Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wagnernomics 101

I wanted to post this sooner but I had to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Nevada to receive an outstanding achievement award for the City of Daytons "Welcome Dayton" initiative. One of the most recognized accomplishments of my term in office that started when I attended a Priority Board meeting in May 2010. The initiative has cost the City little money and has got the most widespread publicity. I make this comment because I understand that money does not equal desired results.
That being said, let us look at A.J. Wagner's financial reports and compare them to Nan Whaley's spending which was reported in the previous post.

A.J. Wagner raised $9,520 of his $78,442 from outside the region. That is 12% of his total. However, like the other Democratic party candidate, he spent most of his campaign funds OUTSIDE the region. Of the $96,678 spent on his campaign in cash spending, $63,194 was spent with businesses located outside of the Dayton area. I consider Yellow Springs and Xenia to be inside the area but not Columbus or Washington D.C. That is a total of 65%. His "in kind" donations totaled $5,100 and that was all derived from local contributors.

I would like to remind people that my $2,056 spent was all inside the city. It was all in kind donations from my own pocket.

I can not endorse ANY candidate that spends other peoples money with reckless regard to the outcome. For Nan to spend $264,000 of other people's money so that she can earn an extra $6,000 in salary is ludicrous. For A.J. to spend $102,000 for a part time job (that can consume as many as 60 hours or more per week if you let it) just does not make sense. One should NEVER have to spend more than one years salary to get elected. (In this case that is $45,000.) Like I stated in my last post, this proves that party affiliated candidates can not beat me, the independent statesman, on a level playing field. They knew it and were not willing to level it. Yet it is the Democratic party that cries out for campaign finance reform when Republicans run against them. Food for thought.

Look at the contributions to each candidate and pay close attention to the spending. In the November election  YOU have to pick the lessor of two puppets in this case. I say puppets and not liars or evils because I do not believe either candidate is truly evil and neither have directly lied to me. However both owe favors to contributors and one, way more than the other. You want a Mayor who represents YOU. You want commissioners who represent YOU. Seriously look at the independent candidates for commission because I can no longer be that representative and vote for the lessor puppet for mayor because I know that I will have an open door to City Hall in that case.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nanonomics 101

There are some good things about losing the primary election last month. I get to say things the way they are. Not being a candidate in this race, I can point things out without being perceived as making attacks on the other candidates.
Last September I issued a spending limit challenge for the Mayor's race. The limit was $10,000 cash and $10,000 "in kind" to known entities and $20,000 cash and $10,000 "in kind" for unknown candidates. Realize that the Mayor of Dayton is paid $45,000 for a part time job. I believe that in any election you should not have to spend more than one years salary to get elected. I was willing to spend less than that. It was a marketing ploy. Had the two challengers accepted then we would have all received national publicity and could have worked together to promote Dayton to the nation. It would have been the first time three politicians would have agreed to limit spending, level the playing field and win on our own merit without big money playing a part. Neither of the two Democratic candidates accepted the challenge. It proved to me that neither could win on a level playing field.

Nan Whaley won the primary. It is nothing to be proud of. She got 5027 votes. Mostly from party line Democrats. It cost her $264,000 to get those votes. Over $52.00 per vote. There are some statistics that you need to be aware of so that you can make an informed decision in November. I looked over her financial disclosure forms from end of year 2012 and the pre and post primary reports to determine how much money was contributed locally and how much was expended locally. After all, she totes how she supports the region and how she can help it grow.

285 donations out of 730 total were from outside the region. That is 39%. Of the $169,384 that those 730 people or entities contributed, $89,181 was from outside the region. That is 52.6%. Her "in kind" donations totaled $43,032 and of that, $42,592 came from outside the region. Mostly from Columbus, Ohio for a total of 98.9%.

Much of her money came from outside the state of Ohio. Some from Washington D.C. and some from New York. She held fundraising events in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and in Indiana. One should be asking why money for a non partisan local election needs to come from outside the region.

Now I think that it is great that she was able to bring over $89,000 to the local area from other places. It could be used to boost the local economy. However that was not the case. Of the $212,767 dollars that she spent on her campaign, $196,843 or 92.5% of the total was spent OUTSIDE the region!

This woman is not going to bring jobs to Dayton. She is not supporting local workers. She says she will but her actions speak louder than words. The unions are supporting her but she is NOT supporting them. If these numbers were other than they are I would be offering praise. Unfortunately they disgust me. You can view the reports for yourself here

By the way, I will analyze A.J. Wagner's reports next. I do not know what to expect at this time. As for me, I spent $2056 of my own money and got 2363 votes, that is 87 cents per vote. Nan and A.J. have a little over $3,000 each left after the carnage. I wonder how much each will be able to raise and spend before November.

Nan boasted to someone that I know that she "creamed" me in this election. I spent less than 1% of her total. The people being creamed are her donors and the people drinking her kool-aide. They are the real losers in this election because their ultimate disappointment will lead to anger.

