Lying city commissioners up for re-election: Matt Joseph and Dean Lovelace

An under-publicized candidates’ night was apparently held last night at the Wesley Center. The Dayton Daily News reported about 40 in attendance.

Take out the entourages, and you probably have 25 voters.

Of course, we only have 4 candidates, no primary, and no real choices. If “none of the above” were on the ballot, it would win by a landslide.

And, thanks to the Board of (S)elections- and our antiquated City Charter- I’m not on the ballot- and neither will anyone else be (the current system has historically rejected almost 65% of people who take out petitions who aren’t incumbents). Note, Mark Manovich wouldn’t have been on the ballot, had it not been for me getting him almost 150 good signatures (he got me 50- and I was “short 50” on turn-in according to the BOE).

From the DDN:

The candidates addressed switching from the current city manager form of government to a “strong mayor.” Only Pace actively supported the idea, saying city managers sometimes have no roots in the community. Lovelace and Manovich were generally opposed, saying the current system works. Joseph raised pros and cons, praised current City Manager Tim Riordan and said if residents want a strong mayor system, they can put the issue on the ballot.

Manovich joined Lovelace’s call for police diversity, and asked for increased community-based policing, touting an ongoing, privately funded effort on that front in his neighborhood of South Park. Lovelace said this would be his last run for City Commission and called for young Daytonians to step up and serve their city.

via Challengers push ideas on housing, entrepreneurship.

First lie is a whopper- with Matt Joseph saying that citizens can put something on the ballot. Can’t be done. To put something on the ballot would require “good signatures” from 10% of the voters on the Board of (S)Elections’ rolls. Currently at around 100,000 registered voters, that means you need 10,000 good signatures from voters in Dayton. With more than 40% of signatures  being rejected, that would require 14,000 signatures- which is really close to a quarter of all registered voters who really live in the city (according to the U.S. Census we only have 108,000 people 18 and over, and with only about half registered to vote, that would be 54,000 voters- and of the registered voters, only half actively vote). The logistics of this is almost impossible- as seen by the constant failure of candidates not endorsed  by a party to make it though the petition process.

Lie number two is that Dean Lovelace has displayed any interest in helping anyone but himself get elected over the years. His only goal in running for this term is to have enough years in office to qualify for a bigger pension. Considering his health, age and the destruction of our public safety forces with his inept “solution” to making our departments more diverse, he should have been recalled long ago (requires 25% of the “registered” voters’ signatures).

To run for Congress you need 50 signatures. To turn in any petition to change the Ohio Constitution or put something on the ballot, you are granted a 10-day grace period to gather more signatures (something I did after the rejections- and those signatures were rejected as well).

The voters have no real say in our process- only hoping to pick from the lame candidates who are presented. Among the four candidates, there isn’t a creative thinker in the bunch- or a serious contender. I can already tell you I will reluctantly vote for Pace and Manovich- however, I’d like their assurances that the first thing they do is call a charter review committee open to the citizens- (not party hacks and elected officials) to update and fix our sorry a$$ charter. Note, just three commissioners need to vote to put an issue or charter amendment on the ballot.

Bringing our charter in line with the Ohio Revised Code will solve many of the problems that have plagued real change in our city- mostly, the choices that are made by the unelected political party puppets of the Board of (S)Elections. These self-appointed guardians of the ballot, have made more decisions for the voters than a Fascist dictator.

Does lock them up and throw away the key work?

As far as neighborhood meetings go, Historic South Park usually brings 35-45 people out monthly to participate in the ultimate form of “local government.” Last night, we had well over 65 come to Hope Lutheran Church to hear our neighborhood police officers (paid for by Miami Valley Hospital) and members of the County Prosecutor’s office talk about our latest local crime spree.

Ronald Lamont Sizemore  mugshot

Mugshot of Ronald Lamont Sizemore, thief and junkie

The center of the discussion was to try to understand the revolving door that has produced a rap sheet for the recently incarcerated thief and junkie, Ronald Lamont Sizemore. His jail history has to be continued over 3 pages online. Sizemore lived right in the center of a circle of recent break-ins, to include the theft from my garage that you read about 2 weeks ago. None of my stuff has been recovered and the only charges that are sticking on this career criminal are for having appliances that he stole from a former rental. Even his landlord showed up- but didn’t stick around much after the conversation started moving toward declaring houses nuisances when they house criminals.

Since he’s been locked up, we’ve also managed to lock up some juveniles, including one who was featured in this post What to do with punk kids skipping school and was one of the three kids who were with the stolen bike I stole back. That story is almost worthy of a post itself, when they were first booked for getting caught in the process of trying to hot wire a van down my street, the mother gave the wrong name for one of her sons to avoid getting a second curfew violation, only to have the officer realize she had lied, when the same kid was caught bailing out of a car he’d stolen and sustained injuries that had her giving her correct name to hospital staff. The mom was busted for lying.

The neighborhood voted to allocate up to $750 to purchase some video surveillance cameras (as written about in this post), to move around from “hot spot” to “hot spot” to try to help police have more evidence and to allow people to monitor our streets from the safety of their homes. There was one “nay” vote, because obviously someone who hadn’t been broken into, still believed in living in a free society unmolested and unmonitored by big brother. It was refreshing to know that there are still sane minds who refuse to live in a state of perpetual fear.

The discussion about whether we should post signs warning of the cameras.

Two schools of thought emerge, one, wondering if the criminals will read, or care, or if they need to be warned legally (they don’t). And, what kind of message does it send outsiders to know they are walking into a neighborhood so filled with crime that it’s become the London, England, of the Midwest. But, when one bright neighbor asked how this is different  from having the old “neighborhood watch” signs- updated to say we’re using video, the discussion resolved itself.

