The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and the party central committees

UPDATE

The first post of this had incorrect salaries for the BOE, they have been corrected. Other details from comments, and emails are being added. I’m also going through employment data from the county and the city to cross reference central committee members to public employees. It would seem that the party central committee is hardly representative of the general public- in that most are either;  elected, work for elected people or are related to government workers.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is a cesspool of patronage positions that are totally controlled by the two political parties in the county.

Every position has 2 people to do it- one D, one R. The annual budget of the BOE is substantial, but they don’t really report to anyone. There is a lot of confusion because the Board of Elections is actually two parts: the actual board- of four members, 2 from each party, that usually meets twice a month and is paid about $20K a year, and the workers in the Board of Elections- who work year round to manage voter registration and coordinate elections. These positions are all filled by the parties and at least on the Democratic side, are expected to donate at least $100 a year for every $10,000 they make back to the party.

The current board is former GOP party chairs Greg Gantt and Kay Wick for the Republicans. For the Dems, it’s Rhine McLin. former Dayton mayor and state rep, and John Doll. They replaced Dennis Lieberman, long time Dem Party chair and husband of County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman and AFSCME leader, Tom Ritchie after a dispute with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted over early voting hours.

This is the organization that employs handwriting experts (graphologists) who ascertain the validity of petition signatures (graphology isn’t accepted in U.S. courts) and finds ways to keep as many candidates off ballots via technicalities as possible.

I’ve split the employees by party and listed alphabetically by last name. The information comes from at least 5 sources of former BOE workers from both parties. I’m sure my readers can help me fill in blanks- and refine this data. I am not a paid journalist, and I do my best to make sure information is correct- or at least correctable.

The wage data came from a public records request and was furnished by Director Jan Kelly.

Democrats:

Guy Aber, $42,016 election ops
Probably being groomed to take Steve Harsman’s place. His father, Russ Aber, works for Montgomery County Auditor and Dem Party vice chair Karl Keith in the data processing “division”. Was a friend of Tony Tipps. Guy is known by some former employees for having a temper.

April Alford, $35,817 registration
Friend of Beverly King. Known as a pretty hard worker and is about to complete her degree at WSU.

UPDATE

? Blackshear– son of County Recorder Willis Blackshear- information missing on Public records request.

Tina Brown, $38,737 campaign finance
Daughter of Jefferson Township trustee, Brice Sims. Replaced Henderson Scott after he was asked to step down after a sexual harassment investigation. He worked for Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley when the suit was filed, and was transferred to the BOE so he could keep his job. Tina is dependent on Republican counterpart Denis Aslinger to do parts of her job, which is one of the more complex parts of the operation..

Robyn Fecke, $43,035 poll worker coordinator
Her father is Dave Fecke who is a union boss friendly with union boss and former BOE member Tom Ritchie.

Anna Fernandez, $33,820 registration
Common law wife/girlfriend of Steve Harsman Jr.

John Fletcher, $32,843 registration
Unknown connection.

Steve Harsman, deputy director $119,995
Longest running employee, and predates sources for how he got the job in the first place. was a friend of Karl Keith, working in Dem HQ with former Dem Party Chief Joe Shump who gave Harsman the job. Owens wanted to remove Harsman, but Keith supported him. In typical dog-eat-dog dem fashion, AJ Wagner appointed Karl Keith to the auditor position, when he became a judge- and then Keith supported Nan in the Mayors race. No loyalty.

Laura Jordan, $33,820 registration
Commissioner Judy Dodge’s daughter.

Beverly King, $64,043 registration supervisor
Unknown how she got the job, but is famous to readers of this site for getting her son brother hired without a job application. Turns out he was a convicted rapist and registered sex offender. He was quickly shown the door as the office women felt betrayed.

Cathie Merkel, $57,886 Finance
Deceased husband, Mike, used to be Montgomery County Dem Party chair Mark Owens’ right hand man at the Dayton Clerk of Courts. Well known by insiders as the sometime girlfriend of Steve Harsman.

John Murphy, $34,840 registration
Dem Party faithful and father of Gen Murphy, who is Nan Whaley’s errand girl and president of the Ohio Young Dems.

Priscilla Ritchie, $37,960 absentee
Daughter in law of Tom Ritchie

David Owens, $37,918, campaign finance
Brother of Dayton Clerk of Courts Mark Owens who is the Dem Party chair.

Republicans:

Denis Aslinger, $49,046 campaign finance
Brother is a judge in Darke County. Husband of Julie Aslinger, a former magistrate for probate court.  Former director, Betty Smith was a probate court supervisor before coming to the BOE. Julie now works for Job and Family Services.

Denis is one of the true professionals in the office, and has been a huge help to me at getting good information in a timely manner, except when Steve Harsman forbade Denis to talk to me, over the recording and posting of my call about William Pace being on the ballot.

To accommodate Dave Landon, he’s being transferred downstairs. Landon ostensibly came in as a voter registration clerk at a very high pay- and Jan Kelly had to take a pay cut to make room for his inflated pay, but now as campaign finance director his pay is fitting his position.

