Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Charter Changes for a "Hell No" Vote

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 There are six charter changes being proposed in the May 4th special election. You can view the ordinances and the ballot language in this post. The two you need to absolutely vote "NO" on are items #3 and #4 on the ballot. Item #3 defines the role of the mayor in our city manager form of government. It is an unnecessary ordinance because the mayor adopts these roles anyway as part of their expected duties. This just makes it official and if a political party gets their person elected, it allows them to play party politics because the charter says it is OK. 

The other change is item #4. It involves eliminating the mayor appointed compensation board which meets once a year to discuss pay raises for commission members. They have doled out three 2% raises over the last 7 years while Dayton is beginning to spiral down a black hole as far as neighborhoods and community is concerned. This charter change bases salaries on those of the county commissioners. The county salaries are set by the state of Ohio and are based on population. They go up every year but raises can't be paid to elected officials. However, if re elected the salary increases to the new rate four years later and is about 5% higher. The charter change sets the commissioner salary at 50% of the county commission salary and the mayor salary at 75% of that amount. The amount set for county commissioners in 2022 based on Montgomery County population (531,687 people) is $109,577. The salary of a commissioner will jump from $46,500 to $55,000. The salary of the mayor will jump from $55,000 to $82,000. These are part time jobs, though my first time as mayor I worked 36 to 40 hours a week part time. If re elected in 4 years the salaries jump to $59,000 and $88,000 respectively.

I am only voting YES on items #5 and #8 regarding teleconferencing meetings (though I think this could be tweaked a little better) and establishing the water department as a public utility that can't be sold to a private business unless the people vote on it.

The other items, I get the purpose, I don't like the wording. If I don't like the wording I always vote "NO" because they can come back and make it better.

Friday, March 26, 2021

You Will be Voting on More Than a Mayor and Commissioners in May

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May 4th, 2021 is election day for our local special election. On the ballot are candidates for Dayton mayor and commission. This is a non partisan special election. No one is required to declare for a party so everyone can vote. The two candidates with the highest vote counts for mayor go on to the general election in November, as do the four highest of the commission candidates. What you aren’t hearing about are all the charter changes that have been added to the ballot, so I will post the language here in a series of photos.

First up is this,  regarding compensation for the mayor and commissioners.

Then there is this. It deals with updating genders and defines the role of the mayor.

Third up is this. I pushed for allowing distance participation ten years ago when commissioner Lovelace was ill. It took a pandemic to make this administration see it as a useful tool.

Then we have a change that corrects gender language and defines the role of the chief examiner.

Next is language preventing employees of the City from participating in local election campaigns but allowing them to indulge in State and  Federal races.

Finally one that prevents the water department from being sold off to a private source. The water department is an enterprise fund supported by the fees charged to customers. It could be a separate entity controlled by a regional authority but should never be a "For profit" business. The county buys it's water from Dayton, then sells it to residents outside the City. Dayton has always held on to this department to keep rates low for City residents.

So please read these changes and know what you are voting for. The ballot language does not necessarily reflect the change in the ordinance language.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

This City Has Become Very Trashy The Last Few Years

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 My wife pointed out to me how bad the streets and alleys appear in my neighborhood when she takes walks with my daughter. In fact, I can honestly say I have NEVER seen it THIS bad. There is trash everywhere. Our current Commission, consisting of the following; Mayor Nan Whaley, Commissioners Jeffrey Mims Jr, Darryl Fairchild, Matthew Joseph and Chris Shaw have become a bunch of slackers the last few years. The following video issued last week has the City Manager explaining how they have failed to maintain their inventory of green trash containers and are currently short 900 of them. They failed to maintain an active inventory and are pointing the finger at the vendor when they should have just started walking the streets every so often over the last eight years where they would have seen it getting progressively worse. One of their jobs is to direct policy. I guess their policy has been to make Dayton "Trash City USA."

They have also dropped the ball on recycling. In 2013 Rumpke paid Dayton $6 a ton for recyclables. Now Dayton pays Rumpke $35 a ton and we are expected to clean and sort what they want. I will cover this subject in greater detail in another post. I am so upset about this.I am going to hit hard on this subject this year. They should have been paying attention the moment we started paying Rumpke.

The next way I know they have been slacking is they have not paid attention to appointments on certain boards they oversee. This was a major pet peeve of mine during my term. Not keeping these board lists current makes the Commission look like ... well .... a bunch of slackers. The following pictures of board lists was captured on March 15, 2021. It is not like it is just one or two boards they have not been paying attention to. Look at the expired term information.

I said when I left office in January 2014 that I personally had created enough activity to carry the new administration for six years. After that the people will see the well of ideas dry up. Guess what? We are there.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Things You Might Not Know

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Every so often I Google my name, just to see what others write. I find mentions on Reddit, Nextdoor, Facebook, in papers and magazines and even books people have written. Most refer to our immigrant friendly initiative titled “Welcome Dayton” from 2011. Every so often I find a comment like “He never did anything” or “He couldn’t do anything”, “2nd weirdest politician in Dayton history”etc. etc. So I am here to set some myths to bed. More change occurred in my four years as mayor than in the eight years prior to being elected and the eight years since. How, you may ask? I understood the power of suggestion. I made a lot of them and sometimes to the right person who could follow through and implement them. The first thing I suggested was making commission agendas available to the public online BEFORE the Wednesday commission meeting. It was done and drove the cost of contracted services down because it made bidding more competitive because competing vendors could see who got the contract and where they were cutting costs to get the contract. This meant the City had more money to do other things.

