It has been two months (eight weeks) since I began communicating with you via weekly community letters such as this one. Each letter has sparked a flurry of interactions with many of you, which is what fuels our passion to serve you. The partnerships and relationships we have developed with you, over the years, hopefully allow you to know that we are always here –even virtually – to help address your questions/concerns to serve every resident and business in Pittsfield Township.
To that end, since the onset of the pandemic, we have pro-actively provided additional resources for our small businesses, access to affordable housing, along with exemptions and extensions for utility payments. At our Board of Trustees meeting last week, we provided for non-monetary hazard compensation for non-administrative fire and police personnel as we continue to rely on them at the frontlines to ensure the safety of our community. As for the past decade, we will continue to find partnership-based solutions that are both fiscally-responsible and help us in creating a community in Pittsfield Township that is respectful, inclusive, sustainable and equitable.
One of the programs that best encapsulates the success we have had in redefining our role as your public servants is the Farmers Market. Going into its 8th season this year, we piloted the Market in 2013 in the face of many nay-sayers that doubted its viability within a suburban setting – just as back in 2009 many opposed our decision to spearhead the installation of non-motorized amenities such as greenways, sidewalks, bike lanes, and expansion of transit services because they doubted anyone would use them.
Not only have these non-motorized amenities helped us include everyone – regardless of age, physical abilities, race, and economic wealth – into the fabric of our community, it gives us a significant head-start as we being planning, post-pandemic, for greater localized self-reliance.
In that spirit of enhanced localized, self-reliance our 8th season of the Farmers Market will focus on strengthening the pipeline of access to local produce that we have built since 2013. This year we will continue supporting our local farmers and linking them with you, through no-contact curb-side delivery. We will begin taking online orders for our first Market day, being held virtually for the first time, this weekend. For details, please go to: http://www.pittsfield-mi.gov/farmersmarket
The rallying cry of positive change that first allowed us to begin serving you, a decade ago, continues to resonate and, since the onset of this Great Pandemic, has reignited our passion for working tirelessly for you as we continue moving forward on expanding our non-motorized network and improving on initiatives such as the Farmers Market to spearhead equitable sustainability.
So, once again, we rely on you to partner with us so we may – together – be proactive rather than reactive in identifying ways to enhance the quality of life for all in Pittsfield Township. To succeed in this venture, it is critical that we are patient and kind with ourselves and each other as we transition, in a positive and respectful manner, into new ways of engagement and functioning.
Mandy Grewal, Ph.D