Outside Voices

Categories:  Opinion    Community
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 8:04 AM


rom being one of Destination Erie’s biggest proponents to resigning from Chair of its Steering Committee, Erie County Executive Barry Grossman is finished with the project. Why? He’s publically stated that other members of the committee and the project have questioned his leadership, which provoked his decision to walk away; and for better or for worse, he made his final decision.

If you don’t know, Destination Erie is essentially a $3 million (and some change) project that’s “trying to put Erie on the Map,” by addressing some of the hot-button issues in this city, such as poverty, jobs, transportation, and education. The ultimate goal is to implement this plan, which will affect Erie for the next 50 years to come, but to do so, the steering committee needs strong leadership.

So who is up to bat for Grossman’s seat? None other than former congresswomen Kathy Dahlkemper, who also defeated Grossman in the 2013 Democratic Primary for Erie County Executive and then defeated Republican challenger Don Tucci in November’s General Election to become Erie County Executive-elect.

While most times the news is shaped by those who write and report the stories, we’ve decided to take in some Outside Voices to get Erie’s real feelings on Destination Erie.

Casey Hollands: I think he has questionable leadership skills. Why would you join Destination Erie, serve as Chair, and then fall back and never follow through? As a county executive, I think he should back down from there as well… Barry Grossman is too persuaded by his personal endeavors. He has a hard time helping the people because he is all about himself. He’s the default politician… He obviously doesn’t know what it takes to be successful in politics especially when you’re going to cop-out on something like this: a big project that can make Erie successful and help with the economics of the area. You can’t just be like, ‘Alright I have personal differences with people on the board so I’m gonna back down;’ you have to be a man and stand up for what you believe in, and stand up for the city that you represent.

David Gool: I feel that being in the current environment and the situation [his resignation] was probably a good move for the community. Let the future come into Erie, get established in the program, and start being more effective immediately instead of in the distant future.

Vince Hunter: What’s Destination Erie? Barry Grossman, I bet he got picked on a lot in school and waits until the second date to break out his full name.

Rick Gagnon: Regardless of what you think of Barry Grossman, he’s done a lot of great things. Here he’s shown how much he can do as a lame- duck candidate; he got term limits passed, so you have to respect his knowledge and his temperament and what he does for the economy, but yet he can’t effect change after three more months. So there has to be a balance; Kathy has to respect that, which I think she is doing in the idea that she welcomed being part of that committee, yet Barry doesn’t need to be like, ‘I’m gonna take my balls and go home from the playground,’ when he should pass it on. I know he’s frustrated, but he could have done it a little bit more eloquently.

Erie Reader: Vol. 7, No. 21
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