The reality is, cameras don’t stop or even solve crimes in many cases, only police can do that, but hopefully by being able to distribute the time spent actively watching these cameras, we may be able to alert police more often to catch criminals in the act.

The blame game

The interesting change was the three attorneys from County Prosecutor Matt Heck’s office. Apparently, we’re going to have four prosecutors assigned to our neighborhood. In a “return” to historic practices, prosecutors will now try to come to our meetings and get a pulse of the neighborhood and try to work with neighbors to send a message to judges that light sentences aren’t options anymore for the criminally inclined.

Yet, despite very rarely having choices in elections on whom to vote for, since most judgeships go on the ballot unchallenged, we were left with a parting comment that ultimately we can vote for change since both the prosecutor and the judges are elected. To me, this was almost comical.

The real issue is that incarceration neither works or really provides a deterrent for common criminals anymore. I also believe that our laws are enforced differently between Montgomery County and Greene County and against blacks and whites. The stupidity of the “war on drugs” has also caused our government to spend gross amounts of money trying to stop people from eliminating themselves from the gene pool by natural selection- i.e., become a bad enough junkie and you will eventually OD and die and solve the problems you cause. I’m tired of government trying to save stupid people from themselves.

The lack of meaningful supervision, or “post release control” of convicts returning to society is one of the biggest problems facing this revolving-door system. There is zero accountability by the state for how people like Sizemore are supposed to fit back in. Typically, even a short incarceration causes the inmate to default on payments for utilities and other obligations, destroying his credit, and then Ohio’s auto insurance laws almost automatically force them to purchase high-risk insurance because of a clause that requires you to pay the higher premiums when you’ve had a lapse in insurance coverage. As if these idiots weren’t already at a disadvantage because of their records, we make sure to put obstacles that even law-abiding citizens would have trouble surmounting.

Solutions worth investigating

A nearby house has been trouble for the last three years (note, I didn’t have any break-ins for my first 23 years here- coincidence, I think not). The police used to be there on average of three times a week. Unlike most of these cases, these were homeowners- not renters. A settlement in a lawsuit was used to let a meth addict buy a foreclosed home and move out of “a bad neighborhood” into a good one. Trouble follows idiots.

The drain on our city resources caused by these people who can’t seem to get with the program is huge. Instead of wasting our tax dollars on reaction, we need to use these frequent calls to trigger a series of events. After the third police call to an address or about an individual in a one-year period, it’s time to dispatch a social worker along with a “scared straight” type advocate. Determine what are the problems, document them, and try to set up a solution. Also, issue a warning that with each additional visit by police fines will start to be assessed (much like false alarm fees for security systems). If the people can’t afford to pay the fines they will be attached to the real estate. Landlords will be notified and will be assisted in moving out society’s problem children so that their investments aren’t destroyed. For the worst cases, the highest frequency offenders, they may be moved into public housing, separated and given “sponsors” to help them stop their anti-social behaviors.

The other way to work off fines, will be to do community service- not regulated by the courts, but by their local community. They will be required to work in neighborhood parks, attend neighborhood meetings and learn how to fit in, before they are forced to move out. Socialization between the strata of society is a solution that’s rarely attempted.

Of course, if none of this is working- bringing back public stocks, stoning, lashings and even scarlet letters may be better options. When Singapore decided to cane a punk named Michael Fay who was arrested for vandalizing, there was a huge outcry- but I guarantee little Mikey never wanted to get caught tagging again.

Speaking out, publishing our dirt

As usual, I’m going to be criticized for airing dirty laundry about our patch of heaven here in South Park. Just like pulling the covers off the dual attempts at regionalization behind closed doors, somehow not talking about these things in public so we can all work together on solving the problems is our preferred modus operandi in the place we call Dayton.

South Park was just one of a few neighborhoods in Dayton where property values as a whole went up in the recent re-appraisal. Yet, no credit is given to homeowners who have been forced to spend thousands more on security systems and monitoring to protect their investments from people our government is seemingly incapable of protecting us from.

One of our two patron saint investors, who has dumped millions of her own money into the neighborhood over the last five years, has been putting up camera systems and paying for high speed internet on her investment homes so she can monitor what was going on next door (you can see the three cameras on the house next door to Sizemore’s former abode). Where are the tax credits?

In an unwarranted segue

We all pay the costs of incarcerating low-lifes. I can tell you from experience that the kid I’ve been a “big brother” to over the last 24 years has had more spent on incarceration by the state than it would have cost to provide mental health services, drug and alcohol counseling and a college degree. In his last 3-year stint, courtesy of the no-nonsense judges of Greene County, he actually received drug and alcohol counseling and completed the first year of an associate’s degree with a 3.95 GPA at Noble Correctional Institution. He is now, sitting in Montgomery County Jail again- from a domestic violence charge, which has stopped him from attending Sinclair and completing his associate’s this quarter (the last before Sinclair switches to semesters and probably plays with his graduation requirements once again). Because of a “he said”/ “she said” charge, his prior record and a system that has no middle ground options, we, the taxpayers are going to get hosed once again. He’s looking at a year, but the last 30 days have already once again put him behind an eight ball of bills, missed work, lost opportunity. Never mind the fact that these two “lovebirds” have a baby on the way that will also be a drain on the system.

Our system of “criminal justice” isn’t working. Between well-meaning politicians creating more and more rules, penitentiaries filling up, drug-related crime continuing just like prohibition did little to stem the flow of alcohol, we’re fighting a losing battle.

