When the Dayton airport does cut-throat pricing to cut its own throat

Newspaper ad in Dayton Daily News for Dayton Airport lot economy parking

UPDATE

11 Sept 2016. I have some more accurate numbers for the airport economy lot. I’ve updated the post to reflect them.  This is more expensive than I first wrote.

There is more to the story than a city issued press release, but, you can’t count on the understaffed Dayton Daily news to know more. If you read the paper you’ve been seeing ads by the airport touting the new lower rate, and on the airport access road, there is the billboard- all bragging about the new $4.95 a day on airport economy lot rate- from the paper:

Dayton International Airport continues its expansive program of improvements through new parking rates and benefits.

The on-airport economy parking lot has a lower flat rate of $4.95 per day ($34.65 per week) when travel is booked in and out of Dayton International.

The newly reconstructed longterm parking lot was recently reopened and is a short walk from the terminal (the DAYrider courtesy shuttle is also available). With a maximum price of $14 per day, the long-term lot includes more than 1,100 parking spaces and is brightly lit with new LED lighting.

From the DDN: Dayton Daily News – 2016-08-27

Source: Airport parking now has lower economy lot rate

What did they leave out you ask? How about that the price used to be $6 a day for years to start? And, there are only 2 competitors for airport parking: a former client of The Next Wave, Park-n-Go, and Westwind. In order to run their shuttles onto the airport and advertise “airport parking” both are bound by rules and regulations and have to pay a 10% tariff on every customer. So, when the airport forces them to cut rates, the airport makes less all around. In Dayton airport parking ads those are the “hidden fees” that in fact come right back to them.

Do the math. The airport has 1100 2800 spaces in the long term lot- meaning the city leaves at least $2800 a day on the table. Multiply that times 365 and you have $401,500 $1,022,000  potentially less in parking income from the lot. Then you add up the advertising costs, newspaper, and billboards, and maybe some TV- and you’ve spent another $50,000 at least. They average about $300,000 a month on the economy lot- or 60,000 parking days, so at minimum, it’s $60,000 loss each month, times 12 or $720,000 they are really losing by the $1 price cut. There is also the potential that with the low price, the city is pulling people away from their more expensive options which are $14 long term, $18 garage, $20 valet and $24 short term.

Dayton Airport Parking Configuration

LotPriceSpaces
Economy$4.952800
Long Term$14.001100
Garage$18.001400
Valet$20.00200
Short Term$24.00390
Overflow$4.951400

Park-n-Go has about 1100 850 total spots, with only a few hundred 350 committed to the self-park economy lot at $4.95 a day plus .50 for the city. They make most of their money from their valet service at $9.95 a day (plus $.99.5 city tax) which offers your car ready and waiting as you get off their shuttle- cleared of snow- or with the A/C already running. That price puts them well below the city close in lots- or the city valet rate, but with a “white glove” level of service. The city also collects an extra $.99.5 from each of these- making PNG still cheaper than any of the higher priced city lots.

The reality is, the Airport has the advantage all the way, since they don’t have to pay property taxes, and they don’t have to make a profit. Trust me on that last part. All one has to do is look at the horrendous deal the city did to build a parking garage- that gave away the bottom floor to the rental car companies for free for 20 years- and then spent over $600K in legal fees to try to weasel out of the bad deal. (they lost). And note, half of the people parking in the three story garage, are paying $18.00 a day to park on the roof- with no cover over their car.

Speaking of bad deals, in case you didn’t see the other story about the Airport- we’re also getting screwed with some of the highest fares in the country.

The average price of a domestic ticket dropped to $361 in the first quarter, down 7.8 percent from the same period in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Dayton International Airport saw a drop in average fare amounts for the first quarter of 2016. Prices for airfare averaged about $427.59, down from $431.57 in the first quarter of 2015.

Source: Ticket prices remain high at Dayton airport | www.mydaytondailynews.com

When NCR pulled out of Dayton, one of their excuses was the lack of flights and the costs.

Maybe, the airport could focus on actually adding value to the community, instead of trying to put small independent business people out of business.

And maybe, we stop the insanity of having a regional asset, run by, and paid for, by a single municipality? The city of Dayton has way too many other things to work on, in the city- not in Vandalia.
If there is a real reason for regionalism, it’s that stupid moves like this, affect the whole region.

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West Dayton played- again…

In the land where funk began, voters should really change their preference in music after the last carefully orchestrated sideshow- their new theme song, courtesy of the bad boys of British power rock, The Who- should be “Won’t get fooled again”

After two meetings in black churches, which more closely resembled a church revival sans the passing of the collection plate, featuring the oddest collection of snake oil politicians, including the heads of both local political parties (although Sheriff Phil Plummer is the minority token Republican at the County level) a labor leader, her highness, Mayor Nan, Joey Williams and NAACP President Derrick Foward, we find out that the evil “Dayton Together” proposal had been purposefully thwarted back in March by the Dayton City Commission which annexed land in Greene County that the city “already owned.”

