Dayton’s Inspectional Services called out by the DBJ

The Dayton Business Journal has a cover story about Dayton’s woefully inept Building Inspection department- something that’s been inept for a long time. Olivia Barrow talks to several small independent start-ups that ran face first into the wall of BS that Dayton likes to throw at every project that doesn’t come with political payola.

From the DBJ article-

Michael Cromartie, chief building inspector, wants to see Dayton thrive as much as anyone. But working with his 1999 computer system and a skeleton crew bound to enforce state building codes to the letter, he has a natural tendency to prefer businesses with money.

“If they’re undercapitalized, that’s always a challenge,” he said. “We have walked some people through every step of the process. But can I do that with everybody? No.”

Cromartie said while he can’t design a project for a business, he still wants to meet with prospective business owners as early as possible — before they even sign a lease or buy a building….

Somewhere inside the mammoth tome of regulations that is the Ohio Building Code, there’s a chapter created for existing buildings that violate today’s safety and accessibility standards — Article 34. It’s often cited as a way for entrepreneurs to save money building out a space in one of downtown’s charming, but code-delinquent historic buildings.

But Juhl never even had the chance to get his building evaluated through Article 34.

“The city won’t even look at that chapter unless you build a case around it,” he said. “It would have been a pain in the butt. So instead we brought a 130-year-old building up to 2011 code.”

Article 34 has been used successfully on several projects in Dayton — including Square One Salon & Spa, Warped Wing Brewing Co. and The Barrel House — but those projects were well-funded or advised by experienced architects or business owners.

“It’s virtually impossible for a business owner to use Chapter 34 (without an architect),” said Brock Taylor, development specialist for the city.

The regulation allows a building to be evaluated on a point system that includes trade-offs and substitutions between some of the most expensive elements of bringing a building up to code.

That includes leaving out a sprinkler system in favor of a cheaper alarm system, or reducing the intended occupancy in order to avoid other costly regulations.

But ultimately, even an Article 34 review process can end up being a waste of time, Cromartie said.

“Sometimes you do the investigation and realize it’s not even going to save you any money,” he said.

That chapter of the code becomes another factor that slants the playing field toward well-capitalized, investor-backed ventures….

A technological upgrade is also in order, but it won’t come online until January of 2016.

“The city is investing over $1 million in replacing its obsolete permitting software,” Cromartie said.

And the city is also creating a new staff position that could provide some of the relief business owners are looking for.

via COVER STORY: ?Business friendly? A skeleton crew at the city struggles to help first-time business owners – Dayton Business Journal.

Michael Cromartie has picked up some knowledge from his years on the job- or should I say his reign of terror. His claim as one of the Monarchy of Montgomery County is being married to former Mayor James H. McGee’s daughter, former judge Francis McGee.

I ran into the same BS over 27 years ago when I bought a building ready for the wrecking ball. Not only were there issues with the historic district code, there were zoning issues and then the building inspection issues. When you have a building that someone is willing to invest 30x the purchase price- it would have been nice for a little common sense, but that wasn’t the case. Despite having 4 exit doors with windows in them- and huge storefront windows- the geniuses insisted that we needed the lighted “Exit” signs over a door. You know the ones required by code for hallways in multistory buildings- that have a bunch of solid- similar doors- where there is no way of telling which one leads out.
I came to believe that the building code as enforced by Dayton was the antidote to Darwin (i.e.- protecting morons from extinction).

I’m pretty sure a firefighter is going to argue with me on another point- the one requiring sprinklers. I’m placing a bet that sprinklers malfunction and do more damage than actually work and put out fires- but, Dayton seems hell bent on keeping the sprinkler installers in business. I find it amazing that most of Europe where buildings are over 600 years old- survived without sprinklers.

I know many contractors that refuse to work in Dayton due to the incredible amount of BS that this department manages to spew. I was told that my existing roof- in the back of my house with true 2×6, 14′ rafters on a slight pitch were undersized- and needed to go- despite being original- and decked with 5/4″ planks. I told the inspector to pound salt. That wasn’t what he was there to inspect. On my cottages they tried to claim that faced insulation, that was stapled and seams taped wasn’t a proper vapor barrier- and that we had to remove the facing- and use plastic instead. Except that you couldn’t buy unfaced insulation anywhere. Yet another fail.

If you wonder why houses get torn down instead of rehabbed in Dayton- it’s because to do them legally is too much hassle, and to do them illegally isn’t worth the headaches- plus, the demolition companies pay to get our commission elected.

The reality is that the Ohio building code isn’t written for rehab. It’s written by the construction lobby with one goal in mind- build new instead of rehab. When enforced by megalomaniacs like Cromartie, the public isn’t any safer, and our old buildings fall victim to unreasonable requirements. Is a two-hour fire rating between floors of a 100-year-old building that’s built with old growth timber really going to make a difference compared to having working alarms? Are sprinklers in every unit of a residential conversion really more important than fire extinguishers? When it comes to ADA- does every unit in a residential rental building have to meet ADA requirements or just a majority?

Instead of  “investing” a million in new permitting software, why don’t we just shut down the entire department and let the county do it? In the name of regionalism and setting an example of cooperation like we did with 911?

I’m sure it would do more to hasten renovation and investment back in the city than letting King Cromartie continue his reign of terror on “under-capitalized”  entrepreneurs (i.e.- no money to pay them off).

Big brother stopped watching you yesterday

Traffic cam

UPDATE

March 23, 5PM A Lucas county judge ruled in favor of Home rule, and the City will continue using the cameras and ticketing until this winds through the courts.

On March 1st 2015(correction, March 23rd) the city of Dayton lost one of its crutches- the use of red light and speeding cameras to extort owners of vehicles for the misdeeds of individual drivers.

The cameras, supplied by a private company, Redflex, were a “partnership” where a private company made unlimited amounts of money from this questionable impingement on personal freedoms. Had the city bought the cameras outright, like they do most pieces of law enforcement equipment, this deal may not have reeked so badly, but in the ultimate act of brilliance, your leaders chose a questionable deal. Much like private prisons, where the incentives are to keep people locked up – because more convicts mean more money, the cameras were continuously questioned for their accuracy and the timing of lights suspect as contributors to this scam.

