It’s not an enforceable law until someone gets shot

Hookah Star Hookah Bar

Hookah Hell on Wayne Avenue

The Hookah Star Smoke Shop and Natural Juice Bar wasn’t a normal retail establishment. It wasn’t a bar either- it was a party palace, especially after 2am when normal bars closed.

It’s been a sore spot for the South Park neighborhood almost as soon as it opened. Loud music, trash, and the patrons running around the ‘hood at all hours on Friday and Saturday nights. The police had finally started showing up the last few weeks to shut it down and clear it out. They also were checking it out on curfew sweeps the last few weekends at 11- to catch kids under 18 out after 11.

On Aug 3rd after one of the police raids, the owner posted this on his FB feed:

Nimr Ibrahim shared his post. August 3 at 2:46pm · Nimr Ibrahim People think we shut down but we not we was over capacity we was jumping and they come and fuck the night up but its all good we still jumping ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Source: (1) Nimr Ibrahim

So he thinks he’s just in trouble for “over capacity” due to fire code. Apparently, the City doesn’t do a good job of explaining permitted uses to him. He was operating the wrong kind of business in the building at the wrong time.

After the shooting early Sunday morning as the police came for a 3am roust, the city finally takes zoning seriously:

The city’s zoning department, on Monday, told the Hookah Star & Smoking Shop, 1243 Wayne Ave. to cease occupancy immediately because the zoning district does not allow nightclubs.

“To me, it’s crazy. They consider a hookah bar a night club – it’s not a nightclub,” said owner Namr Ibrahim. He cited the absence of alcohol, a dance floor and strippers at the Hookah Star to support his claim.

Neighborhood groups said the smoke shop has allowed large crowds to gather at all hours of the night and early morning.The business has been a magnet for noise and troublemakers who often visit the shop after the bars close at 2 a.m., according to neighbors.

Source: Dayton moves to close hookah bar after shooting |

Hmm, not a night club- but “we was jumping.”

No other competent city would have let this go on for so long. Here is a legitimate public nuisance, ruining the quality of life for a neighborhood that has done everything within its power to pick itself up- so successfully in fact, that the property tax values were raised, when everyone elses went down.

If the city spent more time doing the things they were supposed to be doing, instead of buying vacant buildings downtown with no stated public use, for $150K over appraised value, maybe no one would have gotten shot.

Then again, maybe that’s what it takes to get laws enforced in Dayton.

Hookah bar hell

Hookah Star Hookah Bar

Hookah Hell on Wayne Avenue

When I went in to contest my property taxes on Monday, Aug 3rd, I pointed out that since 2009, my street has been disrupted by frequent police calls to 121 Bonner Street. They average about one safety force call every other week. Yet, my property values have almost doubled in 15 years- despite me making zero improvements to my house- other than to add security systems after frequent break-ins.

The people on the “Board of Revision” tried to tell me this had nothing to do with my property values. I asked them if they were crazy and continued. I pointed out that I’d been told by prospective tenants that they wouldn’t live that close to the neighborhood cancer.

They asked when I showed them actual sale prices of houses much larger than my cottages for much less, if I’d sell my cottages for what I said they were worth- and I said no, but, I’d have a hard time having an open house, because the potential buyers would be treated to what I have to deal with on a daily basis- open pit burning of things that don’t smell like wood, loud music, arguments, people, truck exhausts as they rev the engine, shirtless males, with foul mouths, the list goes on. I will say that they do take very good care of their grass, and the house doesn’t have garbage all around like the two shitholes catty corner at Bonner and Johnson, where we’ve known drugs were being sold. One of them recently had a chimney topple and fall through a first floor roof right into the kitchen. A quick roof patch job was the solution- after the hole was open for a few weeks!

The house next door couldn’t keep good tenants in it, and has been on the market for coming on 7 or 8 months. It’s been broken into many times, the air conditioner stolen, even with security systems.

And now we come to today’s news:

Dayton police are investigating after a man was shot outside a hookah bar on Wayne Avenue Sunday morning.

