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Gilchrist praises partnerships and progress during tour of Rogers City

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan, left, welcomes Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist to Rogers City on Monday. During a Team Rogers City meeting in May, Gilchrist said on Zoom that he would visit the city. He made good on his promise and received a tour of the city.

ROGERS CITY — During a Team Rogers City meeting in May, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist made a promise to visit.

He made good on his promise Monday, as he came to tour the city and see firsthand the progressive measures taken by community leaders to help Rogers City grow, and prosper.

A stop at Hoeft State Park to say hello to members of Huron Pines was first on Gilchrist’s agenda. Gilchrist learned more about the organization, whose primary goal is to maintain and protect the region’s lakes, rivers, and forests, and he thanked them for their drive and commitment.

Gilchrist, who was raised in Detroit, said he had never been to the Rogers City area, and was impressed with the work Huron Pines is doing. He said the natural resources in Northeast Michigan are one of its most significant selling points.

Gilchrist told the crowd that his wife was jealous that he was able to visit Northeast Michigan and she wasn’t.

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan, left, and Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist stroll down one of the trails at Hoeft State Park on Monday. Gilchrist also visited the harbor, the newly installed electric car chargers, and had lunch at a local small business.

Gilchrist said partnerships are critical for communities to thrive, and the partnership between Rogers City and Huron Pines is a good example of what is possible when entities work together.

“We can always do more and go farther when we go together,” he said. “Clearly the leadership, along with others, have been aggressive in acquiring partners and we all need to be creative in our partner strategy as much as we are in our investment strategy in our policy discussions, I think. I think that’s what is going to lead to the kind of growth that is transformational. That’s what is happening in Rogers City.”

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Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan was the tour guide for the afternoon, and an afternoon lunch at the Lighthouse Restaurant gave the two men an opportunity to discuss issues, such as high-speed internet expansion, and to bounce ideas off of one another.

Gilchrist said he was impressed with what is transpiring in the city, and vowed to share its stories and successes with others in Lansing.

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, left, and Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan thank members of Huron Pines for the work they do to protect the area’s natural resources. Gilchrist said partnerships are the best way to bring people together and accomplish great things.

At the end of his tour, Gilchrist said he understands why people want to live and visit.

“It’s welcoming and it’s beautiful,” he said. “I can sense in this community how much fun it is to live and visit here. That kind of spirit of community is really at the core of what makes our smaller towns so special. That is why it is important to me, as a public servant, to make sure communities like this know that we support them and want to make success more accessible.”

Before continuing his trip to the Upper Peninsula, Gilchrist made a quick stop at the harbor and to the new electric car chargers installed downtown. He said he drives an electric vehicle, and showed McLennan the app he uses to find charging stations when he needs one.

McLennan said having Gilchrist make good on his promise to visit means a lot to him and the residents, and being able to show him the progress the city is making was rewarding.

“He made a commitment to come and visit and he is a man of his word,” McLennan said. “We are very pleased to have him. There are often times Northeast Michigan is a forgotten portion of the state, but not from the Lt. Governor. He is here to make a difference.”

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, left, and Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan check out the newly installed electric car charging stations in the city. Gilchrist, who drives an electric car, said more investment in the infrastructure needed for operating electric vehicles needs to be a priority.

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