Source: Sherman Publications

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Letter to the Editor
Reader calls for compassion in govít

October 19, 2011

Dear Editor,

Trustee Mark Petterson commented that he didn't think that $5 or $50 was going to break anyone ("No increase for safety path millage," Sept. 28)

He is very detached from reality if he belies that. I could give him a list of at least 100-200 people who work their butts off and barely eke through from one paycheck to the next.

People are suffering. They aren't splurging or racking up credit card bills that they can't pay. They are doing without essentials and making difficult choices every day because, you guessed it, they don't have an extra $5 or $50 dollars and if they did, it would be going into their gas tanks.

I think the bottom line is that there needs to be more compassion in our society and in our government and less hubris. I love the idea of a safety path, I voted for the millage. But now is not the time to raise taxes, and any path that is installed should be multiple user friendly, and, it should be aligned with commuter needs to provide a mechanism to travel about the community in methods other than cars.

I would like to encourage our "leaders" to expand their thinking; include consideration of the long term effects of the proposals they deal with on the traffic, on the environmental impact.

Take time to look at what is being done in the healthiest communities around our nation, not just in Michigan, and bring some of those tried and true solutions here.

Get involved in Green infrastructure programs, learn about "No Child Left Inside" and what decisions they might be able to make that can encourage healthier children that are more connected to nature. Each individual on the board was voted in to serve the public, not to provide a stepping stone for some political aspirations. And each individual on the board is responsible to every citizen, not just those with phat bank accounts.

Finally, I invite each member to look up one word: Tonglen. Look it up, try it out. And consider what it might be like to walk in someone elses shoes, someone with a smaller bank account. I am not ashamed of my tight finances. I value every choice I made that brought me to here. Despite that, I don't have an extra $5-$50 to pay for a poorly planned safety path.

Thank you.

Tammie Heazlit

Independence Township