The Dayton City Commission on March 23 approved a petition to annex 25 acres between Ohio Route 4 and the Huffman Dam in Greene County, land it has owned since 1926. Greene County Commissioners granted the annexation petition in late April.

A city that spans multiple counties would have to detach itself from the areas located in other counties to be part of a county merger, according to research from the Greater Ohio Policy Center.

Detachment would require property owners in the proposed detachment area to lead a petition drive or put a measure on the ballot.

The annexation purposely created a roadblock protecting Dayton, elected leaders said. “It gives us better control of the land, but it wouldn’t have come up without the merger deal,” said Commissioner Matt Joseph.

Source: City annexed land to stop merger

From the start, the released draft proposal seemed stupid, leading me to believe that this whole shitstorm was nothing but a diversion, or a false flag operation, to make the real plan, to be released later look like a silk purse. It should be really evident to anyone who has watched any attempt at either merger or regionalization occur in this area that these things only happen when one party has basically failed and gone broke, or, outgrown the current form of government (Mad River Township had to become a city so they could do an income tax- because they weren’t smart enough back then to come up with illegal ways like both Miami Township and Butler Township to tax only poor people working retail jobs).

With Raleigh Trammell and his funky hat hanging in felony limbo, the black preacher posse had a power vacuum at the top, and one new hothead decided to make this his power platform to propel himself into the driver’s seat- enter Xavier L. Johnson of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. An import from Tampa, who probably has no clue how Raleigh used to walk into the Dayton City Commission chambers and had the commission kowtow to whatever was his issue of the day. The Dems, always  in fear of losing the essential black vote where all you had to do was pass out a dummy voter slate card saying “endorsed Democrat” and the sheep of the flock of fools would follow, were putty in Trammell’s hands. Pastor Johnson has his own unique way of handling anyone who attempts to say anything he knows in advance he won’t like (interrupt, then cut the mic off), but then again, as our comment god Ice Bandit’s alter ego said on Facebook:

to quote Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, “your dojo, your rules.” Why would you think you would go to that venue and be treated like the Oracle of Delphi? After all, Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. He didn’t drive there…

And while I’m sure Pastor Johnson thinks he’s Malcolm X reincarnated, the difference is, Malcolm built his philosophy on respect. Johnson thought he’d found his platform to build his following- he wanted to get 100,000 signatures against the Dayton Together proposal (which was laughable- since the Board of [S]Elections never lets more than 80% of carefully collected signatures be approved and the county can’t have more than 150,000 real voters) and here it is- he was just another dupe being used to collect email addresses and phone numbers of voters over a pretend issue. I do admit, he got me fired up- but, to quote Malcolm X- “Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.

I’ve been angry for a long time. I see so much potential in Dayton, being squandered by the very people who duped the good pastor. Do we really need multiple clerks of courts, multiple websites, and multiple municipal courts in Montgomery County, the smart voter would ask? Mark Owens is the Dayton Clerk of Courts- the evil merger commissioner Dan Foley was the County Clerk of Courts- and both had the opportunity to hire a whole bunch of people into patronage jobs- that all had to buy tickets to the Dems’ Frolic for Funds- and had to “volunteer” on their bosses’ campaigns. Owens talked about how bad Cuyahoga County was- and they had merged- while Franklin County is now the largest county- and they hadn’t (which is laughable- because Franklin does have a different structure) vindicating our format of County/City- yet missing the point that in Franklin County Municipal judges run COUNTY WIDE- and there isn’t a hodgepodge of municipal courts.

Sheriff Plummer talked in a Black Dayton Church how if you had a problem with one of his deputies, you call him, or vote him out. Just a few problems here, Phil- one, they all live in Dayton, where the police chief is appointed- none of them call Phil, unless their kid is in jail and being mistreated (of which the likelihood in that community is much higher). And, he’s ignoring the fact that the Dayton Police Department is half of what it was 25 years ago, and that we now have a whole bunch of private chiefs that no one can call- UD, Sinclair, MVH, Grandview, Good Sam, Metroparks. Have any question about what private police can do West Dayton- remember Samuel Dubose in Cincinnati?

We don’t need school districts with 800 students and a “superintendent” like in Jefferson Township. We don’t need a police department of 8 with a chief like in Butler Township (but they are about to fire their whole force and hire Sheriff Phil and his boys). No one knows how to tell if their County Recorder is doing a good job- even though he’s the token Countywide elected African American. These are all examples of extra overhead that make Montgomery County have the second highest tax burden in the state.