Officers were first dispatched to disperse a large crowd at the Hookah Star and Smoke Shop at 1243 Wayne Avenue around 3 a.m. Sunday.

Dayton police Sgt. Roberta Bailey said that while officers attempted to clear the crowd both inside and outside the bar, around five shots were heard by officers from behind the establishment. A signal ‘99’ for officer assistance was requested when the shots were heard, prompting a response from several surrounding jurisdictions in Montgomery County.

Source: Shooting victim found outside Dayton hookah bar

When I first moved into the neighborhood, this oddly newer building on Wayne, with the parking lot in front, breaking the consistent street rhythm of buildings lined up like soldiers in formation along the sidewalk. It was a Lawson’s store- a lot like a UDF, but with the addition of a real deli, where you could get sliced meats and cheeses. I used to shop there. It closed long ago, and hasn’t had a steady tenant for years despite the proliferation of convenience stores. Apparently, a convenience store that can’t be seen until you’re passing it isn’t in high demand.

Last year, a young guy whom the neighborhood has come to know as “Tiger” turned it into the “Hookah Star Smoke and Juice Bar” since it doesn’t have a liquor license. Looking at the refuse outside the bar every Sunday morning will tell you that there is plenty of alcohol being consumed inside- either poured from flasks or the bottles that are littering our streets each week. Apparently, since there is no liquor, closing time is flexible as well- with the party going on all night long, inside and outside this “fine establishment.” The crowd is young, with a lot of 18- to 24-year-olds, who like to peel out around the ‘hood with their tuner cars as they leave between 3 and 5 a.m. Not long ago, the owner discharged his own gun inside to give the patrons a good idea of who’s the boss.

Neighbors have been complaining all summer long about the joint. Tiger built a sturdy fence around the back of his lot- to keep the patrons who use it like an outdoor party park, from being seen and video taped by the residents of Historic South Park. The Eagles lot next door, the tire store, South Park Tavern’s lots- after they were closed, had become additional overflow parking for the party palace.

Lots of calls to the police, to zoning, to the city, with very little response, until finally a few weeks ago, when the cops starting showing up en masse at 3 a.m. to shut the place down- making our neighborhood into a racetrack for the little rats scurrying away from the scrutiny of the law. We had more traffic on our side streets at 3 a.m. than all day, thanks to Hookah Hell.

Dayton Police had heard rumors of some massive parties coming across the city as the summer was ending. Curfew sweeps were to begin, picking up kids under 18 out after 11 p.m. The Hookah bar was one of the targets. The kids get taken to the patrol headquarters, where residents staff the phones, calling parents to come pick up their wayward lieges. Last night was to be another night of residents pitching in to do work we pay taxes for.

The sweep happened at 11, and the Hookah bar was a stop. Then again at 3 a.m., the DPD did as it did last week, the cops came to close the place down. Last night, things didn’t go quite as planned as one of the patrons decided to get shot by another. Don’t say you didn’t see this coming.

Multiple police calls to the same location almost invariably are a good predictor of future troubles. Somehow, our understaffed police force, impotent prosecutors, and lackluster leadership can’t seem to figure this out.

It will be interesting to see if the Hookah Star Smoke shop and Juice Bar is back in business after this last incident, or if we’ll keep having problems until someone actually dies.

Why it takes so long for Dayton to figure out how to take care of neighborhood cancers is beyond comprehension. Maybe if they really understood that quality of life is the number one factor in “economic development” – not brick sidewalks, and occupancy rates, we’d actually make some progress that would justify the tax hikes they believe are warranted. Even for those of us who have to live with a cancer nearby.

Fire the Montgomery County Board of Elections

This is not an agenda. This is an outline.

Board Meeting
Tuesday, August 11, 2015, at 8:30 a.m.
Call the meeting to order
Motion to certify candidate petitions for the 2015 General Election
Motion on candidate petitions for the 2015 General Election that appear invalid
Motion to certify local option petitions for the 2015 General Election
Director’s comments
Deputy Director’s comments
Next meeting date is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25, 2015, at 8:30 a.m.
Motion to adjourn

An agenda would have the names of each candidate, and status. What local options they are discussing- you’d never know.

