More Bang for the Buck

Sometimes you’ve got to pay a little more for things and make it up somewhere else. When faced with needing an update it’s also a prime opportunity to increase functionality and enhance or add appeal. Here’s a thought though…run it by someone who has some design sense.

As the following images depict, it looks like a lot of design decisions for different purchases that’d been incorporated through the years, came from non creative types. Many of these elements should be around a long time as longevity is inherent by their composition like brick and cement. This fact alone emphasizes the importance of making good decisions for new ideas to merge with existing structures.

The visual picture or aesthetics of our village is representative of what kind of community we are; the downtown core is what broadcasts this the most. In essence we are telling our visitors that we’re disconnected, disorganized and frugal – even cheap. We only know how to piecemeal everything with no long-range plan or overall concept – we’re either just not prepared to pay for anything better or our powers that be, make decisions or pass them to someone else that are ill equipped to decide. If I had to guess, somebody got the ideas from seeing it elsewhere and this was the translation.

By using an old historic brick in conjunction with a new interlocking paver the whole effort was reduced to nothing short of an amateur project. As it is, it’s interpreted as just thrown together and using the historic brick was an afterthought. A number of mediums, colors and patterns could have been incorporated to look great, but knowing what you’re doing and how to get it done is essential. These two brick choices were the wrong combination to put together, especially when just butted adjacent each other the way they are.

The simplest fix option that would have looked both, more professional and made more design sense would’ve been to use only one of these brick types for the whole project. By also bricking the far left strip section that runs along the left side of the light poles from corner to corner would have tied the whole design together and connected the bump-outs. The same strip should have also been repeated with brick work around corners like Jefferson Street, instead of the section left as asphalt (where the hydrant is located), as seen in the photo below. Exposed tree grates around the base of the trees would have provided more texture and should have also been incorporated into the design.

I cannot stress this point enough, but another important factor to consider is getting a bigger bang for your buck. If you’re intent on spending the money…go for the wow factor.

More bang from the planters as an example: Instead of purchasing the most economical or run of the mill planter to house an annual display of blooms, if fewer were purchased, more could have been spent on larger receptacles or ones with a more architectural or interesting shape. Because a smaller size was chosen, a different color would have brought attention to the planter and distinguished itself from the background instead of blending into the background like they currently do. In the same vein, the plants that were chosen should have been vibrant deep colors for impact instead of pastels that again, have difficulty competing with the background. Lighter colored blooms would have worked if the background was a solid, dark color. We would be looking for contrast in this instance, contrast makes things stand out.

When the planter purchase was considered, if choices that offered various sizes were purchased instead, they could’ve (and still should be) been arranged in groupings of three for a greater visual impact. Groupings could have also given another opportunity to interject color, or a nice mix of colors. Even their placement should be reconsidered, placing them away from the buildings and in some sort of alignment with the light poles would encourage more window shopping, allowing people easier access and a clear path to the windows instead of having to navigate around each pot. Placing them where they are, only works for buildings that aren’t reliant on window shoppers. Planters placed closer to the street also give pedestrians across the street a more pleasing depth to the view.

The photo below shows the low impact return on investment, versus the dollars spent on the planter pots, flowers and maintenance.

Even though there are always some remedies available to lessen the weight of poor choices. The taxpayer is reminded they are at the mercy of whoever is the chosen decision maker. The things I have just pointed out in this article are equivalent to a homeowner sinking time effort and finances into a renovation where he has no real expertise. He thinks he has raised the value of his property and the subsequent purchaser may feel bad, but has to rip it all out.

On a positive note, planting the trees was important, they were a good choice and hopefully more can be found in the budget to plant along US 223. Below I’ve given examples from the City of Elgin Illinois, showing the right way to accomplish what we attempted.

