Cruel and unusual punishment in the Montgomery County Jail

Cruel and Unusual Punishment in the Montgomery County JailThere has been a steady stream of bad news about the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Phil Plummer. I’ve covered some of it, but, there has been so much, so many different things, from his hiring of his sister to do appraisals, to the “firing” of two officers for racist texts– who weren’t really fired, but allowed to retire with disability, to the segregation of female prisoners by race, putting the black women in the old jail and the whites in the new one. All you have to do is search Phil Plummer on this blog.

In September of last year, the public learned that under Plummer, it’s not only OK to pepper spray an inmate in a 7 point restraint chair, but, that it will be covered up, and the person doing the spraying will get promoted, Sgt. Judith Sealey is now Captain Sealey. It came to light when the victim’s law firm released the footage and filed the lawsuit. Read this excellent article from the Washington Post, here’s an excerpt:

But the incident in Dayton appeared to violate widely accepted law enforcement practices.

“You cannot find any training manual that will tell you it is allowable to pepper-spray somebody who is restrained,” said Kamran Loghman, a U.S. Naval Academy professor who helped develop pepper spray for law enforcement use. “It is used to avoid confrontation or injury, so you don’t escalate to higher levels of confrontation. Pepper spray, therefore, should not be used if the subject is expressing verbal disagreement or anger.”

Source: She started the night drinking at home — and ended it being pepper-sprayed in a restraint chair – The Washington Post

Plummer, who ran unopposed last November, for a four-year term, is also the chair of the county Republican Party. The fact that the Sheriff has final say on election day under Ohio law, for issues that the Board of Elections deadlocks on, should make him ineligible to hold one or the other issue.

The issue of the pepper spraying Ms. Amber Swink, didn’t make it into the public eye until after the deadline to run against him had passed. Not that there hadn’t been plenty of other reasons to oust him. In the spring, in the strangest string of meetings in black churches, Plummer was standing there with the local Dem party leaders and union leaders, all singing the same tune against regionalization- even though it might have included consolidating some of the 20 odd police jurisdictions in the county under one department- presumably his. If his cooperation had been worked as a deal to guarantee he run unopposed, it worked. The two parties have a not-so-secret deal to not oppose sitting judges after they’ve won a seat that someone either aged out of or died holding.

Plummer whitewashed the first spraying of a restrained inmate as “an isolated incident.” His main concern was that the blue line of his department had been violated, and that the footage had been released without going through channels.

However, if you just randomly did a public records request for any footage of jailers using pepper spray on inmates, you’d get crickets. Internal sources gave me the incident report number, date, and name of the victim of the latest atrocity to come out of Phil Plummers house of horrors.

Charles Alexander Wade is no choir boy. He’s a 37 year old black man who has had his share of run ins with the law. No stranger to the Montgomery County jail, he’s asking if he’s going to be “chaired” as the deputies are removing him from the back of the State Highway Patrol cruiser, where he is lying face down across the backseat, with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The deputies even brought a hand held video camera out to record the entire booking process, in addition to the jails security video system. You will see them passing the camera around while they proceed to mis-manage their internment of Wade at 4:40 am on October 17, 2016. This was a month after the footage of Swink being pepper sprayed in restraints had been made public. If anything, you’d think everyone would be extra careful before using pepper spray on a restrained inmate, but that would only apply to competent, intelligent employees, which seem to be in the minority in Plummer’s keystone kops klink.

The footage speaks for itself. We’ve spent almost 4 days extracting the proprietary video format, matching time codes, and trying to clearly show what happened to Mr. Wade. We’ve also made available the entire video with continuous time code as a separate file. The audio came from the hand held camera, only the search room has sound on the provided video.

Why Wade bangs his head against the wall is something I wanted to ask him. My attempts at tracking him down from the addresses that I was able to access were unsuccessful. I even went and staked out the Vandalia Municipal Court on a date he was supposed to show up. I am not a private detective or a paid journalist, but, I wanted to hear his side of the story before I published this. Charles, if you are seeing this and would like to get your side out, my contact info is on this site.

I’ve been exposed to CS gas in the military. However, I don’t think it comes close to what point blank pepper spray to the face would do in terms of pain. To spray Wade once while restrained and surrounded by no less than 7 deputies is criminal/sadistic enough. The second spraying when Wade moves his hand to his face was just an excuse to be an even bigger @$$hole. That honor, belongs to Sgt. John W. Eversole/872.