Epilogue

Security cameras aren’t an answer. Neither are electing new pogues to do our biding. We need a complete, top-to-bottom rearrangement of how we all learn to just get along. While our national politicians are apt to throw out the words “class warfare” when talking about the widening gap between haves and have nots, or different political policy, the reality is that the war is already over. We’ve lost. We’ve managed to be the most incarcerated nation on the planet, while still lying to ourselves and calling this the “home of the brave, land of the free.”

When law-abiding citizens have to meet en masse to discuss how to get the system to solve the Ronald Lamont Sizemore problems in the community, we’ve now using up even more of our valuable social capital (and real capital for cameras) to remedy what our society is producing in record numbers: drains of resources.

It will only be fixed when we spend more on education than incarceration, more on health care than on health insurance, more on public infrastructure than public safety and less energy and money on political campaigns and more on political discourse and diplomacy.

It’s time to unlock our minds and open them to new and different ways to solve our problems. Locking them up and throwing away the key hasn’t been working for too long.

 

Dayton loses talent: the Buckmans have left the building

It was probably around 1995 or so. Bill Rain and David Williams had just finished the Lofts of St. Clair, a conversion of the butt-ugly Pinsky Produce building on St. Clair. The aluminum siding had been torn off to expose a beautiful brick building. It had color- and a roof garden. They’d shoved probably one too many “lofts” per floor into it- making them more like apartments than lofts (lofts then were still supposed to be lofts- with open floor plans- and the only real private room being the “privvy.”

The ground floor had office space – a “mixed use” development. OMG. In Downtown Dayton? The city had given them grief about the amazing old HUGE freight elevator (big enough to put your car on it) being used by mere mortals- the project was a condo- so the building owners would be allowed to use it – but not visitors… or some such nonsense. The basement had become a parking garage- a very tight one- but, it worked.

Photo stolen from Barry Buckman's facebook profile

Barry Buckman. Architect. Visionary.

The architects on the project were to be the commercial tenants in the “front” office space- Mary Rogero and Barry Buckman- who had decided to leave Woolpert to begin doing what they thought was missing in Dayton- urban modernist architecture. At first, they lived off  projects for Citywide and social-service type grant projects and a few small commissions, but as time moved forward so did the ambition meter. It was here that I first met these urban visionaries who would go on to transform Dayton almost by themselves.

Barry’s wife opened a hip little gift shop, “GO Home” next door to the first upscale restaurant on Fifth Street in the Oregon District- Pacchia. She sold home accessories from companies like Umbra and Alessi, as well as cards, and gift items. She was an architect too- but saw an opening in the market and went for it. The store was different- in that almost all the store fixtures were made by the owner and her husband. A lot of MDF that looked raw yet finished. The racks were on industrial wheels. People waiting to get into Pacchia would browse and buy, there was a reason to go down to the Oregon District to actually buy something other than entertainment or jewelery. Things were looking up.

As Rogero Buckman grew- and evolved to become just RBA– Dayton saw the fruits of their creativity. I’m not going to list everything- just the ones that seemed to really change things:

They turned the vacant and condemnable church at the corner of Cass and Clay into a rock climbing temple- the Urban Krag. It was a stunning re-purposing of a building that had lost its ability to function in a world that requires huge parking lots to serve the purpose it was intended for. I could take a little credit on this one, as I helped Karl and Melissa find this building after their plans for the still vacant DP&L steam building on the corner of 4th and St. Clair never worked out.

They inspired the church’s owner, Tim Patterson, to also try converting the church that backed up to it at Van Buren and Clay- into luxury condos- and the Buckmans moved into the front one. Here was an architect who lived in his project (something that a surprising number of architects don’t do).

RBA moved into the 2nd floor of what became the Cannery at Wayne and E. Third- and guided that complex project of marrying 6 different buildings into one huge rental block with retail on the base floor. Unfortunately, due to some HUD requirements- their original concept of having other businesses join them on the second floor got nixed, and they had to move yet again. The stupidity of this change added to the number of parking spaces required at night- compared to keeping spaces revolving between daytime and nighttime uses- the city was of no help. It took the city at least ten years to authorize the “radical” concept of end-in parking in front of this building- something RBA suggested along with many others right from the start. Go Home moved over to the corner- and grew to sell modern furniture- making it an upstairs-downstairs work situation for the Buckman family.

The CooperLofts were another groundbreaking work- starting with an old warehouse building downtown- and building a totally modern addition- with funky siding and odd angle protrusions. The building at the corner of Second and St. Clair is just two blocks away from the little office where RBA began- and also about the same distance from the Cannery. The circle of influence of this small firm is probably more compact than any other architecture firm in town. It’s as if Barry and Mary were on a mission to transform the city- by working in a spiral from their original base camp.

The sculptures and the two service buildings for Riverscape as well as the Fountain towers are their design, as is the uber hip black house on Emmet Street across the river, the Firefly building on Webster at First (where their third and final office is). The Real Art building on First St. across from the ballpark, the inside of Therapy Cafe in the Cannery, the Fairgrounds neighborhood- project “genesis” was theirs- along with one custom house tucked away by Denny’s that is really cool… the list goes on. The mark RBA made will last a long time in Dayton.

One of their most interesting projects is the LiteHouses along Patterson. These “manufactured” homes- as in built in a factory and trucked to the site to be snapped together like Lego blocks, were an innovative game changer in Dayton. LEED certified, you could buy a home that the annual utility bill was lower than your monthly house payment. The plan was to build a lot of these- but, with the financial collapse and appraisers not able to get out of their “comp” mindset- financing became difficult for the kind of people that these were built for. In a particularly shitty move- the city of Dayton decided to hand over one of the future sites to Charles Simms development (along with $300K) to build something generic across the street.

