The 2019 Michigan Counties Annual Conference, “People and Places,” will be held Aug. 18-20 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Grand Traverse County.

More than 300 county leaders and others are expected to attend this year’s event, which will include:

  • Three plenary sessions featuring addresses from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (invited), MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie, incoming MAC Board President Veronica Klinefelt of Macomb County and more.
  • Fifteen policy breakout sessions on trending topics ranging from the tips on hiring in the 21st century and the Open Meetings Act, to electric vehicle tech and trends in Michigan’s economy. (See the Attendee Registration Packet for details.)
  • The annual President’s Banquet, with after-dinner entertainment from “Jasen Magic.”
  • Two receptions with complimentary beverages and snacks.
  • Regional caucuses to fill five seats on the MAC Board of Directors
  • The annual MAC Business Meeting, during which members will approve our policy platforms for 2019-20.
  • An Exhibitor Show with dozens of vendors that provide services of use to counties big and small.

For complete details, please review the Attendee Registration Packet.

Or you may begin your registration process immediately at our online conference portal.

This will be the largest gathering of county leaders in Michigan this year! Don’t miss out!

At the 2019 Michigan Counties Conference, MAC members will vote on five seats on the MAC Board of Directors.

Commissioners wishing to serve on the Board, whether incumbents or new candidates, have until July 18 to file official notice of their intent to run.

Seats representing regions are filled by a vote in regional caucuses at the conference. At-large seats are filled by the candidate that wins a majority of the six regional caucuses.

The MAC Board of Directors is the key body in guiding the legislative and organizational strategies of MAC.

2019 Board seats

  • Region 4 — 2 seats
  • Region 6 — 2 seats
  • At-large — 1 seat

Any member wishing to run in the election must download the application form and return it by July 18, 2019, to Derek Melot to be eligible.

If you have any questions about Board duties, please contact Executive Director Stephan W. Currie at 517-372-5374.

 

 

 

Actions by Senate appropriators this week would worsen the state’s disinvestment in county government and further stress the ability of counties to effectively serve Michigan residents, said the executive director of the Michigan Association of Counties.

“By rejecting the governor’s proposed increase in statutory revenue sharing for counties, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government is making a bad problem worse,” said Stephan Currie. “Legislators continue to ignore their responsibility to properly fund county governments – the governments that serve all 10 million Michigan residents.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget has a 3 percent increase for county revenue sharing to just over $228 million, up from the $221.4 million for the current fiscal year. The governor’s budget recommendations were based on increase revenue for roads, but the Senate appropriators have chosen to not increase revenue along with the budget.

This would worsen a long-standing gap between funding for counties and for CVTs (cities, villages and townships) under Michigan’s two-pronged support for municipal government. Unlike the CVTs, counties do not receive constitutional revenue sharing. In fiscal 2019, CVTs received $859 million in constitutional aid and then another $255 million in statutory payments, for more than $1 billion. Counties received $221 million in statutory support only.

“We serve the same population as CVTs and have more mandated services,” said Currie. “And still they are getting a $33 million increase (in constitutional dollars).

“We are not suggesting that fewer dollars go to local governments,” Currie added, “but we do believe more should go to counties out of Michigan’s General Fund. If we can’t properly fund services during this long period of economic growth, when do state leaders think they can?”

Since 2004, the state has saved itself more than $2.4 billion by not making revenue sharing payments to counties that it should have.

Executive Director Steve Currie discusses county participation in a partnership with the state and Pew at an event in Lansing on April 17, 2019, as (left to right) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack and Attorney General Dana Nessel look on.

Michigan’s 83 counties helped announce an innovative partnership with the state of Michigan and a national nonpartisan research group today to use data to identify best practices for jails.

The Michigan Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, (#MICJReform) an interbranch, bipartisan body will develop recommendations to expand alternatives to jail, safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay, support crime victims and better align practices with research and constitutional principles, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today at a press conference at the Hall of Justice in Lansing.

Speaking at the same event, MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie said, “Our focus is specifically on county jails and easing the burden on county budgets. Although created by executive order, this task force puts counties squarely at the center, and we’re very happy to launch this partnership together. We’ll all benefit from studying our practices.”

Click here to watch a video of the event.

Public safety, including jails, constitutes the single largest financial commitment from county governments. As detailed at today’s event:

  • National sources show Michigan jail populations have tripled in the last 35 years, growing regardless of whether crime was going up or down.
  • With crime now at a 50-year low, hundreds of thousands are still admitted to Michigan jails every year, and people are staying in jail longer on average than before.
  • Today, half of the people in Michigan’s local jails are un-convicted and constitutionally presumed innocent while they await trial.
  • Many of these individuals are in jail because they cannot afford bail, not necessarily because they are a flight risk or threat to public safety.

The task force will be supported by technical assistance staff from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“The focus here will be on using data to drive solutions. Everyone is entering this effort with no preconceived notions and we are eager to partner with the state, Pew and others to make Michigan a leader in public safety,” Currie said.



Commissioners and other county leaders can network with legislators, learn tips on drafting capital improvement plans and be briefed on cutting-edge economic development tactics at a MAC Regional Summit this summer.

As usual, MAC will offer the summits at four sites across Michigan:

  • June 3 – Grand Rapids (Crowne Plaza)
  • June 10 – Escanaba (Quality Inn)
  • June 17 – Frankenmuth (Bavarian Inn)
  • July 23 – Gaylord (Otsego Resort)