It’s time for an elected ethics officer in the county

[UPDATED WITH CLARIFICATIONS – 1 DEC] We elect a coroner, an auditor, a clerk of courts, an engineer and a sheriff. But, when it comes to the people who oversee those elections- they are appointed by the political parties- people we don’t elect.

And- for every position, the taxpayers get to pay two people- one Republican and one Democrat- as if this balance of power is somehow going to keep our elections honest.

The problem is that there is no one watching over the hen house- and the hen house is full of foxes, liars and people of limited morality.

If we as voters had a choice, maybe we should be electing a chief ethics officer for the county,  who would  oversee a department that investigates complaint about government employees breaking the rules and to oversee elections to keep things honest.

We need a total housecleaning in the Montgomery County Board of Elections- and the removal of all four current board members, who have chosen to look the other way on so many things it would make your head spin.

But, let’s start with an easy one. Back in 2006 the board set a policy of residency required in Montgomery County to work there – because you have to be a resident to work at the polls. They fired a Chris Heizer appointment who lived in Miami County over it [The fired worker got a job at the Miami County BOE]. Yet, for the last 6 months, Mark Owens, our Clerk of Courts and the Dem Party Chairman, has managed to get his brother, Dave, a job at the BOE despite living in Fairborn- Greene County.

UPDATE

This means Mr. Owens can’t work at the polls or troubleshoot on election day

There is also the question of why Ricky Boyd who was placed in the BOE to do, well, menial work while waiting for his court case to finish on his termination for cause at the Health Department. Conveniently, his case wasn’t resolved until he had his 30 years in, and while “working” at the BOE he was often seen reading the paper- or even caught taking naps in his car. This is in an office where security cameras are  in place to allow the director and deputy director to watch employees to make sure they aren’t doing something like Facebook on the job, and aren’t allowed to listen to MP3 players while doing data entry.

And while we saw a public firing of Tony Tipps for forging a signature on an absentee ballot, we also saw a 3-day suspension handed out to Beverly King who hired her brother, a Tier 3 sex offender, without a job application, and the quiet firing of another employee for sexual harassment, for contacting another employee outside the workplace- despite her discussions in the workplace about the size of a senior employee’s “package” in the office.

And while no laws were broken when the chatterbox took a trip to Miami to bunk with a high-level employee on BOE business, proof was presented  to by the Board- and no action was taken- despite the high-level employee being married and being the direct supervisor of the chatterbox.

Yes, if we had a chief ethics officer in Montgomery County- the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” would be no more- and we’d have a lot less Peyton Place going on, and probably get more for our tax dollars than we’re getting now.

But, since we don’t have an ethics officer, or an investigative journalist at the “Newspaper”- you have me. I apologize for not doing a better job in advance.

Gary Staiger has left the building

Gary Staiger

Gary Staiger

I just returned from the services for Gary Staiger- the long-time proprietor of Omega Music in the Santa Clara district on North Main- and as of a few weeks ago, in the Oregon District.

Gary was a community activist- an evangelist for equal rights- and an optimist, and as of Thanksgiving day, he became another Vietnam veteran who left this world too early. He was 62- although, his blog hadn’t been updated for a bit- he defined himself simply:

61 Y/O VIET VET WORKING FROM THE LEFT OF CENTER

via LEFT OF DAYTON.

Shiloh Church was packed. Poems were read- ones by Gary and others about him. The crowd was diverse- young, old, multi-ethnic, hippies, hipsters, judges and journalists, friends and family, and yet, everyone shared a bond for a simple shopkeeper- who would share his opinion at the drop of a hat.

I first met Gary long ago- at Dayton City Commission meetings, where we both battled to get our voices heard in the allotted time. First it was the “Defensible space” plan for Five Oaks- then dealing with prostitutes on North Main- and over time, we became friends. He also wasn’t a big fan of the way the Montgomery County Democratic Party ran- and did what it took to get appointed a precinct captain- to try to effect change from the inside.

