Is Dayton broke? Or not?

The point of belt tightening seems to be lost on the former City Manager and the City Commission. When you are facing a $20 million hole, you don’t give pay raises- of any sort, pre-negotiated or not. It’s called living within your means- it’s called doing the right thing, it’s called avoiding layoffs later.

The unions are right, although, they should have considered eliminating raises as well, because, well, $20 million isn’t something you just find laying around.

The whole finger pointing, denial, and publicity just before the election is embarrassing.

Fasnacht produced a copy of a city personnel policy statement from July 2008 that said managers and executives are only eligible for merit increases.

“There are no designated steps in the salary ranges of executive, management and mid-management group employees,” according to the policy statement.

via Spokesman claims pay hikes are city policy.

And having a city spokesperson who can’t find the policy he’s citing?

Biedenharn said it is the city’s policy to give nonbargaining unit employees compensation similar to what union members receive. Of all 1,578 city employees represented by a bargaining unit, 446 got step increases totaling $762,958, city records show. All 379 managers got the “step equivalent” raises, including several on the job since the early 1980s.

Biedenharn said this policy was set by former City Manager Jim Dinneen around 2004, but he could not produce a public record to document the policy. .ibid

A professional organization doesn’t have these problems. It’s busy working on solving the problem, not arguing about the mistakes it’s made.

Looking over the list of people getting pay raises, I find it insulting that anyone getting paid over $100,000 is getting a raise right now, especially a blanket raise. And, if it’s true that former City Manager Rashad Young got a severance package or raise after announcing he’s leaving, all hope is lost.

And- does anyone else see some oddities in the list?

Wanda Smith, deputy director, police: $1,435.20 ($121,368)

Shelley Dickstein, assistant city manager: $1,414.40 ($121,014.40)

Richard S. Biehl, director of police: $1,393.60 ($117,873.60)

via Dayton officials defend nearly $300,000 in pay hikes for managers, executives.

The Chief makes less than the Deputy Director of Police (who is set to retire in the DROP program). The “Assistant city Manager in charge of “economic development” or “corporate welfare” as I prefer to call it, who spent over $2 million chasing the Kroger that never came got a raise?

And in tomorrows (Oct 28, 2009) Commission meeting, the city is still handing out your tax dollars to private enterprise under the heading of “Neighborhood grants:”

D.     Neighborhood Grants:

7.       Schwind Building Restoration Project, Inc. – Development Agreement – to enhance the built environment and facilitate redevelopment in connection with the Downtown Façade Improvement Program – Office of Economic Development.       $24,425.00

8.       Medwork, LLC – Development Agreement – for the relocation and expansion to the former Delphi office building located at 1435 Cincinnati Street – Office of Economic Development.       $100,000.00

10-28-09 Agenda.pdf (application/pdf Object).

Private companies are now “neighborhoods”- and you wonder what happened to money for neighborhood improvement? It’s time to stop handing your tax dollars to the “friends” of Rhine McLin and Commission. I applaud Bob Schiffler for his work on the Schwind building but giving the man $25K toward this project is just an extra free cherry on a chocolate sundae.

We’re facing serious financial problems in Dayton, yet, City Hall seems to be tackling yesterdays instead of working on tomorrows.

And as a last note to misguided priorities by the commission and the Montgomery County Democratic Party- the Dayton City Commission is endorsing the library levy at tomorrows session, but not Issue 4 for the Metroparks. If they believe in Regionalism, and in “Economic Development” – our Metroparks is one of our few outstanding selling features of our region. They should be supporting it. Correction 9:33 am they endorsed it back on Sept. 9th, 2009 http://www.cityofdayton.org/cco/Commission%20Agendas/2009/09-09-09%20Agenda.pdf


