Editor’s Note: Port Clinton Mayor Vince Leone will be doing an interview once a month addressing talked about topics in town on the record. Mayor Leone will also start coming to one Coffee with the Editor a month, dates to be announced. Coffee with the Editor is held at Common Grounds on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and anyone is welcome to attend.
The first topic on the table for discussion is Waterworks Park development, downtown revitalization and CORD’s presence in the community.
“This administration has accomplished a lot, things people told me could not be done; revitalizing the downtown, fixing the shoreline. Elected city officials are given the responsibility to do what’s best to move the city forward and we take that very seriously. The general public elects us and they have elected officials that they feel will move the city forward.”
“We need to get people in here (the city) to create revenue to get more money for our city. The public has spoken repeatedly about this issue and we are trying to move forward. CORD says that we are not listening to them, but we have heard them, loud and clear, they are, by far, not the majority.”
“If this ordinance that CORD has gotten on the ballot passes, our administration needs to be clear on what that will mean for the city. Will this initiative stall the placement of the lighthouse? I am meeting with the City Law Director, George Wilbur, to see the logistics of the ordinance.”
“I appreciate CORD’s compassion, but they have their own agenda. They are a minority group, at times, spreading falsehoods. We have to ask; is this truth according to fact or according to opinion? They do not speak for the people, they speak for themselves.”
“When you look at the history of Port Clinton, the cost of operations has gone up, but the number of people living in the city has gone down. We used to have 22 service department employees, now we only have 11. Three or four supervisor’s positions have been eliminated. We cannot make any more cuts. The previous administrations have made the cuts needed to make it work; we don’t have any more revenue from the Jet Express (referring to the Jet Express renting out the Waterworks parking lot from the city) and that really set the city back financially.”
“We are going after as many grants as we can and they are very competitive. Something has got to give. Do we raise taxes? Do we let things go that people are demanding? Do we work with the ongoing energy to bring young families and new businesses to the area? Like it or not, tourism is an industry. More families will bring more business which will create jobs and, in turn, will create revenue for the city. People have to look at the bigger picture before they say no.”
“We (the administration) have embraced Mike Rose because he came back with compromised drawings. He took what he had originally wanted and collaborated it with what the public had to say and brought us renderings that met both. If those condos are only full three months a year, that’s okay; they’re still creating revenue to pay our police department, our street department, our schools, etc.”
“The public meeting held at the Elk’s was very helpful in getting the public’s opinion. The public’s opinion was well received by Washington Properties and the second rendering had changed dramatically (less condos on the water front and more public access). It was helpful for me to see what the people wanted.”
“You gotta learn to crawl before you can walk, but we need an opportunity to at least get on our knees. Why stop now? We need to keep this momentum going. So much good is going on, I hate to see us lose momentum because of special interest groups.”
“I am confident that the majority of the city gets it; the want to move forward. They are looking to the furture, not the past.”