There is no doubt Wade knew his rights and knew what was possible in the jail.

The only question now is who is going to  stop this kind of sadistic criminal abuse of prisoners under Sheriff Phil Plummer?

The FBI? The Justice Department? Our County Prosecutor?

For the first time, I’m asking for donations to this site to support this work, and to make sure I have money for a legal defense in case the Sheriff comes after me. I’ve been publishing this blog since 2005, there are over 2,500 posts. I’ve self-funded it all. I’ve gone after dirty congressman, pay to play politics, the local political parties, the school board, the neighborhood drug house, but this is the fist time I’ve gone after a guy who signs the license for my CCW. You can donate here https://esrati.com/donate

Here is the raw footage of Wade moving from the sallyport into the chair. If your news organization chooses to use this video, I ask that it be credited to this site- with a link to this post: www.esrati.com/deadly And here are the incident reports as a readable PDF: Charles-A-Wade-Report-esrati.com

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

Trump, Turner, The F35 and unicorns

The F35 is made of moneyTrump says the F35 costs too much. Congressman Turner has never met a weapons program, especially one run out of his district, that he’s not in love with. The F35 is a mythical air superiority, one size fits all services, fighter, that was obsolete before it ever flew. A unicorn is a mythical creature that allegedly looks like a horse, but has a single large horn protruding from its forehead.

On 13 June, 1944, the Germans sent the first V-1 across the channel to bomb London. This was a week after the Allies had landed on Normandy. V stood for Vengeance. 1 was because it was first. The first crude cruise missile, long before microcomputers, GPS, and laser guidance systems were developed.

The modern cruise missile can deliver a larger payload, across longer distances, faster and can be retargeted in flight. It was the beginning of the end of the need for slow, large, manned bombers.

The Air Force, run by pilots, high on testosterone and brainwashed by watching the movie “Top Gun” too many times, still believe that battles in the sky are won by men in cockpits. They’ve pushed for newer, faster, stealthier, more lethal, planes even though the Germans were smart enough to take their pilots out of danger to deliver bombs back in 1944. The Japanese, who hadn’t yet become the geniuses to give us the Walkman and the transistor radio, gave up on the idea of trying to bring their pilots home and invented the Kamikaze, a one way ticket to Valhalla, as a desperation move to do what the Germans were doing without a guy in the sky.

The F35 is our Kamikaze, no matter what the technology, no matter what the price. There is no sane reason to put a human in a plane to go battle with other aircraft. The future, is in drones/unmanned aerial vehicles/remotely controlled aircraft. Yes, that thing you bought the kids for Christmas for $49.95 is the entry level air superiority fighter. Just add a few million more, and you have a craft that can go faster, farther, deliver more payload, and pull as many G’s in a turn as you want- because without a pilot in the plane, you don’t have to worry about the fundamental limitations of humans- they weren’t meant to go on a roller coaster without rails traveling at mach 2. Typically a fighter pilot is trained to manage up to 9g’s in very short bursts. Much longer, and the risks become deadly.

For those of you who don’t comprehend mach 2, it’s 1534.54 miles per hour, twice the speed of sound. The fastest roller coaster in the world right now tops out at 150mph, and may max out at 4-5 G’s for very short periods of time.

Remotely controlled vehicles don’t care how many G’s they pull or how fast they go. They can even be disposable, just like Kamikaze pilots. This is, and has been the future of warfare, and the defense industrial complex doesn’t care. They want to sell us the most expensive buggy whip ever in the day of the electric, self-driving car.

The F35 pilot is equipped with a helmet that costs over a half-million dollars each. It’s a marvel of technology- by turning his head to the floor- he can see through the bottom of the plane and what’s below, swivel his head back- and he can see all the way behind him, look at something- and mark a target- all while flying at hypersonic speeds, but why? All this information can feed a pilot on the ground- far away- or not feed a human being at all. We know what the enemy looks like, just program the computer to kill it.

Unfortunately, while President Trump knows the public has been getting shafted with cost overruns and on the most expensive weapon ever, he thinks that shaving 20% off the cost changes things and makes it better. It doesn’t. It just makes it a cheaper coffin for our pilots who will be facing hordes of unmanned craft that cost next to nothing comparatively and can pull 20 G’s and not pass out.

