Michigan Municipal League Membership Guide 2023

Animated publication

YOUR LEAGUE Membership Guide

We love where you live.

2 | mml.org



5 6 8

Legislative Advocacy

Legal Advocacy

Policy Research and Placemaking Assistance

10 12 14 16 18 20

Education and Events

Information, Resources, and Member Services

Risk Management

Leadership and Professional Development Opportunities

Savings, Vendor, and Additional Services Michigan Municipal League Foundation


MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 3


We love where you live. Michigan communities are at the heart of our mission, whether it is helping allocate federal and state resources or addressing the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The success of our communities drives everything we do. Every day, we seek to create programs that give municipalities new and better ways to approach their challenges and opportunities. We regularly bring our members together so they can learn from each other’s accomplishments and find solidarity with their peers. We are their voice in Lansing and D.C., ensuring their concerns are heard and solutions are crafted with their needs in mind. And perhaps most of all, we strive to inspire Michigan cities, villages, and urban townships to reach for a brighter future and help them build vibrant, healthy places, and community wealth. We are the Michigan Municipal League. We’re passionate about Michigan.

We’re dedicated to its communities. And we love where you live.

4 | mml.org


CONTACT Kelly Warren Director, Equity & Member Engagement kwarren@mml.org 734-669-6310 Emily Kieliszewski Member Programs Manager

The League’s Membership Engagement team is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by providing thoughtful and innovative programs, connecting ideas and people, serving members with resources and services, and inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. We work closely with our affiliate organizations representing our state’s local leaders. We strive to offer relevant programs, like the 16/50 Project, that aims to achieve general equality throughout the municipal workforce.

emilyk@mml.org 517-908-0302

Member Programs and Technical Assistance

MI FUNDING HUB Our MI Funding Hub program (formerly known as ServeMICity) helps communities navigate new economic recovery and infrastructure funding. Help is available in three main areas—technical and strategic assistance, our resource library, and information on grants and funding opportunities. Get started at https://mml.org/programs-services/mifundinghub/. MI WATER NAVIGATOR Looking for funding? MI Water Navigator is here to help. Find water infrastructure funding with our technical assistance helpdesk, grants and funding database, and free tools and resources. Learn more at miwaternavigator.org . 16/50 PROJECT & WOMEN’S MUNICIPAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM In 2018, women represented just 16% of Michigan’s local government managers while making up 50% of our state’s population. We started the 16/50 Project to empower more women to lead our communities and to make gender balance a reality for local governments in Michigan. The Project runs programs and campaigns to combat implicit bias, develops talent through the Women’s Municipal Leadership Program, and builds the leadership pipeline of the next generation. Thanks to this work, women now represent 21% of local government managers in the state—and more work is to come. Get the details at 1650project.org .

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION Celebrating our differences. The Michigan Municipal League’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is born out of respect and admiration for the rich and vibrant composition of our members— the family of communities in Michigan. We celebrate differences and work to create systems, practices, and training that ensure inclusivity and equity while rejecting and dismantling those that propagate discord and division. This is a duty we proudly accept. We will continue to resource our efforts by shaping our organization and culture to reflect our DEI commitment and values, something we believe is a mindset first and milestone second. Learn more at mml.org/dei . COMMUNITY EXCELLENCE AWARD The Community Excellence Award (CEA) is the League’s most prestigious community award. It is an opportunity for League member communities to highlight local placemaking success stories and best practices, and to share innovative community programs or projects on a statewide platform. The competition starts in the spring at our CapCon and concludes with a winner selected at our Convention in the fall. For details go to cea.mml.org .

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 5


Our advocacy team is committed to ensuring our members can succeed in their journey toward providing highly livable, desirable, and unique places within the state. The legislative agenda includes promotion of municipal finance reform and revenue sharing, investments in economic development and placemaking, preservation of local control, and solutions to improve our infrastructure. From our Capital Office in Lansing, the League maintains a full-time advocacy presence at the state Capitol through our state and federal affairs department that communicates the municipal viewpoint on countless bills that are introduced during each two-year legislative session. STAY IN THE KNOW Subscribe to our legislative blog at mml.org/ inside208/ and register for our free Live with the League conversations featuring our legislative team broadcasting regularly. View and register on our event calendar page at mml.org .

