A message from Ludington mayor-elect Steve Miller.

November 27, 2018

Steve Miller

A message from Ludington mayor-elect Steve Miller.

Letter to the Editor.

In the not so distant past, our city’s population topped 10,000 residents.  The large employer base was vast: the Consumers Power Hydroelectric Plant, Dow Chemical, the C&O Railway, Harbison-Walker, Thompson Cabinetry, Atkinson Mfg., the City of Ludington, Merdel/Carrom, Star Watchcase, to name a few.  Today, just over 8,000 people live within the city limits.

From the days of 16.2% unemployment in 2010 to today, to survive, the city has been forced to undergo a dramatic “business model” transformation.  People were once attracted to Ludington because they could find good-paying, year round employment. This was a great place to live and raise a family.  Jobs were plentiful, pay was good, the streets were safe, and the schools adequately prepared our kids for whatever was to come next for them. And, as a bonus, without fail we offered a summer experience that attracted people from all over, one year after another.

Today, Ludington is still very much that same great place to live.  As of August of this year, the unemployment rate sets at 3.6%. The streets are still safe.  And, year after year, the schools continue to graduate a new class of young, inspired adults, each tasked with the responsibility of continuing our legacy and tradition.  

While there are still a handful of employers offering job opportunities needing a large employee base, for the most part, that employer model has been replaced by “single door” businesses (the revitalization of South James Street, with its rebirth of retail shops, is a quick visual example).  

Who are these new model business owners?  They are folks who grew up here, left to make their mark on the world, and are now looking to return to the area to settle back in their hometown.  They are summer visitors, who saw what we enjoy here, chose our town over all the other viable options, and want to join us permanently. They are longtime residents, seeking to bring their enterprising venture dreams to life.  

The growth of Ludington is predicated on fostering the dreams of “investors”, appreciating their choice, and maintaining the atmosphere of support and opportunity.  At the same time, we must recognize and value the efforts of the townspeople that have made Ludington their home their entire lives. It’s their history, their sacrifices and endeavors that command our collective respect, for without their love and labor, we wouldn’t be standing at the threshold of such great growth potential.

As mayor, it is very much my intention to encourage the development of Ludington; to offer my vision of continuing our heritage of perseverance, foresight, and achievement.  Combining the necessary growth in population with a respect for personal histories requires a tactful balance. To execute any plan effectively, especially one involving the collective citizenry, open two-way communication becomes a requirement.  

I’ll be offering my plans, concepts, and thoughts on a regular basis via printed and online media, scheduled radio appearances, and through my mayor’s Facebook postings.  I welcome any and all input/comment.

I fully encourage the empowerment of the city’s residents to offer their ideas and feedback.  Paraphrasing the words of a respected mentor, “We can all agree on the good things. But, if I don’t know what you don’t like, I can’t help to bring about a better understanding for all of us.”

Feel free to contact me.  You can expect respectful and factual responses to your views.  All I can ask is that you present your replies and opinions with the same regard.  Please note: giving acceptable, detailed responses on social media, within 140 characters, is rarely satisfying to either party.

Steve Miller, Mayor Elect

City of Ludington

507 E. Court St.

Ludington, MI   49431




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