It's futile to rail against change
I was tempted to ignore Carl Budnick's letter in the August 2 Beacon. As a transplanted city slicker, I've grown used to occasional abuse from old-timers. Mr. Budnick's letter seemed mostly an excuse to go after some of his neighbors. If he does have rotten neighbors that's truly a shame, but some of his general comments about newer residents pushed enough of my buttons to goad me into writing a response.
First, I have to admit he had a point on one topic. It's beyond me how someone could knowingly move to a rural area and then get into a twist over having to use well water or getting an occasional whiff of their neighbor's barnyard. Also, I'm happy to say that in my time in Liberty Township, its citizens have lived up to the reputation that rural communities have for friendliness and hospitality.
However, the tone of Mr. Budnick's letter reflects a prejudice that many of us have had to sometimes put up with. I've attended my fair share of public meetings (such as trustee meetings) in which new residents were openly referred to as "transients" and "outsiders," and it was made abundantly clear that our opinions were not welcomed. We transplants pay our taxes. Most of us attend local churches and send our kids to the local schools. Some of us have even defended this country, and thus this community, in combat. But apparently we are expected to simply stand aside and mind our place while a few good ol' boys continue to run the township.
I have seen several local events pit neighbor against neighbor. Some of the hostility was unfortunately caused by lack of patience and understanding. But most of the friction caused in Liberty Township can be chalked up to the simple fact that the area is changing, just as it always has. Three hundred years ago this area was a forested wilderness populated by the local tribes. The forest gave way to farmland which encouraged the development of the canals. Then along came the railroad, which in turn caused the demise of the canals. Now long-time local families are selling their lots and farms, which will only hasten the influx of Mr. Budnick's "city dogs." This is change and to rail against it is as futile as railing against the wind. You can dig in your heels and holler all you want, it'll still pass you by.
Finally, I would like to offer my condolences to Mr. Budnick on the passing of his wife last September. The one bright spot in an otherwise angry letter was his words concerning her. It is obvious that he loved her very much. All to all of my fellow township residents - See you at the Festival! Tony Winkler Liberty Township