Been meaning to get to a post on the whole Erie-Millcreek merger thing, and now appears to be the time. My post follows Pat Howard's excellent editorial in the Sunday paper (why is it I can link directly to Pat's columns and nothing else on goerie.com? Don't know.) As usual Pat does a nice job summarizing several recent events/stories. I like it when he accuses Barry Grossman of being petulant and "taking his ball and going home." I've heard from many people what a powerful and dynamic person Barry is, and I really thought he presented very well during this past year's mayoral debates, but I agree that he seems to be acting like a baby here, and I think Pat is maybe even a little too easy on him. Anyways, I'd be more than happy to take his spot on this Greater Erie Unity Committee thing. Does anyone know how I can do this? I tried to a do a search for their Web site and the closest thing I came upon was another blog post that said - "clueless and have no Web site." Of course, if this means I'd have to work with Dr. Garvey, another guy people can't say enough great things about - well, except for a few people, I don't know if I'd want to do it. Not that I don't respect, well, maybe I don't. I really don't know what to make of this guy...
Anyhow, the biggest shortfall with this whole Erie-Millcreek thing seems to be convincing Millcreek people to go along with it. Now, I am friends with two well-informed, educated, and civic-minded Millcreek residents, who are both in favor of a merger - as I think almost everybody from Erie is. But, still I would like to see some solid, tangible evidence that could be used to convince the rank-and-file - Joe NASCAR six-pack Millcreek resident that this is a good thing for the community.
Howard makes some nice surface arguments - stuff about Millcreek being built on the back of the city infrastructure and it, itself needing similar help in the future - but I don't think the numbers are there and that these arguments are solid enough to convince Republican Millcreek residents with the "what's in it for me" attitude. I'm sure there is stuff in it for them, I just can't put my finger on it.
So, since we've aready determined the city is in favor of this, let's get some city residents to put together a grass roots efforts to pitch this to the rest of the county-including Millcreek. We need to determine exactly what kind of leverage the city has here. If Millcreek and friends want to play hardball, the city needs to get tough as well and start threatening these townships if they don't play ball. I'm not talking about organizing our paid police and firemen into a militia, but something more realistic - I'm not sure what, would do.
I guess I'm saying, if this is such a good idea, let's prove it the best we can, even without some outside study. We've got enough smart people around here where we can figure at least something out on its own. And if Millcreek doesn't want to participate, they lose their voice in the grass roots effort and let things fall as they may.
Alright, that's enough of a rant. If anyone wants to get busy on this, let me know.