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by Katelyn Zeits
Friday, February 15, 2019


Subject: Attention Vacation Home Rentals in the City of Traverse City – License Required for Operation  

Primary Contact: Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk,

Issued:             February 15, 2019

The City Commission has recently enacted an amendment to the Traverse City Code of Ordinances requiring all vacation home rentals in the City to obtain an annual license from the City Clerk, effective February 14, 2019. A Vacation Home Rental is defined as a dwelling in a Commercial District which is rented for any term less than 30 consecutive days.

These types of rentals have not been regulated in the past, leading to potential safety concerns for those utilizing local properties as vacation rentals. With the enactment of these changes, the primary goals of the City are to ensure each vacation home is licensed, that proper fire escape plans and summary of noise regulations and the use of fireworks have been posted, and to maintain records of up-to-date inspections by the Traverse City Fire Department, helping to ensure the safety of those who visit Traverse City.

While these changes are effective February 14th, all Vacation Home Rentals must submit an application to the City Clerks’ Office, and obtain their first inspection from the Traverse City Fire Department in advance of July 1, 2019. Inspections will only be required every 3rd year, with self-inspection checklists to be completed with annual license renewals in the years between. When on-site inspections are required, the annual fee is $200. When self-inspections are required, the fee is $150.

Applications can be found at

For further ordinance details, review Chapter 870 which can be found here:

For questions, please reach out to the City Clerk’s Office at (231) 922-4480 or by email at

by Katelyn Zeits
Monday, February 4, 2019

Subject:           Available Positions on Various City Boards!  

Contact:          Katelyn Zeits, Deputy City Clerk   

Members of the Traverse City community are invited to serve on one of the City's citizen boards! Through this service, civic-minded citizens can become involved in their local government. The City, in turn, benefits from the knowledge, experience and expertise of those in our community. For more information on the boards listed below, please visit  

Arts Commission

The Arts Commission is responsible for promoting art in the community, and advising the City Commission on matters pertaining to various art programs within the city. The Traverse City Arts Commission meets monthly on the third Wednesday. Interested individuals are required to be a City resident.  

Art Selection Panel

The Art Selection Panel, a seven-member panel appointed by the Traverse City Arts Commission. The Panel holds meetings as needed to review proposals and make recommendations to the Traverse City Arts Commission. Members of the Art Selection Panel are not required to be City residents, but should have knowledge of or interest in the visual arts, and will be appointed to terms of three years.

Grand Traverse Commons Joint Planning Commission

The Joint Planning Commission was established for the purpose of exercising the powers and duties of a planning commission. This board meets quarterly on the third Wednesday and individuals interested should be a City residents or a Garfield Township resident.

Farmers Market Advisory Board

Typically meets once a month to advise the Downtown Development Authority Board on upholding the mission of the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market for the betterment of the market. For more information on this board, please contact the Downtown Development Authority at 231-922-2050. 

Local Officers Compensation Commission

This Commission determines the salaries of the City Commission. This board is a small commitment, meeting only in odd years. Interested individuals are required to be a City resident.  

For more information on these boards and other City boards, or to find our “Application to Become Involved, please visit

If you are interested in serving, please submit your application to the City Clerk’s Office by Friday, February 22, 2019 in person at 400 Boardman Ave., or by email:

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for all boards and commissions.

by Missy Luick
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Please click here to visit the 8th Street Reconstruction project page.

by Katy Garavaglia
Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Subject: Traverse City Awarded 2% Grant Funds from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Contact: Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk – 231-922-4480 ( 
Issued: January 22, 2019

Traverse City was the recipient of three 2% Grant awards from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, announced on January 17, 2019. Two of the funded projects are for the Traverse City Police Department, and the final award is for a joint public art project between the Traverse City Arts Commission and the Grand Traverse Band.

Twice per year, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians distributes gaming revenue allocations to local units of government. Since the program began in 1994, more than $37,879,500 has been allotted for various programs and projects that benefit the Grand Traverse Region.