Linda Brewster, $52,000 finance
Board member Kay Wick’s best friend.

Carolyn Clark, $49,046 absentee
Her mother did investments with Tom Young a Republican qho has been part of the old guard GOP in Montgomery County, possibly a girlfriend of a previous County GOP Chairman.

Bill Hibner, $49,046 election ops
Arlene Setzer, former state rep put him in under Jeff Jacobson. Father is Bill Hibner Sr. of Vandalia, who works with Greater Dayton Construction. Not sure how this is politically relevant, other than GDC/Oberer development is a major donor to politicians.

UPDATE

Francine ?– information missing from public information request.

Douglas Jones, $31,761 registration
Owns Studio Zumba and hired Jen Robertson as an instructor, and then she got him a job at the BOE.

UPDATE

Suzanne Joo, $35,713 Registration
Lives in Greene County. No connections. Reportedly stood up and protested the addition of Dave Landon to the BOE staff, took a personal day because she was so angry.

Jan Kelly, director, $100,006
Very helpful, used to work for SOS Jon Husted and ran against Dan Foley for County Commission, coming close, despite wide funding gap. Previously ran Chuck Curran’s campaign for county commissioner when he was a Republican. An attorney by profession, but not admitted to Ohio Bar. Had to take a pay cut to hire former GOP chair Dave Landon in.

UPDATE

Dave Landon, $69,992 finance
Long time GOP party old guard member. Disbarred as an attorney. Writes for Dayton City Paper. Fired from Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor’s district office for running his private auto sales business on state time. Despite only being there a few months, he’s already been in hot water for sending a robocall to endorse candidate Mike Nolan in a Miami Township political campaign which is a no-no for BOE employees. Also, reportedly attended a Dayton Daily News candidate interview for or with Nolan, during the time before an election when BOE employees aren’t allowed to leave the office. DDN supposedly looked into if he had taken personal time- and found no record of it. Reports from inside the BOE say he is still running his car business on BOE time- and takes extended lunches frequently.

Mark Mazer, $34,652 absentee
Good friend of Sandra Brassington who sometimes runs the local GOP and now works for Governor Kasich.

Karen O’Meara, $53,123 registration supervisor
Unknown connections.

Joshua Pettis $29,993 registration
Unknown connections.

Jennifer Robertson, $38,500 poll worker coordinator
She lives in Darke County but still serves as a precinct captain in Montgomery. When she was running for precinct captain, she put down the wrong address on her form. Greg Gantt, who was best friends with her brother growing up, possibly broke the law and allowed her to change the form after she had already turned it in.

Sarah Scott, $25,001 registration
Former GOP chair Rob Scott’s sister.

Former employees:

  • Alicia Scott Bey – retired. Was close to Jeff Jacobson. R
  • Tamar Gullate D
  • Anthony Harris- shuffled around the county building, must be related to someone. D
  • Joel Hart
  • Brittanee  Iles
  • Helen Jacobson -Former GOP party chair Jeff Jacobson’s mother R
  • Nancy Jenkins
  • Robin Lehman – left BOE for Domestic Relations Court. Is the Republican Party’s longtime treasurer. R
  • Marlene Kincer- Greg Brush’s mother in law- Kym Brush’s mom. D
  • Micah Leventhal
  • Kim Loy – Wife of former Vandalia Mayor Bill Loy D
  • Nancy Marino- runs Trotwood Dem Club D
  • Susan Martin- Tom Robert’s sister D
  • Brian Mead – now in State Auditor’s office- wife is lobbyist for CareSource R
  • Christine Michaels -former director of registration, Chris Conney’s mother. R
  • Andrew Morris R
  • Kelsey Rankin
  • Suzanne Robillard – Now Joo
  • Julie Russel- best friend Carolyn Clark
  • Henderson Scott – D out of Foley’s office
  • Betty Smith – former director, retired for health reasons. Knew her election law and was always helpful to me. Formerly a probate court supervisor R
  • Krystie Spirk – daughter of Mike Spirk – works for Karl Keith D
  • Dru Stewart – R
  • Bryan Suddith- R- Republican party activist.
  • Sinthy Taylor – D, Friend of McLin’s
  • Tony Tipps- Son of Ohio super lobbyist Paul Tipps. Was fired for ostensibly forging a signature on an absentee ballot for his daughter in front of Caroline Clark.
  • Robin Titus – D
  • Carol Varro – son worked for Jeff Jacobson.
  • Missy Mae Walters- Hired by Betty Smith, lobbyist and former girlfriend of former Republican Party Chair Rob Scott.
  • Shynae Whiteside
Screen shot Montgomery County Board of Elections (Ohio)  site on Jan 12, 2014 still showing 2013 dates

Screen shot MCBOE site on Jan 12, 2014 still showing 2013 dates

Despite all this amazing talent, the current website has upcoming election dates and registration deadlines in as of today, Jan. 12 2014.

