Friday, September 28, 2012

The Challenges

See this picture? This is the problem with our country right now, I am not happy with the way our two party system is acting out and unfortunately I believe that we are losing the respect of the rest of the world. I look at how much of other people's money is being wasted on pathetic negative advertising that has become absolutely ineffective because the general populace has become sick and tired of this behavior. If all that money were spent on education, small business development or health care we would ALL be better off. There are three ways to end the madness created by our politicians. One is to stop the gerrymandering of districts so that any political candidate is not guaranteed a seat for life. Two is to create a third, fourth or fifth party so that the majority parties court the centralist groups in order to get legislation passed and the third way is to limit campaign spending. I have often stated that ANY politician should not have to spend more than one years salary in order to get elected. After all, in government we are challenged to do the best with the budget that we have. Asking for more money without just cause should never be a solution.
Few people remember or are aware of the fact that I became mayor of the City of Dayton on just $17,600 and some $5000 worth of "in kind" services which most consisted of rent free office space and some printing services by a local business. The two parties believe that they have to win at "all costs" and trust me, it is costing dearly. I do not believe that I need to spend any where near that much money this time around. I certainly do not need to gain name recognition. So, let me lay down this challenge because I know full well the two parties will never issue the same. I will NOT spend more than $10,000 cash and $10,000 "in kind" to get re-elected and I challenge any KNOWN political challenger to match the same. I would offer ANY unknown candidate the limit of $20,000 cash and $10,000 "in kind" in the same race because that is still more than I spent against a two term incumbent, super delegate of the democratic party in a non - partisan local election. I am willing to level the playing field because I know that it is the right thing to do. Maybe it will send a message to our State and Federal Governments that "We the people" are no longer content to sit and watch our elected officials contribute to the demise of the greatest nation on Earth! So, here in Dayton, let the games begin and may the BEST CANDIDATE win!

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

In December 2008  when I decided to announce that I was running for public office as the mayor of Dayton I wrote the following paragraph;

Why am I doing this? - Someone has to do the job. I feel that I am the perfect candidate. I don't work for an employer that is affiliated with a political party so I have no pressure steering me at work. I can do almost anything I please besides run for mayor. I have many talents and much entrepreneurial experience. I am not a lawyer or a developer with ulterior motives. My only motivation is to create a better Dayton for my 5 year old daughter to experience as she grows up. I'm not wanting a political career and don't plan on running again in four more years unless the voters want me to.

If you read the entire post from almost 4 years ago you will realize that much of what I stated then has begun to happen and it has made a big difference in the region.

So for the last several months I have been asked by dozens of people, maybe even as many as a hundred, if I was willing to run for office again. I would always reply with the question "What would you like me to do?" The answer from every single person was "Yes! You need to do another term." One person, who is a very loyal member of the democratic party flattered me with "I may not vote for you but I would like you to be one of my options."

I am still an independent candidate with no party affiliation.  I am still committed to making Dayton better for my now 9 year old daughter and I continue to uphold my oath of office and perform my duties as Mayor with fairness and impartiality. Yesterday I published a list of 62 things that have happened since I became the Mayor of Dayton. The extent of this list lets me know that I have made a difference to my community and I know I have the support of the citizens.  I was elected on a certain day in history by the majority of voters to represent the majority of the residents of Dayton. It appears at this moment in time that the overwhelming majority of the people that I speak with support what I am doing and want it to continue, so I am willing to go through the process of getting re-elected. This comes with certain challenges. Many of which I, as an independent really do disagree with. So let's talk about challenges in my next post!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Has Been Happening Lately?

It seems that there is so much activity going on in the City of Dayton these days. Some things like new bridges, highways and schools take years and years of planning so I would like to remind people about what was going on before 2010.

Things from before 2010
Kroc Center Built
Three new bridges
26 New schools started or built
Dayton Rec plex opened and two rec centers remodeled
Bike ways
Urban agriculture initiative
Land Bank being organized
MVH Heart Hospital being constructed
RTA moved transfer station
Phoenix project
CIRGV initiative started.
Greater Downtown Plan discussion started.
Canopy constructed at Riverscape.
Then there were a couple of really bad things that made lots of news and they were

NCR left
Forbes Magazine labelled us the 10th most dying city in the U.S.

