Banner Image

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Miss Rogers City at "Light Up the City"

Thanks to Miss Rogers City Rachel Lewendowski and her Court for helping with "Light Up the City."
It was a great event!  More pictures will be posted of the "Parade of Lights" and the Optimist Club Tree Lighting.  Thank you Optimists Club Members and all who helped.  

Appointment to Fill Vacancy of a City Council Position

The names of the six people who have submitted a letter seeking appointment to the City Council vacancy are: Ted Urban, Jr; Wendy Martin; Dick Bennett; Dana LaBar; Don Kromer; and Brian Chabot.  Per the City Charter, City Council must appoint a replacement to fill the vacany not later than December 2, 2010 (within 30 days from the vacancy).

The Council is planning a special meeting either Wednesday, Dec 1 or Thursday, Dec 2, to make the appointment.

If you have comments concerning any of the applicants and wish to have your comments know to City Council, please contact Theresa Heinzel as soon as possible.

Monday, November 29, 2010


If you need help paying your heating bill, then read below for a possible source of assistance.
Help is available through July 31, 2011 or "Until Funds Are Expended."

Serving the Following Counties: Alcona, Alpena, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, and Presque Isle.

Program Guidelines:

 Electricity or Natural Gas: Service must be in applicant’s name and be in threat of shut-off or already disconnected.

 Propane or Fuel Oil: Fuel in tank must be at 25% or below or the provider must be threatening to lock the tank or remove the fuel for non-payment of a balance owed.

 Firewood: Wood must be primary heat source and supply must be extremely low.

 Applicants must meet eligibility guidelines.

 Current DHS Decision Notice may be required in certain circumstances.

Potential applicants can call Beth to be prescreened at 471-3277 or toll-free 866-270-0687. If eligible for an application one will be mailed or faxed at the applicant’s request.

NEMCSA does not discriminate based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, familial status, or disability.

Michigan Municipal League's CEO Dan Gilmartin on Financial Challenges

Below you will find a nice summary of comments from Dan Gilmartin, the CEO for the Michigan Municipal League (MML). Dan's got a great perspective on the current financial troubles facing communities all across Michigan and how it relates to state government.  This is must reading for any Michigan resident concerned about the future of our state and for citizens seeking government reform.  The comments below are quoted from MML:

November 23, 2010 15:00 by Matt Bach

Michigan Municipal League CEO Dan Gilmartin was the focus of a recent article on the financial challenges facing Michigan cities. The article in the Michigan Report by Gongwer News Services was posted online Nov. 22, 2010 and is only available to Gongwer subscribers. If you’re a Gongwer subscriber go here to view the story. But if you’re not a Gongwer subscriber let me summarize what it says.

The news angle for the piece was about the City of Hamtramck looking to seek bankruptcy protection and Gilmartin explained that many Michigan communities are struggling financially and looking at a variety of options. He said other cities and villages throughout the state have cut emergency services, ended services and closed parks as a way to keep their budgets balanced. "There's a number of communities around state that are in difficult straits," Gilmartin explained.

Gilmartin then explained how revenue sharing to Michigan communities has been continually cut by the state further adding to the financial difficulties. "The state has basically been balancing its budget for the last decade on the backs of locals," Gilmartin said. "That exacerbated the problem from the economy."
The term “revenue sharing” is a misnomer because the funds were intended to replace taxing authority that was taken from local governments. "It's not really a sharing situation; it's a partnership," Gilmartin told Gongwer. "That was a partnership that worked for decades, but when the state ran into its own problems, it hijacked the funds that came to locals."

Also adding to the financial challenges are current state laws in place that make it difficult for communities to consolidate services and save money. "If the state would allow for local units to do more in terms of consolidating services without holdups, we would be better off," he said.

Gilmartin also talked about the new leadership coming to Lansing and how the League and Michigan communities are “cautiously optimistic that we’ve got a group that’s going to listen to us in January.” He hopes the changes will get broad support because the fiscal problems are hitting communities of all shapes and sizes. “It’s not just core cities; it’s extending to the suburbs,” Gilmartin said. “They are not able to provide the levels of services that quite frankly will make us competitive.”

Matt Bach is director of communications for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at mbach@mml.org or (734) 669-6317.

