Sylvania YMCA JCC to Hold Public Information Session
While the debate continues among residents over the funding and feasibility for two new separate recreation facility expansions, the Greater Toledo YMCA continues to steadily move forward -alone- with public conversations about partnering with SAJRD.
*Update: See also, The Blade 10/3/21 article "Partnership talks break down..." by Kate Snyder.
"The plans that YMCA leadership proposed to SAJRD, Mr. McMahon said, all involved YMCA taking over management of the new recreation and community center, and the recreation district had little interest in handing over control of its facility to a third party."
The YMCA has also put out paid promotional advertising to further their efforts, a video through "Guy in the 419," which began running on social media October 4, 2021.
A group of Sylvania area citizens have also formed to oppose issue 11, their new website can be found here:
A public information session has been scheduled for Wednesday October 6, 2021, at the Sylvania YMCA/JCC location, 6465 W Sylvania Ave, Sylvania, OH 43560.
The Facebook event created on September 27 for the October 6 meeting states that the purpose of the public meeting is to "Detail our capital expansion plan and answer questions about the feasibility of the YMCA/JCC partnering with SAJRD for a unified approach and shared facility."
On September 9, the YMCA/JCC announced a partnership with Toledo, with a post that called out Sylvania for a new partnership as well.
"The YMCA of Greater Toledo was proud to announce its partnership with the City of Toledo to build a new Wayman Palmer Branch.
Today's announcement is just the latest example of YMCAs successfully collaborating with cities to great community benefit. There are hundreds of other examples, including here in Ohio. We believe the next example should be Sylvania, where the community also deserves a truly special facility. We renew our commitment to collaborating in Sylvania. Any place. Any time."
-Sylvania YMCA and JCC
On August 30, 2021, the YMCA issued their first public statement that directly addressed SAJRD. It came in the form of a video from YMCA of Greater Toledo President Brad Toft. The video was in stark contrast to the YMCA's initial announcement of their Sylvania expansion plan back on July 19, 2021.
In that July 19 press release and interview, the YMCA spokesperson was hesitant to discuss anything relating to the YMCA's relationship with SAJRD, and would only offer this one sentence about the matter:
"Discussions have taken place between the YMCA and Sylvania Recreation about how to work together in the best manner."
In the six weeks between July 19 and August 30, the Greater Toledo YMCA appears to have adopted a new strategy, one of publicly attacking SAJRD with shockingly blunt, undermining statements which appear to be an attempt to cause the levy to fail, and to also coerce SAJRD into complying with the YMCA's wishes.
Below is the main text of Brad Toft's August 30 video, when the YMCA first took aim at Sylvania Recreation.
"We are disappointed that we are not working together on one unified community recreation facility here in Sylvania.
This would have saved the community money on both construction and operational subsidies moving forward.
We did try. Our two organizations spent two years trying to figure out how to make it happen. They walked away and we feel that is a big loss and disappointment for the community.
The YMCA is willing to bring significant assets to the table. They included free land on property behind the existing YMCA JCC and ten million dollars in cash.
Under Sylvania Rec's proposal, taxpayers will pay for the land and replace the ten million we would have invested and we think the location would have been perfect. Our property has woods, ponds, and plenty of space to be able to do all the things that our community deserves.
We would have also brought our operational expertise to the facility in a fashion similar to other YMCAs and cities around the country, including here in Ohio.
We believe it could have been done. In fact, we still believe we can make that happen. Anytime, anyplace. The YMCA has over 500 partnerships. We know we can make it work. In fact, we are still open to working with Sylvania Rec on this new facility anytime and any place."
The Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District (SAJRD) has information online detailing their expansion plans and the levy they are asking voters to approve at the ballot box this November: www.playsylvania.com/sajrd-levy-details
According to SAJRD and Sylvania Recreation officials, who declined to comment on the YMCA's actions of the last month, they were neither invited nor informed of the October 6 information session where the Greater Toledo YMCA will be publicly discussing SAJRD.
Visit the YMCA official website:
The Committee for Sylvania Recreation Issue 11 "Vote Yes" official website:
Follow the Sylvania JCC/YMCA on Facebook:
Visit Sylvania Rec's official website for the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District (SAJRD) expansion plan:
View the full Sylvania Rec Master Plan
View the summary of the Sylvania Rec Master Plan for expansion: