By: Aimee Bingham Osinski email@example.com
Saturday morning Webster Township Hall had an impressive turnout of around 40 residents who showed to voice their opinion on the future of Webster Township. I was impressed. Nobody was angry. Everyone was ready to participate.
Once I arrived and was able to find a seat, John Enos, the Township planner was explaining how the meeting would go and what the goal for the meeting was.
He explained that the purpose of the meeting was to open dialogue between residents and government.
John pointed to the different stations set up in the back where elected county commissioners were manning tables on various topics important to the future and to be included and addressed in the masterplan. Residents were encouraged to ask questions and voice concerns, and desires. Commissioners were encouraged to take notes and focus on what residents feel is important.
For around a half hour, people moved from table to table, neighbors stood in corners and discussed with each other their vision for the future of the township. The cacophony was civil discourse in a very positive, productive manner. As people walked from table to table, I had the opportunity to speak with the new Webster Township treasurer, John Scharf, and ask him what he thought of today's turnout. He was pleased but not surprised. He knows his neighbors are invested in the community. He was manning the roads table, so I”m sure he got an earful. but he was engaged, listening and recording what people were telling him, which seemed to be don’t pave the roads, leave them as dirt. At the watershed table a woman named Erika told me she went to a Sierra Club meeting and that the Sierra Club considers Washtenaw County and Denver Colorado as the poster child for land preservation in the country. As John Enos wrapped up the meeting he said his favorite table was the land preservation table. He noted the preserved land on the board displayed on the table and congratulated the township on it without federal help, state help and just a bit of county help. Webster county had prioritized land preservation, and is second in the state for it, according to an audience member, without a lot of support from various aspects of government. He finished by stating that the commission meets on the third Wednesday of the month. The next meeting will be November 20th at 7pm at the Webster Township Hall. If you couldn’t make the meeting but would like to express your opinion about the future to the county commissioners, be sure to attend. They will be working on the masterplan for about 6 months and then they will hold a public hearing. So you have time to make your voice heard and you are encouraged to do so. .