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by Alanna Crouch
Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Subject: City Commission confirms appointment of Kelli Martin as City Treasurer/Finance Director

Primary Contact: Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk,  (231) 922-4480

Issued: July 22, 2020

On Monday, July 20, 2020, the City Commission unanimously approved City Manager Marty Colburn’s appointment of Kelli Martin as City Treasurer/Finance Director.   Ms. Martin will officially assume her position upon being sworn into office; she is expected to begin on Monday, August 24, 2020.  Ms. Martin will succeed William Twietmeyer, who retired on July 7, 2020, after serving as City Treasurer/Finance Director since 1990.

The City of Traverse City conducted a recruitment for the position which functions as the city’s Chief Financial Officer; and an interview team consisting of senior management (City Manager Marty Colburn; Assistant City Manager Penny Hill; City Clerk Benjamin Marentette; and Human Resources Director Kristine Bosley) conducted in-depth interviews of candidates for the position.   The team unanimously concluded that Ms. Martin should be considered as a finalist, at which point City Attorney Lauren Trible-Laucht and Downtown Development Authority CEO Jean Derenzy were asked to participate in a second, in-depth interview with Ms. Martin.   Ultimately, the (expanded) team concluded Ms. Martin would be an excellent fit for the City Treasurer/Finance Director position.

Ms. Martin has served in a variety of financial and strategic roles within city government (serving as financial manager for the City of Ann Arbor), within state government (State of Michigan and State of Ohio) and currently serves in a responsible financial capacity for Michigan State University, overseeing financial management of an extensive portfolio of grants for Michigan State University.   She holds an MBA (Master of Business Administration) with a concentration in management information systems, a Master of Science in Accounting Research, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in finance and international business.  

Ms. Martin is excited at this opportunity, saying “I have deep roots in Northwest lower Michigan.  As a lifelong public servant, I have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the efficient use of taxpayer dollars.  The appointment as City Treasurer/Finance Director of Traverse City is an honor.  I look forward to serving the City and am excited about the future in this vibrant City.”

City Manager Marty Colburn, who brought forward the appointment of Ms. Martin for City Commission approval, adds “Kelli Martin brings with her a breadth of experience.   Through her various positions, she has built skills and acumen as a result of serving in responsible financial oversight and advisory roles within city and state governments as well as her current position at Michigan State University.”    

Mayor Pro Tem Amy Shamroe, who enthusiastically made the motion to approve Ms. Martin’s appointment adds, “Ms. Martin’s professional and academic background will serve our city government and this community very well; as a key member of the city team, as one of our advisors, she will help guide decisions we make and how we allocate public funds under our trust.  I was very glad that her appointment was unanimously approved by the City Commission and that so many of my colleagues articulated excitement to have someone with Ms. Martin’s background join the team.”  

The City Charter requires the City Manager’s appointment of both the City Clerk and the City Treasurer be approved by five affirmative votes of the City Commission.  The appointment is for an indefinite term, with the City Manager’s removal of either of these two corporate officers requiring five affirmative votes of the City Commission.  This provision exists so that these two corporate officers, whose duties include providing final approval on all disbursements of approximately $140 million, in addition to other functions, may be done with proper independence, for checks and balances purposes.   




by Katelyn Zeits
Thursday, June 25, 2020

If your plans include kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding near the Boardman River Weir in Grand Traverse County, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants people to be aware of how the rising Lake Michigan water level has created hazards for water enthusiasts on the river.

This stretch of the Boardman River runs through downtown Traverse City and draws a lot of paddlers. Normally, paddlers were able to get past the weir either by using the portage platforms located upstream and downstream of the weir, or by paddling under the weir structure between the supports when the grating was removed.

Since Lake Michigan water levels influence the level of the lower Boardman River – and the water level there currently is quite high – the available clearance to pass under the weir is greatly reduced. Additionally, the portage platforms are slightly underwater, so new signage has been installed to help guide paddlers to the correct locations.

Paddlers are urged to pay attention to these signs that point out where to safely exit and enter the river around the weir structure. The platforms are still the best overall option because people can paddle their boats up onto the platforms and then easily lift the boats out of the water. Passage under the weir is strongly discouraged because of the safety risks.

Learn more about the Boardman River Weir at For the latest on the effects of high water and safety tips, visit

by Kelly Rice
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Wayne St Closure- June 25th

Utility Work


TRAVERSE CITY- The City of Traverse City Water and Wastewater Maintenance Department will be conducting water system repairs in the 1700 Block of Wayne Street, West of Incochee Rd.  Wayne Street will be closed at Incochee Rd. to complete the repair work. Please use alternate routes avoiding this area to reduce congestion, delay and promote worker safety. Appropriate signage and barricades will be in place in and around the work area.


