February 17, 2021 FridayMusings is your source for what we love about Livonia
And the Valentine's Day
Love for Livonia continues
Jim Baringhaus: I love the way Livonia residents join together to achieve a common goal. Our residents have an amazing level of pride in our community.
Regardless of how daunting the task, Livonia residents will always “step up” and volunteer to get the job done!
Karen Sanborn: grew up in a small town, so I think it is divine providence that I ended up finding Livonia as the small, big town to call my home. A great place to work and to raise my family.

I have lived here longer than in my home town.

I love the parks, schools, restaurants, and shopping, but most of all I love Livonia’s people – those who operate businesses, volunteer, teach our children, protect us and our property, keep us healthy, guide us in faith, make music and art, serve as leaders, and everyone in between.
One Council candidate, Carrie Budzinski, is listening to the voters and wants your input
As candidates for City Council provide information to the readers of Musings the typewriter will be happy to share on a timely basis. Today that candidate is Carrie Budzinski:

I'm running for Livonia City Council this year and the first step in my campaign is finding out what's important to residents. I created a survey a couple of weeks ago and have been thrilled to get very nearly 100 responses so far.  

The best news is that 91% of respondents said they feel connected to Livonia and 95% are interested in building community bonds. When the most popular reason people give for living in the city is the convenience it's nice to know they aren't simply here for freeways and two Targets. 

What do people love to do in Livonia? 95% of respondents use parks and playgrounds. 80% use the library! As a Library Commissioner, this result brought particular joy. 70% use the trails, 61% the Rec Center, and 50% use Greenmead. 

In terms of programming, the runaway winner was The Spree with 76% of respondents saying they attend the annual festival. Hopefully, it can return again this summer.

People are happy in Livonia, they feel safe in Livonia but love isn't blind. Virtually all respondents mentioned one of the following: the loss of green space to new development, the growing number of chain businesses and empty storefronts, and the issue of race/diversity. 

They aren't easy topics, there are no easy answers but the fact that residents are pointing them out as areas of improvement doesn't take away from the fact that they love their city and are happy in Livonia. As we move forward to address these issues AND the desire for a downtown space - which was also a very popular comment, I think we have the opportunity to get creative and be a leader in the region by setting an example of best practices.

We have the resources, will, and passion to do great things in Livonia, and what's not to love about that?

The survey will remain open and I will always appreciate hearing what Livonians care about if you are interested in offering feedback: 

Even on cold days our Livonia Civic Chorus does not miss a beat
All of our Livonia art organizations are hurting for the financing necessary to keep the voices singing, the instruments playing, the actors acting.

We have seen some creative outreach opportunities that underscore the depth and breadth of the Livonia cultural scene.

The Livonia Community Theatre started up a virtual performing arts academy. The Livonia Symphony Orchestra raffled off a one-of-a-kind guitar.

And this past Sunday the Livonia Civic Chorus took to the streets, or rather to the Civic Park Senior Center for a Drive-by for the arts.
It may have been cold but with the sun out, the smiles galore offered up by 16 Chorus members, and the cars driving up. . .oh, and did I mention the Heritage Bakery Valentine cookies and the FridayMusings Love Livonia bumper stickers. . .that approximately $900 was raised to help support the Spring virtual concert.
Honorary chairs from the City Council Jim Jolly and Brandon McCullough greeted drivers, shared conversation with the chorus members. And McCullough even got to spend some time with Kacie and Harps McCullough and brother Ryan McCullough as they brought up their donations.
The first art supporter to arrive was Library Commissioner Carrie Budzinski.

Sustainability Commissioner Betsy Calhoun and her son walked over from her neaeby home.There was Charlie Mahoney. My neighbor Cathy Tyrrell Karasinski. Nathan Garrett. So many more.

Former Councilman Conrad Schwartz took two cookies. Dave and Gail McKillop stopped by on their way to the Plymouth Ice Festival--another form of art for sure.
Chorus President Kathleen Chichester and past President Peggy Gaskill are committed to seeing that the Livonia Civic Chorus continues year 56 without missing a beat.

56 years of concerts. Pandemic or not this group of volunteers is convinced that they will not miss a beat--whether it is by hosting a virtual Christmas concert for 1200, preparing for the Virtual Spring Concert or passing out Valentine cookies to share their love of the Livonia community.