News about the City of Muskegon, announcements and updates.
Date: July 8, 2014
Contact: City Clerk’s Office 231-724-6705
Proposed Millage Increase to be Decided by Voters in November Election
On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 the City Commission adopted a resolution asking voters to decide if the City’s
authorized millage shall increase from 10 mills to 14 mills on the November ballot. The resolution has been
sent to the Governor’s and Attorney General’s Office for review and approval of the language. Once approval
has been received, the language is submitted to the City and County Clerk’s Office to be placed on the ballot.
State law allows voters to establish a millage rate up to 20 mills to be used for municipal purposes. Currently
the City Commission is allowed to levy up to 10 mills; the proposed ballot language, if passed, would allow the
City Commission to levy up to 14 mills.
The proposed language states:
“State law permits the electorate to establish a charter limitation of 20 mills on the City’s annual levy for
municipal purposes. Currently, the City’s annual levy is limited to 10 mills. This proposal would increase the
maximum levy allowed to 14 mills to be used for municipal purposes, including but not limited to road
maintenance and repair. Shall Section 7 of Article XI of the City Charter be adopted to authorize the levy of up
to 14 mills on real and personal property in the City commencing December 1, 2014?”
Due to the limitations that the State Attorney General’s Office places on ballot language, the City Commission
was required to include the language “to be used for municipal purposes” on the ballot.
If the proposed millage passes, the City Commission will revise the current budget to allocate revenue
specifically for street-related infrastructure and maintenance, like street resurfacing, street reconstruction,
curbing, storm sewers, sidewalks, and street lighting.
The City Commission is committed to using these funds specifically to address our street-related needs. A
resolution will be presented to the City Commission detailing how any additional funding, if granted by the
voters, will be used towards street resurfacing, street reconstruction, curbing, storm sewers, sidewalks, and
street lighting. While future Commissions will not be legally bound to keep those promises, they are
accountable to the electorate. Voters will keep Commissioners accountable by voting on Election Day.
May 3, 2014, we just opened the new Muskegon Farmers Market at its downtown location.
Pursuant to Section 98.35 of the City of Muskegon Code of Ordinances, persons owning property in the City of Muskegon are hereby notified that they are responsible for tall grass, noxious weeds and overgrowth on their property. Vegetation must not be taller than eight inches. Properties shall be maintained to ordinance standards or the City will 1) clean the property and bill the property owner for the clean-up/mowing plus an administrative fee and/or 2) provide a civil infraction to the property owner for a violation of a City Ordinance. This public notice will be the only formal notices sent advising property owners of their responsibility.
Date: April 7, 2014
Contact: City Clerk’s Office 231-724-6705
Outstanding Citizenship of the Year
Three citizens have been chosen as recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Citizenship of the Year Award. They are Shirley Green, Greg Borgman, and Debra Griffin.
Shirley Green is described as dedicated, trustworthy, ambitious, and a leader.
Shirley resides in her home which is located approximately 200 feet from her childhood residence. Her deep love to this city and area is the deep motivation for all the planning and beautification she so aptly does for Lakeside and the City of Muskegon.
A ride through Lakeside will prove what a wonderful job Shirley has done trying to revitalize our area. The overgrown, greatly neglected empty pocket park next to Booker Institute on Lakeshore Drive, was an eyesore to all. Shirley’s dream was to provide a place where people could sit and enjoy the beauty of Lakeside and Muskegon Lake. With many hours of hard labor by Shirley and others, it is a place of beauty. The watering, planting of shrubs and flowers is done by Shirley and her family.
Shirley has been involved in many events including: spearheading the holiday basket drive for the shut-ins in her neighborhood, assisting several school functions, involvement in the Lakeside Neighborhood Association, the Lakeside District Association, and Muskegon Medical Associates, as well as organizing the Lakeside Easter Egg Hunt, and volunteering for the Memorial Day Parade in Lakeside. Each year she hosts a pumpkin roll down the hill of her dead-end street.
As one friend states, “Shirley is a strong minded person. If she is unable to do it herself, she will find the necessary people to help her accomplish her goal. I admire her for her strong will and willingness to keep fighting for her community.”
Shirley has a deep devotion to our city and community. Her hard work and dedication to her community makes her an exemplary citizen.
