I can tell you that there were only four basketball courts in Dayton that were worth playing on that belonged to the city last year- at the new rec center on the old Roosevelt site, 2 at Riverview and one at Jane Newcome.

Dayton Public supplied a few more to the inventory- with Dunbar and Rosa Parks having courts that were nice (although Dunbar’s needs to be swept often since it is on a flood plain- and often covered with gravel).

As part of my campaign for City Commission last year I hung more than 300 basketball nets on our lame courts and rims. Here was the video about it:

But, now, since I shamed them in the video and with my campaign last year, the city is finally going to start putting our tax dollars where they belong- into our parks.

In total, about 23 basketball courts and 15 tennis courts will be resurfaced and improved. About 13 tennis and two basketball courts will be eliminated.

“In some cases, people aren’t using these because the courts are unusable,” said Aaron Sorrell, director of the city’s department of planning and community development. “Where we’ve made improvements to our parks, we’ve seen a significant increase in use, and that’s the intent here.

“City officials evaluated 34 parks that have basketball and tennis courts, and they assessed the condition, use and location of the parks and amenities.The city identified 17 parks that need repairs, which will be performed in two phases. Each phase is expected to cost about $500,000, depending on the winning bids,’’ officials said.

via Dayton plans upgrades to 17 parks | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

I’ll still be putting nets on rims this summer. I’ve already delivered 1 net this year and had a request for another a week ago (I gave back the ladder I’d borrowed from Mike Riley of Insignia Signs and just got my new ladder this Wednesday).

My next plan is to start summer basketball camps for kids at up to 10 locations. I want to hire local college players to supervise teams of local high school players to run the camps. The high school players will be paid with funds from Montgomery County Youth Works, I just need to find between $20-40K to pay supervisors, supply balls, water buffaloes, and practice pinnies. Now, at least we’ll have some nice courts.

I’m not sure what courts are due for repair- since the DDn writer talks about parks I’ve never heard of. “Belmont park” is probably “Walnut Hills” since it’s one of two roller hockey rinks. And, why Jane Newcome is getting repaved is beyond me- when it’s almost perfect while the heavily played Dayton View park is being ignored. If there is one place that needs the lights back on for late night ball it’s at the corner of Broadway and Superior.

Of course, my name will never be mentioned in the DDn as the reason the city has finally decided to do something about our deplorable basketball courts- but that’s OK. You will know- and the kids who play, know the “net man” came last year and listened- and acted, and this year- things got better.

Thanks to those of you who really helped out last year- and I’m going to miss some names I’m sure- but Kevin B., Shannon O., Bill R., Missy W., Scott H., Tabatha M., Kyle M., Lewis G., Jim J., Adrian H., Rob D., Norm W., Isabelle S., Sara M., Brent J., Mike G., Milt C., Kevin H., Brian W., Barry B., Terry P., thanks- and also to Jai and Cory for working on the video.

My only advice to the city is: Invest in the best rim out there- one that’s built for outdoor ball and that has a design for hanging nets that can’t be beat: The First Team FT172D of all the rims I’ve seen, this is the only one that will stand up and last – can take chains or nets (please stick with nets- chains are brutal on the balls and also dangerous). It’s worth the extra money.

Thank you to the City Commission and the city staff that have made this happen. This is the kind of investment in our community I can be proud of.

Here is City Manager Tim Riordan on the planned improvements:

On Friday, I was talking to Jan Kelly, the director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. about a form. Trying to figure out how to accurately fill it out- and the cold hard fact was, it requested information that was totally impossible for a voter, or even the person in charge of checking that form to know what the answer was. The correct way to fill this form out was to leave information required blank.

Bad form design aside, how to find the simplest information about who and what we elect, what the qualifications for each and every public office, term dates, forms required, processes to follow are all over the place online- making getting into elected office way more complicated than it has to be. While the axiom of running government like a business is a common crutch for clueless political wannabes, the reality is that even the way to buy elected office is such a convoluted process that if elected office were an online store, it wouldn’t make very many sales.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections has an online portal to tell you if you are registered and where to vote (it’s recently been fixed so that it will even allow those without a middle name to get their information, a flaw identified by this site a few weeks ago) it doesn’t have the ability to tell you all the people who represent you and their offices.

