I love Oxford, but we need to change this, this and that
December 15, 2010 - "That's the problem in this country. People are never satisfied with stuff the way it is. You gotta make it bigger and better and stronger and faster."
– Comedian Denis Leary
You ever notice how the people who supposedly love Oxford the most are constantly proposing ways to fundamentally change the community.
It's like they've fallen in love with the woman of their dreams.
All she needs to do to be perfect is dye her hair a different color, lose the glasses for tinted contact lenses, drop 10 pounds, get a nose job, buy a new wardrobe, take some elocution lessons, and learn how to mix a proper Martini.
I admit that last one sounds pretty good to me.
Anyone else thirsty?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not against changes that make Oxford a better place by solving some actual problems, downsizing and consolidating government, and helping those who need it.
But the changes these people want are more about turning Oxford into something it's not.
Their version of change involves building things like community centers and senior centers; paving all the dirt roads; turning every open space that's left into playgrounds and sports facilities; building lavish school facilities; expanding local government services to the point where we have a cop, firefighter and DPW worker for every household; and coming up with the right combination of buzz words and slick imagery to market ourselves to the sublimely superficial.
There are those who desperately want to transform Oxford into an upscale, hoity-toity community on the order of Oakland County's capitals of pretension and phoniness, namely Rochester, Royal Oak, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills.
Some of it's motivated by people who moved to Oxford from urban areas. They came here because they absolutely adore the country charm, but they want to bring the city with them in the form of costly government services and high millage rates.
Some of it's motivated by Oxford people who have always had this inferiority complex when they look at their community and compare it to others. Oxford's always got to keep up with the Joneses in their minds.
Some of it's motivated by government officials with delusions of grandeur and a desire to pad their resumes for future employment and/or political opportunities.
Thanks to all of these folks, Oxford is definitely changing, but I don't think it's changing for the better.
One day, we're going to wake up and find that girl we fell in love with has become a monster we can no longer stand the sight of. But don't worry, we can always move to another small town and start ruining it.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.