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Utility Bill Delivery Delay & Updates

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Ocotber 21, 2021 - Customer utilty bills have been mailed by a new vendor. Please see below for further information and note that payment penalties are suspended at this time. We would also like to encourage customers who may have trouble paying utility bills received consecutively to contact the Treasurer's Office to make payment arrangements. Customers can call (231) 922-4431.

October 19, 2021 - Customer Bill Update:  Customer utility bill delivery (paper only) has been delayed going back to early September as a result of staffing shortages at our printing center. Customers receiving utility bills via email and customers on auto-pay have not been impacted by the delay. As a result, the City has contracted with a new printing service center with utility bills expected to be mailed immediately. Please be advised that the utility bill will look slightly different.

October 5, 2021 - Customer utility bill delivery (paper only) has been delayed going back to early September as a result of staffing shortages at our printing center. Customers receiving utility bills via email and customers on auto-pay have not been impacted by the delay. 

To accommodate for this interruption, TCL&P/the City of Traverse City has suspended the calculation of late-payment penalties on utility bills for the time being. We would also like to encourage customers who may have trouble paying utility bills received consecutively to contact the Treasurer's Office to make payment arrangements. Customers can call (231) 922-4431.

"Future Voter" Sticker Design Contest Winners

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

“Future Voter” Sticker Design Contest Winners

The Public Chooses Three Winners for Contest

The City of Traverse City has three winners for the “Future Voter” Sticker Design Contest! The City recently hosted an exciting creative challenge by seeking designs for its “Future Voter” stickers. The City Clerk’s Office launched the contest to search for a unique designs to instill voter pride and excitement within our area youth.

The Contest was open to K-12 students in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim, or Kalkaska counties. Nearly 40 design submissions were received and a panel of judges narrowed the field to six finalists for a public vote. The public vote to select three winners of the finalists ran October 3 - 10, 2021.

Nearly 500 votes were received through the public voting process. The designs with the most votes were created by Ronin Wilson, Hanna Stalmack, and Paige LaMott. Each winner will be honored with a $100 prize.  

“Instilling pride in our future voters will help build lifelong voters who engage in their community and beyond. We are thankful for all the submissions provided by area students and congratulate the winners,” says City Clerk, Benjamin Marentette.

The winning designs will be printed as stickers and distributed to voters on Election Day.

 

City Seeking Holiday Tree

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, October 11, 2021

October 13, 2021

UPDATE: The City of Traverse City has found a tree for the holiday season. We thank the many individuals who contacted the City.

October 11, 2021

City Seeking Tree for 2021 Holiday Season

Tree on display at the intersection of Cass and East Front Street

The City of Traverse City is seeking a tree for the 2021 holiday season to be on display at the intersection of Cass and East Front Street. The City works with Team Elmer’s to source a tree that is in need of being removed, or at the end of its life, for display each year during the holiday season. The removal of the tree is at no cost to the owner.

Criteria for the tree is to be approximately 30’-40’ in height.  Previous varieties used are Blue Spruce, Norway, or White Spruce. The tree shall be located within a reasonable distance of the City of Traverse City for transportation purposes and be easily accessible by crane on the property.

“The City has had a unique and successful holiday tree program for decades and we are in need of the perfect tree for this season. We have been fortunate to have utilized trees in the past that are in need of removal or at the end of their life and looking to do the same for the 2021 season,” says DPS Director Frank Dituri.

If interested in learning more, please contact the Department of Public Services at (231) 922-4900 x144.

Halloween Trick or Treating Recommendations

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, October 7, 2021

October 7, 2021 - The Traverse City Police Department has recommended the following hours and tips and tricks for the Halloween on Sunday, October 31, 2021, within the city limits of Traverse City. The trick-or-treating hours will be from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm; participating residents are asked to promptly turn lights on and off at the specified times to indicate their participation to the public. Halloween 2021 is going to be celebrated in a similar manner as 2020 with some important tips to help make trick-or-treating safer!

We strongly encourage participating city residents and parents of participating trick-or-treater’s to please observe the CDC guidance in reference to safe trick-or-treating.

  • Keep your distance; stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take on their own.
  • If over the age of 2, wear a mask over the nose and mouth. Do not allow your child to wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
  • Wash and/or sanitize your hands; bring hand sanitizer with you to use after touching objects or other people.

The National Confectioners Association and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association have established the following safety tips to help make this Halloween a safe and enjoyable holiday for our children.

COSTUME SAFETY:

  • Use make-up or face paint instead of masks, but if masks are used, make sure they fit properly and have holes large enough for mouth and eyes.
  • Choose costumes that are marked flame retardant.
  • Wear light-colored clothing at night, short enough to prevent tripping. Add reflective tape or reflectors to dark colored costumes.
  • Make props such as daggers or swords out of cardboard, rather than metal or wood. TRICK-OR-TREATING SAFETY:
  • Give and accept wrapped or packaged candy only.
  • Have children bring treats home for adult inspection before they are eaten.
  • Adults should accompany small and elementary school age children when they are trick-or-treating and send older children in groups.
  • Go out in daylight and carry a flashlight in case of delay.
  • Have children stay within their neighborhood; only visit homes you know.
  • Watch for traffic.
  • Keep costumed children away from pets. The pet may not recognize the children and become frightened.

