As a city and its surrounding suburbs, we seem to constantly defend ourselves against visitors' accusations that there are no attractions here. We respond by saying we have a wonderful Theater District and a revitalized Chippewa area, many fine festivals and some of the finest winter events.
After a brief vacation in Cleveland, I tend to support our visitors' comments. The number of attractions Cleveland has to offer tourists, along with how the waterfront has been utilized, displays how politicians can work together to accomplish a vision.
Cleveland draws people to the city on a regular basis. Downtown is bustling after normal business hours. Their leaders have a vision of what they want the city to be and how to get there. And more importantly, they have taken the action needed to get there.
Can Buffalo and Erie County say the same? We have several redundant enterprises, partnerships and committees spending money on task forces, cost studies and feasibility studies. Why are we wasting a stretch of waterfront that most cities would kill to have?
Is the answer putting an office complex on that site? Yes, it may employ several hundred people, but will it provide me the incentive to go with my family and friends for a weekend visit? Will it provide incentive to tourists?
Instead of an office complex, how about nightclubs, restaurants, malls, museums, science centers, hotels, gambling complexes or amphitheaters?
A vision, a plan and action are all we ask of our leaders. Let's get one committee in charge with a real vision. Once they decide on a plan, let's not debate it for another year. Execute it without bureaucracy interrupting.
Maybe then this area can turn itself around by providing attractions, keeping the brightest of talents in the area and moving forward. Born and raised in this area, I would really like to stay.