Along the way I got to do the RBA website (which sadly never really ever got updated) and was seemingly always in their circle of influence. We were kindred souls in having a vision for Dayton that didn’t include cookie cutter solutions. The annual invite to watch the fireworks from the roof of the Firefly building was always appreciated- especially since I could rub elbows with many of the people whom I use as content for this blog :-)

But, despite all our efforts to attract and keep the “Creative Class” in Dayton- we’ve failed.

About a month ago, Barry took a job in North Carolina for a large architecture firm, and Audry closed up her final and fourth location of Go Home- which got a paragraph in the Dayton Daily.

Was it the frustration of dealing with a chief building inspector who could find a new way to say no on every single project they did? Or the city handing off lots that could have had a really cool LiteHouse style block on it? Was it the difficulty of challenging the big firms with political clout and connections- who seemed to use RBA as their minor league farm club? Or was it just the desire to move back to NC and be closer to aging parents? Or all of the above?

Either way- they slipped out of town, without a celebration of their accomplishments and contribution to this community- one that probably won’t be understood by very many people- until maybe twenty years from now. We were lucky to have a 16-year run of exceptional talent doing fantastic things in Dayton. To me, they set the bar higher for every architecture firm in the region. One day, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are architecture tours in Dayton of their projects- as models of how a small firm can make a high impact mark on a community.

In my opinion the difference between RBA and Frank Lloyd Wright was the lack of a benefactor to propel them to their well-deserved glory. Maybe not from an architectural design standard- but to one for transforming a community via good design. When local kingmaker Clay Mathile went outside the area to hire architects to do the Aileron building- he overlooked an opportunity to give the home team a chance to really strut their stuff. Just like local restaurants- if we don’t support them, we may only have the choice of chain restaurant food through our choices.

The office is still open- being run by South Park resident Matt Sauer, finishing up projects and even taking on a few new ones. Mary has been only peripherally involved over the last 4 or so years- as she accepted a professorship at Miami University in Oxford.

While most of Dayton probably never knew who was behind all these buildings and projects, I did.

This is my tribute to Barry and his vision. I hereby proclaim today Barry Buckman and RBA day. Giving you a key to the city is inappropriate- since you were the living embodiment to being the key to our city through the last 16 years.

Dayton, you won’t fully realize what you lost until long from now. Just remember, you read it here first.

Former local snake oil salesman has a new gig: Bill Pardue to ObjectFX

After getting fired from LexisNexis and the Gartner Group, and then taking the local economic development chumps on a ride with QBase, Bill Pardue has found a new patron saint:

ObjectFX, a leading provider of geospatial intelligence solutions, today announced that Bill Pardue has been named Chief Executive Officer.

Bill brings more than 25 years of general management, product development and marketing experience to ObjectFX in the information-technology and publishing sectors, ranging from multi-billion-dollar global enterprises to startups. He also is a partner in TransVoyant LLC, the Alexandria-based private equity firm that purchased ObjectFX earlier this summer.

In his new role, Mr. Pardue will lead the company in identifying market needs in the defense, intelligence, security and transportation logistics sectors, and decide how ObjectFX solutions can best fill those needs through the advancement of new and enhanced technologies, partnerships and through acquisitions.“Bill brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in building outstanding decision-support information products,” said Tim Fleischer, Chairman of ObjectFX. “His strong leadership, business management background and market knowledge will help both accelerate ObjectFX’s growth and support our customers in delivering on their missions.”

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Pardue previously was President & CEO of LexisNexis for its corporate and federal markets in the United States and also the Chief Global Product Officer for LexisNexis worldwide. He organized and launched the LexisNexis Risk Solutions business unit and also LexisNexis Special Services Inc.

In 2005, Pardue founded Qbase LLC, which delivers data-analytics solutions to the U.S. intelligence community, military services and federal agencies. Bill also served previously as president of Gartner Intelligence, a unit of global IT market research firm Gartner Inc., and was director of marketing for The Washington Post. He formerly practiced law in Washington, D.C. “It’s great to join ObjectFX at such a strategic time in its development,” said Pardue. “The company has a fantastic track record in delivering unique tools to integrate, dynamically analyze, and make sense out of massive volumes of geospatial data. I look forward to working with Tim and the rest of the team as we invest in ObjectFX solutions and advance the company to its next phase of growth.”

Pardue is a member of the Trust Committee of the Miriam Rosenthal Memorial Trust Fund and of the American Bar Association and District of Columbia Bar Association. He is a magna cum laude graduate of McNeese State University in Louisiana. Mr. Pardue previously served on the founding Executive Board for the Institute for Development and Commercialization of Advanced Sensor Technology and on the Board of Directors of Congressional Information Service Inc.

About ObjectFX LLC

ObjectFX LLC delivers geospatial solutions to leverage the value of dynamic spatial and temporal data in gathering intelligence, managing risk, and monitoring and improving operations. In 2010, ObjectFX won the prestigious Industry Achievement Award from the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation for the development of SpatialRULES®, a Complex Event Processing engine for geospatial data. ObjectFX products and services are a foundation or complementary technology for a wide range of applications used across multiple vertical industries and organizations. Representative customers include Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, SAIC, the United States Army, Union Pacific and United Airlines. ObjectFX is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business with offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Alexandria, Virginia.

via ObjectFX Appoints Bill Pardue Chief Executive Officer.

