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by Katelyn Zeits
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Subject:           Get Involved and Make a Difference in Your Community – Be a Volunteer!

Contact:          Katelyn Zeits, Deputy City Clerk, kzeits@traversecitymi.gov

Are you passionate about your City and have a desire to give back?

The City welcomes your active participation on a volunteer City board. Join other volunteers in shaping policy initiatives and services affecting your community!  

The City is seeking applications for the following boards:

  • Board of Zoning Appeals – Regular and Alternate Members
  • Planning Commission 
  • Election Commission
  • Historic Districts Commission
  • Coast Guard City Committee

As a potential Board member, you will serve as an ambassador to the community, helping our City Commission move forward with services affecting the community. No matter your interests, we have a Board to fit your passion. All Boards help us build a great community together.

For more information on these boards and other City boards, or to find our “Application to Become Involved, please visit www.traversecitymi.gov/boards.asp.

If you are interested in serving, please submit your application to the City Clerk’s Office by email: kzeits@traversecitymi.gov or by dropping your application packet in the red drop box in front of the Governmental Center.

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

by Katelyn Zeits
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Subject:           Get Involved and Make a Difference in Your Community – Be a Volunteer!

Contact:          Katelyn Zeits, Deputy City Clerk, kzeits@traversecitymi.gov

Are you passionate about your City and have a desire to give back?

The City welcomes your active participation on a volunteer City board. Join other volunteers in shaping policy initiatives and services affecting your community!  

The City is seeking applications for the following boards:

  • Board of Zoning Appeals – Regular and Alternate Members
  • Planning Commission 
  • Election Commission
  • Historic Districts Commission
  • Coast Guard City Committee

As a potential Board member, you will serve as an ambassador to the community, helping our City Commission move forward with services affecting the community. No matter your interests, we have a Board to fit your passion. All Boards help us build a great community together.

For more information on these boards and other City boards, or to find our “Application to Become Involved, please visit www.traversecitymi.gov/boards.asp.

If you are interested in serving, please submit your application to the City Clerk’s Office by email: kzeits@traversecitymi.gov or by dropping your application packet in the red drop box in front of the Governmental Center.

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

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, October 19, 2020

Ocotber 19, 2020 - 

Michigan voters must have their absentee ballots returned to their local clerk’s office no later than 8 pm on November 3, 2020. The Michigan Court of Appeals overruled the Michigan Court of Claims decision that ballots postmarked November 2nd and received within 14 days of the election day, the deadline for certifying election results, could be counted.

The City of Traverse City has experienced a nearly 300% increase in absentee ballot requests for the November 3, 2020 general election. Absentee ballots may be returned through the mail, placed in the red drop box at 400 Boardman Avenue, or hand delivered to the City Clerk’s Office, Monday – Friday, 8 am – 4 pm.

“A lot of information has circulated regarding voting regulations and we want to be clear with our voting constituency that absentee ballots must be returned to the City Clerk’s Office by 8 pm on election day in order to be counted. If your voting plan is to mail your absentee ballot back, we are suggesting you do so, sooner than later, to ensure that it arrives to our office by 8 pm on election day,” says Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk.

The Michigan Supreme Court does have the opportunity to repeal the latest decision.

Voters may track the status of their absentee ballots at Michigan.gov/vote.

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, October 12, 2020
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October 12, 2020 – The City of Traverse City has a winner for the “I Voted” Sticker Design Contest! The City recently hosted an exciting creative challenge by seeking designs for its “I Voted” stickers. The City Clerk’s Office launched the contest to search for a new, unique design to help get out the vote in the November 2020 election and future elections.

The Contest was open to residents, including 9th-12th grade students, in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie, Antrim, or Kalkaska counties. Over 80 design submissions were received and a panel of judges narrowed the field to three finalists for a public vote. The public vote to select a winner of the three finalists ran October 5 - 11, 2020.

Nearly 1,200 votes were received through the public voting process. The design with the most votes was created by Traverse City resident, Roger Amundsen. The winner will be honored with a $500 prize.

“I Voted” stickers are proudly worn by voters to both declare they exercised their voting rights and to encourage others to do the same. “We are so pleased with the level of engagement for this program. From the initial design submissions to the public voting portion, we feel the public is excited about the voting process and being a part of making history in Traverse City with this fun project,” says Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk.

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

The City of Traverse City will also launch, in 2021, a “Future Voter” Sticker Design Contest by seeking entries from K-12 students in the region.

The wining design can be accessed at the link:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OPQN_n8H7PjH5oxk8HCyrKW5UbU4obod/view?usp=sharing

Those with further questions can call (231) 922-4480.

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, October 9, 2020

October 9, 2020 - The City of Traverse City considers the health and safety of our residents and visitors a top priority. To reduce transmission of COVID-19, the City is recommending the following, consistent with guidelines from the CDC relating to Halloween Trick or Treating activities:

To not encourage or engage in door-to-door trick or treating, having 'trunk or treat events,' hosting Halloween gatherings, having Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members, even if conducted outdoors.