Gary Staiger Funeral

Gary Staiger Funeral

Gary died on Thanksgiving day- he was found in his car on W. Third Street- people have guessed that he was trying to drive himself to the VA. The stress of moving the shop and dealing with the City of Dayton and the outcome of the last election were probably contributing factors to his recent medical issues. He had told me that he now understood why people grumble so much about the city and its treatment of small business. My guess is that different standards apply in the Oregon District compared to N. Main Street. He said he was going to write about it- after he made it through Christmas. Now the question will be if his store will make it with his kids in charge.

His knowledge of music and collectibles was encyclopedic- and that will be missed. He also put together killer play lists for the bi-annual solstice parties on Cherry Drive. But, his idea of a locally owned music store will only make it if we all make the effort to stop in and buy music the old fashioned way. So this holiday season- at least give Omega a stop on your gift-giving rounds- and see if you get a wave of nostalgia digging through the bins.

Gary wasn’t from Dayton- but he’d adopted it as home. He touched a lot of people here- and will be missed.

I wish I could say this is one of my better posts- but, I’m still having a hard time putting this all in perspective.

62 is too early to check out. But, if there is a heaven, and they have music playing- they just got one hell of a DJ.

The doors open to the back room of international politics

A sea change is coming to international relations- and social media will be the engine driving the movement. The latest release from Wikileaks is a fascinating look at the good ‘ole boy/country club that’s making decisions on how the world turns:

A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

via WikiLeaks Archive — Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy – NYTimes.com.

Diplomacy is dirty business- and the brave moves by Wikileaks to hang the dirty laundry out for all to see, may give the people of the world a perspective on what governments believe their true objectives are- and world peace and ending inequality aren’t going to make the list.

This is the type of news reporting that can transform society. I highly recommend you read the article in the New York Times- and from other sources to get a feel for the way we project “American Power” throughout the world. [NOTE: Fast company delves into the different ways these leaks have been turned into online materials by the NYT and the Guardian- the presentation of the material is key to letting people get access: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662770/infographics-of-the-day-whats-in-those-leaked-diplomatic-cables?partner=homepage_newsletter

By contrast- the Dayton Daily News has a story about “Power drills, covered in feces, found in driveway,” Considering there is still a digital divide in our country with as many as 1 in 12 not connected to the Internet, shouldn’t the local newspaper still focus on informing, educating and making the people of our region smarter?

There are back rooms to our local political scene as well. How do some developers keep getting deal after deal, while the taxpayers fully fund other projects that have no guarantee of success? Why is nepotism perfectly accepted in the County building- and in the City of Dayton- while not accepted in any of the well run suburbs?

When will we see the real reporting in our community? When will we realize that the new tools can give the pawns the power to at least question- if not start a movement to overthrow the corrupt private clubs that seem to run our country?

This batch of Wikileaks is more powerful than the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate tapes all rolled into one. Read them. Pay attention.

Change is coming.

Leitzell on defense

I like Gary Leitzell. I also like Rhine McLin. Clay Dixon is a nice guy. I’ll leave my personal opinion of Mike Turner out of this.

Unfortunately, Turner is the only one who understood how to act like a mayor.

Not that he was great at it- his arrogance and contempt for others got in the way and ultimately is why he lost to McLin.

Even though the city manager is paid over three times what the mayor makes- and is supposed to be the full-time professional in charge, we seem to have zero trust in that position, nor allow the manager to lead. It’s why people like Nan Whaley think it’s time for a strong-mayor form of government and after reading how our current mayor is handling a mess he created- one has to wonder if we should have an elected mayor at all?

The Dayton Daily did two stories about the “Mayor’s Leadership Council” last week, and how it was shrinking down to 6 people. Frankly- we have a leadership council- it’s called the Dayton City Commission- and they were all duly elected by the voters to guide the city manager. The hubris that Leitzell came into office with- despite his microscopic win (albeit over ridiculous odds) to select people like David McDonald and Wilburt Shanklin to advise him on how to govern us was a bad starting point. He should have been building alliances with two other city commissioners, because the first rule (and the only rule) is that it takes three votes to pass anything.