Greg Borgman is described as caring, trustworthy, and respectful.
Greg is a lifelong resident of the City of Muskegon, a member of the Episcopal Church, and a proud Big Red.
Greg has served on many boards to promote and better our community. His leadership and dedication serving on the Housing Board of Appeals has helped to fight blight and bring beauty to our city. His passion for making Muskegon a better place has led to his current position as chairman of both the Nelson Neighborhood Improvement Association and the Neighborhood Associations of Muskegon. In addition he’s been a block captain, participated in the Citizen’s Police Academy, organized several car shows, and volunteered for many events as well as fundraising efforts.
Greg is a great promoter of the downtown. He is employed by Kandu – an organization that helps individuals overcome barriers that may prevent them from joining the workforce. Greg convinced his employer, to invest in the downtown by opening an office in the Terrace Plaza where his office currently resides. He was also part of the Muskegon Retail Incubator and was instrumental in seeing the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Russell Block Market.
Greg’s friends describe him as a kind person who is willing to help anyone, loved by many, non-judgmental, has a belief in people and their potential, an ability to connect with individuals from all walks of life, and has a strong faith and commitment.
Greg is a caring individual with a love for Muskegon. This love shows not only through his words but through his actions. Muskegon is honored to call him one of its own.
Debra Griffin is described as dedicated, caring, and intuitive.
Debra has used her many skill sets to help improve the community by listening and helping those in the community who feel they are not being heard. One way she achieved her objective was to found a group called “Parents Have Power”, a Muskegon parent involvement group working to unite the community in support of public schools.
Debra founded the parent’s advocacy group to give parents of students in Muskegon Public Schools a voice in the many changes proposed in the school system. With Debra’s computer training, she was able to create a website and also started a Facebook page so parents may share ideas. The website has also created a mechanism for sharing information on how to empower our children through education.
Debra also founded the political advocacy group, “Spark!” Sparks! is a grassroots coalition whose goal is to begin an honest dialogue between community members about issues that currently affect the county, primarily in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights including feelings of isolation, race relations, poverty, high unemployment, neighborhood blight and violence, etc.
In addition, Debra is also the co-founder of “Big Girls Do Workout”, an advocacy group that promotes exercise and healthy eating habits and an overall healthy lifestyle targeted at full-size women in the community. The website she created showcases different exercising techniques, healthy recipes, and other ways of releasing stress and ways to build self-esteem.
As her nominator states, “Citizens like Debra are the ones that make and keep our communities strong. The work she is doing is not easy, but she does not let that stop her. She continues to engage fellow citizens in the effort to improve our community.”
The Power Of Produce (POP) Club is a nationally recognized kids program started at the Oregon City Farmers Market in May 2011, to empower kids to make healthy food choices, introducing them to where their food comes from. This program is now being implemented in Markets across the US and in Canada too. We are pleased to bring this program to the Muskegon Farmers Market in 2014. We’re raising the next generation of Market shoppers and good food eaters!
HOW THE POP CLUB WORKS: KIDS, between the ages of 5-12:
- POP Club will be available on Saturdays only from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. starting June 14th through October 25th.
- Join the club at the market. Sign their “Passport To Health”. We keep the Passport at the Market’s office to track participation.
- Receive a POP reusable shopping bag.
- Receive a POP Button.
- Receive $2 EVERY time they come to market, in wooden tokens to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables and food plants.
- Participate in value-creating activities (POP CLUB FUN!) based around food, nutrition and food growing. At every summer Saturday Market you can find activities such as Seed Planting, Salad-Making, Flour-Grinding and pancake-making, Jam-Making, wormy fun with Worm Bins, Crawly Critters and fun bugs, scavenger hunt …and more! Look for a schedule when checking in at the market or watch the Muskegon Farmer’s Market website for details: www.muskegonfarmersmarket.com
- Donations can be made to support this program: Community Foundation of Muskegon County, Power of Produce Fund. Checks can be made to this fund by mailing to: CFFMC, Power of Produce Fund, 425 W. Western Ave. Suite 200, Muskegon, MI 49440 or online (be sure to choose the correct fund): www.cffmc.org/give/online-giving