This is a joke. It’s a violation of the sunshine laws- it’s purposefully vague and misleading, and it wastes the time of the public. There is no excuse for this kind of blatant obfuscation of public business.


10 Aug 15- they’ve sent an “amendment” out- but only their twisted minds would call this an amendment- it’s a date change nothing more.
Board Meeting
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 8:30 am
Call the meeting to order
Motion to certify candidate petitions for the 2015 General Election
Motion on candidate petitions for the 2015 General Election that appear invalid
Motion to certify local option petitions for the 2015 General Election
Director’s comments
Deputy Director’s comments
Next meeting date is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 8:30 am
Motion to adjourn

Still no details.


Free Shakespeare in South Park- v7

The Tempest-- Free Shakespeare in South ParkSeventh season starts tonight, Aug. 7, and runs through Sunday Aug 9. Who would have thought that a neighborhood could start a Free Shakespeare program and keep it going for that long?

Welcome to my neighborhood. Historic South Park is a neighborhood that works together to make living in Dayton a unique and wonderful experience. We have progressive Porch, Patio and Deck Parties that progress from house to house in the summer, we play social soccer on Sundays, we have doggie flash mobs, food truck Shindigs, our own urban gardens where people plant their crops in raised beds, hot toddy parties, a Halloween weenie roast and a pre-trick or treat parade complete with a marching band, an Easter egg hunt, and I’m probably only half done.

For Shakespeare they take Willy’s work, and usually modernize the setting- yet keep the original words. At least half the cast lives in the ‘hood, and neighbors build the sets, do the costumes, run the sound and lights and ask for donations at the end (so the show can go on).

It starts at 8 p.m. each night- bring a blanket or lawn chair. Park in Hope Lutheran Church’s parking lot at 500 Hickory or at Emerson School just a smidgen farther down Hickory. The show is on “South Park Green” at 601 Hickory- or there about.

If you like theater, this is a good time. Come on out and see how South Park does things differently.

For those of you who need the Cliffs notes on the play (like me)

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skilful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring  about the revelation of Antonio’s lowly nature, the redemption of the king, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

Source: The Tempest – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

File this under have cheap fun in Dayton.

Now can we have a serious discussion about private cops?

On June 7th of 2015, I wrote a piece about my discomfort with private police forces- here is just a short excerpt:

The rise of private police forces and hired gun security services is a relatively new thing. The real question is should these private armies really have legal standing? And, why are they necessary in the first place? Some blame the cost of unions and pensions of the real police. Others say crime is rising and we have to protect our fiefdoms. The reality is that society is breaking down and we’re blissfully ignoring the warning signs.

Source: The real cost of private police forces – Esrati

Now, with the murder of Samuel Dubose in Cincinnati by a University of Cincinnati “police officer” engaged in a “chicken crap stop” (the prosecutor’s words, not mine) over a missing front license plate (which Sam had, but just hadn’t mounted) others are having the same discussion. Here is the stabilized, uncensored video:

Some people are asking the same questions: why?

There are questions about training standards. In the rarest of rare, a judge on the federal bench spoke out against the practice:

Although the consent decree expired in 2008, an advisory group meets regularly with the city to monitor continued adherence to what it calls “the collaborative.” Some group members, including Judge Susan Dlott of U. S. District Court, who oversaw the consent decree, say they were alarmed to learn, after Mr. DuBose’s death, that the university had a formal agreement to patrol beyond campus borders.

“We were furious, because we knew that the U.C. police have not had any of the training that the Cincinnati police have,” Judge Dlott said.

Source: Samuel DuBose’s Death in Cincinnati Points to Off-Campus Power of College Police – The New York Times

The fundamental issue is who is watching over these keystone cops? Who is held accountable? Whom can we pressure that we elect, to get rid of bad cops? Sheriff Phil Plummer knew that he wouldn’t get reelected had he not fired the two supervisors in his department who were exchanging racist text messages. He was accountable.