UPDATE

since this post went up- they finally updated the dates

To see what a real county board of elections website should look like, visit Franklin County’s.

The real question is how the parties control these jobs and political offices. That’s determined by whom we elect to the party central committee. Dems have their elections with gubernatorial primaries- and Republicans do theirs with the presidential primaries.

Just in case you are interested, the deadlines to file your petition to run for Central Committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, the dates that aren’t on the BOE site are:

  • 2/5 – Central Committee Precinct Captain Petitions are due by 4 p.m. at the BOE
  • 2/24 – Central Committee Write-In Candidate Forms are due by 4 p.m. at the BOE

You need to get only 5 signatures of registered voters in your precinct to get on the ballot. Get at least double that so the “graphologists” don’t throw your petition out.

This is how Rob Scott took over the local Republican party from Greg Gantt, and how Dennis Lieberman ousted Joe Shump.

To find out what precinct you live in: http://www.mcohio.org/boe/voter_information/voter_reg_lookup.cfm

If you want to find out who your precinct captain is- good luck- the worthless site run by the local party has nothing. www.montgomerydems.org

(compare it to the excellent Franklin County site www.fcdp.org).

And- if you want the form- also- good luck, go to the Sec. of State site to download it. http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/forms/2-L.pdf Make sure you print it on legal paper, have it signed in ink- and that they SIGN- not print their names. If you want to run as a write in, the form is: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/forms/13.pdf

To read about how precinct captain takeover’s work: http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com/

Below is the list of the current Dem party precinct captains- with a few titles filled in.
Note how many seats are empty? Also- note, how many people are either in office- or work for elected leaders. I don’t have time to cross-reference every name- but, if you can add in comments who works for whom- we can fill this out.

If you want to end the rule of the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” it will start with independent-minded people getting elected to the central committee. Please contact me if you need help with the process.