Mark's "two cents:"

First cent: Rogers City is not near to bankruptcy, but we have made cuts to services.  We have lost one police officer position and two public works positions through retirees not replaced.  We have reduced operational budgets.  We are subsidizing our Marina from the general fund.  The City Council has taken proactive steps to help our community become more efficient.  Together with other local partners, Rogers City has reformed fire and ambulence services, establishing  government "Authorities."  We have also invested in the most needed infrastructure. We are operating on a very thin margin.  If there were to be new major revenue reductions (revenue sharing cuts or loss of property tax revenue), then we will have no choice but to cut the city's work force further.  From what Gilmartin says, Rogers City is better off than many other cities.

Second cent: State government has an opportunity to restructure and reform.  This must be done for the long term health of local and state government.  We had a saying in the military: "it is above my pay grade."  At this time, none of us have the luxury of passing the buck.  Each person should demand the new state legislature and governor accomplish needed reforms within a year.  Certainty is the "mother's milk" of economic growth and development.  Swiftly done reforms will estalish certainty for the market place.  We need a simple, rational, and fair method to raise revenue and allocate expenses for state and local government.  Eliminate the current state revenue sharing formula, the Headlee Amendment, and Proposal A.  These forula were based on the asumption of ever increasing sales and property value.  We know those assumptions are no longer valid.  Give each community a fixed value for every dollar of sales tax raised in that jurisdiction.  For purpose of illustration only: if sales tax is six cents per dollar, then the state gets two cents, schools get two cents, a city would get one cent, the county a half a cent, and village or township a half cent.  Real property tax would be set by local control and subject to the local voters.  Locals know what they would be able to raise and what they need to spend.        

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Transfer Station Holiday Schedule Change

Due to the holiday schedule, the Rogers City Transfer Station will be open from 3-6 pm on Thursday December 23 and 30, 2010.  The Transfer Station will not be open on Saturday, December 25, 2010 (Christmas Day) or Saturday, January 1, 2011 (New Year's day).

ShopMIDowntown Holiday Challenge--Prizes!

Rogers city is part of a coalition of statewide groups issuing the “ShopMIDowntown Holiday Challenge” to all Michigan residents. The “ShopMIDowntown Holiday Challenge” asks individuals and organizations to do at least 75% of their shopping this holiday season in downtowns and
Michigan Main Street© Districts.  Rogers City is an Associate-level Member of the Michigan Main Street Program.  The great news is that you can win a great prize for your local shopping efforts!

Go online and share your favorite downtown Rogers City holiday shopping experience this year to become eligible for a random drawing that offers five weekend getaway packages at Michigan hotels.

For more information, please go to


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall Colors

Adele Woskobojnik graciously provided these image of fall colors in our area.  Alas, they are done for this year, but I couldn't resist sharing them with you.  Here are some more:

Thanks Adele.

Monday, November 15, 2010

2011 Presque Isle County Plat Book

Here is the Cover for the 2011 Presque Isle County Plat Book.  The plat book will be coming in January 2011 and will be available at the MSUE office in the county courthouse on the third floor.  The cost will be $28.00 + $3.00 shipping/handling. 

The Plat Book is a great reference for anyone interested in Presque Isle County.

Presque Isle County Doing Great Things!

Just in case you had not noticed, Presque Isle County is a great place with lots of great things happening.  To find out more about the quality of life and the business opportunities here, please go to the Presque Isle County Development Commission Website:


Pictured here is the historic Presque Isle County Courthouse.  In the foreground is the veteran's war memorial.  Rogers City is proud to be at the seat of County government. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Light up the City

Please consider participation in our traditional "Light Up the City" Event.  This great event, sponsored by the Optimist Club and the Chamber of Commerce, will be even better this year.  Starting at 5:30 pm, the Chamber and City will sponsor a "Parade of Lights" from The Waters Edge Restuarant to Westminster Park, where the "Light Up the City" takes place.  You are welcome to join the "Parade of Lights"--please contact the Rogers City Area Chamber of Commerce for more information and to participate in the parade.

Roger Wenzel to Referee State Finals

Please join me in congratulating Roger Wenzel, Director of Public Works, on his selection to be the Head Linesman for the High School Football Finals at Ford Field.  The semifinals and Championship game are on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Roger will be referee for at least one of these games.  He will not know which one until Monday which game he will officiate.  Roger has been a high school referee for over 20 years and a high school football referee for 18 years.   

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

It has been said: "Freedom is not free.  It must be watered by the blood tyrants and of those willing to sacrifice themselves for liberty." 