And what do you get for all that money? A police department that can’t find an “18-20 year old light skinned African American male” who boldly walked onto a school playground and shanked a 7-year-old girl through her lung– despite there being cameras. Unsolved murders of a police officer- Kevin Brame, more than 11 years ago, and Sgt. Major Woodall, a decorated veteran of three wars who was killed in his home.

Yep, I’m the former Dayton City Commission candidate who needed to have my question rudely interrupted and cut the mic off at the last meeting- who screamed an obscenity in church. Isn’t it great how the media describes it? You’re being manipulated there too, Pastor X. Used and fooled. The heartfelt apology I penned on Monday night to the pastor of Wayman and his flock- ignored. Yes, I had no business swearing in church- but, counter to what the bullies who threw me out recognize, this meeting could have and should have been in a public space- a school gym, or a county auditorium- the church building wasn’t being used for political speech was it? Wouldn’t that be a violation of the Johnson Amendment?

As long as I’ve put myself into a corner, let’s ask the real question about disenfranchisement, which was the purported reason for the anti-regionalization revivial. How does having the candidates who make the ballot, or are endorsed by the party, being done in a locked room on the second floor of Democratic Party HQ, by 40 hand-picked pissants (including Nan Whaley, her husband who works for Karl Keith, Dan Foley, Judy Dodge, the labor chief, etc.) make the voters vote count more than if it’s decided by some different group at the ballot box?

Or, let’s ask the real question about West Dayton that no one has the balls to ask. Why are the only three viable black owned businesses in West Dayton car washes, barbershops/beauty salons and churches? (I’ve left out funeral parlors- because it seems that the only ones that get investigated or in trouble by the State are black owned- and I don’t want to kick them while they’re down).

West Dayton is a shambles. Foreclosures. Badly boarded up buildings. Deferred maintenance on streets. The only significant construction on the west side has been prisons, landfills and schools that look like prisons.

Sure Dan Foley and David Esrati are your enemies and Regionalization is bad. Why change the form of government West Dayton when what we have is working so well?

And, that thing they are trying to distract you from? Could it be an income-tax increase? Or regionalization plan B?

Listen to the Who next time instead of party posse and the preachers.

We’ll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgment of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again

Video from both meetings to come.

 

Disrespect breeds disrespect

Well, that was priceless. At the church revival meeting to hang Dan Foley and the “Dayton Together” plan- which has no chance of passing- I went up to ask a question- was interrupted at least 3 times in the first 25 words- and then had the microphone cut off-
to which I loudly told the pastor in charge- “FUCK YOU” gave the 1 finger salute and walked back to my camera, where I was asked to leave.
It’s really easy to be against something – especially change.
It’s hard to answer a question- but, not hard if you don’t let someone ask it.
The question I was attempting to ask- Why do we have the second highest tax burden in the state- yet, in the last 30 years- our police department has been cut in half- while private police departments have grown- paid for by organizations that don’t pay taxes- UD, Premier Health, Kettering Health- and why do tax collectors like MetroParks, Sinclair, Dayton Public Schools also have private cops?
Is this the best our current system can do? Is that why you can’t find a punk who stabbed a girl in broad daylight in a school yard- despite having witnesses and video?
It’s time for some kind of change….

I’ll have video uploaded sometime tomorrow. But, I’m sure someone has it up already…

UPDATE

Here is the video of the comments. We have 2:20 of Pastor Johnson telling everyone how this will work. I begin at 2:29, first interruption 12 seconds in. 2:41, at 2:50 second interruption, 9 seconds later, mic off at 2:53 that’s a total of :24 seconds.

I owe Pastor Cooper of Wayman A.M.E. an apology. However, Pastor Johnson of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church owes me one. Disrespect breeds disrespect, people. Cutting microphones off and censoring questions isn’t what we do in this country.

Time to clean house at Wright State

I like Dr. David Hopkins. A lot.
I’ve done work for him- not a lot.

I’m a Wright State graduate. I was active in Student Government. Inter Club Council and Student Affairs when I was a student.

All that being said- in light of the really good journalism at the Dayton Daily news by Josh Sweigart, it’s time to clean house.

The newspaper no longer publishes editorials. There is no editorial bully pulpit that calls people out when things have gone to shit.

At Wright State- they’ve gone to shit.

First indication was when they hired Jim “Lefty” Leftwich on some consulting contract to get business from the state- while he had a contract from the state. Right there, someone should have ended up in prison- but, no, that was the tip of the iceberg.

Then comes the scandal of H1B visas. The school went into bunker mode. People got fired (and had the audacity to sue for “money owed”). Others, demoted. One person- the long time legal counsel, retired with a lump sum payment.

At the same time- they create an off-books corporation “Double Bowler Properties” with a lobbyist/former congressman to “acquire real estate” quietly. There is an interlocking directorship with the Director of the WSU Board of Trustees- who voted on the hiring of his son to do “cyber security” by the university, without a public job posting- a serious conflict of interest and violation of rules.