This construction will generate dust, noise and cause inconvenience. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. Please feel free to call Justin Roy, Water/Wastewater Maintenance Superintendent, at 922-4923 if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the work or the schedule.

by Benjamin Marentette
Thursday, June 11, 2020

On Monday, June 15, The City of Traverse City, in cooperation with Grand Traverse County, will be re-opening their offices within the Governmental Center to the public for in-person service by appointment.   The Department of Public Services Building, on Woodmere Avenue, will continue to be closed to walk-in traffic and is available for in-person service by appointment by calling (231) 922-4910.

The City of Traverse City, for safety reasons, encourages everyone to continue to use “virtual city hall services”, over the phone and online, and only visit the Governmental Center when necessary.   City Commission meetings will continue to be conducted remotely; and information regarding City Commission meetings, including how to view them and make public comment can be found at this link:


We will be reserving the hours of 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. for appointments with our residents who are at higher risk. This give us the opportunity to provide a safer environment for them to conduct business as the building will have been recently cleaned. The general public is welcome to schedule appointments between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Appointments must be made in advance and anyone coming in for their appointment will be required to wear a mask, as well as practice safe physical distancing while inside the Governmental Center.


The following City offices are located within the Governmental Center and may be reached for services or to schedule an in-person appointment:    


City Clerk’s Office (231) 922-4480  

City Treasurer’s Office (231) 922-4430

City Assessor’s Office (231) 922-4450

City Manager’s Office (231) 922-4440

City Human Resources (231) 922-4481

City Attorney’s Office (231) 922-4405

City Engineering Department (231) 922-4456

City Planning Department (231) 922-4778

City GIS  (231) 922-4410


The City of Traverse City is committed to providing essential services to our residents during this time as well as other key services to the community.   We appreciate your understanding and support as we take steps, like those outlined here, to keep each other safe and healthy.

by Kelly Rice
Thursday, May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020





Contact:           Justin Roy, Water/Wastewater Maintenance Superintendent, (231) 922-4923


Hydrant Flushing

Monday – Thursday, 1 a.m. – 7 a.m.

Beginning Monday June 1st, 2020


TRAVERSE CITY – Residents and Businesses should be aware that the City of Traverse City Water/Wastewater Maintenance Department will be flushing fire hydrants beginning Monday June 1st, from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m., continuing through the month of June.

Unfortunately, a slight coloration may be noticeable in the water in the mornings.  Running cold water for a few minutes at a faucet will clear up any coloration.  Any ground areas that are disturbed during the process will be restored during daylight hours.

We would like to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.  Please contact the Water/Wastewater Maintenance Department at (231)922-4923 if you have any questions or concerns regarding the work.

by Alanna Crouch
Friday, May 22, 2020

Returning to Business - Water Use Best Management Practices

To All Traverse City Water Customers:

Water quality needs to be an important part of our everyday routine and business practices.  Due to the COVID-19 Stay at Home, Stay Safe mandate, many buildings, stores, restaurants, and hotels were vacant and had very little or no water flowing through their pipes for an extended period of time causing interior water plumbing systems to become stagnant.  As we are slowly returning to our new normal, we urge you to consider these recommendations to improve your water quality within your building’s water system plumbing as improvement of your water quality needs to be a priority prior to opening.

Here are some important matters to consider along with recommendations from the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Fresh water should be drawn into building water systems and stagnant water flushed out before they are reopened. (Quick tip: flush until you feel the cold side temperature of the water change.)
  • Both hot and cold plumbing need to be flushed.  The size, length and plumbing material will vary the time required to properly flush the system.
  • Some internal point of use systems that should be flushed are water filtration systems, drinking fountains, eye wash stations, cooling towers, water softeners, hot water tanks and hot water recirculation systems. 

Please reference the following 2 minute instructional video to assist you with flushing your building’s water system plumbing:

Below are additional links to more detailed water quality CDC guide lines:

In addition, please reference the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-91 (COVID-19) regarding all requirements for businesses returning to operation per the link below:,9309,7-387-90499_90705-529474--,00.html

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the City Water and Sewer Maintenance Department at 231-922-4923 between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm weekdays.

Thank you and we appreciate your efforts to stay safe!

by Alanna Crouch
Wednesday, May 20, 2020



Subject:          August 4, 2020, Primary and November 3, 2020, Election: Voting By Mail/Absent Voter Ballot


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

Issued:             May 20, 2020

In November 2018, Michigan voters approved an amendment to the Michigan Constitution that provides the right for anyone to vote an absent voter ballot without any reason; you can vote this way simply for the convenience.

On May 20, 2020, the City Clerk’s Office for Traverse City is sending an absent voter ballot application for the upcoming August 4, 2020, Primary and the November 3, 2020, Presidential General Election to approximately 3,800 registered voters (those who have requested to receive one for each election) and the Michigan Secretary of State is sending an absent voter ballot application to all remaining registered voters in Traverse City.  All applications must be returned to the City Clerk’s Office. 

