Friday, December 18, 2009

Coming Up for Air

It has been a while since I have posted here. The reason for the lack of posts is simply that I have become very busy all of a sudden. My email has increased tremendously since November 3rd and the number of phone calls at the house has gone up as well. I am fending off dozens of meeting requests and appearance requests and I am already booking things in February 2010. I should count just how many business cards I have been handed in the last six weeks. The media, who wouldn’t give me any coverage before the election has been interviewing me and so far the coverage has been upbeat and positive. I have attended every commission meeting, budget meeting and work session since November 3rd as well as additional meetings with staff at city hall. I am not officially sworn in and on the public payroll until January 4th.

Some amusing information. I had 1000 “Elect Gary Leitzell” signs produced but only 132 have been collected from public right-of-ways and returned. I had 200 “Had Enough” signs made and 91 of those have been returned.

Other interesting information; the after election financial statements show that the incumbent mayor spent $134,000 and utilized $66,000 of “in kind” donations for her campaign. I spent around $17,000 and had about $5000 of “in kind” donations, half of which was office space. The rest was primarily printing of newspaper inserts and getting 30,000 post it notes at cost.

The old myth of needing a political party to back you and a boatload of money in order to win a mayor’s race in Dayton has been dispelled for the time being.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Huge Thank You

I would like to thank all the citizens of Dayton, not just the ones who voted for me. Without you we would not be the unique city that we are. We must all work together to move Dayton in a positive direction.
I also want to thank the following people who were part of my campaign. Without them and the support of their families, our victory would not have been possible.

Larry Collins, Aaron Gibson, David McDonald, Jeff Wellbaum, Daniel Kennedy, William Pace, Bob Cochran, Bob Snyder, Judy Snyder, Eric Tackett, Hal McKinney, Jason Webber, Ray Mitchell, Alan Rinzler, Will Brooks, John Hyer, Matt Moore, Leslie Sheward, Jacquelyne Patterson, Andrew Stacy, Jules Opperman of Dolcessa, Joshua Pettis, David Sparks, Vanessa Farley Penick, Michael Brandt, Maria Brandt, Leah Stults, Rhonda Horn, Ben Abernethy, Sarah Abernethy, Richard James Gilbertson Jr, Ron Browning, Cyndi Dwyer Parsons, Andy Ingram, Brian Reinicke, Theresa Horvath, Mark Morris, Deb Harris, Luong Van Vo, Larry Hickland, Aimee Burns, Judith Magnus, Brian Young, Rev. Greg Weis, Dorothy Richardson, Brooks Hartzell, Paul Harris, David Esrati, Nathan Fultz, Karen Barton, Larry Hickland, Joe Ellis of Uno's Chicago Grill, Bill Daniels of the Pizza Factory, Joe Moore, Craig Grossman, Katheryn Schierloh, John Weis, Keith Rihm, Alicia Scott-Bey, Donna Green, Mary Ann Schroder, Mike Malinovsky, and all those who have helped behind the scenes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Dedication

Now that the election is over I would like to dedicate the following song to the Montgomery County Democratic Party. Dayton got exactly what it needs.
They will understand the humor.

Song Lyrics

Monday, November 2, 2009

Montgomery County Democrats Spread Hate

Latest smear campaign mail was targeted to west side voters and quotes me as saying "I'm not racist. I am prejudice though." Which is a comment from a forum discussion where I go on to state "I have no tolerance for lazy people. Not all lazy people. If you are lazy, admit it and like your lifestyle and don't complain, you are fine in my books. You are responsibly lazy. If you are lazy, don't admit it to yourself, complain about why you should be entitled or privileged and think others should take care of you then I have a problem."

If anyone can send me a picture of this piece of mail I would appreciate it so that I can post it here. The incumbent is totally desperate if they have to paint me as a racist. All I have ever tried to do is unite this city.

"Stop Hatin Dayton" must begin with Rhine McLin! She has FAILED to unite this city and perpetrates HATRED by allowing stuff like this to continue!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Campaign Spending - Keeping it Local

I have raised about $17,000 at this point and we are still raising money at this late date to run radio ads. Most of the money has been spent. What did I spend money on?

The first thing I had to do is produce a literature piece that we could use for the entire campaign. One that was "timeless" and of the utmost quality. I used local printers for these. I was able to get excellent rates with two companies. Total cost of 20,000 pieces was right around $1,200.

Next were the blue and white signs. Since I never had sufficient funds early on, I cut a deal with the Northridge Sign Shop. I would buy 1000 signs but I would have to have them produced 200 at a time. Since the signs were screen printed locally we could maintain a steady flow of signs throughout the campaign. I couldn't keep them in stock. Demand actually exceeded supply. That is why there are fewer Leitzell signs in right-of-ways. Most went to property owners. Each sign cost $3.50 which is more than the incumbent paid for her signs but, mine were better quality and it showed. They also have better longevity.

Facebook advertising has cost about $300 so far. I have been running a small ad since August. It has directed over 500 people to the website and had over 1 million impressions on 125,000 potential voters.

I used a small local minority business owner for fundraising activities and since the "William Pace Company" had an advertising agency, I also used it for all of my advertising. The agency was able to secure six billboard locations through "Lamar" at short notice and we rolled them out weekly as funds permitted. Mr. Pace was also able to book 4 advertisements in the Dayton Weekly News costing a total of $600 as well as 5,000 inserts in the same paper for another $500. These inserts were extended to the Dayton Daily News on Sunday. The 26,000 inserts cost around $1,200. Radio ads have been booked at several local radio stations and are running currently. The total cost layout for all radio and last minute advertising is currently $2,900.

The "Had Enough?" signs were a last minute stealth tactic to cause a reaction with the incumbents army of party supporters. They cost $4.00 each. I was able to scrounge up some metal bases that were donated to the cause. 200 of these were made and they caused a local phenomina when all the "McLin" signs got moved away from them or rearranged so that her signs were placed at the center of abutting "Nan" or "Joey" signs. We looked at this arrangement and flanked the lot of them!

I have "HAD ENOUGH" of party politics as usual. It is time for new LEADERSHIP in Dayton.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beating a Dead Horse

The Ohio Democratic Party is at it again with the smear mailings. They hammer on the same lame points that they have hammered on for the entire month of October. This makes a total of eight mailings for the incumbent mayor and quite honestly I could have found a better use for the $80,000 it must have cost her. Five of the eight pieces mention me by name and the last two it seems were both mailed to the same people who got them on the same day. Both are so similar that my guess is one never got read. They have already put people off who were undecided who to vote for. This was an ineffective waste of money. Let me tell you why.

The democratic party machine is so scared that their political icon is going to lose because their polls told them that. I told the press months ago that as a strategy, the incumbent would have to go negative on me and they are going to have to get really dirty. They would do this in order to cause me to react in the traditional manner that political campaigns take. They want me to go negative. However, my going negative would sour voters on both sides and people wouldn't come out to vote for either mayor candidate. That is what the democratic party wants. They don't want you to vote. It is the only strategy they have because they are running this like a typical campaign.

