Green residents share concerns, future vision for the city during first community meeting

What is your future Green?

Green residents chat about how to improve Green. (Photo by: Doug Oplingler)

During the first community meeting June 30, 39 people shared their thoughts about how to make Green a better place and what the city will look like into the future.

The meeting organized by Your Voice Ohio was the first of three community meetings in Green giving residents an opportunity to offer suggestions to improve the quality of life in the city.

Those in attendance were asked what would you change about your community so that everyone can live a happy, fulfilled life. Residents stressed relationships with others is key to creating a happy community. With the rise of technology, many believe communication between neighbors and within neighborhoods has been lost or the conversations are taking place on social media.

Other aspects raised at the meeting included acceptance of differences, acknowledgment of problems, increasing communication between government officials and residents, reducing income inequality, hunger, addiction, affordable housing, affordable higher education and preserving green space.

The community meeting, led by Doug Oplinger, who heads Your Voice Ohio, also gave attendees a chance to have table discussions on questions before the information was put on a flip chart.

Another question was posed about the assets and strengths in the community. Some of the ideas shared included schools, parks, history, business involvement, safe, friendly and proximately to the Akron Canton Airport and highway.

An additional asset shared was the fact Green is lucky to have two weekly newspapers.

One couple in attendance, who don’t live in Green, but lives in nearby Springfield Township, said they really like Green and come to the city to shop and to use the medical facilities.

Following sharing how to improve the community and assets, Oplinger grouped the major issues raised onto six pieces of giant paper and everyone in attendance had an opportunity to place two blue sticker dots on the two they felt were most important or they could place both dots on one.

The categories voted on included relationships, admitting and discussing problems, open communication, education that is accessible, good jobs with opportunity and better parenting.

Relationships received 22 votes, admitting and discussing problems received 21, open communication received 15 votes, education that is accessible received 10 votes and good jobs with opportunity received five votes. Better parenting did not receive any votes.

With the problems identified and voted on, the group was tasked with coming up with solutions.

To build relationships it was suggested to have neighborhood parties, trivia teams, splash pad activities for families and a city-wide yard sale just to name a few.

To admitting and discussing problems those in attendance encouraged focus groups to address problems and demographics, hiring a specialist to work individually with people with problems and destigmatize the problem so people will admit to issues.

When it comes to communication solutions included voting, attending meetings, instead of complaining go to someone in charge and talk and give out more information on what is going on each day and at City Council meetings.

For education, it was encouraged to talk about opportunities both ways and putting more focus on trades instead of just college.

This community meeting was only the first of three as two more are planned to continue the conversation on how to make Green a better place and improve the quality of life. Green residents are encouraged to attend these meetings to share thoughts and ideas to help make the city a better place to live.

The second meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Greensburg United Methodist Church, 2161 Greensburg Road. The third and final meeting, which the topic hasn’t been determined yet, will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 6 at Greensburg United Methodist Church, 2161 Greensburg Road.

Those interested in attending can RSVP by visiting https://yourvoiceohio.org/what-do-people-of-green-think-needs-done-to-assure-good-lives.