In order to receive an absent voter ballot, please complete the application (and indicate for which elections you’d like an absent voter ballot), and either return it by any of the following convenient options:

  1. Snap a photo of your completed absent voter ballot application and email it to  (we’ve updated the application to encourage this method of submission)!
  2. Mail it to:

City of Traverse City

c/o City Clerk

P.O. Box 592

Traverse City, MI 49685

3. Drop it in the utility payment drop box in the parking lot of the Governmental Center (near the one-way exit out of the parking lot)

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette is glad the Secretary of State’s Office is teaming up with his office to get an absent voter ballot application in the hands of each and every registered voter, “Every registered voter in Michigan who had an election on May 5, 2020, was sent an absent voter ballot and over 98% of those voting chose to vote using an absentee ballot.   My office was planning on sending an absentee ballot application to all registered voters as a way to provide a path to voting that doesn’t require visiting a polling place on election day, especially as we combat the coronavirus pandemic.  We’re glad for the assistance from the Secretary of State’s Office.   Voters in Michigan enshrined in the Constitution the right to vote an absent voter ballot for any reason or no reason at all, and we should do all we can to support that right.” 

For the May 5, 2020, election, the Governor of Michigan issued an Executive Order providing that all jurisdictions could have just one voting location because it was recommended that voters vote by mail/absentee if they’re so willing and avoid going to the polling places.  No such plans have been announced by either the Governor or Secretary of State; therefore, at this time, the City Clerk anticipates operating all polling locations in August and November and not consolidating precincts in order to avoid confusion by the electorate.

Voting by mail/absentee ballot is encouraged and is safe and secure.   Marentette notes, “Anyone wishing to vote absentee must complete an application and sign it; my team will verify that the signature matches our record and we will then mail an absent voter ballot.   When a voter returns their absentee ballot, they sign the envelope and my team will make sure the signature on the envelope matches the signature on our record.  If a signature doesn’t match, we will work to contact the voter and correct the issue. All absentee ballots returned by 8 p.m. on election day with verified signatures are tabulated by election inspectors working in the Governmental Center.” 

Anyone who doesn’t complete the absentee ballot application that they initially receive but later wishes to vote absentee is encouraged to contact the City Clerk’s Office for an application and we will be happy to provide you one. 

The City Clerk’s Office anticipates issuing ballots for the August 2020 election approximately June 26, 2020, and will ensure all military and overseas voters receive their ballots by the Federally-mandated deadline.    Ballots for the November 2020 election will likely be issued approximately September 25, 2020. 



by Alanna Crouch
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The City of Traverse City is pleased to announce May 18, 2020 they will begin their second Spring brush pickup.

Crews will be moving west to east; please have your leaves out for pickup by Monday morning, May 18.

All brush must be neatly stacked. Large branches cannot exceed 4 inches in diameter, and cannot exceed one 8’ x 8’ x 4’ high pile.

Christmas trees are allowed. No logs, tree stumps or shrub root balls are allowed. Place brush in the alley, if one exists, or behind curb or pavement edge on street. Please be sure to keep all catch basins free of debris.

Please remember our crews will only be down your street/alley once!

The City of Traverse City would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that other than the scheduled dates, City Ordinance does not permit placing items in the streets, alleys, or right of ways.

by Alanna Crouch
Friday, April 17, 2020
by Benjamin Marentette
Monday, March 23, 2020

The Michigan Constitution of 1963 vets the executive power of the state in the Governor.   That power can be exercised formally by executive order.   Executive orders may reorganize agencies within the executive branch of state government, reassign functions among executive branch agencies, create temporary agencies, establish an advisory body, commission, or task force, proclaim or end an emergency, or reduce expenditures authorized by appropriations.  Once signed by the Governor, executive orders are filed with the Secretary of State, where the orders are sealed and retained by the Office of the Great Seal.

Here is a link to Executive Orders by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, with many related to COVID-19. 

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.

by Alanna Crouch
Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Water Treatment Plant has been working with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to perform testing on the public water supply for the presence of PFAS, which are man- made chemicals used in manufacturing and common household products over the past century. They do not break down and can accumulate over time.

Although testing will continue through October 2019, all samples obtained from Traverse City's Water Treatment Plant have thus far shown no detection of PFAS. (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).

MPART, which is the State’s Response Team for PFAS, began statewide sampling of community, school, child care provider and tribal water supplies last year. They continue to actively monitor any sources that showed PFAS levels of 10 parts per trillion or higher.

More information regarding PFAS can be found at:
and also,9429,7-135--504965--,00.html

So the next time you fill your water bottle in Traverse City, you can rest easy knowing that your H20 is PFAS free!