The only reason I’m wasting my time reporting on this- is because of all the people in Dayton who have been burned by Mr. Pardue and have followed the chicanery of Mr. Pardue and Qbase on this blog for a number of years.

For those who don’t remember how all this began, I was examining donations to Steve Austria, and saw 17 from Qbase manager, all for $1000, within a week. You can read the first post here: Bad Investments by Government

Misguided government waste

As a small business, registered in Central Contractor Registry,  now called SAM. I get asked to bid on various projects based on our NAICS codes (an arcane government numbering system that identifies what your business does with a numeric code) through Fed Biz Ops, the central clearinghouse for government contracts over $25K.

As an ad agency, we supply ad specialties for our clients, so that is one of our NAICS codes. For those of you who don’t know what an “ad specialty” is- it’s also referred to as “trash and trinkets” – or trade show bait, or “ad promotional materials.”

Common items run from pens and notepads – all the way to custom engraved iPads.

So when I see an Air Force buyer looking for trash and trinkets for a “Sexual Awarness Prevention and Response Campaign (SAPR) Supplies” I really have to wonder? What, we don’t want people to be “sexually aware” (we’re preventing it right?) or telling people how to respond to sexually aware people (those who didn’t get the training).

The logo- says it’s a “Sexual Assault Prevention Response Program”- so it’s already looking like someone is trying to cover something up.

Here is the link to the RFQ: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=1c4369dc2ebb279d41c78ff6c09c517e&tab=core&_cview=1

And here is what they want prices on:

:
F1C0BW1259A002
:
Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
:
Added: Sep 22, 2011 3:32 am

This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with the format in Subpart 12.6, as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; quotes are being requested and a written solicitation will not be issued. This solicitation, F1C0RH1259A002, is being issued as a Request for Quotation (RFQ). This solicitation document and incorporated provisions and clauses are those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-53. This procurement is a 100% Small Business set-aside IAW FAR 19.502-2(a). The NAICS code is 541890 and the small business size standard is $7,000,000.00. The following commercial items are requested in this solicitation:

Logo for USAF HQ Sexual Assault Prevention Response Program

Is it Sexual Assault Prevention Response Program or Sexual Awareness Prevention Response Program?

NOTE: SAPR Stock logo is provided. See attached pdf.

CLIN 0001 – Collapsible Can Cooler
Quantity: 750ea
Color: Teal
Folds flat; pocket/ purse storage
Printed SAPR Logo with “Andersen AFB 366-SARC”

CLIN 0002 – Circular Keyring (chrome)
Quantity: 250ea
SAPR Logo with “Andersen AFB 366-SARC”
(Laser engraved)
CLIN 0003 – Stainless Bottle (25 oz.)
Quantity: 400ea
Color: Teal
Height: Appx. 9 inches
Printed SAPR Logo with “Andersen AFB 366-SARC”

CLIN 0004– Leather-bound Journal with ruled pages,
business card holder and pen loop.
Dimensions: 8.5″H x 6.5″W x 0.75″L
Quantity: 50ea
Embossed with with SAPR logo

CLIN 0005– Insulated Cooler Drawstring Cinch Bag
Nylon exterior; adjustable nylon cord w/
shoulder straps
Quantity: 400ea
Color: Teal
Printed SAPR logo with “Andersen AFB 366-SARC”

CLIN 0006– Tumbler (15 oz.)
Quantity: 50ea
Double wall construction with stainless steel liner; leather holder; removable sleeve.
Printed SAPR logo

Somehow, giving away can stainless water bottles or insulated cooler cinch bags is somehow going to prevent either “sexual assault” or “sexual awareness”?

This is in a country where we can barely give our kids proper sex ed, and the idea of distributing free condoms to youths most at risk of either getting preggers or STDs is against the law?

Despite the problems with the horrible logo- which won’t screen print or engrave easily, the whole idea of our government spending around $20K on trash and trinkets, just before year end, as our government is bordering on bankruptcy has to make someone wonder.

I know this is less than rounding error on a sub-sub-sub line item of just the Air Force budget, but, as an American – working as a contracting officer, shouldn’t you be putting your foot down? This mess might have been caused by Congress- but there is nothing stopping government employees from asking real questions like “What is an engraved keyring going to do to stop sexual assault?”

Esrati is stoned, a VA supporter, a dog saver and stolen bike retrieval officer

Some of you may have noticed that the number of updates to Esrati.com has decreased in the last few weeks. One reason is that it took a bit of time to write the two big posts of late: The resignation of Dayton Daily News photo chief Larry Price– which went international, and the post about the competing efforts on regionalism (which to have been totally right would have taken a few solid days of calling for comment, etc., if I were paid to do this).

We’re also very busy at The Next Wave, opening a Miami FL office, launching our new web site, creating new brands, building web sites, making video, crafting advertising. The Huff-n-Puff hockey season also started.  Add in that I’ve also had to deal with the latest break in, adding late night walks on “security patrol” to my already stretched schedule.  The latest update on that in a bit, plus how I saved a dog’s life.

Then, to top it all off- I’ve got kidney stones. Not the first time, that was about 10 years ago- and the first time I had ever been given morphine. I had gone to Miami Valley Hospital, barely able to walk, and 15 minutes after the shot- I was ready to dance. Unfortunately, the next 36 hours- I was in bed- in and out of consciousness.  Won’t make that mistake again- this time, it’s only vicoden- which I’m on after a 9 p.m. trip to the VA emergency room last night.

