SAMPLE Letters and topic areas for your letter to the editor, public comment or emails to City Council for neighbors and citizens advocates.
At the community meeting, neighbors suggested sharing sample content and topic ideas to educate and advocate for the White Pond Wetlands and greenspace in Akron.
This SAMPLE content is to help citizen advocates find inspiration to share their thoughts and concerns for the White Pond neighborhood, the wetlands, and greenspace in Akron. Feel free to copy and paste the sample content to start your own letter to the editor, public comment or email to City Council. To reach the hearts and minds of policy makers takes all of us.
Your words have the power to transform emotions, educate through science, enlist others to our cause, and to help create an Akron that is green, sustainable, healthy, vibrant, welcoming, and a wonderful, joyous place to call home.
“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and
I look at it until it begins to shine.” Emily Dickinson
Feel free to copy and paste the content below to inspire words that “make you shine.”
Topic area questions concerning the draining, destruction, and sale of wetlands for residential housing and retail: (discuss one question in a public comment, email, or letter to the editor)
- Is the City prepared to be sued when construction workers and rental families become ill due to exposure to lead, arsenic, cadmium, and barium by building, living and playing on this site?
- Is the City prepared to be sued when families are flooded out of their apartments due to the City allowing mismanagement of this flood zone?
- Is the City prepared to be sued due to families becoming ill due to the property manager’s use of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides needed to control the impact of residual wetland moisture constantly inundating the area causing mold and pest insect issues?
- Is the City prepared to be sued when families contract West Nile Virus due to destroying a balanced ecosystem that will just breed nuisance mosquitos in retention ponds?
- Is the City prepared to face its racism in selling land that should not be built upon, instead of restoring and strengthening (African-American) neighborhoods that have buildable land in Akron? (re: land in Ward 5; and land around the First Tee golf course that nonprofits helped to secure for the City nearly two decades ago.)
- Is the City prepared to bail out the developer once the developer is sued, declares bankruptcy, and this property sits empty, becoming an eyesore, and a vandalism magnet?
- Is the developer, and the subsequent homeowner’s association that will be created, prepared to address the health concerns, flooding, and toxic chemical exposure lawsuits that tenants/residents will invariably be filing?
Akron’s degradation of reputation with current and future developers
Why would any builder want to work with the City? The proposed development of the White Pond Reserve project conveys to other prospective developers the City has no respect for builders. The City offers land that is deemed unsuitable for residential housing. The land, according to an EPA assessment, contains toxic chemicals that make it unsuitable for residential use. Any other builders who have built on a similar land type have ongoing maintenance issues due to the building sinking. The City shows no concern for the builders about impact upon the immediate neighborhood, or adjoining neighborhoods for noise, traffic, environmental degradation, or community health and well-being.
The proposed destruction of the White Pond wetlands is a warning to any developer. The City will sell you “swamp land,” cheap! And, good luck with your project cost over-runs, neighbors who do not want the project, and the lawsuits by the citizens, the EPA, and future residents.
Active railway concerns
The proposed housing development next to a very active freight railway is concerning in light of the recent accident in East Palestine, Ohio. Does Akron have a plan for how a train derailment in the W. Market – Schocalog segment on the Wheeling & Lake Erie rail line would be handled? At this time the housing development plan shows only a single entry and exit point. Not only would vehicular traffic on W. Market St. be disrupted, but also the local and distant traffic using the White Pond-Mull I-77 interchange would need to be re-routed. What’s the plan for emergency vehicles? Depending on the location of the derailment, there’s also the matter of polluting the Copley Swamp environs connected to Schocalog Run. Regardless of how careful the railroad is, you just have to contemplate the consequences of the unforeseen, which doesn’t seem to be the case in this proposed housing development plan.
Has the Akron Fire Dept signed-off on the proposed housing development at White Pond? With the recent train accident in eastern Ohio this proposed development at White Pond in Akron shows it to be of high risk positioned next to an active railway. Even if the railway adjacent to the White Pond wetlands does not transport toxic chemicals, a train derailment would still decimate housing units alongside the rail line. Which again, takes us back to the concern of Fire Dept. access in an emergency if this development is built. And, based on the recent train accident, what will be the housing and renter’s insurance rates living this close to an active rail line? These housing units are beginning to appear less and less “affordable.”
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