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Letter From Mayor Mike Morris to the Citizens of Monroe
Wednesday, September 11, 2002 12:00:00 AM - Monroe Ohio


September 10, 2002

To My Neighbors

Re: Monroe Crossings

Dear Neighbors:

Like many of you, I attended the Concerned citizens for a Better Monroe's meeting on Sunday. As a proud Monroe resident since 1974, I can assure you that I share many of the community's concerns about the Monroe Crossings Development.

In my former position as a long-range transportation planner for the Ohio Department of Transportation, I spent the last 30 years watching many communities struggle with growing pains that result for neglecting to combine transportation and land use policies. In fact, this is exactly what had been happening in Monroe! Knowing what problems would be lying ahead for our City, I felt a responsibility to my family and my community to get involved. I began by seeking an appointment to the City's Planning Commission five years ago. This led me to run for City Council in November, 1999.

Now, as Mayor, without a great deal of prior political experience, I find myself working within the complex framework of city government. However, I believe my experience outside politics can benefit the City. I am glad that my fellow Council Members share my determination to be proactive and lead Monroe in a positive, well-managed direction.

I have learned that you can always find a compromise. In the case of Monroe Crossings, the City Council and I have been working, within the legal framework that our city has to abide by, to find an acceptable compromise with or without the proposed rezoning. We believe that it is for the good of the City that we work towards finding an agreement that would allow us to manage the growth of the entire 500-acre property. This is an important point: without the PUD overlay, we would not be able to control the development or the timing of such a development on any portion of the 500-acre parcel. City council soon will send out information that will educate the community about the property and the development. Please watch for it.

You have my word that we will continue to do whatever we can to protect the schools, manage growth, and ensure quality development that benefits the City and our residents.

I am willing to work toward reasonable solutions to issues that affect our community. I hope you will join me in this effort.

While I understand the concerns of the adjacent property owners and the controversial nature of this development, I was unprepared for the personal attacks my family had received. I am also offended by some of the socio-economic, ethnic and racial overtones and biases that have become a part of the dialogue. As a community and as a country, particular as we remember the events of 9/11, we should be above this.

For those who do not know my family well, I am your neighbor, a veteran, whose son currently attends Monroe Middle School and whose daughter graduated from Monroe High School. There is no other City or country in which I would rather live. My desire to protect our community was so strong that I ran for office, not for personal gain, but because of a strong desire to be of service to all my fellow citizens. Despite the personal attacks, my commitment to the City and to well-managed development has not wavered. I am confident that once everyone has the facts, we will find a reasonable and amicable solution to the Monroe Crossings issue.

I may be your Mayor, but most importantly, I remain your neighbor.

I am happy to answer any questions, please call me or email at the City Building, phone number is: 539-7374, email mayor@monroeohio.org.

Yours truly,

Michael P. Morris
Mayor of Monroe and City Resident

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