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12 Responses

  1. Victor Pate October 27, 2009 / 9:34 am

    David,
    You’ve got my vote. Wish i was able to donate, but I’m kinda hurting financially. I’ve been ordered back to work (June 20th), but received no back pay or restored leave time or any loss benefits. This is obiding by “…the law of the land”? I’ve been living out of a suitcase with the majority of my family’s belongings still in South Florida (that was the only place that I was able to get a simular job in Public Service Traffic Signals). I’m not trying to ‘hit the lottery’, I only want the loss wages and benefits that I would have earned had I not been fired. I’ll use those funds to restore some order to my family. However if the City wishes to continue to mitigate it’s losses on the back of the victims (like myself) of this fiasco, then I will seek to recover all damages that my family and I have suffered. The Mayor promised that they (The Commission) will  “look into it” last commission meeting. I’ve heard nothing since. The whole concept of fighting a State Law in the manner in which the City elected to travel was extremely wasteful. To continue to add more waste (Like continuing to keep the high priced Green & Green law firm under contract to continue this madness) is a slap in the face to taxpayers and employees. Well, any way David…..I’m Back :)

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  2. David Esrati October 27, 2009 / 9:41 am

    @Victor- Welcome back. If elected- I’ll move to stop the legal action- and offer to repay all lost wages and benefits. I’m sure they’ve already spent more on legal bills than it would have cost to pay you.

    Please stop by and pickup a sign- or a few and help me get the word out.

    Glad to have you back on the job- even if you aren’t living in Dayton proper, you’re an asset to our community. People who have the guts to stand up to City Hall are few and far between in this City and a big reason why we’re in the shape we’re in.

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  3. David Lauri October 27, 2009 / 11:37 am

    @Victor: sorry about your troubles.  You raise an interesting issue about the City’s continuing to waste money on your case when they could cut their losses.
     
    One point, though: if you’re not a city resident, while you’re entitled to your job back, one thing is clear — David does not have your vote.

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  4. Jeff October 27, 2009 / 3:25 pm

    Well David, I think you may get a lot more votes from people who have just had enough of this mismanagement.  I know the firehouses are buzzing, I would imagine the FOP is as well, hard to say anything about the DPSU because they are so deep in McClins pocket.  From what I have been hearing the guys view you as a pitpull, on one hand you may bite us, but we know that you will protect this house.  In the end, protecting the house is most important.  They feel as if you would not have voted to allow these (illegal) step raises for these employees.  That you would stand up to the machine, and that it would be such a change to see someone standing for something instead of falling for everything.  Even the city’s defense is embarassing, they cannot find the very document that gives them the right to award raises this way?   If I were a business owner thinking about coming to Dayton, that alone would chase me away.  City hall is a hot mess.  If you do happen to win this thing, then godspeed.
    I will gladly take a sign an give some to my brother firefighters

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  5. David Esrati October 27, 2009 / 3:48 pm

    @Jeff-

    Signs available at my office- 100 Bonner Street Dayton OH 45410 or Dolcessa on Brown Street.

    I’m in this for everyone- and being fair. We have a lot to fix- it will take all of us working together. In the end- police and fire will always come before “economic development”- because service is what makes this work.

    I’ll need a whole lot of people talking between now and Tuesday if I am to have any chance at winning- there is no money for ads- mailings etc.

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  6. Brad October 27, 2009 / 4:50 pm

    David,

    I am pleased to see you realizing the City’s misdeeds related to these phantom “step” raises.

    To put it mildly, it was quite a chore to sell a pay freeze and 4 holiday pay give-backs to our membership.

    But we stepped up.  For the betterment of the Citizens and for the preservation of our department.
    We will demand nothing less from executives, managers, and mid-managers.  PERIOD.

    News of this “pay raise” for management was an enormous slap in the face, and won’t ever be forgotten.
    Good luck on Nov. 3rd.  I might just swing down for a yard sign as well.

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  7. David Esrati October 27, 2009 / 4:56 pm

    19 “managers” making over $100K all got raises- while claiming poverty.

    Makes me ill.

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  8. Victor Pate October 27, 2009 / 5:26 pm

    Ouch!
    You are quite correct with regards to ‘My’ vote. However, my family & friends are numerous and very Daytonian. Also I’ve had some very promising ‘coffee break’ discussions with a number of co-workers who are finding themselves very aligned with David Esrati’s views. I’m handicapped on my ability to cast a vote for David Esrati, but my hands aren’t tied when it comes to influence.

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  9. Nathan Driver October 28, 2009 / 8:11 am

    This is getting out of hand – I heard this story in the news but to see the actual figures makes me sick to my stomach. When are people going to wise-up, seriously…smh

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  10. Shannon October 28, 2009 / 10:03 am

    You should check and see how many “Local 101 employees” got step increases, never the less, no raises mean no raises. 

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