CDC Trick-or-Treat Tips

Fire Prevention Week: October 3rd - 9th

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, October 4, 2021

October 3, 2021 - The City of Traverse City is highlighting Fire Prevention Week. This year’s FPW campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” works to educate everyone about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe. When an alarm makes noises – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action.

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

To learn more about Fire Prevention Week and safety tips, visit https://www.nfpa.org/Events/Events/Fire-Prevention-Week

Public Voting Begins for "Future Voter" Sticker Design Contest

by Colleen Paveglio
Sunday, October 3, 2021

October 3, 2021 - The City of Traverse City recently launched a creative challenge by seeking designs for its “Future Voter” stickers. In 2020, the City Clerk’s Office launched an “I Voted” sticker design contest with over 1,300 voters participating in voting for the winning design.  

The “Future Voter” contest was open to  to K-12 students in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim, or Kalkaska counties. Students provided nearly 40 submissions and six finalists were chosen from a panel of judges. A public vote to select the winners of the six finalists will run October 3 - 10, 2021.  The three designs with the top number of votes will win $100 each and be announced at the October 11, 2021 City Commission Meeting.

“The ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest in 2020 was a big success. Traverse City voters continue to proudly display that they exercised their voting rights. Instilling the importance of exercising your right to vote within our youth through this new, Future Voter Sticker Design Contest, will build lifelong citizens that participate in democracy and celebrate civic pride,” says Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE!

 

Sara Hardy Humanitarian Awards Presented October 4, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

September 29, 2021 - 

The City of Traverse City’s Human Rights Commission will present the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award on Monday, October 4, 2021. The celebration will take place at the Governmental Center, 400 Boardman Avenue, at 5:30 pm. in the Lower Level Cafeteria, with the award presentation at 7 pm. in the Commission Chambers.

This year’s recipients of the 26th year award are Ryan Hannon, Outreach Coordinator at Goodwill Industries, and Bill and Michelle White, creators of the nonprofit "5 Loaves, 2 Fish".

Hannon has a long history of working with the homeless population in Traverse City. He has helped establish the 86th District Court's Outreach program in 2007 and has long been an advocate for the homeless. Last year's Humanitarian award winner, Tom Bousamra said, in nominating Hannon, "I have witnessed his passionate advocacy for those experiencing homelessness."

Both Bill and Michelle White spent many hours each week planning, preparing and serving meals to those in the area experiencing food insecurity. While others also helped the Whites, the retired couple set the example of getting to know the recipients and making them feel welcome, according to several of the volunteers who nominated them.

“The Traverse City Human Rights Commission appreciates all of the nominations we received for several different nominees. Our local community is fortunate that many people are working on behalf of human rights,” said Susan Odgers, Traverse City Human Rights Commission Chairperson.

Last year’s recipient, Tom Bousamra, will also be recognized during the presentation. 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.  Bousamra has helped to prepare those incarcerated for re-entry into our community through Life Skills Classes, Coaching/Mentoring programs, and Family Support Dinners. 

Meeting the criteria of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award, this year’s recipients have each made a positive impact on the community.

The Sara Hardy Humanitarian award is given annually in honor of Sara Hardy, a longtime resident, who exemplified 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 Hardy’s contributions to the community by honoring an individual who exemplifies the Human Rights Commission’s ideals.

To learn more about the Human Rights Commission visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/humanrights.asp.

 

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Cross Connection Control Survey

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021 - The City of Traverse City has contracted with, CCRA, to complete cross connection inspections in a certain percentage of homes, required by the State of Michigan every few weeks. Please see a sample of the communication sent to homeowners.

Cross Connection Inspection Letter

                                     

W. Front Street Bridge Construction

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, September 17, 2021

September 17, 2021 - 

Through careful planning, the City of Traverse City began major bridgework throughout the City in June 2021. The infrastructure improvements include the bridges on Park Street, S. Cass Street, E. Eighth Street, and W. Front Street.

City staff is coordinating the project with MDOT’s Traverse City TSC and Local Agency Bridge program, the City’s municipal utilities and public services, DDA, State and Federal agencies, property owners, and water recreation businesses. The projects are being funded by the MDOT Local Bridge Fund ($5.2 Million), City Funds ($361,000), City Municipal Utility Funds ($680,000), and DDA TIF Funds ($681,000).  The rehabilitation of the Park Street, S. Cass Street, and E. Eighth Street bridges were bundled as one package to provide more competitive pricing from contractors that specialize in this type of infrastructure projects. The reconstruction of the W. Front Street Bridge was bid separately.

“As we embark on the fourth bridge project this season, three rehabilitations and one reconstruction, it is important to recognize that these projects are critical to maintaining the City’s major infrastructure. Developing increased amenities into each of the projects such as pedestrian scale lighting and wider sidewalks will make the projects even more attractive for multi-modal transportation methods. We are aware of the inconvenience, but ask the public to please recognize that these infrastructure improvements will serve the community well for decades to come” says City Manager, Martin Colburn. “In addition, staff has worked diligently to prepare for the rehabilitation of the three projects and the reconstruction of the W. Front Street bridge, and bundling the bridges together from a construction standpoint, has provided a project large enough to attract bridge contractors to bid our project and allows us to complete the work in the shortest amount of time possible,” says City Engineer Tim Lodge.

