Choosing Dayton’s future on Tuesday

Full disclosure- I’ve run for Mayor once, Commission many times, and tried to run for commission many times. I’ve done work for Darryl Fairchild, Shenise Turner-Sloss, Scott Sliver, Jordan Wortham, Valerie Duncan, Gary Leitzell and have even collected signatures to get Mims on the ballot- (which he didn’t even turn in – showing his disdain for voters). I am a strong believer in ballot access- and voter information. These are my opinions, gained from personal interactions, watching candidates nights and being knowledgeable about how Dayton works- and is supposed to work.

The city of Dayton will have an election on Tuesday- and very few of you will participate. Out of 140,000 people (with about 90,000 registered voters) we’ll be lucky to see between 5,000 and 9,000 voters turn out.
I hope I’m wrong.
But, the Mayor and the Commission- and the Montgomery County Democratic Party (the Monarchy) are counting on a low turnout- that’s why they are trying to make 6 changes to the city charter- depending on their minions to turn out and vote some of the stupidest charter changes ever.
We have an all time record turnout of candidates– and they think that raising the pay for the Mayor and the City Commission is going to give us more or better candidates? Really?
The reality is- we need to pay a lot more for a competent city manager who actually leads the city, and cut the pay for the mayor and commission- so they realize they are just a board of directors, not in charge of the city.
But, if you want to know about the charter amendments- go to Reconstructing Dayton and read about them.
Basically- yes, you want to guarantee the city doesn’t want to sell off the water system, you want to change the way we hire police and fire (although there is a much better solution- allow lateral hires and pay more).
The others- are a big fat no.
As to the candidates- you get one vote for Mayor, and two votes for Commission.
I’d like to jump up and down and endorse folks based on their responses to a questionnaire sent out by Reconstructing Dayton– but, unfortunately, only two candidates bothered to respond – Gary Leitzell and Valerie Duncan.
Hopefully- after the primary, the remaining candidates take this a bit more seriously.
What this election in November is really about is do you want the reign of the Monarchy to continue- or do you want change.
Whaley- who should have been indicted is out. Mims, who should have been indicted is running for Mayor. This means there are two “open” seats- and Darryl Fairchild- who won in the special election to replace the disgraced Joey Williams (note- the FBI gave him time after he was told he had to step down to announce why he really abdicated).
The party- which has Matt Joseph and Chris Shaw in their clutches- wants you to vote for Mims and Stacy Benson Taylor and Scott Sliver and let them keep their control to give contracts to demolish the city to Steve Rauch.
I suggest you don’t vote for any of those three candidates. Strongly. If anyone of them gets elected- we’re in for more of the same- because it takes three votes to run the board. This is why only prosecuting Williams was a farce- and the FBI should be investigated for being incompetent.
Ruling Mims out of the Mayors race leaves you to vote for former Mayor Gary Leitzell or Rennes Bowers. After listening to Bowers claim he’s a “registered independent” who believes the faith community can fix our city- it’s pretty clear that he’s too clueless to be mayor. Leitzell is by far the most forward thinking candidate with actual experience and ideas. Give him two other independent votes on the commission and things could really change.
The crop of commission candidates is bountiful. Seven candidates for 2 seats.
You have two votes- and honestly, as long as Sliver or Stacy Benson Taylor don’t advance, we’re ahead. Personally, I can only recommend Shenise Turner Sloss or Jared Grandy or Darryl Fairchild, although I’m very disappointed with Fairchild’s past 3 years.
He’s failed to speak up, challenge, or introduce much of anything.
Grandy is probably the candidate who talks about real issues and has run an effective campaign. I enjoy reading his positions- but, listening to him talk makes me cringe. I’m not looking for a preacher or someone who mangles the spoken English language as much as he does.
As to Wortham and Duncan- (and note, I did work for both of them) – I’m fine if they advance as well, but I don’t feel like Wortham has a full grasp of the challenges facing the city, and Duncan’s answers on our questionnaire make me wonder how you can run for office and not know how to research an issue like support of ranked choice voting.
Although I did work for Sliver and endorsed him 6 years ago when he was running against the machine- as the latest preacher the party has picked to run against Fairchild- I just can’t go along with it. I’ve never seen him at a Dem party meeting- and yet, somehow he gets endorsed over Turner-Sloss or Fairchild or Duncan. I’ve never seen Grandy there- so his non-endorsement makes some sense.
The reality is- the Dem Party should be more worried about electing Democrats- instead of their friends. They’ve never run a credible candidate against Mike Turner- and handed off the Sheriffs position to Rob Streck without opposition. Endorsing/picking favorites in a back room, and telling the voters to support their picks is about as undemocratic as it comes.
Ideally, whomever advances, will support Reconstructing Dayton in circulating a petition to eliminate this stupid primary and institute ranked choice voting in Dayton– where you get to rank your candidates and the person who gets the most votes- becomes Mayor.
These races have become increasingly expensive and should be much easier.
Choose wisely.

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