Municipal police chiefs are accountable to a city manager or a mayor, and both of them are accountable to voters. Not so with campus cops.

Today, UC President Santa Ono, announced that he was appointing one of his professors to oversee the campus department:

The University of Cincinnati has created a new executive position to oversee campus safety and police reform – more reaction to last month’s officer-involved fatal shooting.

Respected criminologist Robin Engel has been named vice president for safety and reform effective immediately, UC President Santa Ono announced Tuesday.

Engel has been a professor in UC’s highly regarded School of Criminal Justice. UC has not yet announced what Engel is being paid to serve in the new role, which has been created in the wake of now-former UC Police Officer Ray Tensing shooting and killing Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop on July 19.

Engel’s research has focused in part on racial profiling, and she has worked with the city of Cincinnati on its collaborative agreement and the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV).

Engel said she will not directly oversee day-to-day operations in public safety or in the university’s police department. Instead, she will report directly to Ono and will advise him and UC’s trustees on long-term strategy.

Source: In wake of DuBose shooting, UC appoints VP to head safety, police reform

I have nothing against professor Engel, however, she has zero police training, and voters can’t fire her, or President Ono.

There can be no mistake, the ability to hire and fire the head cop is critical to the confidence the public, and even the police force has in a department. A long time ago, soon after I moved into Dayton, the police department had lost faith in Chief Tyree Broomfield. The politicians couldn’t stomach the idea of firing our first black police chief. In a very strange move, local businessman Tom Danis stepped in and offered to pay Broomfield $100K to resign- which he promptly did. In most communities, paying off a policeman would be frowned on, here it was cheered. Broomfield went to a job running the private force for Central State and didn’t lose any sleep over it.

If you go back and read my article from June 7, I was against the dilution of police command and control amongst many sub-departments.

After watching the video of former UC Officer Ray Tensing, you too should have good reason to question the training and ability of these private police forces.

After the rash of questionable shooting by under-trained or sub-standard police officers in Ohio, the state has stepped in and started requiring more hours of training, and even a high school diploma as qualifications to be a police officer. But on the flip side, they are also insisting that cops should babysit traffic cameras with the threat of withholding state money if cities like Dayton continue to use them.

Using this same rationale, maybe cities should levy “licenses” on private police officers equal to their pay- to make all these private organizations leave the policing to the professionals. Dayton would gain the numbers of cops working for Sinclair, UD, Premier Health Partners, Kettering Health Network and even some MetroParks cops. Net gain, at least 100 more cops on the street- with proper training and a professional chief who reports not to a college president, or CEO, but to a city manager who works for our elected City Commission. It should also be included that no organization can have a private police force if it is exempt from paying property taxes, just because we shouldn’t have to pay for their protection, or our own- when they send out liars like Ray “I was dragged” Tensing.

And one last point, any cop who lies about another cop’s actions, should be found guilty of the same crime the officer who committed the crime is sentenced to. Enough of this “thin blue line” being held to cover up incompetence.



Sinclair can start taxing Warren County first

To the voters of Montgomery County, it’s time to vote no on a Sinclair levy. When they decided to expand to Warren County, the fastest growing county in the state, they didn’t ask a penny from voters there. They claim that no Montgomery County funds are spent there, yet, we all know that if you are King Johnson of Sinclair, considerable amounts of your time were spent lobbying, negotiating and managing this expansion- at a cost to the citizens of Montgomery County, who have paid for, and deserve your UNDIVIDED ATTENTION.

From the press release posing as a story in the Dayton Daily news today:

Sinclair Community College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to take a new levy before Montgomery County voters in November…

According to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office, the new 1-mill levy would cost an owner of a $100,000 home $35 per year. That’s in addition to the $98 those homeowners already pay for Sinclair’s 3.2-mill levy, which passed in 2008.

Sinclair pulls in slightly more than $27 million each year from property taxes. But if the new levy were to pass, the auditor’s office says the college would receive an additional $8.5 million per year.

