News

Port Clinton Awarded $1.9 Million Grant for River Walk

August 30, 2017 – PORT CLINTON NEWS HERALD – Port Clinton’s efforts to revitalize the historic downtown area continue to move forward as the city has been awarded a $1.9 million grant for a planned river walk, as progress is made on other renovation projects.

According to the Port Clinton Coastal Access Plan developed by Poggemeyer, along with city officials and a steering committee, improvements to funded with the grant from the Ohio Department Natural Resources include a marina with numerous full service floating slips with electrical, water service and fire protection in the river location.

Conceptual Drawing by Poggemeyer

Additionally, the plan calls for approximately 2,500 feet of walkway to be added, including a 10- to 12-foot-wide concrete path starting at East Perry Street around Derby Pond, a 10-foot path starting just east of Jefferson Street, and a 4- to 6-foot walk along the eastern edge of Monroe Street, linking up with the existing new sidewalk along Lakeshore Drive.

The plan also specifies that existing characteristics that are still in good shape will be kept, such as the brick treatment, curvature of walkway, benches, poles and pavement along Jefferson, Madison, and Perry Streets.

Extensive planning for the project was funded through the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Coastal Management Access Grant, which the city was awarded in November 2015.

Handicap Parking and Shoreline Cleanup at Waterworks Park

July 2017 – Port Clinton City service department recently installed handicapped parking spots at Waterworks Park for easier access to the waterfront and to the Port Clinton Lighthouse.

 

 

Contaminated soil at Waterworks Park to be remediated

January 28, 2017 – PORT CLINTON NEWS HERALD – City officials plan to move forward this year with the cleanup of areas at Waterworks Park that were found to contain carcinogenic substances after an extensive a soil study.

Mayor Hugh Wheeler said this week that the recommended cleanup, which involves soil remediation of three areas at the park, including by the playground and dugout, was factored into this year’s budget and could be performed as soon as weather permits.

“If the weather stays the way it is and dries up a little bit, we can do it,” Wheeler said.

The substances found in concentrations that present “unacceptable carcinogenic risk” were discovered during a soil sampling study of the park between 2012 and 2016 by SME, an engineering consulting firm based in Michigan whose services include identification of potential hazardous materials and environmental risk management.

According to SME’s report, the firm was contracted to perform an assessment of the soil and groundwater at Waterworks Park.

Port Clinton City Council members expressed concerns after learning of the report and called a special meeting to address it in early November 2016.

Tuesday November 1, 2016

After years in the making …. A special meeting has been requested in Council Chambers at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 to discuss the SME Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Report on Waterworks Park.

September 7th, 2016 – Waterfront Walkway Plans

The Waterfront Walkway committee headed by Councilman Gabe Below met at City Hall to review architect’s renderings of the proposed project. Poggemeyer Design Group presented the latest iteration – Conceptual Option 5. Changes from previous proposals include the location of the east-west portion of the walk. It has been changed from right along the river bank to farther south next to Perry Street. It would replace the current sidewalk. The expense and complexity of reworking the river bank to accommodate the walk were deemed prohibitive.  Fifty transient boat slips with electric and water hookups are proposed along the Waterworks Park portion of the east river bank. If constructed the docks would prohibit fishing along that part of the river. Fishing would be limited to the jetty only. The proposed docks, walkway and sheet piling wall are expected to extend about 5 feet into the existing parking lot. Poggemeyer representatives expect that the reconfiguration and reworking of the parking lot would result in no loss of parking spaces. The 10 to 12 feet wide walkway is expected to be made of brick-like pavers. A new ADA compatible restroom facility is proposed just southwest of the county’s water intake pump house.

LINK to 2016-sept-riverwalk-plans

 


 

Press Release:   

March 31, 2016

Contact:  Rick Noderer, Spokesman
Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-734-4870

Parks & Rec is Economic Development

A runaway City Council train smacked Mayor Hugh Wheeler, and Councilman Gabe Below drove it.  Council members slammed the brakes on Wheeler’s Parks and Recreation initiative.  We have a runaway City Council that wants to dictate policy and they are using the city’s budget to do it.

During the 3/22/16 City Council meeting, Council members Gabe Below, Lisa Sarty, Roseanne Hickman, Margaret Phillips, and Beth Gillman voted to fund $23,500 from the city budget for a new city employee to be an economic development consultant or director or studier.  It’s vague.  When asked about the new economic development position by SSD Tracy Colston, Mr. Below responded, “I have no position in mind. I’m just saying let’s dedicate funds to economic development services and we work through and figure out what that is.”