CONTACT John LaMacchia II Director, State & Federal Affairs jlamacchia@mml.org 517-908-0303

6 | mml.org

Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees and the League’s State and Federal Affairs team annually establish our Core Legislative Principles. They are big picture and aim to support the state’s prosperity from the bottom up, ensuring local governments have the resources and tools to serve its residents now and into the future. They recognize local governments as the foundation for regional and state prosperity by effectively leveraging the following key assets, which are at the forefront of our advocacy and policy research work: • Trust and Belonging • Municipal Finance and Services • Infrastructure • Physical Design and Walkability • Public Health • Environmental Sustainability • Arts and Culture • Education and Lifelong Learning The League believes every community across Michigan offers unique experiences to the people and businesses that call them home. Collectively, these communities are on the leading edge of building community and individual assets, which are essential components of a strong and robust economy. Working with legislative leaders, we can modernize the systemic and structural constraints on local government. We do this while simultaneously creating policy that supports a holistic and inclusive approach to expanding housing, business, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Vibrant communities that are attractive to people and business are critical to Michigan’s success, which forms the basis of our policy priorities. To achieve this outcome, state policy should focus on issues that: Protect Community Specific Solutions and Resources: • Revenue Sharing • Local Decision Making • Zoning Enabling Act • Property Taxes • Home Rule • Local Revenue Sources Core Legislative Principles ADVOCATING ON BEHALF OF OUR MEMBERS

Modernize Local Governance and Structure: • Headlee/Proposal A • Public Notices • Open Meetings Act • Cybersecurity • Freedom of Information Act • Elections Invest in Human Capital and Physical Infrastructure Built for the Future: • Roads and Bridges • Parks and Recreation • Water, Sewer, and Stormwater • Police, Fire, and EMS • Broadband • Municipal Workforce • Renewable Energy • Job Training Generate Robust Housing and Economic Development Opportunities:

• Workforce Housing • Historic Tax Credits • Community Development • Entrepreneurship • Placemaking • Strategic Local Investments

COALITION BUILDING Advancing and leading strategic partnerships is an important component of the League’s advocacy work. Through the Coalition for a Strong and Prosperous Michigan we have been actively working to advance a bold vision to build Michigan’s future and strategically invest in our residents, entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities. We believe by working together, Michigan can be a magnet for talent, revive and strengthen the economy now and into the future, and support thriving communities that all can enjoy.

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 7

CONTACT Chris Johnson General Counsel cjohnson@mml.org 734-669-6305

Our Legal Advocacy department is here to assist member municipalities. In addition to advocating for the interests of municipalities in the court system, the department provides useful services and legal assistance to our communities, their officials, and attorneys. These services include administration of the League’s Legal Defense Fund, training on key legal issues, the League’s Inquiry Service, and assistance from League staff on member concerns. Get the counsel you need.


8 | mml.org

LEGAL DEFENSE FUND (LDF) The LDF is an advocacy program for municipalities in the state and federal appellate courts. Membership is open to communities for a modest annual fee. Resources of the Fund are extended in cases which would have a considerable impact on Michigan municipal law and would affect the organization, operation, powers, duties, or financing of Michigan’s communities. Typical assistance provided is an amicus brief in support of your community’s position in a case before the Michigan Supreme Court or Court of Appeals. Attorneys retained by the LDF to write the briefs are acknowledged experts in the particular aspect of municipal law. LEGAL ASSISTANCE The League’s general counsel is available to consult with your municipal attorney on topics affecting your community. Although the League does not issue formal opinions, the direction will strengthen your confidence to face challenging municipal legal issues head on. The Legal Affairs department works collaboratively with each League department, as well as the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys (MAMA), the Government Law Section of the Michigan State Bar, and the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA). LEADERS AND LIAISONS IN MUNICIPAL LAW The League’s general counsel and Inquiry Service staff are in constant contact with municipal attorneys and municipal specialists in law firms throughout the state, sharing information and expertise. The League is a clearinghouse for information on legal topics of most importance to elected officials and administrators, as well as attorneys. The League’s general counsel serves as the secretary/treasurer of the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys and is active in the State League Counsel Section of IMLA.