Today is Veteran's Day.  I am a veteran and proud of my service, but today is a day to remember and to honor those who paid the ultimate price for America.  My service was a gift and a blessing to me.  The service of those who died was a sacrifice, a blessing to all of us.  May Americans always remember and honor those brave men and women who gave the "last, full measure of devotion" for our freedom.

May God Bless America.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


 What is the "ShopMIDowntown Holiday Challenge"?

It is a campaign challenging Michigan's residents to buy all of their holiday shopping dollars in Michigan’s downtowns and Michigan Main StreetSM districts. We have created a Facebook page for the campaign where we are asking people to post pictures and video of their favorite downtown stores. Please review the ShopMIDowntown contest rules. People who post pictures or video will be automatically entered into a random drawing to win an overnight stay at one of the following establishments:

The Ramsdell Inn in downtown Manistee The Doherty Hotel in downtown Clare

The National House Inn in downtown Marshall

The Water Street Inn in downtown Boyne City

The Courtland Carriage House Bed & Breakfast in downtown Hart.

Manistee, Clare, Marshall, Boyne City and Hart are recognized Michigan Main Street© districts.

To find out more go to: http://www.michiganmainstreetcenter.com/ShopMIDowntown.aspx

Rogers City is a Michigan Main Street Associate community.  I hope Rogers City residents will step up to the ShopMIDowntown Challenge and do all of their holiday shopping in downtown Rogers City.  Our great stores feature all sorts of gift ideas for your family.
Please post your shopping pictures to both the Michigan Main Street and the Rogers City's facebook fan pages.
Shop Michigan.  Shop Rogers City.  Have a Happy Holiday Season--with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Notice of Position--Deputy Clerk/Treasurer

The following position is available at City Hall:  Deputy Clerk/Treasurer

Duties: Performs a variety of clerical and bookkeeping functions in support of government operations at the direction of the City Clerk/Treasurer. Provides administrative support, answers telephones, assists customers at the counter, responds to emails, and receives/processes payments. Responsible to enter confidential data into Police computer files. Serve as secretary to various boards and commissions: preparing meeting packets, attending meetings, and taking minutes.

Required Qualifications: High School graduate; previous experience in clerical or administrative support; one year of college or secretarial/accounting/bookkeeping training. The position requires competency in computers (Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer), typing, and other clerical skills. Excellent written and oral communications skills are necessary in this position. The position requires the ability to listen and successfully respond to customer concerns, to remain calm and confident, and to follow instructions. The position requires the ability to prepare accurate records and reports as directed.

Preferred Qualifications: Associates Degree and/or mastery level computer skills.

Working Hours, Salary, and Benefits: Union position. Starting pay is $11.74/hour with normal hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Overtime time hours as directed. Standard benefits.

Where to Apply: Application forms may be obtained from City Hall, 193 East Michigan Avenue, Rogers City, MI 49779. Successful applicant must pass a post offer, pre-hire physical exam, credit check, and background check. The City of Rogers City is an equal opportunity employer.

Deadline: Completed application form, a one-page resume, and a list of references must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., November 29, 2010 at City Hall. Mark application package Attention: City Clerk/Treasurer. Interview required.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mayor Hall Testifies at Michigan Senate Hearings on Bond Financing

Here is another great image from Mayor Hall's visit to Lansing.
The gentleman speaking to the Mayor is Norm Saari, Chief of Staff for Senator Jason Allen.

Mayor Hall Testifies at Michigan Senate Hearings on Bond Financing

Below is a press release from the Michigan Municipal League on Mayor Hall's testimony:

LANSING, Michigan (11/5/2010) – Rogers City Mayor Beach Hall testified before the state Senate Finance Committee Thursday about the need for a package of bills that changes municipal bond refinancing rules.

Hall testified along with Summer Minnick, director of state affairs for the Michigan Municipal League and Howell City Manager Shea Charles. The three explained that the bills (HBs 5550-5554) are needed to help communities in these challenging fiscal times. The bills would allow local communities to refinance their existing bonds, essentially enabling them to obtain lower payments in order to survive financially. With the drastic reduction in property values, which bonds are based on, and the $4 billion in statewide cuts to revenue sharing, many communities have not been able to generate the funds needed to pay the bonds and have had to drain their general funds to help cover the cost of the bond payments – resulting in cutting critical services.

Hall said he made the 250-mile trek from his northern Michigan community to Lansing specifically to testify because he views this issue vitally important to his community and other Michigan communities.

