[Congressional Record Volume 160, Number 37 (Wednesday, March 5, 2014)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E308]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         RECOGNIZING PAUL TAIT


                          HON. SANDER M. LEVIN

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Paul Tait on 
the occasion of his retirement from the Southeast Michigan Council of 
Governments (SEMCOG) after 42 years of dedicated service.
  Paul attained his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the 
University of Michigan. He came to SEMCOG in 1972, and was named 
Executive Director of that organization in 1998. Under Paul's 
leadership, SEMCOG has used data and information to help make decisions 
resulting in literally billions of dollars in road, transit, and water 
infrastructure investment.
  As important as data and information are to regional planning, local 
government actions are also critical. Paul recognized this and worked 
to give all communities--large and small--a voice in the process.
  In a speech at the National Defense Executive Reserve Conference in 
1957, President Eisenhower, who of course had served as Supreme 
Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II, made this 
remarkable assertion: ``Plans are worthless, but planning is 
everything.'' He went on to say that while there are indeed some 
immutable truths, most of what we confront in our daily lives changes 
over time. President Eisenhower's basic point was that we shouldn't put 
too much faith in static plans, but rather invest in planning that 
assumes that conditions will change.
  Eisenhower's admonition is relevant because, for more than four 
decades, SEMCOG has been the regional planning partnership in Southeast 
Michigan. Over that time, our area has seen an astonishing amount of 
change. SEMCOG's task has been to recognize the changing circumstances 
and needs in our area--whether it's land use, transportation, air 
quality, water infrastructure, or economic development--and help our 
communities shape a regional public policy that is responsive and 
dynamic. Paul has played a key role in SEMCOG's work and effectiveness.
  Among his many other accomplishments, Paul is the devoted husband of 
Chris. They have four children and six grandchildren.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Paul Tait 
for his leadership at SEMCOG and his commitment to the citizens of 
Southeast Michigan.