Friday, July 1, 2011

Compliment and applaud.....

Part of North Hills Exposure is to “compliment and applaud when warranted”. That is exactly what this blog entry will do....

First, we would like to compliment and applaud Commissioner Gerry O’Brien for his relentless work with the Ross Record. Commissioner O’Brien has spent countless hours selling the advertising slots in the Ross Record. Each Commissioner’s meeting, Commissioner O’Brien has provided a positive (although sometimes confusing) update on his efforts and progress as he hoped to reinstate the special events that were facing cancellation. Thanks to Commissioner O’Brien’s perseverance, Ross Township residents will be enjoying an Independence Day Celebration this weekend, the Fishing Tournament on July 16th & 17th, and Ross Community Day on September 24th. So if you happen to see Commissioner O’Brien at any of the Independence Day Celebration events on Sunday, make sure you thank him for his work! 

As an additional note, if you happen to own a business in Ross Township or would like to advertise specifically to Ross Township Residents, the Ross Record is the way to go. The Ross Record is mailed to all Ross Township Residents and advertising rates seem reasonable. Something else to consider…the Ross Record contains important information about Township activities and schedules, as well as other pertinent Township information. Because of that many people hold on to their Ross Records for a considerable amount of time, which means your message will be displayed to them on many different occasions. I know that I hold on to mine to check out open gym times, the schedule for the outdoor summer movies, as well as any programs or classes that I may be interested in. Just something to think about...

The next thing we would like to compliment and applaud is that it appears (notice I said appears) that area leaders are FINALLY taking notice of the economic situation that our area is currently facing and will continue to face over the next several years. Ross Township Commissioners, North Hills School Board Members, and West View Borough Council (including West View’s Mayor) met last night in the LGI room at North Hills Junior High. The meeting was open to the public and AmyJo Brown, the Edititor of the North Hills Patch was there. Check out her story at
North Hills Patch - Officials Meet.

I guess the saying “Better late than never” rings true on this...at least I hope.  

The committee that is being developed has a lot of catching up to do. Business in Ross Township has been falling off for years and the population in the area has been on a steady decline for more than 20 years (remember the blog posting on Commissioner’s Compensation that talked about the population decline). All you need to do is to drive down McKnight Rd, Babcock Blvd, and West View Park to see that the empty storefronts signal a decline in business. This isn’t something that happened overnight...it’s been going on for years and is an issue that should have been addressed years ago. Perhaps the thought was “Hey, we have Ross Park Mall...people will flock here from all over to go to Nordstroms/Tiffany’s/Apple...we don’t need to do anything to attract business to the area because they will all want to be around Ross Park Mall”. That way of thinking just doesn’t work because people come in to Ross Park Mall, do their shopping, and then leave. There is nothing in the surrounding area to attract them or keep them here. In addition, there aren’t many stores in Ross Park Mall that attract Ross Township Residents anymore, but that, and Nordstroms reported “influence”, is a subject for another day.

Face it…there isn’t anything to do on McKnight Road other than shop and eat (except for Laser Storm and that attracts a limited group). Shopping and eating is something you can do anywhere. It is nice to have a Target, Kohls, grocery stores, K-Mart, auto stores, and a huge selection of restaurants to choose from. But with the high price of gas, everyone is combining their trips and doing their shopping after they have had their fun. For example, we went to see Cars 2 the other day in Cranberry. While there, we stopped at the Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Toys R Us, and Petco that are in Cranberry. These are all stores that we have in our area, yet we shopped at the ones in Cranberry. Reason being is that we were already out and about, so we just combined our errands with our fun. I think a lot of other people are doing the same thing.

I hope that the committee that is being formed realizes the tremendous responsibility they are being tasked with and recruits some public members that have a background in marketing and business development. I hope that they are able to come together, put personal gain aside, and find a way to make our area interesting, attractive, and FUN! They need to find something that our area can offer, aside from shopping and eating, that no other location around us offers. Stop relying on Ross Park Mall to be the anchor, because it obviously isn’t working.  

 So I will compliment and applaud our elected officials for finally taking action on this, but I will cautiously watch to see if something is actually done or if it’s just more political hot air being blown around. It does kind of worry me that the next meeting isn’t scheduled until the fall...enough time has been wasted, why wait another 3 months to get moving?

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