“This can rescue a local community, it really can,” Hall said.

Minnick said the League has been encouraging change to municipal refinancing laws for a couple of years to give communities more flexibility in refinancing existing non-voted debt.

“Our communities are facing some tremendous financial hurdles right now and these bills should help considerably,” Minnick said.

Charles of Howell added, “These bills would greatly benefit all Michigan communities.”

The bills have already passed the state House and having a hearing before the Senate finance committee was a great step forward in the process, Minnick said. There was a substitute adopted by the Senate committee that made minor changes to the approval process and Minnick said she is optimistic that the bills will be approved at the next Senate finance committee next week. Once that occurs, the full Senate will need to take a vote and the House will have to concur before it goes to the Governor for her signature.

End of Press Release.
Please contact your state Senator and ask him or her to support this important legislation. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fire Department Wedding--Ashley Skowronek

Here is a great picture of Rogers City Fire Fighter Ashley Skowronek pictured with her wedding party in front of one of the Rogers City Area Fire Department Authority (RCAFDA) fire trucks.  We could call this "Wedding 1." 

This picture shows the wonderful people who live, work, play, and marry in our community.  Oh, by the way, this is one "fire" that nobody wanted to put out....

Chamber of Commerce Dinner--Big Success

Last evening over 100 of Rogers City's business and community leaders gathered at the Rogers City Area Senior and Community Center to celebrate our business community.  Chamber of Commerce President Bill Depsey, introduced Ray Spain, the new Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce.  Ray brings many strengths to this challenging position. I've already seen Ray show positive leadership and energy.  Welcome Ray!

The dinner was served by a host of friendly staff and the food from the Senior Center kitchen was hot and tasty.  The party proceeded with award of various raffle prizes.  Many people won a token gift, or in my case a funny gag gift--a bottle of "Slownoff" (sounds like like Smirnov) Vodka.  The sound of my name is the Russian word for elephant.  So, the logo on the bottle of Slownoff Vodka was a pink elephant with the message "fill up your trunk."  Ray gave me this gift because we were brain storming economic development ideas, and I had suggested that Vodka could be made using locally grown food, like potatoes or corn.

Anyway, the evening was great fun with Mike Ridley performing the after dinner entertainment.  No group was spared Mike's lampooning wit.  Mike is a very talented artist--you should see him perform.

Well done! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Veteran's Day--November 11, 2010--is Coming

Shown here is Rogers City's Avenue of Flags.  Consider showing the flag at your home or office for Veteran's Day, Thursday, November 11, 2010.  May God bless all veteran's and their families. 

May God Bless America.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kiwanis Halloween Parade and Party--Big Fun!

The weekend was quiet and all through the streets not a creature was stiring...well, not exactly.  Thanks to the members of the Rogers City Kiwanis Club and the Key Club for putting on a great Halloween Parade and Party.  Also, a big thanks to the Miss Rogers City Queen's Court for leading the Halloween Parade.  Finally, thanks to the Rogers City Fire Department for the use of the Fire Hall for the party.  When the pictures come in, I'll show you how "spooktacular" it really was! 

Cedar Street and Community Development

Cedar Street is now open to traffic.  If you are travelling in the area, please be very cautious and watch out for continued construction activity.  

There have been delays to the Cedar Street work due to underground conditions discovered during excavation.  These conditions included an underground spring which flooded the sewer trench and a layer of extremely dense "hard pan" which took some extra work to excavate.  With determination and resourcesfulness, Mr. MacArthur and his crew worked through the challenges. 

Most of the new water and sewer lines are now in place in this area.  Storm drainage work and surface grading is still in progress. Unfortunately due to the delays, paving will have to wait until next spring.  This may cause some challenges to local residents and users, but it will result in better compaction of the subgrade as many vehicles drive over it during the next few months.  Sorry for any inconvience to travellers in this area. 

The Cedar Street area was selected for work due to the poor condition of existing infrastructure and because it may provide opportunities for community development at reasonable costs.  The area has a mixture of occupied and vacant lots, some commercial lots with high visibility from US-23 and some nicely wooded and quite lots suitable for single family homes away from the highway.   

Because of Federal rules associated with the grant financing used, no special assessments may be charged for these improvements.  Therefore, once the project is completed, these lots will have  high quality utilities and new roads available at no extra cost to the property owners.  Any developers interested should check with local realtors about the availability of this property.

Blog Archive