A lot of positive things happen during the calendar year of local government, but sometimes those good things get lost when it comes to public appreciation. There are times when public officials — from department heads to the top of the pack — forget the importance of transparency and good things are overlooked when it comes to keeping citizens informed.

Which brings us to Menominee Mayor Jean Stegeman’s annual State of the City roundup at a recent city council meeting. She listed a batch of affirmative items that deserve public attention and appreciation. 

The mayor cited what she termed “overwhelming generosity,” which benefited the community in the past year. The Triangle Park project was completed as the result of a grant allocated by the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development (CUPPAD) agency and a gift from the James Stang family. CUPPAD contributed $5,000 and the Stang gift was $7,000.

Triangle Park sits in the heart of the city’s traffic network on 10th Street (U.S. 41) between 18th and 20th avenues. Thousands of vehicles drive past the park daily. The city made some major improvements at the park, which has given the site a fresh look.

The mayor noted the police department received a $25,000 gift from Burt and Parry Schuring to help launch a K-9 program. Hopefully, the program will pick up momentum in 2020 and the funds necessary to jump-start the project will be realized.

An anonymous family donated $42,600 to spruce up the well-worn municipal band shell, which has been a community landmark since the late 1930s. The landmark has hosted an incalculable number of guests for a multiple roster of events over the years.

The John and Julie Henes Foundation provided $700,000 for a number of projects at Henes Park, the city’s showcase for public and private social and recreational events since the picturesque strip of land hugging the Green Bay shoreline was donated to the city in 1906.

Stegeman also reminded the council — and the public — of a $3.8 million gift from the Loren Klar estate. The generous donation is to be used by the city’s recreation department and Spies Public Library, an earmark of funds that is certain to benefit thousands of people, from local citizens to visitors.

Aside from other happenings in the city during 2019, we think the mayor’s report on gift-giving contributions that will put smiles on thousands of faces, deserves special attention. We join all City of Menominee residents in expressing appreciation to the gift-givers for their unselfishness and their efforts to benefit all citizens and visitors to the community.