Montgomery County Dem Central Committee

WARDPRECINCT FIRST NAMELAST NAMEEMPLOYER
DAY 1A
DAY 1BJessicaMichaiak
DAY 1CRonaldLeeDayton School Board
DAY 1DJoanWagnerWife of AJ Wagner, former Auditor, Judge and Dayton Mayoral Candidate
DAY 1EDavidEsrati
DAY 2A
DAY 2BAnthonyBallisPartner of Dayton School Board Member Joe Lacey, who works in the County Treasurers office
DAY 2CMatthewCoxAuditors office
DAY 2D
DAY 3A
DAY 3BRichardCox
DAY 3C
DAY 3D
DAY 3E
DAY 3FCJBartley
DAY 3G
DAY 3HMaryKuehne
DAY 3IMarkCunningham
DAY 3J
DAY 3KMarkOwensDem Party Chair, Dayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 3LAnnMurrayDayton Municipal Court
DAY 4ASamuelBraunMr. Nan Whaley, County Auditors office
DAY 4B
DAY 4CWalterDoty
DAY 4D
DAY 5AAprilAlfordBoard of Elections
DAY 5BFredStrahornState Representative
DAY 5CRichardGreenformer Counselor at MC Juvy Court System - 42 years
DAY 5DDonaldDomineckmember of Dayton's Black Panther Party
DAY 5EBarbaraHarris
DAY 6ATomRobertsFormer State Rep and Senate
DAY 6BStaceyBenson-TaylorAFLCIO Union Representative
DAY 6CDorothyBarnes
DAY 6DLawrenceFlowersDayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 7ARhineMcLinFormer State rep, senate, MCDP vice chair, Dayton Mayor and now on BOE
DAY 7BClaytonLuckieImprisoned State rep
DAY 8AKarlKeithCounty Auditor, Vice Chair MCDP
DAY 8B
DAY 8CMeghanCole - now ThomasDayton Clerk of Courts (moved)
DAY 8DGeorgeEstes
DAY 9AMaryMontgomeryProsecutors office
DAY 9BGenevieveMurphyPresident Ohio Young Dems, Auditors office
DAY 9CMatthewJosephDayton City Commissioner, Brother of Russ Joseph, Dayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 9DGuyAberBoard of Elections, his father Russel works in Auditors office
DAY 10A
DAY 10B
DAY 10CMaryPattersonCounty Treasurers office
DAY 10D
DAY 10E
DAY 11A
DAY 11B
DAY 11CRachellePaynter
DAY 11DJessicaAbernathyFormer Deputy MC Recorder, Admin Secretary at Family First Council
DAY 12ACatherineMerkleBoard of Elections
DAY 12B
DAY 12CChristopherConner
DAY 12D
DAY 13AShawnDayDayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 13BHayesShepard
DAY 14AGeraldMarshall
DAY 14BJohnBoston
DAY 14C
DAY 14DLakiaGray
DAY 15AReginaMarksCounty Environmental Services
DAY 15BJohnSmith
DAY 15C
DAY 15D
DAY 16AClayDixonFormer Mayor of Dayton
DAY 16B
DAY 16CIrvingJohnson
DAY 16DClaudiaMason
DAY 16E
DAY 17AMichaelNelson
DAY 17BJamieSimpson
DAY 17CLindaMcKenna
DAY 17DAudrennaWhitesideClerk of Courts
DAY 18AFredRalston
DAY 18B
DAY 18CGretchenMoore
DAY 18D
DAY 19AJamesAtchisonIT Manager at the City of Moraine
DAY 19BWillisBlackshearCounty Recorder
DAY 19C
DAY 19DKeithLanderFacility Services at MC
DAY 20ALelaEstesBoard Member at City of Dayton
DAY 20BRichardSeitz
DAY 20 C
DAY 20DThomasRitchieUnion Head, former BOE member
DAY 21AWillieMarshall
DAY 21B
DAY 21CMarciaKnoxUnion Chief
DAY 22ASinthyTaylorFormer BOE employee
DAY 22BJohnFletcherBoard of Elections
DAY 22CAlvinFreemanDayton Civil Service Board
DAY 23A
BTADebraArmaniniCounty Prosecutor
BTBKym BrushWife of Greg Brush County Clerk of Courts
BTCEmily JacksonNow Emily Bradford- works in County Commission office for Judy Dodge
BTDRichard Carnelobbyist
BTEWilliam Davis IIDayton Water dept.
BTF
BTGPatriciaKunk
VDA
VDB
VDC
VDDWilliamCrawfordDayton Street Maintenance
VDEMarkMacNealyVolunteer Physician at Reach out of Montgomery County
VDF
VDGJudy DodgeCounty commissioner
VDHElaineZimmers-JohnsonRetired-Director of Real Estate for the Auditor’s Office
VDILawrenceO'Donnell
VDJStevenHarsmanBoard of Elections
CLAA
CLAB
CLACRichardRenner5 Rivers Metro Parks
BRKA
BRKB
BRKC
BRKDAmy EddsCounty Auditors office
PHB
GERA
GER-B
GTNA
GTNB
GTNCJeffHastyEnvironmental Services
HARA
HARBWesleyWellsUnion Leader
HARC
HARDElizabethDyer
HARE
HARF
HARGJustin AllenStillwater
HARH
HARIChristineKinterDayton Clerk of Courts
HARJRolandWinburnState Rep
HARK
HARLTony Curington
HARMBrookeWrightDayton Municipal Court
HARN
HUB 1A
HUB 1BLuDale
HUB 1CIsacDaniel
HUB 1D
HUB 2APenniChafins
HUB 2B
HUB 2CJanVargoHuber Heights Council
HUB 2D
HUB 3ADonaldPayne
HUB 3B
HUB 3CEdwinPrimm
HUB 3DLinda Manning
HUB 4A
HUB 4B
HUB 4C
HUB 4D
HUB 5A
HUB 5B
HUB 5CDavidRichards
HUB 6ADanaClark
HUB 6BEdLyons
HUB 6CEllenWilkey
JAKAKarenCriswell
JAKB
FARM
JNLBAVickiGebhart
JNLBBDave Fecke
JEFAFredMeacham
JEFBBriceSimsJefferson Twp Trustee
JEFC
JEFDLynnThomassonCounty Clerk of Courts
KT 1AJasonStanton
KT 1BRobin Barker
KT 1C
KT 1D
KT 1EDennisMcCarthy
KT 1FKathy Williams
KT 1G
KT 1HLauraJordanBoard of Elections
KT 1I
KT 2A
KT 2BFredSchindlerMaintainance at WPAFB
KT 2C
KT 2DNancy SimpsonCommunity Economic Development
KT 2EMaryRobinson
KT 2F
KT 2GDavidWisemann
KT 2HPatBiddle
KT 2I
KT 3A
KT 3BJonathanHardin
KT 3CFrederickKrumholtzDayton Clerk of Courts
KT 3D
KT 3E
KT 3FRobertaBeyerDayton Recreation and Youth Services
KT 3G
KT 3HAncilWebb
KT 3I
KT 3JMiriamMaue
KT 3K
KT 4ANancyEnright
KT 4B
KT 4CLauraHawthornLogistics management at WPAFB
KT 4D
KT 4E
KT 4F
KT 4GJonathanKleinman
KT 4HJohnMurphyBoard of Elections
KT 4IWesleyBishop
KT 4J
KT 4KMichaelBockKettering School board
TR 1ATommyStewart
TR 1B
TR 1CMarjorieTownes
TR 1DEllaBollingCounty Treasurers Office
TR 1ENancyMarino
TR 1FDawnWojcikMCDP employee
TR 2ATiaCoxJob and Family Services
TR 2BKevinArnold
TR 2C
TR 2D
TR 2EDonnaGales
TR 3A
TR 3B
TR 3C
TR 4ADjunaBrownex-Auditor’s Office
TR 4BPatrickThomassonMarried to Tisha who works in Dayton Clerk of Courts
TR 4C
TR 4D
RVA
RVBGladysStump
RVC
RVDWilliamFlauteRiverside Mayor
RVEKennyNance
RVF
RVG
RVH
RVI
RVJ
RVK
RVLEdythMitchell
RVM
PM
MIAA
MIAB
MIAC
MIAD
MIAE
MIAF
MIAG
MIAHWilliamMelke
MIAI
MIAJ
MIAK
MIAL
MIAM
MIAN
MIAOMarkLandersVeterans Services
MIAP
MIAQP MichaelRobinetteFormer head of Conservancy District, MVRPC
MIAR
MIAS
MIATJohnnaShiaCounty Prosecutor
WCRA
WCRBBrendaWhiteDayton Clerk of Courts
WCRC
WCRDToddAhearnCounty Prosector
WCREChrisHolmAuditors office
WCRF
WCRGReneeSheppard
MBG 1A
MBG 1B
MBG 1C
MBG 2A
MBG 2BCharlesBowlingFormer BOE employee
MBG 2C
MBG 3A
MBG 3B
MBG 3C
MBG 4A
MBG 4BJulieBrunsCounty Prosecutor
MBG 4C
MBG 4D
MOR 1AJacquelineCole
MOR 2APatriciaCelesJob and Family Services
MOR 3A
MOR 4ALindaPauley
OAKAPeggyWellerJFS childrens services
OAKB
OAKC
OAKD
OAKETony TippsFormer BOE worker, son of Lobbyist Paul Tipps
OAKF
OAKGCarolHolm
PERA
PERB
PERC
PNLBABettyBenningtonDayton Clerk of Courts
CTN 1A
CTN 1BMattHeckProsecutor
CTN 1CDennisLiebermanFormer MCDP Chair, Former BOE, Husband of Debbie Lieberman
CTN 1DTinaBrownBoard of Elections
CTN 2A
CTN 2BJackeHorne
CTN 2CJoeLitvinFormer County engineer
CTN 3AJamesGorman
CTN 3BTedGudorf
CTN 3CCheryl Hart-GroffDayton Clerk of Courts
ENGA
ENGBJudyGerhard
ENGC
ENGD
ENGE
ENGF
ENGG
ENGHPearlieJohnson
ENGI
ENGJ
UNA
UNBRobinDavisDayton Clerk of Courts
UNC
UNDMikeSpirkCounty Auditor
WSAJamesVangrovCounty Commission office
WSBKrissGang
WSC
WSDMaryMiller Ellis
WSE
WSF
WSG
WSHSusanHesselgesser
WSI
WSJMichelleGrodnerProsecutor
WSK
WSLBarbaraShump
WSM
WSN
WSOPaulRobinsonCounty Treasurer
WSP
WSQ
WSRJohn Roll
WSSPatEdsall
WSTShirleyMarion
WSU
WSVLeigh AnnCapizziJuvenile Court, married to Tony Capizzi, former Dayton City Commissioner and now Judge
WSW
WSXBeverlyKingBoard of Elections
CVA
CVB
CVCCharlotteVitali
CVD
CVE
CVFCathyStartzmanCounty Commission office
CVGStephenDavis
CVHDavidSaphire
CVI
CVJ
CVKMichaelRiceHusband of County Treasure Carolyn Rice
CVLChristiannaRomerCounty Commission office
CVM
CVN
CVOLeeFalkeFormer County Prosecutor
CVP