Then all of a sudden, there is some hoo-hah about the university needing “internet security upgrades” for “The Presidential Debate” and the numbers are in the millions- all for a few hours of a nationally televised show.

Next comes the whole issue of hiring Ron Wine Consulting- and continuing to pay Ron (no one has proved he has any employees and he doesn’t have a website) a million plus in a year when there was no contract in place. Mr. Wine makes suggestions like “you should offer to hold a fundraiser for the (insert politician’s name here)” as part of his counsel, yet claims he’s not a lobbyist. He also thinks he should be paid a commission on contracts he brings in to the school, something that shouldn’t sit well with anyone in charge of a public institution- funded largely by the taxpayers.

I could go on. I could link to article after article. I could sit and wait- and hope that the Ohio attorney general and the FBI and the others do their jobs- and start throwing people in prison, but we all know white collar crime doesn’t land you in prison- only being poor or having drug offenses will do that. These are all wealthy people. They have that magic “Get out of Jail Free” card given to them as a birthright.

Wright State needs new leadership. Yesterday.

This is too much of a distraction. It’s been taking up too much bandwidth. It’s time for a new set of trustees, a new president, and some sort of independent ethics oversight, since the moral compass of what Wright State should and should not be doing with tax dollars seems to have been tossed off campus.

The university is a key part of our community, which has hitched its cart to the stupid strategy of “Meds, Eds and Feds” (none of which pay property taxes). When the wheels come off one of the key parts of the cart, we’re all at risk.

Sorry Dr. Hopkins, too much has gone off the tracks under your watch. You’ve fallen in with the wrong crowd, and lost your credibility. It’s time to step down.

Desperation drives merger in East Cleveland

On Wednesday, a different kind of “regionalization” plan was kicked off in Cleveland:

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton took the first step Wednesday toward a possible merger with the city of Cleveland – submitting petitions in support of the initiative with about 1,600 signatures to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Source: East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton submits petitions seeking merger with Cleveland | cleveland.com

For those of you who don’t know Cleveland well, it’s a lot like Dayton- a sprawling center city- with a first ring of suburbs- and then exurbs that stretch a long way.

One of my earliest memories, living in East Cleveland, is looking out our 8th floor apartment windows- at a burning skyline. It was the riots, and it wasn’t pretty. We had armed National Guardsmrn outside our front doors in the aftermath. East Cleveland overlooked Hough, Glenville and Collinwood – all of which burned at one time or another between 1966 and 1970.

East Cleveland, by the time I was in high school at neighboring Cleveland Heights, was predominantly black. Cleveland Heights was probably 25% black when I graduated in 1980, and by 2000 was close to 90% black.

Yet, each suburb had to support its own infrastructure. Schools with School Boards, City Halls with Mayors, Managers and Police Chiefs. Finally, someone realized, we’ve got way too many chiefs for the Indians to keep supporting:

“We know that the costs of running the city infrastructure continue to go up, while revenues continue to diminish,” Norton said. “In these elected offices … we must understand that the analysis will sometimes show us that the best way to provide an acceptable quality of service is to have someone else do it.”

Damn. Gary Norton, you get it. Because electing people without any possible way to do the job isn’t really public service- it’s public debt load.

This kind of regionalization would make a lot more sense in Dayton, if we only had some competent leadership. Why Moraine hasn’t merged with Kettering? West Carrollton with Miamisburg? Or Trotwood with Dayton is beyond me. Just cutting the duplication of services and consolidating offices would probably add a decade or two before the inevitable bankruptcies occur.

To watch in today’s paper as Moraine, which can’t afford to give away any taxes:

“Moraine has offered the direct mail company that started in the mid-1980s a five-year forgivable loan to move to the Dryden site”…

In return, the company would be “incurring payroll subject to income taxation by the city in the aggregate amount of $2 million per annum, continuing during each of the next five years,” according to the contract.

“What they would be doing is bringing over their existing jobs,” Moraine Economic Development Director Michael Davis said.

And voila- shrinking taxes for Dayton, and Moraine gives away an undisclosed amount- because Dayton Mailing Services “might add jobs.”

This isn’t sustainable. It isn’t in the best interests of the region. And, it gives Dayton Mailing Services an unfair advantage over other mailing houses (the few that are left) who aren’t getting handouts.

We have too many jurisdictions, too many different rules, too complex a system that costs way more than it should. Unfortunately, with term limits on Statehouse offices, we’ll never be able to give someone enough time to re-work the patchwork mess we have now into a logical quilt of right sized jurisdictions.

It will be interesting to watch what happens in East Cleveland. It won’t be interesting to watch the doomed proposition for merging Dayton with the county.

