Letters to the Editor 03-19-14

MEETING WAS ‘CONTROLLED’
I was at the “general public” meeting last Wednesday regarding Findlay’s proposed downtown lane changes and reverse-angle parking.
Upon arriving, I was asked to register with my name and email address. I was also given index cards to write down any questions I had. I was asked to submit my questions at the registration table, which I did.
The presentation was brief but none of the submitted questions were answered in front of the entire audience. I thought, “Why was I asked to submit questions if the administration had no intention of answering them in front of everyone?”
I then learned from Joy Brown of The Courier that two earlier meetings that day were of an interactive question-and-answer format. If that format was acceptable for meetings with downtown business owners and young professionals, why was it not acceptable for the general public?
Everyone knows that group discussion is healthy, particularly on a volatile and controversial subject such as this one.
Why do you think the administration did not allow or encourage group discussion when they are trying to determine a plan that is best for all citizens? Do they know us better than we know ourselves?
It is ridiculous to suggest that the administration didn’t know the two groups I mentioned above weren’t already in favor of these changes. To claim there was not enough time to answer all the submitted questions is absurd.
Here’s a novel idea. Let the citizens decide if they want to stay and hear their questions answered! By referring to the “general public” session as an “open house,” as the administration called it, did they feel as if that absolved them from the need or responsibility to answer questions in front of everyone?
The more I reflect on this, I find that I can do nothing more than come to the conclusion that the “general public” session was “controlled” by the administration in an effort to avoid criticism in a public forum!
Brad Ehrnschwender
Findlay

FOOT TRAFFIC GOOD FOR DOWNTOWN
Many area residents have expressed their opposition to a pedestrian-friendly redesign of downtown Main Street, citing concerns about driving and parking.
As a pedestrian who tries to take advantage of the proximity of downtown businesses, restaurants, and other amenities, I welcome the proposed changes to make the sidewalks and crosswalks safer for walkers.
As it is, we pedestrians have to practice defensive walking against vehicles zipping around corners, turning right on their red lights, or turning left on their green lights despite walk signals. A redesign of some of the crosswalks will cue drivers to look out for pedestrians before proceeding through an intersection. If more people feel comfortable walking, there will be enough foot traffic to get the attention of drivers, who now are too often oblivious of pedestrians.
Of course, foot traffic will be good for businesses and encourage more downtown amenities, as well as providing painless exercise for residents who choose to stroll a few blocks.
Findlay’s downtown Main Street is not primarily a through street for vehicles, but rather the heart of a charming small city in need of more urban development. We would all benefit from redirecting some traffic, slowing down our vehicles, and getting out to walk our picturesque and historic downtown.
Robin Visel
Findlay

OHIO DESERVES A BETTER GOVERNOR
Darrol Lepper’s letter (March 14) summed up Kasich’s governorship nicely.
In 2013, according to the Akron Beacon Journal (Feb. 25), Ohio’s unemployment rate rose from 6.7 percent to 7.2 percent, higher than the national rate of 6.6 percent and the highest year-to-year increase in the U.S.
State government spending was slashed the first year Kasich took office. Towns, cities, communities, counties and schools saw their budgets shredded when Kasich and a Republican Legislature balanced the budget.
Poor and middle-class workers are trying to find a way to survive in a slow-moving state and national recovery. Taxes have been reduced in Ohio — the state’s estate tax which only affects the state’s richest citizens is eliminated.
Kasich and the Republican Party cut government spending — hurting average and poorer state citizens. Meanwhile, lowering taxes benefits the wealthiest.
Kasich and Republicans imposed their voodoo-economics. But Kasich’s state version of supply-side economics is failing as usual.
In 2013, Ohio’s unemployment rate increased by one-half percent. The Journal reported that 31,000 more Ohio workers are on unemployment and Ohio ranks 45th out of the 50 states in job growth when measured as a percentage of the state’s workforce.
Wealthy business owners have never been “job creators.” Consumers are the genuine job creators. As consumers demand more goods and services, business owners hire more workers to deal with the increased demand.
We poor and middle classes are Ohio’s genuine job creators.
Kasich did everything he could to serve the state’s wealthiest of the wealthiest. And in 2013, two years after he did all those trickle-down things, Ohio had the worst unemployment spike of all 50 states.
Kasich and the Republican Party push voter-suppression laws because they are afraid of what a democratic election will produce when everyone is able to vote. Kasich wants to sell all the public schools to the lowest bidders. Ohio deserves a better governor who is for all Ohioans.
Don Iliff
Findlay

SHE’S THANKFUL FOR PEOPLE WHO CARE
I write this to agree with the letter writer who thinks we should have a “Vietnam Vets Day.”
And we should give thanks on “National POW/MIA Day.”
My husband is a Vietnam vet who still remembers all of the tragedy from that war. It is something that weighs on him heavily.
Recently, a lady at the store saw my husband’s hat and said, “Thank you, sir, for your service to our country.” I know that it touched his heart and mine, too.
Thank the good lord for people who do care, and aren’t afraid to speak up, and say “Thank you!”
Karon Makrancy
Findlay

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