It is hard to turn a blind eye to the thirst of Toledo's suburban neighbors. Yet I struggle with the uncompassionate urge to say, “Let them eat cake.”
The question that dangles is, “Why did they leave the city if not for the pioneering spirit of a simple, country life?”
One answer, I fear, is that some folks' notion of a better life is to make enough money to get away from folks who don't have it.
Without the financial base of people able to generate revenue, without the social base of those able to lead or volunteer, and void of youth whose families have had the resources to imbue them with cultural enrichment, our urban neighborhoods are thirsty.
It's unrealistic to believe that Toledo will be able to regulate the water in sprawling suburban homes replete with bathtub spas, six-jet showers, hot tubs, pools, a bathroom for every person and guest, bar sinks, ice- and water-dispensing refrigerators, and in-ground sprinkler systems.
It is ironic that the people who fled our city may become the great unwashed.
I read with dismay that Toledo city leaders will not share Toledo's vast reservoir of water with our neighbors. In this day and age it is unbelievable that people are worrying about their wells running dry and not having water for their most basic needs.
The city will not share the water because Mayor Jack Ford is worried that people will move to the suburbs if he gives them water; maybe the core issue of why people are leaving Toledo should be the real concern.
We must help our neighbors, City leaders must solve the issues that make people move out of Toledo, and create a city that people want to move to.
Congratulations to Mayor Jack Ford for his tough stance on extending water supplies beyond Toledo's borders. Unfortunately he doesn't sound tough enough. Refusing to help fuel suburban sprawl and urban flight is important, but more important are the precedents we set now.
Soon the western states will be drooling over our water and they'll insist we sell. If they can show that we view water only as a commodity, they'll be able to get a judge to force us to sell it. We already risk this proposition via the NAFTA agreement and before you know it we'll be forced to sell it to the Middle East and Asia. The Great Lakes watershed is not only a valuable natural resource that belongs to its inhabitants, it is also the linchpin in a larger ecosystem upon which not only wildlife but people depend.
As to the unfortunate plight of people in Richfield Township, et al, I say “Oh well.” You knew when you left the city that your house would have well water and you skipped town anyway. You never lived in the city? Vote out your leaders who allowed all the unwise growth that has drained your water tables. Harry Barlos is afraid that without new water Lucas County residents will move to Wood County. Join the club, Harry. You don't seem to mind people leaving the city.
Many people who leave the city say it's because they want better schools. Their (white?) flight has only made our schools worse. But they'll pay for our water and even give us some scraps from their growth-at-any-cost development table. They've made their bed while ruining ours. Now lie in it. The only way I'd sell them our water is if they let our kids attend their schools.
Mayor Ford's rejection of providing water service to neighboring communities in order to prevent Toledo citizens from leaving is very questionable to say the least.
It would be too much to expect our city to consider any move that would generate income for the city and perhaps give its citizens some relief from the increased fees and taxes we are now enduring - many times without any citizen input.
To imply that not providing water service is the answer to stopping the exodus of citizens from Toledo is pure political hogwash.
Poor schools, terrible roads, a vindictive newspaper with an agenda of negativism, the lack of a consolidated development effort for the city, a governmental body that spends months promoting and arguing a smoking ban while letting the East Side development project languish for four years, and an attitude that generates a lack of trust by the citizens in that government are just a few of the reasons for the exodus, Mr. Ford - not the sale of water.
It is time to question why Maumee, Springfield, Sylvania, Monclova, Perrysburg, Northwood, and Bedford are experiencing growth while Toledo complains about water and arena sites.
I am writing as one of the two area conservatives with the name Michael O'Brien who have had the privilege of being published in this Readers' Forum. A recent smear of my counterpart was full of vitriolic invective and fallacies about recent events.
On Bill Clinton, John Moor apparently concurs with the other me in acknowledging the ex-president knew about the threat of Saddam Hussein. Isn't it then sensible, if not deserved, to criticize that disgrace of a commander in chief for his inaction?
Accordingly, should we also forgive Bill Clinton for turning down the opportunities from the government of Sudan to capture Osama bin Laden during his presidency, even though we knew he was a threat, too?
On the military, Mr. Moor should really check his records because “Bill Clinton's military” was only kept intact by congressional Republicans, despite Mr. Clinton's attempts to slash military spending in his submitted budgets.
Mr. Moor should remember that his own speculation isn't dogmatic, either. He could never know what the reaction of conservatives would be with weapons of mass destruction and Mr. Clinton.
He furthermore conveniently ignores the discovery of WMD components and documentation of the numerous human rights violations of Saddam's brutal regime. We should celebrate the fact that America is now a safer place with Saddam out of power.
Mr. Moor is a liberal Clinton apologist, trying to justify his support for not only a botched presidency but also failed policy. Perhaps if he spent less time hating Republicans, he could realize these “Michael O'Brien” letters go far beyond “Democrats Bad, Republicans Good.”
It's just that conservatism works and millions correctly realize this, save himself.
MICHAEL PATRICK O'BRIEN
A recent editorial asked “How is faster safer?” Then the editorial noted that so many tickets were issued for trucks speeding on our highways.
The fact of the matter is no matter how many speeding tickets were issued, slower traffic kills more people than faster traffic. Why remains to be seen because it flies in the face of logic.
Nonetheless, more people are killed at low speeds than at high speeds.
How is slower safer if more people are killed at low speeds?
A previous, very popular president was impeached for a little lie about a sexual indiscretion that he was entrapped into revealing. Now the Democrats are accused of trying to make partisan hay about the use of forged information in the State of the Union address. Wasn't this information used to help push us into our first pre-emptive war?
I guess a great big lie is better than an itty-bitty lie any old day.
VIVIAN J. BORK