To the Editor,
The letter begins by identifying Rachel Oppenheimer as a non-Ohio resident and then repeatedly referencing the partner groups as “outside interest groups.” This depiction is inaccurate. Dr. Oppenheimer is no longer residing in Ohio, but has been a supporter of RHP since 2014. Many Richfield residents are members of one of the partner groups. Some also hold positions in the government of Richfield. They are not outsiders.
Much progress has been made since 2014. RJRD has repaired the dams, restored the wastewater treatment plant, repaired roads, upgraded the Lodge, been nominated and granted listing on the NPS’s National Register of Historic Places. Bridle trails have been restored, a parking lot off of Oviatt Road was constructed, Buckeye Trail was created within park borders, Oviatt House is being restored, and Kirby’s Mill and several historic homes have been stabilized and restored. With the exception of the RJRD capital projects, all of this was accomplished without using taxpayer dollars.
The reference to the partner groups hoping to raise funds “someday” is also misleading. Money has consistently been raised. “Someday” was as recently as two months ago when the Friends raised over $80,000 at a special event and almost $10,000 at a recent holiday event.
“Someday” has also seen the awarding of several grants. The Friends and other partner groups work tirelessly to support the community and help protect the residents’ investment by finding other funds outside of taxpayer dollars.