Encore August 2015

Page 46

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Mary Balkema

Kalamazoo County Treasurer

Mary Balkema takes her

job personally. She knows every nickel and dime coming into the county’s coffers and oversees big things such as the county’s budget and smaller things like dog licenses. But this hometown girl is more than a bean counter: Through her job, she has become pivotal in the community development of the county by working to rehabilitate tax-foreclosed properties and get them back on the county’s tax rolls. If you’ve been to Riverview Launch, you’ve seen her work firsthand. And remember the abandoned tuberculosis sanitarium on Blakeslee Street? Thanks to Balkema and the Kalamazoo Land Bank that is now a housing development for seniors.

Brian Powers

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