Friday, February 22, 2019 1:20 p.m
Albion (AMN) — Since being elected as a public servant of the Albion community in 2011 (APS School Board initially), I have battled to find a balance between pleasing the “status quo” and standing true to my morals and values. I do believe many of us want to see Albion flourish; however, I also believe some of us have differing visions of what “flourishment” looks like in reality. Differing viewpoints should not result in conflict, confusion and obstruction – but rather communication, mentorship and true collaboration. As many are aware, Albion College and Albion Reinvestment Corporation (ARC), in partnership with the Albion Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) have collaborated and established a plan to redevelop our downtown district. I believe every Albion resident sees the benefit of having a flourishing downtown. I also believe every Albion resident sees the benefit of maintaining the unique and richly diverse population of our community. Maintaining our richly diverse population means meeting the needs of the community we currently serve, as well as offering opportunities to potential new residents.
In efforts to bring in new options for economic development, it is a gross injustice to ignore the basic human needs of our current residents: jobs, affordable housing, healthy grocery options, and daycare to name a few. It is the job of the AEDC to bring economic development opportunities to the entire city of Albion. Raising concerns about the need to explore opportunities to bring these basic necessities into Albion and raising concerns about the time spent between downtown development and economic development of the greater community should not strike up accusations of “obstruction and disruption,” or the labeling of those individuals bringing awareness to these basic needs, along with concerns surrounding the allocation of time and city resources of the AEDC as “out-spoken, negative saboteurs.” It is untrue, unfair, and disrespectfully dismissive of the real concerns being raised that affect so many Albion residents.