 

 

Esrati vision for a digital Dayton

Esrati plan for a digital Dayton

Become Ohio’s first Digital city.

I believe that it’s time to make Dayton remarkable for doing things that other cities can’t pull off. The spirit of the Wright Brothers, Kettering, Deeds etc. It’s time to innovate our way to prosperity. To make Dayton the place people want to move to- instead of move away from. I see Dayton as a land of opportunity- where it’s easy for everyone to prosper, with our low cost of living, great water, and by turning every neighborhood into a vibrant community where people like their neighbors (it’s happened in South Park- my neighborhood where “neighbors become friends”).

There are two stories that I bring to this narrative- stories of kids triumphing over obstacles, of taking charge of their futures and creating value.

Earlier this year, OLPC workers dropped off closed boxes containing the tablets, taped shut, with no instruction. “I thought the kids would play with the boxes. Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,” Negroponte said. “Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera, and had hacked Android.”

via Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves | MIT Technology Review.

Considering I’ve been in parts of West Dayton where my cell phone couldn’t connect with the Internet- I believe that our children and our community are being isolated from the greatest learning tool and equalizing technology on the planet. We have to not only be able to get our kids online- but, give them the opportunity to teach themselves, if our parents and schools can’t.

Like this kid in Mongolia- who got accepted to MIT. It’s sad when a kid in Mongolia has better access to the Internet than American citizens.

When he was 15 years old, Battushig Myanganbayar of Ulan Bator, Mongolia got a perfect score in the MIT Circuits and Electronics course he took through edX, the online education platform MIT co-founded with Harvard.

via Mongolian Teen Aces an MIT Online Course, Then Gets Into MIT.

