Let’s on-shore the American dream

There is a major employer in Dayton that hires thousands of people from India to come here and work and untold thousands more in India to do high-level coding for its information-services business. When it comes to immigration status, they have the best lawyers around on retainer to work though the issues.

There are local hotels, construction companies, restaurants and manufacturing companies that hire “illegal immigrants” to clean their rooms, do the dirtiest of demolition, wash dishes, and do menial labor.

Rich friends of mine brag about their Mexican electrician, groundskeeper, housekeeper.
Our farm economy still depends on illegals (we like to call them “migrant farm workers”) to pick tomatoes, mushrooms, oranges, lettuce- etc.

Our poor people complain that these immigrants take their jobs- yet, I had a two-time ex-con tell me that doing data entry “wasn’t in his job description” (which is odd because I don’t have written job descriptions) as “office manager.”

For a year, I had the luxury of having a coder from Nigeria who was here on a student visa while getting a master’s degree at Wright State. His work ethic was excellent, his enunciation a bit difficult, but upon graduation he was on a countdown to get his visa sponsored and my small company couldn’t compete with bigger businesses.

Our manufacturing base has moved off-shore because they say they can’t compete with cheap overseas labor- yet, others (including Congressmen and Supreme Court justices) have been caught hiring these affordable “illegal immigrants” in “nanny-gates” while still passing laws against paths to immigration, not raising the minimum wage and continuing to support laws that create “illegal underground economies” with the “war on drugs,” bipolar gambling laws; it’s legal on Wall Street and the Lottery- but online poker or a home game for money is illegal.

A friend went to Siberia to build a waste-water treatment plant for Pepsi a good 15 years ago- he went over a 40-year-old, overweight, cynical, not-by-choice bachelor- he came back with a beautiful 25-year-old pregnant wife- with a master’s degree in economics. Her family came to visit- and thought his 4-room shotgun cottage was a mansion. Because he owned a car, a “band van” and 2 motorcycles- they believed him to be rich.

In Dayton, we’ve got a growing population of Mexicans, Nigerians, Armenian Turks, and Indians to add to a bunch of Koreans (we’re home to an Air Force base where airmen meet Korean women and bring them back).

Ohio is losing population, Dayton is spending millions to tear down homes, and lamenting the loss of income-tax revenue- yet there are probably thousands of workers working in Dayton, who would be happy to pay taxes, if it would not come with a knock on the door from immigration.

What could happen in America if we just integrated the “illegal immigrant” underground economy into the legitimate one? Would we stop seeing the budget crisis? Would the economy bounce back almost overnight? I’m not advocating instant citizen status, but a path to citizenship with a legal work status.

Those who’ve been convicted of crimes would not be eligible, but, the honest hardworking people who clean your hotel room, wash your dishes, pick your vegetables would.

Immigration is one of the “hot button” issues that is used to divide voters, to rile them up, to take them out of rational discussions of the real issue in America today: the economic divide.

While 13% of us continue to be out of work, while our city “leaders” are about to raise our income tax again while we hand over a $30-million dollar building to a California “developer” with no money down- the divide continues to grow. Our political system has devolved into an auction to the highest bidder- with no end in sight.

What kind of country do you want to live in? One that has “Freedom and justice for all”- or only those who make the laws (hint- it’s not the people anymore).

Why the taxpayers should say no to IRG on Airport deal

Yesterday, I posted documents showing City employees structuring a deal for IRG so UPS could get out of a long-term lease for a very valuable building that sits on city property.

IRG stands to put a few million in their pocket right off the bat, with the city asking for a couple of years of escrowed lease payments. Then IRG can take the assets of the building- strip what they want, and later walk away.

Why can’t the city just take a one-time payment from UPS to get out of the deal- and hand the building over to the taxpayers, who then can contract with any developer who is willing to pay the city?

Or, use the building as an incubator – instead of building more buildings in Tech Town?

Maybe, it’s because the people who structure deals for the city don’t know how to structure deals at all? Remember the Wayne Avenue Kroger fiasco?

The City Commission should put this vote on hold until they have time to study this deal carefully.

Something smells pretty bad about the deal as presented.

You can’t trust Dayton City Hall

Arial view Dayton AirportIf you think the people running the City of Dayton have your best interests in mind, you are in for an eye opener. I warned of problems with this deal with Industrial Realty Group last week.

First, meet our local hometown hero: Mark Herres, CEO of The Builders Development Group. Mark had an idea to put a solar array on top of the former Emery air freight hub at the airport. The building, currently owned by UPS, which would cost about $380 million to build today, sits in a mothballed state until 2020.

Over the next 9 years, UPS must keep it in perfect operating condition, because of special regulations of buildings that sit on FAA grounds. The city leases the land for $657K year- and is guaranteed it until 2020. UPS pays about $185K in property taxes to the county. All in- UPS spends at least $2 million a year to keep an empty building. Included with the building is a conveyor system worth about $20 million, 5 diesel generators worth about $500K each and a fuel farm that’s worth about $15million (it’s made of stainless steel and aluminum). There is 166K square feet of IT office space built out with fiber and fast internet. There is a million square feet of warehouse space, in an International Free trade zone. It even includes the old airport tower- which, believe it or not- has nothing to do with the FAA tower that was just built. If you just scrapped the metal in the building- you’d get a cool $6 million or so.

