Huntington Woods City Manager Alex Allie Discusses Millage Campaigns Photo by Michigan Municipal League
About 25 municipal leaders from throughout the state attended a “Millage Matters Workshop” by the Michigan Municipal League in Lansing, Friday March 25, 2011. The event gave the ins and outs on having successful millage and ballot campaigns. With the state of the current economy, Michigan community leaders are looking at every way possible to maintain services to their residents while also balancing their budgets. This includes cutting expenses and looking at various ways to maintain or increase revenues. Roger Martin, a partner with Martin Waymire Advocacy Communications, talked to the group about the steps needed to have a successful campaign. Some of the key steps are answering a series of questions: What is your policy goal/solution?; Who will work to pass it and oppose ?; How will you fund the campaign?; Can it pass, what does the research show?. There are also several other key pieces to a successful campaign including having a strong coalition and organization to staff the campaign; having committed volunteers; having strong public relations and “earned” media; and having events to raise money and awareness of your issue. Following Martin’s presentation the audience heard from three officials had had recent successful millage campaigns. The three panelists were Alex Allie, Huntington Woods city manager; Lathrup Village Mayor Frank Brock and Susan Rowe, Wayne city council member and a trustee on the Michigan Municipal League Board. Each panelist talked about their campaigns and things they learned through the process. “You don’t have to have a lot of money for a campaign,” Rowe said. “It’s all about communication with the voters – knocking on doors. That’s the key – talking.” Learn the latest about revenue sharing, the medical marijuana issue, Public Act 312, the Urban Cooperation Act and other issues facing Michigan communities during the League’s annual Convention April 4-6 in Lansing. For details go here: www.mml.org/events/conference/index.html. For more about the League and what we do go to mml.org.