New Year Wishes

As 2010 draws to a close and renewed hope for a better year emerges, many will attempt to turn a new leaf and promise themselves they will do a better job this year…with something.

I am no exception to this tradition this year, I’m pledging to contribute more to my community, getting more fit and cleaning my house more often (I hope my husband doesn’t read this post, just in case I end up caving on the housework).

2010 was a good year for me, I made a few more friends – that’s  a pretty priceless
treasure. Economically, the year has been personally challenging but I’ve got a list that transforms disadvantage into advantages, because many good things come from being poor or challenged. So many things get re-learned while less gets taken for granted; you become more organized, thriftier and increasingly resourceful when you are left with more motivation than normal.

May the New Year show marked improvement from the previous, and a new decade proves more fruitful than the one just spent. Some have lost jobs, had their homes foreclosed on or forced into bankruptcy, future prosperity may not seem too likely. Some have had family separations or lost loved ones where 2010 would remain in memory as a particularly harsh year – for all those who have experienced adversity; I wish extra peace and good fortune in 2011. My final wish is, I wish you all good health and a Happy New Year!

Image: scottchan /

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15 Responses to New Year Wishes

  1. Snoopy says:

    I wish everyone a Happy New Year. I celebrated New Years at B Town until a little after midnight. I arrived at about 8 that evening and had a great time. My problem is where was all the so called Main Street people. I never saw Mike Sessions, I never saw any DDA board members, I never saw any Village council people, I never saw and store owners, I never saw any volunteers. If this is a Main Street town why wasn’t any Main Street personal celebrating in the Main Street district. Where were you Mike? Maybe celebrating in Hillsdale or Allen? Where were Kay and George? Where was Jae and Deb? Where was Mike Guntner? Where was Lynn and Darlene? Where was Gwen? Where was Ray? Where was the Valdez? Where was Wonacott? Where was DDA board members? Where was village council members? Where was the store owners? I only seen support from 1 store. How is Main Street going to survive with no support? I say dissolve Main Street. If I mentioned your name and you were there please stand up and let me know because I sure did not see you there. You know these people didn’t have to stay at B Town but it would of been nice if they would of stopped by and supported Abe. I thought Main Street was about supporting businesses that is downtown. I guess that’s only true for certain select businesses.

  2. Dhananjayan says:

    Wishing you all a Very Happy 2011.. Happy New Year to all…

    Keep on Celebrating..

  3. Gwen says:

    Happy New Year Snoopy and Robin!
    I read your comments and I realize it is not necessary for me to respond, but I feel comfortable sharing my new year’s eve with the public. I stayed in that evening and had dinner with my boyfriend and dad since my mom passed away not long ago.

    The Promotions Committee helped plan Yuletide in November and Family Fun Weekend in December. We are now planning for “Love the Local” in February. If you would like to become involved in the committee, please contact Michael Sessions or me. I’d be glad to have you on board.


    • Robin says:

      Happy New Year Gwen!

      I’m really sorry you lost your Mom, one of life’s toughest challenges is to lose a loved one, I feel for anyone that has to deal with that. I lost my Mom a few years ago and it still feels like yesterday, I still miss her tremendously.

      I stayed in too and watched the ball drop from Times Square. As you may have gathered from my comment, I thought that New Years was a pretty big event and assumed the Promotion Committee had something planned, I was surprised that it hadn’t.

      Yuletide was pretty much planned before the committees organized, but I was happy to see the original organizers put it through the Promotion Committee for some last minute tweaking though. I hope you guys got the opportunity to make the event even more special. Whoever had the idea (or who pulled the right strings) to get the real Mr. and Mrs Clause into Blissfield was brilliant. You can always tell the fake from the real. I feel guilty and happy at the same time about this – we got the real deal and millions of other (even much larger) communities had to ‘make do’. Do you know if anyone has pictures to share?

  4. Gwen says:

    Checkout for some pics and a very cool video that Tran created.

  5. mary ann says:

    gwen i thought darlene and the yuletide committee planed this, please give credit where is do. mainstreet had nothing to with the people shopping it was the yuletide committee and the weather that brought people in town. you took a survey of people shopping. the family fun weekend do you mean trains? this was also not planed by mainstreet. again another survey. thanks to all who actually planed these events.

  6. Snoopy says:


    I would love for you to jump on board helping support your local merchants also. Main Street seems to run 9-5 Monday thru Friday.
    So you are more than welcome to jump aboard supporting businesses after 5. After all aren’t we suppose to Support The Local?
    I felt it wasn’t necessary for me to respond to your remarks but I am anyways. I really don’t care what you did for New Years. It just might of been
    nice to see some of you Main Street people downtown after 5. I usually watch the ball drop but I wanted to support my locals. That’s the least I could of done for the New Year. The Yuletide Committee has been planning Yuletide for months not you. They done a great job this year. The weather was great which had a great impact on the amount of people that showed up. If you did have anything to do with Yuletide other than surveys Thanks. If the weather wasn’t the reason for the large turnout for Yuletide then you should not have a problem getting the same amount of people in town for Love the Local. That would be great. I wish you luck on your committee but as for me I am not a Main Street supporter so I will not join a committee. I thought the DDA was about bricks and motar? Guess I was wrong about that. Robin do you know if the DDA is allowed to spend taxpayers monies on Main Street? I understand there has been some donations but not enough donations has been made to support Main Streeet so our tax dollars are covering the extra thousands of dollars they are spending on Main Street.