In warfare this is called a Pyrrhic victory.   (A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it carries the implication that another such victory will ultimately lead to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit. A "Pyrrhic victory" can also mean a false or temporary victory where a win entails a loss subsequently or in the bigger picture.)

 Remember, Karma always wins in the end ........

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Primary? There was a primary?

What happened on May 7th? People didn't know that they should vote, that is what happened. For whatever reason, be it apathy, complacency or ignorance of process, people did not come out and vote on election day. The result was that I received only 2363 votes out of 9985 that were cast. That means that 7622 loyal, party line voting democrats came out to vote for the democratic party candidates. Some 5027 voted for Nan Whaley and 2595 voted for A.J. Wagner.

I personally know thirty people who supported me but did not vote. Some even had my signs in their yard! The assumption was by many that since I was the incumbent and an independent, that I would automatically be on the ballot for November. Some people even voted for the candidate that they wanted to run against me in November, not realizing that by doing so they were eliminating me in this run off election. There are a lot of things that I can fix but I can not fix this.

It is what it is and now there are a lot of angry people. People should be angry because angry people come out and vote. How do I feel? It is disappointing that people do not understand what just happened. I am sure many people just don't care. I am not bitter though. I have achieved more in less than 4 years than others have achieved in 20 years. I get to leave with my head held high and with a successful track record that is not marred by any controversy. What a legacy!

How can you help? It is imperative that no single party controls the city commission. If it does then bad things can get covered up. You have to vote for the two independent commission candidates. You have to vote for the two Davids (Just think of David vs. Goliath). Learn about them at and support them in any way you can. You must vote for these two men otherwise Dayton will be in trouble.

In my next few posts I will analyze the campaign spending so the citizens know what they are getting. It is not reassuring for the future of my city.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

State of the City Address May 2, 2013

Good evening.

It is great to be here with you at the Ahiska American Turkish Community Center of Dayton. This “Welcome Center” is another great Dayton success story, and I would like to thank Islom Shakhbandarov and the Ahiska community for hosting us this evening.
The grand opening of this facility as the AATCC was November 30, 2012, just two years and six months after my first encounter with our Russian refugee population. This center represents the hope and promise that Dayton continues to offer.

I would also like to welcome our guests, Montgomery county Commissioners (name those present) and acknowledge the following elected officials who are also present. (name them)

Last year when we met at Belmont High School, I reviewed the events of 2011 and put them in context with five basic facts laid out in my first State of the City address. Those facts were:
#1 "We are on our own." #2: Dayton must reinvent itself to survive and thrive. #3: If we’re going to get anything done, we need to work together. #4: Dayton is evolving and #5: Dayton will prosper.

So tonight, I want to go over the events of 2012 and review the last three years as a whole so everyone knows just how far we have come in such a short amount of time—In the wake of the most severe recession (since the Great Depression).

Today, in Dayton, we are still very much on our own. State and federal funds continue to be slashed, forcing us more than ever to be self reliant. However, we have been able to provide basic services without any severe cuts in staffing as we have seen in previous administrations.

We have been actively recruiting new police officers, firefighters and paramedics and have not had to cut out our sponsorship of festivals or the summer fireworks display. In fact, for a second year in a row, we ended with a budget surplus and just as with the 2011 surplus we are able to apply the dollars to technology, blight removal, building maintenance and infrastructure. We are able to use some of this money to remove burned out buildings from the streetscape that have previously never qualified for federal or state funds because the neighborhoods in which they are located do not meet the required guidelines.

Because of this ongoing success,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge Dayton City Manager Tim Riordan for all of his hard work and financial wisdom over the last few years. Tim, thanks to you and your hard-working staff, for keeping us on the straight and narrow road to a prosperous future.

I have spoken in the last two years of our need to reinvent ourselves. After all, without creativity we cannot prosper. So let us look at just a few of our creative solutions that have proven successful in 2012.

We can start with some of the big things. This facility that we are in is a huge accomplishment when you consider the alternative. A city owned facility becomes mothballed as a result of budget cuts only to be acquired by several generations of New Americans who can teach generations of old Americans what community is all about. This is absolute proof that our “Welcome Dayton” plan is working and if you need more evidence just consider this: In 2010 the Ahiskan population in Dayton was 150 families. In May 2012 it was around 300 families, and today it is in excess of 450 families. Facilitating the success of a group of people has inspired them to repopulate what was considered a dying city just four years ago. They are not only repopulating it. They are transforming neighborhoods.

I’d like to acknowledge Mr. Islom Shakhbandarov of the Ahiska American Turkish Community Center for working with and assisting the more than 450 Ahiska Turkish families that now call Dayton home. Islom, your leadership and love for America is truly inspiring and we could not have done this without you. You are truly a Dayton Original and I thank you for being a friend.

