Esrati Proposes Free Public Transit

Free RTA proposal by David Esrati Candidate for Dayton City Commission David Esrati is proposing fare free public transit in Montgomery County via the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority. Esrati believes that free public transit will do more to lift people out of poverty than tax breaks for developers or other “job creation” efforts by government. It will also help to solve the problem with “food deserts” making a trip to a grocery store that’s further away accessible.

The reality is, the taxpayers are already paying for RTA through the sales tax, and from Federal dollars, and the amount of money RTA collects through fares is negligible. Once you eliminate the costs of collecting fares- from the administration of tickets and passes and transfers, to the accounting and control functions of the funds, and then figure in fuel costs and time wasted while waiting to collect the fares- the amount of real revenue is almost none. By returning ad sales to the outsides and insides of buses, RTA could more than make up for the lost revenue and the increases in ridership would be even more desirable to advertisers.

Free public transit also cuts down the needs for parking spaces in areas served by RTA including downtown and at major employers. RTA has already proven that a free bus works by having its “White Flyer” service along Brown Street into Downtown to service the people who can actually afford a bus fare. Expanding this program city wide would put Dayton on the forefront of cutting edge cities across the planet. The entire country of Luxembourg is switching to free public transit.

After the cost of housing, cost of reliable transportation is the second biggest household expense. Any reduction in car traffic also cuts down on carbon emissions, wear and tear on streets and provides for less requirements for huge parking lots.

RTA is currently funded in part by a half a cent sales tax on everything we buy in Montgomery County. By eliminating the fare, we can also eliminate marketing expenses and other overhead that comes along with trying to prove the value of the system.

Considering Dayton Public Schools was just held up for $5M a year to transport high school students by the system, which is even more of your tax dollars being funneled into RTA, wouldn’t just eliminating much of what the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission does from the equation- fill a huge funding gap. In the time that MVRPC has been in charge of “transportation planning,” the region has had to build more roads to accommodate sprawl, while the regions population has stagnated. With free transit, development will begin to return to the city core, once the home of a quarter of a million people inside the Dayton City limits, and stop spreading to places like Monroe and Brookville where farms are being replaced with warehouses only accessible by car.

Esrati realizes that the benefits of free public transit exceed the boundaries of just Dayton proper, but because he’s a strong proponent of reducing the waste of 30+ jurisdictions in Montgomery County alone, he plans to make this a cornerstone initiative once elected on Nov. 5, 2019.

If you would like to see free public transit become a reality in Dayton Ohio, please consider donating to his campaign, www.electesrati.com/donate

What Dayton Public Schools don’t want you to know

The buildings are in turmoil.
Libby Lolli’s last minute deck chair re-arrangement experiment is failing. Bad.
Shuffling most of the building leadership has caused schools that were previously running moderately well- are now in chaos. Most significantly is Thurgood Marshall High School, where Sharon Goins used to run a pretty tight ship. Teachers assaulted, arrested, students OD’ind, guns in the building are just the start.
Goins got promoted to some downtown desk job- kids suffer. Even Stivers is seeing staff leave- voluntarily. After years of success under Erin Dooley, Lolli thought she’d “promote” Dooley- to run all the high schools. Problem is, Dooley only knows how to run a school of privilege- where you can toss loser students at will. When things fall apart in a school of last resort, not much she knows how to do.

At Dunbar- once the pinnacle of sports in the state for both Football and Basketball, Lolli has managed to screw it up so bad, the school has a football team that hasn’t won a game. Which might be a good thing, since they’d have to forfeit all three games they’ve already played, where an ineligible player was on the team and playing (straight F’s). Let’s not forget the head butting incident where a Dunbar player decided to give a ref a concussion…. are you missing the Powell’s yet? Or Coach/AD Pullen? Nothing but disasters since they took the fall for LaMark Baker.

Speaking of which, he’s no longer working as a truancy officer. Mark Baker, with no administrators license, and no classroom experience, just got a promotion- to become the assistant principal to the rookie principal at Ponitz, which is also in turmoil.

