The latest Michigan Public Policy Survey shows that for the first time since 2009, more Michigan communities say they are better able to meet their fiscal needs than those who say they are less able to do so.
For six years, a University of Michigan team from the Ford School's Center for Local, State and Public Policy has been doing regular "temperature" checks with elected and appointed leaders of more than 1,800 local governments around Michigan.
Tom Ivacko is with the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School. He says the data indicate an important development as the state recovers from the Great Recession.
On the other hand, Ivacko says, the report also shows that improving local government's fiscal health can be a slow process.
Although local jurisdictions are just starting to increase pay rates for their employees, Ivacko believes citizens may see improvements in public service at a relatively slower rate.
* Listen to our conversation with Tom Ivacko above.