The sad thing is, the cameras worked. Speeds dropped, accidents declined, in the areas where the cameras were in place.

The real question is why people came to drive like idiots in the city of Dayton and other places where the cameras were deployed? No one speeds in Oakwood, and Kettering still has a rap for traffic enforcement. These communities run traffic tickets as a way to show their police departments are out watching and waiting for crime to happen- versus Dayton, where all they do is chase the tail having to go out reactively  all day long.

Maybe if our leaders would spend more of that “economic development” cash they hand out like candy to their political supporters and scam artists promising jobs- and just did the job they were supposed to do- ensuring our safety, the cameras wouldn’t have been a last resort. In the 29 years I’ve lived in Dayton, I’ve watched the police department drop in staffing by at least a third. Of course, the size of our city hasn’t gotten any smaller geographically- but, we’ve also seen almost a quarter of our population vote with their feet to move to other parts of Montgomery County where they feel safer.

In all the time the cameras have been installed in Dayton, I’ve never gotten a ticket so this hasn’t affected me directly, but, I did get one in Kettering- for a supposed right turn on red at Dorothy Lane and Wilmington. The difference being- one was handed out by a cop, who said he saw me do it. And while I know so many of you are happy about the end of the cameras- in my one ticket, I would have preferred the camera- because I would have had proof that I did the crime.

Hopefully, Dayton police will learn to write tickets again, because, well- that’s their job. Don’t be surprised if you get one and costs you more, because real police work costs more than a robot cop camera. If Redflex goes out of business, I won’t be crying. They made ungodly money out of their monopoly deal on cameras. The question is, how long the city leaders will leave the cameras and signs up- even if the cameras are now impotent.

Sometimes just the idea that we’re being watched, makes us behave differently.

We can box up our snow.

We can’t plow snow because we don’t have enough salt. That was good enough for the city commission- and Public Works director Fred Stovall. Salt prices went up, he only has 60 drivers, overtime, etc.

So, schools close, kids don’t get their free meals, their parents have to make alternate plans for child care- affecting tens of thousands of people, because we can’t figure out that a city’s first responsibility is making sure roads are clear- for us- and for emergency vehicles as well.

But, we have plenty of money for…. wait…. a packaging company. Of course, we run it through the loosely controlled slush fund- CityWide Development, where tax dollars go and go and go:

A Dayton packaging company will get $110,000 in incentives to grow in Dayton.

The city is expected to vote Wednesday night to facilitate a $100,000 low-interest loan and a $10,000 grant for Miami Valley Packaging Solutions Inc. to help expand its presence in Dayton. The company is investing $2.1 million to purchase and renovate the building at 150 Janney Road.

The city is providing CityWide Development Corp. $105,000 for the loan, with the extra $5,000 going to CityWide to help administer it. The city is separately giving a $10,000 grant to the company.

With the funding, the Dayton-based packing company will have the financing in place for its planned move and growth in the city.

Miami Valley Packaging Solutions said last fall the new 100,000 square-foot space will be a major upgrade from its current 66,000 square-foot headquarters at 1752 Stanley Ave.

With equipment purchases, the move is expected to cost $3 million. Partners Kenny Phegley, Jamie Williams and Don Chmiel say they want to significantly expand business.

City documents indicate Miami Valley Packaging Solutions will retain 21 jobs and create nine new ones over the next five years. The company bought B&L Packaging in 2009 and specializes in corrugated packaging, with a line of plastic packaging growing quickly.

via Dayton to offer $110,000 in incentives to Miami Valley Packaging Solutions – Dayton Business Journal.

Of course if you own another packaging company in town- this means you are now at a disadvantage- and you still can’t get your employees to work.
But- that’s “Economic Development” Dayton style- where we pick and choose the winners and losers in your tax dollar lottery.

And it there is too much snow, we can buy boxes from Miami Valley Packaging Solutions and package it up- and send it somewhere else.

Republican leader blows creative naming opportunities for $100, Alex

Remember the “Contract with America” where Newt Gingrich tied a ribbon on policy that was bad and made it look good? Or how the “Inheritance tax” which relatively few people were subject to- became the evil sounding “death tax”?

Well, the chance to do something right- got a bad name in a big way from the Republican Senate leader in Ohio:

Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, called for establishing a “drug prison” where inmates with drug-abuse issues would receive treatment services.

“I anticipate that there would be an increase in the cost up front but I think in the long run we’re going to save money,” Faber said.

via Charter schools in spotlight.

Why a “drug prison” Keith? Why not a rehabilitation center for drug abusers who’ve turned to crime to support their habits?

Many times people begin their path to drug abuse purely by accident- an injury at work, and next thing you know they are addicted to a painkiller.  Drug abuse is a mental health issue first and foremost. The crimes committed by drug abusers are often nothing other than survival skills to feed their habits. Our prisons are overflowing with people who are more dangerous to themselves than others- glad you just figured it out.

Now, figure out a better name as well as a better solution to deal with this sad epidemic. Prisons aren’t working, nor is our “criminal justice” system built to deal with people just looking for a quick fix to an addiction.

A new tool for successful “Community Based Policing”

South Park has been lucky. For at least the last 20 years, we’ve had a “Community Based Police Officer” or two- paid for by the good folks at Premier Health Partners/Miami Valley Hospital.

Since we’re a Historic District, and they can’t just bulldoze South Park- they figured they better make sure it’s safe, so their employees and patients aren’t scared away- or car jacked on the way to the hospital. At first, we even had a social worker working with the CBP’s as we like to refer to them- to work out issues where the police may not be the best solution. It was an attempt to do creative problem solving. It wasn’t the right answer.

Since the effort began, things have changed thanks to the Internet, Facebook and a strong neighborhood organization. A private group started on FB to discuss and report crime within the ‘hood. Now when your car got broken into- you’d know instantly if you were a single target- or if they had walked a few streets on the way to your car. People would then review their security cams. One of our neighbors who was adamantly against video surveillance- ended up finding out who totaled her boyfriend’s car thanks to a neighbor who caught it on video. We could share mugshots of the people who were police suspects- we now know who to be wary of, and what they are wanted for. But, even with increased information, we were still not getting the results we wanted.