But, wait, there’s more…

No, you’re not going to get it here. I’m busy running for the Dayton City Commission and fighting lawsuits against abuses of power by our local government and don’t have time to do the job of the Dayton Day-old News in uncovering the plot to destroy Dayton Public Schools so Tom Lasley and his friends at the Fordham foundation can take over the public schools assets and stock them full of less qualified “teachers” to run charter schools and siphon off public dollars into private pockets. That’s the only thing that could possibly make sense in allowing Lolli to keep her job.

Claiming victory as not being the worst district in the state (there are three that “scored” below) is a joke- and that they would have escaped “takeover” once again- thanks to the work of a few administrators who actually do their job (not naming names because Lolli would probably fire them or move them).

What a real investigator would look at is the incredible amounts of money going to Frost Todd Brown to defend the crazy number of HR related lawsuits due to Lolli’s incompetence in HR and the hiring of friends of Dr. Sheila Burton and Treasurer Hiwot Abraha to provide “HR consulting services.”

And, if you’re wondering who to vote for come November for the DPS board- you have 3 seats open (McManus, Taylor and Walker are not willing to stay on this crazy board under the idiot Harris) and four candidates – meaning only one will not be elected. Voters should vote for Dion Sampson, Will Smith and Gabriella Pickett and not vote to return Joe Lacey to the board. Joe should be under investigation for why he refused to remove Adil Baguirov from the Board when this blog identified that Baguirov didn’t live in the district, and committed voter fraud by claiming a residence that wasn’t his to vote. Nevermind the insane deals Baguirov managed on his own to sell prime real estate to CareSource for half the market value while one of his businesses was a CareSource vendor- and the bus deal where we bought 10 year warranties for 7 year buses- from vendors Baguirov did business with in his trucking firm. Also- throw in the fact that Joe is rude as hell to everyone. I won’t link to my video about him…. yet…. but, there you have it.

Waiting to see who the DEA endorses. I sat through their endorsement meeting on Monday. They are interviewing school board candidates next Monday. Last time they endorsed in a city commission race they only endorsed Jeff Mims and didn’t endorse Joey Williams who had served on the board of Ed and is a DPS grad.
Here are my answers to their questions in case you’re interested:

  • Why do you feel you are the most qualified candidate?

Because I actually have a mind of my own- and a platform that addresses the number one reason our community is struggling: poverty. We can’t keep subsidizing rich corporations on the backs of the working poor in the name of “economic development.”
Giving tax breaks to companies like GE and Emerson, selling off the Fairgrounds to Premier and UD where it will never generate tax revenue for our schools (instead of to a rich suitor who would have paid taxes) and doing deals where we buy buildings with no public use- for half a million bucks- to sell for $10 and throw in Garden Station for free.
I believe the renaissance I’ve been a part of in South Park is an indication of my understanding of bottom up value adding and building a sustainable community as a model for the whole city.

  • In time of shrinking revenues and budget cutbacks, decision must be made regarding budgetary priorities. Please outline your budgetary priorities as specifically as possible.

We need to restructure the property tax mechanism to stop penalizing people for what their neighbors do, and for improving their properties in the City of Dayton which is grossly undervalued due to systemic racism and poor management for decades. With the new “Opportunity Zone” tax breaks – we need to attract real investment in our community to create affordable housing and create new pathways to escaping poverty. Instead of giving away tax dollars to private companies, I believe in investing in empowering our poorest residents by switching RTA to being free (less than 15% of their revenue comes from fares- and by the time you subtract admin and accounting costs it probably breaks down to less than 8% – which could be made back by selling advertising). The buses are already running- why not have them full?

The reason for shrinking revenues is because we no longer offer a community worth investing in. We have to turn that around. Incentivize affordable housing options including co-housing and tiny houses and SRO (single room occupancy). Return the police to full strength by requiring permits for private police equal to the salary of one full time officer, and start working collaboratively with neighborhoods to create reinvestment opportunities.

