Donald Gilmer

Donald Gilmer

MrDonald Gilmer. Glimer was born and raised here in southwest Michigan. He was married for close to 30 years and is survived by his three children. Before serving in government positions he farmed fruit like many of his constituents. He was elected to the Kalamazoo County Commission in 1973 and served as chairman in 1974. Appointed by Governor Milliken in 1975, he sat on the Michigan Agriculture Labor Commission. From 1976 to 1998 he represented the 63rd District at the Michigan State House of Representatives serving portions of Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties. Named the Michigan State Lottery Commissioner by the governor he regulated the lottery funds. As a representative he sat on and chaired many committees.

After serving for 22 years in the Michigan House of Representatives, he joined Governor Engler’s administration continuing to represent the residents of the state of Michigan. Among his responsibilities as the Michigan Department of Management and Budget’s State Budget Director, was being a member of the bipartisan committee that drafted Proposal A in 1994. Proposal A or the School Aid Fund overhauled Michigan’s funding of K-12 Education and higher education. He has criticized recent actions to cipher money from this fund into other areas. He also was a Calhoun County interim administrator and controller.

In 2012, Governor Snyder reappointed him to the Michigan Finance Authority within the Michigan Department of Treasury. The MFA seeks to improve the efficiency of the state government. He sat on the Michigan Municipal Bond Authority Board as well. This board is charged with providing local units of government and schools with an alternative source of financing. He attended Michigan State University as a Kellogg Fellow in the early 1960s. He received an honorary degree from Western Michigan University later in life.

Mr. Gilmer remained active in local and state politics until his death. He sat on committees and boards periodically. His knowledge and expertise were excellent sources for newly elected officials and students. He valued students studying political science at WMU. He committed funds to help students who wish to work for the government. He attended many Political Science Honors Luncheons to meet the recipients of his award and offer them advice.

"Don brings years of outstanding experiences as a public servant, and I am thankful for his willingness to continue in this role," Governor Snyder, 2012.

He created an annual award to recognize students pursuing careers in public service.

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