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36 Responses to More Bang for the Buck

  1. Sandy Meeks says:

    Well, Robin, we’re both gonna have targets on our backs for jumping into this one. The criticism will be that you’re digging deep to find something to criticize, but, in fact, if someone had been asked to comment on those features (coexistence of brick-types, inconsistency of patterns, planters, colors,etc.) those are the ones that would stand out as “ugly” or at least, unattractive. I suppose many people walk by them all the time and never notice, but to someone who has a sense for such features, they really disappoint ! As soon as I saw the colors of those flowers when they went in this spring, my thought was how “washed out” they were. Just plain WRONG for use in downtown planters. One thing you missed photographing is the horrible hanging planters. Hanging planters are supposed to have at least some hanging plants in them and should be just overflowing w/ flowers ! This guy doesn’t get it at all ! (Kay B. makes these arrangements or at least directs them) Beautiful white licorice or sweet potato vines, then bright petunias or such, kept WELL watered and fertilized twice during the summer months would yield such eye-popping focal points. There are many other floral options, but turn it over to someone who understands what the purpose of those flowers and planters is. And you’re right about the planters’ placement ,size and quality. They are cheap. If you walk up to them, run your hand on their sides, they are crumbling b/c they aren’t properly sealed against moisture.
    Our Michigan Main Street consultants will quite likely notice these oddities and make suggestions accordingly. I certainly hope so.
    On the other hand, the little mini-park is just beautiful w/ its assortment of perennials blooming happily!

    • Robin says:

      I’m sure I’ve had a target on my back all along, In fact I even thought about getting a T-shirt with a target on the back. Wear the target with pride and repeat after me, “I will not stand for business as usual.” They have legitimately invited criticism. Since we’ve got such a good little cheerleader section over there, someone’s got to get to the brass tacks and do the reality check. The work was all wrong – amateur. Whoever made those decisions wasn’t qualified – based on the decisions they made. We can all just take a look at those decisions.

      Asking any designer would prove I haven’t begun digging yet; just pointing out the waste of the taxpayer money, unfortunately fixing it costs money too. In the end we either paid a good buck for sub-par work or double the necessary cost to get average work. This is the very reason why nepotism doesn’t work – decisions should be made based on qualifications not connections. Michigan Main Street or not – the same people will still be making the decisions. I want the group stripped of their power to avoid this kind of mess in the future. They’ve already proven how they handle business and I would rather see empty seats on council and a dissolved DDA instead of more of the same. Favoritism and back scratching costs us money and we lose. Some serious re-evaluation needs to go on here.

      You’re right, the hanging baskets certainly deserved a mention (I didn’t think I had room). They even discussed this at one of the DDA meetings – last years baskets were too small so they bumped the size up this year, and guess what? They’re still too small. White licorice, sweet potatoe vines and bright petunias sound divine but the most magic ingredient is water, they needed to be watered almost daily.

      • Sandy Meeks says:

        Why don’t you forward this blog/blog address to Laura Krisov at Michigan Main Street??

        • Robin says:

          I know you are sold on MMS, their job is to sell themselves. I don’t blame you for hoping and trusting in another government entity that just might have the magic bullet to fix our woes. I think it’s more of an internal problem and above MMS’s pay grade.

  2. gwen dusa says:

    Hi Sandy and Robin,
    At the July DDA meeting, the pots/flowers were discussed. If you have suggestions of what kind of pot/plantings would be good to use for next year, I’d be glad to listen to your ideas or better yet, maybe you can share your ideas with our MMS/DDA manager. I’m not sure, but at one time wasn’t there a Garden Club in Blissfield? This would be a cool thing for our village.


    • Robin says:

      Hi Gwen, I thought the Garden Club was a good idea too, I already suggested it, only I called it a Horticultural Club. If it’s not their idea, it’s a bad idea, it’s a network thing. You don’t just make suggestions here and you don’t offer to take on tasks, especially if you just might prove your worth. Otherwise, I would have happily worked with them to share my expertise, I wanted to help. Unfortunately, they arrogantly let me know they knew exactly what they were doing – and they do – it’s just not a good deal for the rest of the community.

      I’m pretty sure they didn’t even bid out the project; I think Jake got the job because of his connections. I could tell you to double check that, but I’m also pretty sure you wouldn’t get an honest answer.

      If they RFP the project next year I might submit my bid. Unless you have control over the whole project, you’re just leaving yourself open to sabotage. Pretty sad, but sadly true.

      The MMS/DDA manager is weightless, not a decision maker – more of a front man essentially.