I attend the naturalization ceremonies every month in Dayton. We have so many new American citizens being naturalized that there are now two ceremonies some months this year. The numbers have grown over the last few years. From Jan.22, 2010 to April 18, 2013, 2,459 new Americans from 25 or more countries have been sworn in at the Montgomery County Courthouse in downtown Dayton, many of them residing in the city. (An average of 50 new citizens a month for 3 years.)
The site of our 2012 “State of the City Address”, Belmont High School, made history during their class of 2012 commencement last May with 2 valedictorians of 2 different immigrant communities Africa and Mexico, reflecting the generational changes in our city.

This is yet more evidence that “Welcome Dayton” is working. The fact that the city of Cincinnati just adopted a similar plan also proves that Dayton remains a leader in innovation.

Last year, Forbes magazine listed Dayton as the “Happiest City to work in,” the third best city in the U.S. for increasing home prices and the “Most Affordable city in America.” Four years ago, this same magazine referred to us as a “Dying City”. We are also ranked third best in the United States for job opportunities. It seems that the tide has really turned in the last three years. Dayton is on more top ten lists than bottom ten lists.

The Dayton Metro Library got a bond issue passed on last November’s ballot that grants them some $187 million to “re-invent” the library system and design one for the next several decades. This is huge for Dayton. It is huge for the region and it opens the door to opportunities that may not have previously been considered or investigated. I look forward to seeing their plans develop and the changes this will bring.

Another huge accomplishment in 2012 was the announcement that $4 million had been raised from the private sector for the kayaking feature to be built at RiverScape in 2014. Dr. Mike Ervin was the champion for this and deserves an awful lot of credit for making it come to fruition. Kindred Hospital completed its renovations and opened their doors for business. I want to acknowledge the Fifth Street Brewpub in historic St. Anne’s Hill for launching their membership drive and building a community asset from scratch. Now with over 1700 members, they are the fastest growing brew pub co-op in the nation—yet another Dayton Original to be copied and emulated by others. The city took a chance on itself and launched a self insured medical plan for its employees producing favorable results that will save the city money in the long term. The city of Dayton received the coveted ISO 9001 certification for its Finance Department customer service operations, the first city to ever achieve such an acknowledgment.
Key Ads has relocated to a downtown location, acquiring a building that had sat empty for many years and transforming it into something spectacular.

Now lets us consider some other significant things that don’t get as much attention but have an impact on people’s lives.
Dayton is continuing to be a progressive and culture current community.
We implemented a domestic partner registry to show that we believe in treating all citizens fairly.
On the more technical and social front, social media use has opened lines of communication never before fathomed. “Likes” on the City of Dayton’s Facebook page went from 1,000 in 2010 to over 18,500 today. This means we can communicate with thousands of citizens with the click of a mouse for FREE.
There is now an outdoor market during the summer which has impacted the lives of a few Daytonians by granting them an opportunity to try their hands at a small business. We found a creative solution to deal with roadside panhandling, which had been giving our city a poor first impression to visitors.

Some of our additional successes include the imminent launch of the Hollywood Dayton Racino in north Dayton and the nearly complete GE Aviation research center at the University of Dayton.
One of Dayton’s long-time businesses is renewing itself with a major investment in downtown Dayton. White Allen is set to launch construction of a new Honda Store and to refurbish other buildings along North Main Street. This $10 million investment in White Allen’s future will bring a new and exciting gateway to downtown.

Establishing 3 year contracts with our unions went a long way towards stabilizing the City budget. It’s interesting that none of these things that I have mentioned were happening before 2010. In fact I have a list of 83 things, some large, some small that have transpired since 2010 and have all contributed in some way, shape or form to the Dayton Renaissance that we are experiencing. This renaissance has velocity, and we are going to experience a myriad of new things in the coming months because people who care about their community, people who care about their city are coming out and doing things that make a difference.
The biggest complaint that I get these days is that there is too much to do. It is a good problem to have and one that I hope does not go away.

For the last two years I made it clear that if we were going to get anything done we needed to put aside political differences and work together. And, I am happy to say, we have continued to do an excellent job at working together for the benefit of our citizens.

I commend all city employees and the Commission for working together in 2012 to provide services and create the progress that we are experiencing. We all get along and agree on most things, and we agree to disagree on others. But even in times of disagreement, there are no sparks or fireworks on the second floor at city hall. None that I have witnessed anyway. I know this disappoints certain members of the media.

Dayton is evolving but we all know evolution takes a long time. Nothing that is sustainable happens too quickly. But we the citizens don’t have two to five years to sit around and hope for results. We need implementable solutions now that produce a result. For example, we know that education will be important to the future of the region. The “Learn to Earn” plan developed as a countywide initiative is being implemented, but while it has promise, it is a long term plan that won’t produce results for more than a decade. In the meantime, we need to to address the countless highly sophisticated jobs that exist here in Dayton and remain unfilled because we do not have people locally to fill the positions. Better and more consistent marketing of Dayton at a national level would go a lot further to solve the issue of unfilled jobs a whole lot sooner than a long term education plan ever will.
There is nothing wrong with the planning but we need to take action and get results while the plan is taking shape.