However, since January 2010 we have really kicked up the pace around here and there have been many things happening. Some are small and relatively petty like the parking lines painted on the street in South Park, though these have a huge impact for the businesses near them because customers know they can park on the street. Some are huge and we sometimes forget them like GE Aviation and the Welcome Dayton Plan
which are two things that put us on the global radar screen and have gotten Dayton much national press. Here are 62 things listed that have happened since January 2010 that were not happening before that time. I am certain the list is greater than this but I can't think of them all. In the mean time there are ongoing plans for new road repairs and new bridges. Bike paths are still being planned and built and the Land Bank is starting to evolve into something that should benefit the entire region. Vacant houses continue to get demolished and we continue to push harder to become a greener city.

Now the interesting question to ask is this; When in the last 40 years have you seen this many things happen in just a three year period?

Things since 2010

GE Aviation building planned, ground breaking within a year and at time of writing nearing completion.

UD Housing on Brown Street. Planned, nearing completion.

UD acquisition of NCR.

Charlie Simms Housing units started in 2011– all sold in 12 months.

Charlie Simms now adding 7 more units in Fairgrounds neighborhood.

More housing units are being developed in Downtown.

Excelsior lofts development in Oregon District.
Kindred Hospital. Building acquired, remodeled and open for business.

Keye Ads relocated to Downtown.

Pop-Up Shops around Downtown.

Welcome Dayton Immigrant Friendly initiative.

Mediation committee formed to proactively create dialogue with the community and  Asian/Arab owned retail businesses.

Decrease in crime at the same time as a decrease in police.

Changes in Media reporting – DDN and Channel 2.

3 Year Union Contracts – all contracts previously were 1 yr.

Oregon district Rule of 17 resolved after 18 years.

Panhandling was dealt with.

More restaurants and coffee shops locating downtown.

New businesses opening on W. 3rd St. and Brown St.

Belmont Business association re established and district is growing.

New Hope Enclave Neighborhood group formed and issues resolved with MV Hospital.

East Dayton Business group starting to form.

300% increase in recycling since 2009 and $0 cost to dispose.

Recycle lottery every month.

Commission Agenda online viewable to the public BEFORE a meeting.

Emergency ordinances moved to a two part process.

Facebook likes grew from 1000 to 11,100. And still growing.

Increase communication with the public through social media.

Crime stats online.

Pay water bills and fines online.

Report crimes online when no suspect info is available.

Renewed entertainment at Courthouse Square in summer.

Riverscape Kayak Feature funds were raised from  private sector.

Revived the “Know Dayton Sell Dayton” program and proactively present to real estate offices.

Do it Yourself pilot for housing inspection.

Domestic Partner Registry.

Webster Street Outdoor Market.

Enterprising the City Lime Kiln.

Developed more efficient tracking using RFID technology.

Better Customer Service from all over City Hall. 

Finance and treasury departments at the City of Dayton awarded ISO 9001 status.

City has Self Insured Health Insurance.

Municipal Employee Appreciation week then expanded to include the region.

Occupy Dayton ended peacefully.

Goodwill Industries Expansion.

NCAA First Four Festival.

Community Police Relations council.

Penn National Race Track.

Parking lines on streets in South Park.

Increase in public art.

Building Permitting options to speed up process.

Grandview Hospital Expansion.

Carillon Park improvements.

Saint Anne's Hill co op brew pub fastest growing in the country.

Labelled most affordable city by Forbes in 2012.

3rd best city in U.S. for increasing home prices 2012.

2nd best mid sized city for the arts.

Increase in population since the 2010 census and first positive population increase in 40 years.

Sold a city phone number for $$ and incentivized business to locate in Dayton. That is creative thinking!

Dayton Fashion Week.

Dayton Revival Festival.

Reuse of Memorial Hall for events.

Things to come
More new Businesses
More development in Downtown
Brew pubs
Oregon District street party events to mimic NCAA event
Larger crowds are coming downtown for events
More new bridges 
More road improvements
More support for citizens to make a difference!