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November 2, 2021 Election: Nominating Packets Available

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021 

Nominating packets for those who wish to run for the Office of Mayor or Office of City Commissioner are available from the City Clerk’s Office, first floor, Governmental Center, 400 Boardman Avenue, Traverse City, Michigan.

Offices available:

Mayor, two-year term ending November 13, 2023

3 City Commissioners, four-year term ending November 10, 2025.

Candidates must file nominating petitions and other required documentation with the City Clerk by July 20, 2021, at 4 p.m.

The City Commission is the legislative body of the City of Traverse City, essentially functioning as the city's "board of directors." The following is the mission statement for the City Commission:

The mission of the Traverse City City Commission is to guide the preservation and development of the City’s infrastructure, services, and planning based on extensive participation by its citizens coupled with the expertise of the city’s staff. The Commission will both lead and serve Traverse City in developing a vision for sustainability and the future that is rooted in the hopes and input of its citizens and organizations, as well as cooperation from surrounding units of government.

Very broadly speaking, the functions of the City Commission for the City of Traverse City are to:

  • Set public policy for the city through ordinances and other official actions
  • Allocate public funds under the city's control and responsibility, including adoption of the City Budget
  • Exercise policy oversight of the city's resources
  • Appoint the City Manager and City Attorney; and in order to maintain a system of checks and balances, to provide for appropriate separation of duties and autonomy in conducting and performing official and corporate functions, the City Commission approves the City Manager's indefinite appointment and removal of the City Clerk and the City Treasurer
  • Appoint individuals to various board and commissions
  • Exercise other authority and powers granted to it by the Michigan Constitution, Michigan Law, Michigan Promulgated Rules, the City Charter and other authorities

The City Commission consists of six members and the Mayor, all elected at-large (all members of the City Commission represent the entire city, as the city is not broken into "wards" or "districts"). All offices on the City Commission are non-partisan. The Mayor is elected for a two-year term and Commissioners are elected for four-year terms. City Commission terms are arranged so that no more than four terms (or "seats") expire every two years. City Commission elections are held in November of odd years.

As provided by Michigan Law and the City Charter, for ceremonial purposes, the Mayor is the chief executive officer of the city. The Mayor presides over all meetings of the City Commission and has a voice and vote on all matters before the City Commission, but is without veto power. Along with the City Clerk, the Mayor executes various items by signature as the City Commission, City Charter, Michigan Law require.

For further information, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (231) 922-4480, or email

Candidates elected at the November 2, 2021, election, will be sworn in by City Clerk Benjamin Marentette and take office at 7 p.m. on November 8, 2021.

DTE Gas Renewal Project Begins April 5th

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021 - DTE will be working in several areas throughout the City to replace aging natural gas lines with modern, long lasting pipes. Find more information here

Safe Routes to School Kicks Off April 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, March 26, 2021

March 26, 2021 - 

Through careful planning with area partners and community members, the City of Traverse City is readying the launch of the Safe Routes to School project with an anticipated start date in April 2021.  In 2011, the City Commission adopted a Complete Streets Policy that enables safe and convenient access for all legal road users, including pedestrians. The City has worked toward implementing sidewalk goals set by the City Commission by executing two tracks: a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure grant program and an equity-based sidewalk gap and infill project, primarily targeted at Traverse Heights neighborhood, which was identified as underserved with pedestrian connectivity. 

Today, only 13% of kids actively travel to school, compared to 48% in 1969. Among those living within a 1.4 mile of school, just 56% walk or bike. Safe Routes to School is a movement that aims to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school. Beyond the many health benefits of walking, studies have shown that walking to school can improve academic performance and reduce anxiety. The most successful SRTS programs incorporate the Six E’s: evaluation, education, encouragement, engineering, enforcement, and equity. Since 2005, Safe Routes to School Programs have benefited more than 14,000 schools in all 50 states.  

In 2018, the City was awarded with a more than $2 Million grant for the SRTS initiative. “Creating safe pedestrian connections for our youth and residents within the City can result in happier and healthier lifestyles. We are fortunate to have been awarded a significant grant toward the Safe Routes to School initiative to provide such amenities to our community and further our journey toward a more walkable community,” says City Planner Shawn Winter.  