Our housing stock will never get fixed by just making plans. Plans will determine what projects and locations are the best ones to support with tax money but plans will not fix the majority of houses in the city. Increased enforcement and fining irresponsible people isn’t enough either. Developing a process that gets the toxic properties into the hands of responsible citizens quickly is the ultimate answer. That is the real challenge that must be addressed and we need to be willing to try several means in order to find the few that will work best.

Recycling is working. Not only does it save the taxpayer money, make sense and reduce waste, the citizens actually like doing it. Citizens regularly comment on the fact that their recycle bins are filling up quicker than their garbage dumpsters, some even calling the collection department to request a second recycling bin. Happy customers are the dream of every company. In Dayton we are growing our base of happy customers. Sometimes I have to repeat myself in order to get the right people to hear. Last year I posed this question;
Why not form a coalition of municipalities and institutions that supplies 3000 tons of recyclables to recycling companies and have them pay us for the materials? Could the revenue generated be used for environmentally friendly economic development incentives instead of tax payer dollars?
Beyond the fiscal picture, we are focused on the global picture. Education, resources and new programs are rolled out within Dayton Public Schools and require citizen engagement. Programs such as composting classes and the city’s green landfill are becoming popular within the city. Daytonians are taking the lead, changing their back yards to change the earth.

There are some who say that our Priority Board system is broken and needs to be removed. I don’t agree with removal. Priority Boards do need to evolve, and we need to help them. “WE” being not just city government but also “YOU” the community. Not just the residents, but also the businesses. An organized business association goes a long way toward helping a neighborhood take pride in itself. Educating citizens on how to establish business associations and neighborhood block clubs or associations can be a function of these boards. Organizing community events in neighborhoods that currently have none will help to grow those neighborhoods.

We are lacking one of the very fundamental things that made Dayton special before the 1980s—a sense of community. In bygone days, people sat on porches and talked to their neighbors. Shared meals and stories. This was lost with the advent of air conditioning, followed by cable TV. Then Nintendo, computer games and now hand held tablet devices with all their apps, YouTube videos and distractions. How many people these days actually know who their neighbors are? How many actually talk to them?

If we want to evolve as a city then we have to master the eons old art of communication that has disappeared from American culture in the last 40 years. Ask yourself how many people “Tweet” or text messages to people on the other side of a room? If we cannot have real conversations about real problems then we will cease evolving and soon everything will be decided by computers taking on the personality of the people who programmed them. Just as we urge people to “Get out and vote” every year. We need to challenge people to “Get out and promote” relationships. Relationships with their neighbors, relationships with local businesses and relationships with other citizens who we can agree to disagree with. People make a community, people make a city and people need to be more involved in their community.

The Dayton renaissance is happening. And I repeat, this renaissance has velocity and it leads me to the fifth point that I make every year at these speeches--Dayton will prosper. Four short years ago I doubt that anyone would ever believe that a so called “dying city” could turn around so quickly during a recession. How could this ever be possible? Again it goes back to the people who call themselves Daytonians. Daytonians are a special group. They know when kindness is needed. They know when to question things that don’t seem right and they know when drastic change is needed. Dayton is not only the “city of inventors” but the city of “re-inventors.” This city continues to be built on the currency of kindness and generosity, networking ideas with people sharing time, resources, skills and talent.

So how do we continue to prosper? That is easy. Without creativity, we will not prosper. Without creativity we stagnate and we flounder. Without new ideas and new ways to solve age old problems we cannot and will not move forward. Creativity is the new prosperity in Dayton. Let us consider some of the new businesses that have grown or opened in Dayton during the last 12 months. Beside Caresource expanding and creating more jobs downtown, we have seen development along Brown Street completed with a host of new establishments such as Day Yoga, Shish Wraps, Boogies Green Machines and more.

More businesses are considering Dayton, like PECo, which is looking at a unique opportunity on McCall Street, and MidMark, which recently announced their intent to occupy space at UD’s River Campus, the former NCR Headquarters.

