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2010 Jacobson/Quinn Toy Project Christmas Express speeds through Holly Print
Written by Gail Innis
Friday, December 03 2010 9:51 am

Thanksgiving is behind us, the railways have been maintained, and throughout the local area from the crossings in downtown Holly to the whistle stop in Davisburg, the 2010 Jacobson/Quinn Toy Project Christmas Express can be heard. Listen carefully and you will hear its long and steady tone echoing in the crisp night air or among the soft snowflakes in the daylight. Thanks to significant donation from CXS Corporation and countless smaller local donations, the engine’s coal box is filling with fuel for this year’s holiday toys relief effort. Like Holly Area Youth Assistance’s mission “to strengthen youth and families through community involvement,” CXS appreciates community efforts to empower our children and youth because they are “How Tomorrow Moves.” Our bright future of our yellow locomotive doubles en route to the freight house as the extra crew begins its track check of the toys, books and other gifts.

Holly DDA Director thanks many Print
Written by Hope Ponsart
Monday, November 08 2010 8:23 am

On behalf of Holly’s Downtown Development Authority, I would like to thank the following businesses and volunteers for helping make last weekend’s Halloween Kids Parade and Trick or Treat event another “scary” success! This event would not have happened without your support.

Special thanks go out to the Holly Police and Fire Departments, the Holly Department of Public Works, Holly Foods, Heather and the Magic Moments Learning Center, Glen Mitchell at Mitchell’s Farm Market, McKays Hardware, Deihls Orchard and Cider Mill, Big Tony’s Pizza and Ribs, John Rudicki (aka “Willie Wonka” the amazing balloon man), the Holly High School cheerleaders, Sandra Kleven, Carol Howard, Jerry and Lori Walker, Jason and Katy Hughes, Jesse Lambert, Allison Winegar, Mary Woloweic, Mary Ann Vergith and Tom Ponsart.

Those having comments, suggestions or ideas on about this year’s event, or ways in which we can improve next year’s Halloween event can email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call me at (248) 605-1199.

Don’t forget Ladies Night Out is coming up on Friday, Nov. 12. Let’s get all the ladies in Holly out for this one! The town will be decked out in white lights and balloons, music will fill the air – a great way to get into the holiday spirit and a great way to knock out a little holiday shopping while you’re at it!  Hope to see you there.

Hope Ponsart
Director, Holly DDA

Reader shares views on regional shared police services Print
Written by Janet Leslie
Monday, October 25 2010 7:16 am

I get a bit frustrated when I read comments comparing the cost of policing the village of Holly to the cost of policing other areas that contract with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.  Regardless of how the numbers shake out, the comparison of a local police department to a county agency is clearly not one of apples to apples.

As the issue of police protection is one that will be continually considered by the Holly Township Board of Trustees on which I serve, I must point out that I offer my opinions here as a concerned citizen, and not as a representative of Holly Township. Nor is it my intention to portray one policing agency as being necessarily better than another. I do, however, contend that they are different.

Barnes Gram for September 23, 2010 Print
Written by Kent Barnes
Thursday, September 23 2010 2:16 pm

With a horrible cold today, I am sending this Barnes Gram as opposed to the usual weekly podcast. No one needs to listen to my voice today. The podcast will resume next week.

Tonight, Thursday evening, each elementary school will host its “Curriculum Night."  All four elementary schools programs will last from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Friday night, many wonderful activities will occur around our home football game against the Clio Mustangs. For example, the Holly Area Community Coalition will sponsor a Substance Free Family Fun Tailgate Party, along with the Athletic Boosters, Band Boosters, Team Patterson, Rose Pioneer Family Council and Youth Assistance.

Prior to Friday night’s home football game, the event will be from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the Holly High School parking lot (rain or shine). The free activities include an inflatable slide and obstacle course, face painting, tug of war, carnival games, and sack races. Refreshments will include walking tacos, nachos, pop/water, baked goods and candy. For more information regarding this “Family Fun Tailgate Event”, please call 248-328-3135. Thanks to all who participated in the planning for this worthwhile endeavor.

During the half time activities of tomorrow night’s football game, Mr. Chuck Keefer will also be honored for his many years as a classroom teacher and coach for the Holly Area School District. Mr. Keefer will also make the coin toss prior to the start of our football game.

As our communities are pleased with the last two football wins against Linden and Fenton, a great deal of excitement exists for Friday night’s game. With such excitement in the air, I want to share some of the comments that individuals have provided after the Fenton/Holly football game.

  •  "I was so pleased that so many community members showed up at Fenton to support our team."
  •  "I was so excited that our parents and community members were excited for our players."
  •  "My son has friends in Fenton, and I was glad that the two teams played hard (as everyone wants to win), but they were still friends after the game."

