The director of the Michigan State Fair has resigned in protest over Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s plan to cut funding for the event and sell the fairgrounds.
Steve Jenkins, who’s served as director of the fair since 2007, told the Detroit Free Press he plans to lobby the legislature to save the event, which he claims has generated $31 million for the state in the past six years.
However, Liz Boyd, a spokeswoman for the governor, told the paper cuts have to be made and the fair, which has seldom been able to support itself without state funding, was a good place to start.
“That property has value to lure investment and jobs to the city and the state,” Boyd said. “State government can’t be all things to all people.”
Boyd said state officials are in discussions over the best use for the fairgrounds.
In the meantime, former Ferndale Mayor Robert Porter will manage the fair in what could be its last year.
If Granholm’s plan is approved, the fairgrounds will close Oct. 1, the Free Press reported.