I need your help – more specifically Port Clinton needs your help!
I believe you all know the multi-year history associated with the City attempts to develop the area along the lake and river known as Waterworks Park.
The initial attempt was successful in overcoming a referendum organized by a handful of citizens determined to stop any development. However, the delaying tactic of this anti-development fringe resulted in the developer backing out of the deal. Honestly, who could blame the developer for backing out? Time is money and if the signals coming from PC are delay and stall with the message received as money lost.
Most recently the Planning and Development Committee of PC Council recommended to the full City Council the passage of an ordinance directing the Mayor to enter in to an agreement with a California company (JMBM) to seek RFQs (Request for Qualification) from prospective developers of the Waterworks Park site. RFQ are merely a notice to the world that PC is interested in your qualifications to potentially develop Waterworks Park. JMBM is a global organization responsible for tens of billions of dollars of development on nearly every continent. In other words they have the resources and connections to make things happen.
This past Tuesday evening Council heard the 2nd of three readings on that proposed Ordinance. If passed by a majority of council (4 of 7 yes votes) the Mayor would be given the authority to contract with JMBM and JMBM would perform as proscribed in their scope of services (i.e. contract to seek out prospective developers.)
However, Randy Lipstraw (Ward 3 Councilman) made a motion to TABLE this ordinance. Three other Council members agreed with Lipstraw – Ron Aukerman, Cole Hatfield, Kathy Mehl – in essence delaying if not putting a stop to the hopes of development of Waterworks Park. THIS IS IN DIRECT CONFLICT TO WHAT THE VOTERS OF PORT CLINTON REQUESTED DURING THE REFERENDUM VOTE NEARLY FIVE YEARS AGO.
Unfortunately, these Council members are only hearing from the anti-development fringe in the City of Port Clinton. I need your help in making it VERY clear to these Council members that the anti-development fringe are the minority of the interested parties in this community (essentially reminding these Council members of the outcome of the referendum vote from five years ago.)
Look at the areas around Port Clinton – every political subdivision is moving forward – Portage Township is experiencing growth, Catawba Township, the Marblehead area, downtown Sandusky, Perkins Township, Huron, Vermilion are all doing the same … yet far too many of Port Clinton’s leaders are not willing to take the necessary steps needed to put Port Clinton on the right path! Yes, there are small steps being taken in help turn around PC. Entrepreneurs like Bill VanDergeissen and his establishments 1812 & Rosie’s; Amy Slater-West and the Madison Street Pub with Wednesday night Jazz; Bill Yuhaz and the Great Lakes Popcorn, Kokomo Bay, Mango Mama’s complex and Comedy Night and even my boss Ron Miller and the Listening Room which brings up-and-coming Nashville artists to Port Clinton. However, they are doing what they can with relatively limited resources available to them. It’s up to the City leaders to create the atmosphere of success like has been seen all around us. TABELING this ordinance is not creating this atmosphere it telling the world just the opposite!
We ALL (resident or 2nd home owners) have a vested interest in seeing Port Clinton thrive and there is no doubt in my mind that Waterworks Park will play a vital role in the future success of PC.
Please contact these council members and express your desire to move forward with the development of Waterworks Park.
So, where is Mayor Leone on this issue? He’s stated he’ll do what Council directs him to do. However, unlike the recent creation of a Revitalization District in downtown Port Clinton he’s not shared his thoughts on the City/JMBM partnership publically.
There is a Planning and Development Committee Meeting slated for 5:30 PM on Tuesday, September 4th at City Hall. All committee meetings are public and I would ask you to attend or at least share your thoughts with Council before the meeting on this matter. I can assure you the anti-development fringe will be doing their part in full force!
Again, please contact these Council members and if you choose Mayor Vince Leone to let them know your thought. Members of Council that voted to TABLE the JMBM Ordinance are:
Randy Lipstraw – Ward 3
Ron Aukerman – Ward 1
Cole Hatfield – Council-at-Large
Kathy Mehl – Ward 4
Vince Leone – Mayor
419-734-5522 x 8
I may also be reached for comment – 419-732-1111 (office)
City of Port Clinton