Sometimes a community decides to pursue an enhancement such as a playscape or a skateboard park or an ice rink that can be paid for through donations. At other times, the scope of an improvement is so vital or so vast that every community member is asked to share in paying. In the two decades in which I have lived here, the residents of Farmington and / or Farmington Hills have supported investing in our public library, in redesigning downtown streets, in creating parks, in increasing public safety. And, we have supported investing in our public schools.
Even if one never uses the library, or does not own a business on Grand River, or has no children in a public school, does one still stand to gain from these investments? In the past, a majority of our residents has said yes. We have believed that even if we are not directly impacted, we all benefit from investing in our community, something bigger and deeper and longer-lasting than all of us collectively. We have believed that a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown core, enhanced public safety and recreation, and a resource-rich public library increase our quality of life. Visitors - potential customers for our businesses - are drawn here, and some choose to join us in living here. When we invest in the community, we are investing in something bigger, but we are also certainly helping ourselves.
Schools that provide safe environments conducive to learning in which students and staff make the best use of current (and future) technology to deepen and extend their learning can prepare our children for their adult world - a world that none of us can fully conceive of, right now. Surely such schools would be the desire of any community, as they would enhance the quality of life throughout the community. In order to establish such schools, the Farmington Public Schools is now asking us to support a very large investment. The positive impact of this investment will be felt far beyond the 11,000 students enrolled today, and current staff members (of which I am one). Directly, we will certainly be serving the students who will enter Farmington schools for years to come, and some of them will choose to establish their own homes here, extending the benefit into the next generation. Indirectly, we all will gain, almost immediately. Not for free, to be sure, but we will see a significant, important return on our own contributions to this investment.
Some are opposed to making this investment, for a variety of reasons. But the thing about a community is that we are all in this together, and if this investment is approved, they, too, will gain. I will be quite happy to share this improvement in the quality of our lives with our entire community.
Farmington resident and FPS teacher