Port Clinton needs to vote on park issue

Jun 23, 2014


While reading the Ottawa County Register, I was surprised to read what one of our ex-mayors and one of our active councilmen thought about the citizens wanting to vote on the biggest issue Port Clinton has had in the 88 years I have lived here.

Isn’t voting still the American way? Wasn’t voting the reason our ex-mayor was mayor of Port Clinton for all those years? And wasn’t voting what made him so happy when we, the citizens, voted to rezone the citizens’ park?

Now, all at once, are we to believe voting is not the American way?

It was even more surprising to read that one of our councilmen would be against the citizens wanting to vote to try to save their park from being covered with condos.

I can remember when our councilmen would fight to get the citizens what they wanted. That was the American way. Now it seems like the council is fighting the citizens to get what the council wants. That is not the American way.

We are very fortunate to have a group of citizens (C.O.R.D.) that give their time, effort, and money to try and save our parks for us. Anyone that loves Port Clinton has to love the C.O.R.D., God bless all of them.

It is said that Washington Properties will transform Waterworks Park into a multi-million dollar lodge, boardwalk and storefront area with other amenities. I’m sure you citizens all know what the other amenities are — condos.

How can condos help anyone other than the wealthy owners who will use them six or eight weekends a year, but will close out the beauty of the lake and the river, 52 weeks a year?

If you want to save our parks, please sign the C.O.R.D. petition so we can put it to a vote — the American way.

— Bob Walls, Sr.
Port Clinton



seems simple enough..

Alex Green

Neither councilwoman Phillips nor former mayor Tom Brown said they are against people voting. While Brown said he disagrees with C.O.R.D.'s philosophies, he did not say he opposes the petition. Councilwoman Phillips did not mention C.O.R.D. in the article, only saying "that is their right" referring to citizens' right to vote.

Thank you for the letter, Bob. I just wanted to clarify that.


Frankly I can live without more condo people in P.C. or another hotel. The tourists do bring an influx of money but they also bring an influx of traffic and trash and accidents and other not so positive things. Why does Port Clinton cater to them? At the expense of the year-round residents it seems.


8% admission tax for the ferry riders would help too.


8% is high, but apply whatever tax to all vessels that one pays to ride on.

This is decades overdue.

Mr. D

It was voted on 5 years ago... PC residents voted on a zoning change to commercial to allow development. This is a waste of time, the citizens have already said yes to the development.

The leader of cord recently stated they will continue to undermine any development, even if the citizens vote yes again. Their goal appears to be to ignore the vote of the majority.


I grew up in Port Clinton and remember water works park well. I am for progress and jobs etc. Yet I find it very hard to know why citizens the town I grew up in are ready to trade the park for a commercial development. That will be land and access to the lake lost to the citizens of PC. I have no vote on this but I sure hope the residents appreciate what they have in the water works park and keep it that way for many generations to follow.

Mr. D

Gardenman, your post is filled with misinformation and misstatments about the proposed project. You would do yourself a favor by familiarizing yourself with the basic plan which include a full service conference, lodging, food service, retail, docks, greenspace natural areas , amphitheater, entertainment, special events. Nothing is being done to shut out the citizens, but rather to bring them to the park and downtown.

Again, this was already voted on and passed by the people 5 years ago. Clearly cord does not represent the majority.


Port Clinton must make smart decisions that allow growth while protecting what makes Port Clinton unique. Port Clinton’s reputation is largely built on it’s public parks, shoreline access, and open spaces. Lakeside communities with open shoreline space for parks and other recreational areas are the most loved and visited communities.

Clearly Mr.D the citizens of Port Clinton did note vote for 119 private "residential units" in the "basic plan" at Waterworks Park. Will the city now let the people vote to change the zoning from commercial to residential? No, they'll just do it.

Where are the garbage dumpsters in this "basic plan"? behind yet another visual barrier to the Lake?

We need a vision of Lake Erie Shoreline all people can enjoy!


A previous article on this subject mentioned that hundreds of full time jobs at around $28/hr. would be created... that's 56,000/yr. plus benefits per employee. 100 employees would mean a 5.6 million dollar payroll... plus millions more in benefits.

How many people does it take to cut tiny lawns, shovel snow and tidy up around some condos?

I'm hoping that whoever made the above statement was simply mistaken... and that he's not out walking around at large.

T. A. Schwanger


What the citizens of Port Clinton and CORD are facing is not unique. Traverse City Michigan, Benton Harbor Michigan, and in recent history Sandusky, are facing the wrath of political and private development pressure along public stretches of waterfront--www.savejeanklockpark.org/.

In this writer's opinion, it's easier for the political and private development climate to wholesale give up well established public property vs developing vacant and abandoned private property. Developers know local governments struggling financially are easy targets, offering pie in the sky financial and employment figures if given the chance to develop public waterfront areas, often times seeking some sort of long-term tax abatement or Tax Increment Financing agreement.

Progressive communities are actually buying waterfront property for recreation, mandating private development occur "across the street" from public areas along the waterfront and placing height restrictions on new development preserving public views of the waterfront.

God's not making more waterfront-develop what is private, improve what is public.

T. A. Schwanger
Pres. Save Our Shoreline Parks.


Ottawa County does not have a park district such as Erie Metroparks which can raise revenue dedicated to parks through taxes.

Would you suggest Port Clinton and some neighboring townships or maybe even the entire county consider creating a Park District and placing waterfront property within the district as a means to preserve it and maintain it.


Ya gotta start somewhere... but there needs to be funds to purchase properties which will become parks.


30 yrs ago Traverse city had an electric power plant on the waterfront. Now that space is a city park.

Unfortunately, this takes money... and PC is down to selling it's crown jewel.

Circular problem... and PC has a history of taking the quick buck.