Cugini welcomed to area; much work awaits new manager

We welcome the city of Ishpeming’s new city manager, Craig Cugini, who completed his first week at work on Friday. Cugini is a military veteran with over 25 years of government service including his most recent position as garrison commander at Fort Greely, Alaska, a Mining Journal story stated.

“When I saw Ishpeming come up I told my wife, I said ‘Hey, we gotta see if we can work this out,'” Cugini said for the Journal story. “I was pretty excited about it because it was in my travel corridor of where I went when I was at Northern (Michigan University.) I had a family that adopted me from Humboldt. So I used to travel up to M-95 and go hunting and fishing with the boys and go back to Northern, so I would be staying in Humboldt and driving back to the dorms. So, this was all part of my corridor. I would stop and check the Ski Hall of Fame and do some fishing in the area.”

Cugini attended an informal meet and greet on Wednesday where he said all the right things to all the right people, including residents, officials and the press. By all accounts, he’s a bright chap and Ishpeming did well to land him. But the Ishpeming job isn’t going to be a walk in the park, which, we believe, Cugini is aware of. Ishpeming, like a lot of smaller cities across the state, faces a variety of challenges and ever-shrinking resources to address them. Start with economic development, a catch-all phrase that can relate to everything from job creation to brick and mortar construction to infrastructure upgrading and repair.

The environment is a huge deal in this neck of the woods, especially since the area is so dependent on tourism and recreation for, well, economic development.

We trust the Ishpeming City Council and existing staff will look upon his arrival as a new opportunity to move the chains forward across a broad front. Our recommendation to those two groups: let him do the things you hired him to do while giving him all the support possible to get the job done.