“The City would like to approach Halloween with an abundance of caution, while also recognizing that the community has created a long-time fun, exciting tradition of festivities surrounding Halloween.  We are encouraging families to creatively provide a unique experience within their households,” says Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk. 

Alternative options for Halloween festivities may include: online costume or pumpkin carving parties, car parades where you dress up and/or your car is decorated; Halloween movie night, Halloween themed meals with family members, dressing up/decorating your home, pumpkin picking and patch farms.

The City of Traverse City is following the CDC guidelines for Halloween, but does not have the authority to restrict activities. For the full CDC recommendation visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

Additional advise and guidance may be forthcoming.

 

by Colleen Paveglio
Friday, October 9, 2020

Ocotber 9, 2020 - Traverse City in collaboration with the Grand Traverse County Road Commission, Village of Fife Lake, and Village of Kingsley has developed informational communication on the 2020 Road Millage Ballot Proposal. Voters in Grand Traverse County will see the ballot proposal on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot.

Nearly four years ago, the residents of Grand Traverse County were presented with a road millage ballot proposal renewal for road repairs and improvements. A simple majority of voters cast an approving vote to the tune of just over 70%. The November 3, 2020 ballot renewal requests asks the following question.

This proposal is for the purpose of renewing and restoring the previously approved 1 mill for Local Streets, Roads, Highways, and Bridges Repair and Improvement Millage beginning with the December 2020 tax levy for repair and improvement of streets, roads, highways, and bridges within Grand Traverse County.

Information has been documented and provided to give a four-year account of the road millage projects beginning in 2017. Over the last four years both City and County “fair-to-good” road ratings have improved significantly. These increases are attributable not only to completed millage road projects, but allowing regular road repair dollars to provide expanded routine maintenance ― fewer potholes on major roads allow funds to be reallocated to lower volume roads, and expand - ed activities such as improved drainage, tree removal, gravel road maintenance, ditching and shoulder improvements which extend a road’s life.

“Educating our residents is critical when a proposal such as the 2020 Road Millage is on a ballot. It is important to provide information on how dollars were used in the past and intent of the dollars in the future. We hope the residents in the City of Traverse City will find this educational tool helpful as they make their voting decisions in the November 3, 2020 election,” say Martin Colburn, City Manager.

To read the full report visit, https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/d1f55a841d46424196d3cd3e1115a2a0

 

by Colleen Paveglio
Monday, October 5, 2020

October 2, 2020 - Traverse City has been ranked #10 as an Arts Vibrant Medium Community in the Arts Vibrancy Index Report from SMU DataArts, National Center for Arts Research. Traverse City was previously honored in 2016 and 2018. The National Center for Arts Research has a mission to empower arts and cultural leaders with high quality data and evidence-based resources and insights that help them overcome challenges and increase impact.

As a smaller city in the medium-size category, Traverse City was recognized as a well-developed art scene due to Interlochen Center for the Arts and cultural institutions within the City such as the City Opera House, Crooked Tree Arts Center, and The Dennos Museum. Most notably, the City of Traverse City’s dedication to arts with the creation was of the Traverse City Arts Commission in 2015 was recognized.

“What art does best is to hold up a mirror to the full spectrum of our shared messy and beautiful humanity, to shine a light on our greatest shortcomings alongside our most awe-inspiring achievements. I'm very proud of the role we play on the Traverse City Arts Commission to help bring the work of incredible artists around the world to shine this light in our region,” says Ashlea Walter, City Commission Liaison.

Also highlighted and a considerable factor for this year’s honor, was the Clinch Park Tunnel’s Mazinaadin Exhibition, a project from the Traverse City Arts Commission in 2019. “The collaboration with the Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, to realize a contemporary artwork celebrating the Anishinaabek people and their connection to the land, was a major highlight of the Traverse City’s Art Commission's work this year. It exemplifies our ongoing efforts to create spaces that reflect the values of our community,” says Charlotte Smith, Traverse City Arts Commission Chairperson.

To read the full report, visit https://culturaldata.org/media/2152/arts-vibrancy-index-reportvi_smu-dataarts_sept2020.pdf. You can find more information on arts programs from the Traverse City Arts Commission at tcpublicart.org.

by Katelyn Zeits
Friday, October 2, 2020
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Loose Leaf pickup will begin Monday, October 26, 2020 on the WEST side of the City. 

Due to weather and leaf fall variables, no specific pickup date will be scheduled.  We will cover the City neighborhoods, beginning on the west side and moving eastward, over a period of 5 to 7 weekdays, and then will return to the west side to repeat the process.  Leaves should be raked out in front of your house for pickup as promptly as possible on or after October 22, 2020.  Pick up will continue through November 15, 2020.

The City asks that leaves not be placed in the street before October 22, 2020, however you can place them in the tree lawn. For further clarification as to placement of leaves, visit City Ordinance 668.03. As a reminder, residents should not be placing anything in the streets. It's important your leaves are raked out in time for pickup because open burning in the City is prohibited.