The face of Dayton’s arts, recreation and entertainment districts is constantly changing and improving, providing more fun for our community and our visitors.
The Pop-Up shop concept has been a success with more businesses succeeding than failing.
We expect two more openings this year with “Green Baby” and “Peace Pilates” opening before “Urban Nights” on May 10th.
We will see Agnes All Natural Grill soon and Al's Smokehouse and Cafe is already up and running in Downtown. New taverns will be opening with Toxic Brew, Riff Raff Bar. It seems that some businesses fail and others succeed and expand every day but in Dayton the buildings no longer remain empty for so long.
We are seeing new businesses being spawned by established popular businesses. Soon The Barrel House will join the success of Olive Urban Dive. The Mendenhall Family will expand the success of Blind Bobs across 5th. Street with the opening of their new restaurant Lily’s Bistro. Entrepreneurs and nationally renowned foodies are re-inventing the old Sidebar restaurant with the opening of Salar. Coco’s has moved within the city and expanded, making way for the popular Medowlark restaurant to bring Wheat Penny to Wayne Avenue. The expansion of the Roost family into the Dayton Art Institute with Leo’s Bistro has added to the experience of a visit to arts exhibits and creative events, making daily use of an under used space.
Food trucks are generating revenue and partnering with other venues and making a creative alternative with their street presence during special events.
Pizza Factory & South Park Tavern now count the iconic Canal Street Tavern as part of their family, giving new security to the future of one of the city’s most prized cornerstones of music. The Rubi Girls have found a new permanent stage and club house to call their own, so they can continue their tradition of benefit performances to assist non-profit organizations in the area.
Arts partnerships such as the one newly formed between CityFolk and the Dayton Art Institute will keep the tradition of this vital program building community through culture. These are a few examples of the relationships between neighbors and businesses building and reinventing our city. There are others on the horizon, and let us not forget the historic brewery at Carillon Historic Park which has seen a major transformation under the guidance of Brady Kress these last few years.

We are seeing more public art on our streetscape. The donation of “Fluid Dynamics” by Bill Pflaum now installed along Patterson Blvd will draw attention to the placement of new sculpture in Dayton. The wall being painted along the railway at 32 Webster Street and the murals under the bridge at Webster and Third are changing the dynamic of the area.

All of these and many others show that private interests are investing in Dayton today at a rate that we have not seen in many years. And, very importantly, young people are creating businesses and contributing through volunteerism in numbers we have not seen in decades. Ask anyone who really knows downtown Dayton – the vibe has changed, we are getting our “pulse” back.

Take it from me, Dayton is prospering and it will continue to do so as long as we the people continue to support creative, independent thinkers in their missions. We need to continue to challenge ourselves and seek out and support the ones who will do the work, not just talk about it or plan it.

I said this last year and I will say it again this year;
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a critical time in Dayton’s history. In three years, we have gone from being called a “dying city” to being a city recognized nationally and even internationally for reinventing itself. We accomplished that by working together, being open to new ideas and not letting party politics and egos blind us to what needs to be done. If we are to continue to transform Dayton into a model city of 21st century innovation, it will only happen by maintaining our present course – because it’s working. Are things perfect? No. Are things improving as quickly as we would like them to? No. They never do. But they are changing. And Dayton is better for it.

I am Dayton’s Mayor, ladies and gentlemen, but you are the leaders. You are the ones who run this city. You are the taxpayers who help keep police on the streets and our roads safe to drive upon. You are the business owners and entrepreneurs who create jobs. You are the ones who are driving the resurgence and renaissance of Dayton, Ohio, and I thank you for all your hard work. Your creativity, your spirit and your devotion to this community are bringing Dayton back to life and making it better than ever. By working together we are building a new Dayton, one that can be a model 21st century city. Let’s continue to move forward and continue to make Dayton what we know it can be and should be.

Thank you and God bless.

More Things to Add.

 Last September I wrote an article for the Dayton City Paper listing 63 things that had happened since 2010. Well, it is up to 83 things now and increasing as I continue to remember some things that were done. I was asked to publish it again so here it is. Items with a * next to it were touched by me. That means that I initiated it, influenced it, inspired it or provided substantial information to someone to make it happen. I don't take credit. I just had a role to play.

Things from before 2010
Kroc Center Built
Three new bridges
5 New schools
Rec plex opened and two rec centers remodeled
Bike ways
Urban agriculture
Land Bank being organized
MVH Heart Hospital
RTA moved transfer station
Phoenix project
NCR left
10th most dying city in the U.S.

Things since 2010
GE Aviation*
UD Housing on Brown Street
UD acquisition of NCR
Charlie Simms Housing units – all sold in 12 months
Charlie Simms now adding 7 more units in Fairgrounds neighborhood
More housing in Downtown*
Traffic light at 2nd and Webster*
Kindred Hospital
Keye Ads relocated to Downtown*
Pop-Up Shops*
Immigrant Friendly initiative*
Solution developed regarding abuse of emergency services*
Mediation committee to proactively create dialogue with the community and asian 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.*
Two consecutive years of budget surplus at City Hall*
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
Battery collections at city facilities*
Commission Agenda online viewable to the public BEFORE a meeting*
Emergency ordinances moved to a two part process*
Facebook likes grew from 1000 to 17,000*
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 CHS in summer*
Riverscape Kayak Feature*
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 Lime Kiln*
Developed more efficient tracking using RFID technology
Better Customer Service from City Hall*
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.
Dayton Fashion Week
Dayton Revival Festival
Reuse of Memorial Hall for events
Credit card parking meters
Synergy Incubator Community Kitchen*
Citizen Participation overhaul*
Enterprising of Rec and Youth Services to generate revenue*
Better dialogue between City and County*
Better dialogue between City and School District*
Non profit mapping of service locations by United Way and helplink 211*
Port o jon behind city hall to reduce public urination*
Tire dumping enforcement*
Additional Fairgrounds neighborhood housing
Care-a-lot program*
Re evaluation of well field protection plan*
Arson signs on fire trucks*
Employee recognition at commission meetings*
Patterson Blvd. Way finding feature
Expansion of Goodwill
Student housing downtown*
Demolition of Appleton paper mill
Improved communication regarding REAP process*

