Michigan’s Racing Commissioner Resigns

Big news on the Michigan HBPA wire today…

COMMISSIONER RESIGNS: Racing Commissioner Christine White notified the ORC staff June 30th that effective “at the end of this week” will resign the position as Commissioner to accept a position in the US Department of Agriculture. Position with the US Dept. of Agri. will begin Monday, July 6th. 

There had been some chatter about this move happening for several months, but now it’s official. No word has been made on potential candidates to replace Commissioner White on an interim or permanent basis.

Crain’s Detroit Business reports White’s new position will keep her in the Lansing area as Michigan’s Executive Director for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. White has held several positions with the USDA prior to becoming the state’s Racing Commissioner in 2005. 

This is still somewhat breaking news, so as soon as I find anything else out, you’ll see it here.

In the meantime, I hope Gov. Jennifer Granholm carefully considers her options when appointing the next Commissioner. Her actions regarding the racing industry as of late suggest the best interests of the sport may not be served, but I hope I am wrong on this. Michigan’s racing industry has suffered from a void of leadership in Lansing for quite some time and the time is now to put someone in the captain’s chair who can right the ship.

Five bucks says the new commissioner’s last position was at a casino.

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Though the news is fairly breaking, I have already heard word of some preparing their resumes for the newly vacant position. I considered sending in mine, but I don’t think my last two positions as “Thoroughbred Times Intern” and “Amateur Racetrack Opinionator” are going to be enough to get me over the hump.

However, the intrigue surrounding this open position has given me an idea. 

As part of the coverage following the appointment of the new Racing Commissioner, I am opening up my blog to guest posts from serious applicants to the position. 

If you are submitting an application to become the next Racing Commissioner and would like the public to know why you are the best person for the job, this is your chance. Granted, the position is appointed, not elected, but public support  is never a bad thing when shooting for a job in government.

Interested parties should email a 500-word or less statement outlining their plans for Michigan racing and what makes them the prime candidate for the position, along with a profile photo. Also, to confirm the legitimacy of the submission, please send a copy of your resume and cover letter, which may also be published with the submitting party’s consent. Submissions will be posted on a first-come-first-serve basis.

I look forward to reading the submissions and hopefully getting a vision of Michigan racing’s direction for the future.

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6 Comments

Filed under Commentary, Politics

6 responses to “Michigan’s Racing Commissioner Resigns

  1. Otis

    How about Alan Plevar?

  2. dustin stones

    Re: applying for job as Michigan racing commissioner.

    My role models are John Engler and Jennifer Granholm. Like the former farmboy, I hate horse racing. Like the former cheerleader, I hate horse racing.

    I hate gambling, except gambling at Detroit casinos, at Native American casinos, and at Michigan lottery outlets.

    I hate the sleazy characters associated with horse racing, such as veterinarians, blacksmiths, alfalfa and oat farmers and clubhouse waitresses.

  3. mibredclaimer

    Otis,

    Plever is definitely has the experience and qualifications necessary for the position, but I don’t know how the powers that be would feel about bringing in someone off direct employment by a racetrack. Could be seen as a conflict of interest favoring the Thoroughbred sector. Or maybe not, what do I know?

    Dustin Stones,

    Well, your vision for the future and feelings toward the industry certainly put you among the leading candidates for the position. Look for your letter of appointment in the mail from Gov. Granholm in the near future.

  4. Andrea

    I do believe when the position was open a few years ago that they addressed the concern for an education (Bachelors) along with experience. I think this is rational but can restrict what could be the best options (or only options) for a Michigan experienced racing industry professional who may still have experience in the government entity.

    Most of all – Michigan does not offer industry related education options so how can they require such standards? They continue to bring in professionals from out of state to save us instead of improving the Michigan agricultural and equine education programs which are no help with future generations working in the industry.

    Therefore I do believe someone with out of state experience would be our best option.

  5. mibredclaimer

    Andrea,

    I agree with you about the need for industry education programs, but we both know it would have been one of the first lambs led to budget slaughter with all the cuts going on. It’s a really good idea, but I doubt we’ll see anything like that until times get a little less tough.

    Just out of the sake of curiosity, when you mention industry education programs, are you talking about something similar to Arizona’s Racetrack Industry Program or something like a public education campaign?

  6. Andrea

    I am addressing the lack of education relating to the racing industry provided at universities in Michigan in the agricultural & government departments. When it is such an influential part of the agricultural industry of the state.

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