There was one petty thief who kept returning to the neighborhood to live with his mom between stints in prison, and like clockwork, we knew when he was out as garage burglaries picked up. He solved our problem by finally OD’ing on heroin. One problem solved. Unfortunately now, he might be saved by a police officer with Narcan. I’m not so sure I’m a fan of Narcan unless the very next step is always a year-long treatment/rehabilitation program that’s inpatient and that works. Otherwise, we’re just recycling our problems.

This last crime spree was getting increasingly annoying. You’ve seen the post about our neighborhood cancer home, and there have been a few other stories in the news. Enter the most successful crime-fighting tool we’ve found: a former Dayton cop who knows the system inside and out.

He has served as an advocate for the community, collecting all the information about the crimes, the perps, their records, their probation status- and working with the police and the prosecutors to make the case as strong as possible. You know those cork boards of criminal families you see in cop shows- he’s building them and getting input from residents on who is related to who, and who their friends or “running buddies” are. This all takes time.

He’s given the neighborhood the information to write letters to judges just before the case comes to trial. He’s worked with police and the probation department to do spot bed checks on juveniles with court-imposed curfews. With prosecutors, police and probation officials all overworked, he’s served as their criminal concierge, serving up the bad guys for maximum effect when they get to court. The focus on outcomes being reported back in a timely fashion, makes it clear to all that this is now a neighborhood that won’t accept plea bargains, light sentences or too many chances for the low-lifers who are making our neighborhood suffer.

So far, we’ve got about 8 bad actors getting hit hard with the full book. We’re still looking at going into mediation with one crime house to see what it will take to just get them to leave the area. Others are being tossed by landlords who “didn’t know.” Never before have we had such a good flow of information about the courts, the police, the perps and the outcomes.

Here is the secret to successful community based policing in summary:

  • Have a well-defined neighborhood with good boundaries.
  • Have a strong neighborhood organization, with a great online communication structure.
  • Assign at least two police officers to the neighborhood, who come to meetings, share a private number and are highly visible and well known to the neighbors.
  • Provide information on criminal records, mug shots, good descriptions of the problem children to the community. Make it clear who the police think are suspects, and ask for help with license plates, hours of activity, what they are wearing etc.
  • Have a coordinator who knows the police, probation, judges, court system, prosecutors working to collect and organize everything from insurance claims, video surveillance footage, records, and serve as a communications hub between all parties.
  • Monitor judges’ and the prosecutors’ performance, always asking for maximum sentences, and minimal plea bargaining.

In the last month, we’ve seen probation revoked, landlords evicting, cases consolidated and coordinated and even new efforts with “surge patrolling” by the police department, “bait” programs to catch petty thieves stealing, and a heightened level of alert, resulting in more people calling to report even the smallest of criminal behavior, or when we hear gunshots. Things that used to be ignored, now go reported, and have led to arrests.

Ideally, it shouldn’t be this difficult to live in the City of Dayton. Oakwood residents never have to commit this amount of time and energy to providing for their public safety. It’s unfortunate that the focus of our leaders hasn’t been a clean, safe community for decades, but that’s the first level of building strong communities. The foundation. The one that can’t be ignored- ever.

In the next few weeks we’ll find out if more judges respond to these improved tactics and how it changes things in South Park. Will the criminal element that lives and steals here learn that crime won’t pay in South Park anymore? To be continued…

 

The secret committee that decides elections in Dayton

At the last election there was going to be an empty seat on the Dayton City Commission if Nan won or lost. The party screened candidates, and selected incumbent Joey Williams and former State School Board and Dayton Board of Education member Jeffery Mims.

A local minister, Darryl Fairchild had already printed up a 2-color letterhead, “Fairchild 2013.” (Note, when running for office, never put the date on stuff you could reuse). When the endorsements were announced, Darryl wheeled to the front of the room and fell on his sword, sweeping the door open for Mr. Mims, thinking he was next in line. When the city had to modify the dais in the commission chambers for Dean Lovelace in a wheelchair, I even heard- “well, we’re going to have to do it for when Darryl gets on the commission” from someone. (For the record, Lovelace should have vacated the seat for his extended absences, and there should have been a special election).

On Tuesday, six candidates screened for the two seats coming up for re-election. Matt Joseph, the three-term incumbent who has yet to distinguish himself with any real legislative issues, and five others including yours truly. As previously reported, David Greer who ran last time, Hazel Rountree who just took a seat a year ago on the DPS board, Fairchild, and newcomer Chris Shaw who is “a fourth-generation business owner and active in the local NAACP” according to party chair Mark Owens (who is the Dayton Clerk of Courts and is up for re-election).

Thursday came and the announcement was made in the party executive committee that the screening committee had selected Joseph and Shaw. A few people were wondering how Fairchild had been thrown under the bus. A screening committee member said “well that would be running two white guys” since Fairchild and Joseph are both white, Shaw is black. I protested that the party could endorse 4 Dems (and still not endorse me) since the way this works is that if more than 4 people run, there is a runoff (not a primary- since the race is non-partisan) to select 4, and only the top 2 vote-getters win in November. Since there are obviously going to be more than 4 people in this race, wouldn’t it be smarter to have 4 Dems in the final? And let the people decide? I was booed, hissed, told to shut up- and got nasty looks. One other person asked why not Darryl? Wasn’t he promised this chance when he stepped aside so graciously for the good of the party? The answer was no- he wasn’t promised anything.

This is the way the Democratic party works- 4 years ago Nan and Rhine McLin were inseparable, with some even speculating that there was a sexual relationship between them. After Rhine lost to Gary Leitzell in the upset of the century- Rhine became a pariah. The people in power in the Dem party would eat their babies in order to protect their fiefdoms.