Who represents you?

We often see a little blurb at the end of newspaper articles about how to contact your congressman with their address and phone number, but, who represents you on the State Board of Elections, who is your coroner, your party precinct captain, your county engineer, your state Supreme Court justices? Good luck at finding all that information in one place, yet isn’t this the most fundamental part of a representative democracy?

One of the reasons we have so many elections is because we have so many offices to fill and we’re attempting not to overload and confuse the voters. It’s one of the reasons the big political parties hand out the official “Endorsed candidate slate list” because, frankly, it’s too hard for most voters to fathom who they should vote for in each election without one- especially when the ballot contains candidates like judges who don’t show their party affiliation on the ballot (at least this used to be the case, I’m not even sure of where this stands right now in Ohio).

I also often get calls asking what the qualifications are for office- not just where you have to live, your age, your experience, but what petitions, deadlines, etc., are required to run for U.S. Congress- you don’t actually have to live in the district you are planning to represent, nor do you have to be born in the U.S., but to run for president you have to be born in the U.S. and have to be at least 35. As to how many signatures are required- it depends on if you are running as a candidate of a major political party or not. All these details should be available to each and every voter. For instance, even though it’s not an elected position- you don’t have to be a lawyer or have gone to law school to be on the U.S. Supreme Court- although it’s very unlikely that Congress (a body made up of a lot of lawyers) would ever confirm a non-lawyer to the bench these days, although as recently as 1941 we had a high-school dropout appointed to the bench.

The last justice to be appointed who did not attend any law school was James F. Byrnes (1941-1942). He did not graduate from high school and taught himself law, passing the bar at the age of 23.

via- Supreme Court FAQ

It would seem to me that knowing who represents you, how to contact them, the requirements of the office and the forms to file should all be available to every voter, with a simple look-up of their address, just like they have for where you vote. This should be required by law, across the land, and every effort should be made to simplify and reduce the number of forms (see this page on the Ohio secretary of state’s office for the really long list of required forms: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/electionsofficials/forms.aspx) My really rough count came up at 238 (not including the ones in Spanish).

The SOS site does have a page with a general description of what is voted on in the next election here: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/elections/Voters/whatsontheballot/whatsOnBallot.aspx

There aren’t enough hours in the day, or dollars you could pay me to try to list all the offices from party precinct captains up to POTUS, but I’m pretty sure the list would overwhelm each and every one of you if it was readily accessible. If we want to see any real reduction of government, or better efficiencies via regionalism, this would be an amazing place to start- a simple look-up by address, of every person you are expected to elect, complete with requirements for office, terms, pay, duties and who currently sits in it.

For the closest example of anything remotely like an information page for running for office- see this page from Armstrong County, Pa.: http://www.co.armstrong.pa.us/departments/public-services/elections-votersregistration/running-for-public-office New York state also has a page: http://www.elections.ny.gov/RunningOffice.html

VoteSmart.org has a look-up list that’s semi-useful, but far from complete or up-to-date: http://votesmart.org/search?q=45410&cx=004674700904797117618%3Aiqzskagjgeo&cof=FORID%3A11#.UwnzGl6gaXQ (Gary Leitzell is still Mayor!). Common Cause has an even less complete version here: http://www.commoncause.org/siteapps/advocacy/search.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4860375

What do you think?

Well it didn’t take long for our Princess Mayor to learn that not everyone is enamored with her royal highness. After her “State of the City Address” the comments on Facebook were less than kind- about her hair, makeup, clothes. This is nothing new- Rhine McLin was constantly mocked as Mayor McHat- and for her funky glasses with one round lens and one square. When Gary Leitzell continued to wear his earring, some scoffed as well. Back before the Internets- Mayor Richard Clay Dixon was often called Mayor Diction- because of the way he mangled/mumbled words.