Last summer, I sat down with Moshe Arens, former ambassador to the United States from Israel, and their 3 time defense minister. He’s an aeronautical engineer by training, and was a staunch opponent of Israel buying the F35 (he lost that by one vote). His answer was a much less expensive plane built and flying with Israeli battle tested technology, that first flew in 1986. The Lavi was cheaper, single mission, and higher tech than what had been proposed by the US. However, Arens lost his battle by one vote, with Israeli politicians believing that by helping the American military industrial complex get what they want, Israel would solidify its interdependence with the US.

While Trump is asking to look to an upgraded F18, maybe, he should be looking to the Lavi, or to the Swedes who went the low cost route with the JAS 39 Gripen, of course, either of these aircraft wouldn’t come with nice fat campaign donations that fund chicken hawk politicians like Turner’s campaign. Lockeed Martin is his number one contributor, and the defense industry is his number one segment.

As always, follow the money. In 2018, the Montgomery County Democratic Party must run a better candidate against Turner, or realize that we’re just backing turning our pilots into kamikazes instead of winning battles so that Mike can have money to continue to be your congressman suck up to the defense industry.

You don’t have to believe in unicorns, or vote for Mike Turner, or believe that the F35 makes us safer. It just costs a lot, like President Trump keeps saying. If he wants to drain the swamp, killing the F35 would be a good start.

 

Montgomery County Democratic Party ch-ch-changes…?

It was refreshing to see a whole bunch of fresh faces at the January 2017 Montgomery County Democratic Party meeting. Trumps been in office less than a week, and people are already seeing what happens when the system fails to stop stupid.

Welcome to the too little, too late club.

There are lots of new groups starting up- indivisible, the resistance, blue Ohio, the progressives, etc. etc. I did a “negative post” about the dangers of neophytes last week, and was the bad guy, for explaining that you can create all the groups you want, but, you won’t get on the ballot unless you work within the existing system.

The front of the flyer- the back has a lot more to say.

Click to download the PDF

So last night, I showed up with my pamphleteer of the revolution hat on. I had a nicely printed 5×7 card explaining what has to change. I sat through the laughable “executive meeting” which is now held on the too small stage, behind a screen, with an agenda that’s almost identical to the general agenda. And when it came time to vote to add new precinct captains to the roll, I asked “how many of them either work for elected officials, or are related” and almost got booed off the stage. “That’s not relevant” and “people who work in government are more likely to be involved” and “why.” As it turns out, only one of the 17 new appointees admitted to being related, which is great, compared to the rest of the central committee.  At the end of the exec meeting- I started handing out my propaganda. Some refused (Russ and Matt Joseph both turned it down). I went out to the general meeting area- and handed them out- saying “Welcome” to everyone as I passed out my flyer.

Some people came up to me immediately and thanked me. Others swung back around and said “I agree with …”

However, online today, I’m the bad guy. I’m arrogant, rude, my approach sucks, they don’t agree with my tactics- etc. Apparently, investing time and money in putting together a handout isn’t ok, and saying “welcome” is rude. Hissing and booing when I speak- is, just prim and proper.

Maybe that’s why the piece included “We need to talk about issues, not personalities” and ended with “Go ahead, shoot the messenger.”

The full PDF is available here. Friends And Family Are Great For Cell Phone Plans, But That’s Not How We DEMOCRATS Win Elections.

There was no discussion of issues, strategy, plans. There were requests to sign up for committees, there were requests to sign peoples petitions, there was the hat tip to the elected officials in attendance. The floor wasn’t asked for input. It’s the same old party.

However, there has been one change- they’ve hired a new executive director; Sarah Greathouse.  Sarah and her husband Erik have been political operators for a while. And for the first time- the party site actually lists who’s on the central committee, if they were appointed or elected, who are the ward leaders and who is appointed to the executive committee. There is no mention of who is on the “screening committee”- or if it’s still going to choose our candidates and endorse in primaries.

The executive committee also named Sarah to the Board of Elections to replace John Doll, giving them $20K a year to help compensate her.

Now that the party doesn’t have the dead weight of the old HQ to support, the treasury coffers should be in much better shape. With an executive director who actually understands the internet, we may start seeing effective fund raising and competent emails being sent out (the old way was to send pdf’s of bad flyers as attachments).

For all the newbie politically active- the goal of the party should be to elect democrats, and especially, start winning the offices at the State level that run the gerrymandering operation that’s known as the apportionment board (Governor, Secretary of State and Auditor) in 2018.

In the meantime, I’m giving Ms. Greathouse the benefit of the doubt, and will do whatever I can to help make the democratic party- a true democratic party.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.