Aside from levy funding, the college will rely mostly on state appropriations and tuition to cover 2016 expenses totaling $121.4 million…

 As a result of the recent economic downturn, county property values dropped and Sinclair received lower-than-expected levy funds.

The college says it has watched its per-student, inflation-adjusted state appropriations decrease, dropping around 40 percent since 2000. In 2016, the college is expected to receive $700,000 less from property taxes than it did in the most recent fiscal year.The college’s revenue is projected to fall by $3 million to $124.2 million from fiscal year 2015 to 2016. Its 2016 expenses are expected to drop by $4.2 million, to $121.4 million.

Source: Sinclair to ask for 1-mill levy

Note, the reason our property values have dropped is also because the region’s income has dropped. We can’t afford to subsidize your empire anymore. Sinclair is the only public institution that carries no debt and has a large cushion in its budget, thanks to the work and foresight of Dr. Steven Johnson’s predecessors.

If you need more money, go to Warren County and ask them for at least a 1.6-mill levy- half of what we already pay, and see what happens.

No more money for you until they pay a part.

Dayton FOP endorses Matt Joseph and Darryl Fairchild

The FOP doesn’t always endorse. And usually, they aren’t big fans of Democrats. The FOP and IAFF tend to be the two Republican unions in America.

In the upcoming Dayton City Commission race- they decided to endorse incumbent Matt Joseph, who hasn’t done squat in his 3 terms in office, and Darryl Fairchild- the “un-endorsed Democrat.”

Apparently- the party favorite, Chris Shaw isn’t the choice of the cops. Could it be because he’s African American? I don’t recall them ever endorsing Williams, Dixon, McLin, Lovelace, Neal, and Lewis. Why break a perfectly good record?

The FOP endorsement means even less these days, since we dropped the residency rule. They’ve also not been known to throw much money or volunteer hours toward candidates they endorse (probably because they are all overworked, thanks to continued cuts to the department, for which they can thank Matt Joseph).

Sure, Fairchild can put it on his literature. Joseph won’t have any literature that won’t have Shaw on it- so it won’t show up there. Adding it to the voters’ guides may reach a few people- but, frankly, this endorsement means nothing.

The bigger question is why they didn’t endorse Scott Sliver?

It’s Mike Fariello Week. Eat some Skyline in Troy, please.

Kathy and Mike Fariello.

Kathy and Mike Fariello.

The famous line in vice-presidential debates was “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” That was Lloyd Bentsen setting Dan Quayle straight.

Well, I’ve met Mike Fariello, and I’m telling all of you- you aren’t him

He’s one of the few other veterans in advertising in Dayton. He used to work at another ad agency and has remained active in the Dayton Ad Club- now called AAF Dayton, despite changing careers and running the Skyline Chili in Troy. And, he served as President of AAF Dayton, and has won the vaunted Silver Medal.

  He’s a silver tongued “radio voice” kinda guy- who looks smashing in a suit- and has MC’d our annual Hermes Awards forever.

Now, the bad news:

Mike Fariello as many of you know has stage 4 pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver. We are holding a week-long fund raiser for Mike’s medical bills, etc. We are donating 25% of our total sales from Monday, August 3, through the following Sunday to help alleviate any financial stress Mike and his wife Kathy are under. Please come in as often as you can. Remember it began yesterday and continues until Sunday. Laura Davie from AlterEgo face painting will be there Monday through Friday lunch from 12-2. She will be donating what she makes to Mike as well.”

The address is 1775 W. Main St,, Troy, Ohio 45373, take exit 74 toward OH-41/Covington/Troy if you head North on I-75.

I’ll be going at least a few times. Mike is that kind of guy.

What can be done to help guide urban youth?

The “brilliant people” who think that this is rocket science- really don’t get it. This is the preamble and a few excerpts from the beginning of a  panel discussion in the DDn today.

