Sunday. October 24, 2021

Government

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa12UaR_kO0&feature=youtu.be
https://twitter.com/PolarBarrett/status/1097654830775054336
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PMN
@PolarBarrett

Last night's meeting included an extensive presentation of the city's Master Plan Parks and Recreation plan and extensive public and Commissioner comments about providing shelter for the homeless in weather emergencies. As always, Kalamazoo's Public Media Network (PMN) provided high quality live video, now posted for everyone to see. MLive's Malachi Barrett also tweeted a summary of the shelter conversation. 

Published: February 19, 2019

PMN @PolarBarrett
https://kalamazoo.novusagenda.com/Agendapublic/
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Agendas

The 6pm “Neighborhood Meeting” will include presentations from the Parkview Hills Neighborhood Association, K College Council of Student Representatives, and WMU Student Association. The 7pm “Regular Meeting” will include a public hearing on the resolution to adopt the 2019-2023 Parks and Recreation Master Plan and 10-Year Strategic Vision, after which the Commission will vote to approve. Links to parks plan in agenda.

Published: February 18, 2019

Agendas
https://wwmt.com/news/local/michigan-issuing-march-and-april-food-assistance-benefits-early
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WWMT

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will issue March and April food assistance benefits early to reduce the gap between benefits payments that resulted from the partial federal government shutdown. Food assistance recipients can expect to receive next month’s benefits on March 3, 4 or 5. April benefits will be issued from April 3-12 and May payments will be issued as regularly scheduled. MDHHS made changes to the schedule so that families do not have to go more than 45 days without receiving food assistance.

Published: February 18, 2019

WWMT
http://www.wmuk.org/post/kalamazoo-county-gets-peoples-law-firm
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WMUK

Kalamazoo County has signed a contract to set up a new, independent office that will represent criminal suspects who can't afford an attorney. Kalamazoo County Commission Chairwoman Julie Rogers says the need was clear: 90-percent of the roughly 3,000 criminal cases in Kalamazoo County every year involve people too poor to hire a lawyer. Kalamazoo Defender’s executive director, Josh Hilgart, says it will handle cases with a holistic model that's the first of its kind in Michigan.

Published: February 18, 2019

WMUK
https://wkzo.com/news/articles/2019/feb/14/mccann-challenges-legislation-on-environmental-regulations/
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WKZO

WKZO:  Kalamazoo State Senator Sean McCann is proposing legislation that would scrap a bill approved by the legislature and signed by Former Governor Snyder just before he left office. It would prevent State agencies from adopting stricter environmental and other state regulations than federal standards, unless there is a clear and convincing need. McCann says it ties the hands of Governor Whitmer and any future Governors, and puts the interests of industrial polluters over the safety of the public.

Published: February 14, 2019

WKZO
https://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/michigan-republicans-kill-gov-gretchen-whitmers-environmental-overhaul-plan
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Bridge

Michigan Republicans on Thursday thwarted Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to overhaul the state’s environmental department — a reshuffling she has called crucial to responding more quickly to widespread water contamination and addressing climate change. In a 22-16 party-line vote, the Senate approved a resolution to “disapprove” her executive order. It was the first time since 1977 the Legislature rejected a governor’s executive order. While the DEQ overhaul is wide-ranging, Republicans have largely focused on the elimination of business-friendly panels lawmakers created last year to oversee agency decision making.

Published: February 14, 2019

Bridge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7lVmrJ6dtE&feature=youtu.be
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Video

K County government video updates are back. County Board chair Julie Rogers and vice-chair Tracy Hall review recent events, comment on local issues, and preview upcoming County Board items. These video messages help fill a gap in government-to-community communication and often provide clarity on future agenda items. 

Published: February 14, 2019

Video
https://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/attorney-general-dana-nessel-may-review-michigan-minimum-wage-sick-leave-laws
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Bridge

BRIDGE: Michigan Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel said Wednesday she will consider weighing in on the legality of Republican laws passed last year that gutted proposed ballot efforts intended to raise the state’s minimum wage and require employers to offer paid sick leave. The question, raised in a letter by state Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, has swirled since last fall: Can the Legislature enact and change citizen ballot petitions in the same legislative session under Michigan’s Constitution?