W. Front Street Bridge

Beginning September 17, 2021, site preparation will begin for the W. Front Street Bridge. The bridge will close to all traffic beginning September 27, 2021.  The project will include bridge removal and replacement and an extension of a watermain. Vehicular parking will be maintained along the bridge on the north and south sides. Amenities will include expansion of the sidewalk from the existing 7.5’ width to 11’-17’ in width with a traditional streetscape that includes pedestrian scale lighting and street trees. Aesthetic treatments on the end walls and a fascia to resemble an arch will also be incorporated.  Vehicular traffic detour signage will be placed in the area. The pedestrian detour will utilize the pedestrian bridge over the Boardman River at Pine Street, to Garland Street, and Hall Street. The W. Front Street Bridge project will be closed throughout the winter and is anticipated to be completed in June 2022.

Park Street Bridge

On June 2, 2021, site preparation began for the Park Street Bridge. The bridge opened to pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Thursday, September 2, 2021. Short term closures are expected to finalize minor items on the bridge. The project included the construction of new bridge deck and an increased sidewalk width to 9.5’ from the existing width of 6’ – 4 ½”. Pedestrian scale lighting and traditional streetscape were also included in the project.

S. Cass Street Bridge

The S. Cass Street Bridge construction began on June 14, 2021. The project includes bridge removal and replacement.  Amenities include a decorative pedestrian railing and traditional streetscape. An effort to maintain the historic character of the original bridge through the rehabilitation to remove the wood sidewalk and railing will be made.  The S. Cass Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

E. Eighth Street Bridge

The E. Eighth Street Bridge construction began on July 26, 2021. The project includes the replacement of the bridge deck and extension of a watermain transmission line. Additional amenities incorporated into the project include the extension of the cycle track to connect with the existing bike lanes, increased width of the sidewalk, decorative railings, and an aesthetic double arch fascia. The sidewalk under the bridge will be elevated and lighting will be installed. The E. Eighth Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

The construction will generate dust and noise. Traffic delays are expected. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is asked to follow the detour signage.. The Boardman River will continue to be closed to traffic during the weekdays and open on the weekends as much as possible. Businesses in the affected areas will remain open and will easily be accessed by utilizing the pedestrian detours.

To learn more about upcoming bridgework and view project updates and detour information, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/bridgework.asp

 

City Launches "Future Voter" Sticker Design Contest

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021 - The City of Traverse City is excited to launch a creative challenge by seeking designs for its “Future Voter” stickers. In 2020, the City Clerk’s Office launched an “I Voted” sticker design contest with over 1,300 voters participating in voting for the winning design.  

The “Future Voter” contest is open to K-12 students in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim, or Kalkaska counties. Students may provide more than one submission and collaborations are welcome. The winning design will be printed as stickers and distributed to future voters on Election Day.

 K-12 students are invited to submit designs for the “Future Voter” sticker design contest beginning September 15, 2021 through September 29, 2021. Once the application process closes, a panel of judges will review the select six finalists. A public vote to select the winners of the six finalists will run October 3 - 10, 2021.  The three designs with the top number of votes will win $100 each and be announced at the October 11, 2021 City Commission Meeting.

“The ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest in 2020 was a big success. Traverse City voters continue to proudly display that they exercised their voting rights. Instilling the importance of exercising your right to vote within our youth through this new, Future Voter Sticker Design Contest, will build lifelong citizens that participate in democracy and celebrate civic pride,” says Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk.

Interested students can go online for the complete contest application, participation criteria and details at the link HERE.

Those with further questions can call (231) 922-4480. All contest entries must be received by the Traverse City City Clerk’s office no later than 4 p.m., September 29, 2021.

 

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City Launches Community Engagement Strategy for Adult Use Marijuana Regulations

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, August 30, 2021

August 30, 2021 - The City Commission’s Ad Hoc Committee for Adult Use Marijuana has launched a formal, focused series of engagement opportunities to help shape the development of how adult use marijuana will be regulated within the City of Traverse City.

Public input on the proposed regulations will be accepted through an online survey that will launch on September 3rd through September 12th and with an in person open house a the open house on September 8, 2021 at the City Opera House from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm.   When the online survey has been launched, the city will officially announce it, along with a link to the survey.

“The City Commission Ad Hoc Committee has worked carefully with the Planning and Zoning Department to build foundational recommendations for the public to provide input. Engaging the public on this initiative is critical to thoughtfully moving forward with adoption regulations for Adult Use Marijuana facilities within the City,” says City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

The online survey and in person open house will provide the informational background on adult use marijuana regulations within the City and the methodologies used to create an overlay zoning districts with ten subareas. The public will be asked to provide input on zoning districts, the number of retail facilities, and factors that should be considered when allowing retail facilities, to name a few.

On November 6, 2018, Michigan voters approved the legalization of cannabis for recreational use (adult use). The City Commission has since been working to implement regulations to allow adult use marijuana retail facilities within the City.  In 2019, the City issued 13 licenses for Provisioning Centers (medical marijuana retail stores). Currently, 12 medical marijuana locations have maintained a license.