I mentioned to the police chief that I could view mug shots of sex offenders in my neighborhood but I don’t know who the burglars are. Neighborhood crime maps would also be useful. Tools like these would help citizens be on the look out and help police. The police department had the tools to do this but the previous administration was afraid it would make Dayton look bad. I said go for it. Give the people the tools to protect themselves. The police department produced a web site that allows access to neighborhood crime stats in almost real time (24 hour delay) and produces a weekly report by district with mug shots of those arrested.

Have you ever filled out a police report online? You can do that for insurance claims if you don’t have a suspect. I made that happen after my car was broken into at 4AM and I had to stay awake until an officer could stop by and take a statement at 10AM. Now I can secure the car, go back to bed and file a report while drinking my morning coffee.

Do you pay your water bills online? Well you can thank my wife for that. She complained to me every time she had to send an e check through her bank and it never arrived on time. I complained for her to the city manager every quarter until he got tired of it and the water department came up with to stop the complaining.

Do you participate in the tire buy back program every year? Well, after a Priority Board clean up event in Southeast Dayton I realized that we had a serious tire dumping problem and took the city manager out to drive around to see how bad it was. He had staff look into the laws regarding tires, what could be done with them and even discovered that people were stashing them floor to ceiling in vacant houses. I suggested some kind of buy back like those states that give refunds on bottles. Staff worked with the solid waste district and the buy back program became a reality.

I will cover one more thing here and save some stuff for a follow up post. Sometimes my suggestions did not get the desired result BUT lead staff to come up with their own solution. I mentioned to the fire chief that they should hand out cards listing the social helpline phone number 211 to the ambulance frequent flyers. These are the people who abuse emergency services and use ambulances as a taxi service. I suggested that if these people wanted a sandwich and someone to talk to the social services would be more effective and cut down on costs. They tried it. Several months later the fire chief leaned towards me and stated that he wanted to tell me that because of my suggestion they were able to solve the frequent flyer problem. My card idea wasn’t working but they began to realize the abusers always requested to be taken to the same hospital each time. So they started taking them to a different hospital or told them they had to take them to a different location. It stopped. He wanted me to know that my idea helped them solve the problem.

So if you are one of those people who believed I did nothing as a mayor I hope this is opening your mind a little to the truth. The fact is this, I may have had zero political experience in 2010 but I had much management experience. Suggesting others to take the lead is not what politicians do. It is what good managers do because they want the end result, not credit for the idea. I made a lot of very logical and sensible suggestions and staff turned them into reality.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Campaign Contributions

I believe in limited campaign spending, and I have issued a $10,000 limit challenge. I don't like the idea of collecting $1,000 checks from special interest groups with strings attached. I believe in doing what is right for Dayton residents. So, I am trying something different: a SMALL DONATIONS campaign. I would like 8,000 to 10,000 people to simply make a contribution of $1.25 to my campaign effort. If you like what you read here or follow my posts on Facebook, well, $1.25 is a way to help.Share this with your friends and family, and let's pave the way to getting BIG MONEY out of politics. If you would like to make a larger contribution you can. The donate button is just below my picture. Thank you for your support! It may not be visible on a mobile app. So try this instead .

Thursday, March 4, 2021

I Must Have the Most Famous Roof in Dayton

 It is amazing. Eleven years AFTER the local newspaper article from August 2010 about me limiting my schedule as mayor for the month of September people still harp on the fact that I took some time to work on my roof. I should add that at the time, when it rained, I had a waterfall in my bathroom due to failed box gutters, there were even mushrooms growing out of the brick walls. So, if you are one of the people who honestly believes the lies made up by the local Democratic party in order to get the current mayor elected then you need to know the truth. I never took three months off to fix my roof. It took 14 work days over a three month span of time to tear down a fire escape and front porch, dispose of the material, repair a huge hole where a dormer was, repair a section of box gutter supports and replace the slate roof and box gutter on the rear and south side of my house. I documented the entire process at the time here. 

The front part of the roof became a real problem in 2018 when the front and north side box gutters gave out and so I had to devise a way to complete the roof project. That was documented here.

I still have to complete the dormer at the front of the house and the upper porch. Maybe I need to get it done this year BEFORE getting elected again. I wouldn't want anyone thinking that working on my roof was a dereliction of duty to my 40 hours a week part time as mayor. Yes, that is correct. I worked on average, 40 hours a week in a part time job for 4 years. Even when I worked on my roof in 2010. That is why it took 14 days over a 3 month period to complete the task. I was still working on city business and not slacking off the way some people have been told.