Chamber forum to focus on regional planning issues

Regional transportation and environment issues will be among the key topics Jan. 10 at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber Legislative Forum at Crystal Gardens 16703 Fort St. in Southgate.

Paul Tait, executive director of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, will be the featured speaker. SEMCOG is a regional planning partnership of more than 155 member local governments and is the designated metropolitan planning organization for transportation planning and decision-making in the seven-county greater Detroit region.

Tait, who joined the agency 36 years ago and has served in several planning and administrative roles, has been executive director since 1998. He oversees a staff of 80 and a budget of $13 million.

Some of the issues the agency is involved with include transportation, air quality, water quality, solid waste, land use, community and economic development and data collection.

Cost to attend the SWCRC forum is $15 a person. Registration opens at 11 a.m.; lunch follows at 11:30 a.m. The program will begin at noon and conclude by 1 p.m.

Advance registration is requested by calling the chamber office at (734) 284-6000. Businesses and individuals interested in being a sponsor for the Jan. 10 business forum or future chamber forums can contact forum coordinator Mary Jarosz at (734) 479-0156 to obtain the details. Sponsors receive promotional benefits and also can participate in a preforum reception with the guest speaker.

Local high school students also are invited to attend. To sponsor a high school students’ table call the chamber at (734) 284-6000.

Crystal Gardens is just north of Pennsylvania Road. Additional information on chamber membership and the group’s other activities is available online at