I could go on and on with the comments, but the overall points are simple ones. While everyone wants to win, no one should want to see any student athlete be injured or athletic team be humiliated.  The Metro League students share many experiences outside of athletic competitions. Whether it is academic, student council, or other endeavors, the Metro League schools encourage appropriate cooperative efforts as well as appropriate competitive sports behavior.

I was so pleased that we were a part of the Wounded Warrior Project football game. A great kudos goes to all the Fenton School District and community members who played a part in such a wonderful endeavor to honor the men and women who found themselves severely wounded as a result of their service for our country.

As a result of such activities, I am very proud to be the superintendent of a Metro League school. I believe all of the Metro League superintendents want the best for all of our students in all of the endeavors they participate. I look forward to future years of academic and athletic activities with our sister schools in the Metro League.

To all of our parents, community members, and family friends who attend our school district activities at home and away, I thank you. To all our students who participate in athletic and academic endeavors, I thank you as well for representing our school district in such a class manner.

In the upcoming weeks and months, many discussions will occur regarding future district budgets, curriculum, technology, and vision/mission. I look forward to those discussions, as our charge is to do what is best for our students within the parameters that we have.

As a reminder, Wednesday, Sept. 29th is count day for Michigan’s public schools. Few people understand that for a student to be counted to gain the state’s student foundation allowance, a student must be registered and attend school on that date. If a student is absent on count day, he/she must have already been enrolled and attended class to be counted for the state foundation allowance. If students enroll on the day after student count, our school district cannot count them in the final student enrollment number sent to the state department. So, it is important that students be registered and attend on count day if they plan on attending the Holly School District schools.

Thanks so much for reading this Barnes Gram! Have a great rest of the week and upcoming weekend!

R. Kent Barnes

Superintendent, Holly Area Schools

To the new village manager Print
Written by Janet Leslie
Monday, September 13 2010 8:23 am

Usually, when one has a very difficult job to do, observers will say, “I don’t envy you.” In this case, I do envy the village council and Chief Gackstetter for the job they have undertaken to select a new village manager. How exciting to be able to select a truly great leader for this community when one is so sorely needed! It’s an opportunity to give the village a push forward into a brighter, more prosperous future. 

Daunting though it may be, I hope they appreciate the honor of this responsibility and enjoy every minute of the process.

To that new manager, your position will certainly be a challenge, but also the thrill of a lifetime for someone who is passionate about community-building! I hope you can’t wait to dig in. I hope you are bursting with enthusiasm. This is no mere job. This is a quest to restore a community’s pride, it’s faith in its leadership, and its hope for the future.

The formula for accomplishing these things should not be too complicated. Of course, it will be helpful if you have a related degree and relevant leadership experience, but more important than those is the right management style and attitude. Allow me to make some suggestions.

Walk around. See firsthand what your employees are doing. Witness the challenges they face. Don’t expect your department heads to come to you if there are issues. Be there, tackling issues with them, as they come up.

Listen. This community is filled with disappointed employees, disenchanted business owners, distrustful water and sewer customers, and frustrated residents. Hear what they have to say with an open mind. Invite them to come to you with their concerns. Listen too, to the optimists who can see ways to improve the community, and are eager to get started. Use their ideas to inform yours; don’t be tempted to reject ideas that are not your own.

Communicate. Remember that you serve at the pleasure of the village council and do not attempt to control the flow of information to them. You are a public employee, paid by the taxpayers who have elected that council. Your work belongs to the taxpayers, not to you. Be transparent in all things. Treat the public like valued customers. Return phone calls and e-mails promptly and politely.

Smile. Show your love for what you do and those you serve by having a positive attitude—and share it! This community has every right to feel good about itself, and you can lead the effort to spread that kind of spirit.

If you don’t walk through this community and see how close to great it is, and imagine how great it could be, don’t bother accepting the job of village manager. If you don’t see a house in disrepair and imagine it restored to its former glory, if you don’t see an empty storefront and imagine it filled with customers, if you don’t see an empty lot and imagine a community center built on it, if you don’t see a child walking along a road and imagine a safety path leading him to school, if you don’t see families struggling and imagine them thriving, don’t bother coming to Holly. Join us in creating a vision for prosperity for the entire Holly community, or don’t show up at all.

Taking on the job of manager of the village of Holly is a bit like being the first to take a girl on a date who was just stood up at the altar. We’ve been disappointed, so be gentle. Take time to earn the residents’ trust. Make the residents’ equal partners in the process of developing a relationship that will extend into the future. Assure residents that you understand their priorities and place them above your own. Lead with kindness, candor, and can-do…

…and this could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

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