With the awarded funds in the amount of $16,457 this year, the Traverse City Police Department will be purchasing Crowd Control and Personal Protection equipment for our police officers to help ensure the Community’s safety. This equipment purchase includes full-body protection, along with ballistic helmets, helping to make sure our officers are protected and are able to serve the community effectively in emergency situations.

The Traverse City Police Department will also use $20,000 in awarded funds for the purchase of a Thermo-Fisher Scientific TruNare handheld narcotics analyzer. The TruNare is used for the rapid identification of suspected narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and analgesics while in the field, giving our police officers the information necessary to make life-saving decisions when drugs are involved. This instrument will also save the time and expense of off-site sample testing, and allows for tamper-proof records.

The final award for Traverse City was presented to the Traverse City Arts Commission, in the amount of $43,755 for the Clinch Park Tunnel Art Exhibition. The art installation will be located in the existing pedestrian tunnel under Grandview Parkway leading to Clinch Park, and will be culturally reflective of the Woodland Indians of the Great Lakes, specifically the Grand Traverse Band. The project will be a rotating exhibition with the possibility that the artwork will be compiled into a collection. Arts Commission Director Nate Elkins, “is enthusiastic about the cultivation of a relationship between the Traverse City Arts Commission and the Grand Traverse Band to celebrate the history, culture and connection to the Great Lakes and the Traverse City Region through art.”


by Kim Lautner
Friday, December 28, 2018



Subject:          Traverse City Green Team 2018 Summary


       Jim Carruthers, Mayor – 231-922-7768 (

       Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk – 231-922-4480 (           

       Sarna Salzman, SEEDS Executive Director – 231-929-3663 (

 Issued:           December 26, 2018

In December 2016, the City Commission of Traverse City passed a resolution to meet 100% of the electricity demand for City operations - meaning the yearly total of all municipal electric meters - with clean, renewable energy sources by the year 2020. Renewable Energy sources are defined as wind, solar, geothermal, and/or landfill gas. The City also set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by pursuing renewable energy and energy efficiency, or other sustainability projects, with the goal of initiating at least two such projects per year through 2027. With these actions, the City Commission formed an advisory Green Team. This is a team of 6-10 people who meet regularly to update the 2011 Climate Action Plan to accomplish the new goals. The Green Team is charged with recommending sustainability projects and developing a plan to become carbon neutral by mid-century.

Mayor Jim Carruthers is a strong supporter and advocate of using clean energy, not only in Traverse City, but throughout our entire region. He has been a key participant in the Traverse City Green Team, and has a unique impact through his personal commitment as well as his position as the City’s top elected official. “I am proud of Traverse City – our commitment to be a leader in clean energy in the State of Michigan, the City’s continued support of our Green Team to give life to our clean energy goals, and the engagement of our citizens and local businesses who take daily steps to mirror the City’s commitment to environmental responsibility. It’s truly great to be a part of such a forward-thinking community and to help lead the way for a better and cleaner tomorrow.”

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette echoes the Mayor’s sentiment, “Traverse City is known for our beautiful connection with nature – be it the water, agriculture, or outdoor recreation, and our City is committed to operating in the cleanest and most green-ways possible through our energy use, the purchases we make, and the services we provide to our community.  I’m extremely proud and grateful to serve a community that values our role in preserving and maintaining our beautiful natural environment.”

Since December 2017, the Green Team has accomplished the following:

  • Full LED lighting upgrades were installed at the Governmental Center and County Jail.
  • The Civic Center pool installed a Variable Frequency Drive pump along with 2 new HVAC rooftop units to increase efficiency.
  • Various pieces of tier-4 low emission equipment were purchased for use by City crews.
  • The City purchased a solar-powered arrow board for use with street closures and detours. Traverse City was recognized as one of 30 communities in the Michigan Municipal League Green Communities Challenge achieving “Silver” status and receiving this year’s prize for most improved community.
  • City Crews planted over 150 trees throughout the City, as well as collected and processed leaves City-wide for composting.
  • Traverse City purchased its first electric car for use by the Parking Department.
  • The Traverse City Light & Power Board in 2018 approved in its Strategic Plan to become 100% renewable by the year 2040, with an intermediate goal of 40% renewable by 2025.

