Nuns kicking teen moms out on the streets

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instead, they may be going out of business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Politics interfering with the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission

If it weren’t for Ashley Webb, the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission would have 11 members, all receiving about $10K a year for 2 meetings a month. The reason we had an extra 6 straphangers was because the Montgomery County Commission wanted to stop the VSC from buying their own office space with money that’s handed them by the taxpayers for veterans services.

Needless to say, the building idea was stupid, the solution more stupid, and the VSC in general, is an embarrassment- often returning half their budget to the county general fund because they couldn’t “find enough veterans in need.” The reality is, you need an advocate to get help from these “advocates” as I pointed out in an earlier post about my personal experience trying to help a homeless vet get back on his feet. The reality is, the VSC spends more on their overhead than they hand out- overpaying their director, their staff and their gatekeepers- while putting veterans through the ringer just to get $500.

If you need evidence on how misguided this commission is- watch this clip from our meeting: listen carefully at the 2 minute mark where Mr. Istvan says “we earned that” to the roof over his head.

It took every bone in my body to restrain me from not jumping over the table and decking him.

The anger stopped me from writing about it- or promoting this disgusting display of contempt from an impotent little martinet.

Which brings us to the actions of Judge Mary Katherine Huffman and other judges in appointing a new member to this board.

Note, when I applied to be placed on it- I wasn’t interviewed, just sent a rejection letter. I’ve been working on veterans issues heavily in this community since 2004.

They appointed Tommy Adkins to fill the vacated seat, as an appointee of the Disabled American Veterans, and I have to say, he’s an awesome addition to this board, with a ton of experience guiding veterans through the complex system. Watch as he deftly responds after Istvan digs his proverbial grave in the video.

When the full term was to be awarded, Adkins was the choice of the DAV commanders. Adkins has been active in the local chapter for a long time, and is eminently qualified to the job- as well as being the incumbent. It’s Istvan that should be replaced yesterday.

This is where the politics come in. The law is that the service organizations must submit three candidates for evaluation by a certain date. When the DAV told the judges we want Adkins, they said submit two other names- which the DAV did. Then the judges decided to interview them (something they never did with me when I put my name in) and determined one of the candidates didn’t really want the job (because he believed Adkins to be the best choice) they reopened the process and demanded another candidate.

In the mean time, one of the former political appointees who lost his job when the commission was shrunk to legal size- Danny Hamilton, apparently suggested that Reverend Wilburt Shanklin should apply. Shanklin went out to the VA, paid the $400 lifetime membership fee, asked “how do I get on the VSC” and basically demanded to be put on the board- despite not having any experience or knowledge of the process- or being involved in veterans issues previously.

Shanklin has been closely tied to the disgraced Rev. Raleigh Trammel and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance for years as well as being a friend of Rhine McLin. He was also caught up in the hanky panky at the Greater Dayton Premier Management organization – formerly known as DMHA- where he was board president when some people were getting grossly overpaid.

His wife was a long term employee in city hall as well- with close ties to the Monarchy of Montgomery County.

Never once have I heard him talk about veterans issues, seen him at any event focused on helping vets, or even realized he was a vet.

The judges got sold some story that poor Wilburt had somehow got shut out of the process – and that he shouldn’t be considered. I got shut out too- when I realized I didn’t have near the experience that Mr. Adkins did, but considering I’d put an application in before- I didn’t get notified of an opportunity to reapply- nor would I have if it was to replace Adkins- which is what Judge Huffman did today- appointing Shanklin to the board and dismissing Mr. Adkins.

There will be a meeting at 9am tomorrow at the VSC- and I plan on attending. The arrogance of the judges in overruling the recommendations of the DAV is appalling.

This seems like punitive payback to Webb getting rid of an additional 6 patronage jobs for the Monarchy to hand out to their friends and family.

There will be more to come.

If you want to read the 25 page collection of documents on this botched process, they are here: MCVSC Shanklin Travesty

UPDATE

20 Dec, 10:27 am- After the MCVSC meeting this morning, before they went into executive session- and after I had shared my experience in applying for the MCVSC seat- Mr. Tom Istvan came and apologized to me for his treatment of me at the last meeting I attended. He said that when he first met me he didn’t like me (which happens- people either like me or hate me for the most part)- but, after he’d talked to some people, he realized it was his own issues more than me that caused him to dislike me. He hadn’t read this post yet. Also, Mr. Adkins informed me that the last time he had been appointed, the judges were only given one choice by the DAV- him- and they hadn’t had an issue. Channel 7 was there at the beginning of the meeting filming.

