2011-08-20 / Letters

Come To the Aid of Mackinac Island

To the Editor:

Residents, cottagers, and friends of the Island all have a tremendous opportunity to show a high level of support for creation of two historic districts. Show this support with letters to the editor of the Mackinac Island Town Crier, send letters to the mayor, and, if possible, attend meetings of the study committee and the council. Support what is right.

Perhaps there is a census of historic districts in the United States. There must be thousands (some 74 in Michigan), formed by people proud of their heritage and interested in preserving history. The instances of which I am aware here in a neighboring village have protected and preserved while enhancing values and increasing business.

Some people may seem to feel a historic district adds another layer of bureaucracy and regulation. Actually it substitutes self-regulation with local guidelines administered by residents of the district, for the common good and the future.

The mayor and the council must recognize that the Island’s historic designation is in jeopardy. Let them know your opinion. Almost all letters about this in the Town Crier the past two years or more have been in support. More than 300 Islanders signed a petition in support. A view of a minority should not prevail. History and tourism go together: the backbone of Mackinac Island’s economy.

This is no longer an issue of just Mackinac Island, nor of the state of Michigan. It is national in scope, as reflected by the national agencies involved in activities for preservation, as well as national media.

To paraphrase an American hero: Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of Mackinac Island.

Richard “Dick” Ott

Berkeley, Illinois

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