There were other endorsements as well. Judge Pickerel has “aged out” of being able to run, and his open seat was screened as well. Three candidates including the just deposed Frances McGee Cromartie who was their endorsed candidate in November to return to Common Pleas. She was passed over, despite being a McGee. Some loyalists challenged that decision- only to be told that the person they were endorsing had 20+ years experience in the municipal court and Frances didn’t. Never mind that Common Please handles much tougher cases than Muni. Nope, lose an election, and unless you raise a lot of money like Sharen Neuhardt, we put you out to pasture.

So the question is, who are these people on the “Screening committee” who try to take the democracy out of the ballot box and keep it behind closed doors in Dem Party HQ? As an elected member of the central committee and elected to the executive committee (thank you A.J. Wagner and Joe Lacey) I didn’t remember electing, selecting, discussing who was on this committee. I asked for the list- and was given it- surprisingly. The members are selected by the party chairman, Mark Owens. Mostly made up of elected officials, former elected officials, patronage job holders who are jockeying to be the anointed one when their benefactor decides to step down, and labor leaders. Here’s the list. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to fill in all the job positions, but I will gladly take your input to fill in the few blanks.

First nameLast namePosition
DebraArmaniniMat Heck's number 2
WillisBlackshearCounty Recorder
SamBraunMr. Whaley- works for Karl Keith
GregoryBrushCounty Clerk of Courts
CenaBuchannon
RickCarneFormer Tony Hall Chief of Staff- now a lobbyist
DanaClark
DaveFeckeVice Chair UAW
GregFlannaganPublic information officer for Mat Heck
DanFoleyCounty Commissioner
TimGormanHusband of Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Barbara Gorman
StevenHarsmanDeputy Chief of the Board of Elections
MatHeckCounty Prosecutor
DaleHerzogDayton Building and Construction
Trades Council
RobertJones
RussellJosephMark Owen's heir apparent
MattJosephCity Commissioner, brother of Russ
KarlKeithCounty Auditor
CarlKennebrewPresident IUE-CWA Local 755
BeverlyKingBoard of Elections worker who hires her rapist brother
MarciaKnoxRegional Director AFSCME Region 8
Dennis A.LiebermanFormer Party Chair, Clayton Trustee, husband of County Commissioner Debbie
NancyMarinoTrotwood Dem Club
JimMcCarthyHead of Miami Valley Fair Housing
JeffreyMimsCity Commissioner
CharlesMortonDayton-Miami Valley AFL-CIO Regional Labor Council
GenevieveMurphyState Young Dem President, Nan's shadow
JohnMurphyGen Murphy's Dad- BOE worker
LeonardOramHead Probation Officer for Vandalia municipal Court run by Mat Heck's wife, Cynthia
MarkOwensParty Chair, Dayton Clerk of Courts
VarneyRichmondFORMER President of Teamsters Local 957 as of Jan 10, 2015
TomRitchie, Sr.AFSCME, formerly on BOE
PaulRobinson, Jr.Chief Deputy Treasurer

DavidSaphire
BriceSimsJefferson TWP Trustee
TroySinger
CathyStartzmanLegislative Aide County Commission
FredStrahornState Rep
JohnTheoboldLegislative Aide County Commission
MeghanThomasWorks for Mark Owens in Clerk of Courts
NolanThomasAssistant. Prosecuting Attorney
LynnThomasson, Sr.County Clerk of Courts
WillieThorpeAsst to the President IUE-CWA
DawnWojcikParty exec.

These are the people who “endorse” after a ten-minute presentation. The questions, which I’ve published before are minimal (2012 answers)- but always include the “In your race, if the Democratic Party endorses someone other than you, will you run against the endorsed candidate? If yes, why?”

The question is, are you, one of the few remaining dedicated voters in Montgomery County willing to keep allowing this system to exist- to limit choice on the ballot?

Will you vote the “stupid voter slate card” blindly?

This is why judges are rarely opposed. This is why many people never run. This is how the Monarchy of Montgomery keeps the gravy train going and the friends and family fat and happy.

You shouldn’t be happy about this. I’m sure not.

Expect a free for all for Dayton City Commission this year

After getting coddled through his term, Dean Lovelace will finish his two plus decades of doing next to nothing on the Dayton City Commission. A purported idealist, with a good heart and some good ideas that were way beyond his pay grade, Lovelace didn’t do much to change Dayton – but did build his retirement fund.

Misguided efforts included the predatory lending issue (bought out by the banks at the state level) and the living wage bill (only applied to city employees and contracts- so minimal). For 22 years on the Commission, that’s not a lot to hang your hat on.

The City Charter clearly says that if you miss more than 5 meetings in a row- it’s time to go. His time to go was after his first stroke. He’s contributed next to nothing since- at times, saying things that would make you wonder if he was all there.

The Dem’s have their golden boy already picked. He’s been sending letters to members of the central committee asking for support and his endorsement- on letterhead he had printed for the last commission election- the one where he withdrew so last golden boy, Jeff Mims could take his anointed seat. If anyone can point out what legislation Mims has introduced, or positions he’s taken other than saying “yes, mam” to the Queen of our city, her royal highness, her nannyness, Mayor Whaley, please feel free to share.

Expect to hear lots about what Matt Joseph has introduced in the coming months- all of it, fed to him by others including the future Clerk of Courts- his brother, the political braintrust of the Democratic party, Russ Joseph who works for Mark Owens, our current Dayton clerk of courts.

The already picked but not voted on by the “selection committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party” that doesn’t believe in the democratic process of primaries- is the Rev. Darryl Fairchild. Part of the reason the commission had no problem spending money making the dais wheelchair accessible for Dean after his stroke- was because Darryl would need it.

Tommy Owens for Dayton City Commission

From Facebook

Other candidates in the mix, are social media man of the hour on the West Side, Tommy Owens, who is surveying his friends on FB. David K. Greer who ran last time, and a host of others. The Montgomery County Board of Elections has the following list of candidates-

Matt Joseph, sitting commissioner.

UPDATE

Marcus Rech-  contacted me and will not be filing for personal reasons

Hazel Rountree who is on the School Board. Recently elected, she’d have to resign from the school board to be on city commission as far as I know. She’s a PhD who works at Wright State.