Dayton to try to raise income taxes, because there isn’t anything else left to tax

The reason Dayton had the highest tax rate in the county with the exception of Oakwood was because the tax mostly affected people who couldn’t vote for it. Non-resident workers downtown were subjected to a 2.25% income tax, meaning if they lived anywhere else with an income tax, they used to get an exclusion from paying anything under. So only the poor stiffs in Oakwood who worked in Dayton had to shell out the extra .25% to Oakwood.

Now- almost every suburban community is raising to 2.25% since State funding dried up- and some of them have the gall to say, sorry, you still have to pay our income tax, even if you work in Dayton too.

Ouch. So now, Mayor Nan, who can find half a million to buy at least 3 buildings for which there is no public use- and give away huge tax breaks to big corporations like GE and Emerson- says- we need to raise our tax to 2.5% even though they’ve already hit us with a street light tax, a trash and water increase and the police department is running record leand.

The city of Dayton plans to ask voters to approve a 0.25 percent income tax increase that supporters said will help close a projected shortfall, fund police and fire services and pay for universal pre-school.While Dayton voters will decide if the increase takes place, the tax is paid by people who work in the city.If approved, the tax rate would climb to 2.5 percent for a period of eight years.

Source: Dayton to seek income tax increase | www.daytondailynews.com

Folks, remember the big meetings to stop the city/county merger? They were just the warm up act for this mess.

If it weren’t for Caresource downtown adding federally funded jobs like feral cats procreate in South Park- the city would have been broke long ago. Now, you have to wonder- how long will they want to pay that extra .25% on Pam Morris’s $3M a year paycheck? Will they need to move their HQ to Austin Landing too- where only the little people get taxed?
Is there a clause in it that excuses the hike for white collar workers?

We could ditch all 28 municipalities in the county, get rid of the urban township tax havens, have one regional government, and charge a flat 1.5% local income tax and come out way ahead, but then the Monarchy of Montgomery County couldn’t keep their friends and family on the plan. So, let’s raise taxes and make sure that every business left looks to leave.

The secret committee that decides elections in Dayton

At the last election there was going to be an empty seat on the Dayton City Commission if Nan won or lost. The party screened candidates, and selected incumbent Joey Williams and former State School Board and Dayton Board of Education member Jeffery Mims.

A local minister, Darryl Fairchild had already printed up a 2-color letterhead, “Fairchild 2013.” (Note, when running for office, never put the date on stuff you could reuse). When the endorsements were announced, Darryl wheeled to the front of the room and fell on his sword, sweeping the door open for Mr. Mims, thinking he was next in line. When the city had to modify the dais in the commission chambers for Dean Lovelace in a wheelchair, I even heard- “well, we’re going to have to do it for when Darryl gets on the commission” from someone. (For the record, Lovelace should have vacated the seat for his extended absences, and there should have been a special election).

On Tuesday, six candidates screened for the two seats coming up for re-election. Matt Joseph, the three-term incumbent who has yet to distinguish himself with any real legislative issues, and five others including yours truly. As previously reported, David Greer who ran last time, Hazel Rountree who just took a seat a year ago on the DPS board, Fairchild, and newcomer Chris Shaw who is “a fourth-generation business owner and active in the local NAACP” according to party chair Mark Owens (who is the Dayton Clerk of Courts and is up for re-election).

Thursday came and the announcement was made in the party executive committee that the screening committee had selected Joseph and Shaw. A few people were wondering how Fairchild had been thrown under the bus. A screening committee member said “well that would be running two white guys” since Fairchild and Joseph are both white, Shaw is black. I protested that the party could endorse 4 Dems (and still not endorse me) since the way this works is that if more than 4 people run, there is a runoff (not a primary- since the race is non-partisan) to select 4, and only the top 2 vote-getters win in November. Since there are obviously going to be more than 4 people in this race, wouldn’t it be smarter to have 4 Dems in the final? And let the people decide? I was booed, hissed, told to shut up- and got nasty looks. One other person asked why not Darryl? Wasn’t he promised this chance when he stepped aside so graciously for the good of the party? The answer was no- he wasn’t promised anything.

