Dear Editor,

The phrase “All politics is local” is a often bandied about in this country. Janet Howard of Goodland Township brought the power of those words home in her letter to the editor in the Nov. 2 Tri-City Times.

The recent solar farm controversy that would bring acres of solar panels to her township neighborhoods underscored for her, the importance of citizens to attend local meetings in hopes of having their voices heard.

Beyond that some voters came to realize in recent years how deep the political swamp is on both sides of the aisle in Washington DC. There are accounts of more people starting to pay attention locally and attending school board and another governmental gatherings.

Earlier this year I started showing up at Imlay Township and its planning commission meetings. My issue was a dangerous property near our home.

The Township Board has been responsive and helpful. The planning commission, I listen and try to learn. As the months went by I learned of so many needs, details and goings on – your tax dollars at work.

I’m typically the only spectator but the prospect of a solar farm here has brought out more residents who asked and got a temporary moratorium on solar.

Again, I’m not showing up for one issue. We simply need to be involved.

Another good reason I warm a seat in the front row is to honor the memory of our uncle Marty Hillman. He was a survivor of the WWII bloody Battle of the Bulge and other battles. His uniform is displayed at the Imlay City Historical Museum.

Marty knew all too well the value of a free country and freedom of speech. He attended every township meeting he could and sat in the back row with a buddy. Often they were the only spectators. But they were there.

If you think your time is better spent in front of the TV or electronic device you’d be surprised at what you’ll learn. I’ve had some board members even thank me for coming.

Recently I attended an Imlay City school board meeting to get to the bottom of a rumor.

I also recently attended the Eastern Michigan State Fair board’s annual meeting which included officer elections.

One attendee spoke on behalf of the Hernandez family asking the board to reconsider their ban against the family because of the food trailer they owned for decades. It was set up at both the fair and Woods & Waters outdoor event until this year.

Nope. The fair board has spoken. See, ask and you can get answers.

— Bernie Burgess Hillman,
Imlay Township