Instead, Leitzell continues to flail against the DDN- and takes great pride in his 15-minute commission meetings (while still having hours-long illegal “work sessions” where the real business gets discussed)- and posts reactionary, woe-is-me responses on his own blog:

Another Hatchet Job by the Dayton Daily News – Proof that they make up stories!

Today the DDN (Dayton Daily News) printed a story that is a complete load of lies and fabrication…..

It was known to many that I attend social events with my daughter on Wednesday morning and afternoons including a gym session at the YMCA. I had been doing such for many years.

via Dayton Mayor: Another Hatchet Job by the Dayton Daily News – Proof that they make up stories!.

He is paid $45K plus benefits for a part-time job. Yet, he’s found little time in his first 11 months to post on his blog to inform his supporters of his initiatives. People ask me what I think of his tenure- and I always respond that I like Gary as a person, but am unimpressed with his handling of his job.

If he really wanted to be the people’s mayor- maybe he should be spending more time telling us the good things he’s working on- via his site, his ideas, his plans, his goals- and what he’s doing to move things forward- instead of using it to post videos and reactions to stories where he gets a smackdown.

There are plenty of people working to move Dayton forward, who aren’t paid $45K a year by the taxpayers- who are making a difference instead of excuses. It’s time for Mayor Leitzell to re-evaluate his priorities and stop making excuses for his bad press.

His role as a home-schooling parent is the lamest of excuses and even the mayor should recognize that when he decided to run for this position, some things in his life would have to change.

We elected Leitzell because our other choice hadn’t exactly set the world on fire with her vision for Dayton and we didn’t have any other choices. We don’t care if he doesn’t run again- but we do expect a person in a leadership position to act like one.

It’s time to prove the DDN wrong, Mayor Leitzell- and start generating your own positive press for this city. You know how to respond- it’s time to be proactive.

Holiday gift list suggestions from me.

Those who know me well, know I like my technology. And when it comes to computers- the Mac Plus sitting on the front desk was my third computer- the first being an Osborne 1, then a 512K Fat Mac- there’s a reason my company is called “The Next Wave” and not the Esrati Agency- we’ve always been at the forefront of marketing and advertising. We were doing 4-color print design on a mono-chrome monitor- and the first to a total digital video production in Dayton by an ad agency in house.

So, here are my suggestions to those of you who need a little help with your holiday shopping.

Number one gift choice is a tablet computer– I’m a huge fan of my iPad, the base model 16gb wi-fi only version. Are there times I wish I had the 3g? sure (I also wish AT&T would allow legal tethering of my iPhone- which is one reason when their contract expires I’m switching to anyone but AT&T- I don’t like being lied to), but the extra money on a data plan for this device is high- and wi-fi is available all over.

Today Apple is offering a deal for $459 on this unit- but you’ll pay tax.  Apple 16gb iPad

Kindle from Amazon

Kindle from Amazon

For a much cheaper alternative- for those primarily interested in reading books- the Amazon Kindle is $139 and has an amazing battery life, and a really nice monochrome screen. Picture at right.

IPod Touch

iPod Touch

If you want all the bells and whistles of an iPad- but, not quite the budget- and want a wi-fi phone capability- the iPod touch is also a really great deal, almost everything an iPhone does- without the ridiculous AT&T bill (use Skype on it to make it a phone). Because it’s also a very portable music player- I might consider the 32GB for about $80 more- but the base model at $199 is all you need once you learn to store files on your computer and access them via wifi. One advantage of the touch over the other two tablets is it has cameras- 2 of them- making it a great chat device or a nice camera to carry around.