Where will the money come from?  Council diverted $23,500 from monies set aside in the budget to restore the part time Parks & Rec Director position, as announced in the Mayor’s State of the City address earlier in the meeting.  By thwarting the initiatives and policies of a ‘People’s Choice’ Mayor (having won by a 2:1 margin), it’s also a slap in the face of Port Clinton residents who voted him into office.

Parks and Recreation is a win-win for residents and business. Parks and Recreation is an economic development tool!  When making a decision to relocate, people and businesses factor in access to recreational resources according to research already done by the National Governors Association, National Recreation and Park Association and the National Park Service.

Perhaps a definition of economic development is in order.

Economic Development for Port Clinton is about making a healthy environment where people can live, work, play and rest.  Economic Development is about creating balanced economies so that all people can thrive and live healthy lives.  Economic Development is about small business as well as big business.  It is about healthy communities that include arts and entertainment.  It is about up-grading our infrastructure.  It is about education and preparing a skilled workforce that will have access to practical jobs with living-wage compensation.  It is about implementing environmental sustainability, advocating for design practices that are inspiring, and budgeting resources for recreation and leisure.  It is about promoting physical health and life safety for all citizens.

Council doesn’t know how the funds will be used, or even how much money they need, but they’re sure it’s more important than providing better Parks & Rec services for the citizens.

Our parks are absolutely vital to the life of our community. Parks are where community happens.  If we work hard to make our parks come alive, they can be true mirrors of everything that’s great about Port Clinton.

 

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Press Release:                            

March 17, 2016

Contact: Rick Noderer,  Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-734-4870

Water Works Park – Advisory Question Results

C.O.R.D. is a Political Action Committee (P.A.C.) formed to promote responsible development in Port Clinton through and by ballot initiatives and city legislation.   In November of 2014,  “Issue 6” passed because citizens’ felt that their voices were not being heard and wanted the right to vote.  We were right – they want a vote.

Port Clinton City Council’s, Issue 1 Advisory Question was an attempt to gauge resident’s feelings on development.   The question they asked was self explanatory until it wasn’t. The spin put out prior to the election by “Friends For Port Clinton” and council members made it unclear – it’s a vote for progress they said.  Many voters who were not in favor of condominiums voted YES.  By voting yes they indicated to city council they were in favor of the plan being brought forward.   The victory quote in the NewsHearld, by spokesman Brooke Kilmer clearly states “members of the group were looking forward to seeing city council and the administration start negotiations with development of the waterfront.”

With an opinion poll this close there is very little useful information that can be gained. It can explain 15 years of democracy at work, dodging the hazards and avoiding the potential pitfalls.  Is it any wonder that Water Works Park has never been developed?  The city is divided and we just proved it again – that’s about all it proves.  There were so many lessons learned over the years – unfortunately they have all been forgotten.

We thank all who voted and all our supporters. There are many issues and problems that need attention.  We are not done working for the people of Port Clinton.  We would like to see some form of Financial Guarantee ordinance in place to ensure the proper vetting of potential developers.   Not yet addressed is the use of proceeds from a lease of Water Works Park.  Water Works Park is public waterfront property being transferred to private commercial use – the proceeds of such a transfer should be deposited into a Trust Fund for the benefit of all our Parks.

We believe our public parks and open spaces are valuable public assets that contribute to the vitality of Port Clinton. It is time to address the future of our parks together as a community, address the challenges of enhancing our parks and aim to better utilize parks in planning a vital and more livable community.  We will continue to monitor the financials, the environmentals, city council and the mayor.  Should any negotiations begin we will certainly monitor them too.

And please vote, your vote really does make a difference!  26 Port Clinton voters did not answer the advisory question.

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Press Release

For Immediate Release:

March 8, 2016

Contact:  Citizens Organized for Responsible Development
Rick Noderer, 419-734-4870

A second bank, Fifth Third, files against potential WATER WORKS PARK developer for another $1.4 million

According to Medina County Common Pleas Court records, Michael R. Rose and one of his companies, MRR Properties LLC, have been judged to owe Fifth Third Bank $1,482,078.43 plus interest on the principal balance of a defaulted note.  Yesterdays, March 7th filing is the third judgment against Rose in recent weeks bringing the total default to 15 million dollars. There are two other judgments totaling over $13 million owed to FirstMerit Bank.  An election issue is currently on the March 15 ballot asking Port Clinton residents if they want the city to negotiate a Water Works Park lease with Harbor Front LLC, a company incorporated by Michael Rose.