Chris Shaw- no idea.

Scott Sliver whom I’ve known for 25 years plus. He’s a touchy-feely progressive minister at the Vineyard church who loves to feed poor people. He gave up his career in advertising to serve the lord- and just recently moved from a big house in Beavercreek to downtown. This sets up a battle of the men of the cloth.

The signatures aren’t due until 60 days before the election which is May 5th 2015, making the turn in around Mar. 5th.

The un-Democratic party is going to have its endorsement meeting next week. The question is, who was invited? I’m on the Executive Committee of the party- and I wasn’t aware of invites.

I’m debating running right now. Getting signatures isn’t a lot of fun- which is why Greer has been getting them since the fall. I’ve just been given a few more years with my father- thanks to the VA doing an amazing surgery, and he’d prefer it if I didn’t run. I’ve got enough to do, making sure our kids have basketball nets- a job, at least some people appreciate, and I have a business to run and a wonderful girlfriend to spend my evenings with.

If I saw $2,500 come into my campaign fund- in the next 30 days, it would sway me to run, but if it doesn’t make it to that- at least I’ll have plenty of money for nets, rims, paint, and some t-shirts and balls to give the kids. Donation is on the right of this page.

Gary Leitzell has told me he won’t run for city commission, mostly because working with Nan is next to impossible. Finding someone to question her, and others on our commission in their continued march to mediocrity should be on the minds of all Dayton voters. How many dollars can we spend on failed or misguided “economic development” while ignoring basic services. I can literally ice skate on Bonner Street right now.

The online disappearance of Dayton Municipal Court

Go ahead- check it.

http://www.daytonmunicipalcourt.com/

Gone.

Dayton Municipal Court site screen shot

Ah, so much useful info on a holding page

A holding page at Network Solutions.

A WHOIS lookup:

Domain Name: DAYTONMUNICIPALCOURT.COM
Registry Domain ID:
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Registrar URL: http://networksolutions.com
Updated Date: 2010-10-29T18:44:14Z
Creation Date: 2001-10-29T18:50:49Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2020-10-29T04:00:00Z
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Registrar IANA ID: 2
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: [email protected]
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.8003337680
Reseller:
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: 12808 Gran Bay Parkway West
Registrant City: Jacksonville
Registrant State/Province: FL
Registrant Postal Code: 32258
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.5707088780
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: [email protected]
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC
Admin Organization:
Admin Street: 12808 Gran Bay Parkway West
Admin City: Jacksonville
Admin State/Province: FL
Admin Postal Code: 32258
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: +1.5707088780
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax:
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: [email protected]
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC
Tech Organization:
Tech Street: 12808 Gran Bay Parkway West
Tech City: Jacksonville
Tech State/Province: FL
Tech Postal Code: 32258
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: +1.5707088780
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax:
Tech Fax Ext:
Tech Email: [email protected]
Name Server: NS1.IMAGINATIONWAY.COM
Name Server: NS2.IMAGINATIONWAY.COM
DNSSEC: not signed
URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/
>>> Last update of whois database: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 20:28:08 GMT <<<

Not quite sure why a public site would hide the registration info- but there is the possibility that someone didn’t renew the URL and a squatter bought it and is holding it for ransom- or, the new city website developer is moving domains to the more proper .gov domain- and just didn’t bother to build a site worth indexing.

For now- forget contacting them, or learning anything about them. Don’t worry- you can still find the dockets etc. at http://wejis.com/PA/HomePage.cfm

because, of course, everyone knows that wejis stands for Dayton something…?

Of course, this operation is run by the Dayton Clerk of Courts- Mark Owens. The Democratic Party Chairman. Maybe he’d care to explain why the site is down.

UPDATE

Apparently, they moved the site to https and didn’t tell Google- or configure it properly or both. https://daytonmunicipalcourt.org/

 

 

Warren Price named new Dayton city manager

If Warren Price was so informed through interviews, undoubtedly, he read some of Esrati.com

It’s probably impossible to read all of it at this point- 2,323 Posts, 20,354 Comments. It’s been informing Dayton since 2005, which makes this the granddaddy of all Dayton political blogs and alternative news sources. I look at this as your site- even though it has my name on it- since you’ve written 10 times the number of posts that I have.

If you are searching for information on why Dayton- the city and the region is the way it is- or how it got that way, there is no other accessible, searchable source that covers so much. UrbanOhio.com has some forums that are pretty interesting- but, it’s statewide with a focus toward Cleveland. Trying to find anything via the Dayton Daily News search tools is a lesson in frustration- and if you are looking for conversation via comments, you can forget it (apparently right now their commenting system is busted- not removed permanently).

Here’s the “relevant” info on Price from today’s DDn story- it’s pretty apparent they haven’t had time to do any real digging on him or get an extended interview:

Dayton City Commission selected Warren Price as the next city manager, making him the first person since 1996 to be hired for the top job without having previously worked for the city.

Price, 42, serves as the general counsel to the Stark County Sheriff, as well as the human resources director for a staff of 220 full-time public safety employees….

City leaders said Price has considerable and relevant experience in public service and has demonstrated that he strongly shares their top priorities, including improving customer service at all levels of government.

They said Price has an impressive knowledge of the city and region, and it is clear he knows how to supervise employees and collaborate with multiple stakeholders….

Price is the first hire for the position with no prior experience working for the city since Valerie Lemme 18 years ago. Lemme at the time was the city manager in Petersburg, Va….

Price beat two internal candidates for the job, including Dayton Assistant City Manager Shelley Dickstein and Aviation Director Terrence Slaybaugh. He was one of six people who were interviewed in person by city commissioners…

He said growing the city will be his focus, which is possible through providing exemplary services and keeping the community safe, clean and well maintained….

Price has 12 years of local government management experience.

He worked for the city of Canton from 2009 to 2013. Before that, Price was the legal counsel for Springfield Twp. in Summit County, which has about 15,000 residents. For three years in the mid-2000s, he served on the Alliance City Council.

He also worked for two law firms and was a zoning administrator in Lake Twp. and a zoning inspector and code enforcement official in Alliance. He served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from the University of Akron School of Law.