And just remember, “Hindsight is 2020”

Faulty Fairgrounds math

“Fairgrounds $15M purchase approved” is the headline on the front page of today’s Dayton Daily news. This is what we would now call “alternative facts,” or in the past- an “F” in math.

No worries, because no matter how much you sell the Fairgrounds for to “Meds, Eds and Feds” you keep the most valuable piece of undeveloped, virgin land in Downtown out of the category of contributing tax entity. No money generated to the schools, and- with this latest plan- which is really no plan, no idea of the number of jobs that will be created- the normal excuse for the public financing of private institutions (otherwise known as either corporate welfare or screwing the little guys).

UD and Premier will redevelop the property after market analysis and community input, according to a news release from the county…. The closing is supposed to take place no later than 15 days after the end of the due diligence period, which can be extended to the end of March if the buyers choose. UD and Premier will take possession of the property no later than Oct. 1, the letter states.

UD and Premier agreed to try to retain the historic roundhouse and incorporate it into their redevelopment plans.

In exchange, the county will provide them with a $2 million credit at the time of closing, which will be applied to the first and smaller of the two payments.

“We’re very pleased that as part of this deal the county is going to be able to contribute money to not only to keep that building where it is, but to improve it,” Commissioner Foley said.

Under the agreement, UD and Premier will not be required to renovate the building by any specific date.

The institutions also can decide that the roundhouse should be taken apart and reassembled at a suitable site somewhere else. But the building has a historic designation and, if moved, would have to be reconstructed to meet historic rehab standards, officials said.

Foley said he’s confident the development will create jobs, reshape the neighborhood and support two major anchor institutions.

“We’re excited that this next step has been accomplished. We look forward to working with our partners to develop plans for future,” said Premier Health in a statement.

The purchase agreement also says the city of Dayton will work to approve a memorandum of understanding outlining how it is prepared to participate in the construction of the infrastructure to benefit and support the redevelopment project.

The city also would be expected to take ownership of the title to the fairgrounds property to make the development eligible for tax increment financing incentives.

As for the financing, UD and Premier are expected to each pay $5.25 million of the sales price.

About $2.5 million is expected to come from a state grant that was previously awarded to the Dayton-MontgomeryCountyPort Authority. And the remaining $2 million is from the county.

Source: Fairgrounds’ $15M purchase approved

As far as this math challenged writer can figure, the Fairgrounds was sold for $10.5 million- making this the steal of the century.

And, the “historic roundhouse” isn’t worth much more than a pole barn, which is all it was then and now. If we are worried about preserving buildings in this town, let’s start with ones that have taxpaying people in them, that we’ve been tearing down faster than Trump tweets.

This after, two developers probably invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a real plan with measurable returns on investment to the community, that were tossed out, so we (the taxpayers) could basically donate this property to two institutions that already don’t pay a lick of property tax- and cried like babies when told they’d have to pay an assessment like the rest of us for new streetlights based on a democratic formula based on street frontage.

And remember, Premier/MVH had plenty of money to spare, as did their top, grossly overpaid executives to donate to Issue 9 to RAISE their income taxes .25% just a few months ago. How much they donated isn’t even fully known, because the mystery Political Action Committee that funded the campaign never filed their post election report. After it passed, one of the first things Premier did was to end support for the two Community Based Police officers they had funded for South Park and Rubicon Mill (the neighborhood FKA Fairgrounds).

Of course, Dan Foley seems to be the only one talking about this donation. Foley has been searching for a post commission job for years. First he’d hoped to be hired by the Dayton Development Coalition, and now, it looks like he’s looking for a job with UD or Premier – hopefully as sweet as what former County Administrator Deb Feldman landed over at Children’s Medical Center where she makes a cool half million a year plus (up from around $200K a year). Foley was also behind the latest failed regionalization push- which crashed and burned, where he made enemies with every black democrat thanks to Nan Whaley’s scare the west side meetings that were a total farce (the poison pill to block the plan was already well in place).

Foley likes to think of himself as some kind of visionary leader, but, he gets nothing done. Maybe this is because he’s never held a real job in his life outside of either patronage jobs through the party, or elected jobs because he’s was born into the party (his Daddy was a judge, and this is how we take care of the friends and family in the Monarchy of Montgomery County). He’s a very nice guy, but that’s really not why we should elect anyone. Voters are getting sick of the same folks getting elected over and over and doing nothing- he almost lost to Jan Kelly last time (she’s now the Republican in charge at the Board of Elections) despite outspending her and being the incumbent, and Debbie Lieberman came within a hair of losing to Gary Leitzell last time out, despite outspending him 100 to 1. If you need any proof that no elected position is safe from incompetence, just look to the White House.

