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Welcome to SEMCOG's Think Regional/Act Local blog! SEMCOG is the only organization in Southeast Michigan that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of life for the seven-county regions 4.7 million residents. With this regional perspective in mind, we work with member local governments to sustain our regions reputation as a great place to work, play, and do business.

 

Our panel of SEMCOG staff bloggers will post daily to this blog, discussing SEMCOG's data, federal and state legislative issues, and environmental and fiscal sustainability best practices for local governments all with the goal of creating a successful future for the region.

 

 

Think Regional/Act Local

Reinventing Inkster – from the ground up

(Maps, Public outreach, SEMCOG Member Services, Walkability bikeability) Permanent link

 

August 27, 2014 -SEMCOG is assisting the City of Inkster with a community engagement process (also known as a charrette) this week. Part of SEMCOG's contribution is a collection of community maps that give residents tangible information and a medium for input. This four-day effort will result in a revitalization plan for the city that engages residents; elected officials from the city, county, and state; city administration; and other community and business stakeholders at every stage of the process.

 

Michigan State University Extension is coordinating the effort and ensuring that the process includes and engages block clubs, community and business groups, faith-based leaders, and others who want to see the city rebound from its current challenges. Goals include creating value in the neighborhoods, connecting neighborhoods to retail areas, reclaiming Michigan Avenue as a place for transit and pedestrians, growing local jobs, and streamlining city services to provide value to residents and businesses.

 

Let’s celebrate Inkster’s 50th anniversary by supporting its leaders and residents as they build on the city’s rich history and assets such as its active churches, library, fire department, recreation center, golf course, and its strategic location on Michigan Avenue. This is an excellent example of proactive leaders making positive change happen – from the ground up. As Inkster Mayor Hilliard Hampton said during his welcome, the city could have developed its own plan but wanted to make sure that Reinvent Inkster was a plan that residents helped create.

 

SEMCOG has more information on engaging citizens to help inform decision-making. Here are some photos from the Inster charrette:

 

Knezek in Inkster
State Representative David Knezek

 

Hampton and others
Mayor Hampton with other leaders

 

Inkster residents with maps
Prioritizing feedback from residents

 

Inkster residents
More than 50 residents attended the Asset Mapping workshop

 

 

 

 

ÒNaheed
Naheed works with SEMCOG members on community and economic development and workforce issues. She coordinates the joint SEMCOG/MAC Talent Task Force, which develops policies and plans for creating the workforce needed for a changing economy. She also helps communities with strategic planning. Naheed has a MasterÕs degree in Public Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics.

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Celebrating (and financially supporting) the natural resources in Southeast Michigan!

(Environment, Green infrastructure, SEMCOG Member Services) Permanent link

 

August 26, 2014 -The natural resources of Southeast Michigan, particularly Lake St. Clair, had a really cool opportunity to shine last week. Representatives of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board were in Macomb County to take a tour that had them on a bus, a boat, and on their feet. The tour showcased the natural resources being maintained by local authorities and shed light on opportunities to protect them and increase public access.

 

New Baltimore was the jumping off point for these tours – and, no surprise, they did a fantastic job of welcoming the board members. Amy Mangus, SEMCOG’s Plan Implementation Leader, has been talking about the exciting projects being planned and implemented in New Baltimore for awhile. New Baltimore is like many of those small towns right on a lake you might see when traveling around Michigan. The downtown has many new, hip restaurants and ends right at Lake St. Clair with a new transient marina, beautiful beach, and many local festivals.

 

Maintaining, restoring, and expanding publicly accessible natural resources in Southeast Michigan are key to sustainability, success, and quality of life in our region. Kudos to New Baltimore for their hard work in pursuing this goal!

 

MNRTFB

 

Amy
Amy has been with SEMCOG for over 20 years. Much of that time has been spent working the member relations beat. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring SEMCOG member communities are represented on SEMCOG's General Assembly, that these local officials are aware of SEMCOG benefits, and that they know how to access the benefits. She oversees the processes that govern the organization and assists members in participating on SEMCOG governing bodies. Amy has a Master's degree in Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University.

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Spotlight on Chrysler Beach – Marysville, St. Clair County

(Environment, Green infrastructure, SEMCOG Member Services, Stormwater management) Permanent link

 

August 20, 2014 - My colleague and carpool partner Bill Parkus recently spent some time in Marysville talking with city officials about environmental projects that may be eligible for grant funding. While he was there he got a tour of Chrysler Beach where Marysville is investing in its St. Clair River waterfront!

 

One of few sandy beaches on the river, this location was once a proving ground where Chrysler outboard motors were tested. Bill was really impressed with the existing riverwalk and planned improvements, such as a St.-Clair-River-inspired playground area, fish cleaning station, concessions, and enlarged boat access. He took a picture of the beginnings of a rain garden – near and dear to us at SEMCOG. The rain garden will be both beautiful and functional ‒ filtering stormwater runoff from the parking lot which will improve water quality in the river and reduce beach closures.

 

After talking to Bill, I went to Marysville’s website and found the waterfront has additional features complementing the beach, including a large grassy area and a gazebo (good spot for freighter watching!). The website also notes that additional vegetation is being planted to deter geese congregation.

 

The close proximity we in this region have to “big water” like the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers and Lake St. Clair is special – get outside and enjoy nature!

 

 

ÒAmy
Amy has been with SEMCOG for over 20 years. Much of that time has been spent working the member relations beat. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring SEMCOG member communities are represented on SEMCOGÕs General Assembly, that these local officials are aware of SEMCOG benefits, and that they know how to access the benefits. She oversees the processes that govern the organization and assists members in participating on SEMCOG governing bodies. Amy has a MasterÕs degree in Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University.

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