Traverse City commissioners set goals to improve city

Traverse City commissioners discussed priorities for the city on Saturday.

The Traverse City City Commission held a study session Saturday morning to discuss and prioritize goals for the city.

The meeting was held at the Clinch Park Marina Harbormaster Building and was not televised, but it was open to the public. The study session had some controversy surrounding it because of concerns about public awareness and the format of the meeting, itself. Commissioners anonymously submitted their ideas and priorities to a consultant, Mary Grover, who mediated the discussion, but each commissioner took responsibility for their ideas at the meeting.

Commissioner Ross Richardson, who initially voiced concerns about the meeting, characterized discussions as informal and said that it went well.

Topics of conversation included infrastructure as it relates to transportation and water, public safety, and economic development.

The three-hour meeting started from a broad spectrum, but commissioners narrowed the goals down to three top priorities: Infrastructure of streets, with an emphasis on walkability and sidewalks; The usability of parks to Traverse City residents; A more focused economic development plan for the whole city, rather than just downtown.

Commissioner Richardson said that the next step will be to consider how these ideas can fit into the city's budget.

The next commission meeting will be Monday, February 10th from 7-9 p.m. at the Traverse City Governmental Center.