Mark approached UPS in 2009 with a way to end up at least cash neutral though 2020- by leasing the roof for $1- supplying UPS with cheap power- and slowly filling the facility with jobs- both in green energy (solar manufacturers) and in turning the fuel farm into bio-composters. The warehouse could also house distribution for tech companies- but all this really doesn’t matter, because his deal was with UPS- and they weren’t getting out of their lease.

Mark approaches the city and has a conference call with airport director Ahmad Iftikhar, Stan Earley, Tim Riordan, Shelley Dickstein from the City manager’s office- Walter Krgowski (airport deputy director). Chris Meyer from the Dayton Development Coalition and representatives from UPS. As the lease holder, the city must sign off so the FAA can approve the use.BDG dec 10 Krygowski

Even though the lease would still be paid by UPS no matter what BDG does- this is a deal between BDG and UPS, the city asked for “Financing Details” and- at some point asked what would happen to the building in 2020 when the UPS lease was done.

UPS said that by 2020- they’d sell the building to BDG for $1 and let them take over the 20-year option.

Apparently- when that number popped up- someone saw a chance to cut themselves a deal.

On Jan. 25, 2010, Director of Aviation Ahmad Iftikhar (who is already looking for another job) wrote Riordan- about the “Emery MOU” – Memorandum of Understanding between the city and UPS/BDG and says in item 8. “At some point we would want IRG to talk to Mark Harries (sic.).” In item 3 he’s also asking Doug Hanish- a local real estate property appraiser to look at this deal. Why would an appraisal be done since this deal has nothing to do with the sale of the building which belongs to UPS? Jan 25 2010 Iftikar to Rirodan IRG

By March 1st- on city stationery, Ahmad- who is about to accept a job in New Orleans, sends the wording of an MOU to Stuart Lichter- the President of IRG in Downey, Calif., that he should use to make an offer to the city of Dayton to buy the building out from UPS and cut Herres and BDG out. Ahmad is promising to undo a deal which the city had already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a local player. Mar 1 2010 Iftikar to Lichter

Of course, Lichter takes a week or so- to review it- and then sends back Ahmad’s language- copy and paste: Mar 12 2010 IRG to Iftiakr

Next we have city manager – fast tracking IRG deal, asking via e-mail April 1st, 2011 to “Stuart,” as if they are best friends- where he wants to see a pro forma- asking why IRG’s deal only is through 2016 instead of 2020- and something in the agreement that indicates the UPS funds will be spent on the project (as opposed to pocketed by IRG- who has not shown any kind of plan for the building).Apr 1 2011 Riordan to Lichter

Note, IRG set up an LLC explicitly for this deal so they can take the money out and run if they feel the need. IRG also wants the fuel farm taken out of the deal- as they see it as a liability.

Lastly- we have an e-mail on April 15, 2011 where the FAA is sticking their nose in- rightfully- asking what IRG plans to do with the FAA’s investment in an aviation facility- which requires the new owner to have at least 10% aviation-related use. There is a final jab- in that if the new owners don’t comply- the FAA can pull the ownership of the building- probably after IRG has scrapped as much as they can out of it. Apr 15 2011 FAA to City

The City Commissioners were handed this- plus a lot more information on this deal today- for a vote on Wednesday as part of the city manager’s recommendations: http://www.cityofdayton.org/cco/Commission%20Agendas/2011/04-27-11%20Agenda.pdf

They are entering into a deal with IRG- doing business as “Air Commerce LLC” and walking away from a guaranteed contract with UPS.

Under the terms of the deal, UPS will pay IRG (not Air Commerce) $5,750,000 and Air Commerce will place $1,280,000 in escrow and pay the city $640K a year for a total of $3.2 million- with options. Why the rush to do a deal with a company that clears an easy couple of million right off the bat- without promising the city ANYTHING in return? Why did the city rush out to move around our local hero, BDG- who was promising jobs, innovative technologies- and not changing the terms of the lease at all? Why do we need to do a deal with someone smaller than UPS- which is what we have now?

There can only be one answer- and that is that someone at IRG is paying people in City Hall- or promising to pay them. Both people who started this deal at the airport have moved off to New Orleans.

There is ZERO reason to act on this deal this week– yet, already, almost 70 employees of UPS and their security firm etc- were already given walking papers- with a termination date of Friday. How does this benefit the taxpayers?

Questions need to be answered- because we can’t trust city hall at all. These documents prove that they are conniving backstabbers, unable to do an honest deal.

 

 

 

Dead sign petitions without prosecutions

Whoever commits election falsification is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree

The warning on petitions

In an opinion piece in the Dayton Daily we find this gem:

Montgomery County’s Steven Harsman does acknowledge that the names of dead people have shown up on petitions gathered to get candidates and issues on the ballot. But, he says, “They get deleted, because their signatures don’t match” the signatures on their registration forms.

Even if just a few people are signing another’s name, that’s not good.

via Editorial: Dead people aren’t stealing any elections | A Matter of Opinion.

Yet, we’ve not heard about any prosecutions? On the petitions I’ve seen- it clearly states: “Whoever commits election falsification is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.”

Now, either Harsman is lying about people turning in signatures of dead people- or he is guilty of not doing his job.

Which is it?

He’s sure good about keeping live people off the ballot with his team of crack graphologists– where is the prosecution of the crimes?

Have any of the party faithful been elected with signatures of dead people on their petitions?

It’s time for a full investigation of the BOE- and who is on the payroll of this political patronage cesspool.