When you mail things out that are negative about the alternative candidate you need to be certain that everyone knows that candidates name. If you have little or no name recognition like me you are wasting your effort because you are telling people that I am not able to reach (due to lack of resources)that they have a choice on election day. In effect, you are helping to promote the other candidate (me) by telling people lies. 60% of the incumbents mailings have been focused on me. 25% have been focused solely on me. If you focus on the positive aspects of your candidate and not the negatives of the alternative you demonstrate that your candidate has merit. Unless of course there is nothing positive to focus on.

Our civic leaders claim that they want to groom leadership from the community. When a citizen finally rises up to the occasion, they gang up and try relentlessly to beat you into submission. Way to go civic leaders of Dayton! I am not your typical political candidate. It is time to groom new leadership in Dayton and lots of it.

From a marketing point of view, the Ohio Democratic Party has helped me incredibly. I have no money for mailings. I can't reach every voter. I don't need to. The democratic party has done it for me!

I would like to thank the Ohio Democratic party for their support during this election season. I couldn't have contacted everyone without you!

Here are the results of the Dayton Daily News Poll regarding this negative mailing as of Thursday October 29th at 2:30 PM


What do you think of the Ohio Democratic Party's campaign mailer against Gary Leitzell?

Fair 66 19.41%

Unfair 246 72.35%

Don't know 6 1.76%

Don't care 22 6.47%

Wasteful Spending.

The way people are running city hall is reflected in how they run their campaigns to get elected. The incumbent mayor has already had eight years to get her seeds to take root and now she asks for four more. She should be reaping what she planted all those years ago. Unless of course she planted nothing. The incumbent has already spent over $84,000 in an effort to get re-elected for a part time position. That is twice as much as the average city employee makes in a year and four times the income of the average person living in Dayton. Realize that the flaw has been that she has made this election all about her and not about what the citizens want. Government is not about the people in power. It is about the people who put them in power. We are only days away from the election. I am confident that I have a very good chance to break the machine that I am up against. Thousands of people talking to me on the streets can't be wrong. Management pay raises at a time of economic turmoil can't help.

What has she spent the money on? Here are some of the things

Ohio Democratic Party for mailings - $68,530 this money was paid to the party in Columbus and the printing was done outside the region that she claims to be supportive of. Understand that the "party" does such a huge amount of mailing that the rate per piece is at the lowest rate. The funds could have been paid to the Montgomery County Democratic Party. It would have looked better. Money raised for a Dayton election should be used in Dayton.

Make up stylist for TV debate - $150 The stylist is from West Chester Ohio. She couldn't find a stylist from Dayton?

Signs - $3684 to a company in Logan Ohio. We have places in Dayton area that could have facilitated this.

Printing - $2226 to a company in Bedford Heights, Ohio. We have many printers in the Dayton area.

Advertising - $400 Dayton weekly news. Best thing she has done for a Dayton business the entire campaign. I have used this fine paper to advertise in. I paid them more money and I paid them weeks in advance.

Next up I will discuss how I kept my $16,000 local.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another Persons View of the DDN Endorsement.

Received this today. I was asked if I could post it.

We wholeheartedly agree with the DDN that Rhine Mclin is lacking as a spokesperson for the people of Dayton. The view that she does not have the political reflexes of previous mayors is obvious also. The observance that she is not viewed as a force "in the room" or in the wider community is a fact not in dispute. The belief that she is not a born leader is backed up by her lack of performance as mayor.

The DDN correctly notes that she is not an innovator. The DDN has astutely noted that when others around her prep her and convince her about a decision, she has enough sense to follow their direction. The implication is that her grasp of her own inabilities is a favorable job qualification. The DDN's observation that she would be better suited in a different job is not a statement to quibble with. We will assume that the DDN has assessed correctly that she enjoyed previous easier jobs and likes having choices. We have the same desire.

DDN judges that having a strong city manager form of government is serving the city well now. It follows that the alternative, having more power in the hand of Rhine Mclin would be a detriment. We agree. Ms. Mclin’s acknowledgment that others around her are more competent to make decisions seems to be her highest job qualification. Our conversations with those around her overwhelmingly agree with the competency assessment.

Things would be worse in Dayton except for the competency of the non-elected officials who the DDN views as saving us from the current elected officials. The DDN’s evaluation of the five city commissioners, including the mayor, as "mostly unimpressive", wisely refrains from trying to point out any exceptions. We will accept their appraisal.

This endorsement contains a minor reference to "her foibles". Left unsaid is just what character failings they wish to keep unilluminated. In fact, this critique of Ms. Mclin has so many backhanded compliments it takes quite a bit of sifting and sorting to find any unqualified positives. They can’t go so far as to say that she is "astute", without referring to the many people that think she is not. We assume that the DDN has gathered this information from those in her close proximity.
The DDN opinion that Ms. Mclin’s painting of Dayton’s bright future as fantasy, is on the mark. The DDN notes that Ms. Mclin understands that closed, antiquated factories are a thing of the past. We are not sure just how quickly she came to this insight. The DDN is confident that as the situation deteriorates in the city of Dayton, Ms. Mclin will communicate this to the people, in her aforementioned deficient manor. We share this confidence.

We will defer to the DDN appraisal of Ms. Mclin’s off-camera wittiness. Though she does not attribute to wittiness, her on-air statements about these times being a "perfectly good crisis", it does challenge the observer.

We have no doubt that she has fine relationships with many people. We suspect that these "many people" are found in union headquarters, political offices and editorial boards. We have a hunch that if the DDN did a door-to-door poll of thousands of Dayton households, their view would be tempered.

We are led to believe that if Mclin is presented with bone-headed ideas, she will be capable of "insightful dissection". Unfortunately for all of us, we are regularly presented with problems of a higher order. Ms. Mclin’s previously noted limitations seem to be a more relevant fact.

The DDN notes that Ms. Mclin understands that Dayton’s future depends on Wright-Pat and other larger area institutions. This seems consistent with DDN’s entire appraisal of Rhine Mclin, in that she is dependent on those around her to make competent decisions and in turn dependent on successful area institutions, of which she has no role.

A Withering Dayton may eventually shrink to be in line with the current mayor’s capabilities. With this view of Dayton as inevitable we understand parts of DDN’s logic, but this endorsement does not quite complete the circle. Curiously missing from the DDN view of Ms. Mclin is the subject of "Growth in office". Through 8 years in the mayor’s office, none is noted and there is not a pretense to expect any in the next 4 years.

Cause and effect is hard to prove. Nonetheless we tend to correlate the current city leadership with recent declines. One-party rule is the issue that is conveniently ignored. When the city’s entire consort of elected, "mostly unimpressive" officials are from the same political party, a citizen should be highly suspect of reasoning that concludes that all incumbents should be re-elected.

If you accept the DDN’s assessment of the mayoral race, it hard not to conclude the following: Dayton is worse off with Rhine Mclin than if we had a competent mayor, and we will continue to be worse off if she is elected again. With such a dismal outlook for the future, we wonder why any effort was exerted to endorse a mayoral candidate. A summation of the DDN mayor review seems to be that Dayton should not elect a candidate that "is not ready", but instead simply prepare ourselves in 2013 to end a 12 year run of lackluster leadership.
We respectfully believe that the people of Dayton deserve better and have a better choice at hand.

