And who will lead us?

The Dayton Daily News has just realized we have a leadership void in our community.

Imagine that.

After years of endorsing mediocre candidates based on:

  • skin color
  • the size of their campaign treasury
  • number of endorsements
  • being an incumbent

they are realizing that not a single one was able to think on their own, bring new conversations to the table (not even new ideas) or the ability to go out on a limb and actually say something without checking with everyone else first.

The most important rule in gaining power, is that you must give up power to get it. If you don’t understand – go start reading with Sun Tzu and move forward through time-

If you want a regional group to change things- you have to give them some power. The “Miami Valley” leadership by fiefdom isn’t about to do that. There is just one part of their article worth reading: bold & italics mine

MVRPC’s new plan should be to matter

…Other communities have effective and respected regional organizations. But the groups are well regarded because they do things.
Some have implemented tax-sharing at levels beyond Montgomery County’s small EDGE program. Others broker sharing of government resources and services. More than a few have imposed land-use plans that recognize the costs of overbuilding.
These entities, in other words, tackle problems.
But there’s also this: Effective regional groups support initiatives that are at some level controversial; their ideas often require officials to agree to share power or even give up authority.
Controversy, however, is something this community runs from. Who’s irate that it was politically impossible to merge Montgomery County’s and Dayton’s SWAT teams? Who’s complaining that the community has multiple water departments? Or that a flock of people are paid handsomely to attract new businesses, yet the entire region netted just 1,000 new jobs in the 15 years between 1990 and 2005.
Who’s saying that local governments are refusing to make hard choices even as the cost of government is outstripping taxpayers’ ability to pay?

I have my old campaign literature on this site. I was against the “Port Authority” from the start. I was ridiculed  for running for Dayton Commission and talking about lifting the school deseg order on the grounds that it was economically segregating our schools. The list goes on.

The first thing that should be investigated is the net job loss since they raised the taxes on downtown land-owners (SID tax) to grossly overpay the incompetent head of the Downtown Dayton Partnership- Maureen Pero. Paid more than any other local public official- she has a tiny staff and a microscopic budget when compared to Dr. Percy Mack, Deborah Feldman or whoever the next Dayton City Manager will be.

The second is to stop thinking of economic development with a fire sale mentality. Giving away the store isn’t how you grow a business, it’s how you go out of business. Now, more than ever, our dollars should be committed to creating a city that is easy to do business in, and fun to live in, instead of handing out dollars begging companies to stay.

We’ve got lots of advantages in this community- as I’ve said before, we need to have leadership that starts acting like they believe this really is a great place to live and work.

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4 Responses

  1. Daniel Boone August 8, 2006 / 3:01 pm
    You’re right on about the Dayton Partnership. They are another corrupt, political boondoggle downtown. Unfortunately, Rhine McLin just got re-elected, so not much will change. The MVRPC is a joke as well. If they just would lower business taxes, businesses that are located in Kettering, Beavercreek, Centerville, etc, might seriously look to building downtown. As long as the business climate is unfriendly, Dayton won’t be getting any new jobs any time soon.
  2. Bruce Kettelle August 9, 2006 / 3:31 pm
    Daniel,

    Business taxes are an interesting thing to bring into this discussion. Which taxes do you think are ‘unfriendly’ and how are they different than in the burbs or elsewhere?

  3. David Esrati August 9, 2006 / 4:08 pm

    Bruce, I can answer the tax question- and have planned a post for a long time on it.
    Having different income tax rates for each ‘burb is a pain for small employers.
    Then- there is the State- with different forms, different dates, for different businesses of different sizes.
    The worst is the “Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services”- or, Unemployment- they have you fill out a form online- and then demand you also fill out a paper version.
    It should be as easy as signing into a single website in OH- with a schedule of every tax you will owe- and filling out payments and data online.
    The site should be able to send you e-mail reminders to make sure you don’t miss deadlines etc.
    The last insanity- of asking businesses to charge different sales taxes based on where the product is being used- is another stupid move- and just another burden on business.

  4. Bruce Kettelle August 11, 2006 / 4:38 pm
    David,
    Is that it? Or is there more to your tax observations?
    I think Ohio has one of the most confusing tax packages of all the states of which I’ve lived and worked. PA, MA, VA, SC, and OH,

    There is nothing progressive or stimulating that I have found. What I have seen is the only real tax area to area that differs withing Ohio is the property tax and local income taxes (city and school). I think these are the main factors affecting businesses competition within counties and within Ohio.

    One solution which is the largest component is to move towards county wide school districts. Think of the cost savings to the taxpayers as redundent layers of overlapping administrative positions are eliminated as the 18 school districts in Montgomery County become one. I think that’s more money that will go directly to education and less overall money needed from the taxpayers. The state legislators I’ve talked to about this are too chicken to bring this up as it definitely will stir up some vicious debate.

    I do agree there needs to be a better way to administer sales tax collections and computations but I’m not sure that would be much different than in another state.

    I don’t think the answer is more incentives for employers. I think the emphasis should be on attracting more creative people to the area through more competitive tax rates and social amenities.

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