This is the way the Democratic party works- 4 years ago Nan and Rhine McLin were inseparable, with some even speculating that there was a sexual relationship between them. After Rhine lost to Gary Leitzell in the upset of the century- Rhine became a pariah. The people in power in the Dem party would eat their babies in order to protect their fiefdoms.

There were other endorsements as well. Judge Pickerel has “aged out” of being able to run, and his open seat was screened as well. Three candidates including the just deposed Frances McGee Cromartie who was their endorsed candidate in November to return to Common Pleas. She was passed over, despite being a McGee. Some loyalists challenged that decision- only to be told that the person they were endorsing had 20+ years experience in the municipal court and Frances didn’t. Never mind that Common Please handles much tougher cases than Muni. Nope, lose an election, and unless you raise a lot of money like Sharen Neuhardt, we put you out to pasture.

So the question is, who are these people on the “Screening committee” who try to take the democracy out of the ballot box and keep it behind closed doors in Dem Party HQ? As an elected member of the central committee and elected to the executive committee (thank you A.J. Wagner and Joe Lacey) I didn’t remember electing, selecting, discussing who was on this committee. I asked for the list- and was given it- surprisingly. The members are selected by the party chairman, Mark Owens. Mostly made up of elected officials, former elected officials, patronage job holders who are jockeying to be the anointed one when their benefactor decides to step down, and labor leaders. Here’s the list. I’m sorry I haven’t had time to fill in all the job positions, but I will gladly take your input to fill in the few blanks.

First nameLast namePosition
DebraArmaniniMat Heck's number 2
WillisBlackshearCounty Recorder
SamBraunMr. Whaley- works for Karl Keith
GregoryBrushCounty Clerk of Courts
CenaBuchannon
RickCarneFormer Tony Hall Chief of Staff- now a lobbyist
DanaClark
DaveFeckeVice Chair UAW
GregFlannaganPublic information officer for Mat Heck
DanFoleyCounty Commissioner
TimGormanHusband of Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Barbara Gorman
StevenHarsmanDeputy Chief of the Board of Elections
MatHeckCounty Prosecutor
DaleHerzogDayton Building and Construction
Trades Council
RobertJones
RussellJosephMark Owen's heir apparent
MattJosephCity Commissioner, brother of Russ
KarlKeithCounty Auditor
CarlKennebrewPresident IUE-CWA Local 755
BeverlyKingBoard of Elections worker who hires her rapist brother
MarciaKnoxRegional Director AFSCME Region 8
Dennis A.LiebermanFormer Party Chair, Clayton Trustee, husband of County Commissioner Debbie
NancyMarinoTrotwood Dem Club
JimMcCarthyHead of Miami Valley Fair Housing
JeffreyMimsCity Commissioner
CharlesMortonDayton-Miami Valley AFL-CIO Regional Labor Council
GenevieveMurphyState Young Dem President, Nan's shadow
JohnMurphyGen Murphy's Dad- BOE worker
LeonardOramHead Probation Officer for Vandalia municipal Court run by Mat Heck's wife, Cynthia
MarkOwensParty Chair, Dayton Clerk of Courts
VarneyRichmondFORMER President of Teamsters Local 957 as of Jan 10, 2015
TomRitchie, Sr.AFSCME, formerly on BOE
PaulRobinson, Jr.Chief Deputy Treasurer

DavidSaphire
BriceSimsJefferson TWP Trustee
TroySinger
CathyStartzmanLegislative Aide County Commission
FredStrahornState Rep
JohnTheoboldLegislative Aide County Commission
MeghanThomasWorks for Mark Owens in Clerk of Courts
NolanThomasAssistant. Prosecuting Attorney
LynnThomasson, Sr.County Clerk of Courts
WillieThorpeAsst to the President IUE-CWA
DawnWojcikParty exec.

These are the people who “endorse” after a ten-minute presentation. The questions, which I’ve published before are minimal (2012 answers)- but always include the “In your race, if the Democratic Party endorses someone other than you, will you run against the endorsed candidate? If yes, why?”

The question is, are you, one of the few remaining dedicated voters in Montgomery County willing to keep allowing this system to exist- to limit choice on the ballot?

Will you vote the “stupid voter slate card” blindly?

This is why judges are rarely opposed. This is why many people never run. This is how the Monarchy of Montgomery keeps the gravy train going and the friends and family fat and happy.

You shouldn’t be happy about this. I’m sure not.