Absolutely NOT!     Vote NO!     Save Port Clinton!

In 2007 the Puller Group with plans for a hotel and waterpark left Port Clinton for Indianapolis.  Their lender Fifth Third Bank took ownership of the high-profile piece of land where Puller had plans to build a hotel and water park.  Puller plans included a 16-acre water park, a 244-room hotel, a mix of shops, restaurants and offices.  Fifth Third began proceedings to foreclose on the property in 2010 and attempted to collect nearly $8.6 million owed on a loan.  It could have been Port Clinton losing Water Works Park to the bank!  Today that Puller foreclosed property is home to a Wal-Mart.

Vote NO!   It could happen with any PRIVATE developer!   

C.O.R.D. is a Political Action Committee (P.A.C.) formed to promote responsible development in Port Clinton through and by ballot initiatives and city legislation.

 

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PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:    March 5, 2016

Contact: Citizens Organized for Responsible Development
Rick Noderer, Spokesman 419-734-4870

Harbor Front, LLC, the company incorporated by Mike Rose, wants City of Port Clinton to come up with $6,000,000 for the Water Works Park project.

As a result of a Freedom of Information Act request, CORD has received documents that list the estimated total development cost (public infrastructure cost) of public improvements for the Harbor Front development.  It does not include the costs of a traffic impact study, civil and electrical engineering, public street improvements or any specific estimates of off-site improvements to Perry Street that might be required as mitigation.  The document does not cover any environmental clean-up costs that will be required should a shovel break ground.  The written estimates were provided to the city by Star Builders, a company Craig Trick of Catawba Island is associated with.

The price tag is equivalent to $10,000 for every man, women and child in Port Clinton.  Installing 105 lamp posts for the parking lot and street will be $571,448 (beware mayflies). $50,000 for phone and cable TV hook-ups.  Sanitary and storm sewers, waterlines, gas and electric lines.

Developments never quite seem to pay their own costs.  Current residents are expected to pick up the Six Million Dollar tab for public utilities.  It is not clear how the city can add another $6,000,000 to our current $13,000,000 million dollar debt.  It is also unclear if income generated would actually cover the cost of building, operating and maintaining the new infrastructure.

C.O.R.D. is a Political Action Committee (P.A.C.) formed to promote responsible development in Port Clinton through and by ballot initiatives and city legislation.

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Potential WATER WORKS PARK developer owes millions

The man Port Clinton officials pegged to develop Waterworks Park owes millions of dollars to an Akron-based bank. Companies run by developer Mike Rose must pay more than $13 million to First Merit Bank, according to court documents. Rose was listed as the defendant in at least two recent financial cases in Medina County Common Pleas Court.  Read the Sandusky Register article here. 

“For more than a year, we kept city council and former Mayor Vince Leone updated on hundreds of thousands of dollars in delinquent property taxes Mr. Rose owes in Medina County,” said Rick Noderer, spokesman for Members of Citizens Organized for Responsible Development. “These should have been warnings for city council to do its homework regarding the developer’s financial viability.”

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Attention Citizens of WARDS 3 and 4.

The municipal ward system has a critical role in our representative structure of the community and citizens, Councilman from each ward need to inform the municipality about the aspirations, potentials and problems of the people.  Councilman Gabe Below(Ward 4) and Margaret Phillips(Ward 3) have announced their public meeting to hear from YOU.  2014 Ward Boundaries Map     The councilman had an opportunity to stop the Mike Rose plan at Waterworks Park with a vote at the January 12, 2016 council meeting and did not.  They would like to know what you think.

January 21, 2016
6pm – 7pm
Ida Rupp Public Library

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Rick Santorum calls out Port Clinton in last nights GOP debate

January 14, 2016 – Senator Rick Santorum makes an example of Port Clinton, Ohio during the GOP debate.   We want to build a better community and we want people to move here.  The most important things mentioned by residents at the Appreciative Inquiry meeting were FAMILY, SECURITY AND EDUCATION.  Giving up what is unique to Port Clinton, our waterfront, would be even more devastating.   The waterfront is owned by, and can be used by, it belongs to all the citizens regardless of their station in life.  It’s a place they can go to relax, get away from their home surroundings and, most of all, look across the calming lake toward the horizon to dream of a better life.