This deal to give away the real estate should be stopped. Without a contract in place specifying the investment to be made and the return on investment, the property should just be kept in holding. Anything else is criminal.

As to the lie of $15 million, that’s what happens when the only reliable news source in a city has to be published by a political gadfly who the party and the paper tried to minimalize from the very first time he ran for office over 25 years ago. You’re welcome.

 

 

The angst of the political neophytes

On a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon (14 Jan 2017), about 45 people met in the basement of the Wright Library in Oakwood to learn “How to elect & support local officials.” I was one of the panelists, along with:

  • Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton
  • Robert Klepinger, ran for congress, 10th district
  • Jimmy Calhoun, ran for congress, 41st district. Precinct captain
  • David Esrati, ran for congress, 10th district. Precinct captain, ward leader.
  • Dan Saks, congressional candidate Springfield/Clark county area

Also notably in attendance was Sarah Greathouse, the new executive director of the Montgomery County Democratic Party.

The audience was mostly women. Upset women. How did a misogynist beat their girl? Now, we have to start paying attention and fix it, because, well, women need to be in office.

Nan was loving it. Totally in her element, talking about how women are underrepresented in office.

She’s right of course, but, that’s not what the real issue is, as Nan spelled it out:

  • Money in politics- Citizens United.
  • Gerrymandering.

Unfortunately, thanks to the Republican landslide, money in politics isn’t going to go away, and more than likely, Trump will name not just one, but as many as three supreme court justices before the mid-terms and it will be all over for a long time. Too little, too late.

The gerrymandering situation, well, the audience wanted to know more about it. Because, most voters never learned how our “democracy” works in school, and certainly haven’t bothered to pay attention until now. How the apportionment board works in Ohio was explained- yet, the likelihood of the Dems grabbing the Governorship, Secretary of State and the Auditor in 2018 is slim and none, unless the backlash against Trump, and the current Republican domination of the Statehouse causes a meltdown the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

I wouldn’t count on it. Although the women’s march yesterday and all of its supporting marches did give me some hope. Organizing is great, but, if it’s just more of us vs them, without a clear list of issues, we’re all doomed.

This group is afraid to put the word “Democrat” in their name- because the founder thinks it’s meaning is kind of “murky”- well, then maybe your first goal should be to clearly define what being a democrat means.

It’s time for the local dems to learn from my friend, Rob Scott, founder of the Dayton Tea Party, and the organizer of the short lived overthrow of the local republican establishment (and yes, I have friends who I’ll never agree with politically):

Dayton Tea Party co-founder, Rob Scott, now Kettering vice mayor, said the key for the movement was that activists knocked on doors, made phone calls, held rallies and focused on issues.

“I think that’s why the tea party movement really took off because we talked about issues,” Scott said. “In 2010 it was like a big wave and it was handed over to the Republican Party.”

Source: Women’s march organizers hope to start movement

Electing women is not an issue, it’s a cause. Issues are things like we have too many jurisdictions in Montgomery County, too many different tax regulations, unfunded mandates, poor schools, an unconstitutional school funding system, the list goes on…

The funny thing about the group hosting this meeting- it’s a private facebook group.

Sort of like the private club that selects the democratic candidates behind closed doors in Montgomery County.

Which brings us to the important news of the week: This Thursday, at the IUE hall on S. Jefferson, at 7pm, the Montgomery County Democratic Party is going to have a meeting where they are talking about appointing a whole bunch of new precinct captains. If they really want to show they’ve turned over a new leaf- we’d pass a rule: no one can be a precinct captain if they work in local government, or are related to someone who works in local government. That would be a good first step to dethroning the monarchy of Montgomery County and turning the party into a true Democratic Party.

Oh, yes, and start talking about issues.

Update on esrati.com – or why I’ve been so quiet

The bozo meter finally was broken. That feature that allowed you to vote, bozo or brilliant- and hide the stupdity (even my own) in comments, hadn’t been updated in a year.

We’ve found a new ratings plugin, that also handles subscriptions. Going back to import the votes on old comments seemed like way too much work. So, sorry, a new chapter in voting has begun. It also manages subscriptions, so when old posts are commented on, old subscribers may not get comment notifications.