Ron Browning

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Setting the record straight. Gary Leitzell responds to the DDN editorial endorsement.

I am not surprised by the DDNs endorsement of our incumbent mayor. After all, she is part of the political party machine that they are expected to support. However, the DDN refuses to paint me in a light that is truthful. If they could do that, I would not have to spend time typing this rebuttal myself. This letter is my work, not the work of others. I want the readers to know that I have a concise understanding of the English language. I was raised in England where I attended school from age 9 to 21. I graduated from the University of London with a degree in geology.

The DDN states that I am not ready because I “speculate that our business regulation ordinances are outdated and I don’t cite examples.” Well, this is no speculation. Our regulations are not only outdated, they are antiquated and my only error could be when the ordinances were enacted. I stated between 1950 and 1970. It may be that I am wrong on the dates. It could be 1930 to 1980. It doesn’t matter. They are outdated and need to be looked at. Every business owner that I have talked to this year agrees with me and I have spoken with well over 100 in the last 6 months. I believe the incumbent mentioned speaking with 50 a year. I speculate that they are the same 50 each year.

Had the city administration listened to some of my ideas eight years ago when presented, they may not have had a $17 million budget shortfall for 2010. I ask, “How can a city be fiscally responsible when you have had budget shortfalls for eight consecutive years?” When I asked the incumbent mayor “When you were cutting $13 million from the 2009 budget last September, did you come up with any creative ways to generate revenue that was not a tax or a fee on the water bill?” She not only asked me to repeat the question, she shamefully lowered her head and said “No.”

The DDN says I am disconnected from the real world problems at city hall. Yet I have attended hundreds of city meetings over the last ten years and I can honestly state that I have never seen a single editor of the DDN at any of those meetings. So I ask, “Who are you to state that I am disconnected?” If city hall would have become customer oriented several years ago and re-connected with the people who pay taxes to support city employee salaries they would have fewer real world problems today.

The DDN is sexist when it mocks me as a “Stay-at-home father” and narrow minded when it adds “who paints miniature figurines to add to the family income.” No one from the DDN has ever specifically questioned me on my role in the Miniatures Gaming Industry. They would be impressed by my list of clients and who I know in that and the scuba diving industry. Since I work out of my home, I stay at home. When you say an entrepreneur does not work, you insult anyone who is or has been an entrepreneur. They are hard working all of the time. What I do takes skill. Writing opinions takes much less skill. I am skilled in many things. I have written hobby-related books, self published and sold them. I am very skilled at home restoration. One needs to be aware of city health and safety codes for this as well as the permitting process. (Of course the DDN thinks that I know nothing of city regulations.)
My houseblog ( has been featured in several national magazines as well as mentioned in the Wall Street Journal as being a source of inspirational information to the do-it-yourself home remodeler. I own rental property. I teach my child. I run a neighborhood association and have maintained a monthly neighborhood newsletter for seven years. I chair a Priority Board. I have held a seat on that board for ten years and yes, it is an elected position. Not exactly the things you would expect a “house husband” to do. I can also cook, clean, wash clothes, iron, do dishes, use a sewing machine and sew by hand. What skills does an editor have? Please tell.

The DDN states “nothing in his background suggests readiness to be mayor of a diverse, complex, troubled city.” This is an outright lie. I handed the editorial review board a copy of my resume. I told them that I haven’t had to produce a resume in over 15 years. (When you own a business, people don’t look at your resume. They study the quality of your work.) That resume is viewable at my web site when you click on the “News” part of the banner. Look for the link at the right of the page. It documents that I have considerable sales, marketing and management skills. My experience in the retail industry and the insurance industry gives me excellent people skills. I managed a store, I managed an insurance sales office and I managed a team of salespeople from 4 states. All before I had reached the age of 28. The DDN has a copy of this document but they failed to list any of the information contained in it. The incumbent mayor has 20 years of political experience and because of this, she is better qualified to lead the city? Let me state this. You can have all the experience in the world. It does not mean that you are good at your “job.” After all, experience is just a term we give to our mistakes. If quality of ones work sets a standard for experience, I excel. I have the cumulative experience of a rich and rewarding life over the last 20 years. Not one year of political experience 20 times. How Dayton is marketed by our “leader in tough times” is clearly reflected in how she markets herself. Look around you and count the number of green/white/black signs you see on vacant lots or abandoned properties. Quality marketing? After November 3rd I hope the DDN is willing to hire the incumbent mayor to market their paper for 4 years since they feel she is the “Best” choice in this election and my feeling is that she will need a job.
Please be an informed voter and vote on November 3rd for the candidate that you feel will move Dayton in a positive direction and make it a quality place to be a part of.

By his own hand and in his own words,

Gary Leitzell
Candidate for Dayton Mayor

I was asked to cut this to 500 words. I did. The DDN accepted my 500 words but cut out over 120 of them in the final print. Guess they weren't happy about what I said.

CORRECTION: The additional 120 + words were placed back in the online article the following morning when it was brought to the attention of the editor.

By the way, would you like to know where the editors live?

Kevin Riley, the newspaper’s editor, lives in Oakwood. Ellen Belcher, the editorial page editor, lives in Washington Twp. Martin Gottlieb and Scott Elliott, both editorial writers, live in Kettering..... go figure.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dayton Daily News endorses Incumbent

The Dayton Daily News has endorsed the incumbent mayor. This was expected because it is the political party thing to do. Though if I were the current mayor, I wouldn't call it an endorsement. I think she got a pretty bad review compared to me. Read the comments, they are very telling about how people feel about incumbents.
I sent a rebuttal to the paper in order to clarify a few things. I will post it here shortly.

My rebuttal had to be edited down to 500 words. I will post the full length version after the condensed version is published on Thursday. It is much more effective. In the meantime click the link to the right that says "Resume". It is below the image that says "Contact". Since the DDN and the Ohio Democratic Party say that I have no experience I have chosen to make it available. I am not an experienced politician. Of that charge, I am guilty. I AM an experienced problem solver. Many of the problems that I have had to solve recently were in fact initiated by a lack vision on behalf of our city government. It is time to put the vision back!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mayoral Debate Video

Here is the video stream of Wednesday nights mayoral debate.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Get Off of My Cloud"

A comment was left on the previous post. See below.

Here is the person behind the Democratic Party smear site. Name Daniel Klco. If you feel inclined, send him your thoughts. It is a pretty sad site. Pathetic really.

Check out his personal blog. It is way better than the smear site. Leave him a comment since you can't leave one on the Democratic Party site. He could use the publicity.

