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Lang deserves honors as she retires from DDA

We are pleased to join the chorus of congratulations directed toward Mona Lang, who celebrated her retirement late last week with the Marquette Downtown Development Authority. She’s served more than 20 years as the MDDA director, officially leaving the post Sept. 30.

As Lang hangs up her spurs, she can look back at the MDDA and the downtown in general with pride. It’s not an overstatement to say that under Lang’s management, both took quantum leaps forward, in terms of significance, relevance and development.

“You could never do this job without the support that I’ve had. I think what really stands out is how proud the residents are of downtown,” Lang said at her retirement party held at the Casa Calabria Thursday. We would agree.

But it wasn’t always like that. When Lang took over directorship of the MDDA, some might argue that it was an organization that was, to some degree, adrift. And Marquette’s downtown, like a lot of downtowns, was struggling to find an identity and a path forward.

Step by step, Lang played a central role in remedying both.

Over the years, property values in the district doubled and millions in grants and public improvements helped revitalize storefronts and infrastructure. She was also instrumental in getting the farmers market up and running.

Lang will be replaced by her assistant director, Rebecca Salmon, who by all accounts, is more than capable. Still, things won’t be quite the same in Lang’s absence. She did outstanding work for many years.