    • Robin says:

      Whatever funding that’s spent above and beyond the private donation contributions is taxpayer money. The DDA started out to be only about bricks and mortar but has evolved into funding events and advertising also. Even though they come up with a budget, it’s not necessarily strictly adhered too.

      The problems I see with funding events is that we are investing money for non-professional promoters. Just because we have a committee that’s spending money, doesn’t mean we are spending productively. I don’t have any numbers for analysis but the Yuletide for example brings shoppers to the area. To evaluate the success of the event, I would take into consideration the number of years they’ve been planning it (experience), the amount of revenue it generates and make sure that popularity and profits are increasing with every year of operation. Of course like you mentioned, other factors like economic conditions and weather will impact the bottom line as well. If it fails to gain, we’re doing something wrong.

      Generally, event organizers get sponsors to fund events. I can see some front money coming from the Village, or some financial support, but in other communities they are encouraged to be self sufficient functions. If funding the event provides a business benefit, they will no doubt sponsor it.

  7. Snoopy says:

    Thanks….I was wondering also if TIF monies is allowed to be spent on events? Thanks again you’re doing a great job.

    • Robin says:

      I believe the DDA Act 196 of 1975 was clearly established as an act to capture TIF funding for the sole purpose of funding development like brick and mortar renewal development. Nothing pointed to express use of advertising and event planning. Although, the laws and regulations are written in such a way to loosely apply to specific purpose but remain open to interpretation. Much in the same way a gambling house is set up for the house to win. As a result MMS had to develop local ordinance recommendations to give more authority to MMS and be more MMS friendly.
      Otherwise, Michigan Main Street would not have had anything to piggyback on. If MMS was a private organization the chances of utilizing (piggybacking) local resources would have been even slimmer.

      Also, I have not found anything in the DDA Act that gives authorization for a DDA to capture TIF from the entire district as a way to fund whatever the board decides (their operating budget). The Act consistently refers to development projects.

      Section 125.1661 – sec. 11(2) Money received by the authority and not covered under subsection (1) shall immediately be deposited to the credit of the authority, subject to disbursement pursuant to this act. Except as provided in this act, the municipality shall not obligate itself, nor shall it ever be obligated to pay any sums from public funds, other than money received by the municipality pursuant to this section, for or on account of the activities of the authority.

      Here’s some of the verbiage that outlines the DDA purpose, power and restrictions – project means development project.

      II. Purpose
      To halt property value deterioration; to increase property tax valuation in its business district; to eliminate
      the causes of deterioration and to promote economic growth.
      III. Eligible Projects
      After the governing body has properly established a DDA, a project may be undertaken only within the
      DDA district and only within a “development area” to which a properly adopted “development plan” and
      “tax increment financing plan” apply. A project must be for a public benefit.
      IV. Ineligible Projects
      The power and authority of the act cannot be used for the personal benefit of a private person or
      Exactly where public benefit ends and personal benefit begins is often a matter of local and professional judgment.

      The evolutionary course of expansion our DDA has demonstrated is indicative of pretty much every law and regulation.

  8. Gwen says:

    I wish you had read the blog before I visited your store last weekend, Mary Ann. I would have gladly taken the time to talk with you. I too agree that Darlene did a tremendous job in organizing this year’s yuletide and family fun weekend (trains). I did not suggest that the promotions committee worked on these projects on their own, but we did help. Members became involved once the promotions committe was put in place. We didn’t sit by and watch. Robin recognized this in her comments above.

    You and Snoopy must not have known, but besides spending several hours taking surveys, I did help plan both Yuletide and Family Fun Weekend with Darlene and others. It involved a lot of hours and a lot of work, but as you both said, it was very successful 🙂 I think the surveys will be very helpful in our planning for this years events.

    I can’t make any guarantees that “Love the Local” will have the same amount of folks in town as Yuletide, but I can say that the Promotions Committee, with Mary as our coordinator, has been putting forth a lot of work towards making it a successful retail event. The committee is excited to implement a new activity for Blissfield! Even if you’re not into Main Street, I hope you’re able to participate Snoopy. Thanks for wishing us luck.

    Robin, I think your idea of a New Year’s event is a great one! I know you’re involved in another main street committee, but I would like to hear more about it.

    • Robin says:

      It was actually Snoopy’s idea, but I second it. I think it would even be helpful to local business to get the word out if they are organizing something.

      If anybody wants help with spreading the word, I would post something for them here.

  9. Mary Ann says:

    Apologies Gwen, in supporting Darlene I inadvertanly through you and some mainstreet volunteers under the bus.That was not my intention and upon review of my posting it sounded rather harsh to me.You are a high energy, highly motivated individual and I’m confident the promotions committee is in good hands.

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