      • Robin says:

        Update: “I think Jake got the job because of his connections.” Jake may have gotten higher consideration because his family was politically connected or he had favor with Kay Brown, but he said he bid on this project. This Information came from a lengthy conversation I had with him, it’s also in line with what “Me” said below. I understood from my conversation with Jake that he had many good ideas about the planters as well as good plant choices. He wasn’t listened to either. He also had to deal with many unnecessary hurdles that impeded his job and was probably construed as reflecting poorly on his performance.

        One instance of this is; someone (not Jake) put clay soil in the pots. The clay eventually plugged the drainage hole underneath the pots, allowing water to accumulate that waterlogged and drown the plants. Clay continues to migrate and collect in the drainage hole that Jake has to continually monitor and unplug as needed.

        The fix for this would be to empty the pots, wash the gravel and re-assemble. The DDA’s fix for this was more fertilizer. That’s kind of an expensive mistake if you were going to pay someone to fix it.

    • Sandy Meeks says:

      Gwen: What in particular was discussed about the pots/plantings at the July meeting?

  3. Me says:

    It has been mentioned by village residents of what to put in the flower pots. They listen to public comments, but most of the time it doesn’t matter. That’s why I don’t attend anymore meetings. They select a person on the DDA board to make the decision of what kind of flowers and what colors to use. In fact the village was watering the flowers and instead of them doing it they decided to hire someone. There was 2 bids up for the flower contract. There was one other company that bid lower than the one hired but the DDA decided to go with one company over the other because one company offered more for the buck. I know the company hired had good intentions, but changing dirt and stones (which the company was paid additional monies for) in the pots the night before planting the flowers would be unacceptable to me. The company hired also left a mess throughout town and the kids swept up what they could with a dust pan and broom. The kids weren’t paid to do this. A company was hired to do this. The company hired did finally sweep the sidewalk later in the day. The company hired is getting paid thousands of our dollars to do this. We could go on and on about how OUR tax dollars is spent. That’s right OUR money. Why don’t we ever see a breakdown of where OUR money is spent? They have finacial reports but everything is lumped into different catergories like office supplies, advertising etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to know who is getting paid for what and how much? Maybe the DDA and Village should consider putting a breakdown of where our money is spent in the Village Newsletter that is mailed out to all the residents. That would be nice. I am sure some DDA members and council members are reading this so I will see if I am heard. I really doubt it.

    • Sandy Meeks says:

      The sad thing is that some Village officials DO read this, but they won’t admit it b/c they already have the site tagged as off-the-wall, a site that has no good to offer. I’m even concerned that if they dare take a suggestion from this site that they think that would be showing their hand – that they’ve read the site. But, DDA and Council, you need to know how destructive the dynamics in the Village can be. In my case, I’m speaking about how I was treated by Kay for 2 years. And believe me, Kay is an extension of Council, or rather, Council, as we’ve seen in the past, can be an extension of what Kay wants (her husband George being one avenue; look how much she’s cost the Village just to get favors for her kids Just wait to see how her influence pervades when she GIVES AWAY an office to the MMS manager!) I’ve only had good experiences w/ those I know on DDA and Council. But, I haven’t gone to meetings regularly to be able to evaluate over a period of time.
      Yes, Gwen, there was a Garden Club – I guess it just went by the wayside. They had garden tours that so many residents and visitors enjoyed. And we have some terrific gardeners around here. I wish they’d offer their expertise. Well, I guess Robin did, and she got the cold shoulder. Yes, Jake holds favor w/ Kay Brown, for sure.
      And, yes, she does not want to let anyone do anything where they might show her up. However, everything she does she tries to do on the cheap – not quality. Example: when I was involved in planning the state-wide meeting that will be coming to Blissfield on Dec. 7 & 8th, I wanted to prepare a small bag of items as hand-outs for each attendee. Barb McHenry even offered some bags left over from the Historical Society. Each bag would hold brochures re’ Blissfield, coupons from stores, announcements of special deals, a pad, a pen, “stuff” like that. No, she nixed that and only wanted to give one to each village’s MMS manager ! Despite the fact that all attendees (managers and volunteers) would be together later. Kay just doesn’t get it; I know she has never planned a conference in her life, but she won’t let “her” volunteers do what they do best. So, don’t expect her to relinquish directing how the plantings will be done, either. Someone might do it better ! A year ago, in her attempt to take down the weeds along the railroad tracks to the west of Dave Walter’s building, she also hacked down all of those beautiful hollyhocks which seed themselves each fall. Now, there is only one white hollynock that grows there alone. How sad !
      Robin, I do still have a shred of hope that the MMS can help us out. They are a very impressive group, and I know that their job is to impress, but you do need to acknowledge the successes they’ve had in other towns. They stress that it generally takes 2 years to see the first real changes. I sound like a broken record when I say that I love my town and would be delighted to see the downtown bustling again, in any capacity ! But, the equal partner in this effort will be the volunteers, and from what I read here from what I think are businessowners, there is a major hurdle for someone or some entity in Blissfield to overcome.

