New addition to development department glad to be part of a ‘happening’ city

By Ian Perrotta

If you’ve been to City Hall lately, you might have noticed a new face.

In April, the city hired Susie Stec to be the Community and Economic Development (C&ED) Coordinator. The newly created position blends the duties of the former administrative assistant to the C&ED Department with a more active role that includes grant writing and dealing with zoning and planning issues.

The job is well-suited for Stec, who has bachelor degrees in Anthropology and International Development from McGill University in Montreal and a Masters of Urban Planning degree from Wayne State University. Previously, she worked for the Eight Mile Boulevard Association, a non-profit that works to revitalize and promote the Eight Mile corridor by connecting it to the public and private sector.

So far, Stec has been busy attending meetings, getting to know the community, and just generally immersing herself in the city and its culture. A few of the projects she is currently working on include shoring up the process to obtain filming permits and helping C&ED Director Jason Friedmann get a Hamtramck shuttle program – tentatively called the “Hamtram” – off the ground.

One of Stec’s primary functions in the coming future will be overseeing the Community Development Block Grant Program. The program gives the city annual federal funding that it uses to implement a wide range of programs for the community. The money goes toward rehabbing homes, paying off loans, façade improvement programs and other uses.

Overall, Stec hopes to have a positive impact on the city and to use her position to help steer its direction toward a more economically vibrant and competitive future. Her goal is “to be part of a really happening city,” which she says Hamtramck already is.

“I know that Hamtramck has a lot of really good things going for it,” she says, “and I thinks it’s really cool to be part of it.”

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