Friday, September 16, 2016

This Is Your Village, Your Government

My "Update from the Village President" letter from our upcoming Village of Wolverine Lake Fall Newsletter:

A few weeks after you receive this newsletter – after several more weeks of the most negative campaign in my memory – somewhere around half of the eligible voters will select a new President of the United States. Even fewer will go down the ballot to vote for in our village council election.

We live in an age of cynicism about politics and politicians. I suppose it isn’t surprising given a news media that spends its time obsessively parading the worst of us again and again while ignoring the good among us. But it deeply worries me that so many of us feel powerless to change or improve our situation.

We are not powerless. We can improve our government, our communities, our lives.

And so first of all I say to you all: VOTE. And don’t just vote for the first item on the ballot, the Presidential election. VOTE the full ballot. Many of those officeholders down the ballot – county officials, judges, boards of education, village council – will have a much more direct effect on our community than whatever happens with the Presidential election. If you’re looking for information on these candidates the League of Women Voters of Michigan ( prepares an excellent nonpartisan voters’ guide every year with statements from the candidates themselves.

But also remember that improving our government and our community doesn’t end with voting. It starts with voting.

Our village was formed by neighbors who got together to form a village government. More than sixty years later it is still a government of and by neighbors. All of us on Council, Planning, ZBA, Water Management, Park & Rec, and the Historical Committee are your neighbors. We all live here and we’re all trying to make our community better by serving in our village government.

I invite you to join us. Sitting on a board or committee isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but come on down to a meeting and find out how and why we make decisions about the village. Volunteer to help with a Park & Rec event and have fun with your neighbors and children. Help the Historical Committee to preserve our unique village history and learn about our village’s colorful past and personalities. Help with a water management board project and learn how we try to keep our lake in good shape.

And in doing any of those things you will discover that our government isn’t made up of “them.” Our government is made up of “us.” Please join us.

A lot of people fought and died to preserve our right to self-governance. Don’t let cynicism and apathy steal it from you. VOTE on Nov. 8. Then keep exercising your right to self-governance afterwards by getting involved.

Yours truly,
John Magee

Village President, Wolverine Lake

No comments:

Post a Comment