Monday. October 25, 2021

Government

https://www.kalamazoocity.org/news/416-informational-meeting-on-downtown-construction-projects-to-be-held-march-20
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City

Downtown Kalamazoo is preparing for a busy 2019 construction season. Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership and the City of Kalamazoo will be hosting an informational meeting to review this season’s schedule and outline the projects being undertaken to facilitate new growth and development. Project impacts and the measures being taken to ensure that disruptions are minimized will be detailed and there will be an opportunity to have your questions answered. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 20 starting at 5:00 p.m. at Anna Witten Hall (202 N. Rose St). Presentations will begin at 5:15pm, followed by an open house for questions.

Published: March 04, 2019

City
https://kalamazoo.novusagenda.com/Agendapublic/
https://www.kalamazoocity.org/calendar
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Agendas
Calendar

The City Commission has published the agenda for its Monday, March 4 meeting. Additionally, the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board will meet Tuesday, March 5, and the Planning Commission Thursday, March 7. All meetings are open to the public. All city agendas (if published) appear at the link below. Dates, times, and locations can be found at the calendar link.

Published: March 01, 2019

Agendas Calendar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4ZiQmUOFco&feature=youtu.be
https://kalamazoocomi.civicclerk.com/web/home.aspx
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Video
Agenda

Chair Julie Rogers and Commissioner Michael Seals provide a five-minute video preview of topics that will be discussed at the two March 6 County Board meetings. These previews are very helpful, as the agendas themselves don't always have enough context for the uninformed to understand what's going on. Find the video and the agenda page at the links below. 

Published: March 01, 2019

Video Agenda
https://kalamazoomi.iqm2.com/Citizens/Board/Vacant
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Be a local superhero

KNM: There are currently more than 70 vacancies across more than 15 city government boards, commissions, and advisory committees. These citizen-led groups set priorities, make important decisions, and provide advice and items for approval to the city. Understaffing of these groups diminishes the influence of Kalamazoo citizens on the current and future direction of our city. Most of the groups meet once a month or less frequently, making them an easy fit for most people’s schedules. If any vacancies match your passion or your expertise, you may be the hero the city is waiting for.

Published: February 28, 2019

Be a local superhero
https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/02/two-michigan-republican-lawmakers-go-against-trump-in-border-wall-emergency-declaration.html
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MLive

West Michigan congressmen Fred Upton and Justin Amash were among 13 House Republicans to vote for a resolution to try to block President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to build a border wall. The vote, held Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the U.S. House, was 245-182 in favor of the Democrat-sponsored resolution to terminate Trump’s declaration and prevent him from using funds targeted for other programs, according to The Hill.

Published: February 27, 2019

MLive
https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2019/02/kalamazoo-county-officials-want-to-bring-back-criminal-justice-council.html/
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MLive

Kalamazoo County officials are working to revive an abandoned intergovernmental criminal justice council. Kalamazoo city and county governments were among five communities nationally chosen to participate in a 2018 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation program focused on reducing incarceration and negative effects that jail overuse has on communities. Kalamazoo County Board Chair Julie Rogers said local elected officials and law enforcement officers are building on the year-long effort to collect data and implement best practices at the jail.

Published: February 27, 2019

MLive
https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2019/02/new-development-standards-would-protect-kalamazoos-natural-features.html
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MLive

A draft document shows how the city of Kalamazoo plans to prevent developers from encroaching on natural features enjoyed by conservationists and local residents. The City Commission is a few months away from voting on new development standards required by the city’s master plan. A draft of changes to the city’s zoning ordinance published online Feb. 15 shows a new overlay district would protect parcels in areas with wetlands, woodlands and slopes. The ordinance would impact all areas designated as "Natural Features Protection" areas in the city's 2017 Master Plan map.

 

Published: February 26, 2019

MLive
https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2019/02/no-reason-absentee-voting-begins-for-michigan-residents.html
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MLive

Michigan voters now do not need a reason for requesting and filling out an absentee ballot for future elections. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Flint Township Clerk Kathy Funk announced at a joint press conference that as part of the citizen-led ballot proposal that passed last November that this is the first day citizens can request absentee ballots for no reason. “In the first election since November ... voters will have the opportunity to vote from home (without providing a reason),” Benson said. This change is expected to bring up voter turnout across the state.