  • If elected what are your top five objectives?

A safe jail. We can’t send people to a jail where a minor misdemeanor gets a death penalty before court.

Stop subsidizing competition to established local businesses with tax dollars (Troll Pub- prime example).
Eliminate private police forces.
Eliminate tax penalties for improving your home- and stop allowing neighbors values to determine your home’s value.

Work toward regionalization of government. We have too many elected officials, too many commissions, boards, police chiefs and “economic development” officials rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.

  • When you are making a controversial decision, how will you be influenced?

Of course, I’ll just ask the Mayor how to vote and follow her, just like Matt Joseph and Chris Shaw. The “Culture of Corruption” doesn’t exist and Dayton’s working just fine.

I believe in actual open meeting presentations and public analysis. I’ll rely on the city manager and the staff to make compelling presentations that are grounded in solid methodology and research to guide us. I’m being elected to be a director to a board, not to run the city. Running the city is the city manager’s job. I think we need to start seeing how smart a team we have getting paid to run this city- and to have public hearings where the public can weigh in, for as long as it takes to come to the right decision.

  • What do you see as the role and responsibility of someone on City Commission on effective administration of City Government? What do you think the relationship should be between the COMMISSION, Mayor, other city employees and the administration of Dayton Public Schools?

See answer to 4 for my role on the commission. As to the relationship with DPS- according to state law, I’ve got zero influence on DPS other than the ability to grant bullshit tax abatements to the rich to the detriment of our school funding.

I believe in working to make sure we have equal access to the internet for all in our community- and will work hard to make sure that all DPS students aren’t denied that resource due to poverty. I’ll also work hard to bring back supervised youth sports and afterschool activities that don’t have financial barriers to entry.

  • What are your views on collective bargaining?

I’m a strong supporter of unions, however, I’m not a big fan of having 9 bargaining units in a single organization. At some point, people have to work together. I believe that both the DPS board and the Dayton City Commission should have a labor representative sitting as a member.

  • What would you recommend as the best avenue to ensure the involvement of all stakeholders in decision-making?

First and foremost, all agendas being fully available with support documentation online in an ADA compatible format, along with public commenting ability.
Second- strict adherence to Ohio’s open meetings laws. No more round-robins, endless subcommittees, and “work-sessions.” Public bodies must meet in public- at the assigned times- to do the public business- and it must be recorded on video and posted along with the documentation.
Public speakers must be treated with respect, and the three-minute time limits be tossed out the window if the citizen has valid and documented issues.

Also- any citizen who does speak, must be guaranteed a response in writing by the time of the next meeting of the body- even if it’s to tell them it will take longer.

And lastly, we need to reduce and refine the number of public bodies in Montgomery County. Too many Chiefs, too few Indians.

  • What is the single biggest challenge to the City of Dayton and the Dayton Public Schools?

    Poverty, and lack of mobility caused by institutionalized racism.
  • Please list any organization with which you are affiliated to or belong, those who sponsor or endorse you and those from which you have requested and/or received endorsements or recommendations.

Member: DAV, Historic South Park Inc., AAF Cincinnati, Elected precinct captain Montgomery County Democratic Party.

I have not asked for any endorsements or recommendations, I have screened for AFSCME, just as I’ve screened for DEA. No other invites.

 

 

The inevitable death of the Dayton Public Schools at the hands of Libby Lolli

A conversation between a Dayton Public Schools principal who is leaving and Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, recounted third hand goes something like this:

Lolli- “are you leaving because of me?”

Principal- speechless.

And here you have the primary reason Lolli should never have been put in charge of a failing urban district. She thinks the superintendents position is about her.

It’s not.

It’s the reason she’s destroying the district faster than believable. Her constant moving of people and positions without any understanding of the importance of relationships and continuity have caused uncontrollable chaos in the district, with these two stories coming less than 2 weeks into the school year:

Dunbar football player head-butts ref

A Dunbar High School football players faces punishment after he assaulted a referee Saturday night during the team’s nonleague game at Welcome Stadium against Cincinnati’s Roger Bacon.

