To the Editor:

Your story on Avon giving Bendix millions to leave Elyria makes me wonder what Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen was crowing about. “This is a good day for Avon,” he’s quoted as saying. “These are the kinds of companies and jobs we want.”

Sure, we all want 500 good-paying jobs in our community. But Avon did nothing to create them. Nor did it attract them from outside the region, thus boosting the regional economy. It took them from a struggling neighbor.

Avon can argue that Bendix might have left the region without the giveaways. Economic development experts are skeptical. They say companies asking for handouts to stay typically would have stayed anyway. That’s the conclusion of a recent Bloomberg news story, which sees Bendix as a case study in a corporate strategy to play communities against one another, assuring there’s a loser. (“Ten-mile move, $25 million in tax breaks: A Cleveland story”).

Former Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda showed far more vision when she observed that the health of Lorain County depends on the health of its core cities, Elyria and Lorain. What is Avon doing to share the wealth and support those cities?

Greater Cleveland needs to compete as a region in a global economy. That requires a regional approach to job creation and economic development. Poaching from poorer neighbors is nothing to brag about.

Robert Smith

Westlake

Smith is a former economic development reporter for The Plain Dealer.

To the Editor:

Seventy-two percent of global CO2 emissions are caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Since the industrial revolution, the carbon dioxide levels rose from 260 parts per million to 410 ppm. “On average, about 2.57 million pounds of CO2 is emitted into the air every second,” (Doyle Rice, page 1). The answer to this problem is clean energy like solar and wind power. It can’t start as a whole country. It has to start within the community. If we don’t make a change and go green, the world's fossil fuel supply will dissipate by 2060, according to Octopus energy, which is only 40 years away. Earth is getting warmer and there is only a limited amount of fossil fuels.

North Olmsted should convert to renewable energy like solar and wind power. According to Sierra Club.org, six cities in the U.S. have already switched to 100% renewable energy. About 160 cities have committed to 100% clean energy, including Lakewood and Cleveland. A hundred percent clean energy is possible today.

We have plenty of room for solar panels in North Olmsted. There is room on top of public buildings like the mall, the middle/high school and other shopping centers. You can also encourage the community to buy solar panels for their houses which are worth the money in the long run. Solar power is also the cheapest form of electricity, which means we will have more funds to put into other projects like recreation center renovations and public events. North Olmsted should have both the money and space to go green. Green energy sources would be great for the community. It will have cheaper costs than fossil fuels, create more jobs such as keeping solar panels operational and make North Olmsted a better place.

Daidrick Stark

North Olmsted

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