The HTML editor for the comments, hadn’t been updated in 2 years.

So, change comes to esrati.com, hopefully, you like it.

And, well, I still have a full-time job running a small advertising agency, teach a monthly seminar (you can sign up now for next Wednesday), and take care of my 88 year old mother who is sliding down the dementia rabbit hole.

And, the Dayton Public Schools reissued their RFP (Request for Proposal) for a marketing contractor as an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) that was due today, not that they know how to put together an RFP or RFQ  for creative services. The first one was so badly constructed that they couldn’t accept the choice of the purchasing department, and the second was a massive cut and paste of things that “sounded good” to someone who has never hired an ad agency in their life. Of course, after skewering the board for their incompetence, the likelihood of being the chosen agency is probably nil, but, if this district wants to turn things around- we’re probably the best fit IMHO. Time will tell.

On top of all of this, I, like many of my liberal friends, are thinking Caligula was just returned to power today. Talking about the sorry state of local affairs while the foundations of this country are at risk seems almost pointless.

In 8 days, I’ll have owned my house in South Park 31 years. I used to have a huge party every year to celebrate, but, for now, the party is off. After losing my dad last August, and having mom here in body only, it just doesn’t seem like a time to celebrate.

But, don’t worry- I’ve got some more stories to tell, that you will read in the Dayton Daily news three or so days after I publish them.

Stay tuned. And remember, while you’re wearing shorts tomorrow in January- global warming is a hoax, and you drain the swamp by filling it with bigger alligators.

Cheers.

 

Action to undo Shanklin appointment to Veterans Service Commission filed today

Attached is a copy of an original action in quo warranto and an affidavit in support that were filed today with the Second District Court of Appeals relating to the appointment of Wilburt Shanklin to the VSC, by Anne Jagielski,, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. Shanklin Quo Warranto

Quo Warranto means: A legal proceeding during which an individual’s right to hold an office or governmental privilege is challenged.

From the filing:

21. The DAV Chapter 9 believes the nomination of Mr. Shankin was improper because he was not nominated and voted on by the members of DAV Chapter 9. Instead the DAV Chapter 9 believe they were compelled by the Court to submit a nomination for someone they did not and do not want representing them on the VSC. But for feeling forced by the Court, Mr. Weeks would not have submitted Mr. Shanklin’s name for nomination. Therefore, Mr. Shanklin’s name should never have been considered by the Court for a seat on the VSC.

You read about this story here first: Politics interfering with the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission

and then here: Judges break law with Shanklin appointment to Veterans Service Commission

I requested help from State Representatives Jim Butler and Rick Perales on this issue, both being veterans and local. The original claim out of the prosecutors office was that the other board that Shanklin sat on, wasn’t a county board, but a state board, so it didn’t disqualify him, even though he was appointed by the very same judges. This issue wasn’t mentioned in the filing.

We will have to wait for a ruling from the Second District Court for final disposition. Shanklin was supposed to begin his term on January 15th. 2017.

Amateurs. School boards and quasi school boards.

If you have lots of meetings, it’s hard for people to pay attention. That’s been the modus operandi of the Dayton Public School Board under Dr. Adil Baguirov. Meetings were long, and many. Last night, where they had to pick a new president and vp and parliamentarian, the meeting ran 2 hours, and then into executive session for at least another 2.

Note- the president doesn’t make more money, has no more power, and has no extra duties other than to run the meeting. The district is run by the Superintendent, who is well paid to be the voice and leader of the school district. So, why it took 2 hours to do that is a pretty good indication of what’s wrong. They even had a long argument about their start times- so this year, their meetings will begin at 5:30 instead of 5pm. Sheila Taylor suggested they put an end time on their meetings- to be fair to the employees who have to be there, to be fair to the board members who don’t get paid more- and to try to put a damn cap on the long pontificating from the dais that became the norm under Baguirov. She was shot down.

She also voted as the only no to appointing Dr. Robert Walker (Div.) as president and Dr. Hazel Rountree (Ph.D.) as VP. I kept waiting to hear her resign in her later speaking opportunities- it was clear she had no faith in Walker.

Most bizarre was the speech by John McManus, who basically ushered Walker to the center seat- saying he’d promised to support Walker and would vote for him, but, if Lacey or Walker couldn’t get 4 votes, he’d step in…. really?