Partners on the project include TART Trails, Norte, Northwestern Michigan College, Grand Traverse County, Garfield Township, Grand Traverse County Road Commission, Michigan Fitness Foundation, and Michigan Department of Transportation. The City worked with four school districts including Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, Traverse City Area Public Schools, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, and Trinity Lutheran Schools to identify ten k-8 schools that would benefit from 3.5 miles of trail and sidewalk expansion. School partners include:

  • TBAISD New Campus School- 1100 Silver Drive
  • TBAISD Oak Park Campus-301 S. Garfield Ave
  • TCAPS Montessori School at Glenn Loomis- 1009 Oak Street
  • TCAPS Willow Hill Elementary-1250 Hill Street
  • TCAPS Central Grade School- 301 W. Seventh Street
  • TCAPS Eastern Elementary School- 1600 Eastern Avenue
  • TCAPS Traverse Heights Elementary- 933 Rose Street
  • TCAPS West Middle School- 3950 Silver Lake Road
  • GTACS Immaculate Conception Elementary Schools School- 218 Vine Street
  • Trinity Lutheran School- 1003 S. Maple Street

“City staff has worked with area partners, schools, and community members for a number of years to bring the Safe Routes to School initiative to fruition. Providing access for all ages and abilities through sidewalk and trail connectivity has been a focus of the City Commission and will bring numerous benefits to our residents,” says Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers.

The Safe Routes to School project will be a phased approach throughout spring and summer 2021. To learn more about Safe Routes to School and the City’s Sidewalk Gap and Infill project, including project updates, visit

Human Rights Commission Provides Supportive Funding

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, March 8, 2021

March 8, 2021 - 

The City of Traverse City’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) recently offered supportive funding, up to $500, to area nonprofit organizations. Eight organizations applied for funding and the HRC chose five local projects whose purposes complement those of the Commission. An HRC commissioner was assigned as a liaison to work with each group.

Throughout its 26-year history, the HRC has sponsored public hearings, community conversations, educational forums, and celebrations of civil rights milestones such as Martin Luther King Day, and films like "RBG" and "Just Mercy." COVID-19 provided an opportunity for the HRC to pivot their approach to reaching their annual goals and offer funding to those with shared missions and values.

“While most yearly events have been rescheduled or postponed this year, the HRC has taken another avenue to continue its work. The need for human rights advocacy didn't stand still this year, it became even more urgent," says Susan Odgers, HRC Chairperson. "We have selected five community projects to collaborate with, using a portion of our 2020-21 budget to supplement their costs."

$500 Awarded: Before, During, and After Incarceration (BDAI)

Deacon Tom Bousamra will work with Commissioners Jerry Beasley and Jessica Forster in purchasing meals for its monthly support sessions. These support sessions are free and open to formerly incarcerated residents and their families. Families of currently incarcerated people are also welcome to attend.

$500 Awarded: Dennos Museum Center

A collaboration with the HRC and other community groups to host Resilience: African-American Artists as Agents of Change.  This exhibition and its related tours, discussions, and programs align with the Dennos’ strategic focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This will be the first exhibition to showcase the talent of African-American artists. As a sponsor/collaborator, HRC will assist with community outreach and engagement.  Commissioner Susan Odgers is the Commission liaison for this project.

$500 Awarded: The Traverse Area District Library

The Traverse Area District Library is purchasing “Book Club Kits’ as part of the library's annual provision of resources to encourage community book clubs.  The HRC’s purchase of books will relate to racial equity and social justice topics. As a sponsor/collaborator, HRC Commissioner Jennifer Loup will assist with outreach and community engagement and members will promote the kits with new and existing book clubs.

$485 Awarded: Traverse City Area Public Schools

Alison Sullivan, U.S. History teacher at East Middle School, is purchasing 34 copies of the book Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism, and You, for use in 8th grade classes to facilitate anti-racism education.  Marilyn Jaquish, HRC Commission liaison, will participate in selected classroom activities.

$500 Awarded: United Way of Northwest Michigan

A 5-Day Equity Challenge, based on the statewide 21-Day Equity Challenge is being developed. This program was originally designed for companies to conduct with employees. However, based on participant feedback, the adult program will be customized to foster and guide conversations among families with school-age children, addressing issues of racial equity and systemic racism. It will be offered free to the public, in collaboration with the HRC and other organizations with similar racial equity goals. Commissioner Nicole Agruda, HRC Commission liaison, will collaborate with Seth Johnson, United Way of Northwest Michigan CEO, in community outreach and engagement, and HRC members will have the opportunity to participate in the 5-Day Equity Challenge.