Dunbar was down 23-8 with seven minutes left in the first half against Roger Bacon when the player head-butted a referee after it looks like the player had been ejected from the game. The player was wearing a helmet when the assault happened.
Dunbar had been called for three unsportsmanlike penalties that night, prior to the assault.

Following the head-butt, the referees called the game and both team exited the field.

“The Dayton Public Schools are dealing with the student who chose to behave in a manner unbecoming of DPS athletes,” Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said in a statement. “The Dayton Public School District extends a sincere apology to the referee involved in the incident, as well as the Roger Bacon and Dunbar athletes, referees, coaches parents and spectators who were not able to play in or watch the event.”

“Never seen anything like it in 35 years being around the game,” Roger Bacon defensive backs coach Tommy Watkins told WCPO Cincinnati.

Ben Ferree of the Ohio High School Athletic Association said the state organization will investigate the incident.

Asked about what punishment the Dunbar player faces, Ferree said in his seven years with OHSAA he could not remember an incident in which a player assaulted a referee.

“This is new to me,” Ferree said.

Source: Dunbar football player assaults referee – Dayton Daily News

Chaos erupts at Thurgood Marshall after principal change

In two separate incidents last week, one Thurgood Marshall High School teacher was arrested on a complaint of assault against a student, and another teacher was injured while trying to break up an altercation.

On Wednesday, art teacher Yolanda Brown, 54, was arrested at the high school on a complaint of misdemeanor assault against a 14-year male, according to a Dayton Police Department report.

Dayton Public School Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli would not comment on the incident, saying it remains under investigation…

Romick confirmed he was aware of a separate incident Tuesday, in which a different teacher was injured while trying to break up an altercation involving students. He said that teacher has been given materials to apply for assault leave under terms of the union’s contract.

Lolli again would not comment other than to say the incident was under investigation, and that school officials do not believe the two incidents were connected.

Lolli would not say whether any students have been arrested or disciplined as a result of either incident, citing privacy laws…. Lolli dismissed any concern of a larger issue.

“There is no concern about the climate at Thurgood Marshall.

The students are in a safe and secure learning environment,” she said, adding, “School districts always analyze events to help evaluate processes. We are following the same procedures we normally follow.”

Source: One teacher arrested, one injured – Dayton Daily News

Lolli’s focus on her version of transformation which includes strict sucking up to her and her belief that all that needs to change is students need to show up for school (now, we’ve moved from less than 10 missed days to less than 5) and the teachers all need to implement the “Marzano method” and this will magically solve all problems.

She has taken schools that were high performing (relative to DPS) and cut their hearts out by “promoting” their principals to new positions that have done nothing to move the needle on academic achievement. Most notably- removing former DPS Superstar Erin Dooley from her beloved and successful Stivers School for the Arts and put her over all high schools academic performance. She “promoted” Sharon Goins from Principal of Thurgood Marshall to some other position- and now TMHS is a trainwreck, one week into the year.

Other administrator moves, too many to even catalog, resulted in something like 75% of the district’s schools having new principals this year, the second year of Lolli’s three-year and out retirement package, offered by a board that ignored all of her previous failings in smaller, non-urban districts. Lolli has never completed a contract as superintendent for good reason, as we’re starting to see now.

The Dunbar football program was one of the best in the State for years under Dunbar AD Pete Pullen and the Powell Family of coaches. When former district AD LaMark Baker, who someone is still employed by the district (as a truancy officer), had a hair-brained idea to throw a game so two DPS teams could make the playoffs, she fired the wrong folks. The district is barely off probation for that major screw-up and now, this. Never mind the basketball coaches she replaced Coach Pullen with were one and done failures as well.

Now, OHSAA is once again looking at DPS and wondering who let these frauds run an athletic program. Unfortunately, only the kids will suffer.

