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Manistee County Board Approves First Strategic Plan


The Manistee County Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved the first comprehensive strategic plan in the County's history. 

"This plan was developed with input from dozens of stakeholders throughout the County and is our agenda for the County," said Board Chair Kenneth Hilliard.  "We hope it unifies interests around a vision and goals that are critical to our economic well-being and quality of life.  In completing the plan, we recognize and applaud transformative efforts that are underway throughout the County. Our aim with this new strategy is to compliment and support those efforts while addressing county-wide priorities. This is a living, breathing strategy and we welcome the participation and ideas of all interest at any time."

The County Board's vision is that: "Manistee County and its many stakeholders are unified around strategies and plans that create places and opportunities that attract families, businesses, jobs and visitors, supporting a consistent upward trend in the County's prosperity."

The plan has goals, strategies and action steps for six areas of focus: economic and community development;  government operations; employment and training; health and human resources; infrastructure; natural resources; and recreation.

"It's a tribute to our County Commissioners that they completed months of painstaking work to secure input from County stakeholders to develop this comprehensive plan with the help of the Alliance for Economic Success," said Tom Kaminski, County Controller/Administrator. "In completing the plan, the Commissioners identified where they can take direct action to achieve goals and where they should exert their leadership to affect programs, policies and partnership to benefit the County."

Kaminski said that some of the priorities include: completion of strategies to support manufacturing and agriculture; making the entire county "development ready" in ways that are appropriate and supported by communities; creating diverse and affordable housing; and taking steps to support a four-season economy. The County Board expressed support for expanding educational opportunities, including the "cradle to career" goals of Launch Manistee, a collaborative program coordinated by the Manistee County Community Foundation. The strategy also calls for plans to support infrastructure like municipal sewers and water supplies, roads and non-motorized transportation, Manistee's deep water port and Manistee Blacker Airport.

"This is the new playbook for our Commission, County government and many of our partnering organizations," said Hilliard. "The Strategic Plan sets a high bar for progress that our county, residents, businesses, nonprofit organizations and visitors deserve."

The Strategic Plan was unanimously approved by the County Commission that includes Commissioners Alan Marshall; Mark Bergstrom; Jeffrey Dontz; Jim Krolczyk; Richard Schmidt; and Brook Shafer in addition to Chair Kenneth Hilliard. The Strategy was facilitated by the Alliance for Economic Success. The Plan will be reviewed and modified, if needed, on an annual basis by the Commission.

Copies of the Strategic Plan can be available online by going to or by contacting the office of Tom Kaminski at 231-398-3504.



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