City Commission Worksession Minutes 03-07-2022

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                               CITY OF MUSKEGON
                         CITY COMMISSION WORKSESSION

                                Monday, March 7, 2022
                                       5:30 p.m.
                              City Commission Chambers
                        933 Terrace Street, Muskegon, MI 49440


Present: Mayor Johnson, Vice Mayor German, Commissioners Gorman, Emory,
St.Clair, Hood, and Ramsey

Attorney General Opinion on Open Meetings Act

City Attorney, John Schrier, presented information on the recent opinion from
Michigan’s Attorney General on the Open Meetings Act. Staff shared ideas on how to
accommodate more public participation at city board and commission meetings and is
seeking input from the commission on which proposals to pursue.

Social Sandbox Concert Series Fundraiser Request

Mr. Terry Puffer, through his non-profit organization, Lakeshore Legacy Project, is
proposing a recurring concert series to take place downtown at the Downtown
Muskegon Development Corporation owned lot known as the Social Sandbox. The
organization is requesting the City agree to match their fundraising efforts to put on the

Mr. Puffer is proposing a concert series citing the city’s Downtown Development
Authority in the document but is asking for any eligible city funds to assist as match
dollars. Staff is proposing that the commission determine willingness and limitation, if
any, to assisting with this event. Mr. Puffer was in attendance to present information on
the program and to answer questions.

This item will appear on the agenda on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 for further

Ride Muskegon Operating Agreement

City staff updated the proposed operating agreement with Ride Muskegon, LLC to
operate a scooter rental business in the City and we are seeking approval. Ride
Muskegon, LLC is locally owned and operated. We have incorporated a number of
changes requested by the City Commission last year. This is latest the agreement can
reasonably be approved if they are to acquire the scooters in time for the summer
season. We are finalizing a list of locations and will have that available for the
Commission meeting.

This item will appear on the March 8, 2022 agenda for further consideration.

Neighborhood Engagement Training Proposal

Information was presented on a proposal to offer training that will educate our neighbors
on communication with staff, boards, and elected officials with the goal of strengthening
the representation and voice of our neighbors, especially those who rarely participate.

Laketon/Lakeshore Trail Connector

Staff is working towards submittal of a grant application to provide funding for
construction of a new non-motorized trail within the City along Sanford and Terrace
Streets that would serve as a connector between the Laketon and Lakeshore Trails. A
resolution of support for the grant application is on the agenda for tomorrow night and
staff is seeking commission/community feedback prior to the adoption and submittal.

Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Update

Staff presented updated information on progress with the Government Alliance on Race
and Equity work.

The leadership team has completed the pre-work and is working with the consultant
who is leading the Ottawa County team through the GARE program. The Core Team is
meeting more frequently to complete the assignments given by the consultant. Our must
recent effort is working toward creating an equity vision statement. The team
               • How do you define equity?
               • What are the desired results?
               • What would the results look like?
               • What are desired outcomes?
Our draft equity vision statement began with the city’s current vision statement and was
built through the exercises noted above.

Current vision statement: Muskegon, the Premier Shoreline Offering a Vibrant,
Affordable and Ethnically Diverse City where Citizens Feel Safe, Enjoy Their
Neighborhoods and Have Access to Their City Government.

Draft equity vision statement:      Muskegon is an ethnically diverse city where
everyone is valued as an individual, access to city services and programs is universal,
people are engaged in community building, and the diversity of the community is
reflected in the city’s businesses, events, boards, commissions, and staff.

Staff is seeking input on potential changes to the city staff’s organization.

The division heads have been discussing changes to the staff organization with
particular emphasis on changes to community engagement. Other small changes to
Public Safety and Development Services are planned as well. There are three main
options being presented to address community engagement, each with their own merits.

Option 1:     Create a new Community Support and Engagement Division which would
include three main functions – communications, city clerk, and parks and recreation

Option 2:    Create a Parks and Recreation Department within the Municipal Services
Division. Enhance communication efforts through additional staff in the Clerk’s office.

Option 3:    Create new Community Support and Engagement Division which would
oversee the City Clerk, small business incubators, and community engagement.
Enhance park management by adding an assistant parks supervisor.

The leadership team seeks input from the commission on the best direction forward to
enhance our outreach to and connection with the community. Leadership will work
together to determine details, phasing, and timing for implementation. Each option will
have budget impacts that need to be considered. Commissioners seemed to favor
Option 1.

Height Overlay District

The Imagine Muskegon Lake plan suggests creating a height overlay district on Nelson
Street to allow three-story houses to increase lake visibility. The Lakeside Form Based
Code allows three story residential buildings in the Lakeside Mixed Residential contact
area. The code was written in 2019 and used the Imagine Muskegon Lake
recommendation in the development of the ordinance. Staff is looking for approval from
the Commission to go to the next Beachwood-Bluffton neighborhood meeting to discuss
this proposal.

Public Comment:      Public comments were received.

Adjournment: The Worksession meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

                                                  Respectfully Submitted,

                                                  Ann Marie Meisch, MMC – City Clerk

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