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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gary-- I look forward to your ideas being put into action as our next mayor of Dayton