      • Robin says:

        “And believe me, Kay is an extension of Council, or rather, Council, as we’ve seen in the past, can be an extension of what Kay wants (her husband George being one avenue;” We have the same situation with Darlene Southward as the unofficial appointee for the Chair of the DDA as I was trying to explain to Lynn Southward at the Council meeting last Monday evening. When a community elects an official, are you supposed to ignore the puppet and evaluate instead the qualifications of the wives? Is that remotely constitutional?

        Aggressive behavior is not the only character flaw that creates friction resulting in a refusal to work with someone. Passive aggression: all smiles and sweetness in your face while underground schemes are in play to make you irrelevant (Kay Brown). How about someone that is so miserable they can’t even pretend to welcome someone or their help like Darlene Southward. I showed up as a volunteer to help with the grade five students planting the planters and had to approach Darlene for direction. It was all she could muster to even stop and face me, her disdain could not be more apparent as the look on her face and her body language said, “I’m going to give you as little information as I can possibly get away with because I can’t believe I even have to look at you let alone talk to you.” Do you think I walked away and thought “gee, I should do this more often?”

        These are not leadership qualities; heck, they aren’t even team qualities. I suspect those are the reasons they didn’t apply and get elected or appointed on their own merit, they had to rely on husbands to run in their stead.

        • anonymous says:

          “Passive aggression: all smiles and sweetness in your face while underground schemes are in play to make you irrelevant (Kay Brown).”

          “How about someone that is so miserable”

          You stay classy, Robin Soff.

          • Robin says:

            So I guess if I just explained or described the situations without using a descriptive term like “passive aggressive or miserable” I would have been fine?

        • Ray says:

          A movie quote anonymous? You are yet another person who has missed the mark! Was your post powerful, no, was it shortsighted, yes. Robin’s post was classy because it offered some information–yours was not because it was only degradation of someone else’s thought. I’m looking for some real answers here. You must feel that your opinion is un-debatable. Thus no facts or information. So where is your argument to support your thought? Not here! Please add some thought to your next post.

  4. Me says:

    Does anyone know who is getting invited to the Main Street gathering in December? Is all the store owners getting invited? How about the volunteers on the committees?
    Just wondering.

    • Robin says:

      I cannot answer for the December event but one is coming up Sept. 27 – 29, 2010 by invitation only. It looks like the public’s day to supply them with all the intel they need is on the 28th so don’t get your days mixed up. VIP’s get information/Public gives information. Here’s a link to the Advance article:

    • Sandy Meeks says:

      Yes. The December meeting is for MMS managers and volunteers from all 16 MMS communities from all over the State of Michigan. (Maybe there’s a couple more now that 2010’s newest communities have been added). That will include Blissfield. YOU MAY ATTEND ! You would fall under the category of “volunteer”. It is a 2 day conference, Dec. 7 & 8th; there is no cost except for your own meals. If you are a caterer or a restaurant and interested in being considered for preparing some of the meals, contact the DDA. People may be staying overnight. You should be able to contact Lynn Southward for the latest information; as the time gets closer, I would expect information to appear in the Advance. As you know, I left the committee b/c everything was being hand-picked.

  5. Me says:

    Where is the one for Dec. 7 and 8 being held at? Also, who is being invited to the gathering that is being held here in Blissfield at the end of December? Or is the one here being held Dec. 7 and 8? Also, who is invited to the one here at the end of September? I would appreciate if someone could answer this. They haven’t invited any store owners yet. They may have invited store owners but maybe only certain ones. Maybe they haven’t gotten to all the stores yet. I don’t know why the store owners aren’t aware of what it going on with MMS. They can’t get involved if they don’t know what is going on.

