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There’s lots to love about Chelsea

Photo by Alan Scafuri.
Photo by Alan Scafuri.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank the residents who shared their favorite things about Chelsea. If you’d like to chime in on your favorite things about Chelsea, comment on this story or email me at [email protected]. )

  • Dawn Miller says she loves Chelsea because it’s “a family-focused community.”
  • Deborah Oakley says, “Having moved to the Chelsea School District in 1982, but in Lyndon Township, I treasure the community because of people’s international and cultural interests. “
Courtesy photo of Rotary members.
Courtesy photo of Rotary members.

She says, “Stories of Peace Corps, mission, rotary and other links with families and communities in other countries show that links can be prolonged and enriching. Our Chelsea-Shimizu exchange program, approaching its 20th anniversary, has received spectacular support from Chelsea’s government and schools. “

Recently, she continues, “We had retired friends visit. Their requested tour of the Sculpture Walk provided delight to all, and gave ideas to the metal artist among them. They remarked at the community’s foresight to have a whole building for the arts.

“Finally, our Chelsea District Library is a node of activity and creativity. The nature scene currently on display is so invigorating, and their multiple types of programs have enriched my life tremendously. Besides, it’s enlivening to encounter so many young people going and coming at the library.”

  • Tom Tolen says Chelsea has a “Neat downtown and quaint, quiet neighborhoods.”
  • Kathy Carter says, “People who get involved and care; being able to walk anywhere in town anytime; the library, the fair, the parades, great local shops and restaurants … the list could be endless.”
  • Cathie Leonard Timberlake says, “This Saturday for example, free breakfast at the Chelsea First United Methodist Church, then going to the Chelsea Farmers Market, then heading to the Chelsea District Library for the used book sale.
Photo by Alan Scafuri. Scenes from Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights.
Photo by Alan Scafuri. Scenes from Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights.

“Add into that our family activities for the weekend,” she says, “Chelsea Recreation soccer, a Chelsea House Orchestra performance, and a trip to Waterloo Farm and Dewey School Museum on Sunday for Pioneer Day. Chelsea is the perfect place to grow a family.”

  • Jeremy Montange had by far, the most to say about what he loves about Chelsea.

“I think we all can agree that one important thing that makes this small town so special is our dedication to community, treating each other like family, with compassion and respect. When one member of our community is down, the rest of us do what we can to raise them back up,” he says.

“In the past, I have watched out-of-town people be hired by the city for important leadership roles,” he says. “For some of those individuals it took a bit of adjusting to let their guard down and accept that this is a small town where people respect each other and, for the most part, care about each other.”

People pass police officers waving, he says, with all their fingers, not just one.

When a military member enters a bar in uniform they don’t need to worry about being spit on, their only concern should be how to deal with all the gratitude shown and the free drinks presented to them, he says. When grandma or grandpa so-and-so call 911 because their smoke detector is beeping every few minutes, or a bat is flying through their house, we have civil servants that take a few minutes from their day to solve the problem rather than stating that 911 is for emergency only and hanging up the phone.

welcome-to-Chelsea-signWe live in a community where a bank is doing away with teller windows and installing desks so they can create a more personal experience for their customers.

But he had a few reservations as well.

“All that said, I am a bit confused by some of the renovations in the works at our city offices. Keeping in mind we live in a community stable enough that a bank is removing the physical wall between them and their customers, why is it that the City of Chelsea finds it necessary to install a bullet proof wall between the community they serve and the city office staff?” he asks.

“In my mind,” he continues, “Part of what creates the sense of community we have here, is the atmosphere we provide.”

To add a bit more perspective, he says, consider this, in order for me to deliver my monthly utility check to the city, I will be conducting my transaction through bullet proof glass, then I can walk 30 feet to my left, enter a bank with a visibly open vault, shake the hand of the teller behind the counter, and conduct my transaction.

From my perspective, when we start placing barriers between us, the bond we have starts to deteriorate.

It might seem like a minor thing right now, but as someone who studies behavior, I see the ripple effect, and I see one more aspect of what makes this community so special being ripped away.

breakfast signAs Cheri Albertson stated at a recent council meeting, “We serve at the pleasure of our citizens.”

I was raised in this town, I am 5th generation, and I have seen many transformations so far in my life. If you moved here, you did so because something about the community here drew you to it.

Please do not forget that in order for us to maintain the outstanding community that drew or kept you here, we have to stand up and make our voices heard.

As we have seen on a national level, when we sit back and just let things happen, things get out of control. We can guide this community, but we all have to stand up and do our part to maintain it.

I beg you, if you love our community, speak up for what makes it special for you.

File photo of veterans waling in the fair parade.
File photo of veterans waling in the fair parade.
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