None of them sent email blasts to their supporters or made a blog post about how wrong it was.

Nan of course, was hurt, and published her second post since she’s been elected. Note, she didn’t even bother to post a thank you after buying her seat.

I want to talk about moving Dayton forward, they wanna talk about my eyebrows!

This past Wednesday I gave my first State of the City address to a standing room only crowd in the Dayton City Commission chambers. In my speech, I shared the Commission’s priorities for the coming year and our vision for creating jobs and economic opportunities for the residents of Dayton. You can watch the speech in its entirety here.

Much of the news coverage was fair and shared the ideas discussed in the speech. Unfortunately, one Dayton Daily News reporter decided to go another route with her unfair internet coverage of some comments that attacked how I looked and what I was wearing.What I wear is not news. Internet musings related to my appearance is not news and random irrelevant remarks posted on a Facebook page should not be the focus of mainstream news reporting.

via STOP Media Sexism!.

I’ve already caught hell for stating that I don’t think anything Amelia Robinson writes for the Dayton Daily news is worth reading, so count me as neutral here. And, this line from the piece in question should prove it:

“Oh, and New Jersey Mayor Chris Christie is fat.”

For the record Ms. Robinson, States don’t have mayors- they have governors, but, the cold hard fact is that the piece that Whaley calls “Media Sexism” is really in support of our Princess Mayor- saying that women shouldn’t be judged by the way they look or dress, but by their substance. I’m sure our Mayor will be calling the DDN editors on Monday demanding Robinson be fired.

My rule on this site for comments is generally you can say anything you want about me as long as it is opinion and not false. You can call me ugly and say my mother dresses me funny.  You can’t say I’m a bank robber. You can’t talk trash about other commenters. You also can’t accuse people in public office of criminal behavior- unless it’s already well established. I try to keep things civil.

When it’s unsigned- it means nothing to me. If you are willing to sign your name, it has more veracity. That’s why my recent nomination to the Dirtbag Ohio hall of fame by anonymous pissants makes me laugh. They even used the See You Next Tuesday word to describe me. I’m sure our Princess Mayor would have called the FBI out if they’d called her that.

Quite frankly, both A.J. Wagner and Gary Leitzell defined Dayton’s number one problem as marketing and changing our image. Leitzell’s solution to lame media coverage and crap like this was to only talk to them when he had something positive to say about Dayton- refusing to comment on things like when we made the top 10 list for most vacant cities. He was way more media savvy than people gave him credit. Wagner talked a great game starting out in his campaign, until he fastened on to the “Dayton lost 9,000 jobs line” which pretty much sank his campaign. Princess Nan just defined her mayorship half way through month two by her thin skin and low self-esteem.

Lucky for her, no other news outlet should touch this with a ten foot pole. Only the DDn which no longer knows how to report news, or recognize it when it happens, would waste time reporting on what a few dozen idiots write on Facebook.

Word from inside the paper says Robinson is told to write this kind of crap. If anyone should be fired, it’s the editor who let the “Mayor Christie” of N.J. is fat line get published. Then you can look at the idiots who think what people say on Facebook matters.

First lesson for elected leaders: never let others define the conversation if at all possible. Second lesson- it’s never about you- but about your community.

If Whaley wants to change the conversation, she needs a thicker skin yesterday. She also can stop doing things like hiring campaign flunkies like Hilary Browning as a commission aide- without posting the job.

There, that’s a story the DDn could write about, one that matters.

 

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is in the basement of the County Administration Building. Basements are notorious as places where it’s damp, dark and mold grows. Slimey mold.