General Guidelines for the Loose Leaf Collection Program

  • Leaves should be LOOSE. Please, no plastic bags! Biodegradable bags however, are acceptable. 
  • The City will not pickup branches or brush.  Please do not put them out for pick up - they will be left where you placed them.
  • For curb & gutter streets, rake leaves down into the street.
  • On all other streets rake leaves to gravel shoulder or paved edge of the road.
  • Always avoid covering catch basins. 
  • No leaves will be picked up in alleys, except for homes along Division Street, East Front Street from Railroad Avenue to Munson Avenue, Munson Avenue from East Front Street to Airport Access Road and Eighth Street from Union Street to Woodmere Ave.
  • Please do not park vehicles over leaf piles in City streets - we are unable to pick those leaves up and will be the homeowners responsibility.

Residents should remember that if they have yard waste that they want picked up before the City’s leaf pick up, American Waste will do the pickup for $2.23 per bag as part of their service.  Call American Waste at 231-943-8088 for information regarding their sticker program.

by Derek Melville
Friday, October 2, 2020

SAVE THE DATE!

The Parks & Recreation Division will be hosting a virtual public information and input session with regard to the 5 Year Recreation Master plan on October 14, 2020 from 7pm - 8pm.  If you're interested in learning more about the 5 Year Recreation Master Plan, the reason it exists, the process for renewing, or how goals and objectives are set, please plan on virtually attending the meeting.  There also will be an opportunity to provide input on the goals for the next 5 years of City Park operations and improvements as well as a short Q&A period. It will be hosted by the City Parks & Recreation Superintendent and Gosling Czubak staff, the consultant for the project.  

The link to the public input session will be added HERE ahead of the meeting and will also be available on the City Facebook page as we get closer to the meeting date. 

In the meantime, if you haven't completed the survey that is helping guide the planning that is being done, please take it at the link provided below. 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GVVFGSK

by Alanna Crouch
Friday, October 2, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Subject: Election Inspector positions filled for City Precincts: City Clerk grateful that so many stepped forward


From: Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk, tcclerk@traversecitymi.gov, 231-922-4480


Issued: October 2, 2020


At the end of August, the City Clerk’s Office called on our community for assistance in our precincts, and the response was overwhelming! Over 250 applications for poll workers came into our office and we would like to express our gratitude at the overwhelming positive response!


“It is incredibly amazing to see, once again, how supportive our community is, and how people step forward when a call for assistance is put out,” said City Clerk Benjamin Marentette. “We are very fortunate to have so many citizens who want to be a part of making democracy happen right here in Traverse City.”


The City has filled all of the positions available in all seven precincts and in the Absent Voter Counting Board, and maintains a list of backup inspectors that numbers well over 100. Applications are kept on file for future elections for those not selected for this November’s election.

“My staff and I are grateful for each applicant that reached out, and we are excited to welcome our new election team members,” said Marentette.

by Katelyn Zeits
Monday, August 24, 2020

On August 17, 2020, following the recommendation of a City Commission Ad Hoc Committee consisting of Commissioner Brian McGillivary, who chaired the committee, as well as Mayor Pro Tem Amy Shamroe and Commissioner Tim Werner, the City Commission adopted regulations allowing for adult use marijuana establishments within the City of Traverse City.

City Clerk Benjamin Marentette’s office, which is charged with reviewing all applications and issuing the related licenses, in consultation with various departments and agencies, will have complete application packets available on the city’s website at 8 a.m. on Friday, September 4, 2020.    The City Commission established a limit of four retail establishments and 2 microbusinesses in the city, with no limit on the number of growers, processors, secure transporters or safety compliance facilities.   The city does not allow designated consumption establishments (“marijuana lounges”) or excess marijuana growers.

When the City opened up the application period for medical marijuana provisioning centers (retail outlets), and there was a competitive process for awarding those licenses, the city provided approximately three months for applicants to put together their (extensive) applications.   In that same spirit, the City Clerk will make applications available for all establishment types on September 4, 2020; and for those that will be awarded on a competitive basis (retail establishments and microbusiness), the City Clerk has established an application acceptance window beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, November 30, 2020, closing at 5 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2020.   This period of time is the only time in which the City Clerk’s Office will initially accept applications for adult use retail establishments as well as adult use microbusiness establishments.   For the other types of establishments, applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis unless otherwise indicated.   Applications must be submitted electronically. 

With respect to retail establishments and microbusinesses, the permits are awarded on a competitive, scored basis.  It is generally anticipated, depending on how the application approval process plays out (factoring in time for appeals, etc.), that licenses for retail and microbusinesses will be awarded in January 2021.   For all other license types, it is anticipated that that a decision on the application will be made within 30-45 days of application submittal.  

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 Michigan.gov/Hatcheries. For the latest on the effects of high water and safety tips, visit Michigan.gov/HighWaterSafety.

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
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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.