My husband and I moved to New Buffalo in 2002 from Saginaw, Michigan. Prior to moving here, I was in not-for-profit management for twenty five years and I was a surveyor for a national accreditation organization. I served on various community committees and am a former Bay County Board of Commissioner member. I was the chairperson of the newly formed New Buffalo Parks Board in 2006. My education includes a BBS and a MBA. I have two daughters and four grandchildren. I also am a master gardener.
When we first moved to New Buffalo, I was interested in the condition of the city parks including the beachfront. There were many signs near the beach – mostly homemade – stating and restating what people were not to do at the beach and park. The bathrooms were in terrible shape and the entire lakefront shabby and ill-kept with weeds growing around the parking lot and benches. I believed the city could do better so I took pictures and presented them to the city council. I found that input and suggestions were not well received and the prevailing view of the council members was that they liked the lakefront as it was. That is when I decided to become involved and try to improve the parks of New Buffalo. I had few successes. The homemade signs were removed but the beach building and weeds are still there. Although the park board recommended a very well qualified park planner, the city council chose an alternative and wasted over 2.4 million dollars on an unsuccessful attempt to improve Oselka park.
I believe that it is time that we have a community blog to keep informed about our parks, down town and beach front. I spoke to many frustrated people who all feel that attending city council meetings and trying to get involved on city boards and committees did not induce change We all know that our city and parks look worse today than they did ten years ago.
If attending meetings and joining boards doesn’t work, what will? In our community there are brilliant minds and untapped ideas. Let’s share them on this blog. Let’s not allow the five people on the city council to make all the decisions. We do not have a city newspaper that provides editorial critique of our city or its leadership. This lack of community oversight allowed the five individuals on the city council to not only make financial mistakes but to continue to make the same mistakes over and over. This blog can fill the void. Citizens, we don’t have to give up or feel helpless, let’s work on this together.
It is 12 years later. As a community, we decided not to tolerate the ineffective decisions made by the city council, through a recall effort, we replaced all five council members and the city manager was terminated. This type of success can only be accomplished if important issues are exposed, shared, and discussed. Once voters are provided the facts, their goal of a better place to live becomes a reality. (added on 12/14/2014)
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