For more information on the Human Rights Commission visit,





Seeking 2021 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award Nominations

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, February 11, 2021

February 11, 2021 - 

The Traverse City Human Rights Commission is accepting nominations for the 2021 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award. This annual award recognizes Sara Hardy’s contributions to the community by honoring someone who exemplifies the ideals of the Human Rights Commission, which are to promote mutual understanding and respect among all people and to discourage discriminatory practices. Sara Hardy was instrumental in establishing the Human Rights Commission more than 30 years ago.

To nominate a person you believe represents the ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion, please complete the Nomination Form and submit a letter that describes the humanitarian activities they are involved in and an explanation as to why you are nominating this individual. Be sure to include the nominee’s full name, address, and telephone number. Also, please include your full name and phone number. Nominators may be asked to present their nominations in person (or via Zoom) at a Human Rights Commission meeting.

The deadline to submit nominations is March 15, 2021. Please email or mail your nomination to the Traverse City Human Rights Commission at: or 400 Boardman Avenue, Traverse City, Michigan 49684. Nominations may also be faxed to (231) 922-4470. The recipient of the award will be honored at the Governmental Center on a date to be determined. A reception will precede the presentation of the award at the Traverse City Commission meeting that evening. Past recipients of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award include: Tom Bousamra, Marian Kromkowski, Glenna and Ken Andrews, Jim Rowlett, Brian Simerson, Eugene Fox, Susan Odgers, and Joe Lada.

For more information, please email Human Resources at or to access the Nomination form HERE.

City Publishes The Performance 2020

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021 - 

The City of Traverse City has released its 2020 annual report, The Performance, which provides insight into major accomplishments and significant projects completed during the past year, and also a glimpse into what’s next. Throughout the report many achievements for the City are highlighted, among many other topics.

“Over the past year, the employees that make up the city team have met unprecedented challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to the diligence and resourcefulness of the City Commission, city staff, and various members of our boards and committees, the City is healthy in terms of financial stability and through careful planning, we are poised to have a strong 2021,” say City Manager Martin Colburn.

An overview of achievements related to infrastructure improvements, green initiatives, mobility, community enhancements, governance, and public safety are outlined within the report. The City Commission’s adopted strategic goals with action steps related to five issues; housing, transportation, water related infrastructure, tax revenue, and economic development are also defined in the report. 

“I am pleased with the City’s progress this past year. Despite the circumstances of an ever-changing environment surrounding the pandemic, the City continued to provide top quality municipal services and make investments toward a more sustainable future,” says Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers.                            

While The Performance serves as a progress report for the City’s past year, each individual department will present their annual reports to the City Commission with greater detail in the upcoming months. 

To learn more and view the full report, visit the link at



Hickory Hills Opens January 2, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, December 30, 2020

December 29, 2020 - The anticipation continues to build for the ski season at Hickory Hills.  Crews are working day and night to make more snow and are putting the final touches on things in preparation for opening day on January 2, 2021. 

Due to the likelihood of high skier turnout on opening day, we suggest that you purchase your annual passes ahead of time to avoid long lines.  Passes can most easily be purchased online at .  

As expected, there are many changes at Hickory Hills this year.  In addition to masks being required and the lodge being unavailable as a gathering area we also have some additional modifications, so we have prepared a FAQ page that answers many of the questions that you might have about operational changes and new rules at

As we await opening day for the Alpine season, we have already opened for Nordic skiing and are daily rolling the trails on Hickory Hills and also Hickory Meadows when conditions allow.  Passes for Nordic skiing are also available for purchase online on the City of Traverse City website at .

Beet Heet to Hit Traverse City Streets

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020 - The City of Traverse City’s Department of Public Services (DPS) continues to explore the best management practices and products to provide snow and ice-free travel ways. The DPS Streets Division explored products regionally and nationally that provide safe roadways and can reduce the use of salt and sand. Recommendations for an ice fighting product called Beet Heet were made based on research and conversations with management officials from Emmet County, MI, Sturgis, MI, Rochester, NY, Erie, PA, and Syracuse, NY.

“Traverse City residents hold tremendous value in the quality of our natural world/environment and our water quality. The Beet Heet product received excellent reviews from various municipalities and agencies that our department contacted. We look forward to launching a product that continues to make an impact on a more sustainable future,” says DPS Director Frank Dituri.

Beet Heet is not to be confused with beet juice or various alcohol based products. Residents may notice differences from the current use of pure salt (white in color) as this product is described as having a darker color, that is more water soluble than salt and has a mild aroma of coffee or chocolate. The product is more efficient at melting ice, and is effective to much lower temperatures than the salt the City currently uses. There are immediate environmental benefits as a result of the reduction in the amount of salt and sand needed to keep roads safe. Beet Heet is much less corrosive than salt and is rapidly bio-degradable. Furthermore, the efficacy of its use translates into a substantial cost savings to the City when compared to the status quo. 

