Business Leaders Not As Pessimistic As They Were
Among Business Leaders for Michigan members, 44% believe the state’s economy will get worse in the next six to 12 months and 57% believe inflation will go down.

These are among the findings from a survey of BLM members who collectively represent 40% of the state’s economy and whose businesses pump $1 trillion into the economy.

The numbers show business leaders are not as pessimistic as they were even three months ago.

At the end of 2022, 46% felt the economic picture would stay the same or get better, but the number is now 54%. Another 48% believe the national picture will improve, which is up from the decidedly lower figure of 36% last time the survey was taken.

In Q4 of 2022, 64% projected the country’s economy would be getting worse in the coming six to 12 months. In Q2 of 2023, that number has shrunk 13 percentage points to 51%.

Among those asked, 82% said they believe they will be hiring more, but that continues to be a challenge as executives find the trained talent pool to be at a low ebb. A 70% majority expect challenges in hiring skilled workers to fill the open jobs.

As for expanding their operations and making more capital investments, 82% report they will increase or decide to stay at current levels.

The internal member survey was conducted between March 21 and April 3.

Local Proposals Number 192 For May Election
An expected 192 local money requests will be taken up during Tuesday’s statewide local elections, including 43 bonding proposals, 52 millage renewals, 38 restorations and four new proposals. 

The largest requests on the table Tuesday are bonding requests, including a $550 million bonding proposal to defray rebuilding and construction expenses for Utica Community Schools in Macomb County. 

Other large proposals include: 

– A $242,945,000 bonding request for Saginaw Township Community Schools, with bonds lasting 30 years. 

– A $155,775,000 bonding request for Grand Haven Area Public Schools. 

– Two $148,000,000 bonding requests to West Bloomfield School District. 

– A $134,400,000 bonding request to Northville Public Schools. 

– In total, 45 requests are over $10 million, including 37 bonding requests. The other large sums are for millage restorations, increases and renewals. 

– The largest non-bonding related proposal is a $41,229,000, 18-mill restoration that would last 20 years and benefit Utica Community Schools. 

In total, education-related proposals account for over half of the local money requests, with 115 proposals relating to schools. 

Fire and roads were the next-highest categories, with 21 and 13 requests, respectively. 

Houghton County had 15 proposals, while Allegan County reported 13 funding requests and Kent County had 10. 

Fouts Ineligible For Another Mayoral Run, Court of Appeals Says
As reported by Gongwer, long-time Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is ineligible to seek a fifth term in 2023 following an amendment to the Warren City Charter in 2020, a Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday.

In Warren City Council et. al. v. Buffa et. al. (COA Docket No. 365488), a per curiam panel ordered Warren City Clerk Sonja Buffa to immediately disqualify Mr. Fouts from seeking the office.

Mr. Fouts was elected mayor in 2007 and planned to seek a fifth term. In 2020, the Warren charter was amended to allow a person to serve as mayor for only three terms. The Warren city attorney said in an opinion that Mr. Fouts was eligible to seek a fifth term, opining that the proposal was confusing for voters, and they may not have understood the proposal.

A lower court said the charter language reflected no clearly manifested intent for term limits to include prior terms served.

Judge Mark Cavanagh, Judge Elizabeth Gleicher and Judge Colleen O’Brien disagreed.

"We conclude that the charter sections’ failure to specify that time in office before the 2020 amendment will be counted does not make them ambiguous. Nor do we find dispositive the fact that the ‘terms served prior’ language was not in the ballot proposal question itself, where the language actually was on the ballot within the proposal section," the panel wrote. "Additionally, a prospective application of the charter is applied here, and its reliance on antecedent events does not run afoul of the general rule against retroactivity. Accordingly, for the reasons stated, we reverse the circuit court’s grant of summary disposition to defendants, and grant the Council’s complaint for writ of mandamus."

Mr. Fouts did not immediately return a request for comment.

Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) and former Rep. Patrick Green of Warren are running for mayor this year.


DCD Lobbyist Jake German, Heather Rae, CEO of Common Ground, State Senator Jeremy Moss, Elizabeth Crenshaw, District & Constituent Services for Senator Moss, Christine Burk of Oakland Community Health Network, and Senator Mat Dunaskiss enjoyed a tour of Oakland County’s own Common Ground at the Resource and Crisis Center in Pontiac on Friday, April 28th.


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