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Developing Waterworks Park is like casino gambling

On March 11 Port Clinton City Council was presented with an impossibly optimistic economic impact study for the proposed Waterworks Park development. The Ottawa County Improvement Corporation and FirstEnergy made a presentation based on a computer software program called IMPLAN®, data from the area and the project was fed into a computer and out popped the numbers. 

According to the numbers fed into the IMPLAN® software the city would collect, after time, $7.8 million dollars in property, sales, income and bed taxes per year. The State of Ohio, after time, would collect $4 million dollars in taxes. Now that seems like a lot of taxes, but they surely won’t be coming from the supposed 585 people making an average yearly income of $18,803 because they don’t pay very much in taxes, nor will they have any money to spend the new development. This sounds like the “rich get richer” from our Waterworks Park and to quote former Judge Moon “we are all the poorer for it”.

“You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgment,” Alvin Toffler.

Mayor Vince Leone asked if the software was proven in other communities, if there were examples of other projects showing its reliability. Councilman Aukerman identified the “poverty level” incomes of the new jobs created and asked if the study could tell us what additional costs there will be to support our community. Councilman Snider unfortunately said the wrong thing,”earliest possible timeframe” which sounded like a rush to judgment. Our newest at-large councilman, Lisa Sarty, loved the “black and white” information. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy and we may all be seeing red if you make the wrong decision.   

In theory people are rational and they make complete calculations to reach the right and wise decision. In reality people make decisions with personal biases that find a way into the process of decision-making. City Council needs to recognize and avoid these personal biases--the selective search for evidence, the premature termination of search for evidence, source credibility bias, selective perception, prejudice, wishful thinking, optimism, choice-supportive bias, incremental decision making and escalating commitment, underestimating uncertainty, the illusion of control, group think and peer pressure.

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.” Plato

According to the March 7 News-Herald article “Casino Revenues Fall Short”, during  Ohio’s first year with four operating casinos, revenues are $1 billion dollars short of campaign promises, leaving county and school officials with significantly smaller tax payouts. (Hope Port Clinton City Schools was not relying on that money to build a new school). Alan Silver, a gambling industry expert and Ohio University assistant professor, said there was nothing nefarious about casinos’ promises. Predicting revenue for a new industry is simply difficult to do, he said. “Anytime you do studies, you’re shooting in the sky,” Silver said. Rob Walgate, vice president of the anti-gambling American Policy Roundtable thinks what “we’ve seen is a lot of false promises here. They can’t hit the numbers that they promised. They lied.”

The State of Ohio in its desire for a better economy made decisions based on quantitative data to allow gambling in the State. According to the American Gaming Association, the gaming industry relies on the well-known and widely used IMPLAN® Model for economic impact studies.

So developing Waterworks Park is a lot like casino gambling if you’re betting on the numbers. The message to Port Clinton is the numbers don’t lie, they just fall short.  

Victoria Clemons
C.O.R.D. 
Citizens Organized for Responsible Development
www.savewaterworkspark.org

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PCHS Environmental Science Club wants old tennis shoes

The new Environmental Science Club at Port Clinton High School wants your old tennis shoes. The Environmental Science Club started collecting used tennis shoes earlier in March and will continue until the end of the school year. The collection is part of Nike’s “Reuse a Shoe” campaign. The shoes will be recycled to make to make something new, such as Frisbees or running tracks. Drop off areas are Port Clinton High School and Bataan Memorial Elementary.

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New opportunities for youth soccer are coming to Port Clinton

  • Published in Sports

Redskins soccer coach Paco Romero, along with the High School assistant coaches, will be holding a one day soccer clinic for all interested soccer players on Saturday, March 29, at Bataan Elementary School. The cost of the clinic is $10. 

In order to give students the most one-on-one attention, times are divided by grade level.

Kindergarten–Grade 1: 9-10 a.m.
Grades 2 and 3: 10-11 a.m.
Grades 4 and 5:11-12 p.m.
Grades 6-8: 12-1 p.m.

Players can register the day of the clinic or call 419-797-0051 to have a registration form e-mailed.

In conjunction with the clinic, RAYOS Developmental League (RDL) will be having sign-ups for their spring session. The spring session begins April 26 and runs until May 31. The cost for the six week session is $35. This is a new opportunity for the kids in Port Clinton who are interested in learning the sport of soccer while advancing in skills at their own pace. 

Online registration is available at www.RAYOSSocceracademy.com or contact Kristen Gerwin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions or to get a registration form.

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