Editor’s note: Teens acting out, pushing the envelope, is nothing new. Yet, when large groups come together to cause trouble at citywide events, as has occurred several times in downtown Dayton in the last year, it affects not just the youth and their families, but the city as a whole. Our partners at asked what can be done to build a more cohesive relationship with our city’s future citizens, ensuring a safe environment for all. The conversation staffers Vivienne Machi and Kamron Taylor had with four community activists touched upon issues relevant not just in Dayton, but in any community….

Brian LaDuca: If the problem is student/teen behavior as it relates (to) downtown, then I see the problem simply being a lack of well lit, invigorating communal spaces. Skate parks, music shells, dynamic store front designs (not necessarily actual stores).

Marlon Shackelford: The 5 percent of teens who are miseducated and misguided are guiding and educating the 95 percent that are bored, have idle time, are angry, and who are looking for something to do. There’s a lack of mentors and “womentors,” and a lack of efficient programs for teens.

Jonetta White: …We can no longer have this “hands-off” approach to being a community. Adults should feel responsible for ensuring the well being of their children and for the children of the community. It takes a community to raise a child, and adults cannot be afraid to step up in the lives of young people who may not have any other positive, adult influences.

Catherine Crosby: It impacts the attractiveness of the City overall. It impacts our ability to recruit companies and families to move into the City because it creates a perception that the City is unsafe.

Source: What can be done to help guide urban youth? |

I’m sorry- I’ve been to every park in this city. Every school yard. For the last three years, I’ve hung about 500 green basketball nets. I’ve cleared basketball courts of weeds and debris. This year, I am also running a social soccer program in my neighborhood. Today, we couldn’t play. You know why?

The city of Dayton can't cut their own grass.

The grass is taller than a full size soccer ball at Burns Jackson Park

The grass at Burns Jackson park was taller than a full size soccer ball this morning. The field had also been run over by several cars- since the cable fence is broken. This isn’t rocket science. When I moved to this neighborhood we had 2 basketball courts- now we’re waiting on them to refinish 1. We had playable tennis courts. People used to play softball all the time in the park- now you can’t see a mound, baselines and weeds are higher than the benches.

The city is about to spend a half a million on the old Society Bank/Third National building- despite it’s appraisal at $350K- and 2 other private bidders. They have no stated public use or public plan for the building. They have yet to do anything with any of the other 3 half-million dollar buildings they over paid for. They have money to buy other peoples property- but they can’t take care of their own.

Drive by Delco Park in Kettering anytime. All the soccer fields are well groomed, properly graded and have soccer goals. Look at the ball parks- full of people every night. Kids, adults. Dayton- nope. Can’t play soccer on a Sunday morning because Fred Stoval and company can’t cut the grass.

So, try as you might to do something with “urban youth”- good luck. After I started showing photos of the sorry condition of all of our basketball courts in my last run for City Commission- the city was guilted into spending a million bucks doing long overdue repair and replacement of courts across the city. Maybe by September they will finish the remaining basketball court in South Park- maybe not.

A city that can’t do basic maintenance has no business being in charge of anything. You want a community that people can be proud of? Learn to cut your grass.


Dayton School Board race to look like Republican Presidential Primary

Just pulling petitions doesn’t mean you’ll get on the ballot- unless you are a party-endorsed candidate in Montgomery County (they get their petitions checked for free by BOE employees on their “lunch break”).

According to the BOE site- here is who has pulled petitions, that are due on Wed. Aug 5th. You’d need 300 good signatures of registered Dayton voters to get on the ballot.

Incumbents in bold.