Published: February 13, 2019

Bridge
https://kalamazoo.novusagenda.com/Agendapublic/
https://www.kalamazoocity.org/ffe
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Agenda
FFE

The Foundation for Excellence (FFE) Board of Directors Finance Committee will meet on 2/21 and the full Board on 2/25. Both meetings are open to the public and include a comment period. FFE was in the news recently for funding free bus fares for KPS students (beginning 9/19) and for beginning a capital campaign to help refill the Foundation’s coffers. Detailed agendas, if published, will appear at the link below.

Published: February 13, 2019

Agenda FFE
http://www.publicmedianet.org/kalamazoo-city-commission-february-4-2019-meeting/
http://www.publicmedianet.org/kalamazoo-county-board-of-commissioners-february-5-2019-meeting/
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PMN City
PMN County

Kalamazoo's Public Media Network (PMN) posts high-quality gavel-to-gavel video of every City and County Commission meeting. Many citizens complain about a lack of local government transparency, but few attend the meetings where decisions are made. PMN  makes it easy for everyone to view those meetings, get to know their elected representatives, and see how those decisions are made. View the February 4 and 5, 2019 City and County meetings at the links below. 

Published: February 10, 2019

PMN City PMN County
https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2019/02/kalamazoo-county-offers-70k-to-settle-lawsuit-with-sheriffs-political-rival.html
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MLive

MLIVE: A political opponent of Kalamazoo County Sheriff Rick Fuller could receive a $70,000 payout to settle a federal lawsuit alleging Fuller removed Swafford’s police powers as punishment for challenging the sheriff in the 2016 Democratic primary. The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners approved the settlement with Swafford and his campaign committee on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Corporation Counsel Elizabeth White said a settlement agreement will be drafted, signed by both parties and filed in U.S. District Court to close the case.

Published: February 10, 2019

MLive
https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2019/02/kalamazoo-county-uses-state-law-to-push-for-answers-from-treasurer-under-investigation.html
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MLive

MLive: A state law was invoked by the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners this week to require Treasurer Mary Balkema to answer questions about the statutory duties of her position. The Board said the move was separate from the ongoing State Police investigation into accounting abnormalities in the treasurer’s office. Commissioners said they seek to answer long-standing questions about the treasurer’s authority, including what happens to properties that are not sold at foreclosure auctions. MLive provides extensive reporting and background.

Published: February 07, 2019

MLive
http://www.wmuk.org/post/kalamazoo-commissioners-pleased-winter-response-look-improve
https://twitter.com/PolarBarrett/status/1092600980733083653
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WMUK
@PolarBarrett

At the February 4 City Commission meeting, Commissioners addressed the city's response to providing shelter during the recent cold weather emergency, when local organizations took the lead to save lives. WMUK reports that, "Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain says better cooperation between the city and social service agencies is the key to protecting the homeless and other vulnerable residents. He says the city will work with them and residents to find ways to handle future weather emergencies better." Malachi Barrett (@PolarBarrett) tweeted that Commissioners Cooney and Urban want to see a formal action plan for future weather events.

 

Published: February 06, 2019

WMUK @PolarBarrett
https://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/new-emails-show-michigan-gop-used-maps-consolidate-republican-power
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Bridge

BRIDGE: State Republicans resisted, and Federal judges rejected the Michigan AG's attempt to settle a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s GOP-drawn legislative districts. The case goes to trial Tuesday, January 5. New evidence submitted on the eve of the trial appears to strengthen the claim the maps were drawn in 2011 for partisan, Republican gain. Emails and other documents filed over the weekend in federal court show that Republicans saw the redistricting process as a way to consolidate its power and ensure a GOP majority in the state house, senate and the U.S. Congressional delegation.

Published: February 04, 2019

Bridge
https://www.michiganadvance.com/2019/02/03/barnes-elected-mdps-first-black-female-chair/
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MI Advance

MICHIGAN ADVANCE: Lavora Barnes made history Saturday as she became the first African-American woman to lead the Michigan Democratic Party. “It’s a huge deal,” she said. “I’m trying not to cry, because this is a big deal for me and my mother — the fact Michigan, of all places, has never had a black woman [MDP] chair. We are the backbone of this party. We do the work. We knock the doors. We make the phone calls. And the fact that we have someone finally who looks like us and leading this party is huge for me.”

Published: February 04, 2019

MI Advance