DVR

If you have a DVR from Time Warner- you are really missing out on the beauty of a DVR. Tivo is an amazing addition to any household- not just to control and time shift TV- but, to access Netflix streaming which is now available without the discs at home for just $7.99 a month. There isn’t quite anything like being able to go search thousands of movies and have them show up on your screen. (Note- you need a decent internet connection- DSL is barely able to do a good job). Note- TiVo needs a subscription- I highly recommend the lifetime which is around $300- you won’t be sorry. It also has an HD tuner- so you can receive and record over the air broadcast HD- which is much higher quality than what you get via cable (and it’s free).

Camera

I’ve been a semi-serious photographer since I was 12 and my grandfather gave me a Topcon 35mm camera. If you’ve never heard of Topcon- don’t be worried- it was far from great. I replaced it with an Olympus OM-1 when I was 14 and then shot hundreds of rolls of black and white that I processed myself in my darkroom.

Canon t2i camera

Canon t2i camera

I’ve had a number of digital cameras- but, the current one is by far the camera that has given me the most joy. I wanted a Canon 7d  which checks in at around $1,700, but the Canon T2i uses the same sensor, and even has a better LCD on the back that shows wide screen video (both cameras are also amazing video camcorders for short shots- 10 minutes or less) and is available for around $750 right now (see deal below for $850 with printer and additional lens)  with a fair lens. Note, you also have to buy a class 10 SD card- since it ships without memory. The most amazing feature of this camera is its incredible low light sensitivity- so when you couple it with the Canon “Nifty-Fifty” 50mm F1.8 lens– you can shoot some amazing shots – anywhere. The 50mm lens becomes about an 85mm with the cameras crop factor- making it great for portrait work- at F1.8 you get the blurry background- and a the really nice “Bokeh” that separates the amateurs from the pros.

UPDATE

special deal with telephoto lens and printer:

  1. Add the Canon EOS Digital Rebel T2i 18-Megapixel Digital SLR Camera for $799
  2. add the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for $138
  3. add the Transcend 4GB SDHC Class 6 Memory Card for $6.99
  4. add the Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Inkjet Photo Printer for $449.99
  5. at checkout apply coupon code “753OOOI8” to cut it to $1,248.99
  6. redeem this $400 mail-in printer rebate (via AmEx Rewards Card) for a final price of $848.99

I also love this camera strap- the Luma Loop. Yes, it’s $60, but it makes carrying a camera anywhere a joy.

Local gifts

There are so many locally owned, amazing restaurants that you can introduce friends with a gift certificate. Today- as a black Friday special- you can go into Coco’s and get lunch for $5 if you order their amazing Italian Grilled Cheese with tomato bisque soup (as cold as it is right now- it’s the perfect lunch) and they will let you buy all the gift certificates you want at 20% off from 11 yo 2 only. Yes, it’s a Black Friday deal- and yes, they are my client- but, you won’t go wrong.

If you like music- and who doesn’t? Stop buying MP3 files from iTunes and get the full fidelity of a CD- and then rip it to your iPod to listen to at a higher bit rate. Two of my favorite places to buy music are Second Time Around- and Omega Music which just moved to the Oregon District in the former Gem City Records location. Unfortunately for Dayton- Omega’s owner, my friend and fellow rabble rouser, Gary Staiger, died yesterday– I’ll be writing a post about him as soon as I can get my head around life in Dayton without him). Omega was just getting started in the new location- help them survive by considering them first this holiday season.

With New Year’s coming around the corner- and so many people needing to lose weight, get in better shape- what better than a gym membership. Yep, there are more than a few locally owned gyms- but, only one that can get your ready to rumble- try Drake’s Jab City Gym downtown. It’s inexpensive- and you’ll feel like you are in a Rocky movie.

