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The DDN states that I am not ready because I “speculate that our business regulation ordinances are outdated and I don’t cite examples.”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 Our regulations are not only outdated, they are antiquated and my only error could be when the ordinances were enacted.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 They are outdated and need to be looked at.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.


David Esrati said...

Well said Gary- and what was left after they cut- was fine.
I think that if voters had to see and listen to you both, night after night- they would have a better feel for what the difference is between a professional politician and a professional.

Erik said...

Speaking of the Dayton Daily News, this article ran just two years ago:

The Montgomery County Clerk of Courts PRO search engine turns up a lot of results, too.

Erik said...

Not sure why it messed up the link - how about this?

jackie anderson said...

Finishing up my research before casting my vote tomorrow. I have appreciated the campaign efforts of Mr.Leitzell, but I worry about his dismissive, defensive tone. I've seen it on his own Facebook page, in this letter, and in quotes (which are subject to contextual question, of course). Mayor McLin is not on point, nor does her experience as mayor read like a success story. But Mr. Leitzell's tone is not inspiring - unless burning bridges is to be considered inspired work. Also, I would add to Leitzell's short list of the fundamental functions of a government the education of its citizens, and offering a couple of hours of mentorship (in exchange for cultural/athletic programming for home-schoolers) in lieu of a solid committment to nurturing and incentivizing the Dayton City School system displays serious short-sightedness at best.

Anonymous said...

Whoever said he has a negative tone and "burns bridges" isn't thinking of the bigger picture. I'd rather someone come out and tell it like it is, than to do a bunch of lying and self-promoting to make themselves look good... If he's focused on balancing our budget, then he's doing the right thing. Bring money back into the city, and maybe things will have a fighting chance of turning around. I like how he pointed out where the DDN editors live...Oakwood/Miami Twnship/Kettering...LOL. Might as well live in a different state. Go drive downtown. Go walk the street around Five Oaks and Riverside...then get back to me. Place is falling apart, things have got to change drastically.