Tuesday, April 14, 2015, marked the end of an era for the Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA). It marks the first day that the TIFA Board will be operating without Mr. Thomas A. Tanghe as Executive Director. After 14 years of visionary leadership, Tom resigned from the Executive Director role to focus on his new position as City Manager. During his tenure as Executive Director, the TIFA Board took on a very proactive role in the City’s development. Throughout those 14 years the TIF’s successfully reinvested tens of millions of tax dollars in the installation and maintenance of various city amenities and infrastructure. Examples include investments ranging from landscape improvements and water mains, to a parking structure, and the future amphitheater and river walk projects. Most recently, TIF funding was used to partner with the Michigan Department of Transportation on the State’s first Diverging Diamond Interchange. Now for the sports analogy. April 14, 2015, marked the passing of the baton on to Donald K. Grice, Assistant City Manager. Along with the passing comes the uncertainty of a new team member. Much like the next runner of a relay race, the exchange comes with the pressure of supporting the team. That pressure varies from race to race depending on your standing at the point of exchange. If the previous team member has failed to perform and you are way behind, the pressure is low, it can be easy to shine, make up lost ground. However, what if the team member passed you the baton and you are in first place, winning? At that point the pressure is extremely high to remain in the lead and not let the team down. This is where Tom passed the baton; the TIFA Board is at the top of its game, winning, and the pressure is on to keep them there. As the new TIFA team member, I will do my best to keep us in the lead, winning. On April 14, 2015, I gladly accepted the baton and I’m heading into the next turn.
Don Grice, Assistant City Manager