7/17/2013 12:01:00 AM Letter: 'Without adapting...you are
condemning Harbor Springs to being a struggling downtown...'
To the Editor:
I read the following to Harbor Springs City Council at the Monday 15th meeting:
I have been fortunate enough to have been born and raised in Harbor Springs as well as living here most of my 37 years. I have also been blessed to spend quite a bit of time traveling with my mom, Kathy Adelaine. She owned a local travel agency and opened my eyes to many places and experiences. With that background, I chose to live and build a business in Harbor Springs because I truly know the beauty and opportunities it has to offer.
Over the years I've noticed a decrease in part-time and full-time residents. The summer residents of my grandparents' generation would come up to Harbor from late May through early September. The next generation, their children, have shortened that 'summer' vacation to just part of June and July and now their children, my generation, is only coming up around July 4th. The economic impact is not the same as we are not having generation after generation moving back to the area. The question you, as City Council, should ask is "why"?
I am a strong proponent of keeping the charm that Harbor Springs has always had but also adapting amenities to encourage people back to town. To accept the belief that 'we don't want new/more people' or 'well it's been that way for so long so we'll just keep it' is stagnant! I implore you be open to change for not just you but for the livelihood of your children and grandchildren to be able to live in such a wonderful place. Without adapting to new needs and wants of the community, you are condemning Harbor Springs to being a struggling downtown with an aging population.
I see the two largest areas of contention for initial change in town to be the tennis courts and the deer park. In my 37 years of living here I have used the tennis courts twice and fed the deer maybe three times, all of that being about 25 years ago. Both of those properties are prime real-estate for the City and are completely underutilized by the majority of the public!
With respect to the deer park, I can see them in my back yard or on my drive to work. I do not need to see them in captivity and have our police officers waste time to act as vets. How much City money and time is used for the park and deer maintenance? How could that money and property be better used? As for the courts, only eight people can use the tennis courts at a time. I would have to assume if that waterfront area was revamped into a park for the whole community more than eight people would be enjoying that space at a time.
Therefore, I respectfully request that all members of City Council look towards the big picture, and make decisions not necessarily based on your personal wants or needs but the community's. Please keep an open mind to changes and amenities of future generations and business owners.