To learn more about the Adult Use Marijuana Regulations and community engagement, visit  https://www.traversecitymi.gov/adultuse.asp

 

County Sewer Main Experiences Accidental Release

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Public Health Advisory

UPDATE: Grand Traverse County has lifted the Public Health Advisory as on July 28, 2021.

On Monday, July 26, 2021, at approximately 6:00 p.m, there was an accidental release of an

estimated 200 gallons of untreated sewage from Grand Traverse County’s sewer main near Hastings Street and Parsons Road in Traverse City. The raw sewage entered a storm sewer catch basin that discharges near Bryant Park on West Grand Traverse Bay.

Although this is a minor amount of sewage, out of an abundance of caution, the Grand Traverse County Health Department is advising the public against any body contact of the waters in Bryant Park Beach.  Sampling of Bryant Park water is being conducted today and results will be available on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Once water testing results demonstrate that the affected waters meet the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) standards for E.Coli, the advisory will be lifted.

The public is further advised that the drinking water supply for the City of Traverse City is not affected, since the drinking water comes from East Grand Traverse Bay.

The City will work with Grand Traverse County to further address this matter and keep the public informed on future updates.

Media Contact: Emmy Schumacher, eschumacher@gtcountymi.gov, 231-493-8376

 

Candidates for Mayor and City Commission

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021: As of the 4:00 p.m. deadline to file nominating petitions, the following individuals have filed for the following offices as indicated:

Mayor; two-year term expiring November 13, 2023 (one office available):

Richard I. Lewis

City Commissioner; four-year terms expiring November 10, 2025 (three offices available):

Mi Stanley

Tim Werner

Mark L. Wilson

City Commissioner; partial, two-year term expiring November 13, 2023 (one office available):

Tim Pulliam

Merek Roman

Mitchell Treadwell

The withdrawal deadline for candidates is this Friday, July 23, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. After that time, and once the City Clerk has determined the filings are sufficient and eligible, the City Clerk will certify those candidates who are eligible for placement on the November ballot. 

Candidates that are elected will be sworn into office by City Clerk Benjamin Marentette at the City Commission Organizational Meeting of November 8, 2021, at 7 p.m., and will assume office immediately upon being sworn in. 

 

Input Sought on Draft Lower Boardman River Unified Plan

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

July 7, 2021 -  The Lower Boardman Leadership Team has scheduled a series of public engagement sessions in order to obtain feedback on draft elements of the Lower Boardman River Unified Plan. All public engagement sessions will be held at City Opera House, located at 106 E Front Street.

Stakeholder Sessions (also open to the public):

  • Recreation Groups, Community Event Organizers:
    Tuesday, July 13, 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
  • Sustainability, Fisheries, and Natural Resource Focused Organizations:
    Tuesday, July 13, 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
  • Business and Property Owners:
    Wednesday, July 14, 8:30 AM- 10:00 AM
  • Community and Economic Development, Business Focused Organizations:
    Wednesday, July 14, 3:00 PM-4:30 PM

Open Public Works Session:

On Thursday July 15th, three Open Public Sessions will take place at the City Opera House to gain additional input. These sessions would be conducted in a similar manner to the Focus Groups, only each of the three topics (Physical improvements south of Front Street, Physical Improvements north of Front Street, and Zoning and Policy Concepts) will be discussed together. The morning session and evening session will be facilitated by Smith Group, a lunch session will be held like an open house where people can provide feedback on boards around the room.

  • Morning Session:
    8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Lunch Open House:
    11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
  • Evening Session:
    5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Public Open House:

On August 10th, a summary of the engagement session results will be presented in an open house style meeting where participants can meet face-to-face with the project team. The Open House begins at 5:30 PM

On-Line Feedback and Community Survey:

Individuals who are unable to participate in person can provide feedback on the draft elements of the Unified Plan on the project website beginning on July 13th. In addition, all community members are encouraged to complete an online survey, which can also be found on the project website beginning July 13th.

https://dda.downtowntc.com/lower-boardman-river-unified-plan/

Pop-Up Meetings:

The Lower Boardman Leadership Team will host a series of pop-up meetings over the last two weeks of July. A full list of pop-up meeting locations and times can be found on the project website. https://dda.downtowntc.com/lower-boardman-river-unified-plan/

About the Lower Boardman River Unified Plan:
In 2018, the DDA, in cooperation with a community-led Leadership Team, initiated a planning process to develop a comprehensive plan for the 1.6 miles of the Boardman River that meanders through Downtown. To date, the Leadership Team has worked to complete a comprehensive inventory and understanding of the rivers conditions (above and below the surface), identify through extensive civic engagement, guiding values and a general vision for the future of the river. The Leadership Team has recently completed draft recommendations around zoning regulations and land use, public access, capital improvements and habitat management. Following this summers civic engagement activities, the Leadership team will reconvene and work to develop a final plan for consideration in the fall.   

Filing Deadline Approaching for November 2, 2021, Mayor and City Commission Election

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

July 7, 2021 - The filing deadline for the nominating petitions and other required documentation for the Office of Mayor or Office of City Commissioner is approaching on July 20, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Nominating packets for those who wish to run for the Office of Mayor or Office of City Commissioner are still 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
  • 1 City Commissioner, two-year term ending November 13, 2023

Candidates must file nominating petitions and other required documentation, including 70 signatures from City registered electors, with the City Clerk by the deadline.  

