Fayette: Speak out about Fayette's challenges

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

When it came to choosing a site for the new school building last month, the Fayette community showed no lack of interest in the issue. Dozens of residents crowded into the cafeteria for the Jan. 9 board meeting. Dozens more packed the bleachers for the Jan. 16 informational session. More than 25 chose to make verbal statements at the Jan. 31 special meeting.

But even those who chose not to speak made, by the mere act of showing up, a powerful statement. They showed they cared.

Controversy is, by its very nature, divisive. Doubtless, the controversy over the school location has divided some segments of the community, but it also showed that the community is full of residents who are willing to become informed and involved. It showed that many community members aren’t afraid of vocalizing their opinions.

Most of all, it showed that the community is anything but apathetic when it comes to issues that hit close to home.

And if providing a safe, convenient and affordable educational facility has shown itself to be the number one concern of residents in the last few months, providing the economic backing to make sure that the school stays affordable should be number two.

The best way to do this is industry, and Fayette doesn’t have much of it. At least nowhere near as much of it since Fayette Tubular Products closed eight years ago, costing the village 700 jobs.

But what has the state government done to help bring back those jobs? Has it coordinated its resources to address the village’s specific circumstances? The sizable loss of revenue? The dated wastewater treatment facility? The contamination?

These are questions residents should ask their representatives, in the form of letter after letter after letter.

As Shawn Ferguson of the Fulton County Office of Economic Opportunity said at Thursday’s council meeting, the village is at a point where the best thing it can do is make its elected officials aware of the precarious situation.

What better way to accomplish this than by each member of the community writing one letter a week, all year long?

The village council contains only six voices, but the community contains a chorus of many, if only it would vocalize.

After all, elected officials can’t ignore the music forever.

– March 1, 2006
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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