The “regionalization” plan that wasn’t

When Joey Williams actually posts something political on Facebook, you know people are talking. And that Joey is distancing himself from the new plan is an instant giveaway that this plan is DOA. Not that he has any clout- but, I digress.

I’ve always said that if Kettering were the largest community in the County – and there was talk of regionalization, it would have happened already. Kettering, for the most part, is the model of effective government.

Can’t say that for either the vounty or the City of Dayton, where nepotism, favoritism and as I like to refer to them- “the monarchy of Montgomery County” rule.

This idea of merging the county and the city governments is a joke, if you aren’t including the townships- it’s just a backward move at consolidation- trading in 5 grossly overpaid members of the Dayton City Commission for 3 even more overly paid members of the Montgomery County Commission, who have even less to do.

The regionalization expert cited in today’s Dayton Daily news says:

“(David) Rusk, founding president of the research group Building One America. The former Albuquerque, N.M., mayor wrote “Cities without Suburbs,” a study often described as the bible of government regionalism….

“In effect Dayton city hasn’t received any dowry from the marriage. It hasn’t received a square foot of additional territory. It hasn’t picked up population. It hasn’t picked up any tax base,” Rusk said. “In effect it has simply swapped a governing body that’s elected solely by the residents of the city of Dayton for a governing body that’s elected by everybody in Montgomery County.”

Source: Merger plan has long way to go

Let’s review: Both the city commission and the county commission have basically one job- to hire a professional administrator to see over their large budgets, union contracts, and running the organization. In the business world, we call these the board of directors- unfortunately- in the political world- we elect people- not based on their expertise, or knowledge of running effective organizations- but, based on a popularity contest closely controlled by two local political parties- that operate more like “good ole boys (and girls) clubs” than effective political operators. Their most important role is to get people elected who can then hire the party faithful (again- under-qualified) to work in patronage jobs.

Each elected office gets a budget for these friends and families- the worst offenders are the Board of Elections- where convicted rapists get hired without a job application, Dayton Waste Collection- where generations of a certain union family continue to keep their jobs even when they can’t drive, and oh, lets see- almost every other department in the city.

Remember when the young City Manager, Rashad Young, had his grandpappy working in IT- the one with the kiddie porn on his work computer? Or going back- way back, when our Mayor Richard Clay Dixon was working for Dayton Public Schools- and taking sick days from his DPS job to travel on government business? Or, back to the county- how County Administrator Deb Feldman- signed off on a convicted felon, Raleigh Trammell, to run a welfare program? (And yes, he was convicted of welfare fraud BEFORE she gave him the position).

Realistically- both governments are cesspools. It’s almost laughable when the Dayton Daily quotes this:

“This is a conversation not precipitated by scandal, as it was in Cleveland, and certainly not by the fact that our local public officials are in any way lacking in integrity, dedication to the public and ability,” said U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice, an officer of the nonprofit Dayton Together group, which currently has about 20 members.

That’s because we can’t add two plus two together for the most part, your honor. The reason for the huge shift to Warren County- for the loss of population in Dayton- and the death spiral of property values in our city core- is from ineptitude and a lack of understanding of how the pieces fit together. Readers of this site are constantly reminded of how this mess is failing us.

This plan has it backwards- the way it should work- is the largest municipality in the county should run the county. This would immediately force the other communities to put away their pet squabbles and join together quickly to over power the stupidity that runs Dayton. Merge Centerville, Kettering and Washington Township into one- and let them run the show. Then Dayton would add Trotwood and Jefferson Township and maybe even Harrison Township- to one up the other. Then Huber Heights and Riverside would join forces with CKW and maybe throw in Moraine too. Next you know, Miamisburg, West Carrolton are looking for partners- and voila- regionalization has happened- much the way a parliamentary system works- where you have to form alliances to gain power.

However, the State could step in and fix all of this mess, putting limits on number of elected office per capita within a region defined by population density. No more 6 man police departments, or kangaroo municipal courts. No more “economic development” officials at lower than the county level. And most importantly- a lot less political overhead- the true reason that it sucks to do business in Ohio- where there are so many different tax rates, rules and authorities it makes your head spin.

This hair brained idea of merger should be the last hurrah for Dan Foley- who is only in politics because he’s the son of a judge, and he thinks he was some kind of wizard for implementing computerization when he was the clerk of courts. The reality is, if we graded any of our leaders based on performance; ie- growth of jobs, wealth, population, or efficiency – none of them would have kept their jobs longer than a single term.

One quote gets it right in the paper, Mark Owens:

“We have 86 counties in Ohio that have our kind of government. If there’s something wrong with that kind of government, it ought to be done on a statewide basis, not making Dayton and Montgomery County some type of a test tube or laboratory to figure out what’s going on.”

And the answer is yes- our state is a mess.

