Cincinnati mayor’s closed meetings raise concerns for newspaper

Cincinnati mayor’s closed meetings raise concerns for newspaper Cleveland Plain Dealer
Mallory skirts open-door law  Cincinnati Enquirer
Well, it seems that Dayton isn’t the only city where the politicians need a lesson on the Sunshine law. Although the current administration has been very good about it- secret meetings were what started the whole mask protest. You can read about that here:

This is a story the Dayton Daily News decided to skip.

The next Dayton city manager should be named David (of course)

There was a comment in the Dayton Daily News Speak up today suggesting David Bohardt be the next City Manager- and it made me think- if you believe in keeping your friends close but your enemies closer, Mayor McLin would be able to put Mr. Bohardts campaign rhetoric to the test- and help unify the city. Not a bad idea.
Another option goes back to the days of Patterson and his benevolent business leadership in government- why not approach David Holmes, former CEO of Reynolds and Reynolds to step forward to run this city. Holmes came out strongly for Tony Capizzi in the first test of Mike Turners political capital. Since we’ve had powerful business men making decisions in back rooms for the future of our city for so long- why not put one of them front and center?
The last option- why me of course! I’d offer to do the job with a pay scale directly related to the average household income in the city. If the people do better- so do I. I’d also have some factors built in connecting property values, income tax collection and the value of new construction permits.
Honestly, I don’t believe there is any single ideal candidate for this position- there are so many dimensions to this role. I can say, we need someone a lot bolder than Mr. Dineen- to venture forward with a vision- a plan- on what will make Dayton a hot marketable location for building a future that we can believe in.

What do you think.

Thoughts on Sinclair’s expansion into Warren County

Today’s paper talks about putting a levy on the ballot in Warren Country to build Sinclair South. The simple answer is no.
Sinclair Community College is one of Dayton’s (the region) competitive advantages. The low cost, high quality education and training programs it provides are a reason to locate your business or expand in Montgomery County. It’s also a good reason to live in Montgomery County.
While many of our resident’s have made short-sighted moves to the greener pastures to the South- including the Dayton Daily News Print Technology Center– there is a real cost to sprawl- and replicating Sinclair’s top notch programs would just increase both the cost and the sprawl factor.
Instead of spending millions to replicate what we have- a more innovative solution would be to build a high-speed rail connector between Warren County and Sinclair- right in the heart of Downtown. Not only would this save money by not replicating services- but would add value to the community. It could also help alleviate parking problems at the current campus, save wear and tear costs on I-75, provide a safer way for students to commute, and have the added benefit of boosting Downtown Dayton. Not to be ignored is the cutting down on the use of gasoline.
In the long term- building the rail connector helps more than just Sinclair and Downtown Dayton- it helps Warren County by saving the long-term ongoing costs of funding a strong community college. Using the I-75 right of way, with stops at The Dayton Mall/Lexis Nexis hub, UD Arena/NCR and Sinclair/Downtown Dayton- we create a strong regional forward thinking solution, instead of just sprawling and duplicating.
What do you think?

20 years on Bonner Street

28 January 1986- while most of us were still reeling from watching the space shuttle Challenger explosion- I went to the title company and bought my first house. 20 years later- I’m still living here (a huge surprise to me- since the longest I’d ever lived in the same place was 7 years).

I bought this house for $14,500. In those days you could have bought every house on the block for that. Since then, we’ve had sales of $112,000, $120,000 and $128,000 on and my house appraises at over $135,000. I like to think I’ve been part of the reason for the appreciation- since I also own my office on the corner (bought the day the stock market crashed in Oct. of 1998 for $2,200 cash and a promise to pay the $2,400 in back taxes) and the two shotgun cottages that each cost more than the house and office together ($19,500 each). Around to corner on Adams Street, I partnered with master carpenter Bob Thade, of Thade Construction to rehab 222 Adams- which we bought for $52,000 and sold for $133,000 2 years later. (If you are looking for a great contractor for historic rehab in Dayton OH- Thade is your guy- no website- but you can reach him at 937-256-5290).