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. This year, a partial term is available due to the resignation of Commissioner Putman effective November 8, 2021.

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 tcclerk@traversecitymi.gov   

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.

 

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City of Traverse City Public Body Meetings Return to In Person July 6, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, July 1, 2021

July 2, 2021 - In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the City of Traverse City quickly pivoted to a “virtual city hall” in March 2020 and a method was prescribed by the State of Michigan for public boards to conduct their meetings remotely. Live streaming continued to be broadcast and a method was developed for the public to attend the meetings, virtually, and provide public comment.

The City of Traverse City will return to in person meetings for all of its public bodies beginning July 6, 2021 when the first in person City Commission meeting will take place in over 15 months. “During the past year, the City, with the community, took the precautionary and preventative steps to slow the pace of the development of new COVID-19 cases to reduce the risk of overwhelming our healthcare system and keep our community safe. At the same time, we developed a way to continue to allow for public comment which is critical. We want to thank our community for adapting to the “virtual city hall” and we look forward to moving forward in person, together,” says City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

All commissions, boards, and ad hoc committees will conduct their meetings in person moving forward, excluding the Historic Districts Commission that will meet one last time in July virtually should a meeting be needed. In person meetings will continue to be broadcast live on Cable Channel 191 and the meeting will be streamed at https://www.tacm.tv/govtvnow.asp. “The City followed proper scientific MDHHS guidelines to conduct business safely to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, keeping our community members and City staff safe. I am grateful that Traverse City is in a position within this pandemic to return in person meetings and look forward to continuing our work on behalf of the residents of the City,” says Mayor Jim Carruthers.

City of Traverse City Public Bodies

  • Act 345
  • Arts Commission
  • Board of Tax Review
  • Brown Bridge Advisory Committee
  • Downtown Development Authority
  • Election Commission
  • Grand Traverse Commons Joint Planning Commission
  • Historic Districts Commission (in person meetings after August 1, 2021)
  • Housing Commission
  • Human Rights Commission
  • Local Officers Compensation Commission
  • Lower Boardman River Leadership Team
  • Parks & Recreation Commission
  • Traverse City Coast Guard Committee
  • Traverse City Light & Power 

New Funding Announced for Continued COVID-19 Wastewater Monitoring

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021 - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently announced nearly $49 million in grant funding to support 19 local projects that will continue conducting COVID-19 wastewater surveillance and implement COVID-19 variant strain testing of wastewater.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding will reinitiate COVID-19 wastewater monitoring established during a Fall 2020 pilot project. The state’s SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology – Wastewater Evaluation and Reporting Network uses locally coordinated projects to conduct wastewater surveillance for COVID-19. Wastewater is tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease, that is shed in feces into Michigan public sewer systems. Partners include local health departments, tribal nations, wastewater treatment and environmental engineering agencies, colleges and universities, and public, private and academic laboratories.

Funding for the project will continue through July 31, 2023. As COVID-19 cases decrease across the state, wastewater monitoring can provide useful information regarding disease detection and spread on a larger community level. This can be especially important as clinical testing rates decrease.

“Wastewater surveillance is so important to identifying COVID-19 infections and community transmission early, and is especially important as we move to a new phase of fighting this pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “If our rates of infection start to increase, this network may provide an early warning sign and help communities target public health actions to prevent further spread.”

It is also one of the few surveillance methods that can provide information on the virus within populations that are not showing signs of illness or who do not seek health care.

In the pilot project, participating local health departments and universities were able to focus clinical testing recommendations and communication efforts when increased levels of the virus were detected in wastewater. Specific examples of successful outcomes from the pilot project, including how the data was used, are available in the COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance Feasibility Pilot Project Success Stories.

Continued monitoring will provide timely and consistent wastewater data to support COVID-19 public health responses within 33 local health jurisdictions with project sampling sites. This data will include information on SARS-CoV-2 presence, trends and preliminary detections of variant strains found in wastewater.

The funding expands the reach of the established monitoring system to cover a large geographic portion of Michigan. Local projects have proposed over 460 sample sites across a total of 55 counties and the City of Detroit. Over the course of the project, it is estimated that more than 87,000 wastewater samples will be collected and analyzed.

These funds will support sample collection, transportation and testing of wastewater samples; analysis and reporting of results; coordination and communication within local projects and with state agencies; and submission of results to MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Nineteen local projects were funded for the following amounts:

  • $1,750,886 - Dr. Michael Conway’s lab at Central Michigan University.
  • $1,979,848 - City of Traverse City.
  • $1,831,851 - Shimadzu Core Lab at Ferris State University.
  • $1,732,225 - Dr. Richard Rediske’s lab at Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute.
  • $1,910,023 - Health Department of Northwest Michigan.
  • $7,543,073 - Global Water Research Institute at Hope College.
  • $3,278,054 - Kent County Health Department.
  • $2,182,037 - Professor Benjamin Southwell’s lab at Lake Superior State University.
  • $2,673,806 - Macomb County Public Works Office.
  • $3,223,635 - Dr. Joan Rose’s lab at Michigan State University.
  • $2,713,176 - Dr. Irene Xagoraraki’s lab at Michigan State University.
  • $628,935 - Dr. Josh Sharp’s lab at Northern Michigan University.
  • $2,500,000 - Oakland County Health Division.
  • $2,483,851 - Dr. David Szlag’s lab at Oakland University.
  • $2,009,639 - Dr. Tami Sivy’s lab at Saginaw Valley State University.
  • $2,596,012 - Dr. Kevin Bakker and Dr. Krista Wigginton’s lab at University of Michigan. $2,716,317 - Dr. Chuanwu Xi’s lab at University of Michigan.
  • $3,129,407 - Dr. Jeffrey Ram’s lab at Wayne State University.
  • $2,032,102 - White Water Associates Inc.

