Cheboygan Main Street: Visions for Cheboygan: Help make them happen

·2 min read

Have you noticed when more than one person gathers there are an equal number of different opinions? That's how we humans work and that's how we learn to make things work. Sharing ideas is important.

Cheboygan has been going through a major transformation. Downtown buildings that stood empty for years now have businesses in them. Watching this process has made me think about how a community moves forward through its visions and planning. I decided to ask some members of our community what is important to them as Cheboygan rides this wave of change and transformation. I selected a small sampling of people but tried to include a broad spectrum. These are the responses I got.

Katie Duczkowski, former interim director of Cheboygan's DDA and mom to an infant son:

"I hope my son grows up in Cheboygan, a community that he is proud to call home--where he sees friendly, familiar faces everywhere he goes. I hope he lives in a community where he feels safe to stop and help someone in need and where people would do the same for him. I hope he sees volunteers rally together to make possible changes and create an even better place for their kids and grandkids to grow up."

Melissa Beaubien, who lived in Cheboygan as a child, left the community and has returned with her husband Drew to establish Beau est Beau:

"My vision is to continue to protect the natural beauty of the area and to draw people here by enhancing their experience through art, music, design, and quality food and entertainment experiences."

Phyllis Yeck, who started a family business with her husband Leo, a former teacher and coach. Phyllis and Leo raised six daughters in Cheboygan:

"I envision Cheboygan's downtown as a unique shopping district with unique gifts, fresh food stands, and small art galleries with the boardwalk theme designed around a beautiful walkway joining the trails and parks to a full City of Cheboygan Riverwalk."

Thomas Tafoya, a current student at Cheboygan Public High School who was recently involved in All State Honors Choir:

"I want Cheboygan to be a place that people come back to, a place known for its hospitality and not its hostility, a happy family!"

My own vision for my home may sound like it's straight out of a Disney movie but it's what I want. When I close my eyes and imagine the way I want my community to look, I see safe, affordable neighborhoods where multiple generations live as neighbors. I see acceptance for all types of families. I see kids riding bikes and playing outside. I see neighborhood schools and recreation opportunities. I see people with quality enjoyment.

Do you like these visions? Don't like them? No worries. Volunteer. Attend meetings at the Township, City or County level. Learn what is going on, hear what others think and share your thoughts. Every opinion matters and visions can come true.

— Connie Rieger is a community volunteer and advocate.

This article originally appeared on Cheboygan Daily Tribune: Cheboygan Main Street: Visions for Cheboygan: Help make them happen