Price will be paid $160,000 annually, and he will receive standard executive benefits, such as paid holidays, annual leave, health insurance and dental insurance. He expects to start on Jan. 12….

via Dayton names new city manager | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

The first indication of what kind of City Manager we’ll have will be where he chooses to live. Former City Manager Riordan skirted this issue by renting an apartment during his tenure. Of course, the fact that we passed him over in the past and he moved to Cincy following Valerie Lemmie is all water under the bridge at this point from our financial savior. Of course, I’m thinking he’ll end up in South Park- since he has kids who will probably attend Holy Angels and CJ. I can think of a few houses that are for sale right now that would be good choices and one that’s not on the market.

If you do a quick search on Warren Price, you’ll surely stumble on the Stark County Political Report- a blog that’s somewhat similar to esrati.com. A quick read of it says we’re in all new territory when it comes to Price as City Manager- which is awesome, until he actually tries to be a city manager and runs into Her Highness’ power trip.

Price isn’t afraid of speaking in public- even to a blogger. He’s a bit of a showman- drinking nasty looking brown tap water on camera (and joking that the sample came out of the toilet) to prove it may look bad- but is safe to drink (hopefully, he’ll never have to do that here).

From what I see, Price, a lawyer and a Navy veteran, seems to be cut from a totally different fabric than anyone we’ve had around since Bill Estabrook or Rick Helwig (Estabrook was fired within a year, because he did shake things up in City Hall and was viewed as then Mayor Mike Turner’s boy).

He has also run for office- which is something that we’ve never had in the modern era- a politically out City Manager. With the possibility of Turner’s seat being open in two years, could we see Whaley vs her new hire? That thought is mind-boggling, and probably not something she thought of when bringing a guy who actually can talk on camera to town. He was introduced to local politics in high school working as a radio reporter, his views on politics are almost comical- especially coming to Dayton: “Politics are an unfortunate means to an end in most cases.”

I’m not seeing him on Social Media- he has a namesake who is a game designer at UbiSoft who drowns out cursory searches- but all indications show he isn’t afraid of engaging social media, which may actually allow for me to do a first- an open interview with someone in appointed office who is willing to go on the record as having talked directly with me (you should be laughing now, if not rolling on the floor). The only one in the past, was former Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell, although there are many who have no problems talking to me.

The big question is who will he be allowed to push out and what kind of talent will he hire? In the past, City Managers have pretty much been limited in their ability to fire anyone- hence Shelly Dickstein and Stan Early still perennial runners up. And there is the question of if Terry Slaybaugh will stick around, now that he’s been passed over. His loss to the airport would be big.

If you are wondering how Price managed his way past Whaley’s power monger filter- it’s probably that while in the Navy he studied full time at UD’s sister school- Chaminade University in Honolulu. We know that the Marianist roots run deep in her blood.

Looking over everything that I found, I see this as a radical step in the right direction for Dayton. Unlike Lemmie, Price looks to be a much more affable guy- something desperately needed after the dour/sour Riordan who was white-knuckling his way through the financial minefield caused by years of failed leadership. With an outsider, he’s free to blame all the previous woes on past parties and start with a new approach to our primary problem- which was at the end of the DDn article and right on the money:

“Like customers, if (residents) are not happy and not satisfied with the product the city puts out, they’ll leave, and I don’t want them to leave, I want them to stay here,” he said.

Warren Price, I’m looking forward to helping you. You’ve got your work cut out.

 

Dealing with a neighborhood cancer

Note, this is a long read. This is about a lot more than a demolition derby and a crime clan. Please take the time to read.

Friday, Dec 12, 2014. I had just settled into bed after playing hockey. Our game started at 10 p.m.- and we left the ice at 11:30. By the time I’m home, gear put up- showered it’s 12:15. I had watched about 15 minutes of TV when I started hearing an engine revving, and things going boom- soon followed by a car alarm going off.

Out the window I see little Brandon Crouch’s “new” Chevy pickup- sitting in my neighbor Marilyn’s front yard- facing my house. Her friend Doyle’s Hyundai Elantra is already sounding its alarm and flashing lights. I try to call 911 from the house phone- and must have misdialed, it wouldn’t connect- I run out the front door in my shorts (it’s 20 degrees out) and take a photo of Brandon’s truck now in the middle of the street- sideways- facing my house and me. He’s crashed Doyle’s car and is in the process of backing up and ramming one of my neighbor John’s VWs.

Branden Crouch driver of the one-man demolition derby

You don’t drive sideways on a side street (sorry about the sideways pic- no time to trouble shoot)

He then goes forward- ramming Marilyn’s Chevy Blazer that’s in front of my house. I go to open the passenger door, slug the little shit in the face- and pull the keys out of the car. Doyle, in his bathrobe- pulls him out of the truck- and he proceeds to run away from his house toward my office- I give chase and tackle him and hold him down on the pavement where he keeps fighting me- as I try not to kill him.

Brandon Crouch's truck after he hit 4 cars and 2 wrought iron fences

The final resting place of Brandon Crouch’s truck

Doyle and Marilyn gather around- and after holding him squirming on the ground for a couple of minutes he starts to calm down- and is talking about how he got hit in the face with a baseball bat. I’m covered in his blood and freezing my butt off- and am sick of doing a cop’s job. He won’t stay on the ground- but stands up and stays put for a minute or two- before he takes off again. I know who he is- and don’t feel like chasing him again. I call 911 from my cell- Doyle is calling from his house phone- I have to assume others have called- but who knows. People have come from blocks away to survey the carnage.

He had jumped the curb in front of John’s house- hitting the front of one of John’s 4 VWs- doing major damage to the car- then destroying all of John’s incredible wrought iron fence- as well as Marilyn’s fence. He had then rammed Doyle’s Elantra- to get back onto the street. This was the point where I had come out and the story started.

