Brad Proctor on David Esrati

If you only read the Dayton Daily News of old about me, or caught me on broadcast TV you would probably think of me a lot differently than the people who know me. I am my father’s son- people either love me or hate me, there isn’t really a middle ground. Agent provocateur, insurgent, linchpin, rabble rouser, harbinger of the revolution or jerk, gadfly, idiot, dufus, moron have all been thrown my way at one point or another.

For years, it didn’t help that someone, for almost 10 years, was anonymously sending out really bizarre letters all over town to people in high places and putting my name and return address on them. I posted about what I called the “Wacko Mail” after a hometown (Celina- in case you didn’t know) girl told me I was the wacko who was sending her boss mail (she worked for the Downtown Dayton Partnership). The author was finally caught and promised never to do it again, but, considering many people used to think I was the author the damage had been done.

So, I put up a post inviting people to “testify” for me on camera. Had no clue who’d show up or what they would say. Some people aren’t comfortable on video and required some editing. But, this video required none. One take- 5 minutes and 2 seconds.

Brad Proctor tells the story of how we first met- when I was going door-to-door campaigning in my first run- for mayor- in the race where Turner and I first crossed paths. Ironically, his friend Mark Shaver- was the city inspector who caused me to have my first run-in with the city over my garage doors in the historic district. There is one correction- I’ve only run for mayor one time, the rest of my runs were for commission and congress.

Brad does share that being honest in Dayton, publishing this blog, questioning those in power is detrimental/dangerous to my livelihood. My political speech has gotten me arrested, turned friends against me when I’ve questioned their meal tickets, polarized people and made the prospect of working with my firm considered riskier, no matter how good the work we produce or how competitively we do it. Those of you who have trusted me and my firm (The Next Wave) and taken the risk, I am indebted and grateful. And to Brad, who just left his job at Tech Town where he has been working without pay for the last year in order to keep paying his staff of two who were let go in January, I am also grateful for your candid speech on my behalf.

I’ll have a few more of these to post before the primary. We’re still looking to do more, so if you are interested in talking about how I, or how this site, esrati.com, has impacted your life, or the community, we’ll be happy to come out and film you.

And, just for kicks I thought I’d add a few personal things about me that you may not know to each of these:

  • I don’t drink alcohol, coffee or tea. My favorite indulgence drinks are Virgils Root Beer (made with real cane sugar), Orange Julius, and Chocolate malts on rare occasion.
  • I still play ice hockey- defense, in the Huff-N-Puff league at the Kettering Rec. It’s a 30 and over, no checking, recreational league. PizzaBill who comments here, was the one who got me to strap back on the skates about ten years ago, for which I’m very thankful.
  • My first job was working at a small family owned “Stereo” store- when I was 12. I began working there because I played the sax and needed a way to play cassette tapes from my sax teacher, the very talented Art Blazer. I don’t play my sax very often anymore, but I love music and have a pretty big record collection (yep vinyl) of mostly jazz and blues, but I also love Motown. Favorite artists outside of jazz and blues are Buckwheat Zydeco (who I became friends with when we swapped building his first website in exchange for using some of his music for the South Park Soliloquy video I did for the neighborhood) J. Geils Band, Steve Winwood, James Brown, Joe Jackson, Seal, Lenny Kravitz, Macy Gray, Joss Stone, the Beastie Boys (instrumental only), Erika Badu, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Dread Zeppelin.

Now you know me better.

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5 Responses

  1. Steve V. February 13, 2012 / 9:31 am
    I see you left out the part where 1.4M of City of Dayton tax money was lost in Brad’s ‘venture’. The idea of an ‘RFID Convergence Center’ was dead on arrival back in 2009 when they failed to secure an anchor tenant or really anyone with funding. They should have changed strategy then. The only thing that was ever of real value was from Citywide. For $400/mo, you could rent an office room in the shiny new Tech Town building and pretend like you owned the place. Tax money gone, zero jobs created. And to top it off, they’re stuck with the third floor which has a layout that really does not function for leasing on the office space market.  

