Ok Friday was the final day for a Livingston County employee with more than three decades of public service.
Kathleen Kline-Hudson has been the county’s Planning Director since 2009, although she began her career with the department almost 32 years ago as Principal Planner following her graduation from the University of Michigan with a Masters in Urban Planning.
At her retirement party last Thursday, Kline-Hudson was presented with a Congressional Tribute from Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing). It was delivered by Slotkin’s Livingston County Field Representative Mona Shand.
The tribute, which was placed into the Congressional Record, stated that “her devotion to her work as a land use planner has always been rooted in her abiding love for the place she calls home and her passionate advocacy for creating more diverse, equitable, and accessible communities.”
It went on to note that Kline-Hudson had served as a founding director of the Livingston County chapter of Habitat for Humanity, “helping the organization obtain nonprofit status and break ground on its first local home. She facilitated a grassroots committee focused on affordable housing, reviewed all proposed developments along the M-59 corridor, and coordinated the opening of Fillmore and Lutz County Parks, to name just a few of her many accomplishments and contributions to the betterment county.”
Kline-Hudson, in announcing her retirement, said that as she cleaned out her office, she was filled with nostalgia.
“The papers files I’m recycling remind me first of all, that we collected a lot of paper in the good old days and secondly, I’m reminded of the many great Livingston County projects that I’ve had the good fortune of being involved in,” which also included her work on the U.S. Census of 2000, 2010 and 2020.
“It was very interesting to revise the census tracts based on population and housing unit figures (Kind of like putting together a puzzle) and to serve on the Complete Count Committees,” she said.
Kline-Hudson also worked on the Data Book & Community Profiles, noting that the “Data Book was my baby from 1994 to 2003, and I loved putting data in tables and graphs and analyzing what the changes meant for Livingston County. Did you know that Livingston County was the #1 or #2 fastest growing Michigan County for two decades (1990 – 2010) What an exciting place to be a land use planner!”
She added that the Planning Department drafted Livingston County’s first Master Plan in 2002, and the second county-wide master plan in 2018.
“It was remarkable to have the support of the Livingston County Planning Commission to create an ‘out-of-box’ style of master plan that won four state and national planning awards in 2019 and 2020.”
Kline-Hudson concluded that there were other projects that she would patiently wait to see the completion of, including the M-59 expansion and boulevard from Howell to Hartland.
“In the 1990’s I facilitated the M-59 Corridor Committee that reviewed each proposed development along the corridor to make sure it was setback the proper distance for the new corridor and right-of-way,” she said, adding that she also looked forward to completion of the U.S. 23 Flex Route and extension of the Mike Levine Lakelands Trail under U.S. 23.
“As a resident of the City of Howell, I will be watching and cheering-on the progress of these yet uncompleted projects! I’ll also hope to see many of you, because I will continue to be involved in the activities of our beautiful county community. Thank you for your friendship and collaboration over the years. I am truly blessed to have encountered so many wonderful people across the state, region and county that strive to create more diverse, equitable and inclusionary Michigan communities for all people!”
Pictured left to right: Kline-Hudson’s son, Adam; Kline-Hudson, her daughter, Audra; husband, Russell & Mona Shand of U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s office.