From Sen. Santorum’s speech:

“You want — You want to be shocked? You read the first few chapters of Mr. — Dr. Putnam’ book. He talks about Port Clinton, Ohio and growing up there in the 1950’s, and how poor kids actually survived and did well, even though they were poor and disadvantaged. But, then he goes to the towns today and these kids are failing, and failing miserably. They don’t even have a shot, and we won’t even have the courage to have leadership at the federal level — not with legislation, but the most powerful tool a president have, the bully pulpit to encourage each and everyone of you, churches and businesses, and educators, and community leaders to let’s have a national campaign to rebuild the American family, and give every child its birthright which is a Mom and a Dad who loves them.”

“That will change this economy.”

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January 12, 2016 – Council votes 5-1 to proceed with negotiations (below) with Mike Rose and his development plan at Waterworks Park.   The question will be put to voters March 15, 2016 during the Primary Elections.

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As of August 5th this question will not be on the November 2015 ballot due to a missed deadline.     

 Statement at Port Clinton City Council Meeting July 28, 2015

Regarding Ordinance 16-15

It is thanks to Issue-6, the “Park Protection Ordinance”, that we are having this discussion today. The people stepped up to protect Port Clinton Parks because they want a voice in the future of our parks, open spaces and precious shoreline. We had hoped that city officials finally heard us loud and clear.

Passage of the Park Protection Ordinance by the citizens has shown that there is a commitment to park protection by the residents. Recent renovations of Portage and Erie Gardens Park and the Lighthouse negotiations are steps in the right direction for Mayor Leone. Could this be a case of “When the people lead, leaders will follow”?   Have members of council and the administration made a personal commitment to the wants and needs of community residents?

Issue-6 is not about being pro or anti-development – it’s about making the right decisions for Port Clinton. Today you plan to put to the voters a generic question to lease a part of Waterworks Park to a PRIVATE DEVELOPER FOR PRIVATE USE with no details.  Passage of Issue 6 raised the threshold for sales of city parkland property. It also raised the threshold for openness and honesty from our local government.

I believe the people want a better park and I think they would also be in favor of a PUBLIC development for PUBLIC use, can we put that question on the ballot too?

Our parks are absolutely vital to the lives of our communities. Parks are where community happens; they’re where people who are different from one another come together. If we work hard to make them come alive, they can be true mirrors of everything that’s great about this city. When parks are forgotten about, it mirrors the ways that the city itself has been forgotten about. Today, Waterworks Park is a vision, an oasis, not just of nature but also of culture. We have a real chance to bring those things together with a public use development rather than a private development.

Let’s preserve what makes Port Clinton unique because that’s what will drive development, I think our public parks and public spaces are part of that. You know that our parks provide social, economic and environmental benefits to residents and tourists alike. We look forward to continuing the conversation about Port Clinton parks and open spaces and working together to make Water Works Park and all our parks truly exceptional.

C.O.R.D.

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Letter to the Editor 6/10/2015

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PC’s 2001 PLAN?

ISSUE SIX HAPPENED!

People often ask whatever happened to PC’s 2001 waterfront plan, see the Beacon 5/14/2015.  Like most plans we’ve seen in Port Clinton, parts were implemented and others weren’t. This happens when influential individuals cherry pick the plan.  In 2001 the Pflum, Klausmeier and Gehrum (PKG) Waterfront Protection and Enhancement Plan states on page 24 that “Commercial or retail development should not extend any further east of downtown or any further west of the City Beach boundary.” 

By 2004, three short years after the 2001 plan was accepted, the Waterfront Protection and Enhancement Steering Committee started enlisting proposals from developers to put commercial buildings along the western edge of Waterworks Park – clearly contrary to the plan.

In 2005 the Historic Port Clinton organization, precursor of Mainstreet, declared to Poggemeyer that two historic and culturally significant structures be included in the plan, the Lighthouse and Lighthouse Keepers Boathouse.

In 2006 the City appointed a Waterworks Park Redevelopment Committee to work with the engineering firm Poggemeyer, and as part of the 21 point “Community Criteria” that they defined, the City needed to maintain ownership of the Waterworks Park property.

