Teri’s Turn

In the three years I have worked in this community I’ve heard residents complain about the conditions of the roads—the conditions of septics—that they want sewers, they don’t want sewers, there’s not enough space for recreation and yet they don’t want a skate park, kids are too noisy, and the police don’t patrol enough.
We’ve all heard that too much money has been spent on the Mill, and echoes drone of the Downtown Development Authority not caring about downtown.
Pot holes are too deep, there are cracks in the sidewalks, and bees on the playground.
A new snow plow is not necessary and money shouldn’t be spent on a street sweeper, but clogged catch basins are flooding.
I’ve heard that community leaders either hide information, rule with an iron fist, or lack administrative potency.
Business owners complain there’s not enough commerce, the newspaper takes up prime store front, and there is not enough parking. But don’t park it here!
Meetings are filled with ambient mumbles of officials being paid too much and employees don’t make enough. Too much is spent on employee health and by all means don’t pay the retirement.
Noise levels are too high, creek levels too low, development is too rapid, and the zoning board should not allow another oil change or cell tower. And for heaven sake “no more talk about noise.”
Several residents stood up at the final public hearing for the proposed Off Road Vehicle ordinance threatening recall of the officials. One resident even stated he had never voted in township elections before but ‘by golley he will now.’
Two weeks ago The Citizen published an article informing the public of five village council terms up for the running.
To date not one resident has requested a petition to run for the four year seat.
As I see it, Brandon Township and Ortonville Village residents have several choices here.
• Stand up and take an active part in deciding the future of your own town by sitting on the village council, zoning commission, township board, school board, or even the DDA.
• If a busy schedule prohibits you from spending two nights a month as an official member of your own community, perhaps think about attending any number of the meeting held every week throughout this community, concerning decisions about your own community.
• Get out and vote. The only way to make changes , in your own community, without taking part in the reform is to vote for the person you deem most capable of making decisions for the good of the community.
If your vote is not cast the candidate running must be all right with you.
By your silence, one can only assume all is well with they way things are around here, in your own community.

Recently, during a three-hour wait on a Florida tarmac, we passengers braced ourselves for what promised to be an ugly travel set back. The nose-cone landing gear was damaged and the captain grounded the Airbus for extensive maintenance repairs.
A situation which could have been both nerve-wracking and temper-tempting, but instead turned out to be one of fellowship and passenger camaraderie.
The reason for this reversal was the big smiles and the happy nature of the airline crew.
Instead of becoming ill-tempered at the disruption of their day, the flight attendants dealt the first smiles and eagerly walked up and down the aisle to engage passengers in jovial conversation.
Smiles quickly spread throughout the plane and within a blink of an eye, these grins quickly turned grumbling passengers into joke tellers, story tellers, and tricksters. Groaning grumps were sharing video toys, card games and the stories of our lives.
To our delight, the delay passed quickly, with no further display of impatience from anyone.
As we safely touched-down on the Detroit landing strip, passengers applauded the captain. It was evident, however, that each and every one of us was quietly questioning whether we were applauding the safe landing of the captain or the flight crew who brought us home with a smile.
Confirmed by the look of appreciation on each passenger’s face as flight attendants said their farewells, the applauds were for the flight crew who so easily reversed the mood of the passengers, with a smile.
Darned right! It was the flight attendants’ smiles that turned an uncomfortable situation into a social delight.
It was the crew who could have turned the situation into a living nightmare with one small frown. After all, they too, wanted to complete their journey and return home to their loved ones. But, it was the crew who dealt the first smile.
It was their readiness to grin that saved the flight. It was their smiles reminding us that no matter what the situation, a smile can affect the entire crowd.
Yes, sir! It was the magical powers of the smile that brought us home.
Here’s hoping we all remember to deal the first smile.