"the owner of this domain's Linkedin page is

He is a pretty active democrat, as you can see

And has awfully big words concerning the Dayton election, coming from someone who lives in Kettering. "

Friday, September 25, 2009

Smear Site Launched

I am a an Independent candidate in a NON-PARTISAN local mayoral election. The incumbent is a delegate in the Montgomery County Democratic Party. The Montgomery County Democratic Party has paid for their candidates literature piece and they have set up a web site in order to conduct a negative campaign against me. I ask the question "WHY is the party getting involved?" The web site was set up and paid for by the Montgomery County Democratic Party on August 6th, 2009. A post was entered on September 9th, 2009.
Just on Monday, Martin Gottlieb from the Dayton Daily News editorial board asked my opponent and myself if there was anything they should know about negative campaigning. The incumbent said "No. Not that I know of." I stated that "I will run a truthful and factual campaign." If this question is asked of me again, my answer will not change. Since the incumbent tracks this blog and my web site, I hope her answer is truthful next time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You Decide

I got this email yesterday.


I think the message is sad and pathetic. If any city employees have any email correspondence regarding anything like like this from the city managers office or the commission, please forward it to me. No names will be revealed.

Stuff like this proves that city hall is not only disconnected from the citizens and the business community, but also from their own employees. Things have to change. This indicates that we have a dictatorship on a local scale. Like I stated above. Pathetic.
If you are employed by the City of Dayton and think this behavior has to cease, you have only ONE choice for mayor on November 3rd.

Vote for the INDEPENDENT candidate. VOTE for Gary!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Putting a Perspective on Things

This article was released in the local paper last week. We were on vacation in Maine when it was published and had no way to neutralize any damage that it did. The article wasn't bad but it doesn't do much to put my ideas into their true context. The article also has some wrong information. It also fails to list what I did between 1982 and 1994.

The corrections are;
1)I was never an auctioneer. I did work for one though.
2)I completed my degree in three years, not four as was published. This is common in British Universities though and was no fantastic feat pulled off by me.

The article also lists some of my ideas to help Dayton. These were not real ideas, they were suggestions to illustrate the way that my mind works. Regarding the Rolling Stones statement for example;

I asked our mayor and two of our commissioners at various meetings if they had come up with any ways to generate revenue for the city that wasn't a tax or a fee on the water bill. All said no, but one commissioner asked me for an idea. I clearly stated that this idea was kind of extreme and that I didn't expect the city to do it but I suggested we bring the "Rolling Stones" to Dayton.
He looked at me strangely but when I explained that doing such a thing would attract people from five states plus Ohio to Dayton where they would spend money on food and entertainment everything made more sense. We could have the band play across the river from "Riverscape" and 20,000 or more people could come and watch. I don't know how we would handle admission but it could be worked out. The point was, we have to make Dayton a destination for people outside of the region to visit. I never mentioned cost. The commissioner threw out $30,000. I suspect it would be more like $1.5 million.

I explained all of this to the reporter. She chose to write what she thought was interesting. Not the overall picture. The main point once again is that we have to attract people to the city from outside the region and give local businesses an opportunity to make money if we want to forge ahead and attract business and people here.

The city is in a financial crisis. They just announced a $20 million budget cut for 2010. I have been saying this for several months but the paper only reported it last week. The city manager, who just resigned by the way, to take a higher paying job in North Carolina, asked many city union workers to take 4 furlough days with no pay. I have said that when you cut these salaries (which is what they are really doing) you should offer some kind of incentive that has no real cost to the city. Give them a pass to a city owned golf course or a recreation center for those days. It may actually increase membership. If it doesn't, what does it cost? Nothing.

The idea about giving incentives to people to fix up old houses was made to our mayor in 2003 after buying and starting restoration on our very own fixer-upper. I have made several suggestions to her and many city administrators over the years. Nothing was ever done to utilize any of those suggestions. My ideas were never important for many years but all of a sudden they are.

I think beyond the box, not just outside of it and I focus on achieving the end result, not how it is achieved. This city will turn around when people no longer care about who gets credit but that the job gets done. Government employees are paid to do a job. Business minded people are paid to get the job done. It is finally time to get the job done. If you want to see results and you want the job done, VOTE on November 3rd for business minded candidates. If you do not vote, you will get the Dayton that you deserve.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

On The Campaign Trail

Several supporters and I went out into the Linden Heights Neighborhood this week where we were all well received. Here are some photos from one of our evenings. After meeting with us, one young man went inside and quickly produced his very own campaign t-shirt. He then traveled two blocks to find us so that we could see that creativity and hope are still alive and well in our city! If you want to come and join us while we campaign all over the city, email me at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boutique City ..... WHAT??????

The first time I heard of Dayton being referred to as a "Boutique City" it was by our incumbent mayor at the Upper Riverdale Neighborhood meeting on July 27th where we were both invited to attend and have questions asked of each of us. The second time I heard it was almost two weeks later at the 10 Living Cities Symposium when the incumbent got up and stated "If you look under the surface, you will see that we are developing a boutique city" without any further elaboration. She used the same phrase when she presented a city update to the Priority Board Chairpersons.

This phrase intrigued me. So I "Googled" the phrase and got a link to this site. I have pasted some of the wording below in case you don't want to read the entire description of what a "Boutique City" really is. I suggest that you do read it though. It horrified me!

Like aging dowagers, many cities have sought to arrest their decline by applying both a touch of rouge and some serious cosmetic surgery. This is the urban landscape of the “boutique city”—one dominated not by middle- or working class concerns, but by elite culture and the antics of celebrities, whether cultural icons, financial titans, foundation bosses, or media moguls. The boutique city is the playground of Paris Hilton and P. Diddy, as well as the assorted “masters of the universe”; it not a place with playgrounds for working-class and middle class kids. These cities are almost obsessively concerned with “coolness” and “hipness,” being “with it” and “trend-setting.” Boutique cities, like a high-end specialty merchandiser, have little use for the general run of the working and middle class, whose needs are assigned to the domain of Target, Wal-Mart and other suburban merchandisers. Indeed, if the makers of the boutique city worry about anything beside themselves, it is usually not the disappearance of this hard-working middle, but how to deal with the potential threat represented by the alienated underclass, with its potential for lethal mayhem. Many denizens of these environments do not see the city as a place that holds their commitments, but only one locale that, for a period of time or a particular season, seizes their fancy. Many are not even full-timers, instead flitting to Florida, Malibu, Palm Springs, Europe, or the Hamptons, depending on the season and their latest whims (since the 1990s, for example, the number of Manhattan residences serving as second homes has grown by as much as three-fold).

San Francisco, despite its avowedly liberal, even radical politics, is becoming a particular poster child for social inequality—a cross, in the words of historian Kevin Starr, “between Carmel and Calcutta.” The difference between African-American and white incomes in this liberal bastion, for example, is almost three times the national average.