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Telling the Voters Who is Most Important.

  I have a very limited budget for my entire campaign. Just $10,000 cash and $10,000 of "in kind" contributions. I have set aside $1,500 of my own money to get me through the primary on May 7th, 2013. I had to think what the most effective method would be to get a message out to the voters and had a talk with the other independent candidates about pooling resources to benefit the group. At this time, the Ohio Democratic Party endorsed candidate has spent $72,000, the "lifelong" Democratic Party candidate has spent $40,000. The former has done at least 6 mailings of which I have received 4 pieces and she has done at least 2 robo calls. I do not vote in all primary elections because I am independent and vote only on issues. If the candidate had done the research, she would not be wasting mailings on me because all go in the trash without being read. I have not received any robo calls yet but I hang up on those. She has paid some $27,000 for a TV commercial that reaches over 500,000 people in the region. 470,000 do not vote in Dayton elections.
The other candidate has put up a lot of billboards but they are hard to read and he "Respectfully asks for your vote" on May 7th. He may have done this after many of his signs disappeared from the right of way where it is not legal to place them anyway. Citizens do not like signs littering their neighborhoods.
I learned about losing signs four years ago and placed about 6 billboards as a result.
So what did we do that would make us stand out? I wrote a letter. What is more, I signed it along with David Esrati and David Greer. We didn't sign just one. We all signed over 6,000 of them. I looked at some statistics and realized that only around 11,000 people vote in primary elections in Dayton. That equates to around 6,000 households.
These letters are going out by hand or by mail to the 10,000 "super voters" that live in Dayton. We have taken the time to identify those people who vote in every election and tell them how important THEY are. No other candidates tell the voters how important they are in their campaign literature ..... Independent thinkers get it. Please check out the Independent candidates and make May 7th "Independents Day" in Dayton! Go to and learn about us, because we care.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Looking For a Sign?

I would like to point something out. As an Independent Mayor I can do this without political retribution. There is a law here in Dayton and it seems that it has been in force since 1925. I have underlined the relevant sentences. 

Sec. 110.13. - Advertising on public property.
(A)No person shall place any placard, notice, or advertisement of any kind on any public property situated in any park or on any boulevard or levee in the city.
(B)This section shall not be construed to prohibit the placing of appropriate advertising signs by the park management of articles for sale in the park or signs containing the necessary notices of the park management in any park within the city upon permission first received from the Director of Human Resources.

(Ord. 12693, passed 12-30-25)

Here is the penalty

Cross reference— Penalty, see § 110.99.
Sec. 110.99. - Penalty
(A)Whoever violates §§ 110.14, 110.15, or 110.16 of this chapter shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(B)Whoever violates any other provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Signs in the right of way are ugly and make our city look awful. The people know it and they don't like it. They tell me every day how bad this makes the street scape look. Even I notice when they go up, often many disappear soon afterwards.

What is most interesting is that the two candidates vying for the title of MAYOR, who is a member of a body that enacts legislation, are willing to break the law in order to get elected. What is particularly disturbing about this is that one candidate has been on the city commission for 7 years and should know better. The other candidate is a former county auditor, judge and lawyer and should also know better .....

Here is a solution to the problem. Upon application for a permit and remittance of a $200 permit fee, candidates for election can place their signs at designated intersections within city limits 30 days prior to an election. Signs can not be placed in the meridian of a road or anywhere along the length of a road, only at designated intersections where signs will not block line of sight for traffic. The candidates have 10 business days to remove signs after said election otherwise the City will collect signs left over and dispose of them. (The fee pays for this service.)
Of course this won't happen in 2013 but I would be happy to introduce this in 2014 when re elected. In the mean time I am placing my signs on PRIVATE PROPERTY. If you ever see one of mine in the right of way then you have my permission to remove it. I would hope that you would inform me so that it can be collected and reused but I understand the logistics!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Four Years of Appreciation (and still going!)

This is entering the fourth year and is a regional event for any local government employee to participate in. In my opinion this is something that could have been happening a decade ago. I would like to point out that no other member of the city commission has come up with something like this for .... well....EVER. So to ALL the civil servants out there, know that the Mayor of Dayton appreciates everything you do for the citizens of the region and takes time to make sure this event has been a regular one for at least four years!