Faux regionalism plan finds foes pre-launch: must be good

The headline is a joke. “Plan divides Democratic leaders” says today’s Dayton Daily news. Calling them “leaders” is the first miscue, and the second is referring to them as “Democratic” since the party has worked to make sure no one gets elected, or even on the ballot, before first passing muster in front of a select group of a “screening committee” of which Dayton Clerk of Courts Mark Owens and County Commissioner Dan Foley both are a part of. They endorse pre-primary filing, to strongly advise people NOT TO RUN- unless they gain the endorsement. This is how it is in the “Democratic” monarchy of Montgomery County.

The paper says there is a rift between Owens and Foley:

One county commissioner’s plan to unify the governments of Dayton and Montgomery County has apparently caused a rift between the Democrat and his party chairman before a coming announcement this week detailing the consolidation effort.

Commissioner Dan Foley, a longtime advocate for a more regional government, said he will announce the proposal, called Dayton Together, downtown on Thursday. On Monday, Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens tersely questioned Foley’s merger plan push.

In the letter, Owens writes to Foley: “First, a number of questions have been raised about the transparency of your actions to date, the process you are planning, who is involved and how your plans are being funded.” Foley said this effort shouldn’t come as a surprise to the community as he became active in the discussion as early as 2008 after he was first elected commissioner in 2006. Paul Leonard, former Dayton mayor and lieutenant governor, is co-chair of a 16-member committee working on the charter. Foley said committee members working on the plan would be revealed Thursday at the 1 p.m. news conference at the Engineers Club of Dayton.

“Our first job that we are going to be announcing Thursday is really building this charter so people can then form an opinion about whether they support it or not,” Foley said.

This is just the first step in a months-long process, the county commissioner said. Any charter would have to go to voters and be approved.“We’re asking people to keep an open mind until we finish the charter,” Foley said. “The community has the ability to say yes, they support it, or no, they don’t think it’s a good idea. But we’ve never really respected the community by asking them yet. So what we’re trying to do is build the process,” Foley said.

The result of that process, Owens said, could lead to the disenfranchisement of Dayton’s 140,000 residents when pushed into a larger voting block.

“They won’t have a say in local government like the people in Kettering would, Vandalia would and Huber Heights would.” Owens said in the letter it would diminish Dayton’s ability to help determine police and fire staffing, when streets are paved and when trash is collected.

Regional economic competitiveness and cost savings would outweigh some early growing pains, Foley said. “The question about a more efficient structure of local government is one that’s rooting in how can we compete better for jobs and how do we become more unified,” he said.

Source: Plan divides Democratic leaders

This  “Dayton Together” effort has been going on for a while, only it was called “One Dayton” a few years back. The group screwed a local consultant who was hired to manage the process, and seems to have scaled back the grand plans.

But, let’s be honest about what’s really bugging Mark Owens. Dan Foley used to be clerk of courts. He full well knows that there is only one need in the county for a clerk of courts, one single website for all legal filings, and one database and system- at the county level. That’s the way it’s done in Columbus. Municipal judges, who are limited to hearing misdemeanor cases, run countywide. If we really were doing this right, Kettering, Centerville, Vandalia, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Miamisburg and who knows who else- would all lose their municipal courts- and the patronage jobs that go with them (Owens has a staff of 90 I think). And, the races for Municipal Court judge- plums to hand out to the party faithful in the law profession (just because politicians make laws, we somehow think lawyers are somehow qualified to be leaders, nothing can be farther from the truth) would be harder to control. (We rarely ever have someone challenge a sitting judge in Montgomery County- thanks to an “unwritten agreement” between the parties– another way voters are disenfranchised- by Mark Owens, who DOES NOT BELIEVE IN LETTING VOTERS CHOOSE CANDIDATES).

Let’s be really honest. The idiots in Columbus who keep talking about Ohio taxes being too high are missing the problem. Ohio’s problems stem back to the Northwest Ordinance of 1785 which divided Ohio into 88 counties and gave us this insane structure of villages, townships, cities, counties and a whole other grid of school boards, that has no rhyme or reason, but results in way too much governmental overhead.

80% of Ohio’s population is packed into large urban areas. The rest of it- is rural farm land with sparse population. By electing so many Tom, Dick and Janes, we really end up with quantity over quality and a big whopping bill to pay.

Don’t count Foley as a saint either- his goal is to get a job at the quasi-public slush fund he helped start- the Dayton Development Coalition which will pay him 2 to 3 times what he makes as a County Commissioner- for doing next to nothing (County Commissioners also do next to nothing- since we have a County Administrator who actually runs the county).

The biggest problem in all this is that we have to say “look at this” to legitimize doing the right thing. That regionalism worked in Indianapolis or Louisville or even partially in Columbus isn’t how you make something better- look at the entire State of North Carolina that runs via County Governments and wake up.

