pothole picA 1-cent sales tax increase is the best way to address Michigan’s “embarrassing” roads, MAC Deputy Director Steve Currie told the audience of “The Big Show” on Wednesday.

Currie, continuing MAC’s push to get action on the state’s crumbling road network, explained that MAC’s Board of Directors had reviewed the situation nearly a year ago and determined that a 1-cent sales tax – a penny for a road, if you will – is the best available option.

Unlike other proposed fixes, the sales tax increase will consistently generate the substantial sums Michigan needs – and it requires a statewide vote of the people.

“Let the people decide,” Currie told guest host Kyle Melinn of MIRS News Service.

Currie also noted that the state is working at cross purposes if it continues to attract visitors via the highly successful Pure Michigan ad campaign, but then confronts said guests with crummy roads to travel on.

 

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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