MARQUETTE – About 400 municipal officials are attending the Michigan Municipal League’s statewide convention this week in Marquette.
Executive Director and CEO Dan Gilmartin said it’s an opportunity for community leaders to learn more about new trends including community development for both baby boomers and Millennials.
“You have these two enormous generations are either end of the spectrum sort of controlling everything from housing markets to the job front and what type of infrastructure we’re going to have and how we are going to plan our communities so if we can send leaders home with a little bit more information in those areas, they can go back to their communities and do good thing we feel that we have done our job,” said Gilmartin.
Gilmartin said Michigan cities are still struggling financially although he says the state’s economy does seem to be improving. One of the reasons for the financial problems he says is because the way municipalities are funded.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense how we fund communities right now. State laws prohibit communities from realizing revenues from a whole bunch of different areas. You’ve probably been involved or heard about all of the revenue sharing battles with the state for decades really. Shared part of the sales tax with local governments and that’s largely gone away so in many cases we have communities doing really amazing thing with very little in the way of revenue,” he said.
The Michigan Municipal League working to change that in the coming years, Gilmarten said.
The convention runs from today through Friday.