The City has now spent well over $800,000 for engineering firms and plans since 2001.  If the City had kept with the original plan that money would have paid for the boardwalk and upgrades to the waterfront we now cannot afford.  This cherry picking of plans has led to the friction in the community.

In 2014 residents of Port Clinton stood up and passed Issue-6.  The Citizen’s Initiative solves this problem of governmental action that is inconsistent.  It reigns in government which refuses to deal with the issues supported by the people.  Some people do not want the property sold or commercially developed, some people do not want condominiums and some just don’t believe that it will be an economic win for Port Clinton.  One thing can be said for sure about the passage of Issue-6, the people do not like the current proposal for whatever reason.

Those citizens who voted for Issue-6 have sent a strong message to our local politicians – that they don’t trust them to make those decisions for them. They wanted a way to have direct control. They voted and took that control.  Before Issue-6 only a few elected officials would make the decision and the community’s animosity would continue.  Now for the first time, Port Clinton has a way to heal, after a majority has made the monumental decision by exercising our nation’s most fundamental right – voting in an election.

Rick Noderer, Spokesman

Citizens Organized for Responsible Development

 

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For Immediate Release:  November 7, 2014

Contact: Rick Noderer, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-734-4870

Park Protection ordinance gains State and National Attention

Port Clinton residents want a voice in the future of our parks, open spaces and precious shoreline. The people have responded with their vote on November 4th that our parks are important.

The passage of Issue 6 raises the threshold for sales of city parkland property. The new ordinance will require at least five city councilmen to approve a sale of any of the protected properties, and it will trigger a citywide vote to ratify any such sale decision passed by city council.

“The vote Tuesday wasn’t about being pro or anti-development. The vote was about the parks that we gave protection to – and that will bring its own economic benefits.  We want to preserve what makes Port Clinton unique because that’s what will drive development.  I think our public parks and public spaces are part of that.” explained Chairman of Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, Jerry Jonke.

Passage of Issue 6 has made news in the State Capitol and gained the attention of the American Planning Association.  Our parks provide social, economic and environmental benefits to residents and tourists alike.  Parks provide formal and informal gathering places for building community. They help to positively influence property values. They give residents and visitors a place to connect to the natural world. They make our town more inviting for living, working, and relaxing.

It is time to address the future of our parks together as a community, address the challenges of enhancing our parks and aim to better utilize parks in planning a vital and more livable community.

Issue 6 has gained the attention of the state and nation … we can be an example for the future. We look forward to working together to make Waterworks Park and all our parks truly exceptional.

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For Immediate Release:  November 5, 2014

Contact: Rick Noderer, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-734-4870

New ordinance will trigger citywide vote to ratify any sale of city parks.
The people will decide.

We are grateful to every Port Clinton resident who voted YES on Issue 6.  Thank you to the many volunteers and activists who stepped up to protect Port Clinton Parks.  We prevailed in the end because Port Clinton residents want a voice in the future of our parks, open spaces and precious shoreline.  The people have responded with their vote and we hope city officials have finally heard us loud and clear.

The passage of Issue 6 raises the threshold for sales of city parkland property.  The new ordinance will require at least five city councilmen to approve a sale of any of the protected properties, and it will trigger a citywide vote to ratify any such sale decision passed by city council.  The people will decide.

“The vote Tuesday wasn’t about being pro or anti-development.  The other side is trying to make it into a larger issue but our focus is public parks,” said Chairman of Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, Jerry Jonke. “The vote was about the parks that we gave protection to – and that will bring its own economic benefits,” he said.  “We want to preserve what makes Port Clinton unique because that’s what will drive development. I think our public parks and public spaces are part of that.”

“I think we are ready as a city to move forward with more understanding of what the people really want,” said C.O.R.D. spokesman Rick Noderer. “It’s so important that people don’t get caught up in the politics of this.  We hope both sides can come together and put the energy of the campaign toward improving Port Clinton’s parks, especially Water Works Park”, he said.

We know that our parks provide social, economic and environmental benefits to residents and tourists alike.  We look forward to continuing the conversation about Port Clinton parks and open spaces and working together to make Water Works Park and all our parks truly exceptional.

Jerry Jonke, Chairman and Rick Noderer spokesman for C.O.R.D.

Jerry Jonke, Chairman and Rick Noderer spokesman for C.O.R.D.