Also- stop picking party puppets to get elected by the party instead of the people. That would be a real start to regionalism.

Kettering resorting to corporate welfare

End Corporate WelfareIf I didn’t have an important neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, May 26, I’d be at the Kettering Council meeting asking them to vote no on this corporate welfare scheme:

The city of Kettering will contribute a record $3.6 million incentive to Kettering Health Network for its new $49 million cancer facility.

The cancer center will add 80 new jobs to the existing 3,600 Kettering Health Network jobs now in the area, said Kettering Economic Development Manager Gregg Gorsuch.

“The reasoning behind the incentive is to ensure Kettering Medical Center continues to grow and thrive in the community. They are the largest employer and revenue producer, and we want to make sure they stay in the city of Kettering and this continues to be their flagship operation,” Gorsuch said.

Source: City giving to cancer center

I’d also be calling for Gorsuch to go.

Take his salary, hire a better ice rink manager. Spend some money on advertising the ice rink properly. Invest in something that makes Kettering a better place to be- don’t buy future tax revenue.

On paper this sounds great- spend a little to make a lot- except it’s inherently unfair. The same opportunity isn’t given to every business in Kettering- and the ones who don’t pay their CEO over a million a year are probably in greater need than KHN.

The fear factor of KHN taking this building elsewhere is exactly what will happen eventually if the city keeps doing these kinds of deals. Once you open the floodgates- soon you’ll be like Dayton and have forgotten how to plow the streets, or pay your cops and teachers.

This is the redistribution of wealth- pure and simple. Those tax dollars that you are fronting to KHN were earned by people working minimum wage jobs and they deserve to get the best possible government back with them- not to help rich corporations get a break.

Kettering shouldn’t go down this rabbit hole. Just say no to corporate extortion and focus on what makes Kettering a great community.

This isn’t economic development- it’s criminal.

Why, besides the obvious reasons, is BradyWare moving to Austin Landing

The exodus of professional firms from Downtown Dayton to Austin Landing continues.

From the Dayton Business Journal:

The company currently has 55 employees in its 15,000-square-foot office. The move will be felt downtown — losing income tax and some of its daytime population — and at the Fifth Third building at 1 S. Main St. where BradyWare is among its longtime tenants.

Yet its relocation further solidifies Austin Landing as the new financial hub of the Dayton region, with other top local firms such as Merrill Lynch, Clark Schaefer Hackett and Wells Fargo. The location is said to be advantageous for firms looking to draw clients and employees from the Dayton area, as well as the Cincinnati region.

The city of Dayton will take a big hit in the lost income tax from all of the employees who live outside the city, many of whom stand to get a de facto 2.25 percent raise if they live in a township or city without an income tax. Unless the new office is on the first floor of a building in Austin Landing, employees are not subject to the income tax of the Joint Economic Development District at Austin Landing.

Source: BradyWare confirms plans to move from downtown Dayton to Austin Landing – Dayton Business Journal

However, the inside scoop is that apparently, BradyWare had set a meeting with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley to discuss staying another five years, but she didn’t show up for the meeting. Of course, part of the problem is that we have a City Manager form of government, and this should have been something the City Manager was doing. Of course, it would have just resulted in one of those tax rebate deals- where in exchange for keeping X jobs in Dayton for X years paying at least X dollars- we’ll throw you back some money. A finger in the proverbial broken dam.

Throw in the cramped parking that costs in the basement of the old Cit Fed/5/3rd tower Arcade garage, and the lack of food options, why pay that Dayton payroll tax?

Note- the 1 Dayton Center/5/3rd building at the corner of 3rd and Main- was built with tax dollars, despite not being pre-leased at the level required, and the building has been a financial flop since day one.

The giant sucking sound of the illegal JEDD at Austin Landing continues as a tax haven for the white-collar “2nd floor” types. Only the “little people” on the ground floors of Austin Landing pay taxes, and it’s costing the City of Dayton dearly.

Unfortunately, the idiots the people of Dayton elected to the City Commission like to accept big donations from developers and their friends – and in the end, all the voters got was the best politicians money could buy, while the developers are laughing all the way to the bank.

Dayton’s Inspectional Services called out by the DBJ

The Dayton Business Journal has a cover story about Dayton’s woefully inept Building Inspection department- something that’s been inept for a long time. Olivia Barrow talks to several small independent start-ups that ran face first into the wall of BS that Dayton likes to throw at every project that doesn’t come with political payola.

From the DBJ article-

Michael Cromartie, chief building inspector, wants to see Dayton thrive as much as anyone. But working with his 1999 computer system and a skeleton crew bound to enforce state building codes to the letter, he has a natural tendency to prefer businesses with money.