    • Sandy Meeks says:

      Ask Kay Brown where the Dec. meeting is being held; last I heard, she was determined to hold it in her non-handicap accessible building downtown with the meetings to be held on the second floor. Don’t know if that has changed or not.
      The meeting held the end of September, Tuesday, Sept. 28 and Wednesday, Sept.29th is called “Baseline Assessment for Michigan Main Street Communities.” On Day 1, September 28th, the 12 noon to 1:15 pm meeting is a meeting with THE DOWNTOWN WORKFORCE ! That includes anyone who is considered a downtown business employee. The other afternoon meetings also may include business workers and owners. (They may be one and the same) The next morning at 8 am to 9:30 am is a meeting w/ DOWNTOWN PROPERTY OWNERS, RESIDENTS, AND BUSINESSES ! I do not know where they are to be held. I suggest calling Lynn Southward.
      Please spread the word to your other friends who are business owners and/or employees; you need to get involved. In a later email, Me, I will give you the email address to Michigan Main Street for you to stay updated. Otherwise, ask through this site.

  6. gwen dusa says:

    My understanding of the flowers/pots is that ideas were generated from several members and volunteers. These ideas were given to the school (under the guidance of a teacher, sorry, I can’t recall the name) and they were growing these plants for the planters.

    It was stated from several members that they were disappointed in the flowers as well this year. Germaine Binns was going to take photos of the pots in Adrian and get back to the board. She thoughts this might be a good example of what could be used in the future for Blissfield.

    I did just a bit of research regarding the Garden Club and my understanding is different than what you folks have mentioned. My understanding is that the woman in charge of the club was very aggressive and people didn’t want to work with her anymore. I do hope it is something that will be a part of our village when we get our manager on board, either garden club or horticulture club.

    As far as where the meetings are going to take place in September and December, the logistics are being worked out as we type. The board would like to use as many businesses as possible to show the folks from Lansing what we have in our community.

    As far as who is invited, it is the entire community, store owners, etc, I believe the Advance will be posting this because Tran was at last week’s meeting when this information was given. We’re trying to determine where the meetings will take place so that when information is given, it tells who is invited at a specific time and where the meeting will take place. We also plan to have as many invitations as possible delivered in person to the businesses by Jae G and me.

    All of this was discussed at last week’s meeting to which you are all invited. That way you can hear the news and information being disseminated right from the “horse’s mouth”.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks for the info Gwen. You provided added information about the Garden Club, I’d hesitate to say “different from what us folk have mentioned,” Sandy only said in her 2010/09/13 at 11:06 am comment; “there was a Garden Club – I guess it just went by the wayside. They had garden tours that so many residents and visitors enjoyed.”

      If there wasn’t such a tight monopoly regarding who makes the decisions, we wouldn’t be relying on other community’s good ideas, we could have set the trends and come up with our own unique identity. In a community this size, it’s amazing that the focus is on – decisions = power, instead of knowing where the talent lies. It’s not that we didn’t have the talent or the ability to capitalize on individual strengths, we allowed investment of the wrong leadership. MMS encourages ripping off others tried and true ideas, which is okay if you’re just trying to look better and flatter the competition, that’s why they network with other MMS communities. Thats what the program capitalizes on, distributing all those good ideas that somebody else came up with.

      My concern is; with everybody’s time and effort involved with Michigan Main Street, learning only basics and trying to implement ideas will achieve a copycat community status. I’m more concerned involvement with MMS will mostly prove in the end that MMS could not save us from ourselves but successfully served as a distraction and delayed proper restructuring.

    • Sandy Meeks says:

      Gwen: Thanks for your input. I’m going to make a concerted effort to attend more of the Village meetings. But when I can’t, I’d like to be able to read the minutes of same in a timely manner. I asked for the minutes for Sept. 8 DDA meeting and guess what? I had to go to Village office, sign a FOIA request (turns out I was there to pay my taxes anyway). Then, they were sent via email and I’m requested to remit $3.75 for them – something I’ve already paid for with my taxes ! ! Boy, am I honked off ! ! !

      • Robin says:

        The DDA is a public body and subject to comply with the open meetings act (OMA). This sounds to me that they should have the minutes posted within 5 business days after approving the minutes in the following meeting. It would have been nice if they gave you an option to wait, unless they never post them, but I don’t think they can charge you for copying and printing if it was sent by email.