Yes- it’s cold outside, which makes it the best time of year to buy a scooter. Yes, a scooter. Next summer you can be riding a mean, lean gas sipping machine- getting 90 mpg and enjoying yourself while you commute or run errands. Jason Liff at Motoscooto can hook you up from $1,000 on up with a vehicle that’s easy to park, fun to ride and will help save you a ton of dough. Best bets (and if I had the money right now) is the Genuine Buddys he’s selling for rock-bottom prices around $2,200, or the fuel injected big wheel CF Moto for $1,800. Please take the Motorcycle Ohio basic course to learn how to ride- it’s only $25 and you take your test at the same time. Riders who complete the course are much less likely to get in a wreck- like 95% less likely- and you’ll learn how to ride safely.

The Second Street Market downtown also is a great place to find local hand-crafted goods and gifts. My girlfriend is loving the new paper jewelry from Gabriela Picket and her little art project in St. Annes The Missing Peace gallery. It’s cheap, it’s cool- and it’s handmade.

I’m sure there are lots of other local options out there- feel free to add your favorites to this post in comments.

Happy Holidays

A gift to the community?

It’s Thanksgiving- and I’d like to thank all my readers for their participation on this site. It’s their thoughts, input, tips and discussion that have helped grow intelligent analysis of our community and its issues.

This quote from Margaret Meade is why I do this: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

We face daunting challenges in our community, many of them easily solvable, if only we can kick ourselves out of the rut we’ve dug. The Wright Brothers aren’t the answer to bring people back to Dayton, we are- and we’ll have to re-invent our community’s shared perception of itself- if we hope to succeed. Unfortunately, our local media thinks that every shooting, stabbing, stealing and stupid human trick is news- instead of focusing on the best of Dayton- and what we’re achieving without their coverage.

But- new thinking also has to come from our captains of industry- those who sit in their brand new hospital towers, or university offices (because all we have left is Meds, Eds and Feds as we’re told- and the Feds are too busy with their own messes). How can we change our community from backward reminiscing to forward acting?

Start with how we choose to advertise our companies? Yep.

Think about how Pepsi has moved a portion of the millions that they spend to promote selling sugar water away from media- to actual projects that impact communities- they call it “Pepsi Refresh”– or Google providing free wi-fi to holiday travelers, the idea of “Marketing as a service” is a way to make a much bigger impact than spending on billboards, tv ads or newspaper ads which are all temporary in nature.

Looking at our two major hospitals which spend millions trying to steal market share away from each other- we could have something tangible that promotes a healthy lifestyle in our community. From the DDN:

Premier cut advertising and promotion spending 35 percent to $5.45 million, while KHN cut such spending 33 percent to $2.86 million.

At Premier’s Miami Valley Hospital, 2009 advertising/promotion spending was $2.36 million in 2009, down 37 percent from 2008. At KHN’s Kettering/Sycamore Medical Center, 2009 spending was $2.08 million, down nearly 30 percent.

Premier hospitals’ advertising and promotion spending doesn’t include the more than $28 million in long-term marketing agreements those hospitals have with local schools.

via Hospitals cut nonclinical costs in tight economy.

A fraction of their “investment in advertising” could provide a countywide bicycle sharing system– which could reinvigorate our community- and provide them with “a vehicle” to spread their message. The bikes would be branded- the kiosks would display ads, the social networking functions would build relationships with people who will eventually need their services- and our community will have something to talk about that’s a bit newer than the Wright Brothers- but, still connects to their roots as bicycle builders.

As our City (metropolitan) continues to lose residents- the market for our health care providers shrinks, it becomes harder to attract top-notch talent to the community to work, and we’ll continue to see an exodus of companies, jobs, and residents. But, change where we spend our money to market- and start to transform our perceptions- and we’ll have more to be thankful for.

The university presidents at both UD and WSU are already on board with this plan, and willing to commit some funding for the program, all that’s left is a company that wants to give back to our community in more than 30 second soundbites and billboards.

“Squirt” is missing-FOUND!

Lost dog Squirt

This "dog" is lost- please find

I’ve done this once before- and the dog was found.