In many cities, the shrinking of the middle class has brought about an overall drop in population. Although New York, with its large immigrant population, still enjoys slowing yet positive population growth, many other boutique cities, including some which gained population in the 1990s—such as Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago—have all lost population over the past five years. Some boosters explain this depopulation as a sign of a “qualitative” improvement in the population, a kind of genteel version of ethnic cleansing where middle and working-class families are being replaced by well-educated, affluent and
often childless households. They point to certain positive developments, such as the proliferation of upscale restaurants, art galleries, trendy shops, and architecturally pleasing hotels and condos. Yet look at what’s missing: middle-class jobs and families. Boutique cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Portland, Oregon rank among the American cities with the lowest percentages of children. In San Francisco, there are more dogs than children. And why? Extremely high housing costs and an economic environment that provides few middle-class opportunities. Since 2000, almost all these cities have produced far fewer jobs—even in the business services—than the nation as a whole or their surrounding suburbs. Put simply, all but the richest families don’t see a future that they can afford.

I can see Oakwood as a Boutique City. I can see the Oregon district becoming "Boutique" but I am disgusted that Ms. McLin wants to make Dayton a place where dogs outnumber children. Where fewer jobs cause "ethnic cleansing" and eliminate the middle and working classes. Where the income divide between African-Americans and "whites" becomes three times the national average and an elitist class determines what the underclass does.

I don't know about you but this seems to be a big slap in the face to the average union worker, the middle class businessman and any African-American who wants to live here. I want a Dayton that works. I want a Dayton that thrives and I want a Dayton where our children get the quality education that they deserve. If you agree that Dayton needs to be a place where everyone has the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to seek liberty and the pursuit of happiness, join my Grassroots Revolution and vote for the winds of change. This time, I guarantee, your vote counts.

Be Careful What You Wish For.

The Dayton Daily News just printed an article and WHIO Channel 7 just broadcast a news bulletin about how the AFL-CIO has endorsed the Democratic Party ticket. My hope was that the unions would take a neutral stance this time but I guess the frenzy over stimulus money has healed the wounds from earlier in the year. The unions had two issues with me. Obviously none had done due diligence because they are still trying to apply a "Republican" label to me as did WHIO. If they had ever read this blog, they would have seen this post from March explaining how I was offered the endorsement. They also made an issue of my decision to Home School my daughter who is reading at a third grade level and doing triple digit addition and subtraction at six years old. The following article about the performance of Dayton Public Schools was released in the same paper. While DPS scores a D on their report card my daughter gets A's. For this I should be penalized?

If I were a union member I would be more concerned with Ms. McLin going around to all the neighborhood meetings declaring that Dayton is becoming a "Boutique City." She was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

In fact the journal published the following "Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin ran to the podium for her talk. "If you look under the surface, you will see that we are developing a boutique city," she said. She didn't elaborate on what she meant."

Intrigued by this term, I did what any regular guy would do and "Googled" the term "boutique city" and was not happy with what I found. I consider what she is promoting to be a slap in the face for any middle class or working class person or family who has helped get her elected these last 8 years. I will elaborate in my next post.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's All About the Delivery.

I had another run in with bad customer service. This time it was from a well respected ex-city employee. I think their issue was power to control. I'm really not too sure. Let me explain.

I attended a well established festival this weekend. I was with a neighbor, his son and my daughter. We were wearing "Elect Gary Leitzell" shirts and I had a handful of literature pieces to pass out. Within 15 minutes of our arrival we were approached by two Sheriffs deputies who politely asked us not to pass out literature. I asked them who ordered them to approach us and whether or not their request was a violation of my constitutional rights at a public festival. The festival organizer had given them the order and they didn't know whether they could legally stop me. I didn't know either because it was a public festival in a public park with paid admission.
I honored their request but made a point to have a discussion with the event organizer. The event organizer had worked for the City of Dayton for about 30 years and has done much for the city during her tenure. She is also an active member of the Democratic party. The one that has endorsed the incumbent mayor. I used to respect this person but I fear that has now changed. I mentioned that I was going to look into whether she had violated my right to pass out literature by sending two officers over to stop me. She paused for a moment and then got rather nasty. At one point she claimed that she had kicked out people "bigger" than me in the past. As if that is something to be proud of. The issue here was clearly power and control. She wanted to limit my ability to campaign at this event even if it was against the law. It turns out that they often invite candidates to attend this festival and have a booth. If I had a table then I could have passed out literature. The problem is, I was not invited. I chose to be a paying customer. The incumbent mayor was there with Commissioner Nan Whaley. I doubt that they had to pay the admission charge. They did not have a booth but I didn't notice if they had handed out any literature.

My point is this. All the event organizer had to do was come up to me herself and simply say "Gary, we have a policy that restricts you from walking around handing out literature. If you would like to pass stuff out we require you to have a booth or you could stand outside the gate where you are free to pass out anything that you want to."

The gentleman that manages the 2nd Street Market did exactly that when he saw me there two weeks ago. Very polite and very cordial, but he works for the county, not the city.

I have lived in Dayton for 15 years. This was the first time I have ever attended this event. I paid to enter the festival. Needless to say, I don't think I will ever return. If this person treated City of Dayton taxpayers or residents in this manner while she worked for the city then it is no wonder we have the problems that we do today. This way of treating people may have worked in the 1970s when Dayton was a boom town but it is obsolete in 2009. I fear that some employees are stuck in a 50 year paradigm. They have worked for the city for over 20 years and were trained by people who had been there 30 years.

If you want things to be different, if you want the paradigm to shift, you have to vote for me on November 3rd and ask everyone you know to do the same.

Monday, August 3, 2009

If You Give a Pig a Pancake .....

You can never please everybody in this life. I got this email today;


This was a response to the email that I sent out last Friday. I have posted that email below so that you can see how offensive it is.

The author of the above email works for the City of Dayton and holds a nice position. Their email address is listed on one of the City of Dayton contact information pages. It is public information. They also have the option to delete the email before they read it. My guess is that a certain person is having a bad Monday. However, this kind of customer service must stop. I am a customer of the City of Dayton and this person has forgotten that. They have also failed to realize that you only get one chance to make a first impression. When I eventually meet this person that impression has already been made. Attitude from Civil Servants drives customers away. Period!

This person could quite simply have stated the following "Mr. Leitzell, Please do not send emails to me at work." or "Please remove my email from your list."

Here was my email that prompted the reply;

Just a reminder. Three more businesses have asked to participate. They are listed below!

Gary Leitzell

City of Dayton Employee Appreciation Week August 3 – 9, 2009
In these tough economic times, I appreciate all the day-to-day hard work of our city employees. This is why I think it is a great idea to host an appreciation week. I would like to declare the week of August 3rd through August 9th as "City of Dayton Employee Appreciation Week. Wave "hello" or nod your head to our police, firefighters, emergency medical teams, waste collection workers, recreation and park personnel. To show their appreciation, the following local businesses are offering a 20% discount on meals served at their establishments to all city employees who show their City of Dayton badge. Alcohol is not included, of course!
I am sending this out to hundreds of people on my email lists. I apologize if you get this more than once. Please forward it to people in the Dayton region and all the city employees that you know. Let's show them that we appreciate their hard work.
Thank you,
Gary Leitzell

*Charlie’s Deli & Catering
Serving Old North Dayton for over 40 years
429 Troy Street, Dayton

*Slyder's Tavern
836 Watervliet, Dayton

An Explosion of Artisan Italian Ice Cream Flavors
1106 Brown St.,Dayton

*Trolley Stop
Neighborhood Tavern to the World
530 E.Fifth St. Dayton

*Uno’s Chicago Grill
Serving Downtown Dayton for over 10 Years
126 N. Main Street, Dayton

*Milano’s Atlantic City Submarines
Established 1969 (25% off)
1834 Brown St., Dayton

Top of the Market
32 Webster Street Dayton

*The Brunch Club
Voted the Best Breakfast in Dayton
601 South Main St.,Dayton

Angel Mahle
Independent Sales Rep
937-867-3711 H
937-212-8830 C

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Neighborhood Clean Sweeps

This was my view of Dayton between 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM this morning.