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 9


Every industry needs research and development (R&D) to grow and find new solutions. That is the role the League’s Policy Research Labs serves for Michigan’s municipal enterprises. We strive to help our communities be authentic welcoming places. Our team of local government scientists and policy wonks are consistently researching, testing, and developing new approaches to community wealth building, civic engagement, placemaking, redevelopment, and sustainability. These approaches are then shared with community leaders like you. Whether it’s providing best practice models on these topics, creating new local policy tools, or sharing information on future trends that impact your communities, we are here to help. Learn more about our work and how our team can help you at mml.org/resources-research/ .

CONTACT Shanna Draheim Director, Policy Research Labs sdraheim@mml.org 517-908-0307

10 | mml.org

Policy Research & Placemaking Assistance Programs

ACTIONABLE HOUSING SOLUTIONS The League has devoted significant time to housing related policies and programs that would support communities’ efforts to increase and improve access to affordable, quality housing. We recently released our publication This Used to be Normal: Pattern Book Homes for the 21st Century. This document reviews historic mail order housing forms, offers zoning solutions for gentle density with multi-unit housing, and creates buildable plans for new infill duplexes/ fourplexes in downtown-adjacent neighborhoods. The whole set of Pattern Book materials can be found here: mml.org/pattern-book-homes/ . We’ve also partnered with the State of Michigan to develop an online housing data portal that will have extensive information on statewide and local housing statistics that members can use in shaping local policy and evaluating development proposals. The portal will launch in the fall of 2023. With support from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, we have conducted research on equitable access to entrepreneurship and small business success. This includes a review of existing small business support networks in southeast Michigan and identifying future opportunities. This work is continuing with onsite assistance and strategy support for pilot communities. It also includes development of a new Microbusiness Ready Communities Standard and Resource Guide for the RRC program that incorporates learning and tools identified in the first phases of this work, and continued learning and engagement with the Michigan Microbusiness Coalition. DEVELOPMENT CODE REFORM Outdated zoning and development ordinances can stand in the way of placemaking goals, but communities often lack the resources for a full overhaul of their codes. The League joined the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and MEDC to develop resources for communities that want to make tactical, incremental changes to their ordinances in support of better development. CNU is working nationally to apply Michigan’s leadership in other states. Learn more at cnu.org/our-projects/project-code-reform . LOCAL ECONOMIES AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Our current project mix changes regularly as we identify new needs or opportunities. Our recent work includes:

REDEVELOPMENT READY COMMUNITIES (RRC) SUPPORT League staff have an unparalleled depth of experience with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s RRC program and, through support from MEDC, have provided assistance with site-specific visioning, site design, market studies, and developer outreach to communities that have completed certification. Please see mml.org/resources-research/ for details on these projects and to contact us for more details. CROWDFUNDING The League partners with MEDC, MSHDA, and Patronicity to create the Public Spaces, Community Places program, offering crowdfunding assistance for public space projects. Projects that meet program criteria can receive a funding match for the dollars raised through the Patronicity platform. Learn more about this funding opportunity at crowdfundingmi . com and contact League staff to discuss how it might apply in your community. MGC is a collaborative effort led by numerous local governments, statewide organizations, and state agencies to share resources and knowledge around clean energy and environmental sustainability. Each year, participating communities can measure their progress and are recognized for their achievements via the MGC Challenge. Learn more and sign up at migreencommunities.com . MICHIGAN GREEN COMMUNITIES NETWORK (MGC)