It is the City’s intent, with the use of Beet Heet, to provide an equivalent or elevated level of service in a more efficient manner, and to reduce the use of salt and sand thereby reducing effects on the environment.






Human Rights Commission Offers Supportive Funding

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, December 11, 2020

December 11, 2020 - Please see the following message from Human Rights Commission Chairperson Susan Odgers, sharing information on the Commission’s mission and supportive funding.

The Traverse City Human Rights Commission (HRC) has amended its Fiscal Year 20-21 budget to support activities that reflect its mission and include activities that are focused on protecting public health. Throughout its 26-year history, the HRC has sponsored hundreds of public hearings, community conversations, educational forums, and celebrations of civil rights milestones such as Martin Luther King Day, and films like RBG and Just Mercy. The continuing rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths has prompted the Commission to seek alternative means of achieving its 2020 goals without public health risk.

Traverse area nonprofit organizations or government/educational agencies are invited to apply for “sponsorship” funding for projects within three priority areas: 1) racial equity and inclusion, 2) homelessness, and 3) criminal justice reform. Financial support will generally range from $200-$500 per project. Proposed projects should enhance public awareness related to these three priorities and/or provide effective tools to strengthen services to priority populations (homeless, BIPOC, and the incarcerated). The use of technology/media in place of public gatherings and adherence to current CDC guidelines will be an essential component of the evaluation process. 

An application form may be found by visiting,

The Commission will begin reviewing applications during the monthly meetings, beginning in December to February. Projects will be considered monthly until the remaining $3,000 in the FY20-21 budget has been allocated. The next fiscal year will begin July 1, 2021 and funding priorities will be updated at that time.

To learn more about the Human Rights Commission, visit





2020 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, December 7, 2020

December 7, 2020 - The City of Traverse City’s Human Rights Commission is proud to honor Tom Bousamra as the 2020 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award. This year’s award ceremony, originally planned for March 2020,  was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bousamra has been presented with the award and he will also be honored during the City Commission meeting on Monday, December 7, 2020.

Bousamra is the President of Before, During, and After Incarceration (BDAI). He's served as a volunteer Catholic chaplain at the Grand Traverse County Jail for the past thirty-four years. He's a current member of the Family Partnership of Grand Traverse, a Deacon at St. Francis Catholic Church, and past chair of the St. Francis Peace and Justice Commission. Additionally, he was a secondary English teacher for forty years.  Bousamra helped to prepare those incarcerated for re-entry into our community through Life Skills Classes, Coaching/Mentoring programs, and Family Support Dinners. He's refurbished the jail library with new books and supported a clothing closet for those leaving incarceration. He's also advocated for improved mental health services, enrichment classes, and collaboration with other community organizations. Said one nominator, “Tom has a passion for those in need, whether the incarcerated, those experiencing homelessness, or people just needing a hand up. It is his heartfelt belief that all people have value and should be treated with dignity. Tom always sees the good in people and what they can accomplish.”

Bousamra has made a positive impact on our community and is especially-deserving of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award. Sara Hardy, a longtime resident, through her courageous and determined actions gave birth to the concept of a Human Rights organization in her community. Her conduct and professionalism exemplify the philosophies and ideals of the Human Rights Commission to promote mutual understanding and respect among all people and to discourage discriminatory practices. This award recognizes Sara Hardy’s contributions to the community by honoring an individual who exemplifies the Human Rights Commission’s ideas. The recipient of this award is selected by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission. We want to encourage the citizens of the Traverse City area to join with us in recognizing the contributions made by this deserving individual in the promotion of human rights.

To learn more about the Human Rights Commission, visit

Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

by Benjamin Marentette
Saturday, March 14, 2020

Regarding COVID-19, several key community stakeholders are developing a strategy to address the issue, to the greatest extent possible. A Joint Operation Center (JIC) has been stablished that includes key stakeholders. The JIC will provide a cohesive source of information and a single plan for mitigating the Coronavirus.

In the mean time, here is a link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's page which provides important information, including how to protect yourself; what to do if you are at higher risk; symptoms for detection, etc.…/prevention.html…

Finally, it is critical, as a community, that we take protective measures to slow the development of new COVID-19 cases and reduce the risk of overwhelming the health care system. The graph below, developed by Harvard Medical School, illustrates this important point.