Here are the preliminary details of the fourth annual Municipal Employee Appreciation Week, running Sunday, March 31, through Saturday, April 6, 2013. During this week, municipal and public employees of local governments throughout the region will receive special discounts at a variety of local businesses when they show their ID badges. Participating businesses include:

All Cuts Barber Shop, 3405 West Siebenthaler Avenue—10% discount
Angel Heaven, 11 N. Miami Street West Milton—10% discount
Baker’s Heating & Cooling, 2500 N. Main Street—10% discount
Butler’s Concrete LLC, 937-835-3194 or 937-307-3856—10% discount
Carmen's Deli, 40 n. Main St. Ste. 60 — Free fountain drink with meal.
Champion Auto Service, 1524 Milburn Ave.—10% discount
Christopher’s Restaurant, 2318 E. Dorothy Lane—10% discount
Color Tile and Carpets Plus, 3609 Linden Ave.—10% discount
Desserts By Ann K, 600 E. Second Street—10% discount
Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave.—10% discount
Randall Dwillis Massage Therapy, 8529 N.Dixie Dr.937-890-6050$10 off massage services
Ghostlight Coffee, 1201 Wayne Ave.—10% off coffee and a baked good
Goodyear Tire, 21 Otterbein Ave.—10% discount
Goodyear Tire, 4220 N. Main Street—10% discount
J Gumbo’s, 1822 Brown Street—20% discount
Main Hardware, 3016 N. Main Street—10% discount
Mendelson’s, 340 E. 1st St.—10% discount
Ohio Automatic Transmission, 3164 Salem Ave.(937) 275-5574 .—10% discount
Olive An Urban Dive, 416 E. Third St — 10% discount
Patterson Chase, 460 Patterson Road—15% discount
Price Clothing Store 4th & S. Jefferson St.  Additional 5% off on sale merchandise
Rut’s Eatery, 32 James H. McGee Blvd.—10% discount
St. Anne’s Violin Shoppe, 1500 E. Fifth Street—20% discount
Smokin’ Bar-B-Que, 200 E Fifth Street—10% discount
Top Of The Line Salon & Barber, 2836 Salem Ave.—10% discount
Top of The Market, 32 Webster St.—10% discount
Uno’s Chicago Bar & Grill, 126 N. Main St.—15% discount
Upper Deck Tavern, 2652 Blanchard Ave.—10% discount on all entrees

Discounts do not apply to alcoholic beverages.

This particular week was chosen because Dayton was settled on April 1, 1796.
Employee Appreciation Week is a way of acknowledging the hard-working men and women who serve the citizens of this community. Dayton’s small business community has really stepped up to show our local government employees how much their work is appreciated, whether it’s plowing streets during the winter, filling potholes in spring, patrolling neighborhoods, or addressing citizen concerns. We hope this small gesture—which won’t cost taxpayer’s a cent—conveys a big ‘thank you’.
During this time I would ask all citizens to show their appreciation for the entire region's civil service workers by waving and saying “thank you.”

Monday, February 25, 2013

Been Push Polled Lately

I am disgusted. Commissioner Whaley has disgraced herself and has proven that she can NEVER be a role model for our children. She really needs to apologize to the citizens of Dayton for attempting to divide the community. She should probably resign her seat as City Commissioner because she is not acting in the best interests of the city and should be ashamed of what she is allowing to happen.

To paint me as a racist and the other mayoral candidate as corrupt before either of us are even on the ballot is an attempt at defamation of character. This is a really low and desperate attempt to elevate yourself at the expense of bringing an entire city to it's knees after three years of phenomenal progress.

 Her campaign is doing a push poll. This is an attempt to sway the opinion of a voter with misleading information. The actual polling means nothing. They don't track the results. You are being scammed and it will cost you twenty minutes of your life. Of course she will say that she has no idea that the Democratic Party is doing this for her. That is a lie. She is the candidate. She has final approval and these questions came from her sources. She should never have accepted the party endorsement because the party is not helping her.

Commissioner Whaley can not point fingers and play the blame game. She brought this upon herself. Dayton is tired of this. Ohio is tired of this. America is tired of this.

Here is the transcribed text from the push poll. You can find the original sound recordings HERE. You can also read more about this at

Ok Leitzell once said quote, “I am not racist, I am prejudiced”.

So Leitzell used the ethnic slur to refer to Asians and said black history was not real history and he also compared people living in government-subsidized housing to animals and said it was amazing that an African American would be able to set up a successful business in Dayton without government help.

Very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing, or not at all convincining.

Leitzell should be fighting to create new Dayton jobs but a committee Leitzell formed to help create new Dayton jobs dissolved after just one year because Leitzell skipped so many meetings.