So, despite the claims that the BOE always meets now at 11 a.m. (when they claimed I misrepresented the time of the proper William Pace denial on the ballot meeting)- they are meeting this Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

And on the MC BOE 02.18.14 Agenda are these three innocuous items:

  • Motion to certify candidate petitions for the Primary Election
  • Motion on candidate’s petitions for the Primary Election that appear questionable
  • Motion on candidate’s petitions for the Primary Election that appear invalid

Notice how there is no list of who may be in trouble? What if the candidate wanted to know if he or she need to be there? To line up the people who signed the petition? Ah, screw you. Screw the sunshine laws. Let’s keep the public in the dark.

If you want a participatory democracy- you do it out in the open, with as much useful information as possible.

#FAIL Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Note, there should have been a document on the website the day petitions were closed, of every candidate who had filed. It didn’t show either. Here it is: MD BOE 2014 primary filed_1 Note- it was sent as a scan of a printout. I had to OCR it to make it accessible. Also missing is the list of Dems filing for Montgomery County Precinct Captains for the Democratic party.

update 4;45pm- the list of precinct captains. Only 5 contested precincts (including mine)  and a lot of empties. 2014 Democrat central committee all

Ah, if we were all mushrooms, we’d be worth millions- they like to keep us in the dark and feed us $h!t.

In today’s Dayton Daily news, Mike Bock, publisher of www.DaytonOS.com, had a letter to the editor urging Dems to run for precinct captain seats. He also covered it in a few posts on his site:

I’m a precinct captain, elected to Dayton 1-D, but how do I know that? Well, funny you should ask.

I’m supposed to be able to go to this site and look up my voter status and polling location: http://www.mcohio.org/boe/voter_information/voter_reg_lookup.cfm

Unfortunately, the middle name field is required, and I can’t look myself up because I don’t have a middle name.

But, my parents who live across the street do have middle names. I can find my father, Stephen G, but when searching for my mother, Nina B, no such person.

What’s more interesting is according to the county site, they are in Dayton 1-E. I was elected to Dayton 1-D, and when calling the current director, Jan Kelly she confirmed those assignments.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. I have a database of all Dayton voters for my campaign- at www.electesrati.com and it has me in 1-D, but I also have a list of the entire county loaded at www.independentdayton.com and that list, downloaded from the Secretary of States site, http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/pls/voter/f?p=111:1 has me in Dayton 1-E and my parents in 1-F.

Stupid question, but isn’t that the core, most essential information maintained by election officials? Shouldn’t something as simple as what precinct you are in be correct?

Screen shot of Ohio Secretary of States voter data for David Esrati showing wrong precinct

The Secretary of State isn’t told the truth, how can you trust our elections officers?

You can look up my voter location by first searching my name at http://voterlookup.sos.state.oh.us/voterlookup.aspx however it’s a 2-step dance, then having to click on my name to see the polling location: which comes up with Dayton 1-E (see screen shot)

I’d show you mine from the county site, but, alas, I can’t see my registration there because I don’t have a middle name.

When I told Director Kelly about the problem with middle names, she said they’d work on it “if they got more complaints.”

Quite frankly, this Board of Elections can’t be trusted to maintain their own website in the first place. When I wrote the first post in this series, they still had election dates for 2013 posted and that was on Jan 12, 2014 (since updated).

Note, there are no tools for candidates to download the “correct” voter data file from Montgomery County on the county site. With a turn-in deadline of Tuesday for petitions, any questions of voting precinct should be ruled null and void at this point, since the data isn’t verifiable or accurate.

An investigation should also be started since this is probably typical of most county board of elections in the State of Ohio- which are run by un-elected political pogues in patronage positions instead of by qualified election professionals. Never mind the fact that in Montgomery County, they are handpicked by the parties- who engage in what amounts to racketeering- filling the lowly precinct captain positions with people who get paid by the politicians they select and elect through illegal closed door “screening committee” meetings.

The integrity of election data is, and should be, one of the most sacred duties of any public servant. Unfortunately, in Montgomery County, and by extension now the State of Ohio, we look like our elections are being run by amateurs.

