Residents are watching and waiting to see how district handles Millikin

To the Editor,
I am writing about the Millikin property, which remains an open issue. As the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school board has its facilities evaluation to deal with declining population, and is promising to close more neighborhood buidings, taxpayers are wondering if Fairfax, Gearity, and Noble neighborhoods will suffer the same drop in property values with the abandonment of those buildings, incurring the crime, trouble and disregard for upkeep that Millikin residents have had to put up with. Yet the facilities plan indeed calls for closing these buildings while asking for a levy to foot the bill.
The school board may have been negligent in the past with the property, but now has a unique opportunity to build trust with its constituency. Mosdos Ohr Hatorah, a private Orthodox day school, has made a fair market offer to purchase the property, repair it, and reinvest in the neighborhood. Yet so far, the board has not acted by putting it up for public sale, and is apparently delaying on the appraisal. It does so at the peril to its own plans. 
Mosdos is but one element in the district ready and willing to work with the school board. If Millikin can be saved and retain its tradition and value by continuing to educate our district's children, the board would be signalling that it indeed cares about the values of all its residents. As recent letters signed by pastors of all faiths, and recent comments by former Cleveland Heights City Council Member Nancy Dietrich demonstrate, the entire district is watching and waiting to see if the board will grab this opportunity now.

Susan Efroymson

Susan Efroymson
Cleveland Heights

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Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 9:50 AM, 04.10.2012