  • Jerome (Jerry) Brunswick, 426 E. Sixth St., Dayton 45402
  • Louis D. Butler, 2374 Rustic Rd., Dayton 45406
  • Ann Marie Gallin (Mario), 40 Gebhart St., Dayton 45410 Petition Fail 12 Aug 2015
  • Hashim Ali Jabar, 40 S. Decker Ave., Apt. 7, Dayton 45417
  • John A. Lumpkin, Jr., 1258 Hook Estate Dr., Dayton
  • John S. McManus, 35 S. St. Clair St., Apt 502, Dayton
  • Nancy A. Nerny, 482 Shiloh Dr., Dayton 45415
  • Anthony Dion Roebuck, 1406 Steiner Ave., Dayton
  • Sheila Taylor, 2818 Kenview Ave., Dayton
  • Robert Charles Walker, 4516 College View Dr., Dayton 45417


5 Aug 2015 Butler, Jabar, Roebuck didn’t file, now we wait to find out who had enough valid signatures

Unlike the Dayton City Commission, there is no primary to thin the herd. One ballot, pick three, and the top three win. Obviously, with more candidates, the incumbents, get a better shot at being known quantities and have a better shot.

Only one person has turned in petitions so far- John McManus. (full disclosure- my firm printed his signs and stickers) and he has been out walking longer than anyone else.

Thursday night I was presented with a dual candidate petition- for Jerry Brunswick and John Lumpkin. I’m not sure how these work- since you are allowed to sign up to 3 petitions, and I’d signed 2. Guess it’s first in and first name on the petition that gets the credit in these cases. The circulator told me the petition format of more than one candidate was OK on Russ Joseph’s advice- which means these are the chosen party candidates. Word on the street was that Mayor Nan was trying to round up candidates for School Board because she wasn’t happy with the board as it sits- for once, we agree. Brunswick served on her “City of Learners committee” which issued yet another report with all the obvious issues stated and no real revelations.

Mario Gallin is a wild card, she’s been on the board before and is well liked. Brunswick is a former bank president who is also the part-time head of the milked-out port authority. Lumpkin is a Joey Williams contemporary who played football at Ohio State, worked as a bank branch manager at Chase for a long time before becoming a stockbroker/private wealth manager with Morgan Stanley. Both are good guys and very civic minded.

Last time Nearny was on the ballot, it was only because the BOE was nice enough to reverse itself on the 3 or 4 signatures she was short. That doesn’t happen very often, if at all.

I don’t know Butler or Roebuck off the top of my head. Of the other newcomers, there is only one that I’m not a fan of- and that’s Ali Jabar who likes to scream at people and try to incite racial issues as the cause of all ills. He’s married to the woman formerly known as Maria Holt now Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, and is tied in with Vernalia Randall, a former UD Law Professor , with “Racial Justice Now,” who rightly campaigns against the “school-to-prison pipeline” but does so in a manner I find insulting most of the time.

Of the existing school board members, all are caring and good people, who’ve been totally ineffective and visionless for the district. Not an original idea for transformation from any of them, and never a serious questioning of the Teflon-coated superintendent, Lori Ward.

While being the highest paid elected official in the county, Ward has muddled through one crisis after another, without making any real progress for years. Talented teachers, principals and administrators have jumped ship, tired of waiting for her to plug the many holes on the sinking ship. Some of her hires have been incredibly questionable, including former “Chief Operating Officer” James Harris who barely unpacked by DPS standards before they parted ways.

With the state just itching to throw the district under the bus, and a state “takeover” on the near horizon, anyone wanting to run for this board should get bonus points. This upcoming term, plus having to work with Hazel Rountree (she’s proof that degrees and positions don’t prove that you have any idea of what you are doing) should be enough to scare anyone off. The last election we only had four candidates on the ballot for four seats if that’s any kind of indication.

Looking online for candidates’ websites (so you can actually learn something about them and their positions) is like finding needles in a haystack. Of course it doesn’t matter, because the voters who are going to pick them are notoriously underinformed and make lousy choices (the current Dayton City Commission is a prime example).

A quick search-

If any of the candidates (and I know most of you will find out about this post) have a site they want to direct voters to, let me know via comments below.

Frankly, other than McManus, y’all look mighty unprepared (the drawl is because if you’ve met McManus, you know he sounds straight out of Tennessee, probably because that’s where he’s from). One pro, a bunch of amateurs- sounds just like the Republican Presidential Primary field, and I’ll leave it to you to guess who I think the pro is.

It will be a week from Tuesday to see how the BOE thins the herd.