Warren Do Something
Warren Do Something was a slogan that I threatened to have made into a button and sent out to leaders of the City back in 2004 and 2005. It has been a driving theme for many of the local business people and residents since the late 90’s and every time a new plan or study is proposed.
Dare To Dream has, for the last couple of years, been highly critical of all the former so called “plans” that seem to evolve from City Administration to City Administration.
City Council President Robert Marchese, in a move we highly support, has laid out a 12 point plan of action for the next two year term, that heavily relies on citizen involvement and committees. Finally, a voice in the wildness trying to bring all the previous plans, studies and proposals into one comprehensive direction without spending more City monies.
His plan includes creating citizen ad hoc committees to study a charter form of government, examine the future of Packard Music Hall and focus on youth recreation needs in the city.
Other parts of Marchese’s 12-point plan include:
Development of a One Stop building proposal for the city and a plan for what to do with the remaining parcels. Mayor Michael O’Brien said last week that the city’s Water, Wastewater and Operations departments will be combined into a Public Works Department in March, which is an initial step in the process.
– Revisit the City Park Utilization Plan, which was presented to C Sept. 8, 2004.
– Creation of a standing Council committee to advance the city’s strategic plan. Marchese said this process already has begun and a committee will be named soon.
– Appointment of a subcommittee to serve as a liaison with all of the city’s neighborhood groups. He also said he encourages council to become actively involved with the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, which is assisting the neighborhood groups with implementation of the strategic plan.
– Creating a subcommittee consisting of Main Street Warren, Packard Music Hall, the Warren Community Amphitheatre and the Mahoning Valley Greenway Bike Trail.
– Creation of a group of representatives from Warren, Howland, the Trumbull County Engineering Department and Ohio Department of Transportation District 11 to assess the appearance of state Route 82 between North Road and Howland Wilson Road.
– Creating a regular meeting process with each of the townships that abut Warren such as Howland, Champion, Southington and Bazetta to discuss joint services and possible Joint Economic Development Districts.
– Strengthening relationships with Warren City Schools on issues vital to students and residents through council’s education subcommittee.
– Expanding the work of the energy subcommittee created by Councilman Dan Crouse, I-at large, during his term, which expires Thursday. He said the subcommittee is especially important as progress is made on the green energy incubator planned for downtown.
I am pleased that the Council President is reviving the “Parks Plan” that was given to Council back in 2004 and which Andy Barkley chaired and I was Vice-Chairmen. This proposal will go a long way in strengthening the neighborhood identity and Warren City in general.
The Recreation Center idea has been floating around for many years. In-fact, present Downtown Business Association President Jim Cicchillo, proposed to then Mayor Hank Angelo in early 2000, that the “old Armory” on High Street, be used for such a venue when the City was discussing tearing it down.
Dare To Dream now feels that the utilizing of the closed Western Reserve High School might just fit the Recreation Center concept. The former high school has a swimming pool; basketball court; tennis courts; theater; nursery for agronomy and a planetarium which makes it an ideal location for a supervised recreational facility.
Western Reserve may even be big enough to house the so-called “One Stop” City Building being contemplated.
As DTD reader know, I have been a big backer of the Warren Entertainment District, which I proposed to Council back in 2001. I feel that this would be a great time to revisit the idea. Since citizen committees are being formed, let them review the idea and bring it back to a manageable size and for the designated concept that was originally proposed, the Historic Downtown Area.
All in all, it’s time for Warren Do Something and I’ll still buy the button.