Erie County's main economic development group wants Sandusky's Marina District project to go forward.
The board of the Erie County Economic Development Corp. will issue a statement endorsing Sandusky's signature project to develop the waterfront, said Dr. James Smith, president of the board, and John Hoty, the board's vice president.
The board voted to endorse the Marina project Tuesday.
Citizens for Responsive Government has submitted a petition to force a vote on the project.
It would be the second vote for the development, which voters earlier endorsed.
Smith, vice president foreconomic development at Bowling Green State University, said he doesn't want to discuss the issue in detail yet.
"We're composing a letter now, and it's not finished," he said. "We don't know what it's going to say."
Hoty, emphasizing he's speaking for himself and not for other board members, said he recognizes that Citizens for Responsive Government has the right to raise its issues.
"I'm never disappointed in the political process," Hoty said. "I'm a first generation. My dad was born in another country."
But Hoty said that people who oppose development in Sandusky apparently haven't noticed the city's falling population or its aging buildings.
"I'm disappointed people don't see the compelling need for development," he said.
ECEDC may make a leadership change when it has its annual meeting Dec. 9 at the Sandusky State Theatre.
A new slate of officers has been nominated and will be presented for a vote.
It lists Hoty as president, Smith as vice president, Doug Phares as secretary and Andy White astreasurer.
Hoty is the president of Hoty Enterprises, a local real estate development company. Phares is the Sandusky Register's publisher, and White is Huron's city manager.
Related article: Nov. 15, 2008 - Marina District developer: CRG petitions 'untrue'