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Articles from January 2018 (Return to News home)
by Katy Garavaglia
Thursday, January 25, 2018


Subject:         Traverse City Arts Commission Director

Contact:            Christie Minervini, Arts Commission Chair,
                        Nate Elkins,, 231-944-4114
                        Benjamin Marentette,, 231-922-4480                  

Issued:             January 24, 2018 

The Traverse City Arts Commission selected Nate Elkins, founder of Influence Design Forum, as its Director. On January 16, 2018, the City Commission authorized a one-year contract for services with Influence Design Forum after a selection process conducted by the Arts Commission.  

Since its inception in 2015, the Arts Commission has worked to expand the public understanding of visual art, support arts and culture in the community, and enhance the aesthetic quality of public places throughout Traverse City. In 2017, the Arts Commission debuted their first fully commissioned sculpture, Enspire, a memorial to Bryan Crough, former Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority, as part of the revitalization of Lay Park in Downtown. 

In the interest of furthering their goals and making a bigger impact on the community, the Arts Commission identified a need for a Director. In his capacity, Mr. Elkins will progress the fund development efforts, lead the planning process for public events held by the Arts Commission, attract and launch traveling and temporary art installations and advise and develop proposals brought forward to the Arts Commission.

Arts Commission Chairwoman Christie Minervini, who led the selection process that ultimately chose Influence Design Forum and Mr. Elkins, is energized by what he brings to the table. “Nate has orchestrated multiple public space projects throughout Michigan, including many in Traverse City. The Commission has put a high value on his grant writing and public engagement experience, as well as his connections and familiarity with the key players in our community. I look forward to working with him as the Arts Commission takes its work to the next level.”

Director Nate Elkins is also excited about his new role, “Ingenuity and creativity take courage and I have the highest respect for those who were before me and made this position possible and have worked hard to bring public art to Traverse City. The Director position provides the Arts Commission with an opportunity to cultivate a strong public art collection, work towards sustainable programming, and provide leadership in communicating the Commission’s goals.”


by Katelyn Zeits
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

If you missed the Community Financial Health Forum held on Monday, January 22nd at the Traverse Area District Library, you can now view the video recording by visiting UpNorth Media Center or by clicking the following link: 

For those who were able to attend, you heard first hand from Michigan Municipal League Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Anthony Minghine that the system of financing local units of government in Michigan is broken.  More importantly, you heard that it needs to be fixed.

Mr. Minghine's talk lasted approximately 40 minutes, with approximately another 40 minutes for Q&A/dialog.  

The Michigan Municipal League has a number of resources on this topic at this link:   

The resources page of the website has a few very informative reports that provide good talking points for you to use when discussing these issues with members of the legislature, your constituents, etc.   

Please feel free to share the link to the forum and the resources featured on with your colleagues and also share them on your online platforms.

by Katy Garavaglia
Thursday, January 18, 2018


Subject:              Community Financial Health Forum

Primary Contact:  Jim Carruthers, Mayor,, 231-922-7768 
                              Marty Colburn, City Manager,, 231-922-4440
                              Richard Lewis, City Commissioner and MML Board of Trustees Member
                      , 231-922-2902

Issued:                January 18, 2018

Michigan Municipal League Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Anthony Minghine, in partnership with the City of Traverse City, will be holding a ‘Community Financial Health Forum’ at the Traverse Area District Library’s McGuire Meeting Room, at 610 Woodmere Avenue in Traverse City on Monday, January 22, 2018. The forum is free and open to the public. The forum will be broadcast live and rebroadcast on and on Government TV Channel 191.

Mr. Minghine is a regular speaker on a variety of topics affecting local government, and frequently testifies to the state legislature on matters relating to local government finance. On January 22, he will be presenting the Community Health Forum, to discuss why Michigan’s municipal funding system is failing. The way the state funds local government is broken and Mr. Minghine is leading a conversation across Michigan on how to fix the broken system. This forum will feature a discussion where you can join the conversation as Mr. Minghine works with the Michigan legislature to chart a course for improved funding and a better future.

Mayor Jim Carruthers, who believes in the importance of the services local governments provide looks forward to the discussion, “I’m glad that Mr. Minghine will be bringing the topic of how local units of government are financed to the forefront: it’s important that we have a sustainable financial model that allows us to provide the services that touch everyone’s life on the most local level. I look forward to our elected leaders from around the region joining in the discussion.”

City Commissioner Richard Lewis and member of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees, is a champion of communities working together, said, “I’m glad to have the opportunity to bring the region’s local units of government together to talk about what can be done to better allow cities, villages, townships and counties, to fund the services that matter most to our communities. The Michigan Municipal League is working with the State Legislature to refine the financing model and it’s important for our communities to be part of that discussion.”

The City of Traverse City has invited the elected boards from the following communities: The cities of: Frankfort, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Boyne City, Charlevoix.
The villages of: Kingsley, Elk Rapids and Bellaire
Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners
All townships within Grand Traverse County

(This forum will take place of what would typically be a City Commission Study Session.)


by Katelyn Zeits
Friday, January 5, 2018
The Performance 2017 Cover Page
The Performance 2017 Cover Page

Do you know what the City of Traverse City has been working on over the past year? Are you curious about the investments that City Officials have made in infrastructure?

The Performance 2017, a year-end report highlighting many of the City’s accomplishments made over the past year, is ready for your viewing!

To view the Performance 2017, visit the City’s website at, or obtain a copy from the City Clerk’s Department in the Governmental Center.

By Friday, January 5th, you can also stop by the Traverse Area Chamber of Commerce, the Traverse City Tourism Office, or the Traverse Area District Library to obtain a copy.  

Contact: Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk,, 231-922-4480

by Katelyn Zeits
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Community members are invited to participate in the process of government by serving on one of the city's citizen boards and committees. 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 our citizens.

Brown Bridge Advisory Committee - The purpose of this committee is to recommendations to restore, preserve and protect the integrity of the Brown Bridge Quiet Area and surrounding property. This committee meets only quarterly on the third Thursday.  Perfect for someone with limited time that wants to be involved!

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. Who doesn’t love the Farmers Market?

Election Commission - The primary purpose of the Election Commission is to appoint Election Inspector in advance of each election. Members of this board have minimal commitment, meeting approximately two times a year. Help to ensure a seamless election for the City!

Traverse City Light and Power Board - Typically meets once a month, this board has exclusive jurisdiction, control and management of the Light and Power Department and all its operations and facilities. Unless specifically allocated to the City Commission or to a City official, the Board has all of the powers and duties possessed by the City to construct, acquire, expand and operate the Light and Power system. Let’s keep the lights on!

Art Selection Panel - Meeting infrequently, this board is comprised with various art professionals who understand the challenges with public art and would like to actively participate in the selection of artists for projects in our community. Help define our public spaces with public art! 

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, January 19, 2018 in person at 400 Boardman Ave., or by email:

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for all boards and commissions and are kept on file for a period of one year; applicants must not be in default to the City.