        Act 267 of 1976

        15.269 Minutes.
        Sec. 9. (1) Each public body shall keep minutes of each meeting showing the date, time, place, members
        present, members absent, any decisions made at a meeting open to the public, and the purpose or purposes for
        which a closed session is held. The minutes shall include all roll call votes taken at the meeting. The public
        body shall make any corrections in the minutes at the next meeting after the meeting to which the minutes
        refer. The public body shall make corrected minutes available at or before the next subsequent meeting after
        correction. The corrected minutes shall show both the original entry and the correction.
        (2) Minutes are public records open to public inspection, and a public body shall make the minutes
        available at the address designated on posted public notices pursuant to section 4. The public body shall make
        copies of the minutes available to the public at the reasonable estimated cost for printing and copying.
        (3) A public body shall make proposed minutes available for public inspection within 8 business days after
        the meeting to which the minutes refer. The public body shall make approved minutes available for public
        inspection within 5 business days after the meeting at which the minutes are approved by the public body.
        (4) A public body shall not include in or with its minutes any personally identifiable information that, if
        released, would prevent the public body from complying with section 444 of subpart 4 of part C of the general
        education provisions act, 20 USC 1232g, commonly referred to as the family educational rights and privacy
        act of 1974.

  7. Me says:

    Was there anything interesting at the last DDA meeting Sandy? I don’t know why they would charge you. It seems to me if they have nothing to hide they would post them. If fact they should post all the meetings. Our tax dollars are paying for these officials to operate our village and if we can’t get a print out of the meetings or if they don’t post them for us to see how do we know where our tax dollars are going? I think they should be printed and posted in a book at the library. If we want a copy the library charges very little for their copying machine. That would be less than what they are charging. In fact I think I remember at one of the DDA meetings they said they were going to post them on the DDA website. I wonder what happened? I think I have information on this I will get back to you on this. I sometimes wonder what they are hiding. They have special meetings behind closed doors, meetings the public is not welcomed to, and I think we have the right to observe all the minutes of any meeting closed or open to the public. I think Blissfield better start thinking about how this village is operated. There’s more of us than them. I hope everyone votes for Mike Gunter for Village President. That would be a great start in changing the way this village is operated. He appears to be opened minded and concerned with what people want. He also takes the time to listen. He seems to care about Blissfield as a whole. My opinion of our government right now is, I think it is ran by a clique, and what the clique wants is what the clique gets. It doesn’t matter what people suggests or volunteer for because it’s going to be done their way or no way. That’s the reason they have lost a lot of good volunteers over the years. I use to volunteer but I don’t anymore for the reasons above. I know I should attend more meetings but we elected these officials to do their job and I should not be expected to attend all of these meetings to find out what is going on with our village. If I need to attend all the DDA and council meetings something is not right with our village. ALL minutes of ALL meetings should be posted somewheres for us. Check other townships and villages it is not done the way our village officials have chosen.

    • Sandy Meeks says:

      No, Me, there wasn’t anything of real import that I saw in the $3.75 minutes that I had emailed to me. (That reminds me, I need to drop that off to the Village office). A move to appropriate $300 to help defray travel expenses for 2 of the MMS manager finalists failed due to lack of a second. A draft of the by-laws was presented; I didn’t get a copy of those, which were noted to be attached. That might be something that you Downtown people might want to look into before next month’s meeting. And new business owner, Eric Slusher, asked for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for his new store, which will be arranged.
      I do think that is a nice touch; it worked well for J. Trees over on the west side of town.
      At one point the Friends of Historic Blissfield wanted to resurrect the former Welcome Wagon or whatever it was called, for Blissfield. Some discussion was held w/ an individual who wished to move forward on it. She reported on it at the next meeting. But, all things got put by the wayside for MMS – not that some of us who had completed our Main Street work couldn’t have gone forward with other things. But Kay didn’t want us to do that. Why? Well . . . fill in the blanks. Even after our presentation in Lansing was made and we were waiting for MMS’s decision, she still nixed any other suggestions to pick up with other activities – we had a lot of energy and excitement going in the group and many of us wanted to capitalize on that. She brought the figurative gavel down and said we needed a rest. I felt bad, especially at that time, b/c just across the street from her house, Anderson’s had just put up their new sign and moved into the former Tagsold residence. What a perfect time for the 2 or 3 of us who wanted to welcome them on behalf of Blissfield to start the process again. But, I digress.