I know that our local Congressman, Mike Turner, has made it a personal mission to vilify the entire institution over one dentist’s gross misconduct. But, as a Service Disabled Veteran, who gave up my private health insurance about 6 years ago and have only received my care from the VA- I would like to tell you that all your fears of “socialized medicine” would go away if the kind of care I’ve received was scalable to the entire country.

I see my General Practitioner twice a year. He typically spends between 30 and 45 minutes going over my health with me. He responds to e-mail about questions in my care program, his nurse- Mike, has become a good friend, and any test that’s needed, gets done, without question of cost. I recently had a CAT scan for my stones, no problem. All records are digital, including X-rays.

Pharmacy is all done by mail, with an online portal for renewals of regular medication. My eyes get checked annually, and glasses are available free from a choice of basic frames and for about $100 for “designer” frames. I’ve been wearing the $100 frames for a few years- and had many compliments.

My only complaint over the years is that I had forgotten some basic medication (not a narcotic)  when on a trip- tried to get a few pills for 2 days in St. Louis, where they wanted to go through a whole bunch of craziness including an ER visit, where if I’d had my prescription at Walgreens, it would have been walk in and sign.

You should be as lucky as me to have such an amazing team of people that took care of me last night. Thanks to Knickenbocker, Fat Pat (we’ll hit the road for a scoot soon), Amy, Heather, Doc D for taking amazing care of me.

If this seems like a ramble- it’s proof not to take drugs and write.

Scooby, a terrier lab mix, soon to be able to be adopted from SICSA

Scooby, our latest addition (possibly with ringworm)

We also began fostering a puppy for SICSA on Friday around 5. I think we’re going to fail our first foster- and end up with “Scooby” (a name we hate)- a 7-month-old terrier-lab mix, who weighs about 25 lbs.

It was yesterday morning when SICSA called and asked us to bring him in for a “vet check.” Turns out, he came in with 3 other puppies from a family that had him living in their yard. The house was foreclosed on, and the 4 came in. Before they checked all of them- we had the Scoobster. The girls introduced him to our two 10-year-old big dogs, with minimum fighting. And he started making friends, esp. with me (dogs tend to like me a lot more than people do). So, less than 20 hours after we have him- and all of us have been loving on the mutt, I get the news that the other three pups were destroyed- one had ringworm, and the other two were put down as a precaution. Do we want to keep Scooby, having to wait 2 weeks to see if the culture tests positive for ringworm- in which case, we’re looking at 4 additional weeks of fostering (by which time, I think I’d have a hard time giving him up). Or, hand him back, in which case, he wouldn’t live to  see 3 p.m. (it was 2:30 p.m.).

Ringworm isn’t a horrible disease, it’s easily cured with Lotramin AF, but the problem is it’s easily transmitted through microscopic spores that are only killed by lots of UV light, or bleach. We’d have to soak all three dogs with Sulfur Lime solution (we now have three rotten egg smelling dogs)- and keep Scooby semi-isolated.

Obviously- I brought him home. Odds are about 50/50 that he has ringworm- but, we won’t know till the end of the month.

The Bicycle Thief

The Bicycle Thief

On the way home, I stopped by Family Dollar on Clover St. at Wayne to pick up some Lotramin AF. As I was pulling out of the lot, I see three teens, in the middle of Theobald Lane- one of whom was on Teresa’s bike that was stolen. I pull the car over- taking pictures with my iPhone as I get out of the car. They start asking me what I’m doing taking pictures- I say “That bike was my Girlfriend’s until it was stolen last week” at which point- the kid starts pedaling as I start chasing. Note: keys are in car, Scooby is in the car, and there are three of them. The kid realizes he can’t get the bike going fast enough- as I’m running and about to grab him- so he dumps the bike and takes off running toward the Cricket Store. I stop- take more pix- and call 911.

Neighbor Rob Gonzalez, comes by in his jeep- asks what’s up- I give him description of punk kid, he goes looking for him. Note, Rob is  SFC Gonzalez, U.S. Army- and is a Military Police officer. Luckily for the punk kid- Rob doesn’t find him.

The other two talk trash as I take more photos and wait for the cops, who show up in about 15 minutes. The cop gives me a form for E-crew (Dayton’s Evidence Crew)- but says they won’t get prints off the bike, and tells me to take it home.

Turns out when I get it home- Teresa says it’s not her bike. Same style, same color- but slightly different. So now, I’ve “stolen” a stolen bike. I’ll explain to the cops when they show up. I’ve posted pictures to our neighborhood crime watch group on Facebook- to ID all three kids- to see what we can come up with. Our community based police officers also have all the pix.

Add in a few hours of work in the early morning at the office, a trip to the bank and the Second Street market (where I ran into Bubba Jones)- and you have a day in the life of David Esrati.

May your life not be like mine. I’m off to vicoden dreams.

However, I’m going to leave you with something I wrote in response to someone who didn’t like my language in describing the criminal element (and future criminal elements) in our neighborhood: “Pollyanna won’t save you. Buford Pusser will.”

Cheers.

What to do with punk kids skipping school

Truancy delinquents

Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Delinquents in the 'hood

In the last week, I’ve stopped kids walking down Bonner Street during school hours and asked them why they weren’t in school.

The river of BS flowed freely out of their young mouths. My standard response goes something like this:

“Do you want to grow up to be under-employed the rest of your life? Do you want to end up in prison, on welfare, poor? Don’t go to school, don’t learn anything and that’s where you are headed. This is the only time in your life someone is going to give you something for free, that will last your entire life and you think you have something better to do? Now, I ask you again, why aren’t you in school?”

The responses are different – depending on how “hard” the kid thinks he is. One kid and his sister’s eyes got as big as dinner plates, and I think the message sank in, but to the delinquent kid that lives two doors down from me, that I accosted with his running buddy and their hoochie mama, I got the trash talk.