I volunteered to help our neighbors in Twin Towers neighborhood with their alley sweep. Our city used to allow neighborhood groups to organize alley sweeps in order to get rid of trash and debris that accumulates in our alleys due to negligence. About 5 or maybe 6 years ago the city made the decision to stop offering these alley sweeps. I know this because I wrote a grant application for $20,000 from a Community Development Block Grant Fund to get the money necessary to pay the city to continue the alley sweeps. I dressed in a top hat and tails (like a magician) to do a 5 minute presentation before a committee that decided where the grant money would be applied. We were not awarded the grant but the presentation made a lasting impression on the members of the committee who worked for city hall that the commissioners made the decision to set money aside to accommodate 20 alley sweeps that year and every year since.
This is one of those little things that I did many years ago that few people know about. Something that continues to make our city a better place to live today. I guess my point is this; if you don't like the policy or law, fight to change it. In this case, rather than go to a commission meeting and complain (which would have had little effect in the three minutes allotted and no discussion afterward) I took my case before a group that had the power to influence the top decision makers and the end result was acceptable. In reality, the result was better because if the grant was awarded, the alley sweeps would have only benefited a few neighborhoods for two years.

When we were almost finished, one of the city drivers took this group picture of all the volunteers. I'm on the far left wearing the Dayton Dragons hat. I'm not afraid of hard work to make the community better.

It began to pour with rain at 11:30 so a few spots will need attention this week. Twin Towers has a good group of committed residents that will make sure the job gets finished in the next few days.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

City of Dayton Employee Appreciation Week August 3-9, 2009

In these tough economic times, I appreciate all the day-to-day hard work of our city employees. This is why I think it is a great idea to host an appreciation week. I would like to declare the week of August 3rd through August 9th as "City of Dayton Employee Appreciation Week." Wave "hello" or nod your head to our police, firefighters, emergency medical teams, waste collection workers, recreation and park personnel. To show their appreciation, the following local businesses are offering a 20% discount on meals served at their establishments to all city employees who show their City of Dayton badge. Alcohol is not included, of course!

If any other businesses would like to offer a 20% discount to City of Dayton employees during this week, please email or call 253-1359. We will then add you to the list.

Thank you,

Gary Leitzell

*Charlie’s Deli & Catering
Serving Old North Dayton for over 40 years
429 Troy Street, Dayton

*Slyder's Tavern
836 Watervliet, Dayton

An Explosion of Artisan Italian Ice Cream Flavors
1106 Brown St.,Dayton

*Trolley Stop
Neighborhood Tavern to the World
530 E.Fifth St. Dayton

*Uno’s Chicago Grill
Serving Downtown Dayton for over 10 Years
126 N. Main Street, Dayton

*Milano’s Atlantic City Submarines
Established 1969 (25% off)
1834 Brown St., Dayton

Top of the Market
32 Webster Street Dayton

*The Brunch Club
Voted the Best Breakfast in Dayton
601 South Main St.,Dayton


Angel Mahle
Independent Sales Rep
937-867-3711 H
937-212-8830 C

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fund Raising Efforts

We are fast approaching a time when my campaign is going to be moving at full steam ahead. I still need to raise funds for campaign signs, literature, direct mail, polling and phone calling. I came up with a quick and easy way that everyone can help. If you make a $25.00 donation between now and July 11th through PayPal using the link below or the button from my web site at or this blog you will receive a campaign T-shirt and a yard sign within a few short weeks.
Please state the size of the T-shirt that you will need in the "add special instructions" section and list your address so that the shirt and sign can be left at your address by a member of my campaign team.
Please feel free to forward this message to anyone that you feel may wish to contribute.

Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Painting out Graffiti

Several years ago, when I first became the president of my neighborhood association, I embarked on a project to improve the look of one of our street corners. You can read about it HERE and HERE. The building has had nothing done to it since. Until late last year when someone spray painted the front. I finally got tired of seeing this. So yesterday I rummaged around in my basement where I found some cans of paint left over from the project. Since my daughter was eager to try her hand at painting on some walls, which I wouldn't let her do inside our house, we took these cans of paint and cleaned up our neighborhood just a little.

Leading by example. I wonder what kind of mayor my daughter will be in 30 years.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Southeast Festival - a follow up report.

The Southeast Festival was a success. Despite the aggravation of getting the grant money from city hall. Since the grant check had not been issued by Friday June 19, I contacted one of our commissioners that Friday evening. He made a call to the city manager over the weekend and the check was ready by Monday afternoon. It shouldn't have to be this way. The money was allocated, the paperwork had been turned in when requested. The funds should have been confirmed and ready to be distributed. Instead, it would appear that someone made a deliberate attempt to sabotage the event just because they could. Not a single person from city hall or any of the associated departments attended the event either. This was the first year the Mayor missed the festival, too. Many residents in Southeast Dayton made this observation, including myself.
I don't know if anyone at city hall has ever organized a neighborhood festival but it is very nerve racking when you have to pay for entertainers and services when you aren't certain where the funds are going to have to come from. It limits the ability to promote an event properly. Especially if there is a chance that you have to cancel. A few other things we noticed this year. There were no large plastic garbage bins left for trash. We emptied all the metal park bins ourselves and hauled the trash away after the event and the gate was not unlocked before 7 AM but we were able to work that one out with a direct phone call.
We need a city hall that caters to its customers. By customers I mean residents, business owners and stakeholders in the community. If Dayton was a for profit business they would have gone bankrupt at least 20 years ago. The culture at city hall has to change. The "Us versus Them" mentality has to end. If it doesn't there won't be enough taxpayers left to support employee salaries.

The good news is that someone from the police department was assigned to the festival for 5 hours and some additional police officers came through during the day. It was nice to see the police officers enjoying some time out to socialize with their customers.

Montgomery county was very co-operative. The library bookmobile was there, Lucky the Ladybug showed up and they provided recycle bins for the event. I know that I can get county co-operation when it is needed. For the last 8 years I have been saying that the city and county need to co-operate more in most areas. I feel at this point that I know where the problems originate.

Here are some pictures from the festival. We estimated that over 400 people came through the park that day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Going, going…..sold!

As I pick out the last bit of whipped cream from my hair, I just want to give a hearty thank you to all who participated in Thursday night’s pie auction. A big applause goes to Jules and Eric Opperman, the owners of Dolcessa. They were the gracious hosts for this event. Also, want to thank Alex, who volunteered his service at the last moment as the youth auctioneer.
A thank you to Leah! You rock! Vanna White has nothing on you!