A neighbor lost their “dog”- and I say it with quotes because if you look at the picture- you’ll understand…

It’s a Chinese Crested Hairless- last seen at Oak and Bonner, Dayton Ohio 45410  by the park on 11/23/10 around 1:30 pm

There is a reward offered- Call 937-270-5903 or 239-4974 if you have him.

It’s a bit cold for a dog with no coat- so, please- keep an eye out for the little guy.

UPDATE: 2:30pm- he’s been found. All is well.

Happy Thanksgiving.

But what about the lack of job apps?

You read about the convicted rapist who was hired by his sister at the Montgomery County Board of Elections here first: Government Job- no posting required.

Now the punishment is being meted out-

A Montgomery County Board of Elections supervisor will serve an unpaid three-day suspension for recommending her brother for a job without notifying the board that he had a felony rape conviction, according to board Director Steve Harsman.

Beverly King, who is supervisor of registration, will serve the suspension Dec. 1, 2, and 3.

The delay is because she is needed through the end of November to assist with the certification of ballots and other election duties, Harsman said.

The discipline was for displaying a lack of appropriate judgment and in response to complaints from employees about discourteous treatment by her. She will be required to attend management classes, but will not be demoted, Harsman said.

via Election official suspended, touted ex-offender brother for job.

There was a 2 hour meeting on Tuesday by the board- and this is the best they can do?

What about the fact that none of these jobs are legally posted- and handed out to friends and family?

What about the fact that all the employees that are “Republican” (because the BOE is a 2 party slush fund) had filled out full job applications- and NONE of the Democrats did? Isn’t that illegal? And shouldn’t the head of the BOE, Dem Steve Harsman also be facing either discipline or dismissal?

It’s time that a full investigation of number of employees- pay, benefits- budgets of the BOE be examined and reevaluated.

Hiring of your brother, convicted rapist or not, without a job posting, job application- or any oversight (he also had more hours than any part-timer- including overtime because he rode to work with his sister) is grounds for not only dismissal but criminal charges. But of course for the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” laws, nor common sense apply.

Is it any wonder that we don’t trust our government to regionalize?

Let’s welcome CJ Chan to Dayton

Yesterday, I was a day early and got to keep my dollar. I went into a little strip mall restaurant that was due to open in “November” – and got a huge surprise- not your typical Chinese carryout. The decor is sophisticated- yet sleek- and the stainless steel kitchen equipment was gleaming. The people were happy to see me- but, slight hang up- not open until today, Nov. 18.

It’s right behind the Subway on Wilmington between Irving and Shroyer and next to LA Tan and Papa Johns. On their menu it says “A healthy alternative” and no MSG. From their website:

Welcome to CJ Chan Restaurant! Chinese and Japanese cuisine blends traditional Culinary art with the modern concept of fine dining in an elegant contemporary atmosphere. The excellence of our service makes our diners feel the most satisfaction and enjoyment in dining…

Experience our distinctive menu featuring more than 80 sensational dishes ranging from traditional Chinese favorites and innovative specialties to classic Thai foods from across Asia, using only the freshest, most natural ingredients.

At CJ Chan Restaurant, we also offer create-your-own dishes with something that is sure to please your appetite. Come and enjoy our cozy dining room with friendly service…

We welcome any suggestions you may offer in order that we may better serve you.

Tel: 937-259-9866 Fax: 937-259-9867

Add: 536 Wilmington Ave Dayton OH 45420

via CJ Chan.

If you want to stimulate “economic development” in Dayton- here’s your chance- stop in today and help support a small, local business- tell them “Esrati sent me” just for giggles (and no, I don’t expect anything back from it). I’ll be in before the weekend is out- for sure.

I also usually give new restaurants a few weeks to work the bugs out- so unless you get food poisoning- please share your good experiences in the comments here, on Google places, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare and let’s give them a great jumpstart.