One change, it seems DPS is now going to record all meetings, but they take forever to post them, despite having the tools and bandwidth to do it in real time.

We recorded last night.

If you are looking for insight on how they are going to solve the RTA busing issue, don’t look here, they are still saying it’s not their problem and that they can’t organize a solution because of liability issues- both, untrue, especially next week when the state does count week for attendance for funding.

But as crazy as the DPS board is, we may have a new champion in amateur hour- the “Learn to Earn” board which is now in charge of $4.5 million a year from Dayton taxpayers thanks to the passage of issue 9. To start with- they meet in Riverside, not Dayton. And while they have managed to publish their meeting schedule, they haven’t published minutes, or much of anything on their website. They still have Lori Ward as the DPS superintendent.

We sent our video genius to try to film their first meeting- so the public could see exactly what this unelected body will do with your tax dollars.

First meeting- they got a lecture on the Sunshine Laws- from someone from “Nan Whaley’s office”- here’s that excerpt:

 

Every one who is interested in Ohio politics should learn about the Sunshine laws. Especially school board members (hint, hint).

They get to spend their money anyway they want- unlike the DPS board. So hiring consultants like UD Professor Richard Stock is not a problem for the Learn to Earn (or help our board earn) board. Stock is one of the people who helped guide the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission on the abomination that is Austin Landing- with its two tier tax structure (only the little people pay taxes there).

Stock catches himself trying to self-edit, since this is a real public meeting- and, oops, maybe he shouldn’t share the facts that the pre-school promise won’t make a bit of difference to the residents moving into Dayton’s new tax abated projects- singles, empty nesters- not parents with kids- at least not parents with good jobs with kids.

The reality is, this board has to waste tax dollars, duplicating a lot of the things that DPS already has in place- finance, HR, health benefits, legal counsel, purchasing, video of meetings etc- as well as a website… that all are overhead- to help give money to people who have 5 star pre-schools? Really? Remember, DPS has the most 5 star pre-schools, and they aren’t at capacity- and have to scrounge for money.

The entire meeting is here:

Lastly, and most important- the pre-election report from  Neigborhoods for Dayton’s Future.PDF was the last filing of the organization that paid for this tax funded quasi-public slush fund. They have still not filed their post general election filing. You can see the big dollar donors in my last post about this.

Until they publish their campaign finance report, they shouldn’t be allowed to meet, or to spend any of the funds- in the name of Sunshine. Also, they need to provide minutes, organizational documents, and their articles of incorporation etc. as well as disclose all expenses. These are public tax dollars at work.

We’ll tape the Friday meeting, but after that, they should have to pay someone to do it. And, maybe, they should consider having their meetings in Dayton- since it’s our money, and our city they are working for- meeting in Riverside just doesn’t cut it.

Nuns kicking teen moms out on the streets

Photo of the home of the Mustard Seed Foundation on Denlinger Road in Dayton- a group home for teen momsApparently, the Sisters of the Precious Blood have lost interest in helping teen moms on a path to self-sufficiency. As of March 31st, 2017, the ten girls who have been living in the converted convent on Denlinger Road will be homeless, as the un-Sisters take back their convent.

Since 2010, the building has been provided at a very reasonable rate to The Mustard Seed Foundation, a group home run by a former foster child who managed to overcome the challenges she faced, and who decided to do something to help young mothers follow in her footsteps to self-sufficiency.

Shondale Dorise (nee Atkinson) suffered through 21 foster homes on her way to becoming a teen mom. She credits her final foster parent as the one that showed her the pathway to success, which she is now sharing with others. In the last 6 years, over a 100 young women have managed to not end up as other victims of the system thanks to their time in the big house on Denlinger.

But, all that is about to an end. Dorise, who is now a nurse, and has built the program, only managed to raise half of the $60K she needed as a down payment on the ideal future home for her young protegees- the former Daybreak facility on Wayne Avenue- in my ‘hood, the South Park Historic District. After losing her place in line, that facility is now going to house young males aging out of foster care.

Finding facilities that are move in ready isn’t that easy and the clock is still ticking.

The Mustard Seed Foundation is kind of unique- the way they fund their services is through the state funding for foster kids- plus providing mental health services paid for by medicaid. It’s this unique combo that seems to make the program work- where others fail. They are the only licensed facility of their type in the state- and accept kids from all over. If anything, they should be growing and expanding- because the need is there.

Instead, they may be going out of business.