That’s why I want to do three things:

  1. Photo of Maya White, holding an iPad, promoting the campaign of David Esrati for Dayton City Commission and iPads for Dayton Public Schools students.

    iPads cost less than library books. If we want a community of readers- access to Project Gutenberg is a great start.

    Every Dayton public school student gets an iPad. From Kindergarten to 12th grade. Why an iPad? For one, Apple is the number one premium brand and invented the tablet as we know it. We need to polish our communities cache. Second, the iPads have tracking software and virtually bullet proof ID- there is little incentive to steal them. Third- Apple has more apps- and experience in delivering computers in schools than anyone else. Also- all the new testing requires computers- and right now DPS has 1 computer for every 4 students- hardly enough to handle the upcoming requirements. Also- consider this fact alone- books are the second biggest expenditure after salaries- and with iPads- there is an entire library of classic books available to every student without any additional cost. The entire state of New Hampshire gave their students Mac Books years ago, LA has just spent a billion dollars equipping their kids with iPads (with some stupid controversy).

  2. Wi-fi everywhere. For the kids to be able to maximize the use of their tablets- they need to be able to get online. Also- every citizen who has a smart phone, will no longer be up against expensive data caps from cell phone companies. Getting online in Dayton should be as easy as breathing. We need to get our community engaged and connected- to jobs, to each other, to build our neighborhoods- using sites like www.nextdoor.com as community hubs. This isn’t new- the entire country of Estonia- now referred to as e-Stonia, was covered in WiFi a decade ago.
  3. Fiber with gigabit speed- it’s in the ‘burbs, but it’s not coming to Dayton fast. Because of our rate of poverty in the region, telcos aren’t making a push to extend the fastest or best service. When Google Fiber was up for grabs via a competition- our city leaders were all for it- once Google picked Kansas City- then Provo UT and Austin TX, they forgot about it. We have a fiber backbone in place already running our traffic lights- it’s time to expand it.

Social mobility- the ability to move from poverty to wealth, is a key measure of a communities health. Dayton ranks very low on this scale- it’s a primary goal of mine to change that statistic. While Nan Whaley and Joey Williams- the “Endorsed Democrats” and big money campaign- has had 8 years of control of the commission- they’ve chosen to invest our money in either building bricks and mortar- or tearing down bricks and mortar and filling landfills. From Tech Town to the failed Kroger at Wayne and Wyoming- they think differently than I do in terms of how to raise the standards of living in Dayton.

It’s my belief that the number one factor in measuring the success of our policy isn’t the number of houses- but the number of people who choose to live in Dayton- and their average income. I believe by making investments in the technology to engage and enrich our communities minds is much more important than what we do with vacant houses. In fact, I think less of them will be vacant if we implement these kinds of investments.

One of the mistakes I made in my past campaigns was assuming that most voters were online and depending on my digital literacy to pay off. Sadly, many voters don’t even have email addresses- or access. This may sound astounding to you- but it’s a fact in Dayton. That’s why I need you- especially if you are a Dayton Public School student, to spread the word about my campaign. Either Dayton is going to move forward with my election to the Dayton City Commission, or we’re going to stagnate, spending our money making empty lots and a taller landfill.

2 support letters in the Dayton Daily News

I was shocked and surprised to see 2 letters in support of my campaign in a Sunday edition of the Dayton Daily News. These letters were in reaction to the article published Friday, Aug. 23, and posted here: http://esrati.com/the-reality-of-a-publicity-stunt-esrati-puts-nets-on-rims/10309/

‘Planting the seed for grassroots change’

Re: “Esrati’s hoops promise enlivens campaigns,” Aug. 23: It shows tremendous creativity to use campaign dollars to both promote your platform and help the community with tangible and much-needed improvements to public spaces. This type of creativity is exactly what Dayton needs in the city commission, especially when using tax dollars. Awesome ideas have come forth over the last few years, but our region deserves more ideas and innovation. Usable, pleasant parks and public spaces improve real estate prices, increase safety, promote cohesion and have proven economic development impacts. It is planting the seeds for grassroots change.

In this campaign, David Esrati is showing his passion for — and commitment to — our community, as well as his willingness to work with other leaders to make a lasting impact. It is time for us to be innovative again, and having Esrati as part of the commission team will get us there. SHANNON O’NEILL, DAYTON

More publicity stunts needed here

City Commissioner Joey Williams describes candidate David Esrati’s efforts to improve the conditions of Dayton’s basketball courts in city parks as a publicity stunt. Really? Maybe Williams and fellow commissioners might sanction an official “publicity stunt” by directing the Department of Public Works to do its job. Esrati is correct in describing the condition of Dayton’s parks as disgraceful.

Further, the condition of Dayton’s highways, right of ways and street boulevards also display an obvious lack of attention. Neighborhood marker signs are covered with weeds. Driving highways through and near downtown, one can observe brush growing through guardrails and debris piled up along the edges of pavement. When highways and on/off ramps finally are mowed, they are butchered, appearing burnt and dead. The green spaces within city limits are not maintained in anything approaching what taxpayers should expect.

