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SG-W:/ Hope you were lucky enough to attend the Rural NeighborhoodForum which



Hope you were lucky enough to attend the Rural Neighborhood Forum which
Cyndi and Ernie Zuccaro/Becker did such a great job of putting
together.
 It was a powerful event which I believe will have an impact on how
development proceeds in Webster Township and, perhaps, surrounding
townships.
Our township officials and farmers got to hear other people's
realities
and I believe for the first time, some farmers actually began to
understand PDRs.  John Allison spoke eloquently to the role of being
on
the township board and the kind of perspective that one must have. And
Senator Dianne Byrum and Rep John Hansen both talked about encouraging
legislation coming up that will ameliorate taxation for the farmers as
well as a few other ideas Engler has which might be helpful.  
 Each group did draw up a list of "what's next" which will be compiled
and sent back for editing.  Then the summary will go out to all
workshop
attendees so at least they will have in writing what they said should
happen.  And I don't think I am being naive if I say that some of the
adversarial tension between farmers and activists evaporated.  And
finally, I believe that good connections were made between neighboring
township officials which I am hoping might be a beginning of
collaboration.
So this forum was a lesson for us all.  We didn't get the grant we had
expected in order to put it on, but Cyndi forged ahead anyway, (if at
first you don't succeed, try try again!)  and this is the first of
three
initiatives this year that we hope will impact the future of Webster
Township.  The second is the research study that the UM students are
doing.  The third is the Tour de Sprawl on Sept. 26th.  
And if we can get a few of us to run in the autumn
elections......slowly, but surely, we will make a difference in
designing our futures.


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