There are five different “approved” voter database vendors in the State of Ohio. The question is why? The fact that there are discrepancies between the databases in this instance make one question the integrity of all. There are also difference in field naming, data contained within the fields, lacks of easily sourced data keys (for non-party people trying to utilize this data) and different data maintained by state and local boards. Examples including how election dates are maintained (Montgomery county uses a letter P, S, G and a date 140506 while the State uses the much less cryptic format 05/06/14). The County uses the most arcane, and technically inept way of indicating if someone voted early, absentee or at the polls- using a lower case or capital letter in the election field- something most databases can’t sort on (capitalization) instead of a separate searchable field.

I could go on to point out that I still have a real question of how when sending out postcards to people who requested an absentee ballot via mail, or voted early (can’t tell the difference thanks to their data format) I get returns of first class mail to those voters- saying “undeliverable” – yet they vote.

My confidence in the entire voter registration, Montgomery County Board of Elections, Ohio Secretary of state’s office is nil. I’m currently awaiting a call back from the SOS office, about my latest findings. If you need a visual, here it is:

 

Screenshots of same voter, from two different precints.

My father votes in the same place, but the precinct name changes

On Valentine’s day in 2007 I wrote a post that said:

we do a lousy job of clearing the streets in Dayton and there should be no excuse.

via The economic impact of snow days.

Of course there was more in that post, including the question of why every truck in the city wasn’t turned into a plow and every employee learning how to plow, so that we keep the economic engine running… but that’s too much like solving a problem for Dayton. We prefer to bury our heads in the snow.

On my way to hockey on Sunday night, I had to drive out the ice-covered streets in South Park to get to the main roads. In Kettering, miraculously, it was as if I’m on another planet, the side streets are clear. Hello?

Cold isn’t a reason to close school systems, unless your furnace doesn’t work. Minot ND doesn’t shut down at -10 degrees and neither should we. The economic impact of parents having to stay home to watch kids is devastating. The loss of business to every business that depends on consumers leaving their homes is also painful. The idea of “snow emergencies” where you are supposed to stay off the roads, is pure idiocy with less than a foot of snow, and even then- that’s why man invented snow plows.

I’ve got to admit, that since I wrote the post I mentioned at the beginning of this one, I’ve bought an all-wheel drive car. It does very well in this weather- but the reality is that we have no excuse for the ice rink on Bonner Street other than the misguided leadership that gave a tax break to GE but can’t plow the streets.

How are those engineers supposed to get to work to invent the transporter from Star Trek, Madame Mayor?

What people don’t realize is that having the list of closings on Cox’s websites sure does give them a lot of page views on a slow news day. It’s time to stop letting ScareCenter 7 ruin our economy. It’s time for Dayton to fire its economic development department and a few assistant city managers and hire people who can do the job the city is supposed to do- clear our streets. And, last but not least, it’s time to stop listening to “ScareCenter 7″- just because the Cox puzzle palace feeds on fear, our city shouldn’t stop doing what it’s doing.

Put layers on people, drive a little slower, and get back to work.

 

 

In November, the last of what I call the “typewriter brigade” left the building. The old-timers (not really old enough to remember editing copy with scissors and rubber cement paste pot) were the last bastion of true institutional knowledge in the building, took a buyout and tossed their steno books.

With the exception of Tom Archdeacon and maybe one or two others, the last of the true writers disappeared. And with even fewer people in the “integrated newsroom of the future” it didn’t take long to realize, that there were sometimes only one or two people under a manager. Yes, there were chiefs everywhere and even fewer Indians.

So over the last few days- managers were demoted to reporters, and the shuffle begins again- seeking the ultimate combination of low pay and low expectations to create products that aren’t integrated at all in the newsroom of the future.

Apparently there is still an major issue to be resolved with the differing pay scales between news-paper vs news-tv photographers, with the tv guys unhappy with the higher pay of the paper guys. Not that there are any visuals in the paper anymore- or that the video on TV is much more than car wrecks and crime scenes. Again, in the pursuit of the mighty ad dollar, the idea of hiring and paying people who can tell a story isn’t even on their doppler radar.

