There seems to be some confusion among the local media and city leaders on how a vote to change zoning will actually affect the development of Waterworks Park in Port Clinton.
Currently, the only plan is for council to negotiate with the Puller Group. Council has already made it publicly clear that there will be no citizens' vote to approve the contract once negotiations are finished. If the zoning change passes, council only needs five votes to pass the final negotiated contract with an emergency clause. The emergency clause will prevent citizens from filing a ballot initiative to ask for the right to vote on whether to allow the project. Once the zoning change is approved council could approve any plan it wishes, leaving citizen's powerless to stop them. The truth is that at this time we have no idea exactly what the final negotiations will produce.
Many city leaders and local media are trying to put up a smoke screen, but the truth is simple. If you support the waterpark idea, than vote to pass the zoning change. If, however, you believe it is the wrong way to go, voting against zoning is your only chance to stop the development of the indoor water park project. Statements that the issue of zoning has nothing to do with the water park are false.
Waterwork's Park belongs to all the citizens of Port Clinton and they have a right to decide its future. The only way for citizens to control what becomes of our park is to demand to know what the final project is before allowing the zoning to change.
The truth is simple: A vote in favor of the zoning changes now is a vote in favor of the indoor water park.
Councilman Ward 2