations by the City of Sterling Heights, City of Roseville and City of Utica. The case studies will demonstrate the negative financial impact that is a result of an archaic and broken municipal finance structure in our state. On Oct. 6, Minghine will talk to members of the Michigan Library Association in Saline. And on Oct. 18, Minghine is scheduled to go back to Macomb County, to speak to a group of up-and-coming business leaders.