Fayette: Speak out about Fayette's challenges

Written by David Green.


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.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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