Greenfield Next Door

Several weeks ago I mentioned on this site the existence of a website called Next Door. It is a sort of online virtual neighborhood watch. To my pleasure I noticed to today that Ron Dudley, or someone, has begun a Greenfield Next Door site. For security reasons it is a closed site and one must register to become a member. Since my address is outside of Greenfield I am not eligible to become a member and see what the site is like. But, if you are within the included area and would like to take part click HERE and set up a free membership. You may want to report back and let us all know what it is like.

7 thoughts on “Greenfield Next Door”

  1. The family center was announce one year ago at the Fishing Derby. In fact, it was one of the sponsors. It is to be located at 227 S. Washington St. which has been refurbished for Indoor Greenfield. It had 4 employees for a 3 month period but no family was willing to sign up for a 3 month minimum [$50/month + 6hr volunteering/month for a full family]. A business plan was provided to Merchants Bank and other lending facilities and funding denied. Sponsors were solicited with no takers. Visit the Inddor Greenfield site on facebook to learn more.

  2. What’s this about a family center, for $ 50/mo., in Greenfield? I read the local newspaper practically daily and I have never seen an advertisement nor an article about any family center in Greenfield.
    I heard there might be something in the works, but as far as I knew it never came to fruition. I have even driven down South Washington looking for signs.
    Perhaps someone can clue me in, how in the world did I miss this?

  3. Thank you, Larry.
    Please don’t feel like I’ve given up. I’m a scientist and demographer and Greenfield’s eras fascinate me – the good and the bad. It’s a town worthy of book and tale.
    Your site and other such as the Greenfield Next Door are terrific and vital for community strength.

  4. We could go all day back and forth but Wal-Mart isn’t the only culprit. A major culprit is increased mobility. First of all I question that Greenfield ever had 6k citizens. In my memory that number has always been closer to 5k. Secondly, who wants to go to a 50 year old small screen when there are wide-screen multi-plexes within an hour’s drive. In 1958 many people in Greenfield didn’t have a personal automobile. Today there are few families with less than two cars. People have so many more options as to where they spend their money today and sorry to say, don’t give enough consideration to how their choices will affect where they live. Lots of forces at work and unfortunately, few easy solutions.

  5. In 1958 there were 6000 people in Greenfield. there was no recession for the next 25 years, auto sales were fabulous thrrough the 1990’s yet Greenfield did not grow. I’d like to understand.
    How did Wal-Mart destroy a town theater or stop educated children without jobs from returning home.
    Greenfield seems to be hit overly hard to have lost much more than other places, yet it has a better foundation with the school, water and historic businesses than most.

    I agree the Tea Party and government won’t come to our rescue, but it takes very little money to close metal dealers [impose higher fees for licenses], little money to fine slum landlords [must have trash pickup ordinance] and little money enforce downtown standards of paint and windows. Just this year, the railroad has cost Greenfield $80K in repairs [due to metal theft] with much more to follow. That’s money better spent on paint.
    My great plans have mainly been inhibited by local banks not loaning me money even with business plans; a city which won’t submit proposals for grants that will cost them nothing; a lack of family interest in my family center [$50/month is too much]. I have people beating down my door for jobs, for housing to rent and for opportunity but no community financial support.

  6. I greatly enjoy the memories and particularly historic descriptions of old Greenfield.
    I’ve only been here a year and I am surprised at Greenfield’s rich past and former booming local economy.

    But, these stories make me puzzled at the present situation and wonder why the city has shrunken in size, importance and character from 1958. What stopped the progress? Other comparable communities grew by 300% even with no highway nearby. This negative change seems to have occurred much before the DHL mess. What caused a city, built and grown with change, innovation and risk to turn into a crawl under-the-covers, negative growth, resist change, decay center?

    Greenfield had an above average educated population. Now it is significantly below, why? Where there just no jobs? Why with the poor economy don’t they come back as has been going on in other small communities throughout the US during this recession? Why have the educated youth abandoned their hometown and their parents.

    Who holds Greenfield hostage to the decay of the past 25 years? Was there a police scandal or a political crime? Is there a reason we are a crime center?

    I’ve heard about a power plant, telephone company and more; things which could now create greater revenue and attract business. What happened? Why? Can we re-establish or did we relinquish all power rights?

    What killed downtown? What was the “new” vision that removed movie theaters, skating rinks, or let the Elliot Hotel go to ruin? Why are 1 in 4 houses delapidated? 1 in 8 abandoned? Why haven’t the wealthy [and there are plenty] stepped up to save things?

    I’ve heard a beer company and a food manufacturer wanted to build here due to the quality of our water. Why were they turned down? Who turned them down?

    Why did we buy the railroad? What did it cost? Why buy it after selling off utilities?
    When did we build the industrial center? Why? Was there planning?

    It make me question the irony of trying to become a “Tree City” – just like 237 other communities in Ohio. Why waste government time and money on this worthless award?

    1. Rich, I don’t think what you’re referring to began until the bottom dropped out of the economy, the automobile industry (which Greenfield was/is highly dependent on, and the DHL “mess,” occurred. In the 1990s and most of the 2000s things were moving along pretty well except for the retail and downtown segment of the community. One in four homes were not in disrepair. In fact, just like everywhere else, people were fixing up their homes, buying homes to refab and flip, and just like everyone else, got caught with too much debt when the housing bubble popped. What’s happened to the business district is just what’s happened all over America, the box stores have killed the mom and pops. If you see the rare exception look deeper and I’ll bet you won’t find a Wal-Mart at the edge of town or two of them within 15 miles.

      You rode in on the tail of an economic tornado. A year, or so, before you moved to town we were on the verge of loosing the fire and police departments, massive cuts in educational staffing, city employment, etc. The current form of government came about as a reaction to those very hard times.

      It isn’t that people don’t have ideas or have not planned. The industrial park was part of a plan. It’s just that money was always tight, the tax base was being exported, and many of those plans were put on hold or never took root. You’ve had to face those same realities. From our conversations I know you’ve had great plans but because of budget problems have not seen many of them bear fruit. Greenfield does not exist in a vacuum, removed from the rest of the nation. While you can cite examples of cities and towns that have dodged the recessionary bullet, those are very rare and Southern Ohio has not been so lucky. For that matter the entire state of Ohio has been in state of funk since the heavy industries of yore started closing down and moving offshore.

      You ask about the RR. Well, it to was part of a plan. As surplus track was being ripped from the ground all over America there were enough users along our little section who wanted continue access to rail. Candle Lite and Johnson Controls were probably the largest but there were others, including several large grain elevators. The state, and maybe federal governments, felt the demand for rail service was high enough to fund the continued operation of this line. I don’t remember all the details but for some time it was working as planned. Like everything, things change and the RR’s customer base dwindled. I don’t know the facts but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there is little justification for its continued support.

      I’ve read most of your letters to the editor, columns, and had many conversations with you. The problem is money. Just like for you and your endeavors, making anything of substance happen takes capital and capital is in short supply. I’d love to see store fronts restored to their original architecture. I’d love to see the sidewalks of the business district brought up to snuff, trees planted along the main streets, everything get a fresh coat of paint, etc. But where is all this money going to come from? In the current political and economic climate the Tea Party has let us know they’re in no mood for increased tax revenue. The banks sure as hell aren’t giving away money, and unemployment statistics are still dismal in this area as well as the nation.

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