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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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