For this communications. EGLE will provide scientific expertise and data management capacity for the network. Dr. Rose’s lab at Michigan State University will serve as the lead laboratory, responsible for standardizing lab testing and providing technical assistance.

To view data from the pilot project, visit the Michigan COVID-19 Wastewater Dashboard. This dashboard will be updated in the near future to reflect the new data that results from this funding. For more information on wastewater monitoring, visit the Wastewater Surveillance for COVID-19 website

For more information, contact Lynn Sutfin, (517) 241-2112, SutfinL1@michigan.gov

Pavement Preservation Project, Cape Sealing, Authorized

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021 - The Traverse City City Commission authorized a contract with for the 2021 Cape Sealing Project at their June 21, 2021 meeting. The contract with Pavement Maintenance Systems, for $1,493,280, will extend the life of 12.85 miles of city streets by approximately 7 – 10 year.

A cape seal is a two-step pavement preservation process that combines two roadway surface treatments designed to extend the life of pavements in fair to good condition, consisting of a chip seal treatment, which is then covered by a slurry seal (a cold mix paving treatment) or micro surfacing treatment.  The City’s Streets Department initiated the use of the alternate pavement maintenance technique known as cape seal in 2011. The cape seal application improved the useful life of nearly 3.5 miles of streets.

“The City uses a number of proven methodologies of repairing streets.  Cape sealing has proven to be a useful technique that extends the life of pavement for nearly 10 years.  Our professional engineering staff and streets department work on developing an overarching plan to best utilize available funding to extend or replace the life of our street surfaces,” stated City Manager Martin Colburn.

The City’s Streets Department identified 12.85 miles of streets that would benefit from the technique.  Cape sealing is completed more rapidly than other pavement preservation techniques.  Thus, the inconvenience to the public will be minimized.

CAPE SEAL PROJECT MAP

2021 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award Recipients

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, June 16, 2021

June 15, 2021 - The Traverse City Human Rights Commission has announced the recipients of the Sara Hardy Humanitarian awards this year.

Ryan Hannon, Outreach Coordinator at Goodwill Industries, and Bill and Michelle White, creators of the nonprofit "5 Loaves, 2 Fish," are this year's recipients of the 26-year-old award. Hannon was chosen for his long-time service in championing the area homelessness. The Whites are recognized for their work in this difficult year of food insecurity. 

Hannon has a long history of working with the homeless population in Traverse City. He helped establish 86th District Court's Outreach program in 2007 and has long been an advocate for the homeless. Last year's Humanitarian award winner, Tom Bousamra said, in nominating Hannon, "I have witnessed his passionate advocacy for those experiencing homelessness."

Both Bill and Michelle White spent many hours each week planning, preparing and serving meals to those in the area experiencing food insecurity. While others also helped the Whites, the retired couple set the example of getting to know the recipients and making them feel welcome, according to several of the volunteers who nominated them.

“The Traverse City Human Rights Commission appreciates all of the nominations we received for several different nominees. Our local community is fortunate that many people are working on behalf of human rights,” said Susan Odgers, Chair of the Traverse City Human Rights Commission.

The award is given annually in honor of Sara Hardy, a longtime resident, who exemplified 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 Hardy’s contributions to the community by honoring an individual who exemplifies the Human Rights Commission’s ideals.

The recipients will be publicly recognized later this year when Traverse City governmental groups meet in person. To learn more about the Human Rights Commission visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/humanrights.asp.

Cass Street Bridge Incident

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021 - In connection with the South Cass Street Bridge project, two skyjacks were overturned this afternoon. The units were lowering a floating barge work platform in connection with bridgework onto river and tipped over. No injuries occurred with the operators or those working on scene.

As a result of the incident, a small amount of fluid leaked and has been contained.  The appropriate local and county agencies have responded and the State of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy are en route to the scene. Emergency responders continue to be onsite.

“We are grateful that no injuries were sustained due to this incident. Thanks to the crews on the scene and our emergency responders for their quick response time,” says Acting City Manager/City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

The South Cass Street Bridge is anticipated to be closed until November 2021 in connection with the bridge rehabilitation work. 

City Establishes Communications Specialist position

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021 - To further their goal of inspiring more engagement and driving up awareness of city initiatives, projects and services, the City Commission approved the establishment of a Communications Specialist position as recommended by City Manager Marty Colburn, City Clerk Benjamin Marentette and Human Resources Director Kristine Bosley.  City Clerk Benjamin Marentette has named Colleen Paveglio to serve as the Communications Specialist for the City of Traverse City.      Ms. Paveglio begins her new position on Monday, June 14, 2021, and will report directly to the City Clerk.