What’s interesting to me, a spectator on the world of social service delivery, is that you’d think that this would be a natural extension of the well funded country club for young mothers the next neighborhood over. Over in the midst of the Twin Towers neighborhood, where the struggle is real, is a castle on the hill- The Glenn at St. Josephs– a retreat, a compound, a resort, country club- I don’t know what to call it- for young mothers, heavily backed by the Mathile Family Foundation.

There, young mothers over 18, who have a high-school diploma or GED, can live in a mecca of motherhood as long as they have been drug free for at least 6 months before entering the pearly gates. There, they will be coached, coddled and trained for 2 years, while their kids partake in a private 5 star pre-school, as they get their life together. In fact, many of the Mustard Seed(lings) graduate to The Glenn as part of a natural progression.

Teen pregnancy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. For the girls in foster care (wards of the state) The Mustard Seed Foundation has been a way to beat the streets. For those who live in dysfunctional homes, where they are following in their mothers footsteps (I was mocked in college for talking about a 22 year old grandmother in my neighborhood- the privileged college kids didn’t think that was even possible, and this was 1986 or so). Dayton Public Schools alone has plenty of young mothers who would do better in a supportive residential environment than where they are now.

That’s why TMSF was probably thinking too small when they were looking at the former Daybreak building- instead of looking for something bigger. If you have any ideas for a new home- you know of a viable facility- be it a former nursing home, group home, hotel, convent, rooming house, please drop me a line so we can try to find a new home for the Mustard Seed Foundation.

If you want to contribute to the cause, they have a donation page set up with Giving Fuel, but, you can save them the service fee by writing a check directly. They are a 501(c)3 and all donations are tax deductible.

I think that at least part of the former Naval Reserve Center on Gettysburg could become the Mustard Seed foundations new home, while the other parts could become a residential home for DPS students needing a temporary secure and safe place to live. Please, share any ideas you may have, the clock is ticking.

Judges break law with Shanklin appointment to Veterans Service Commission

In their rush to appoint Wilburt Shanklin to the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission over the DAV recommended incumbent Tommy Adkins, the 7 judges who signed off on the appointment under the direction of Judge Mary Katherine Huffman, broke the law:

5901.02

Veterans service commission.In each county there shall be a commission known as “the veterans service commission.” Except as provided in section 5901.021 of the Revised Code, the commission shall be composed of five residents of the county appointed to five-year terms by a judge of the court of common pleas. At the time of appointment or reappointment to the commission, no commission member appointed under this section shall be an employee of the commission or hold an elective or other appointive office of the county served by the commission.

Source: Lawriter – ORC – 5901.02 Veterans service commission.

Appointments to Greater Dayton Premier Management including Wilburt Shanklin

Click to link to PDF

Maybe we should refresh the judges memory, since they previously appointed Shanklin to the board of Greater Dayton Premier Management, with his term expiring 5/31/2018 as shown in this City of Dayton document.

Considering the judges broke the law, the question is, who is going to set this straight? Will the County Prosecutor Mat Heck file charges against seven judges? Will the Veterans Service Commission have to waste time and money filing suit? Should the DAV have to spend money to overturn this travesty?

Considering they already swore Shanklin in a month early to the VSC, while he was still officially on the GDPM board, their action should just be negated.

As if this isn’t bad enough, word is circulating that Huffman has also decided to “rotate” judges out of specialized courts- removing Judge Dennis Adkins (no relation) from presiding over the Veterans treatment court which he founded and has successfully lead for 3 years now. Veterans advocate Elaine Herrick, who has been one of the driving forces behind the Veterans Court along with Ret. General Charles Metcalf  has vowed to work to find a challenger to Huffman in her next race and make sure she loses. Both Herrick and Huffman are republicans btw.

What has brought Huffman to think that she should be the deciding voice in veterans issues in Montgomery County is a mystery. Generally, going against veterans support organizations and systems is about as un-American as putting kimchi on your burger. Does she just have it in for anyone named Adkins? Is this a new psychiatric illness: Adkinsphobia?

If Huffman was so concerned with following the letter of the law in appointments to the VSC, the question still remains as to how Tommy Adkins was placed on the commission a year ago- since the DAV only submitted one name that time.

It’s time to stop playing games with the Montgomery County Veterans commission and the Veterans Treatment court. The question is which Montgomery County politician (I know you all read this blog) is going to step up and demand that the court stop meddling where it isn’t supposed to.