The School Board has shown zero interest or capacity to admit that Lolli is an emperor with no clothes. Considering the previous board hired and fired the woman who hired Lolli (Rhonda Corr) and that since Lolli has been in charge the number of lawsuits, HR issues and discipline issues in the district has multiplied at an astronomical rate- you would think any thinking school board would put a stop to this nonsense sooner than later.

There is no question the district is headed for a breakdown, the only question at this time is who will be the next pinata for the dysfunctional district and when? Lolli desperately wants her three years at $200K a year to pad her retirement- and this board is happy to help. However, her risk of a mental breakdown increases as each school implodes.

My prediction for next emergency superintendent for DPS when Lolli can’t handle the heat of the kitchen- or three new board members this January, is that Belmont Principal Dr. Donetrus Hill gets a battlefield promotion. The only question is how fast he’s allowed to fire Dr. Sheila Burton who sits number two to the last three failed leaders in DPS HQ. Until she leaves, no real change will come.

Watch for more stories, even more outlandish than these two, in the coming weeks. It’s only going to get worse, because, well, Dr. Lolli, it all really is because of you.

Does anyone else wish that the School Board had hired internal candidate, local legend, David Lawrence instead of Corr now? This is the aftermath of what happens when you let a Russian trained troll on your school board and allow him to run the show, and fail to follow the law.

The legend of a loser

Every year in Dayton over a hundred innocent people die from gun violence.
There is no party to ease the pain for them. There are no TV cameras, no fundraisers, no monuments. Some of the crimes against humanity don’t even get solved.

Every year, for 10 years, I’ve written a post around the end of July asking for closure to the killing of Sgt. Major North Woodall, a hero of 3 wars, who’s death remains unsolved.

The governor talks about “red flag laws” – everyone has an opinion on gun control, gun registration and “taking my guns” – and blames things like mental health, access to firepower, numbers of cops on the streets, people in prison, drugs and “active shooter drills.”

The whole country is crazy. Last night I sat at a wedding reception with a couple- he’s an anesthesiologist and she’s a teacher. He just bought a Russian SKS at a gun show for $300 (without even showing his drivers license) and wants an AR 15 pistol, just like the douchebag shooter in the Oregon District had. He’s got a gun safe, and will add trigger locks on the weapons inside it when his kid is a little older- his wife just looked uncomfortable with the discussion. I wonder what makes it any more right for him to own weapons of war than the government- or the douchebag (I refuse to glorify him).

The Doctor has no training, no vetting, no supervision, no liability insurance, no requirement for proof of proficiency to own a killing machine- yet, he’s trusted in a hospital to make decisions of life and death daily- with all of those requirements. Bat shit crazy.

Yet, people still regurgitate lines like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and “are you going to outlaw Kool-aide because it killed 900 people”- never realizing that it was cyanide in the Kool-aide, and that a gun without a person won’t kill anyone, but very few people can actually kill someone without a gun. Knifes make it messy- and while cars might be easy- you  at least have insurance on them.

It’s above my pay grade to introduce gun control legislation. I have no voice in the discussion. I’m a hypocrite because I own guns and have a CCW- yet, wish I lived in a gun free America.

Have a party all you want to cleanse our city- and raise money for the Oregon District 9- and the wounded, but, the killing will continue- just without the party, the news cameras, and the fundraising, and the shared fake sense that any of us are truly safe.

In the meantime- hope that you die at the hands of a loser on a rampage, instead of just a normal shooting, it’s like winning the loser lottery.

peace be with you.

Will “American Factory” put Dayton back in the news?

Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar are the real deal when it comes to making documentaries. They are one of Dayton Ohio’s true gems. Thoughtful, inquisitive and deliberate, they approach their stories with a very cool journalists eye. While their movies don’t enjoy great box office success (very few documentaries do) the stories they tell are infinitely more important than the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

It’s probably why this film, “American Factory” was the first one backed by the Obama’s new production company, Higher Ground Productions. It’s also coming to Netflix this Wednesday – which means it’s going to put Dayton Ohio back in the global spotlight for a shooting- but this one was a movie that took four years to make, vs the other shooting that took less than a minute.

