Payback, Parachute or Patronage? Husted rehired by Dayton chamber

Still under scrutiny for violating election laws by voting from and representing a vacant house, the vacant suit makes a triumphant return to the Dayton Chamber of Commerce.

State Sen. Jon Husted has been hired by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce to oversee its workforce development efforts, the organization said Friday, Jan. 30.

Husted, R-Kettering, will serve as director of workforce education and employer services for the chamber’s Education and Public Improvement Foundation while also continuing as a state senator.

Phil Parker, the chamber’s president, said Husted will join the organization on Feb. 1. Husted was one four people interviewed for the job, which attracted more than 60 applicants, Parker said….

The move marks a return to the chamber for Husted. Until 2005, he worked part-time for the organization as executive director of its foundation, leaving that job when he became house speaker. Between 1997 and 2000, he was the chamber’s vice president of economic development…

Husted said many of Ohio’s legislators hold other jobs outside elected office, and he sees no conflict between his role as a legislator and his work with the chamber.

“I’m advocating for macro issues that are good for the community in my role in the chamber, not anything specific to a business or anything like that,” he said.

As a state senator, Husted has a base salary of $60,583.70.

Parker and Husted declined to say how much the chamber job will pay.

via Husted to join Dayton chamber.

One can only wonder how out of 60 applicants, a man who said his Speaker of the House job took so much time that he had to live in Columbus- is now going to have time for a side job as a lobbyist (that’s what the Chamber does mostly- lobby).

Any time a job title reads as long as this “director of workforce education and employer services for the chamber’s Education and Public Improvement Foundation” you should realize this is a made up position. It’s been leaked to me that Parker was seriously ticked off at the Dayton School Board and Dr. Stanic for hiring a Cleveland PR firm no-bid. Could this be a move to make their lives hell- since Husted is a cheerleader for charter schools?

Or is this just another case of Dayton’s chronic “good ole boy” network taking care of its own– just in case Jon gets a spanking and is sent home from the Senate. By hiring him now, it doesn’t look the same when he’s got his tail between his legs (where it belongs) for breaking the law.

Is it time for Dayton to rethink rooming houses?

Right now, I’d venture that Dayton has an ample supply of affordable homes. Right now, the economy is tanking and people can’t get credit. Out of work, under-employed, trying to get by.

When this country was going through its industrial boom at the turn of the twentieth century, immigrants and rural Americans flocked to the city centers, where there were jobs, and quickly- there was a housing shortage. Rooming houses were often the solution. Sharing a bathroom, kitchen and common area, with a furnished private bedroom was an accepted practice. Young single people, would rent week-to-week or month-to-month to follow jobs, opportunities and their dreams- without having to tie themselves to a lease, the inter-dependency of a “housemate” situation. Moving from city to city wasn’t as difficult.

Come to think of it, I lived that way when I was in the army. My possessions all fit in a footlocker, a duffel bag and one suitcase.

Somehow, our society has twisted to a material world- where ownership of things; houses, cars, furniture, kitchen gadgets, TVs and all the other things that supposedly are required to be “established” and a full-time, card-carrying part of “modern society” have become more important than what’s in our heads and in our hearts.

To become “homeless” is to be a drop-out from civilization- when in fact, civilization may just need some reality-field adjustments. Not all of us need or want a MacMansion in suburbia with 1.7 children and 2 cars in a 2.5-car attached garage. Maybe the person with no mortgage and no moving truck required, is really living the true American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness- and the rest of us are just tied to paying the man for the privilege of property ownership?

Rooming houses, the regulated and inspected type, aren’t that much different from hotels that rent by the week or month, they just don’t have corporate branding attached. We find no problem with an “extended stay hotel”- but a rooming house is considered one step above a drug den.

Maybe as a strategy to bringing people back to Dayton and spark urban revitalization, we need to look at bringing back the rooming house as an accepted form of residential housing. Tough times, require some new looks at old ideas.

This post is dedicated to F. B. who better make it out of the hospital.

To Obama- “shameful” or “Criminal”

Steal food from a grocery store to feed your family- go to jail. Steal trillions from the global economy, pay yourself a bonus and the new President calls it “shameful.”

Obama told reporters he was outraged by a report of $18.4 billion paid out in Wall Street bonuses, as taxpayer money was being used to shore up the crumbling financial system.

“That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful,” Obama said while hosting a meeting in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Vice President Joe Biden.

Obama said he and Geithner would send a message to Wall Street players that “there will be time for them to make profits and there will be time for them to get bonuses. Now is not that time.”

via Obama vows broad economic plan, scolds Wall Street | U.S. | Reuters.

From the Dayton Business Journal:

The average 2008 bonus for employees at Wall Street securities firms was $112,000, according to data from New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli….

On Wednesday, media reports said Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) plans to defer bonus payments to some investment-banking staff this year.

The move is in sharp contrast to Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., which is being investigated for making between $3 billion and $4 billion in bonus payments in late December, days before the securities firm was acquired by BofA. Merrill lost $15.3 billion in the fourth quarter.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office issued subpoenas Tuesday seeking the testimony of former Merrill Chief Executive John Thain and BofA Chief Administrative Officer J. Steele Alphin on the bonuses.

via Obama calls Wall Street bonuses “shameful” – Dayton Business Journal:.

Sorry, Barack, you are going to have to do better than that. These were bonuses on top of regular exorbitant pay. Any bonus paid to any exec on Wall Street to a company that has taken a dime from the TARP- should be demanded to be returned, or face jail time. Felony jail time.

Don’t mince words, don’t pass go, don’t collect $200, pay it back or go directly to jail.

Parking downtown- don’t solve the problem- build a website.

Gotta love the people at the DDP, instead of working to build standardized parking rates, signs, and create a real parking infrastructure, with tax breaks for cooperation- they build a website.

The Downtown Dayton Partnership launched a Web site Thursday to help people find parking in the city.

The site,, has an interactive map of downtown’s parking options and discounts for monthly parkers.

A chief complaint about visiting or working in downtown Dayton has been parking.

“We’ve heard the parking concerns of downtown businesses and visitors,” said Sandra Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

On average, it cost $85 a month to park there in 2008.

Starting next month, the city-owned Transportation Center Parking Garage — next to the convention center — will reduce rates for monthly parking to $35 on the upper floors, from $55.

Downtown-based CareSource, a health care management company, used to pay for about 250 spaces at the garage, said a parking official, but those employees now park at the garage across from the new CareSource building on Monument Street and Main Street.

via Web site created to ease downtown Dayon parking – Dayton Business Journal:.

Other cities like Cincinnati, have developed programs where three hours are $1 to encourage visitors to find spaces in every garage- and making on-street parking short term only. Also, with standardized signs and rates, it makes it easier for the new visitor to figure things out.

Of course, we could quickly double the number of on-street parking spaces by moving to end-in parking. People don’t even know how to parallel park anymore- it’s time for end-in asap.

As long as parking is free at strip centers and the malls, people will continue to shop there, even walking the equivalent of 2  or 3 city blocks without knowing it.