Such an amazing weekend with the Tall Ships coming to our area, the downtown having a festival and the PCYC's Green Island Race. I give gratitude for the organizers, volunteers and those who supported these events.
It was nice seeing out of town visitors walking through Waterworks Park. I saw a couple looking at the Erie Dearie memorial sign, which is the former transom of Erie Dearie Dan's boat, who was the developer of the Erie Dearie fishing lure. He was one of the charter boat captains who was responsible for bringing many people to our area for fishing in the 1970's. I have heard many snide remarks at some of the local meetings and from residents about the Erie Dearie sign and what value that it had at the Waterworks Park. Maybe this information will clarify it for you.
It was great to view people sitting on the benches in the park and beside the water fountain this weekend. Children were playing on the play-ground and adults walking here and there. I have heard comments from some residents supporting the proposed Waterworks Park development say, that no one ever sits on those benches and how the play-ground is never used.
I spent an hour Saturday morning on the waterfront down near the pier and beach. And from a positive perspective I thought how awesome it was that anyone, no matter economic stature, had the opportunity to walk to see the ships.
As I viewed the Lake near the pier I recognized native plants, that some may call "weeds" and I watched the sunrise in contemplation. It came to me that if the development goes through, as speculated and supported by the mayor, city council, local realtors, developers and our downtown organization, that by this time next season, I will not be able to walk this beach again in solitude, and neither will the average citizen of Port Clinton. We may be able to walk on a boardwalk in front of a large building, while condo owners sip their morning coffee and watch the sunrise from their decks on their beach.
It is obvious that our beautiful lakefront attracts many to our area. That is why people are here. Lake Erie is the reason that people came to this region so many years ago. It is the most valuable asset of Port Clinton.
If we could be intelligent and not linear thinkers we would consider enhancing its beauty in a natural way. If we could be intelligent enough to "think out of the box" we would understand that positive change is the key. And it is for the good of all people no matter their economic or educated level. It is not for the few, who tell us that this development will bring economic stability. They may be blinded by the glitter of their own possible economic growth under the pure guise of aiding our community.
I think the speculated development that is now being negotiated needs to be re-evaluated before it is too late. Look at the results of one event on our lakeshore with nothing but a tent, and how it benefited everyone! And I'm sure many businesses made viable cash from the results. We can do this as a community and we don't need condos or a hotel on the city/people's waterfront park. This park was donated to the people of Port Clinton as a whole for their usage.
We have the power to rally as a community and become an example to those who have come before us and for seven generations that are yet to come. We have the ability to make our community beautiful, sustainable and successfully economic without destroying Waterworks Park.
Maybe the reason that this is all coming to a head now in this 21st century is to bring awareness to us all. Multiple ideas have been proposed in the past and none accepted. Obviously they were the wrong ideas.
There are additional proposals presented to the city. These ideas do not include a building directly on the lake which obstructs our view and public access. Talks about Waterworks Park may have been going on for 40 years for a reason. I do not feel that the speculated Conference Hotel and Condo development on our waterfront is the answer, especially when there are many suitable alternative and vacant locations in the area for these types of buildings.
We only have a short season to glean the benefits of our beautiful lake and the tourism it promotes. If we utilize it to its fullest we can change the direction. Look what happened this past week-end. Events are one of the keys to economic growth of the downtown area, as demonstrated. It would be wise to have more events.
There is one catch. More of us need to become involved and not orchestrate from a couch or a bar stool. And it is important that we are totally honest. Telling half truths or flip flopping is still a lie.
I question too, why a developer is not interested in helping restore downtown buildings if he/she is not able to build on our waterfront. There are other locations available for hotels and condos in the vicinity of the downtown area which can be utilized. There is still money to be made. If someone is truly interested in helping a community they will listen to the voice of the entire community.
We were told at a recent meeting not to listen to what anyone says about this project. I say the opposite, let’s begin to become aware and talk to one another and listen to each other in entirety. Become informed and involved in our community. It could possibly move us forward as a community and save our city and our Waterworks Park from lakefront development.