We need a mayor working full time to move Dayton forward but Leitzell took an entire month off to renovate his home and even wrote about a project on his personal blog.

Leitzell Recently commented on a blog that he wants to raise his pay as mayor to $90,000 a year.

Leitzell is not fighting to improve Dayton’s Public Schools and says Leitzell has attacked some students calling them quote “too stupid for the military” unquote and saying they were even, not even good enough to be quote  cannon “fooder” (sic) fodder, or something, for the um, army.

And Leitzell said he would never send his own daughter to Dayton Public School because she would get bored.

Crime is a serious problem that Leitzell actually said not all murders should be treated equally and Leitzell said the only reason Dayton families are concerned with crime is because the media quote “hypes homicides.

And um we’re just about done thank you now

I’m going to read you some reasons people have given us to vote against A.J. Wagner for mayor. After each thing tell me whether you think it is very convincing, somewhat convincing, not, not too convincing or not at all convincing.

Um, Do you, as a reason to vote against A.J. Wagner. If you are not sure about a particular item just say something on the box.

The state bar association gave Wagner the worst rating of a judge rating, rated in Ohio in, um, 2006.

Wagner’s court was responsible for losing an evidence envelope containing 400 dollars collected during a drug raid and Wagner even sentenced a murdered, murderer convict, convicted of beating a man to death, to just ten years in prison, less than half the usual 25 years.

That Wagner approved $300,000 in bonuses for county sheriff and his staff even after the county commission passed the resolution for him to give up some of his Wagner even gave his own staff bonuses that same year.

Wagner is more interested in being a politician than a public servant, public servant, over the last 20 years Wagner has served as a paid political operative and campaigned for five different taxpayer funded jobs.

Wagner even retired with his government job so he could collect his taxpayer funded pension. Now he’s running for mayor so he can collect another 45,000 dollars of taxpayer money on top of his (?)

Just in the last few yeas.., uh, just in the last few weeks Wagner has been campaigning on raising salaries for the mayor and city commission.

Wagner put campaign donors with special interests first. As auditor Wagner gave a millia… multi million dollar government contract to a company that donated ?bucks? to his campaign and Wagner was the guest of honor at a private dinner at a private Dayton philharmonic pops concert paid for by a lobbyist seeking millions in government spending.

Eh, ah, got another one

And now I am going to give you some reasons people have given to vote for Nan Whaley for mayor. After each brief tell me whether you think it is very convincing, somewhat convincing, not too convincing or not at all convincing.

Whaley led the fight against $3 million in cuts to Dayton’s already struggling schools. Preventing teachers from being fired, prospects from going up, stopping sports from being cut.

Whaley also wants to improve our schools, by holding them accountable for kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading proficiency and preparedness for college.

Nan Whaley has fought to keep jobs in Dayton. Whaley worked with city leaders and executives together to keep Caresource in Downtown Dayton and Whaley put efforts to bring GE Aviation and the NCAA tournament to Dayton, creating hundreds of jobs and generating millions of local businesses, for local business

Nan Whaley is the only candidate for mayor endorsed by the Democratic Party and Dayton Firefighters and other labor groups have also endorsed Whaley because she brings people together and fights for Dayton families.

Whaley is working to keep guns off the street and out of dangerous hands.

Whaley will fight to require background checks on every gun purchase to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from having access to guns.

Whaley says government needs to do more with less during tough economic times, that’s why Whaley voted to reduce her pay and hasn’t expected a pay raise in her, in the last 5 years as commissioner.

Survey Sampling International please answer these demographic questions for clarification purposes only, and do you think of yourself as a Democrat or a Republican or an independent

And what is the highest level of education that you have had the opportunity to complete?

In your home do you have cable television, satellite or direct TV just regular broadcast television or no television.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

No Endorsements

I will not accept any endorsements during this campaign. I learned four years ago that endorsements are worthless unless they come with copious amounts of money or feet on the street. Most come with nothing more than an "ata boy!" and a pat on the back. However, I am not seeking tons of money, though feet on the street are always useful. Nine days ago I got a solicitation from AFSCME and have included it here. This really made me angry. A union is soliciting a candidate in a non-partisan local election to see if they want to endorse the candidate. To me that is so wrong. Shouldn't the candidates solicit the unions if they are so inclined? Anyway, based on previous experience, it is obvious they will endorse the Democratic Party candidate. That is what they do. Best thing they could do is not endorse at all and let their members vote as they choose. After all, it is a non-partisan election. I finally got some time today to read the form and guess what? It was due back two days ago! I am documenting this here because I know the union president will say that I didn't complete the form or show up for the interview so they couldn't endorse me. The truth is that I believe that if I can't win on my own merit then I don't deserve the position. I am also confident that I can win on my own merit and impressive track record. Anyone who needs endorsements or the support of a party in a non-partisan election lacks the confidence needed to do the job.