The City and The Green Team celebrate Traverse City Light and Power’s creation of a Green Rate.   So far, 130 customers have signed up for TCLP’s Green Rate, election to offset their energy consumption with renewable sources such as wind and solar, and investing in renewable energy technology. 



by Benjamin Marentette
Thursday, December 20, 2018


 Subject:          Audit of Election Equipment and Conduct of November 2018 Election

 Issued by:      

Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele (231) 922-4760

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette (231) 922-4480

Charter Township of Garfield Clerk Lanie McManus  (231) 941-1620 

Charter Township of East Bay Clerk Susanne Courtade  (231) 947-8647


Issued:             December 20, 2018


On December 20, 2018, an extensive audit of the election held on November 6, 2018, of randomly-selected voting precincts in the City of Traverse City and the Charter Townships of East Bay and Garfield was concluded.

The audit included analysis and examination of documents and procedures used during the election, which produced excellent findings.

Additionally, the audit included verification, by hand-count, of the results of three randomly-selected races (Attorney General, State Proposal 3 and Probate Court Judge); the audit concluded that the results reported by the tabulators used to count the votes was 100% accurate. 

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette served on a small panel, with Michigan’s Secretary of State and Director of Elections, which developed the capabilities and specifications of voting systems to be used across the state of Michigan.   Marentette indicated, “At the August 2018 election, across all voting precincts in Grand Traverse County, new voting equipment, including vote tabulators, were implemented.   This equipment was tested and vetted through federal and state laboratories; and so, while we have always felt confident in the accuracy of the equipment used, this affirms that confidence.”  

Charter Township of East Bay Clerk Susanne Courtade said, “Conducting the audit is a great way to reaffirm this important equipment’s capability and accuracy.  This is something I expect and am proud of; and I believe our voters have the same standards and expectations.”  

Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele was pleased with the audit saying, “Audits like this are important for several reasons, and the most important of those reasons is ensuring the methods and manner in which elections are conducted guarantees accuracy.   As election officials, we are responsible to forever-protect the fabric of democracy and that is done through multiple stages of double-checks, including after-the-fact checks like this audit.”


by Katy Garavaglia
Monday, December 3, 2018



Subject:                        Keeping Sidewalks Accessible for Everyone

Primary Contact:       Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk,

Issued:                          December 3, 2018


With winter’s arrival, the City of Traverse City reminds residents and business owners that they are responsible for the removal of any snow and ice that accumulates on the sidewalks immediately adjacent to their property.  City officials are also encouraging residents to help their neighbors and relatives who have difficulty removing snow from their sidewalks.

“Almost all of us travel by foot for a portion of our daily trips,” said City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.  “As a community, particularly when we have a traditional Northern Michigan winter, we need to work together to keep those sidewalks and crosswalks clear to help us all get around.”

The City reminds everyone that many people rely on walking and transit as their primary way to access jobs, services, and businesses.  Without clear paths through snow and ice, it is especially difficult for people with disabilities, the elderly, and children to walk safely.

In addition, icy or snow-packed pathways make it difficult for firefighters and paramedics in cases of emergency. “Having clear sidewalks and pathways when emergency personnel, such as Fire Fighters and Police Officers, are responding, makes a huge difference when each moment is precious,” said Marentette.

The City’s Department of Public Services is committed to clearing sidewalks after major snow events, with priorities being primary corridors and sidewalks near schools.  However, during prolonged snowfalls, sidewalks may not be cleared for several days and there are portions of the sidewalk network that are not cleared by DPS.  “When residents promptly clear snow and ice, they play a critical part in keeping Traverse City moving,” said Marentette.

Residents who would like to report a problem related to the enforcement of the City’s snow removal ordinance, are encouraged to call Code Enforcement Officer Mike Trombley, 922-4414 or visit the City of Traverse City website at

Snow Removal Video for the City of Traverse City