Houses of ill repute vs. regulators of no respect

To continue our discussion of the capricious limit on liquor permits in the Oregon District, where the  limit of 17 magic licenses reduces competition and free markets- we find that when others sell liquor without state sanction- they  are “hot spots for violence, drugs and prostitution” according to the Dayton Daily headline:

Sanders’ sister, Florence Sanders, said she was surprised and shocked by the shootings because her brother had been selling liquor out of his basement for more than 30 years without incident.

via Bootleg joints can be hot spots for violence, drugs, prostitution.

Note- there is nothing in the article that suggests proof of prostitution going on in bootleg joints, and if we went into any nightclub in the region- and shook down every patron we would find drugs and weapons- luckily the TSA hasn’t taken over the night club business- despite historical bombings of discos in other countries.

There is a legal bar in Harrison Township, often frequented by off-duty sheriff’s officers, that has seen more shootings and violence than we’ve seen from “bootleg joints” yet it remains open (although the name has changed a few times).

It’s also interesting to note that when a well-known establishment downtown has a problem- it’s name doesn’t appear in the paper. Maybe it’s a side benefit of hosting benefits for politicians like Rhine McLin- and even donating a tile mosaic of her Chairmaness.

A “Thirsty Thursday” promotion at a downtown club tied up police officers from three districts during the early morning hours Friday.

It started at 3 a.m. when two officers were at the club on an unrelated call. While talking to club security, a large fight broke out in the adjacent parking lot. ..

By this time, crews from the 1st, 3rd and Central Business districts were in the area of the first block of North Jefferson because of numerous disturbances and fights in the parking lot around the club.

via ‘Thirsty Thursday’ turns into fight night outside downtown club | Dayton area crime.

If it appears that there are different standards for different liquor establishments in the area, it’s probably just your imagination- we can’t possibly have a “Pay to play” government in Dayton, Ohio, could we?

Ask Dennis Stewart about the opposition he faced when he tried to move the Walnut Hills bar a few blocks from the corner of Brown and Wyoming to the back of Brown and Stewart – and the opposition to having liquor closer to campus. Or even the IHOP that wanted to locate on Brown Street- where the protest was that they didn’t want a 24-hour business in the area because of the noise it would cause (ignoring the noisy flying things with rotors from a major employer with a huge new tower next door). The local developer who had a plan for the new Kroger location that could have happened- but was derailed by forces unknown… the list goes on.

It seems as if the invisible hand in Dayton actually belongs to someone or something unknown- and they make sure we are “protected” from…?

Reader Jstults refers to this brilliantly:

I think Dayton’s Organization Town approach is endearing: the funkiness shall happen in these city blocks between such and so hours, however said funk shall not exceed 17 Smedley Total Funk Units at any given time. While being Funky, citizens are encouraged to get Creative, Involved or just Midwest in order to optimize the synergistic effect of being terribly trendy and nearly bohemian during their off-hours. Of course, being an Organization Man, I don’t really care about drunken revelry, as long as it’s not happening in front of my house while I’m trying to sleep…

via Three-minute thinking.

Maybe we should hold a lottery statewide for liquor licenses- and also grant a restricted number of drinking permits via a free lottery to registered voters only (because then politicians can gain favor with voters- giving away pocket drinking permits). The lucky voters who win these permits- can then sell them off to the highest bidder- and you must have a permit to drink and wear it around your neck like a pan handler permit (because those work so well) or risk instant execution by the Department of Boozeland Security….

If this sounds insane- you’ve hopefully started to understand the stupidity of Government overextending its reach with rules that it can’t really enforce legally. Of course, just by using the delay and roadblock tactics they dream up when it suits them often serve the very same purpose.

Why is government involved in these kinds of decisions- and are we better off? Looking at the fall of Dayton over the last 50 years- could it be that our “Organizational Town” thinking is the root of the problem?

How can we have bootleg joints operating for 30 years in a community that rules the Oregon District with an iron fist? Maybe we’ve failed on all accounts and just can’t admit it?