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 11


With a commitment to high-quality, lifelong learning, we offer a variety of training programs that provide up-to-date information on major issues and concerns relating to local government. From detailed practical information on day-to-day issues to the most complex topics, the League provides opportunities for new and experienced officials to become experts in their profession, contribute to the conversation, and to problem solve like never before. CONTACT Jessica Weirauch Director, Marketing and Communications jweirauch@mml.org 734-669-6311

12 | mml.org

ELECTED OFFICIALS ACADEMY The Elected Officials Academy is an exclusive continuing education program established to link elected officials with development opportunities and recognize their efforts to become more effective leaders. In this four-level recognition program, officials earn credits in a combination of program components designed to develop skills, knowledge, and experience. Taking courses, attending conferences, legislative advocacy, and service in leadership roles—whether at the League or elsewhere—all earn credit toward recognition levels. Participation in the Academy is open to individuals serving as elected officials in League member communities. ON-SITE TRAINING The League offers personalized, on-site training on a variety of topics brought directly to individual communities. SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS With a commitment to high-quality, lifelong learning, the League offers training programs throughout the year that include traditional offerings and programs on specific hot topics.

CONVENTION This annual dynamic, must-attend convergence of national, state, and local municipal experts and community leaders is a meeting place where ideas are exchanged, and relationships originate. It features pertinent keynote presenters, informative sessions, workshops, awards, and socially stimulating special events. CAPCON AND EXPO CapCon offers intense keynotes and in-depth presentations on the day’s hottest legislative topics for local officials serious about navigating the political landscape. It also provides local leaders opportunities to meet and greet their state representatives and senators. In addition, this event includes the Expo, where local officials can connect and interact with representatives from companies, suppliers, and consultants servicing municipalities. WEBINARS The League offers webinars that allow members to receive valuable information at a time most convenient to their busy schedule. For more on these or other League and municipal related events, please visit mml.org/education-events

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 13


14 | mml.org

We work hard to remain out in front of new developments in local government, to ensure you have the information you need to make critical decisions and solve the toughest problems. Members have access to an online clearinghouse of sample ordinances and policies, and easy-to-read fact sheets on 70+ topics, including the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act. Member officials may request information and/or material on any municipal issue. We are also home to one-of-a-kind research databases like our searchable online wage and benefits survey, city charter database, and electronic labor contract library. From our magazine to our newsfeeds and listservs, we are your one-stop shop to stay connected and informed. In addition, we offer a fee-based consulting service for executive searches.

CONTACT info@mml.org 1-800-653-2483

PUBLICATIONS The League’s magazine, The Review , includes relevant features and interviews with Michigan’s leaders. The League’s website also offers a host of additional publications and resources, including the Handbook for Municipal Officials and the Handbook for General Law Village Officials. SAMPLE DOCUMENTS The League Resource Center houses an extensive collection of materials relating to local government which includes sample documents such as contracts, ordinances, policies, resolutions, and Request for Proposals (RFPs) for many municipal needs. FACT SHEETS These one-page information sheets offer a clear and concise explanation of a variety of municipal topics. INQUIRY SERVICE The League’s Inquiry Service provides answers to questions on a vast array of municipal topics. Information and custom research on your community’s questions are just a phone call or email away.

EXECUTIVE SEARCH Our Executive Search Service facilitates one of the most important processes undertaken by an elected body—selecting effective leadership for the organization. This service is a resource offered to strengthen the quality of municipal government and administration through successful placement of public leaders. A typical League search ranges from 120 days and is customized to the specific needs of the community. WAGE AND SALARY SURVEY The results of the League’s annual wage and salary survey are available to participating members, through an online searchable database. It also includes a benefits analysis and electronic labor contract library.

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 15


CONTACT Michael J. Forster Director, Risk Management mforster@mml.org 734-669-6340

The mission of the Risk Management Services Division is to provide long-term, stable, cost-effective insurance for the League’s members and associate members helping us fulfill our members’ essential need for stability and security. The division administers two statewide municipal insurance programs: the Workers’ Compensation Fund and the Liability and Property Pool.

