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Like most of our stories, we go where we're invited.  We got a note from David Elliot who's a very active father in the world of his girls and Beach Softball in the Fruitport area and all that it does for the young people who've been a part of it for years.  On the one hand, imagine a problem where too many kids are out involved deeply in athletics and their parents are there supporting them through the endeavors...that's what's happening here and in leagues all across Muskegon County and further out.  On the other hand, finding space and time for the teams to adequately practice and plat is an ever growing challenge and yes, thigs can get frustrating.  So, the Township is where the frustrations come out and in that setting, it can be hard to present the hopes and needs and it can also be something that popped up on the board and might take a little more looking into.

 

David Elliot and a growing number of participants want what's best for their kids, and their sport.  Any well run municipality like Fruitport Township wants the exact same thing.  The difficulty can come up in a few different ways and when the people from any township are looking for some assistance and are in a setting like a monthly meeting, everything just feels amplified and for most, heading to a township meeting is a time that they probably never encountered before and to speak in front of a group, it's unnerving.

To the townships end.  Working to keep everyone happy is the impossible goal.  Governance is balance and give and take.  When there are projects happening behind the scenes that really can't be talked about due to any number of reasons from waiting for the ink to dry on paperwork to the funding drying up mysteriously from a grant that was believed to be coming, word got out about it and then all of the sudden it was gone....well, that can do more harm than good for everyone involved.  There's also the different departments that are in charge of things and word might have not gotten to the board or supervisors of any given project and to the residents that want action now....it's difficult to understand in an instant gratification society like we live in where a Big Mac can be at your door in 10 minutes.  What to do?

Deflate it.  "Hey Dave, where you going to be with the softball team?"  "Todd Dunham, Fruitport Township Supervisor, can you meet us at the softball field at 5:30".  Coming to the understanding that everyone is on the same page, albeit different timelines is really all it takes.  Behind the scenes... Dave is thinking the Township is angry, and Todd is thinking that this is all in process, however, I have some more gears to get moving and there's going to be changes in place by next season.  Clear communication.  The relief of pressure and the desired outcome is something that together Beach Softball and the Township can now work on together and since they so graciously invited us to be a part of it all, we can ask that while a permanent solution is coming..... does anyone know of a spot where some kids can get a little more practice and play time?  The Beach Softball Club would sure love to hear from you.  Click on their name back there and give them a holler if you know of a church field or neighboring township that's got some space to plug the gap for the time being.  You can also This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Our role in this?  We've lived in an era of political suspicion and people whispering in the ears of one another too long.  We also understand that in the setting of a township meeting, it's just not like sitting down and having a chat so, let's try that route.  We did and everyone walked away a little more assured, a little wiser and chances are more open to working together for the greater good of the kids, because after all, we really have one purpose in this world, and that's to leave it better for the generations to follow, and to set the example of that.....well, we'd like to think we just did.  Our thanks to concerned parents, truly good local leaders and the willingness to try it another way.  

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