In 2011 Time Magazine's person of the year was The Protester, From the Arab Spring to the Athens, From Occupy Wall Street to Moscow.....Demonstrations Have Regained the Power to Make History.
Once I thought I thought so but I was much younger then and I had the benefit of living in a relatively free society. The Nixon Administration may have it's repressive aspects but it was no match for a free press. In many parts of the world the idea of the free press is a dream pursued with a great deal of risk. In 2011 in the City of Bloomfield Hills there were more one than one who criticized the users of such freedoms when their viewpoints did not coincide.
Then for as many gone by years as the Nixon administration was ago I did nothing except the job which paid bills. I do however recall on occasion lifting my feet when the wife came by with the vacuum. Doing nothing as it so happens is doing something. Edmund Burke and Father Niemoller told us so with famous quotations. Curiously lesser know quotations by both individual seem more immediately pertinent to our city.
Burke: No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
Neimoller: Whoever wants peace, must learn to live together with their opponents.
Somewhere along the line I roused myself enough to write the words you read. Why exactly I don't know. Maybe it was my dead parents talking to me from beyond the grave. I think a lot like they did, now. Maybe it is what you arrive at by process of elimination when you get tired of wishing things might be different.
At any rate I was so unfamiliar with the verb "Do" that "Doer" in which the suffix "er" makes it the verb a noun looked peculiar on the printed page. Is one who does really a doer or am I just misspelling the scotch whiskey that often turns up on holiday "open bars" . So I looked it up.
In 2011 The City of Bloomfield Hills was changed for better or worse by people who did things. Much was accomplished and much more was planned.
- The Position of Mayor is now to be elected by the City Commission rather than rotated among the sitting commissioners was arrived at but not without pain. The City Charter calls for such an election but for a suggested period of 30 years the City Commission chose to ignore the charter at the expense of the people.
- A Library, the community chose to contract and partner with as opposed to simply refunding individuals who purchased cards became a reality.Now plans for a revamped and improved version of that Library have appeared in this publication and are being considered.
- The Bloomfield Hills School Board wants build a $65 million dollar high school to replace two that either are or are not falling apart. A citizens group opposing this request wanted to and reportedly still is planning to impeach the entire school board. The football teams of both high schools who's replacement is suggested gained fame in different ways. One made the state play-offs. The other lost all it's games but be came the talk of the town.
- While the school issue and the library threatened the City's splendid sense of isolation by at the very least suggesting some sort of involvement with Birmingham and or Township there was also the realization that it might not be all that bad. In fact at a City Commission meeting when the City Manager revealed that the County (Oakland) had been taking down on Country roads (Woodward and Long Lake) the City's beloved black and gold signs and replacing them with green ones the sense of outrage lasted only minutes before it was suggested ," moving on to more important matters."
- On November 11th 2011 the Cranbrook Art Museum, after a two year remodel threw an 11 day gala grand re-opening that restored the City's place in the world. Manhattan has MoMA, the Guggenheim, the Frick,and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Paris Has the Louvre. Madrid the Prado. Florence has The Uffizi. St. Petersburg has The Hermitage and the City of Bloomfield Hills has The Cranborok Art Museum. Need we say more ?
- On a similar note of civic pride bursting at the seams, New York, New York in it's heyday had seven daily newspapers to serve 7 million people. With the addition of two new electronic publications The City of Bloomfield Hills has five publications (three newsprint, two electronic) which claim to report it's affairs to a population of 3800. All of the five have an internet component which can be updated or published daily. All include the word "Bloomfield" in their published name. Two add the word "Hills" and one has the expressed written intent of writing exclusively about the city or when it is necessary to deviate from that roll to do in a manner reflecting the interest, spirit, and charms of City of Bloomfield Hills.
On New Years Eve we will pick our Person the Year. This year many things were accomplished and planned by doers.One of whom we believe stands above the rest. It is a person regardless of residence who in our opinion had the most impact on the City. This not an award. There is no plaque or banquet and the person we pick will not be notified in advance. That person will find out just like you by visiting our blog on the Oakland Press online blog page or by going to cityofbloomfieldhill.blogspot.com. It is not a selection we will necessarily make every year, but in 2011 the year of the doer we will.