Fences at 108 and 114 Bonner after Brandon Crouch destroyed them

2 people lost their wrought iron fence because of Brandon’s criminal acts

When the cops and the medic showed up- Brandon was gone. The cops asked me why I hadn’t kept him there, as if it’s my job to wrestle with an 18-year-old for 10 minutes while they take their sweet time showing up.
The next morning- when I saw him pull up to the house and go in- I called it in, but he left again before the cops could get here.

I had a busy day- operating on about 4 hours sleep. And in the afternoon I called the Chief of Police and asked for a call back. To date, he’s not called. At around 6- a cop car was sitting on the street- they had just come out of the Crouch house. I asked if they’d arrested him- and got attitude from the cop- after he said he’d talked to Brandon, and it was up to the detectives. He wasn’t going to arrest him, just a traffic ticket. I wanted him arrested and screened for HIV and Hepatitis, the cop said he wouldn’t do that.

Yes, you and I get a traffic ticket for hitting another car- then we stop. We don’t plow through neighbors’ yards- then try to ram our way back to the street. I call and ask to talk to a supervisor- who basically says the same thing- it’s a traffic ticket, that’s all.

Unbelievably, he had insurance, but, that’s not going to replace John’s fence with anything like what was there before. It’s also not going to pay for misery this punk has brought to our block.

I wrote most of this Saturday night and started preparing the rap sheet of the Crouch family from the county’s websites, real estate taxes, purchase dates, criminal records. Doyle and Brandon’s uncle- who has lived on the block for 20 years and is the one Crouch who isn’t a criminal – told a story that goes something like this-

Brandon had bought an expensive video game (system?) for his little brother Cory- and his older brother, Tony Jr., had stolen it and sold it for $50 so he could buy heroin. Tony Jr. has a long list of turns in prison for a year or less for theft, burglary and receiving stolen goods. Brandon took Tony Jr. over to the guys who bought the game- and Brandon wanted to buy it back for $50- they proceeded to beat Brandon with a ball bat (Brandon stands 5’5″ and weighs in at 128; Tony Jr. is much bigger). Then supposedly they jump in the truck to return- “being chased”- and as they turn onto our block,  Tony Jr. hits Brandon again in the face- causing him to careen onto the sidewalk after clipping the VW-  Tony bails out (no video confirmation of this- his Uncle has all of this on his security system DVR- including our tussle in the street).

Sunday morning I wake up to see a long thread about an arrest of a Crouch. Yep, DPD has Brandon (misspelled “Branden” on the Sheriff’s site)  in lock up after there was a dust-up at 629 Oak St.- or nearby. 629 is owned by Christianna Crouch (unbelievably no relation) – and she owes $3,013.07 in back taxes. Oddly- this house has no record of purchase date. She lives on Beatrice.

Mugshot of Brandon Crouch

Brandon Crouch, just turned 18 and starts his life of crime

Branden Crouch 11/6/1996 is being charged with:

  • CARRYING CONCEALED W
  • USING WEAPONS WHILE
  • SALE LIQUOR UNDERAGE

Only the liquor charge has a bail at this point of $1,000, the other two are not entered.

There were some posts about gunfire in this area last night as well- but at this point I can’t connect the dots.

Brandon Crouch and his family of criminals entered our lovely neighborhood 18 Aug. of 2008. I had just moved my elderly parents down from Cleveland in June of that year almost directly across the street from their house, 121 Bonner St. The house had been owned by the Bowling family for years- their daughter had married the Crouch kids’ good uncle and lived at 105 Bonner peaceably for years. The Crouch home, 121 Bonner,  went into foreclosure and was bought by a Florida investor- who was paying me to maintain the yard that summer. I’d asked him about purchase price and he was evasive.

Turns out he sold it for $14K to Anna Lockhart- the baby momma of Tony Crouch Sr. and parents to a gaggle of kids- including Cory, Dillon, Brandon, Dustin, Tony Jr. and 2 daughters, Casey and Candace- who left the house early- getting hooked up and pregnant.

Anna currently owes $1,864.82 in back taxes on the house.

They were able to buy the house because someone won a judgment in a worker’s comp case. Anna already had a judgment out against her for $85K after her youngest- Cory, burned down 27 McGee Street back in 2004. She was arrested in 2012 for possession of cocaine- but the case was dismissed.

Tony Sr. did an 8-month turn for domestic violence back in 1999. But, generally, other than being drunk and obnoxious, he manages to stay out of trouble and works as a mover when he can.

Can’t say that for the boys.

Tony Crouch Jr. born 24-MAY-87

  • BREAKING AND ENTERING (unoccupied structure) 7 Months 17-MAY-06
  • ATTEMPTED GRAND THEFT (MOTOR VEHICLE) 7 months each count- 2 counts 17-MAY-06
  • BURGLARY 7 Months 17-MAY-06
  • BURGLARY (habitation/person present or likely) dismissed 19-NOV-09
  • THEFT (2913.71 PROPERTY) 12 Months 24-FEB-10
  • THEFT (2913.71 PROPERTY) THEFT (2913.71 PROPERTY)
  • RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY ($1000 but less than $7500) 7 Months + 12 Months 02-JAN-13
Mugshot Dustin Crouch

Dustin Crouch, mugshot 20 Jan 2015

Dustin Crouch born 12/18/88

  • RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY (MV) + ATTEMPTED GRAND THEFT (MOTOR VEHICLE) 9 months 25 Aug 08
  • THEFT ($500)(WITHOUT CONSENT) AGGRAVATED ROBBERY (deadly weapon) + ROBBERY (use of force) 10 Months 14 Feb 11
  • GRAND THEFT (MOTOR VEHICLE) 7 Months 20 Sept 07
  • BURGLARY (occupied structure/person present) + AGGRAVATED ARSON (harm to person) NO BILL 13 Jun 08
  • Parole Violation (PV-Robbery) and Petty Theft booking 20 Jan 2015.

And now add Brandon. Note, he’s only been eligible to be in the big boys’ jail booking for a month and a half.

There are still 2 more in the pipeline to enter the system- Dillon and Cory.

Since they’ve moved in, we’ve experienced a crime wave. The police have responded to that house at least 20 calls a year every year (I’ll be collecting the exact reports this week). We’ve had drug overdoses, fights, truancy, searches for Tony Jr. or Dustin the works.

