TCAPS Releases 2016 Community Report

Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) is pleased to announce the release of the 2016 TCAPS Community Report. The report contains stories and information about the district's successes over the last year.

"As a community, we can be proud of the education our children receive," said Paul Soma, superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools. "There are so many notable achievements in our schools that are only made possible because we live in an invested, supportive community. We want to ensure that everyone is aware of the important work happening in our schools and is able to share in our collective successes."

The report is available electronically and in select locations throughout the region. View the report here:

Moderated Panel Discussion on Proposal 3

This past Tuesday, November 1st the Noon Rotary Club of Traverse City moderated a discussion on Proposal 3 to help inform members on the proposal up for vote in Traverse City on  Tuesday, November 8th. Below is a summary of the discussion courtesy of the Noon Rotary Club of Traverse City.

Jeff Hickman moderated an informative discussion on Proposal 3 between John DiGiacomo and Brenda Quick. John is a partner with Revision Legal, an intellectual property firm. Brenda is a Professor of Law Emeritus at Michigan State University College of Law.

Proposal 3 states:  

Proposed amendment to add a requirement to Section 28 of the City Charter of Traverse City that approval by a majority of the electors at a regular or special election must occur prior to approval by the City or City Commission of the construction of a building with a height above 60 feet.

Shall the Charter of the City of Traverse City be amended to add the following paragraph to Section 28: "It is hereby declared that buildings over 60 feet in height are generally inconsistent with the residential and historical character of Traverse City. Therefore, any proposal for construction of a building with a height above 60 feet, shall not be approved by the City or City Commission, until after the proposal is submitted to and approved by a majority of the City electors at a regular election, or at a special election?"

John is opposed to Proposal 3 and Brenda Quick is in support of Proposal 3.

  • Each was allowed a 7-minute introduction followed by a 2-minute response to questions previously gathered from Rotarians.

John focused on the small town character that Traverse City has. He mentioned that a lot of people contribute to small town character, saying its “good people doing good”. What is under threat is our zoning process. He believes this process is wrong. He mentioned the review process conducted by the city sounds thorough. He stated that Save Our Downtown does not address any of the elements that Judge Roberts stated in his ruling. He stated that this process works and there is no reason to change the process.

Brenda stated that this is legal. The Pine Street project did start this, but it is about buildings that are over 60 feet tall. She went on to say that people come to Traverse City because they have certain expectations and tourism brings in over $1.1 billion a year. The success of our area is about maintaining Traverse City as a tourism destination. The decision to do something is crucial because “building a tall building is irreversible.”

  • Question posed to each presenter: Why should or shouldn't voters be allowed to decide the future of TC and the character of the city with a direct vote? 

Brenda stated that the big issues should to be voted on by the voters, not by 7 commissioners. A recall is too slow and the damage will already be done. Give people the right to vote.

John stated there is no support for this issue and it is unlawful. “Ask a lawyer.”  There is the possibility that voting can be made based on discrimination. Only 27% of the population came out to vote in the last election and elections are costly.

  • Question posed to each presenter: Why are the systems in place such as elected officials, zoning ordinances, paid staff and various boards to deal with matters such as these not satisfactory as they are in most areas?

John stated that they are good enough, these people care and give a lot of time to do good things.

Brenda stated it went to court and it was decided that the decision made by the commissioners was wrong. Her position is that she is not satisfied that things have been done right.

  • Final remarks:

Brenda just wants a right to vote. We want small town character to still be here and just want a voice.

John asked “Are you going to do something illegal and unlawful to stop one development from happening?”

2016 Annual General Membership Agenda

View the TAAR Annual General Membership Meeting Agenda HERE


And don't forget to bring an item of greatest need  and/or a few dollars  to support needy families:

  • Canned Meats (e.g. Tuna or Chicken)
  • Canned Meals (e.g. Beef Stew, other protein-based canned meal)
  • Canned Soup (protein-based, not vegetable)
  • Toilet Paper
  • Personal Care Items (Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Feminine Hygiene products)
  • Pasta Sauce (like Spaghetti and Alfredo sauce)
  • Boxed Mac & Cheese

All donations  will go to support Food Pantries in a six county region (Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford County) through the Northwest Michigan Food Coalition.  Project sponsored by the TAAR Young Professionals Network.  Click Here   for more information on the Food Drive

Urban3 Joe Minicozzi Presentation Recap

Below are a  few tidbits from Joe Minicozzi's  (Urban3)  final presentation at Lars Hockstad Auditorium  Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 on Grand Traverse County's tax base study. To watch  Joe's full  presentation you can  stream it online at, courtesy of UpNorth Media Center:

