Grand Haven Wins 2010 Community Excellence Award at Michigan Municipal League Convention
The City of Grand Haven has won the 2010 Community Excellence Award in a statewide vote of Michigan Municipal League members. The annual statewide competition recognizes outstanding community services, projects and programs. It’s the highest award bestowed on a community by the Michigan Municipal League. Seven finalists – one from each of the League’s seven regions – were chosen as inspiring examples of what Michigan communities can accomplish through dynamic leadership, creative vision and collaborative effort. Grand Haven (http://www.grandhaven.org/news/84/198/) was selected by popular vote in the Race for the Cup competition during the League’s 112th Annual Convention Sept. 21-24 in Dearborn. Grand Haven won for its creative graphic design to communicate its annual city goals. Grand Haven's entry, "Vivid and Lively Goals," beat out six other regional winners to claim the Michigan Municipal League's Community Excellence Award. The city's entry emphasized the importance of effective communication of the city council's goals to city staff. Mary Snedeker, an administrative assistant with the city, produces a vivid image of the city's goals, which is framed and hung in all of the city's departments. The purpose of the initiative is to continually remind staff of the council's direction and help measure progress toward the goals. Snedeker accepted the award along with numerous other Grand Haven officials including, Grand Haven Mayor Roger A. Bergman; Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis; and Grand Haven Mayor Pro Tem Mike Fritz. The other six statewide finalists were the lakefront city of Harbor Beach for rebranding itself with an annual Maritime Festival that draws thousands of people to Michigan’s thumb each summer; Monroe for turning an old, deserted industrial site into a new national park that now serves as a prominent city entryway; Saginaw for implementing a recycling program that dramatically reduced landfill waste in just two months; the Village of Kingsley for building a state-of-the-art $1.3 million library and municipal center without raising local taxes; East Lansing’s for its Technology Innovation Center that has become an incubator for technology-based businesses by offering space and resources for technology start-ups; and St. Ignace for forging a unique partnership of private, state and federal entities, to develop a new bus station for a public transit network linking the region to the entire state. Read a Muskegon Chronicle story about Grand Haven’s win: www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2010/09/grand_haven...

Other regional nominees that did not make the list of seven finalists but still were strong projects were Howell’s street and walkway improvements; Garden City’s regional fire service; Eastpointe’s police and community multicultural program; DeWitt’s open access playground; Kentwood’s district library; Evart’s “Shop Local” campaign; Rothbury’s ethics policy; Marshall’s after-school arts apprenticeship program; Sturgis’ Helping Hand program; Baraga’s “Super Supplier Network” of local businesses; and L’Anse’s MEDC/MDOT collaboration.
Don’t forget to tell the Michigan Municipal League (mml.org) about a project in your community that you’re excited about, by nominating it for next year’s competition. Go here for details: www.mml.org/awards/cea.html.
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