UPDATE

16 DEC 14 The Crime Stats

I’ve received the crime stats- in the three years previous to the Crouch’s moving in, one police call;

DateIncident AddressPriorityInc_Dsptch_Code_DescInc Dispo
6/3/2008121 BONNER ST4BURG2

Note- this was when the house was empty- and someone broke in and stole the copper etc. Might have even been the future homeowners for all we know, since the DPD has a lousy record of catching and prosecuting scrappers.

In the three years after they moved in 49 and counting-

DateIncident_AddressPriorityInc_Dsptch_Code_DescInc_Dispo
14-Sep-08121 BONNER ST2911U1
14-Sep-08121 BONNER ST4FT1
15-Sep-08121 BONNER ST9THEFT1
15-Sep-08121 BONNER ST6THEFT1
14-Sep-08121 BONNER ST6THEFT1
21-Sep-08121 BONNER ST6THEFT1
07-Nov-08121 BONNER ST4FT1
07-Nov-08121 BONNER ST8MISC1
07-Nov-08121 BONNER ST4FOUNDJUV2
08-Nov-08121 BONNER ST4FOUNDJUV1
23-Oct-08121 BONNER ST4WANTED2
08-Oct-08121 BONNER ST2DOMVIO2
26-Jan-09121 BONNER ST2DOMVIO1
01-Mar-09121 BONNER ST1DIST2
06-Jun-09121 BONNER ST2DOMVIO1
17-Jun-09121 BONNER ST1OD1
09-Aug-09121 BONNER ST1OD2
16-Sep-09121 BONNER ST3DIST3
20-Aug-09121 BONNER ST4WANTED1
22-Oct-09121 BONNER ST2DOMVIO1
14-Oct-09121 BONNER ST4ASSIST1
14-Jan-10121 BONNER ST7TRANS1
12-Mar-10121 BONNER ST1OD1
16-Jan-10121 BONNER ST4MISSJUV2
11-Jan-10121 BONNER ST4MISSJUV2
12-Jan-10121 BONNER ST4FOUNDJUV2
18-Jan-10121 BONNER ST4MISCINV1
11-Mar-10121 BONNER ST4MALARM2
03-Jun-10121 BONNER ST4FT1
18-Apr-10121 BONNER ST4WANTED1
09-Apr-10121 BONNER ST4WANTED2
11-May-10121 BONNER ST4FT2
24-Jun-10121 BONNER ST4ASSAULT2
10-Apr-10121 BONNER ST4FT1
12-May-10121 BONNER ST2DOMVIO1
12-May-10121 BONNER ST4DWI3
17-May-10121 BONNER ST4DRUGS2
19-May-10121 BONNER ST4MISCINV1
03-Jul-10121 BONNER ST4WANTED2
24-Jul-10121 BONNER ST3FIGHT1
05-Nov-10121 BONNER ST6DWOC2
20-Oct-10121 BONNER ST2911D1
11-Dec-10121 BONNER ST4BURGN
24-Dec-10121 BONNER ST1MEDICPF
30-Dec-10121 BONNER ST4WANTEDL
20-Feb-11121 BONNER ST3SCL
09-Mar-11121 BONNER ST2911N
24-Jun-11121 BONNER ST2911N
06-Jul-11121 BONNER ST8MISCF

UPDATE

End of crime stats update

I moved to 113 Bonner on Jan. 28, 1986- the day the first Space Shuttle blew up. In the 22 years before the Crouch Criminal Clan arrived, I’d had my garage broken into once- with very little stolen. A walk board stolen off scaffold at my office. My contractor’s tools stolen out of the cottages that were being rehabbed in 1998 and that was it. Since the Crouches, the house and my office have been broken into, the garage has been broken into twice, and cars on the street broken into repeatedly.

The reason I bought the cottages across the street was to provide a good place for my parents to live- and to get rid of crappy tenants who were also constant problems- but not thieves. From 1998 to 2008, this block was quiet and peaceful. After the arrival of the Couch clan- it’s been hell.

The house next door to them had been bought and rented to UD Law students for a number of years- they were getting broken into regularly. The next tenants, some hearty good people with kids- got sick of the BS after about a year and a half and left. The turning point? A major ruckus ensued when one of the Crouchs’ compatriots- who drives an older red Jeep Cherokee kept drag racing down the street. The tenants asked him to stop- and the Crouch Clan all piled out and threatened to fight the tenant. They left- despite their older kids just renting a house behind them.

The crazy thing was that even Tony Sr. agreed the next day that speed racer was being a jerk, the next day- but, in the mob the day before, was egging the fight on.

Other neighbors live in fear and don’t come out much. They’ve come to think this is the status quo- and that there is nothing they can do. The cops claim that unless prostitution or drugs are being dealt, they can’t nuisance the house. Housing inspection doesn’t cite them for broken windows. Amazingly, they take pretty good care of the front yard, but often do open burns in the backyard- mostly melting plastic off stolen air conditioners to separate the metal from the plastic.

I believe we can take the crime stats, the calls, and the latest fiasco, and file a civil suit against them as a neighborhood. This is the plan of action we will begin to proceed with, if they won’t accept an offer to buy the house on the condition they leave South Park.

The city would be in better shape purchasing and moving them out- considering the cost of the constant police calls and ambulance runs in and out of this house. For all the work the people of South Park have done to improve our properties and make our neighborhood so desirable that our property taxes have gone up, you’d think that they could find the money. They didn’t have any problem pouring millions into Wright Dunbar to achieve less.

The preamble of the Constitution clearly states that the reason we have our government is to:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,  promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It’s time to establish justice and insure domestic tranquility on Bonner Street. This is the first responsibility our city government has- not the tax-seeking behaviors they call “economic development” or “job creation.”

I sent an email to the Mayor, Commissioners Williams and Mims- and haven’t heard back. (note- Mims and Williams reached out on Sunday – still no call from the Chief or the Mayor)

The demolition derby was the last straw. It’s time for peace and safety to return to South Park and to Bonner Street.

To be continued…