The City Clerk’s Office serves as the city’s public information office and every year, has thousands of interactions with citizens and stakeholder groups.   The office touches all city departments, with nearly every piece of information and business related to city government flowing through it in one shape or another; however, there has never before been a professional position focused and dedicated to engagement, communications and education to serve the entire organization.  

In her role, Ms. Paveglio will be responsible for overseeing the city’s official communications platforms, including website, social media, and other digital communication tools.   She will lead the city’s public information and communication efforts, nurturing community relations and engagement and public awareness of the city’s programs, initiatives and services.   Ms. Paveglio will be building relationships with neighborhood associations, stakeholder groups and the general public, proactively identifying strategies and plans for engagement.   One of the first projects that will be led by Paveglio is a complete overhaul of the city website.   She will also be developing new outreach methods, and developing a communications and media plan for the organization in order to better connect and reach a wide audience. 

Ms. Paveglio has a Bachelor of Arts & Science in Communications from Michigan State University and has served as a communications and marketing professional for over 16 years, serving in that capacity most recently for the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority.

Marentette indicated, “Colleen Paveglio loves Traverse City and engagement and transparency in government is at the core of her DNA.    She is the perfect person for this important professional role and we are excited to see the benefits of her work, which will be seen throughout the community.   Having the benefit of more minds at the table when tackling issues addressed by city government is invaluable and Colleen’s history and relationships within this community and her passion for community involvement will do just that: bring more minds to the table and we’ll all be better for it.”

Ms. Paveglio is responsible for several projects and programs that were specifically geared toward Traverse City residents such as Shop Your Community Day, the Downtown Light Parade, and Traverse City Restaurant Week. She has developed a number of engagement programs that focus on municipal endeavors. In 2014, Ms. Paveglio worked with the City of Traverse City to create the Public Art ordinance and the Traverse City Arts Commission. Since then, she has been instrumental in a number of public art installations throughout the City. Most recently, she developed the city’s 2020 annual report, The Performance.

“I am thrilled to serve in this new role and grow the city’s communication landscape to increase civic engagement and identify opportunities to share the city’s message in an open and inclusive manner. As a resident of the city, I have a deep passion for our community and I am honored to have the opportunity to work together to build civic pride,” says Colleen Paveglio.

 

City Clerk Marentette Receives Making Democracy Work Award

by Colleen Paveglio
Thursday, June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021 - The League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area has honored City Clerk Benjamin Marentette with the Making Democracy Work Award!  "I appreciate the recognition given to Traverse City for our excellence in running elections.   Powering democracy, whether it be through elections, best practices in governance, is at the center of my professional heart.  It is an honor to lead the election team in Traverse City and this award is a credit to the entire team, from the colleagues in my office to team leads in our polling places and absent voter counting boards to the poll workers who are here, for you, for the right reasons," says City Clerk Benjamin Marentette.

"Benjamin's commitment to democracy spans far beyond the City of Traverse City. He has contributed his knowledge statewide and his dedication to fair and just elections for all is admirable," says City Manager Marty Colburn.

The City Clerk's Office serves as the legislative and corporate office for the City of Traverse City, with many operational responsibilities, serving in accordance with and upholding the Michigan Constitution. In addition to elections, the department is responsible for areas including licensing, communications, governance, risk management, and financial oversight. 

"City voters benefit from having a Clerk's Office that is dedicated to democracy. Under Benjamin's leadership, voting responsibilities are handled with careful diligence. This award is a well deserved testament to our team at the City," says Mayor Jim Carruthers.

 To learn more about the City Clerk’s Office, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/clerk.asp

Bridge Construction Begins June 2, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021 -  Through careful planning, the City of Traverse City is preparing to begin major bridgework throughout the City on June 1, 2021. The infrastructure improvements will include the bridges on Park Street, S. Cass Street and E. Eighth Street. 

City staff is coordinating the project with MDOT’s Traverse City TSC and Local Agency Bridge program, the City’s municipal utilities, DDA, and public services, State and Federal agencies, and property owners, and water recreation businesses. The project is being funded by the MDOT Local Bridge Fund ($3.9 Million), City Funds ($294,000), City Municipal Utility Funds ($383,000), and DDA TIF Funds ($432,000). 

"The upcoming bridge work is critical to maintaining our infrastructure within the City. Staff has worked diligently on preparing for these major bridge projects for the City's future.  We are pleased to have funding assistance from various sources to invest in infrastructure and develop increased amenities such as pedestrian lighting and wider sidewalks,” says City Manager Martin Colburn

 

Park Street Bridge

Beginning June 2, 2021, site preparation will begin for the Park Street Bridge. The project will include the construction of new bridge deck and an increased sidewalk width to 9.5’ from the existing width of 6’ – 4 ½”. Pedestrian scale lighting and traditional streetscape will be included in the project. The Parks Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

 

S. Cass Street Bridge

The S. Cass Street Bridge construction is anticipated to begin construction on June 14, 2021. The project will include bridge removal and replacement.  Amenities include a decorative pedestrian railing and traditional streetscape. An effort to maintain the historic character of the original bridge through the rehabilitation to remove the wood sidewalk and railing will be made.  The S. Cass Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

 

E. Eighth Street Bridge

The E. Eighth Street Bridge construction is anticipated to begin construction on July 26, 2021. The project will include the replacement of the bridge deck and extension of a watermain transmission line. Additional amenities incorporated into the project include the extension of the cycle track to connect with the existing bike lanes, increased width of the sidewalk, decorative railings, and an aesthetic double arch fascia. The sidewalk under the bridge will be elevated and lighting will be installed. The E. Eighth Street Bridge project is anticipated to be completed in November 2021.