  • Joe spoke directly to the City of Traverse City's  Proposal 3  asking that we, as a community, take data into consideration of any potential building height restrictions, citing the results of  building height restrictions in Boulder, Colorado.
  • He urged that we, as a community, think about all the infrastructure (water pipes, fire hydrants, etc.) it takes for people to live further and further from a central city, township, or village downtown. The further people live outside of the main city center the more it costs the city to build and maintain infrastructure for these residents.
  • Joe stated that in terms of tax-base your downtown is your golden goose. Less infrastructure costs, more tax revenue.
  • Joe also presented Henry George's  Land-value tax, known as the 'Single-Tax.' Henry George's land-value tax argued that all land should be taxed equally regardless of the value of buildings, personal property or other improvements on the land.
  • Finally Joe called for us to "do the math." To have an open conversation about how some things are built inefficiently and to look at our city as a diverse topography designed to best serve our community.

2017 Michigan REALTORS® District Director Election Results

The Michigan Realtors® 2017 District Director Election results were announced during the delegate body meeting at The Convention.

Congratulations to:

  • District 1 - Meagan Luce

  • District 4 - Tom Darger

  • District 6 - Natalie Rowe

  • District 9 - Maureen Francis

  • District 11 - Jamie Iodice

  • District 14 - E-Toile Libbett

The following NAR Director candidates were elected to serve in 2017:

  • Stephanie Jones - Small Board

  • Alex Milshteyn - Medium Board

Thank you to all who ran for election and to our members who voted.

Joe Minicozzi Grand Traverse County Tax Base Study Presentations

Great article in the  Traverse City Ticker  this morning on Joe Minicozzi's Grand Traverse County tax base study presentation yesterday evening at the State Theatre,

Don't miss his final two public presentations today 9:30 am at the Traverse Area District Library (610 Woodmere Avenue, Traverse City) or tonight 7 pm at Lars Hockstad Auditorium - Central Grade School (301 Seventh Street, Traverse City).

Homes Are Getting More Affordable

According to new analysis of American Community Survey data,  housing affordability is finally showing signs of improvement.  Cost-burdened households (spent more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing costs) dropping from 34.6 percent in 2014 to 33.6 percent in 2015,  according to Jed Kolko, chief economist at job site Indeed, and senior fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

Cost-burdened renters (spent more than 30 percent of their incomes in rent)  also dropped from 50 percent in 2014 to 49 percent in 2015, which is the lowest percentage since 2008, according to Kolko’s analysis.

Also, single-family home ownership rose from 65.2 million owner-occupied single-family houses in 2014 to 65.7 million in 2015, the greatest rise since 2007. 

To learn more check out The Wall Street Journal's article "U.S. Households Make Long-Awaited Gains in Housing Recovery"

Sources: National Association of REALTORS® and The Wall Street Journal


We have a great NO COST DOUBLE SESSION Lunch and Learn  on  Thursday,  October 6th  at  TAAR  (852 South Garfield Avenue, Traverse City) hosted by  our  friends  SendOutCards     entitled "Relationship Marketing Seminar." This Seminar will provide you with a ton of valuable information.

From 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm  - Learn how many business professionals have up to a 98% Referral Based Business using these:

  • Skills & techinques to grow your business through referrals
  • How planting a TOMAto garden can help your business grow (it's not what you think!)
  • Why saying thank is so important & easy ideas how
  • Beware of Chocolate Frosted Dog Crap! Are you doing  THIS  to your clients?
  • Other strategies and helpful hints to help you build your business through referrals

From 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm  - By POPULAR demand: a A BONUS seminar on using SendOutCards:

  • Sending a card from the App on your smartphone!
  • Walk through sending a card on the website
  • How to set up and send a single campaign and/or a multiple touch card campaign
  • How to send a gift with your card
  • Putting your contacts into groups for ease of access
  • Bring your laptop and your smartphone!

The event is open to all TAAR  REALTORS® and TAAR Affiliate Members. Lunch is Provided.

RSVP HERE TODAY  to reserve your spot

NO COST Safety Session TODAY and Next Tuesday at TAAR!

We have a great TAAR Safety Series Session at  TAAR  (852 South Garfield Avenue, Traverse City)  TODAY   Thursday, September 29th  from  10 am to 11:30 am  presented by  Grand Traverse County Sergeant, Preston Taylor,  where you will learn Safety tips to share with your Sellers & the Safety talk you need to have with your clients.

RSVP for TOMORROW's Safety Session HERE

Next  Tuesday, October 4th  from  10 am to 11:30 am  we have another great  TAAR REALTOR® Safety Series Training Session with  Scott Sieffert, the CEO & Head Personal Safety Instructor at The Discerning Shootist, where you will learn about:

  • Crimes against homeowners: Nationally vs. Locally
  • What to look out for
  • Tools you can use
  • How to get started

RSVP for the October 4th Safety Session HERE


Both events are open to all TAAR REALTORS® and TAAR Affiliate Members. 


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