To begin the process of determining what quality of life issues top the list to enhance Waterford Township, officials are seeking input from residents and those working in the township by way of a survey now available online.
“It’s a pretty comprehensive survey since everyone has a different view of quality of life,” said Kent Roberts, director of the National Civility Center and a Waterford resident who has been chosen to coordinate and helm the township’s efforts.
The initiative comes on the heels of discussions on the subject spearheaded by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who has stated that the quality of life issue is crucial and that he hopes to leverage quality of life issues throughout Oakland County.
Last year, both Ferndale and Waterford Township were selected to participate in a pilot program to develop quality of life strategies to be implemented in their respective communities. To that end, each signed a challenge agreement with Patterson to roll out a comprehensive plan incorporating feedback from residents.
“We’re going to work and commit to the process to identify our assets, prioritize and develop an action plan,” Roberts said.
Roberts and the ad hoc Quality of Life Committee, comprised of representatives from the township, the Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce, Waterford Schools, and residents, is in the early stages of self-examination.
The survey is just one step in collecting various data to identify strengths and weaknesses before narrowing in on quality of life initiatives the committee wants to initially undertake.
“We want to address 3-5 initiatives without taxpayer money, but it’s not a one-time deal — it will be ongoing,” Roberts said. “Some of them won’t require funds at all, just people committed to it, whereas some may require some financial resources or start-up funds.”
One funding source the township could possibly tap into is a grant from the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan.
“Since we are in the pilot program we’d have a good chance of getting some grant money,” Roberts said.
The survey will remain online at the township’s, chamber’s and schools district’s websites through the month of February. Hard copies are also available at each of their offices.
Survey responses can be anonymous and are not limited to residents; those working in the township are also encouraged to respond.
Once a plan is rolled out, Patterson will decide whether Ferndale or Waterford are worthy of the first Qualify of Life award to be handed out in December.
“We’re not undertaking this for that purpose but to retain and bring in new people and business to the area,” Roberts said. “Quality of life is one of Waterford’s greatest assets, but we can do a lot more.”