I called our Community Based Police officers, who quickly rounded the threesome up, and took the boys home.

Apparently, they’d been thrown out of Ruskin today for something. The girl, who was at least 4 years older- isn’t in school, yet. The cops threatened Mom with a curfew violation ticket, which can run up to $150. That should get her attention. Their Dad, if he’s not on the road- will thank me, and probably give them a whipping.

This is what the Dayton Public Schools has listed on their site:

Truancy Center Hot Line: 937-542-3228
Student Services Department: 937-542-3326

Delvin Terry, Director
Tobette Brown, Student Services Advisor
Sue Ackerman, Secretary

Truancy Law
Senate Bill 181

Expands the definition of delinquent child to also include any child who meets one of the following criteria:

1. Habitual Truant

  • 5 consecutive unexcused absences
  • 7 unexcused absences in one month
  • 12 unexcused absences in one school year.

2. Chronic Truant

  • 7 consecutive unexcused absences
  • 10 unexcused absences in one month
  • 15 unexcused absences in one school year.

NOTE: Any youths found unruly are subject to intervention, treatment and community service sanctions. Youths found delinquent are subject to tougher sanctions including detention in the case of a violation of a valid court.

The City of Dayton Daytime Ordinance

On October 2, 2002, the city commission of Dayton ordained 137.13 School Attendance and Parental Supervision:

No child between the age of six and seventeen, inclusive, who is required to be in attendance at either a public, chartered, or private school or work or an alternative placement program, or who is under supervision or expulsion from a public, chartered, or private school or an alternative placement program, shall be on or about any public place or commercial premises within the City between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. or a regular school day.

via Truancy Law.

When I was growing up- walking the streets of my neighborhood wasn’t an option if you weren’t in school. If a neighbor saw me, my parents would get a call. If the cops saw us, we’d get picked up. Being this obvious wasn’t an option. The problem now is that everyone thinks it’s not their business or their problem. Not so. If these kids don’t go to school now, we’ll be paying for them for the rest our lives. Prison costs much more than a college education people- and that’s where this country has made some of it’s biggest mistakes- we can’t fix the things we broke when they were 12 or less. It just doesn’t get undone.

So, if you see kids walking the streets- call them out. If you don’t feel confident, call the truancy number above, or even 333-COPS (2677) in Dayton and see if they will do anything. Take pictures too, and hope like hell, we can get these kids back in school. In the long run, it’s much cheaper.

The secret group trying to do regionalism without telling anyone: One Dayton

please note: this is a long post for esrati.com, but it is the unveiling of a secret group that is already spending your tax dollars with favored political consultants to advance a cause that can’t be spoken of in public… yet. I hope you find it useful and informative.

A group has been meeting to begin a regionalism movement in Montgomery County, and as always it’s being done behind closed doors because we, the people, aren’t smart enough to participate until they’ve planned and announced their grand strategy.

Businesses have been contacted and asked to pledge money, and a non-profit 501c4 has been set up, and once they had enough pledges in hand, they were to crawl up the mount to ask the great Clay Mathile for his blessing and support.

Only one problem: you don’t do regionalism behind closed doors. Ever.

Not unless you want it to fail- which is exactly what Ms. Deborah Feldman, the criminally negligent county administrator, is trying to do by undermining the process by attempting to sneak a contract to her good friend Bill Burges (the “levy master” ) in Cleveland.

That contract was issued and voted on at the June 14, 2011, County Commission meeting, item 11 0959 for $197,000.

The request was sent to only five consultants, and only Burges responded. The fact that he included two of the other “consultants”- Jack Dustin of WSU and Don Vermillion of UD (and former county administrator) in his proposal pretty much sealed the deal. Two others, one in Cincinnati and one in Indianapolis didn’t respond. With less than a month to respond, Burges submitted a 22-page document: “PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON REGIONALISM”

What is odd, is the people selected to be the “fiscal agent” for the program: one of the signatures on his proposal, Deborah L. Norris of Sinclair Community College. Dick Ferguson of UD, who works for UD President Dan Curran, is also a contractor- for a project run by his boss, Curran.

So, let’s follow the money roundabout. County Commissioner Dan Foley, City Commissioner Joey Williams, UD President Dan Curran, Chamber of Commerce President Phil Parker, former chamber pogue and now head of hospital lobby, GDAHA Brian Bucklew start up a non-profit 501C4 called One Dayton. Dayton attorney Josh Chernesky is the statutory agent. 7/13/2011

The stated goals:

A. To promote the social welfare of the citizens of the Miami Valley;
B. To research, develop and promote the distribution of information about the benefits of regional collaboration;
C. To improve prosperity and competitiveness of the Miami Valley by acting as a catalyst for regional service consolidations;
D. To initiate and implement collaborative economic development efforts;
E. To encourage the development of public policies that will lead to greater economic opportunity and a better quality of life for citizens of the Miami Valley; and
F. To engage in any lawful act or activity and to do all things necessary, convenient, or expedient to further the general purpose of the corporation either alone or in association with other corporations, firms, associations or individuals.
SIXTH: The corporation shall have no initial members.
SEVENTH: No part of the net earnings or assets of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article Third hereof.

So if you read it the way I do- 6th says no members, and 7th says we can pay people who aren’t members- but once membership has been declared- we can only pay reasonable compensation.