South Park has changed a lot since I bought this place. We’re probably close to 70% neighborhood owned now- instead of 70% absentee landlord owned. People know each other and watch out for each other. My neighbors are great and the street is relatively quiet.

So- last night I threw my annual once a year bash to celebrate. I am lucky to have so many friends. At one point laws were being broken- with Mayor McLin here and Commissioners Whaley and Williams. I did my best to make sure they didn’t huddle to choose the new city manager over baklava.

While not a native Daytonian, this is home. I’m lucky to have so many wonderful, bright and fun friends- from all walks of life. It was an amazing party- to celebrate 20 years on Bonner Street.

I had this dream long ago-

I remember talking to Abner Orick about trying to lure IKEA to Dayton- I thought the McCalls printing site off 35W at James H. McGee would be a great location.

For IKEA- they would be an hour from Columbus and Cincinnati- and 2 hours to Indianapolis- a great market for a destination retailer.

Came across this site:
which is dedicated to bringing IKEA to OHIO.

Dayton City Manager to head to FL?

While Jim Dineen has done an admirable job of keeping the City of Dayton from embarrassing itself while suffering through a budget crunch – he didn’t do much to project a vision for the city.
One must wonder if Dineen’s motivation might possibly be that he wasn’t happy with the outcome of the Mayoral race. Valerie Lemmie made her ungraceful exit from Dayton after Rhine McLin defeated Mike Turner for the center seat, and maybe Dineen was hoping to work with Dave Bohardt for the next four years?
Dineen inherited a mess from the Turner/Lemmie days- where money was flowing freely, even though the projections must not have been rosy. The true mark of a leader in my book is having a well groomed and ready successor to take your place. When a General is killed in battle, a Colonel is ready to step up and lead- no national search required.
It will be interesting to see if there is someone waiting in the wings.
One person I hope is out of the running is Maureen Pero, former assistant city manager in Turner’s day. She has spent the last half dozen years running the “Downtown Dayton Partnership,” a microscopic operation compared to the City, while getting paid almost $50K more than Dineen.
Looking at our past, we haven’t done all that well except as a stepping stone when hiring from outside our community. The only success story I can point to is Dr. Percy Mack, superintendent of the Dayton Public Schools. The list of where are they now is too long to go into- but for starters: Bill Estabrook, Valerie Lemmie and Chief McManus.
What do you think?

The State house overrules local elections?

The State legislature just decided to overturn the residency rule in Ohio. Governor Taft hasn’t yet signed it. This brings a question to mind- what right do the “representatives of the people” have to overrule the will of the people- as witnessed by Dayton voting to retain the residency requirement?

Shouldn’t a popular vote overrule that of the electeds?

What’s next- Congress suggesting that we don’t hold an election in 2008 for President- because we’re at war- and GWB should be president for life?

The way to battle the state on this is not in the courts- but to put legalizing casino gambling in Dayton (specifically the Arcade) on the ballot as soon as possible and point out- if you will ignore our laws- why can’t we ignore yours?

I’m not really a huge supporter of the residency rule- but I wasn’t around to solve the busing issue in the sixties that really forced this to the forefront.

When school busing for “integration” was mandated by the courts- I would have pushed to desegregate Oakwood and the suburbs as well. One unified school district with a true balance of not only race- but also economic status. Dayton would have been a different place today if someone had seen the bigger picture and had the guts to do something about it.

Back in the saddle.

I’ve had my 1997 Dayton City Commission site up for 8 years- virtually mothballed. I’m going to leave it up- since it provides some history- but it’s time to make some noise- wake some people up- and start thinking about how Dayton Ohio is going to climb its way back up to the world class city it once was.

Subscribe to my RSS- if you don’t know what that is- come to one of my sessions- and add some discussion to the site. I’m going to try to keep things interesting.