Published: February 25, 2019

MLive
https://www.kalamazoocity.org/news/413-draft-2019-2023-consolidated-plan-2019-action-plan-available-for-review-and-comment
https://www.kalamazoocity.org/docman/community-development-documents/consolidated-plan/5113-draft-2019-2023-consolidated-plan-py2019-action-plan/file
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Comment
Plan

The city seeks public comment on the Draft 2019-2023 Consolidated Plan & 2019 Action Plan. Part of federal HUD funding qualifications, the plan identifies five-year goals for funding and outlines the City’s strategy (past, present, future) to address the housing and community development needs of its low and moderate income families and individuals.

Published: February 25, 2019

Comment Plan
https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2019/02/record-of-ice-holds-at-kalamazoo-county-jail-kept-in-the-dark.html
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MLive

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s office is declining to release details about inmates held at the request of U.S. immigration enforcement officials, citing federal law. The stance, immigrant rights advocates say, makes it impossible for the public to have a “clear picture” of how the county treats those cases.  Adrian Vazquez, director of local nonprofit El Concilio, said it is hard to know how many people were held for less serious, nonviolent offenses without seeing ICE records. MLive was denied access to the information. Lisa McGraw, public affairs manager for the Michigan Press Association, said taxpayers should know who is being kept in their jails, though the county acted within its right by withholding the information.

Published: February 21, 2019

MLive
https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2019/02/west-michigan-cancer-center-pulls-back-request-for-kalamazoo-arena-tax.html
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MLive

MLIVE: The West Michigan Cancer Center pulled back its request for a ballot proposal asking voters to fund a downtown Kalamazoo event center with taxes. The cancer center’s Board of Directors revised a deal offered earlier this month to swap ownership of a parking lot in exchange for an adjacent county-owned parking lot and a restaurant and hotel surcharge ballot proposal. Instead, Kalamazoo County will negotiate the purchase of the parcel owned by WMCC near the Park Trades Center. MLive's story includes an interactive map that sorts out who owns the undeveloped parcels in Arcadia Commons, the proposed location of the event center.

Published: February 20, 2019

MLive
https://www.woodtv.com/news/kalamazoo-and-battle-creek/kalamazoo-eyes-emergency-shelter-partnership/1794645429
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WOOD

WOOD: The city of Kalamazoo is calling on other governing bodies for help in creating a larger-scale plan for the next time a weather event triggers an emergency. City Manager Jim Ritsema hopes to sit down with administrators in Kalamazoo County, Portage, Kalamazoo Township and Comstock Township to open a dialogue and create a partnership to approach this issue. "This issue knows no boundaries. It's a county issue in the sense of geographically, so we need to all come together as partners. The county has social services. The city, we don't provide social services, but we have other areas we can help in as far as infrastructure and public safety to help on this,” Ritsema said.

Published: February 20, 2019

WOOD
https://www.mlive.com/news/2019/02/trump-national-emergency-unconstitutional-michigan-attorney-general-dana-nessel-says.html
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MLive

MLIVE: Michigan has joined 15 other states in seeking a court injunction to stop President Trump from declaring a national emergency to access funds to build a border wall. The lawsuit filed Monday seeks to “protect revenue, natural resources and economic interests” from Trump’s “flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers," according to a press release from the Michigan Attorney General’s office. “This fake emergency is a publicity stunt that will raid our federal funding and cost us millions,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

Published: February 19, 2019

MLive
https://www.kalamazoocity.org/news/410-join-the-city-of-kalamazoo-s-complete-streets-advisory-committee
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City

The City of Kalamazoo recently approved a Complete Streets Policy (draft here), which is intended to provide for safe and convenient access to all parts of the City by respecting the needs, capabilities and limitations of all users of City rights-of-way. This policy establishes an advisory committee made up of advocates, residents, and a planning commissioner. This committee will be responsible for reviewing best practices, education and outreach, and recommending priorities for street projects. 

Published: February 19, 2019

City
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In its 2017 Master Plan draft, the city provided a map indicating their intent regarding future land-use around the city, including currently undeveloped land. This map included an overlay designated “Natural Features Protection” (NFP). Intended to limit the extent to which new development could clear-cut and pave over currently natural areas, NFP proved to be too vague in 2018, when pitted against development plans for the corner of Drake Road and Stadium Drive, which abuts the Asylum Lake Preserve.

Published: February 19, 2019

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