Archive for August, 2014

In an extensive interview with Gongwer News Service Monday, MAC Deputy Director Steve Currie said that recent events boost the idea of having voters approve a 1-cent sales tax increase to rescue Michigan’s crumbling roads.

Steve Currie

Steve Currie

“Mr. Currie said following the severe winter that wreaked massive damage to the roads, the flooding that struck the Detroit area and the approval of the local tax proposals, the public seems ready to accept a tax increase to deal with roads,” Gongwer reported.

“Increasing taxes on fuel seems a long-term losing proposition since drivers are trying to use less fuel, Mr. Currie said.

“He said the group’s members support the proposed increase and the time seems opportune to encourage public support for a proposed sales tax increase.”

MAC made increased road funding via a sales-tax increase as one of its 2014 legislative priorities and the MAC Legislative Team is readying for a strong push for action in September.

MAC members can review the 2014 priorities and stay up-to-date on all legislative events in Lansing by accessing the members-only section of the MAC website.

diverse-handsDemographer Richard Florida notes new research on the relationship between serving your community and personal well-being: “Older Americans (65 and above) who reported engaging in community service had the highest levels of well-being. This is also not surprising, since older people in general have higher levels of happiness overall. But, interestingly, younger Americans ages 18 to 29 who reported community service recognition had the second highest levels of overall well-being (70.3), beating both those in the 30 to 45 and 46 to 64 age groups, who reported slightly lower levels.” Across Michigan county governments always are in need of citizen volunteers to serve on boards, commissions or in a variety of other roles. For example, here’s Kent County’s information on volunteer opportunities. Check with your county to see what’s available and get involved.  
michigan-county-mapMore than 100 of Michigan’s county commissioners will be leaving their offices at the end of the year, either by choice or through decisions made by voters in this week’s primary, a MAC analysis of county election results has found. While most of the 106 departing commissioners either chose not to run for re-election or pursued a different office, 16 of them lost party nomination bids on Aug. 5. Some county boards already assured of a bevy of new faces in 2015 include:
  • Kalamazoo (6 departing out of 11 seats)
  • Kent (5 departing out of 19 seats)
  • Gogebic (3 departing out of 7 seats)
  • Grand Traverse (3 departing out of 7 seats)
  • Kalkaska (3 departing out of 7 seats)
  • Alpena (3 departing out of 8 seats)
The MAC election results database (Excel download) is searchable by commissioner or county name. Names in red denote commissioners who are departing. Commissioners who lost primary elections are designated by an asterisk and note.
Ashton Tacey of Bay City has been awarded a $2,000 college scholarship courtesy of Nationwide and the National Association of Counties (NACo).
Ashton Tacey

Ashton Tacey

The annual scholarship contest is open to graduating high school seniors, and applicants must be sponsored by a parent, grandparent or legal guardian participating in a NACo 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. Tacey was one of only four students selected from across the nation. She will be attending Saginaw Valley State University in the fall to pursue studies in occupational therapy. She was sponsored by her mother, Sharon Tacey, who works for the Friend of the Court in Bay County. Tacey has a long background in service, including participation in ThinkFirst for Teens, a global injury prevention program, the Buckle Your Brain program from the Field Neuroscience Institute and the Bay City Players Youtheater.
MAC members in the Upper Peninsula have an excellent opportunity this month to be briefed on a number of key issues affecting county resources and development, from the future of transportation funding to the growing crisis of tax capture districts to disaster relief. MAC logo blueA MAC Regional Summit will be held Aug. 26 in Escanaba at the UPCAP Headquarters, 2501 14th Ave. South. Among the speakers scheduled are MAC President Shelly Pinkelman of Crawford County and MAC Second Vice President Jerry Doucette of Alger County. Click here to register for the summit by Aug. 22. (Note that walk-in registration will be available the day of the summit.) AGENDA MAC Regional Summit – Delta County Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10 a.m. UPCAP Headquarters 2501 14th Ave. South, Escanaba 10 a.m.                       Welcome 10:05 a.m.                  Tax Capture Districts and Their Impact on Counties 11 a.m.                        Disaster Relief Procedures Noon                           Lunch/MAC Legislative Update 1 p.m.                          Local Regional Prosperity Plans 2 p.m.                          The Future of Transportation Funding in Michigan
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