This letter is in response to the opinion piece written by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray the Register published May 5. As a life-long Ohioan and a lakefront owner, I would like to see Ohio Attorney General focus on understanding the existing laws of Ohio that protect property rights for all Ohioans. Instead, he apparently sees his role as advocating his beliefs of what most Ohioans want.
It's encouraging Cordray agrees with the lakefront owners that Gov. Bob Taft's leasing policy was a horribly bad one. Cordray is clearly disadvantaged because he inherited an established position in the property owners' lawsuit from former Attorney General Mark Dann.
Sometimes it is advisable to change course in midstream if you inherited a bad policy. Gov. Ted Strickland apparently figured that out when he cancelled the Taft lease policy. Cordray is facing one of those situations in this case. Dann was very creative in attempting to rewrite 200 years of Ohio legal history. Cordray grabbed the helm after Dann's political demise and proceeded full speed ahead, following Dann's creative course.
Cordray's "shoreline sidewalk concept" is not new. It has been six years since a geographically challenged Ohio Environmental Council representative appeared on WCPN public radio in Cleveland and emphatically proclaimed the public's right to walk along the Lake Erie shore from Pennsylvania to Indiana (Lake Erie doesn't even extend to Indiana). He then dared the property owners to sue if they were so sure that they were right. They did.
Since then, three courts have said the OEC representative was wrong. In another year, the public will probably have yet another confirming opinion, thanks to Dann's creativity.
I'll bet the public would rather have properly maintained facilities at East Harbor's public beach than the right to walk through other peoples' private backyards. Most Ohioans also understand their backyards might be next.