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Murch: Time to put our focus on a better Alpena

November 30, 2012
Steve Murch - Managing Editor , The Alpena News

The Michael Stanley Band was a Cleveland institution that had plenty of regional success and some national success in the 1970s and '80s. Eight of the band's albums hit the Billboard Top 200 with four of them in the top 100.

Only two songs hit the Top 40, with one being "My Town" in 1983. The song is about Michael Stanley's hometown and his love for it. The first two verses:

"This old town's been home long as I remember

this town's gonna be here long after I'm gone

East side, West side--give up, or surrender

--been down, but I still rock on...

"Oh, and this town

is my town--alright?

Love or hate it--it don't matter

'cause I'm gonna stand and fight

This town--is my town

she's got her ups and downs

but love or hate it--it don't matter

'cause this is my town"

It rings true for anyone who loves their hometown and wants what is best for it. In Alpena we just had two new people appointed to municipal council to fill the seats vacated due to the November recall. Susan Nielsen and Mike Polluch both have indicated they intend to run in the February special election - as have numerous other candidates who sought the temporary appointments.

Are Susan and Mike the answers to council? We'll find out in time. I know Susan and like her immensely; she is a terrific person. I always thought Mike did a good job when he served as a councilman before. If they do a good job they likely will be elected in February. If they don't, the probably won't. No decision will meet with complete approval.

People who run for office and serve all do it because they care about this town and the people in it. They don't do it because they want all the headaches associated with it. Like someone's politics or hate their politics, you need to understand they are getting into it because they want to make our town better. We have elections to change our leaders if we don't like the job they are doing.

They all go into it knowing they can't please all the people all of the time. We need to support our leaders, and when they do, or consider, something we don't like, we need to talk to them about it. The art of compromise has never been needed more in Alpena.

This town is hurting, and we all bear the burden of putting the past behind us and working toward a common goal of making Alpena a great place to live. The divisiveness needs to leave. We aren't all going to agree on everything, but now is not the time to continue with name calling, finger pointing, backstabbing, etc.

Too many people have been operating with agendas and pulling shenanigans. Some do it in the open, some lurk in the shadows; some do it and let people know they did it, others are chicken(blank) and remain anonymous. It's time to take a long hard look in the mirror: Are you trying to help build this town, or are you too busy trying to tear down other people?

If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem. It's time to put the petty differences aside and roll up the sleeves and get to work. If you don't like it, I have one word for you - MOVE. We don't need it, we have a great town with great people. It's time to cultivate our assets and move forward.

I love my hometown and want what's best for it.

"This old town is where I learned about lovin'

this old town is where I learned to hate

This town, buddy, has done its share of shovin'

This town taught me

that it's never too late

"Oh, and this town

is my town--alright?

Love or hate it--it don't matter

'cause I'm gonna stand and fight

This town--is my town

she's got her ups and downs

but love or hate it--it don't matter

'cause this is my town"

 
 

 

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