Rally will take city’s message to state

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2000

It’s a new day – the beginning of a new century full of opportunities as well as challenges.

Saturday, January 01, 2000

It’s a new day – the beginning of a new century full of opportunities as well as challenges.

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Most of us in the throes of middle age can remember when the year 2000 seemed centuries away.

Now, the change to the 21st century is history. The world did not end, as some feared, and just as the calendar moved on, so must we.

By working together, we can create a better tomorrow.

Nowhere is that need for cohesiveness more evident than in the City of Ironton, where residents are faced with the closure of another industry sometime in late winter or early spring.

As we have said before, we can choose to wring our hands or we can choose to try a variety of ways to bring economic growth back to the county seat. Of course, not everything will work, but there is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing we all pulled together and gave it our best effort.

A group of former Cabletron employees is trying to do just that.

Together with the city officials, former Cabletron employees are spearheading the formation of a new group to capture the attention of our elected officials in Columbus. They have one overriding goal: to bring the vast resources of our state government to our aid as we work to overcome these economic setbacks.

Their premise is simple: We all are taxpaying, voting citizens of Ohio. Just as other municipalities have received support and assistance from the state when they have faced similar circumstances, so should we.

The first item on the group’s agenda is two-fold.

The first part is a "Help Save Our City" petition campaign that will show the overwhelming support and desire of Ironton and Lawrence County residents to have the state become a full and working partner with the economic revitalization efforts in Ironton.

The second is a rally planned for Friday, Jan. 21, on the grounds of the statehouse. They hope to have hundreds of Ironton and Lawrence County residents turn out and show their support for this endeavor as well as individual and collective commitment to being part of our economic recovery.

The petitions will be available for residents to sign at Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary’s office as well as other businesses in Ironton. Former Cabletron employees also plan to take the petitions door to door.

"We hope the rally will galvanize support," said Mayor Cleary, adding that the rally has the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland.

Although the agenda for the rally is not yet completed, preliminary plans call for brief remarks by Mayor Cleary, former Cabletron and Allied Signal employees, Ironton Iron employees and Ironton Business Association representatives. Councilman Hugh Donald Scott said he hopes to have the cheerleaders from Ironton High School as well as the band on hand to help add spirit to the rally.

Rally plans will be finalized at a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at 10 a.m. in the city council chambers at the Ironton city building.

Even if you cannot attend the rally, Mayor Cleary said you can be part of the effort by writing our elected legislators and urging them to help. Their addresses are:

U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, 1236 Gallia St., Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.

U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine, 37 W. Broad St., Room 970, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

U.S. Sen. George Voinovich, 37 W. Broad St., Room 970, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Ohio Rep. Bill Ogg, 77 S. High St., 10th Floor Riffe Building, Columbus, Ohio 43266.

Ohio Rep. John Carey, 77 S. high St., 10th Floor Riffe Building, Columbus, Ohio 43266.

Ohio Sen. Mike Shoemaker, 1-st Floor Senate Building, Room 134, Columbus, Ohio 43266.

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, 77 S. High St., 30th Floor Riffe Building, Columbus, Ohio 43266.

If you would like to volunteer to help in any way, call the mayor’s office at 532-3833.

Jennifer Allen is publisher of The Ironton Tribune.