Unfortunately, the citizens of Dayton have accepted the city’s excuses of funding difficulties, staff shortages, etc., and thereby lowered their expectations of how our city should appear. In truth, there is no excuse. Under the “leadership” of the current city commission, the appearance of our city’s green spaces has dramatically deteriorated.

Dayton needs new blood, someone with creative problem-solving skills and an aggressive vision. Indeed, if Esrati’s effort to improve the playability of our parks’ basketball courts is a publicity stunt, I, for one, would like to see more of it. TAMRA R. WEST, DAYTON

I’ve actually felt like a slacker this week- since I’ve had to rest to recuperate from my surgery, but, I’ve not gotten any calls for replacement nets either.

This Monday, the 16th. there is a candidates’ night at Lohrey Center at 6:30 p.m., hosted by the BEH Neighborhood association. On Wednesday, there is one for the Greater Dayton Real Estate Investors association, but it is a regional event. Keep track of candidates’ events here: http://electesrati.com/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/event/ical&reset=1&list=1&html=1

I’m still committed to running for under $10,000. If you look at the campaign tracker in the sidebar you’ll see that I’m still about $3,000 short. If you feel the way these two letter writers do, please consider a donation: www.electesrati.com/donate-2
Anything over $10k will be spent on new backboards and rims in city parks. (note- I’ve had 3 rims donated and I’ve installed them at Princeton Rec Center).

The 3-point challenge

Whenever I’m out hanging nets, and there are ballers on the court, I offer up my three-point challenge. Shoot three treys in a row- and get a t-shirt. I let the little dunkers shoot from the foul line. Usually, the result is near pandemonium, with very little order, and someone inevitably trying to go twice, or wanting to change the rules to it doesn’t start counting till you make one.

When I was out with Rob D. hanging rims, he wanted to make it easy- and give away as many shirts as possible. I believe that skills and hard work should be rewarded, and on some courts- I end up giving away multiple shirts- as 9 points go in like clockwork. I believe that rewards need to be earned, that there shouldn’t be shortcuts along the way. I stick to my rules- and tell the kids that they should work on their long shot, and show me their skills next time. And, sometimes the first thing I hear after “The net man is here”- is “let me show you my three pointer.”

Going door-to-door, I get one of two reactions when I talk about giving every Dayton Public Schools student an iPad or netbook. The first is complete understanding and a realization that without 1-1 computer to student, we can’t possibly be preparing our students for the workforce- and the other, which is much rarer- is “what do you mean give them an iPad? To take home? They’ll sell (or steal) it?” It’s that second reaction that always takes me aback.

Forget about the fact that textbooks cost as much as an iPad and do a lot less for our students, and no one would argue against textbooks, it’s the idea that our kids either don’t deserve the best, haven’t earned the right, or can’t be trusted. This is our future- and we don’t seem to place a very high level of trust in our kids today. That’s too bad, because I think if kids were voting, we’d be having a better political conversation than we have now. They see what’s going on around them- and for the most part, they’ve given up on Dayton too.

When you come to a park that has a dead raccoon sitting in the parking lot, broken glass on the court that’s bisected by weed fault lines- and look up at a raggedy backboard with a rusted rim and the only thing that’s clean and glowing is a basketball net, with a florescent green bottom, that’s the beacon of hope. A $2 weave of string. It sends a message. I enjoy talking to our kids more than voters. When they ask what I am going to do for our city, they haven’t become jaded yet by the lies of those who’ve come before me. They believe. All I hope is that I can get two other people on the commission to agree with a vision of Dayton that doesn’t include tax breaks for General Electric, while we’re charging admission to our rec center to families that can barely afford to keep shoes on their kids’ feet.

That’s why one of the first things I hope to do is reward the kids who work hard at becoming our future leaders. As soon as I take my oath of office, I plan to make our rec centers free for any kid with a B average or better.

The iPads, will go home with our graduating seniors who have at least a B average and a 20 or better on the ACT. We will reward our kids for doing the work.

And, if you don’t have the grades, but want to get into the rec center, we’ll have opportunities for kids to go to tutoring centers after school- and be rewarded with passes for completing additional work.

And while I’ve also been told that by putting nets up, I’m encouraging NBA dreams instead of school work, I want to make it clear to our kids, that shooting threes can change a game, but, in the end, it’s all about making smart decisions- on the court and in life. I want to work to make our kids realize that “Smart is the new cool”- and that everything we focus on is to make smart decisions in our community to help us rise above it.

I started with the basketball nets because I believe that our parks and how we treat our citizens are indicative of what we think of them. I plan on taking this small change and building into a whole cultural shift, that Daytonians are proud, smart and ready to take on any challenge, from getting elected for under $10,000 (something some say can’t be done) to eliminating tax breaks for companies as bait to come here, because we need our taxes to create a community worth moving your business to, and that paying taxes is an investment in a great city.