16 | mml.org

Member Owned and Controlled

Insurance and Employment Benefits Services

MICHIGAN MUNICIPAL LEAGUE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FUND This League group self-insurance fund offers affordable workers’ compensation coverage to over 900 members. Unlike commercial insurance, the Fund is owned and controlled by its members and administered by the League. Since its inception, the Fund has returned more than $300 million, or 30 percent of total premiums, to its participating members in the form of dividends. MICHIGAN MUNICIPAL LEAGUE LIABILITY & PROPERTY POOL The League also offers liability and property insurance protection. This group self-insurance pool is also owned and controlled by its members and administered by the League. The program covers community property and offers liability protection against most municipal exposures. Excess member contributions are returned in the form of unrestricted cash dividends, improved coverage, better services, and rate stability not found with other insurance options. The Pool offers specialized coverages, educational programs, loss reduction services, and claims expertise. The Pool also invests in significant legislative and legal advocacy resources for the benefit of its members. Over 400 member communities currently participate in this program, which has served the League and its members since 1982.


This program provides access to Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance for our member communities of under 100 employees. It currently has 386 member communities, covering 15,000 public employees and their families. This service costs members nothing to participate, but the fees generated by BCBSM support the League, and our goal of keeping member dues low. LEAGUE UNEMPLOYMENT FUND The League’s unemployment fund can help members deal more effectively with their unemployment claims. This program helps smooth out a community’s unemployment funding obligations by amortizing them over a longer period of time. We also offer expertise through our third-party administrator, Equifax Corporation, to guide participating members through the unemployment process. Part of the services includes representation in disputed cases and throughout the appeals process at no additional charge.

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 17



We need your help! The League looks to members to lead in a variety of ways from specific legislative issue committees, to serving on an affiliate board, to moderating a session at the League’s events. Here are just some of the ways in which you can help your League and take your leadership skills to the next level. LEAGUE BOARD OF TRUSTEES The Michigan Municipal League is supported by a strategic and passionate Board of Trustees who are a critical part of the League’s organizational structure. This 20-member Board guides the League’s internal workings and public policy with support from five legislative issue committees. To serve on the League board, letters of interest are accepted year-round and may be emailed to Dan Gilmartin, League Executive Director and CEO, at dpg@mml.org . LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES Legislative committees serve League members by providing general direction and legislative policy recommendations to the Board of Trustees and League staff on a variety of local government issues. Our advocacy efforts depend on input from the Legislative Governance Committee and five Policy Committees. General questions regarding legislative committees can be directed to Betsy Richardson, Capital Office Coordinator, at brichardson@mml.org .

The Elected Officials Academy (EOA) is committed to offering expanded educational programs for elected officials throughout the state to promote effective leadership in local government. The EOA board works closely with the League to oversee and administer the Elected Officials Academy. Individuals serving on the 18-member board must be active participating members of the EOA. Interested candidates may send a letter of interest to Emily Kieliszewski, Member Programs Manager, at emilyk@mml.org . MICHIGAN MUNICIPAL LEAGUE FOUNDATION LEADERSHIP The Michigan Municipal League Foundation is supported by a strategic and passionate Board of Directors who understand the importance of community investment. This Board is a combination of elected and appointed officials, philanthropic leaders, and corporate leaders. In addition to the Foundation Board of Directors, the Foundation receives guidance and expertise from a variety of Board sub-committees, grant funding juries, and more. To learn more about opportunities for involvement in the Foundation’s work, please email mmlfoundation@mml.org .

18 | mml.org

CONTACT Kelly Warren Director, Equity & Member Engagement kwarren@mml.org 734-669-6310 Emily Kieliszewski Member Programs Manager

We’re committed to providing community leaders an opportunity to showcase their skills through a variety of engagement opportunities. Volunteers are essential in maintaining a strong, vibrant League, and we encourage you to find the right pathway to engage with us.

