Locals chime in on the economy

Blessed with only a caveman’s grasp on any situation, I was once again amazed by the power of the community press.
The other week I opined on the local economy. In a nutshell, I wrote:
‘Rugged individualism. Entrepreneurial spirit of thems in Michigan 100 years ago put us on the world’s map. Have we too long been good, little workers? Has living through generations of being comfortable made us expect handouts? Dad said, ‘it’s a big, bad bear out there and nobody owes you anything.? When you are given lemons, make lemonade. Is that too risky??
Well, I received response.
An Oxford high-schooler named Jennie (who, I might add, has a good grasp of the English language) e-mailed me about her father, Kevin Sunman. Kevin had followed his father to work, who had followed his father to work. Both Kevin’s father and grandfather retired from the same auto-supplier where Kevin worked 20 years. Then the economy crapped out and Kevin was out of a job . . . what did he do? He buckled on his work boots, zipped up his tough skin and started his own business.
On Site Mobile Auto & Marine is Kevin’s company. As the name says, he fixes stuff on site. To read more about Kevin go to our website and enter his name in the search engine. His business phone is 248-506-2094.
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That red-headed dynamo from Brandon Township, Pam Belding, e-mailed to suggest a column on local volunteer opportunities. Her thoughts being: the local economy and quality of life can be improved thru locals volunteering . . . Pam, I will do one on your idea sooner or later.
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Out spoken Clarkstonite Cory Johnston had the following to say . . .
‘I generally don’t need an invitation to send ideas to the newpaper, but you wrote a column about the local economy moving forward, asked about business start-ups and asked if there were any ideas. That got me writing even faster than normal.
‘I just started my consulting engineering firm in Clarkston after more than 29 years of doing that work for someone else. I wanted to do things a little differently, the ability to work closer to the area I live and the 45-mile drive every day was getting a little expensive.
‘So, here I am in Clarkston providing structural engineering services when most people don’t even know what that is. (FYI, I make sure that buildings, bridges, signs, walls and other such things don’t fall down and kill you.)
‘Is this the time to start a new company?
‘Ask me next year and I might have a different answer, but this year I say, ‘yes.? A bad economy forces everyone to look at things we might all ignore if times were good. Should I renovate, should I build something new, should I do anything at all, are all questions that could give someone a job. Maybe a job that no one thought existed.
‘I am also an elected official on Clarkston City Council and on the budget committee. We make decisions about what services can be provided, at what cost — what is the best use of the taxpayer’s money. Can we promote more business, do we improve things in the city, or do we just hope we can get through another year? I won’t even use the dreaded ‘T? word (taxes), as that is something nobody likes to say in public, even me.
‘So, you ask if there are any ideas out there. Dr. Debra Rowe is a Senior Fellow at the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future and on the faculty at Oakland Community College. She says it is sustainability. Will money be there tomorrow? Will that job? Can we sustain our current lifestyle and expenses? Gas is predicted to be $4 per gallon by spring and spring is here. Will you be able to sustain your current driving habits or will changes need to be made?
‘Clarkston just allocated $10,000 for sidewalk improvements so perhaps it might be time to walk to where you are going instead of driving. There are discussions in Independence Township, and other places, on whether new development is what we want or need. It certainly adds revenue for the government, which in turn can provide services taxpayers want. But at what cost?
‘Can development be done in a manner that does not degrade the area or the environment? It takes very little effort for development to be done wrong and it can change things for a very long time, many times forever. Beaumont’s proposed development at M-15 and I-75 certainly seems like it might be a good test, so perhaps a little extra effort is needed.
‘I think things can be done better and since I make my living from buildings being constructed, it is certainly in my best interest to see what I can do to make sure it is done right, sustains my career, and does not harm the area I live in. It just takes a little extra collective effort to put it all together and figure out what is the best way for that to be done.
‘And what do you do in areas like the Village of Clarkston that have little opportunity for new construction and development?
‘There are some people in Clarkston quietly working on this very problem.
‘All of this creates jobs of one kind or another and keeps the economy moving forward. If done right, it will make our area and those jobs sustainable well into the future while being beneficial for everyone.?
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Any other readers have any other thoughts? Let me know, e-mail me: dontrushmedon@charter.net

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