Not only was this a campaign fundraiser, but more importantly it was an opportunity to showcase local Dayton businesses. Ann Kenion, sole proprietor, of Desserts by Ann started the auction with her five pies. She got a rowdy applause from the audience. She already has a following of her delicious pies. Mehaffies Pies was next on the auction block with an assortment of yummy cream and fruit pies. They have been around for nearly eight decades. Christopher’s Restaurant followed with four tempting chocolate-peanut butter pies. A homemade carrot cake was also thrown into the mix. Bob Lipps, our very own Walnut Hills baker, brought a tempting dark chocolate cheesecake as well as some other goodies. Of course, Dolcessa featured a few gelato pies as well. Bob Cochran, I have my eye on you!Thanks to all! If your business is interested in hosting a campaign fundraiser, please contact our fundraising manager, Jeff Dalton at

With regards,

Gary Leitzell

Friday, June 19, 2009

Clean Up in Southwest Dayton

On June 18, 2009 a group of people came together from all over Dayton to participate in an "Adopt-an-Area" clean up. The clean up area was the Western Ave. Apartments between the 1700 and 1900 blocks of James H. McGee Blvd. The event was organized by Ms. Shallon Coleman who founded "Abigail's Journey, Inc." which is a non profit that caters to people in need. People volunteered from the apartments, from "Project Cure" and neighborhoods from all around Dayton.
Shallon and I had a discussion several months ago. We both felt that the time has come to unite Dayton. One way to do this was to have people come together from all over the city for a common goal. It is also time to educate people about those programs that are already in existence and under utilized. Adopt-an-Area is one of those programs. I have learned as a community leader that telling people about a service or program doesn't mean that people will use it. Showing them how it works will at least make people understand it and they have the ability to teach others who need the service or program.
Anyway, there were about 40 people working together having a good time while they cleaned up trash and yard waste around the designated area. This is the 4th year that Shallon has organized this clean up and it will be an ongoing occurrence.
More neighborhood groups have to reach out the hand of unity across perceived boundaries in this city if we going to make it great again. This is the dawning of a new era. One that is long overdue.

There will be more joint clean ups organized this summer. I will keep you informed. The neat thing is that the volunteers were very impressed when they learned who I was. I had been working amongst them for several hours before it was announced. They had seen me jumping up and down in the dumpsters trying to compress the trash so that more would fit in. I wasn't afraid to get dirty and they were able to realize that I am the alternative to Rhine McLin.

Here is a picture of Shallon Coleman. If you see her in the street you need to thank her for what she is doing. This is one dedicated woman.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not to beat a dead horse, but……

While NCR’s departure has left a hole in Dayton’s economy, let’s not forget that with every failure new doors open. That hole will be filled.
What has really left a sour taste in my mouth is that fact that local leaders now feel the need to meet behind closed doors to discuss the growth of Dayton’s economy.

See this article in the Dayton Daily News.

Even before my mayoral campaign I have repeatedly stressed the importance of having plans A, B, C, D and even plan E. Realize the worst case scenario and be prepared with back-up plans. Any problem solver or strategic thinker lives by that credo.
Our leaders meet behind closed doors and think that they can come up with all the solutions themselves. I have learned to consult with professionals and those affected by the plans. The result is always a better solution. While they were planning on what would be an NCR caliber company I wonder if they missed this article in the Dayton Business Journal. I would be calling Boeing and at the very least would be asking what it would take to make this happen in Dayton.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

City Hall - Disinterested, Disfunctional or Disconnected?

Once again, I wonder just whose side City Hall is on. Because it certainly doesn’t seem to be on the side of its citizens very frequently. Allow me to explain…

Annually, Priority Boards are given funds from the city to host annual festivals for their regions throughout the city. However, in late January of this year, the Priority Board Chairpersons were informed that this year City Hall’s intention was for us to combine the $19,400 to hold a single large festival. Much to our dismay we were also informed that this decision had been made in September of 2008, yet they had waited almost 5 months to tell us.
We responded by arguing that, given the fast approach of summer, there was no way we would have time to coordinate such a large event. There was simply too much planning and organizing to be done in such a short period of time.

Hearing our resistance to the idea, they decided to consider the matter further, thus delaying a final decision.

To make things easier to track, I’ve created a timeline of the events;

March 4th - Due to the lack of a final decision, I attended a city commission meeting voicing my concern. After hearing my case, the mayor and commission agreed to divide the money equally among the priority boards to hold their festivals as they saw fit, as had been done in the past.

May 19th - I submitted the invoice necessary to acquire the funds. Upon submitting the invoice, I was told it would have to be approved AGAIN at the next city commission meeting on May 27th - This meeting was pushed back until June 3rd.
June 3rd - The funds were presumably approved. I attended that commission meeting. I thanked the commission for their cooperation. I recommended that if they want us to host a single festival in 2010 that they notify us within the next 30 days.

June 15th - Today I was informed that the funding MIGHT be processed within 7 to 10 business days. Since we are holding our Southeast festival on June 27th, this means that it is entirely possible that we won’t receive funding until several days AFTER our event.

Obviously, this presents a problem. After being assured of funding for our festival the first time, we booked all the necessary elements… entertainment, facilities, etc. Now, it seems as if the city may break its agreement, potentially leaving us high and dry.

Fortunately for Walnut hills and the Southeast Priority Board, I anticipated this situation months ago. Because of the solid residents of Southeast Priority board and Walnut Hills Neighborhood Association, we have money available to loan in advance for the festival to ensure its success, if needed.

However, the bigger picture here is what concerns me. I have to wonder, “if this is how City Hall treats its elected citizen representatives from neighborhood associations and priority boards over a measly $2,800, how do they treat local businesses that have nowhere near the voice in City Hall that we do?”

Considering this, I’m not surprised that NCR would cut communications nearly 2 years ago. Nor am I surprised by the flight of other business from Dayton. If City Hall is willing to be less than up front about small Priority Board festival grants, I wonder what they are going to do when it comes to tearing down houses with the "Neighborhood Stabilization Money" or proper allocation of the "Stimulus money" from our federal government. Since we can't get festival grants on time, it's no wonder you don't hear anything about citywide Wi Fi that was promised years ago. What's up with that?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Campaign Fundraiser

Gary Leitzell takes one in the face for the Mayor race!

!Pie Auction Extravaganza!

June 18, 2009
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Auction starts at 8:00
Dolcessa, 1106 Brown St., Dayton

Scrumptious Pies from local Dayton
businesses will be featured!

*Desserts by Ann*
Ann Kenion, sole proprietor, is listed in the June 2009 issue of Midwest Living.

*Mehaffies Pies*
Famous For Pies and Cheesecakes Since 1930

*Bob Lipps, Walnut Hills baker*

*Dolcessa Gelato Pies*
An explosion of artisan Italian ice cream flavors

Auctioneer: Brian Evans

Come support local Dayton Businesses!
One pie will forfeit its life to be thrown at Gary Leitzell.
Signature pies from each baker will also be raffled.
Enjoy gelato ice cream, bid on a pie and then top off the night watching Gary Leitzell, mayoral candidate, get a pie in the face!

