Kilbourn, who previously served as MAM vice president, will serve a one-year term in the leadership post. He succeeds MAM President Frank Campbell, who has said he is retiring as mayor of Hastings.
“The Michigan Association of Mayors is an outstanding organization and I am pleased to lead the membership for the next year,” Kilbourn said. “Our goals include expanding our membership base and helping inform the public, business community and our legislators about the financial struggles of Michigan’s communities.”
Kilbourn has been mayor of Auburn since 2011 and has stressed park improvements and promoting the city as a family-friendly city to do business. He and his wife, Kathy, are second generation owners of Tri-City Furniture, a 59-year old family business launched by Kathy’s father, in 1957. The Auburn business recently earned a first place for home decorating and the top place for buying furniture in the Midland Daily News’ 2016 Readers Choice Awards.
Kilbourn previously served as Auburn mayor after being elected in 1981 and has continued to remain active in the community through the years. He’s been involved with the Auburn-Williams Fire District for 25 years and is currently a member of the Auburn-Williams Lions Club, Auburn Downtown Development Authority, and the Auburn-Williams Intergovernmental Committee.
City of Auburn Administrator Patricia Rayl said Kilbourn’s new statewide leadership post is well-deserved and will benefit residents of the western Bay County community.
“It’s been a distinct pleasure working with Lee Kilbourn for the past year,” she said. “The residents of Auburn should take pride in their mayor. He works hard for them. And, now as president of the statewide mayors’ association, he can work for Auburn residents on a grander scale.”
Auburn Commissioner Matt Charbonneau agrees.
“Lee getting elected is going to open up so many other opportunities for our community,” he said. “Networking with other communities will increase. One of the positive things I see coming down the road is having more exchange day events where mayors and commissioners from specific municipalities join in and visit each other’s cities. Auburn recently did one with Ithaca. Unfortunately due to work I couldn’t attend, but was told by Lee that it went extremely well and everyone gathered a lot of insight.”
In addition to Kilbourn being named president during the Michigan Municipal League Convention, Baraga Village President Wendell Dompier was selected vice president of the Michigan Association of Mayors.
Dompier has served as village president of Baraga, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, since 1998. He has an extensive record of community service and retired from the Ojibwa Casino Resort after a 26-year career there.
“It’s an honor to serve as vice president of the Michigan Association of Mayors,” Dompier said. “I look forward to working with Lee Kilbourn in the upcoming year to help serve our fellow mayors and village presidents.”
MAM is the official nonpartisan organization of Michigan’s chief elected officials, representing more than 100 of the state’s communities.