      Yes, I think that the DDA and Council and any other minutes relative to Village business ought to be available in notebook form in the Library. The Library Board of Trustees do that w/ their minutes, at least they did that I last knew. (We need to think of our citizens who might not have, or want, access to a computer). Perhaps we can ask that of our Village officials.
      Read Robin’s entry above showing the law that governs this activity. 8 days after meeting for draft; 5 days after meeting for final – CLEARLY SHOWING ALL CORRECTIONS.

      • anonymous says:

        Hi Sandy,
        Kay nixed it? Why would you let her? A welcome wagon is a great idea, one that should be automatic, for both new residents and businesses.
        Would be cool if, when Kay says, “it’s not a good idea right now,” that you guys say, “I don’t think so. We’re going to do it anyway.”

        The Browns do a lot of good work for Blissfield. But they don’t have all the ideas. And we shouldn’t all act as if they have all the power.

        • Sandy Meeks says:

          Anon, you bring up a good point. ” Why would you let her?” And, shame on me for letting that happen. Having it to do over again, I would have said/done something just like that. Funny thing, as I drove past the funeral home today, I thought again about the Welcome Wagon. Kay has a funny way of controlling people . . . enough of that, I’ll take the blame this time for not moving it forward. Yes, the Brown’s do do a lot of good things for the Village; as I said before, they (she) is very generous w/ time and money. George is a fine, honest, upstanding individual and I respect him.
          But I’m going to do some research on this topic (I think Welcome Wagon is actually a copyrighted name and program) but we could go w/a slightly different name and direction.

          • Robin says:

            It’s the control thing that needs focus. Does generosity buy the decision making power? If you’re buying something or getting something in exchange, could it still be deemed generous? It seems to me that if you are invited to a meeting and you show up, you would be logically considered a participant at that point. Meetings are supposed to fulfill a brainstorming function, whereas individuals come up with ideas and those ideas move into being responsibly explored. Exploring ideas consist of discussion/debate regarding their viability and the feasibility of implementation. That depicts the whole beauty and purpose of a group. Since the group was working towards the betterment of the community, I expect community participants would have had some weight in deciding where they wanted to expend their time and energy.

            Hosting meetings, feeding bellies and performing generous acts of kindness would of course prove your righteousness, now couple that with political influence and connections – it seems to me that would certainly generate a few strong alliances. If that demonstrates the strength of an established hierarchy, how could you not let the decision maker decide? What would you otherwise do – break off into a splinter group and go rogue?

  8. Robin says:

    Posting minutes at the Library would be a good deal for the Library, bringing people through their doors they might not otherwise see. They would probably charge a more inline copying and printing “nominal” fee. We should bring this request in front of council.

    Something else that will probably irk you…the village office will print advertisements for community events (or other community’s events) free of charge but not email public body minutes. I designed an Art at your feet flyer, I specifically designed it to be ink friendly (white backgroud with just a blush of color) and had the village print them 50 copies. Somebody re-designed them to be more ink intensive, I couldn’t tell you how many copies they made with those. It must have been a network event.

    “we had a lot of energy and excitement going in the group” – been there – felt that – suffered the same consequences. Thats another MMS function – to generate excitement and infuse enthusiasm, refusing to take advantage is at the very least counterproductive.

  9. concern citizen says:

    Make sure you read the DDA news in “The Advance” Sounds like the mayor does not like your blod….

    • Robin says:

      I actually answered this but it looks like I didn’t hit “submit.” My reply was thanking you for the heads up and that I was preparing a response to the article…I was going to cast some stones or something.

  10. T. Saxton-Jones says:

    Robin – there is indeed a part of the town that looks disgusting, are you interested in hearing about it? It is a major piece of trash.

  11. saxtonjones99 says:

    that part of town is located at 508 giles street – a piece of trash lives there. any thoughts of who it is? is it you, perhaps it is!

  12. saxtonjones99 says:

    well Robin – its the same damn thign that you are doing. you are not a damn mature person, you are a damn freak. no one even likes you. even the whole town minus maybe 10 people hate you so much.

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