As long as they can write 3 stories a week fed to them by the Dayton Development Coalition, and run countless “ScareCenter 7″ stories about the weather and the “polar vortex” they think they are producing product worth not only reading- but paying for.

There are stories all over this city of people doing interesting things. There are smart businessmen creating the future without government handouts, and there are college professors creating new, original research. There is an Air Force Base that runs programs that the military doesn’t want or need- and congressmen who work for those who buy them. Yet none of this is what makes the paper- because it takes work to tell those stories.

In a fitting reminder of what real journalism is about, today, at 6pm, PBS Newshour ran former DDn Photo Editor Larry Price‘s piece about compressor mining in the Philippines. The practice is a deadly game of chance for those who work for hours at a time to dig ore from the bottom of 40-foot, water-filled pits. Many are children- and all are exposed to the poison mercury which is used to separate the gold from the silt.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/multimedia/philippinesmine/8.html

Price, btw, has won the Pulitzer prize twice. Publisher Julia Wallace and Editor Jana Collier wouldn’t know what makes a Pulitzer possible if their lives depended on it.

I still read the DDn everyday. My biggest decision is to read it before or after I read the NY Times. I’ve not figured out which way makes me feel smarter- but then again, these days it doesn’t take long to read the DDn, esp. once I skip all the wire copy, there’s not much left.

A few tips to save your time: If the byline is by DL Stewart, Mary McCarty (correction left with the typewriter brigade) or Amelia Robinson- skip it. If it’s by Lynn Hulsey, prepare to read it twice to try to figure out what she’s trying to say. If it’s by Ron Rollins- expect it mostly to be quotes to softball questions or a lightweight treatment of serious issues. Why it takes more than one “editor” to deal with the 2 pages of “editorial” is beyond me.  If you are reading on the iPad app- be prepared for it to be slow to load, confused as to what date it is, and devoid of useful digital features. And if you see a teaser on Facebook- know that it’s just a ploy to get you to hit the paywall- so don’t. As to commenting on FB about DDn stories- stop yourself- you’re just feeding the trolls. And lastly, know that if they do steal a story from esrati.com, they’ll never give it credit like a professional news organization does. That’s why I don’t feel dirty when I pay the Dayton Business Journal for my subscription.

 

 

It came today. I’m not sure why. I almost didn’t want to write about it, to give it more credit than it’s due, but there it was- an unsigned glossy printed postcard smearing local attorney Richard Skelton for possibly running  as an REP against DEM Judge Frances McGee Cromartie. Note, the filing deadline isn’t until Feb 5- and neither candidate has filed. The email was upset that Skelton voted D in 3 out of the last 4 elections, and was running as an R so as not to tick off the local Dems. Please Dick- tick them off. And, you have my vote and support. (McGee is the daughter of former Mayor James H McGee).

But- that’s not stopping the Montgomery County Democratic Party from holding their endorsement meeting tomorrow night (Jan 23rd, 2014).  With the filing deadline now 90 days before a primary instead of 60, and this being a primary in May- where ostensibly the party at large is supposed to decide who is to advance, I’m not sure why the Dems think they need to screen and endorse, other than to scare people away from running.

According to the BOE candidates list- from people who have taken out petitions- there are only a few contested races:

10th Congresional District
U.S. Representative Lib David A. Harlow 2243 Keenan Ave. Dayton 45414
U.S. Representative Dem Robert P. Klepinger 2483 Division Ave. Dayton 45414
U.S. Representative Dem Thomas F. McMasters 6934 Sylmar Ct. Huber Heights 45424
U.S. Representative Rep Michael R. Turner (incumbent) 109 N. Main St. Dayton 45402

Note- you don’t see my name running, because I need to concentrate on my business and my plan to start a summer basketball program all over Dayton this summer. Tom McMasters was just elected mayor of Huber Heights, so I’m not sure what his intentions are other than making sure people don’t have to vote for Turner. He came in 4th behind me, Olivia Freeman and Sharen Neuhardt last time.