All fundraising proceeds will go to Friends of Gary Leitzell
Treasurer—Dan Kennedy, 525 Heiss Ave., Dayton, OH 45403
Paid for by Friends of Gary Leitzell

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Concerning NCR's relocation.

The news of NCR's relocation is surely saddening to our city. NCR has long been a strong community pillar and has made many contributions toward the well-being of Dayton by supporting arts, charities, parks and education. Their presence will be missed.

However, the ingenuity, spirit of courage and innovation of the people that made this company so great remains here in our city. These virtues are what made NCR a leader in its market, and they are what will, once again, make Dayton a leader in the Miami Valley and beyond.

As citizens, community leaders and business leaders, we must use this news to unify us and focus our efforts into developing new and creative ways of attracting businesses positioned in markets that will remain relevant for the next five decades and beyond in addition to supporting businesses already committed to Dayton. As your next mayor, it will be my top priority to make Dayton a haven for inventive small and large businesses alike while rallying the collective imagination and insight of the over 20 groups already committed to developing business in Dayton.

This is not the final nail in the coffin for Dayton. Rather, this is the springboard we will use to capitalize on yet untapped potential of our great city as we adapt to a changing climate to make Dayton the city that we all know it can be.

Gary Leitzell

Belmont and the Mayors Walk

Monday was the Mayors walk in Belmont Neighborhood. This week Ms. McLin made a point of actually going up to the residents that were standing on their porches or in their yards and speaking with them. Only after myself or people who support my campaign had already introduced themselves though. I think she has finally comprehended that she needs to connect with the customers of the city of Dayton. After seven and a half years she is finally realizing what she needed to focus on. The customers and not the litter. Hallelujah!

After the walk I took my daughter to see the Miami Valley Music Men in the Randy Chisholm Memorial Hall located at 2745 S. Smithville Road. They meet every Monday at 7:30 PM and sing Barbershop style. We enjoyed two hours of entertainment from a group of dedicated individuals. Please stop by and visit them or join their group if you like to sing. These guys were excellent. They will be singing the national anthem at the Dragons game on June 15th. Here is snippet from their practice section. My daughter got up there with them and enjoyed being part of the show. These men should be invited to participate in Urban Nights in September. They have never been asked to do so in the past.

I think we are going to stop by often. They really seemed to appreciate the fact that I took the time to visit and welcomed me with open arms.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Questions, Questions, Questions

Now that I am running for Mayor I am being asked the same questions over and over again. Here are some questions and my answers for the record. I realize that I am not always going to give the answer you want to hear. I got this email this week (red) and answered it (black);


I am contacting you in regards to your opinions, thoughts and possible agenda on some issues in Dayton.

1. What are your thoughts on the 2nd Amendment and Right to Carry?

I support the right to bare arms. People have the right to choose whether or not to own or carry a gun if they follow the legal process.

2. With the current economic "crisis" in Dayton, the lay-offs, pay freezes and budget cuts, what is being done right and/or wrong within the current admin. to solve the problems?

I asked Ms. McLin at a public meeting if she and the commissioners had discussed any ways to generate revenue that was not a tax or a fee on the water bill while they were cutting $13 million from the budget last fall. After having to clarify the question, her answer was "No." What is wrong with her answer?
I think accountability needs to be enacted at city hall. I think creativity needs to be encouraged as well. Dayton must be marketed to the world so that we can generate additional revenue streams that don't impact the already over-assessed, resident taxpayer.

Also, what are your thoughts on the Residency Rule for city employees?

I think we need to investigate the reason why the residency ruling was added to the city charter in the 1970s. Then we must determine if the same criteria applies today. Of course the Ohio Supreme Court may make the decision that determines the outcome. A well-planned and calculated merger with the county would negate the issue altogether.

Do you believe cutting Public Safety services to "save" money is a good practice while crime rates historically rise during economic down-falls? This includes the training that is necessary to do the job.

I do not think cutting public safety is wise at any time. I think we need to investigate and test ideas that would allow our public safety personnel to work at the most efficient level possible and adopt those ideas that work.

3. What role do you believe the government should play in the daily lives of citizens?

Local government is responsible for the health and safety of its residents and visitors. This includes police, fire, emergency services, waste collection, water supply/sanitation and maintaining and upholding building code safety standards.

4. Everyday on my way to work, there is a gentleman with a sign stating "I am hungry" on the side of the road. He does have a pan-handling license. He also has (everyday) a different fast food bag and drink next to him. Given that this makes the city look trashy, what would you do to curve, if anything, this problem that is spread throughout the city?

We need to inspire such people, whenever possible, to become productive members of the community. We could, at the very least, buy the man a suit and ask him to frequent a different location every day. :)

5. Do you feel you have the necessary experience to tackle the very real and large problems the city faces? What political
party (of the two) do you feel best represent your ideological views?

Mclin may be an experienced politician, but experience doesn't make you qualified for the job. The captain of the Titanic and the Exxon Valdez were both experienced captains. What they both lacked was good judgment under crisis.
I am an experienced problem solver. I don't mind asking people for their input or advice when difficult decisions have to be made. I am completely non-partisan when it comes to political views. I do what I feel is fair under the circumstances. I am a strategic thinker with many creative ideas. A political party has not been created for the likes of me.

Thank you for your time.

If you wish to join my campaign team, please email me at

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence

There was a town hall meeting at Sinclair Community College on Saturday morning. It was to discuss a program called "The Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence." It will hold members of a "group" accountable for any gun related crime that results in the death of an individual. The idea is that peer pressure can be neutralized when an individual says "I was thinking of shooting "so and so" but I don't want all of you (friends) to go to jail if I do" to his or her friends that coax them into action.

I know first hand how this works. I had a fight with a boy in school when I was 16 or so that was a knock down, drag out fight that lasted forever during a break. Nobody really won but the whole thing occurred because one or two individuals were badgering both of us to have a fight and instigating the event to occur. In government such people are called "Agent provocateurs".

There were around 150 people in attendance at this meeting. I was disappointed to notice that our mayor arrived late and missed her scheduled spot on the agenda. I applaud the police chief for initiating such a program which includes involvement from the city of Trotwood as well as Montgomery County and some prominent ministers and non-profits in the community. I applaud the people who attended and have committed to making the program a success. Some of the stories that were revealed and statements that were made were truly moving. I only hope the burden does not completely fall on the shoulders of the community to make the program work. In order for our police officers to gain the trust of certain communities, they must walk those communities and have everyday conversations with the residents. They need to spend a few minutes shooting hoops with the teenage boys at the local park. Talk to the young girls about their dreams and aspirations for when they grow up. They need to become mentors for pre-teen youth. Most of all, they have to be dedicated to doing this every day for the rest of their careers if they want to see real change. If the city manager says we can not afford to do this, I would argue that we can't afford NOT to do it. The results will be justified when half of every class in our police academy consists of young, dedicated members of Dayton's African-American community.