The terrorist shootings and bombings in Paris on the previous Friday and the recent terrorist threat in Hanover Germany last week is a stark reminder of how precious and fragile freedom is around the world and in this country. Regardless of political leanings, we should be thankful for this country’s relative stability. Yes we have issues, and yes terrorism has struck our country, and yes it has altered our way of life; just try and board a plane.
But the very act of writing this memo for Coopersville’s City Council members is a testament that democracy is alive and thriving in our country, and in our city of Coopersville complete with all its beauty and flaws. Many of us take the freedoms and our special way of life for granted while we strive to make our personal lives successful and meaningful. This is certainly understandable, normal, and expected. But events such as the Paris terrorist attacks and our own 911 tragedy, certainly snaps us back to reality and reminds us that freedom is not free and we must be diligent to insure that the “experiment of democracy” will live for centuries to come. It is our obligation as citizens to nurture and protect such a rare and beautiful concept called democracy.
I must confess that I don’t always appreciate the uniqueness and specialness of our democracy, and that I need to try harder. During events like these I am reminded that being in local government is a personal and professional honor and it needs to be acknowledged each and every day. It needs to be acknowledged every day especially when democracy is under siege around the world where citizens here and abroad give the ultimate sacrifice simply by living their lives in an environment of democracy.
I could go on for several pages on the anger and frustration I feel for those that have no regard for personal freedom and the pursuit of happiness. However, I must confess that during these events I do appreciate my family more, my friends more, my country more, and our military more for their sacrifice and protection. I also appreciate life itself more and to be reminded not to take that for granted either. Embrace the positive and the good that life can offer and to the best of my ability ignore the negative and trivial.
As we move into the Thanksgiving weekend, be safe in all your travels and have a thankful, relaxing, and beautiful holiday as well.
Water Project Phase I
Today we had a joint meeting with Allendale Township and its engineers, Ottawa County (serving as Polkton Township representative), Prein&Newhof, and city staff to discuss Phase I of the proposed water system upgrade. A number of issues were discussed, predominately on the operational side of the design. As they say, “the devil is in the details.” There are many details that require resolution. This project is one of the reasons for the need for a Council Utility Advisory Committee (UAC). There is complexity and variables that staff needs to share and in turn, receive a bit of feedback from the UAC & Council. Granted there will be no action taken at the committee level but detailed conversation needs to take place, at least during the preliminary stage.
WWTP Project Phase II
The city and CDF (Continental Dairy Facilities) have received the proposal from the Muskegon Waste Water group. The numbers are still being studied. Also, the city needs to meet with Muskegon to review a number of questions that still remain and that will take place after the Thanksgiving holiday. I will provide more information as it becomes available.