Roger Smith & Rick Noderer tally the precincts.

Roger Smith & Rick Noderer tally the precincts.

Issue 6 the Park Protection Ordinance passes November 4, 2014

Issue 6 the Park Protection Ordinance passes November 4, 2014

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 Confused about Issue 6?  Visit CORD TV

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October 29, 2014

Open Letter to the residents of Port Clinton from CORD

The Beacon has asked C.O.R.D. to respond to the mayor’s open letter of last week and we thank Mr. Schaffner for the opportunity.

The mayor, as spokesman has reiterated his accomplishments thus far and we need to remind the mayor and council members that that is what they have been elected to do, that is their job – to run the city.  Selling the citizens’ parks is too big a decision for the mayor and 5 elected and appointed council members to make.  This decision should be up to you.  The mayor’s open letter used 700 words to tell you HE DOES NOT WANT YOU TO VOTE.

City councilmen have a right to defend their position on Issue 6, after all this country was built on the grounds of free speech.  It is unfortunate that they do not have a clear understanding of our town’s founding and we ask that they not rewrite history.  The Ottawa County Recorder, Museum and Historical Society have provided us with the facts.  Ezekiel’s plots both written and pictured clearly recite his plan that the spaced embraced between the two semi-colons should remain open forever.  CORD has no objection to the renaming of Waterworks Park to Ezekiel Smith Haines Park.   The truth starts here – visit www.savewaterworkspark.org for more history and the 1985 court case.

A CORD member has attended every city council meeting since 1994.   Those checks and balances the mayor refers to are not working so well – the lack of building codes, lack of enforcement, lack of penalties or standards – these are compelling reasons to say hands off Waterworks Park.  Without standards in place and being enforced the most valuable downtown real estate is in a haphazard free for all.  In twenty years – Mr. Rose will no longer be the responsible party, properties will change ownership and personal agendas will rule.

A mayor making a 180-degree flip-flop on his campaign platform, an agent of the developer seated on the Planning Commission, a no-bid contract offer, conversations with the developer not made public, and an appraisal value now 3 years old.  These have all the earmarks of what they call a back-room deal and cry out for more control of our local government.

Issue 6 was crafted after Michigan’s Home Rule City Act of 1911, which provides an extra layer of protection to park lands.  It requires that every city adopt an amendment that in order to sell a park, it be approved by a majority of the citizens.  It’s nothing unusual; they’ve been doing it for over 100 years.  Look to Traverse City and Manistee, Michigan for hundreds of miles of open access to the Great Lakes.  Ohio’s Lake Erie region is being threatened by shortsighted construction of waterfront condominiums and resort community developments.  We want to keep Lake Erie access open to all people.

It’s shameful the city is neglecting our parks and then calling the neglected parks failed.  The city is using the same old chestnuts: we need jobs and if you don’t give away the farm, all development will dry up.  We don’t need to give away our public parks to develop our city thoughtfully and with vision.  We don’t need to sell our most valuable ‘liquid asset’ to produce low-income jobs.  There is intense development pressure; we must make smart decisions that allow us to grow while protecting what makes Port Clinton unique.

Are we a city that wants to sell our public parks to private developers without giving citizens the right to vote on it?  Do you want the right to vote on the sale of public parks?  Water Works Park is not “saved” by this initiative.  A YES vote simply gives the voters the right to decide its fate.  A YES vote ensures it goes to a public vote to let the citizens of Port Clinton decide.

Issue 6 will create a new ordinance.

Do you want a new law that gives citizens the right to vote?

The Park Protection Ordinance Issue 6 will give you the right to vote.

Issue 6 asks a simple question – Do you want the right to vote?

Visit www.savewaterworkspark.org for more information on the Protect Our Parks citizen initiative – ISSUE 6.

Jerry Jonke, Chairman

Citizens Organized for Responsible Development

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Press Release:                            

September 10, 2014

Contact: Rick Noderer, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-734-4870

Are the Mayor’s Statements Meant to Confuse?

Documents received by C.O.R.D. under the Ohio Sunshine Law confirm that Port Clinton event applications and park reservation forms are NOT leases.  Leases of public property fall under very strict laws in Ohio.  The public can now rest assured that our festivals, art fairs, family reunions and picnics will go on.  The Park Protection Initiative (Issue #6) will have no effect on the citizen’s use of parks and passage guarantees that voter approval will be required, by law, before the city can sell or lease tax-payer owned parks to private developers.