emilyk@mml.org 517-908-0302

INSURANCE PROGRAM LEADERSHIP The League’s two group self-insurance pools operate under the direction and control of their governing boards. Insurance expertise is not required but board members must be a current official of a participating municipality or entity. The two nominating committees attempt to balance representation of elected and appointed officials, geographic locations, and candidate qualifications. Board members may serve up to 12 years and commit to quarterly meetings around the state. Expenses associated with service are reimbursed by the programs, including an annual national pooling meeting if the member is able to attend. To learn more, contact Michael J. Forster, Director, Risk Management Services, at mforster@mml.org . AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS The League works with several tailored affiliate organizations that provide additional leadership, networking, and training to their members. These include organizations like the Michigan Association of Mayors, the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys, the Michigan Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, Michigan Municipal Executives, and the Michigan Women in Municipal Government. There are also many other municipal affiliated organizations. For a full list of affiliates that members can get involved with, visit mml.org/about-us/affiliates/ . VOTING PRIVILEGES Full members enjoy voting privileges at the League’s annual business meeting, held yearly during our Convention.

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 19


The benefits of membership with the Michigan Municipal League are endless and include access to crucial services at our member rates.

CONTACT Jessica Weirauch Director, Marketing and Communications jweirauch@mml.org 734-669-6311

TELECOMMUNICATIONS The League has partnered with Abilita, a leader in telecommunications consulting, to provide a cost-saving service designed to help you reduce your telecommunications costs. Best of all, you can save money without the hassle of dealing with the phone companies, and with no upfront costs or risk.

BUSINESS ALLIANCE PROGRAM (BAP) One of the League’s primary goals—as outlined by our founders back in 1899 and still a priority today—is to educate elected and appointed officials in Michigan. Every bit of education we provide helps our cities and villages provide better, more effective, more efficient service to citizens. We strive to provide our members with up-to-date information on issues, programs, technology—and vendor products and services. The Alliance was established to encourage companies serving local government to forge a stronger partnership with the League to meet these goals. REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) SHARING SERVICE League members can use the League’s Business Alliance Program (BAP) to help get their community’s RFPs to more prospective bidders. The League’s BAP is a collection of companies that specialize in serving the municipal marketplace, and they can all be accessed through the League. We’ll help get your RFP distributed to the right companies in our BAP program offering the service you need.


The League has established a consortium of local governments in Michigan and has contracted with First Advantage Corporation to provide CDL drug and alcohol testing services for local governments. CLASSIFIED ADS The “Municipal Classified Ads” section at www.mml.org includes employment opportunities. Members have access to posting ads at a reduced membership rate.

20 | mml.org

MML 2023 Member Programs and Services Guide | 21


The Michigan Municipal League Foundation was founded in 1991 and serves as the philanthropic arm of the Michigan Municipal League.

CONTACT Helen Davis Johnson President, Michigan Municipal League Foundation hjohnson@mml.org 734-669-6336

22 | mml.org

MISSION The Michigan Municipal League Foundation is on a mission to create and cultivate the resources, partnerships, and opportunities that Michigan communities need to thrive. VISION Our vision is that local leaders with the drive to make their community better will have access to the tools and resources needed to act on that opportunity. VALUES • Local leadership is best when collaboration happens. • Local leaders need support and resources to sustain positive change. • Community voice matters in decision-making. • Diversity, equity, inclusion, creativity, and learning fuel innovation.

BUILDING COMMUNITY WEALTH ACROSS MICHIGAN Focusing on wellbeing and equitable community wealth building puts humans at the center of communities by increasing the financial and social wellbeing of all community members. Everything we do, from funding placemaking projects to helping bring clean water to communities, aims to build community wealth. LEARN MORE Visit www.mmlfoundation.org to learn more and make your gift to support community wealth building across Michigan.

MML Member Programs and Services Guide | 23

We would love to hear from you. We’re dedicated to the success of your community. No matter what the issue or opportunity, the League is your partner along the way. Make sure you’re taking advantage of all the League has to offer, and check out how you can be an active participant with us along the way by calling your membership engagement team: Kelly Warren Director, Equity & Member Engagement kwarren@mml.org 734-669-6310 Emily Kieliszewski Member Programs Manager

emilyk@mml.org 517-908-0302

October 2023

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker