News from Councilman Polensek
What a magnificent warm summer we have experienced! It only brings more attention to the plight of our Lakefront State Parks. I hope you all have seen the articles and reports about the deplorable and unsafe conditions that exist from Edgewater on the Westside to Wildwood in our own backyard. It goes without saying that something has to give.
Most governors in this country would “give their right arm” to have the Lake Erie resources and the amount of lakefront that we have in Ohio. Unfortunately, the folks in Columbus must not drink water or understand the importance of the lakefront and how it impacts not only recreation, but economic development and job creation, as well. It is absolutely mindboggling to realize that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), at present, only has four (4) full time Rangers working from Edgewater to Mentor Headlands. When you factor in lunch, vacations, sick time and then drive time, this means that the Park Rangers are in their cars on I-90 longer than they are actually patrolling our parks. In addition, the Maintenance Department is not much better staffed either. Should that be a surprise?
In 2012, the time has come for those of us in Northeast Ohio to ask openly and loudly, “what in the heck is going on here?” We pay State taxes. Our parks should be clean, safe and well-maintained with lifeguards. During one of the hottest summers on record, do you realize that there were no lifeguards posted at either Villa Angela Beach or Euclid Beach parks? Mind you these are also are the only swimming beaches on Cleveland’s east side. What an embarrassment besides the obvious safety hazard.
As Councilman representing Cleveland’s 11thn ward I am urging all concerned citizens to write Governor John Kasich to express your outrage regarding the conditions at our lakefront state parks and beaches. It is clear to me that the Governor has not been given a complete and full picture of how bad the situation is in Cleveland. I am hoping that if he receives enough letters and emails that open staff positions will be filled and that the proper attention will be given to these “diamonds in the rough.” I also hope you will urge our Governor to work out an arrangement sometime soon with Cleveland MetroParks System to take over the Lakefront State Parks in Cleveland. Only then can we be assured of proper maintenance and staffing. Please write Governor Kasich and express your thoughts: The Honorable Governor John Kasich; Riffe Center, 30th Floor; 77 South High Street; Columbus, OH 43215-6117; Phone: (614) 466-3555. Or, email him through Ms. Nicole Kostura at Nicole.Kostura@governor.ohio.gov.
Just as we have been successful in bringing attention to other issues, I know we can do the same for our Lakefront State Parks. Look forward to seeing you at upcoming community meetings.