Harlow also ran 2 years ago- and was a train wreck on the campaign trail.

5th State Senate District
State Senator Dem Dolores A Gillis 546 Michael Pl. Tipp City 45371
State Senator Dem Joseph E. Lacey 207 E. 6th St. Apt. 305 Dayton 45402

Lacey was just elected to another term on the Dayton School Board in a virtually uncontested race (1 write in vs. 4 on the ballot for 4 seats).

39th State House District
State Representative Dem William James Pace 1325 Salem Ave. Dayton 45406
State Representative Dem Fred Strahorn (incumbent) 531 Belmonte Park North Apt. 1001 Dayton

Pace is a founding member of the Independent movement in Dayton- see www.independentdayton.com

Strahorn was appointed to finish the term of Clayton Luckie who is in prison for playing fast and loose with campaign money. He was then elected. He had served previously as State Senator in OH-5 losing to Bill Beagle in a very expensive race in 2010. Before that he had termed out of a house seat.

Montgomery County
Auditor Rep Harry Bossey 128 Edinburch Village Dr. Centerville 45458
Auditor Dem Karl L. Keith (Incumbent) 221 Watervliet Ave. Dayton 45420
Auditor Rep Scott A. Kramer 920 New England Ave. Kettering 45429

The complete 3-page document with people who have taken out petitions is here: Montgomery County BOE Candidate Report

If you’ve been following my latest exposé on the BOE and the Dem party central committee, you know all about how we’ve got the friends and family plan interfering with the democratic process and free, open and honest elections in Montgomery County. Please consider running to be a Dem precinct captain (it only takes 5-10 signatures) and help put a stop to this anti-democratic process. See this post for details: http://esrati.com/monarchy_of_montgomery_county_boe_central_committees/10740/

There is one candidate bucking the system in the next election- former Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell, who is running for County Commission as an independent. Instead of needing just 50 signatures to get on the ballot, he’s required to get over 1,800 (plus another 800 insurance signatures to be safe) to run. He doesn’t have to turn them in until much later- since he has no primary. Good luck to Gary.

 

 

 

Last week I made an identical request for public records from the county and the city. In Montgomery County you send your request to the Auditor’s office, run by Karl Keith, the elected Democrat who is also Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. They have a very informative page with all the info you need to fill out a request here: http://www.mcohio.org/government/auditor/public_records_policy.html

I asked:

“I’d like a spreadsheet with the names of all county employees- title and department, home zip code and the street number of their home.
Thank you very much.”

I immediately got an automated reply saying they had received the request. A few days later I got another email clarifying the request:

After reviewing your public records request, further clarification is needed.  Please clarify that the information you are requesting is listed below…

  • Names of all county employees
  • Title and Department
  • Home Zip Code
  • Home street number

Please respond to this email to confirm or clarify if the above criterion is accurate or inaccurate.

Thank You

I said that was correct and thank you. The next day it showed up. Exactly what I asked for.

On the other hand, the request to the city generated this response from Tom Biedenharn, from the city’s office of public affairs. The city FOIA request page is here: http://www.cityofdayton.org/departments/pa/Pages/PublicInformationRequest.aspx

David,

We have completed your request to the extent that we can.  However, according to a previous Ohio Supreme Court ruling, State ex rel Dispatch Printing Company vs. Johnson, 2005 – 106 Ohio St. 3d, 160 (see attached), home addresses of public employees are not subject to Open Records Requests since they do not fall under the definition of a record that “documents the activities” of the organization.  Please find attached a document containing the other information you requested.

Thank you.

Tom Biedenharn
Office of Public Affairs

He included a 24 page PDF explaining why it was none of my business to get the home zip code and house number of city employees. I’m including a copy of it here: Case re public request for employee addresses

And while the response with the list of employees was almost instant- even with going back and forth, he stood his ground.

Please note, that if you are a registered voter in the state of Ohio- anyone, can go to the Secretary of State site and download the voter files, with your full name, address, birth year, gender, political party affiliation, and voting record (if you voted- not who you voted for). Yet, asking where the people we pay to work for us are is private?