"The bridges throughout the City are in need of maintenance and repair.  While the construction season is upon us, we can work together to navigate through the City with patience to create a safe environment for motorists, pedestrians, City staff, and contractors within these work zones," says Mayor Jim Carruthers.

The construction will generate dust and noise. Traffic delays are expected and detour maps have been developed to assist those traveling throughout the City. Pedestrians will be directed to use the Cass Street tunnel to access Clinch Park and the Open Space. The Boardman River will be closed to traffic during the weekdays and open on the weekends as much as possible.

“The Downtown Development Authority appreciates the partnership in starting this important bridge infrastructure work for our entire region.  The bridge repair work, though disruptive to vehicles, is a much needed infrastructure improvement that will be both an aesthetic and logistical enhancement to our downtown community,” says DDA CEO Jean Derenzy.

 

The Downtown Development Authority will hold two informational zoom sessions to discuss upcoming bridge projects on Park, Cass, Eighth, and Front Streets and how this construction will affect Downtown Traverse City. Both sessions will have a question-and-answer session, as well as an explanation of the proposed detour routes.

 

The first session will take place at 9am on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

Link to the Zoom Session:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89882874449?pwd=eE9lcUppa0s2ZFB1R0NXdXJTaFFIZz09

Meeting ID: 898 8287 4449

Passcode: 045027

One tap mobile +13126266799,,89882874449#,,,,*045027# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,89882874449#,,,,*045027# US (New York)

 

The second session will take place at 3pm on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Link to the Zoom Session:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81982189247?pwd=ZndxSnR2eVBvaGNGdllvNk9jcW9YUT09

Meeting ID: 819 8218 9247

Passcode: 830337

One tap mobile +13126266799,,81982189247#,,,,*830337# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,81982189247#,,,,*830337# US (New York)

 

To learn more about upcoming bridgework and view project updates and detour information, visit https://www.traversecitymi.gov/bridgework.asp

 

DWSRF Water System Improvement Project Plan

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, May 21, 2021

DRAFT DWSRF Water System Improvement Project Plan.

A public hearing has been scheduled for June 21, 2021. 

City Commissioner Putman Resigns Effective November 8, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Tuesday, May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021 -  City Commissioner Roger Putman submitted his resignation from the City Commission to City Clerk Benjamin Marentette; Commissioner Putman’s resignation is effective November 8, 2021. Commissioner Putman’s term expires November 13, 2023, and a copy of his resignation is attached to this media release.

Commissioner Putman was appointed to the City Commission to fill a vacancy on October 1, 2018, and then ran for and won election to a full, four-year term at the November 5, 2019, election. Marentette indicated, “Commissioner Putman is the epitome of conscientiousness and it has been a pleasure to work with him and observe his heart for Traverse City. We look forward to working with Commissioner Putman over the next few months. Please be sure to wave a friendly hello when you see him walking his four-legged friend in Boardman Neighborhood and beyond. We wish Roger the absolute best as he tackles his own personal health issues.”


According to City Clerk Benjamin Marentette, the City Charter provides that the remaining two years of his term shall be filled by election at the November 2, 2021, election. The City Clerk’s Office will have nominating packets available as of Wednesday, May 19, 2021, for individuals who wish to run for election to the remaining two years of Commissioner Putman’s term. The filing deadline to run for the seat is July 20, 2021, at 4 p.m., with the City Clerk’s Office. There are also (3) four-year terms on the City Commission and (1) two-year term as Mayor up for election at the November 2, 2021, election, all with the same filing deadline.


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 tcclerk@traversecitymi.gov.

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.

See Commission Putman's Resignation letter here

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.

One City Commission, partial term ending November 13, 2023.


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 tcclerk@traversecitymi.gov

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
srts_general_square.jpg

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 https://www.traversecitymi.gov/sidewalk.asp

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, https://www.traversecitymi.gov/humanrights.asp

 

  

 

 

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: citypers@traversecitymi.gov 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 citypers@traversecitymi.gov or to access the Nomination form HERE.

City Publishes The Performance 2020

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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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 https://www.traversecitymi.gov/downloads/the_performance_2020_1.pdf

 

 

Hickory Hills Opens January 2, 2021

by Colleen Paveglio
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
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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 https://www.traversecitymi.gov/hickory_hills.asp .  

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 https://www.traversecitymi.gov/downloads/2020_season_faq_web.pdf

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 https://www.traversecitymi.gov/hickory_hills.asp .

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, https://www.traversecitymi.gov/downloads/.pdf.

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 https://www.traversecitymi.gov/humanrights.asp

 

 

 

 

2020 Sara Hardy Humanitarian Award

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, December 7, 2020
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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 https://www.traversecitymi.gov/humanrights.asp

Regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

by Benjamin Marentette
Saturday, March 14, 2020
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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. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/…/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.