“If they’re undercapitalized, that’s always a challenge,” he said. “We have walked some people through every step of the process. But can I do that with everybody? No.”

Cromartie said while he can’t design a project for a business, he still wants to meet with prospective business owners as early as possible — before they even sign a lease or buy a building….

Somewhere inside the mammoth tome of regulations that is the Ohio Building Code, there’s a chapter created for existing buildings that violate today’s safety and accessibility standards — Article 34. It’s often cited as a way for entrepreneurs to save money building out a space in one of downtown’s charming, but code-delinquent historic buildings.

But Juhl never even had the chance to get his building evaluated through Article 34.

“The city won’t even look at that chapter unless you build a case around it,” he said. “It would have been a pain in the butt. So instead we brought a 130-year-old building up to 2011 code.”

Article 34 has been used successfully on several projects in Dayton — including Square One Salon & Spa, Warped Wing Brewing Co. and The Barrel House — but those projects were well-funded or advised by experienced architects or business owners.

“It’s virtually impossible for a business owner to use Chapter 34 (without an architect),” said Brock Taylor, development specialist for the city.

The regulation allows a building to be evaluated on a point system that includes trade-offs and substitutions between some of the most expensive elements of bringing a building up to code.

That includes leaving out a sprinkler system in favor of a cheaper alarm system, or reducing the intended occupancy in order to avoid other costly regulations.

But ultimately, even an Article 34 review process can end up being a waste of time, Cromartie said.

“Sometimes you do the investigation and realize it’s not even going to save you any money,” he said.

That chapter of the code becomes another factor that slants the playing field toward well-capitalized, investor-backed ventures….

A technological upgrade is also in order, but it won’t come online until January of 2016.

“The city is investing over $1 million in replacing its obsolete permitting software,” Cromartie said.

And the city is also creating a new staff position that could provide some of the relief business owners are looking for.

via COVER STORY: ?Business friendly? A skeleton crew at the city struggles to help first-time business owners – Dayton Business Journal.

Michael Cromartie has picked up some knowledge from his years on the job- or should I say his reign of terror. His claim as one of the Monarchy of Montgomery County is being married to former Mayor James H. McGee’s daughter, former judge Francis McGee.

I ran into the same BS over 27 years ago when I bought a building ready for the wrecking ball. Not only were there issues with the historic district code, there were zoning issues and then the building inspection issues. When you have a building that someone is willing to invest 30x the purchase price- it would have been nice for a little common sense, but that wasn’t the case. Despite having 4 exit doors with windows in them- and huge storefront windows- the geniuses insisted that we needed the lighted “Exit” signs over a door. You know the ones required by code for hallways in multistory buildings- that have a bunch of solid- similar doors- where there is no way of telling which one leads out.
I came to believe that the building code as enforced by Dayton was the antidote to Darwin (i.e.- protecting morons from extinction).

I’m pretty sure a firefighter is going to argue with me on another point- the one requiring sprinklers. I’m placing a bet that sprinklers malfunction and do more damage than actually work and put out fires- but, Dayton seems hell bent on keeping the sprinkler installers in business. I find it amazing that most of Europe where buildings are over 600 years old- survived without sprinklers.

I know many contractors that refuse to work in Dayton due to the incredible amount of BS that this department manages to spew. I was told that my existing roof- in the back of my house with true 2×6, 14′ rafters on a slight pitch were undersized- and needed to go- despite being original- and decked with 5/4″ planks. I told the inspector to pound salt. That wasn’t what he was there to inspect. On my cottages they tried to claim that faced insulation, that was stapled and seams taped wasn’t a proper vapor barrier- and that we had to remove the facing- and use plastic instead. Except that you couldn’t buy unfaced insulation anywhere. Yet another fail.

If you wonder why houses get torn down instead of rehabbed in Dayton- it’s because to do them legally is too much hassle, and to do them illegally isn’t worth the headaches- plus, the demolition companies pay to get our commission elected.

The reality is that the Ohio building code isn’t written for rehab. It’s written by the construction lobby with one goal in mind- build new instead of rehab. When enforced by megalomaniacs like Cromartie, the public isn’t any safer, and our old buildings fall victim to unreasonable requirements. Is a two-hour fire rating between floors of a 100-year-old building that’s built with old growth timber really going to make a difference compared to having working alarms? Are sprinklers in every unit of a residential conversion really more important than fire extinguishers? When it comes to ADA- does every unit in a residential rental building have to meet ADA requirements or just a majority?

Instead of  “investing” a million in new permitting software, why don’t we just shut down the entire department and let the county do it? In the name of regionalism and setting an example of cooperation like we did with 911?

I’m sure it would do more to hasten renovation and investment back in the city than letting King Cromartie continue his reign of terror on “under-capitalized”  entrepreneurs (i.e.- no money to pay them off).