LETTER TO THE EDITOR of THE PRESS, 2-10-99, by Ellen Young
Gerald Phillips speaks of deception. On June 8, 1998, Stark/Jacobs lawyers Timothy Grendell and Tom Smith, with Phillips tagging along, won a victory over Avon in the court of Judge Thomas Janas which has plunged our City into turmoil. Are we supposed to believe that Grendell and Smith were there only to represent some local residents? Now Phillips wants to deceive us into thinking that Stark/Jacobs won't resort to the court system AGAIN.
Phillips repeats the deception of the "traffic nightmare" which Stark/Jacobs used so effectively in their November, 1998, campaign against Avon Commons with large newspaper ads, mailers, and phone banks. The truth is that Avon's own traffic consultant, hired by the Planning Commission, said that traffic flow would IMPROVE in the area surrounding Avon Commons.
Speaking of deception, what about the Indian activist who claimed that there were Indian remains at the Avon Commons site? What about the testimony of Jay Gardner of Metro One? It turned out that Gardner had at one time worked for Stark/Jacobs. Professor Ellison from Cincinnati sent students to Avon to redo Avon's master plan. Ellison, too, had done work for Stark/Jacobs.
The most recent deception is the circulating of petitions to rezone the Avon Commons site to single family housing as somehow benefitting Avon. Phillips has a record of involving Avon in expensive lawsuits. What about the loss of tax revenue? Isn't it deceptive to imply that people in Avon do not shop in stores such as Giant Eagle that are larger than twenty thousand square feet? What about those of us who want to shop in Avon? Isn't it deceptive to pretend that we don't exist? Don't all of us have to drive on roads to go shopping?
Does Avon have the financial resources to defend us against an attack in court by Stark/Jacobs attempting to rezone residential and prime industrial land to commercial? Why doesn't Phillips mention that Stark/Jacobs spent almost $50,000 in their successful effort to defeat Avon Commons last November? Isn't it deceptive to try to hide the fact that only commercial competition from Avon Commons has a chance of stopping Stark and Jacobs from wrecking Avon? As Stark himself said: There will only be one shopping center in Avon.
DON'T BE DECEIVED.
Bob Barnhart is heading a group circulating a petition to put Avon Commons back on the ballot. Please sign this petition. Don't sign the Phillips [Ryant] petition or be deceived and confused by it. Let's give truth a chance.