This is not a movie review, nor will it contain spoilers, but coming out of the screening at the Victoria Theater tonight, I can already tell you there will be waves made by this film. The National Labor Relations Board and the UAW are probably going to have a field day with some of the revelations the film exposes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration probably won’t be bothered a bit by it. This is the reality of an editors choice in what goes in and what doesn’t.

The film will give you an amazing perspective on the effects of globalization and how different the cultures are between China and the United States. For that alone, it’s well worth watching.

The part that’s totally missing in the story is how government has meddled in the economic plight of the workers. Who won, who lost and who walked away with the easy money doesn’t get a mention.

And I have to admit, if I watched “The Last Truck”- I don’t remember a lot of it. I do have a friend who worked on it, and I do know Julia and Steve and see them walking around my neighborhood in the summers. But, the transition from shutting down “Truck and Bus” which was the subject of their first documentary at the plant, and the start of “American Factory” has a story in it’s own which remains a mystery to most.

I’m thoroughly convinced that GM decided to shut down the truck plant because they were tired of dealing with a single plant that was on a different union contract than all the rest of them. The see-saw negotiations between UAW which had every other plant, and then the IUE in Dayton, wasn’t worth their bother. That, plus we had some workers that milked Generous Motors for all they were worth. I know, I dated one who worked less than half a year every year due to one malady after another. But blaming the employees or the union is like watching a magicians distraction, while he’s switching the cards in a trick, the real culprit has been American economic policy and our poor political leadership that allows Americans to be short-changed at every turn.

Like the dirty little secret of how this plant is the only reason that a “city” exists in Ohio- with only 6000 people- and an elected Mayor and Council, a city manager, a fire chief etc- Moraine Ohio almost ceased to exist while the plant was in limbo- and should never have existed in the first place. When will the 6000 people realize that they all shouldn’t have to pay for a city manager who makes $145K a year, that’s about $23 a head per year- to “run” their 9.52 square miles.

From NAFTA to the bailout of GM and Chrysler in the financial meltdown to the policies that allowed GM to pay into unemployment in Ohio like a savings account- and then empty out every year while they shut the plant down for changeover, the system has been rigged for corporations to profit and workers to suffer.

Fuyao Glass America isn’t any different than GM except, as the former American executive says you can’t have Fuyao without F-U. And there is no Generosity in FGA, but there is plenty in the Statehouse, who bent the taxpayers over to welcome the Chinese to town.

From incentives and tax breaks, John Kasich and his “Jobs Ohio” program threw cash at a Chinese billionaire to bring $13 an hour jobs back to a plant that used to pay $30 an hour. That’s the story that this movie didn’t tell. It also didn’t tell how the State let GM “donate” the plant to them, so they could “donate” it to Industrial Realty Group out of California who is a vulture developer. IRG, led by Stuart Lichter, worked with JobsOhio and Moraine officials in selling Fuyao Chairman Cho Tak Wong the plant in 2013 after Lichter had scrapped the assembly line and paint facility that the tax payers had built for GM on the promise of keeping the plant open.

IRG and Lichter had done the same thing to the former Emery Air Freight facility at the Dayton Airport- where he got an asset for free and then sold it and pocketed the cash from scrapping it- and later selling it off to other developers.

If you do watch the movie, and I hope you do, just realize that while it focuses on the workers and you may be tempted to compare conditions and pay, the real story is the basic universal truth- that there are the haves and the have nots, and the elephant in the living room is how big will the gap be allowed to get between the two before the whole thing collapses or the revolution begins? Students of history know that history does repeat itself, and the while this movie is the second movie out of the same plant, the story isn’t much different.

While many Americans have to work two and three jobs to get by, and consider themselves lucky if one of those jobs includes health insurance, we may still think we’re somehow better off than the Chinese worker who works 12 hour days at one job and 6 days a week, but, if you think about it, there really isn’t much difference.

There’s a good reason the movie title is written in two languages, yet says the same thing.

Watch it, and wake up America.

 

 

 

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