    At some point, you have to sit down and ask yourself, “what exactly am I selling?” and for 28 months, DRCC had absolutely no answer to that. I wonder why it took them this long to pull the plug…

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  2. David Esrati February 13, 2012 / 10:20 am

    @Steve V. I agree- tech town and the idea of bricks and mortar as a solution to bringing jobs back to Dayton is foolish. Blaming Brad for Steve Budd at Citywide’s folly on the river isn’t quite fair.

    Don’t worry thought- they are already cooking up the next version of Tool Town, I mean Tech Town, I mean V_ _ Town.

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  3. Steve V. February 13, 2012 / 11:47 am
    I’ve decided I will start a ‘flying car’ business incubator. Just like RFID, flying cars might be the next-big-thing some day. I will convince the City of Dayton to invest 1.4M in my business and give it a space to occupy. I will give them 80% ownership because if it fails, it’s worthless, and if it succeeds, at least I’ll have 20%!   I will read a few articles and talk to a few people to learn a little about the Flying Car industry. During my ‘sales pitch’ to the City of Dayton, I will play on their ignorance of the Flying Car industry and use factoid after factoid to convince them it’s the Next-Big-Thing  (“soon, the DOD will require all of their cars to be flying cars!”)

    I tell the City of Dayton that I will advertise as a “Flying Car Convergence Center” and try to be the center of all R&D activity for Flying Cars. I tell them I have talked with Ford about being an anchor tenant (but what that really means is I sent someone an email which they did not answer). Startup businesses from all over the world in the area of flying cars will come to my door to work with each other and the anchor tenant. I will collect a percentage of all their revenue (a ‘Tax’ if you will) as the price for them to exist in my ‘Flying Car Convergence Center’. I will try to help them succeed but really all I can do is be a ‘gate opener’ for folks looking to make a sale such as lawyers, marketing consultants, and insurance agents.

    City of Dayton says “ok, here’s some money. I will also build-out a space for you in our Tech Park. You seem to have a lot of connections to the Flying Car industry and know it well.” Just for good measure, I tell them I will create “100 jobs within 3 years” – even though I have no clue how that number might come about or what the jobs may be. If I tell them “98 jobs”, that might imply that I have a plan for how to create exactly 98 jobs. If I tell them “I will create some jobs”, that won’t get them excited enough.

    Two years later, I am ready to launch my incubator. I didn’t get a big tenant – or any established companies looking to do R&D for flying cars locally. Maybe because they really have no reason to setup in Dayton, or maybe they balk at paying my ‘tax’ or maybe because the Flying Car industry isn’t exactly taking off. (pun intended) I did manage to find a guy who does Oil Changes who’s looking for an office to setup and a few guys who like to fish and think it would be cool to have a flying boat. It works out because I can put out all this publicity about how I have ‘stood up’ these companies in the ‘Flying Car Industry.’

    —————

    Obviously there’s a level of culpability to those who are responsible for being stewards of tax money when they make bad decisions. But also, anyone who takes tax money has a level of responsibility as well. Especially when there’s no chance of a ‘clawback’ if they fail. There is no ‘get-off-the-hook’ card when you fail because “they shouldn’t have given me the money in the first place”.  Steve Budd did not go around beating down people’s doors looking for someone to hand money to…
       
      

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  4. Hall February 13, 2012 / 3:08 pm
    But David, in almost every post you make, you add in a “dig” related to some evil-doings. If this entry wasn’t an endorsement for you, you most certainly would have pointed out the taxpayer money that was given to the group Brad was running, how it’s wrong for gov’t to subsidize private business, etc, etc.

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  5. David Esrati February 13, 2012 / 4:34 pm

    @Hall- as far as I understand- Brad no longer works there. This wasn’t about TechTown- it was about what I do in the community. Steve V. took it in another direction.

    If you didn’t know who Brad was- or his connection to Tech Town- you might just pay attention to what he’s saying.

     

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