Gary Howe For TC City Commission

A Great Place. Made Better.

TRAVERSE CITY, MI- Current Traverse City Planning Commissioner, Gary Howe, has announced his candidacy for one of three City Commission seats open in the 2013 general election this November 5th.

GaryHowe-4As a city commissioner, Howe will bring a focus to completing streets and connecting neighborhoods. He sees opportunities for improved economic and social value from infrastructure investments, new land use policies, and support for new entrepreneurs. In addition, he is interested in seeing the City improve communication and outreach to better engage and support residents who want to invest their time and energy to improve the City.

“What really motivates me is that decisions made today have at least a 30-50 year impact on the direction of the community,” Howe said. “That’s an important reminder to keep in mind every time we redo a street, approve a development, or set a new policy. What do we need today to have a strong, resilient town now and in 2040? What creates value beyond the immediate needs? And, before we spend a lot, what are the low cost, high social value opportunities right in front of us?”

Howe has served the City in numerous volunteer roles over the last four years. He has been chairperson for the Parks and Recreation Commission where he helped implement “Your Bay, Your Say” and accomplish the City’s first off-leash dog park. He was appointed to the Planning Commission in November 2012. He has also served several area non-profits, including a current board position at SEEDS and NMC’s International Affairs Forum Lecture Series.

For the last ten years, Howe has been an adjunct instructor at Northwestern Michigan College in the Social Science Department. He currently teaches World Regional Geography. He is also a freelance photojournalist and his work can be seen regularly in Edible Grande Traverse and in the New York Times. Howe maintains a blog devoted to public space, transportation and community issues at He is an alumnus of TC Central, Northwestern Michigan College, Northern Michigan University, and the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies.

“I really like to pull together elements that help projects be everything they can be. From my experience, these elements include a wide spectrum of interested voices, professional staff, decision makers, and a trust that is developed from the very beginning. It isn’t always easy, but the outcome tends to be more valuable,” Howe said.

To jump start the campaign, his campaign committee, Gary Howe for TC, is seeking 300 supporters to donate $10. Donations can be giving at

For more information and/or interview scheduling contact the candidate at 231-883-5121 or