C.O.R.D. hopes that Mayor Leone’s recent public statements being reported by the press and repeated on social media sites are not an effort to confuse voters or an attempt to block the citizen ballot initiative.  “This appears to be a misinformation campaign by the opposition resulting in the manufactured appearance of a community in confusion.  We have encountered hundreds of voters who are eager to have a voice and a vote on the sale or lease of our parks.  A public retraction by the Mayor would be in order along with his assurance that passage of the ordinance would not affect the citizens’ use of the parks,” said spokesman Rick Noderer.

We all strive for the betterment of our community. Though we might have varying visions – we all hold dear a community that brings something better within reach of our children, our grandchildren and ourselves.

What this means for regular folks is that we have to get out and vote.  Bring a friend and neighbor.  This is an issue where your YES vote can really make a difference.  Residents can register until October 6th to vote on November 4th.

C.O.R.D. is a Political Action Committee formed to promote responsible development in Port Clinton through and by ballot initiatives and city legislation.

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Don Finke

Donald Finke Defender of the shoreline

Donald Finke

Don Finke, our C.O.R.D. spokesman and guiding light passed away unexpectedly, Sunday, August 10, 2014.  Don made a big difference by representing the concerns of many people in Port Clinton who had been effectively voiceless.  His work as a parks and recreation professional demonstrated his passion for its importance in the lives of us all.  Don was the city of Port Clinton’s citizen watchdog, activist and agitator attending all the city council meetings making sure the city does the right thing.

From Don’s eulogy:

Don was a giant among men – not just in his physical presence but also in his caring and compassion!

Don was fun – a hoot as we like to say. He loved the CORD group and wants to Save Waterworks Park so future generations will be able to enjoy that beautiful space as he has his entire life. Don loved sports as long as they were the Indians, Browns, Cavs or Ohio State. However, he loved coming to Chicago to watch the Cub’s play at Wrigley Field. It was in Chicago where he saw how important it was to fight for open park space for all citizens to enjoy. In the late 1800’s Aaron Montgomery Ward fought his battle to keep Chicago’s lakefront open.   As a result we are able to enjoy – Grant Park, Millennium Park and 18 miles of bike trails and beaches with unsurpassed beauty. Don saw what could be and was fighting for the same thing in Port Clinton. Anyone can put up a building but seeing to the future and keeping the space “forever open, clear and free” is what will keep Port Clinton special for years to come.

Don loved life, his family, his friends and Port Clinton.

We’re missing you Don and know you are watching over us and helping us from Heaven!  We love you Don!  

Make a donation in memoriam of Don Finke
Make checks payable to “C.O.R.D. Political Action Committee”
Mail to PO Box  284, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452.
Donations to PACs are not deductible.

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PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:    July, 25 2014

Contact:  Don Finke, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development
Rick Noderer, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-734-4870

C.O.R.D.’s Park Protection Ordinance to be on November’s ballot.

Citizens Organized for Responsible Development (C.O.R.D.) has confirmed that both the city of Port Clinton and the Ottawa County Board of Elections have certified the Park Protection Initiative Ordinance and it will be placed on November’s ballot.  The initiative ordinance can be read on-line at C.O.R.D.’s website, savewaterworkspark.org.   When adopted the new ordinance will require that any proposed sale or lease of city park land be approved by a citywide vote in a general election.

The Parks Protection Initiative is a citizens’ initiative to protect vital public spaces in Port Clinton.  Passage of the Parks Initiative gives citizens the right to vote before the City can sell any park.  C.O.R.D. spokesman Don Finke explained, “that voting will provide a more open and transparent process for development.  Voting will assure that as Port Clinton undergoes greater pressure to build, the public will have a greater say over what happens to our public spaces.”

C.O.R.D. urges Port Clinton residents to register and to vote on November 4th!  The right to vote is one of America’s most basic and precious rights.  In November the citizens of Port Clinton will have an opportunity to protect their right to vote and to protect their parks.

C.O.R.D. is a Political Action Committee (P.A.C.) formed in 2007 to promote responsible development in Port Clinton through and by ballot initiatives and city legislation.