November 5th, we’ll find out if enough people believe that actions speak louder than words, and if hard work pays off. If every person I talk to, tells just a part of my story to their friends, we’re on the verge of changing the game in Dayton. Thank you.

Just remember, it takes three votes on the commission to win a change. Others have had three votes and squandered their opportunities. Three new faces, three new votes, that’s the three point challenge for Dayton.

Why a digital Dayton matters

I was hanging a basketball net yesterday behind a pretty rough looking apartment house. As I pulled up, in my Volvo wagon, to ask if they’d like a new net, I was thinking it’s good that I have a magnet on the side of the car saying “Esrati puts nets on rims” – because I definitely got the feeling that I was intruding, going someplace where I wasn’t welcome. After I hung the net- did my stencil on the ground, put a sticker on the pole and gave away a t-shirt for one of the kids who hit three threes, I was confronted with “but if I vote for you what are you going to do for me?” I tried to point out that I have my answers on my campaign piece- but he didn’t want to read it- he wanted to hear it.

And so I launched into my digital Dayton plan. I told him that there isn’t a job a kid can graduate high school and get without a computer and computer skills, and that currently Dayton Public Schools only had one computer for every four students. I told him that we’re already behind the curve on 1 to 1 computers- that 5 years ago other districts, cities and even states had figured it out.  I said that even giving every student an iPad- that would cost about the same or less than what was squandered in the speculative real estate deal for a new Kroger at Wayne and Wyoming, was a start- but without internet access, it wouldn’t mean anything.

I went on to say Dayton was all excited when it was in the running for Google Fiber- where an entire city would get gigabit speed, 20x faster than what passes for broadband in the region- and maybe 30x what is available in the city where fiber isn’t currently available at all to residential users. But when Google went to Kansas City and then to Provo UT and Austin TX- we sort of forgot about it here- where we actually run a fiber network to control our traffic lights, but nothing else. I said we could put fiber into every neighborhood to build a beachhead where kids could go after school to get online- and then start working to city wide wi-fi. This is also nothing new- the entire country of Estonia has been covered in wifi for over a decade.

These are projects that empower our citizens and give them the ability to grow. They save us from having to pay for data plans on our cell phones- or worry about caps- it provides the ability to connect people with jobs- with services- with each other using tools like NextDoor to organize their community and to coordinate resources.

And even though he knew that I was talking about giving our kids a chance, he didn’t believe me, because we’ve grown to not trust politicians and their promises. We’ve been lied to, too many times. And considering the horrible job we do at informing voters of upcoming elections and candidates and issues, why should he have any clue who I am, despite having run for this office many times over the last 20 years.

The reality is, information is power- and by wiring our community and making it possible for as many as possible to connect, would change the political game and disrupt the party that the party has been having with its friends and family running the show.

I was talking to him about the most critical issue of segregation we need to overcome in America today- the “digital divide” and it isn’t something to pay lip service to, it’s the key to the future.

From the New York Times about a week ago:

Administration officials and policy experts say they are increasingly concerned that a significant portion of the population, around 60 million people, is shut off from jobs, government services, health care and education, and that the social and economic effects of that gap are looming larger. Persistent digital inequality — caused by the inability to afford Internet service, lack of interest or a lack of computer literacy — is also deepening racial and economic disparities in the United States, experts say.

“As more tasks move online, it hollows out the offline options,” said John B. Horrigan, a senior research fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. “A lot of employers don’t accept offline job applications. It means if you don’t have the Internet, you could be really isolated.”

Seventy-six percent of white American households use the Internet, compared with 57 percent of African-American households, according to the “Exploring the Digital Nation,” a Commerce Department report released this summer and based on 2011 data.

The figures also show that Internet use over all is much higher among those with at least some college experience and household income of more than $50,000.

via Most of U.S. Is Wired, but Millions Aren’t Plugged In – NYTimes.com.

Those numbers, those people being left out- that’s most of Dayton. It’s all the people who don’t read Esrati.com and vote. It’s the unemployed, the under-employed, the uneducated and the uninformed. I don’t believe government does a good job of creating jobs, but I do believe we can help create an infrastructure that encourages our “social capital” to have maximum access to jobs and to information.

And while my nets on rims campaign is innovative and interesting and newsworthy, you haven’t seen it on the local news, and you probably won’t. Why? Because I won’t be buying TV ads like other candidates, because when I win – I prove that you don’t need to spend $360K to get on the ballot- and win. Local TV is living off political campaign money, and when we all switch to the Internet and YouTube, Netflix and streaming- they become dinosaurs.

No matter how much the incumbents brag about bricks and mortar projects as proof that they deserve re-election, they aren’t answering the question “what are you going to do for ME?”

A digital Dayton is something that empowers all Daytonians, especially our students. It gives them, and their parents and grandparents access to what my readers on esrati.com take for granted. That’s powerful stuff.

If you think this matters, I ask you to do one of three things:

Without those three things, a digital Dayton won’t happen anymore than the Kroger at the corner of Wayne and Wyoming.