Note, I was careful, not to ask for home addresses- just a zip code and a house number. I really don’t care where you live, but I was trying to corroborate something that I think is of major interest to the taxpayers of our county: Who is getting patronage jobs- and how they are controlling elections.

But, that’s the beauty of the Sunshine Laws- I don’t have to explain why I’m asking. The fact that the two government entities treat my request differently is an issue. But, what’s more important is what I found and posted in a previous post:

The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and the party central committees – See more at: “The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and party central committees”
What I found by cross referencing the two employee lists, with the voter database, with the list from the Board of Elections of who was elected in 2010 to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee- was that of the 361 precincts, 175 are empty, 186 are filled. 84 are people I could identify as either: government workers, elected officials, union heads, former elected officials, relatives of employees, and I’m sure if I had some insiders helping out, we’d have even more. To me, this is a conflict of interest- an EPIC FAIL to running open and honest elections, because in Montgomery County, the parties endorse pre-primary. That’s right, the party central committees, made up of the friends and family of elected officials – the people who can hire and fire government workers, pick a secret subset of these people, to serve on the “Screening Committee” that picks the winners and losers- and oversees the elections.
If you wonder what a “Screening Committee” meeting sounds like- I recorded one and posted it (they were mad) – I just can’t find it right now. Here’s a post that has the written questions: http://esrati.com/answers-to-the-montgomery-county-democratic-party-screening-committee/521/
The one question that always gets asked- “If we don’t endorse you, will you drop out.” Let me ask you, when that’s the question- why have primaries at all?
Is this really how a democracy works?
Do you still have the full trust in your government now knowing that your home address isn’t protected and city employees addresses are? That the party central committees- which only require 5 signatures to run- get to decide who runs in elections, who gets endorsed and most importantly- picks who runs the election itself?
This is nothing short of organized crime.
Want to do something about it? Let’s fill the 175 empty seats- and a flip a few of the others- and stop this “friends and family program.”
Are you with me?

While political pundits are all in a tizzy right now about Ed Fitzgerald naming Dayton lawyer Sharen Neuhardt as his running mate, let’s be honest, no one in Ohio cares who the lieutenant governor is, nor do they even know who it is right now. Try asking your friends. In fact, I’d be impressed if they could name more than two lieutenant governors. (the answer is Mary Taylor).

If the election were three years ago, after Kasich got his rear-end kicked on Senate Bill 5 (the anti-union/collective bargaining bill), Howdy Doody could have run against Kasich and won. Three years later, unfortunately, that’s not the case.  Kasich has managed to piss off both parties- which actually is a good thing for his reelection chances. The reality of course is that as long as Ohio remains gerrymandered, the likelihood of a Dem governor actually doing anything with a Republican-dominated legislature is slim and none.

While Neuhardt may be able to raise some money for Fitzgerald, her value on the campaign trail is nil. She may give the worst candidate stump speech I’ve ever heard (and after running in elections for 20 years- I’ve heard some really bad ones). Don’t expect Fitzgerald to get a bump at the polls for adding her to his ticket- nor, expect her to do anything if she has to debate Mary Taylor.

The visits to Esrati.com jumped yesterday and today- since there is more online about Sharen Neuhardt here than anywhere else on the web. Unfortunately, not much is positive. Her own site was taken down recently- as noted by the Plain Dealer political reporter. I’m not sure she’s that much better a choice than Eric Kearny, looking at the FEC site- she still has $106,734.92 in campaign debt from her 2012 run. The videos I made of Sharen on the campaign trail are still on YouTube- and you can see how ineffective she is on the stump.

This is about how much she was in the hole from her 2008 race against Steve Austria that she also lost big.

Although he’s not thrown his hat in the ring, Dennis Kucinich would be better suited to run against Kasich.

My prediction for this team vs. Kasich- lose by 20. 10 if they are lucky.