 

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PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:    June 24, 2014

Contact:  Don Finke, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-732-2962
Rick Noderer, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-734-4870

C.O.R.D. Presents Initiative Ordinance to City of Port Clinton

Citizens Organized for Responsible Development (C.O.R.D.) has obtained more than the required number of signatures for an Initiative Ordinance to be put on November’s ballot.  The petitions were handed over to Port Clinton City Auditor, Cole Hatfield on Tuesday, June 24th, 1:30 pm at City Hall.  The auditor can now examine signatures and then must deliver the petitions to the Ottawa County Board of Elections.

C.O.R.D. believes that park property is too valuable and too important to be sold or leased without a vote of the citizens.  The initiative ordinance can be read on-line at C.O.R.D.’s website, savewaterworkspark.org.  If adopted the new ordinance will require that any proposed sale or lease of city park land be approved by a citywide vote in a general election.

Voter approval is not unusual – Michigan state code requires a majority vote. “Interestingly the State of Texas has just such a code for all municipalities, including earmarking the use of proceeds of such a sale to be used only for parks”; said C.O.R.D spokesman Don Finke.  Mr. Finke added “several C.O.R.D. members would like to see a Trust Fund established before city officials start seeing dollar signs in their dreams”.

C.O.R.D. urges Port Clinton residents to register and to vote in November!  The right to vote is one of America’s most basic and precious rights.  In November the citizens of Port Clinton will have an opportunity to protect their right to vote and to protect their parks.

C.O.R.D. is a Political Action Committee (P.A.C.) formed to promote responsible development in Port Clinton through and by ballot initiatives and city legislation.

 

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PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:  June 6, 2014

Contact:  Don Finke, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-732-2962
Rick Noderer, Citizens Organized for Responsible Development, 419-734-4870

Local Citizen Group, C.O.R.D., Spearheads Public Initiative for November Ballot

Citizens Organized for Responsible Development (C.O.R.D.) is circulating an Initiative Petition to put a new Port Clinton city ordinance on November’s ballot.  Once on the ballot voters can adopt or reject the new ordinance.  If approved in November, the new ordinance would require that any proposed sale or lease of City park land be approved by a citywide vote in a general election.

C.O.R.D. believes that park property is too valuable and too important to be sold or leased without a vote of the citizens.  “Park property belongs to all citizens and they should be able to vote on whether or not the average citizen will benefit from its sale or lease”, said Don Finke who is C.O.R.D.’s spokesman.

C.O.R.D. expects that the citizens will send a strong message to their elected officials – that just because they were elected doesn’t mean they can sell public assets and make major decisions only for what they, as individuals, want.

Petition signatures will be asked for door-to-door over the next several weeks.  Residents can also contact a C.O.R.D. member if they want to sign.

C.O.R.D. is a Political Action Committee (P.A.C.) formed to promote responsible development in Port Clinton through and by ballot initiatives and city legislation.

C.O.R.D believes that the right to vote is one of America’s most basic and precious rights.

 

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PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: 11/11/2013

Local Citizen Group Requests Port Clinton Main Street Organization to intervene in the Demolition of The Original Port Clinton Lighthouse Built in 1832.

Citizens Organized for Responsible Development (CORD) is a local group of residents concerned with development in Port Clinton.  CORD has found that the former Garden Restaurant at 226 Perry Street lies within Port Clinton’s historic district and that the site may have archeological significance.

A historic district is “a collection of resources that have a historic, cultural, architectural and in some cases archeological significance in the community.”  Historical preservation programs provide appropriate policies and procedures to identify, protect, and promote cultural resources. These goals are achieved through the formulation and administration of historic preservation ordinances.

The Ohio Main Street Program mission statement is based in historic preservation; the National Trust for Historic Preservation, centered on saving historic commercial architecture and the fabric of American communities, developed the Main Street approach.  We believe it is the duty of the Port Clinton Main Street organization, who’s stated strategic goal is to advance historic preservation, to intervene in the demolition of the Garden Restaurant.

The proposed new Croghan Colonial Bank on the site of the Garden Restaurant, at 226 E. Perry Street, is included in the Ohio Historical Inventory.  The “Lighthouse Keeper’s House” and the foundation of Port Clinton’s first lighthouse built in 1832 have great cultural and architectural significance to our maritime community history.  The project should be halted for an archeological survey done by the Ohio Historical Society.  Photos with documentation should be sent to the Department of the Interior for review.

We’re calling for other citizens and groups to help ensure responsible development in Port Clinton.

Citizens Organized for Responsible Development

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