Dan Gilmartin at Michigan Municipal League Region 5 Education Seminar in Marine City
The Michigan Municipal League’s Region 5 Education Seminar took place Wednesday, May 18, 2011 in Marine City overlooking the St. Clair River and Canada. The event drew about 30 MML members and highlights included the City of Vassar’s Chill on the Hill event winning the Region 5 Community Excellence Award and presentations by League CEO Dan Gilmartin and Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Vassar’s “Chill on the Hill” event (main.cityofvassar.org/index.php?option=com_events&tas...) that included a 1,000-foot-long sledding hill down the city’s main street took home the Region 5 CEA honor in a spirited, peer-selected competition. The first-time Chill on the Hill event took place in February and exceeded expectations drawing 830 sledders and upward of 2,500 spectators. Even local businesses ran out of food for the large crowds. Also competing for the CEA honor was the City of Algonac Pool Project, which was presented by Algonac City Councilmember Gary Tuzinowski and supporters Bill Gratopp and Beth Engel. The $355,000 project included rebuilding the 50-plus year old pool house and giving the pool universal access to those with disabilities. It took about a year to raising the funds for the work from a variety of sources, Tuzinowski said. The League’s Region 5 covers the state's Thumb area and the counties of Huron, Tuscola, Lapeer, Sanilac, and Saint Clair. In a 5-minute presentation, Vassar City Manager Julius Suchy detailed the huge undertaking involved in winter Chill on the Hill festival, including bringing in and out truck loads of snow, arranging with MDOT to have the road temporarily closed for the event and working with the insurance company to address liability concerns. As the Region 5 winner, Vassar now has a chance to win the statewide CEA honor in the Michigan Municipal League’s “Race for the Cup” competition. Read more about this peer-selected “Race for the Cup” contest that recognizes outstanding community services, projects and programs. Vassar will next compete against the winners of the other 6 regions during the League’s annual Convention Oct. 4-7, 2011 in Grand Rapids. Register online for the 2011 Convention starting June 1. Other Regional winners so far are Ludington www.mml.org/newsroom/press_releases/2011-5-13-region3-cea... (Region 3); West Branch (Region 6) and Southfield (Region 1). Other speakers during the Region 5 meeting were League Board President and Alpena Mayor Carol Shafto; Marine City Manager John Gabor; Tony Minghine, associate executive director for the League; Arnold Weinfeld, of the League, and Summer Minnick, director of state affairs for the League. The regional 5 event was among seven regional seminars the League is doing throughout the state as part of our 2011 MML Tour: tour.mml.org. The Tour culminates in October with the 2011 League Convention. Follow the tour on Twitter at #mmltour. Find out more about the MML Tour here: www.mml.org/events/regional/index.html to learn more about the League and what we do go to mml.org.