Yet- right off the bat, the county commissioners commit $197,000 of your tax dollars, to a consultant out of Cleveland, almost 30 days before the non-profit has even been incorporated. Of that, there are four $27K payouts to Sinclair, Central State, WSU and UD, $25K for “seed money” for a 30-minute TV show on regionalism (total cost not quoted) and $54K to Burges & Burges for consulting and $10K for long-distance travel and expenses. The only sure thing seems to be managing 3 summits.

Note, much of this is before the election for the County Commission- a way to put Judy Dodge and Deb Lieberman in the public eye at public expense.

Funny that the final report and rollout is described this way:

After the November election, (bold italics added for emphasis by esrati) co-chairs will finalize and roll out a final report including key goals, major opportunities, serious problems and obstacles, clear strategies and tactics for how to achieve change and expected impact and results. This report has the possibility to be a roadmap, designed by local leaders and citizens, hard for any elected officials and others to ignore.

Why the election cycle is even mentioned in the proposal should raise eyebrows.

This part about sponsorship should also be seen by all. Burges includes names and categorizes them as cash donating suckers and donation in kind friends for us:

The following organizations could serve as financial supporters, in-kind resources, key communicators and community outreach vehicles to strengthen the process and advance participation and results.

  • Cox Media
  • Central State University
  • City of Dayton
  • Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Dayton Bar Association
  • Dayton Development Coalition
  • Dayton Foundation
  • Dayton Power and Light
  • Greater Dayton Hospital Association
  • Sinclair Community College
  • THINK TV
  • University of Dayton
  • Wright State University

The following organizations could serve as in-kind resources, key communicators and community outreach vehicles to strengthen the process and advance participation and results. Some may also be sponsor candidates. All will be asked to generate publicity, attendance and conduct satellite summits.

  • Congressman Michael Turner
  • Dayton Business Committee
  • Dayton Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Dayton Metro Library
  • Dayton Most Metro
  • Dayton NAACP
  • Downtown Dayton Partnership
  • Five Rivers Metroparks
  • Generation Dayton
  • Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority
  • League of Women Voters of Montgomery County
  • Local library systems
  • Montgomery County ESC/Dayton Public Schools
  • Montgomery County mayors, managers and trustees
  • Parity, Inc.
  • Organized labor
  • Our Common Heritage
  • State Legislative Delegation- Bipartisan House/Senate Representatives
  • United Way of the Greater Dayton Area
  • Up Dayton and Communications Council
  • WVSO
  • Other civic, faith or media partners

When it comes to Burges & Burges’ qualifications- he gives a long list of his teaming partners – like WSU and UD working together- and then only gives his organization cred for doing levy work. He does claim to “Serving as the lead consultant for winning the election for Cuyahoga County Reform” yet doesn’t say what he actually did, or how he did it (and leaves out the fact that the impetus was an FBI bust for rampant corruption in government)- much more was said about what he’s done here.

B&B has had a long-standing engagement with Sinclair on strategic, research and communication projects; and collaborated with the Fitz Center on projects such as the Neighborhood School Centers, regional dispatch and the DPS Levy [Issue 52]. B&B has also worked effectively with many other IHE’s for 28 years, and its principals have decades of higher education experience.

They go on to say:

We know the area well, after years of work for the Human Services Levy, Sinclair Community College, Dayton Metro Library, Dayton Public Schools, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, GDRTA, the Greene County Public Library, Greene Memorial Hospital, Miami Valley Career Technology Center, United Way and others.

He also adds:

We have worked well with area leaders, are members of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, in the Miami Valley weekly and have an office located at Shook Construction.

The list of people on his team include five from his office and a really long list of people from the “partner” universities and their accomplishments.

What blows my mind is that this same approach, of town halls and summits etc. was just done by the Miami Valley Planning Commission– which had very little public engagement, cost a lot more – and basically told us that sprawl and overbuilding us are killing our ability to afford the infrastructure. Yet, MVRPC- our own REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION wasn’t asked to bid on this program. Nor were local people who have been working on this and who registered the domain name OneDayton.org-  Dayton Most Metro, Bill Pote.

They, along with other groups who could have managed this “strategic initiative” like local agency “The Ohlman Group” weren’t asked to bid. Nor was anyone from the “poster-child-for-regionalism” community of Louisville. Other documents obtained by this author would suggest that the core leadership group had a different plan on the table, but something made the County Commission pull the trigger early (maybe because of budget cycles, or maybe to pre-pay for on the side election polling assistance).

Considering regionalism is something that requires a broad based, non-political, well reasoned public support, the fact that the first money that the group spends publicly, without clearly identifying who is behind this initiative – is hand money to a political operator from outside the region to plan the “educational component” of the program.

Commissioner Foley, who has been the sole Montgomery County Commission voice on this project, seems to have convinced the two candidates up for reelection that spending county dollars to have them front the forums will be good for their re-election campaign, and that they can probably pick up tips from Burges on running their campaigns based on his polling. I’m sure Burges will do fine- like he did on Rhine McLin’s reelection campaign.

The way to do regionalism is out in the open. With a very good presentation of facts with supporting documents. How many police chiefs, fire chiefs, city planners, economic development hacks, street maintenance directors etc.- never mind elected officials, elections, and borders we have to pay to maintain- vs. the cost  structures other states operate on that have county government like Florida or North Carolina.

Do the taxpayers really like supporting all these extra layers of “government” if for a much lower tax bill- we could have more service providers and less tax apologists?

The reason you haven’t read about this anywhere else but esrati.com is clearly taken care of in the Burges Proposal: “Clearly, Cox Media is the ratings leader for integrated lV, radio, internet and print news. Involving Cox would raise awareness of residents. Cox also has a new digital production facility, low production rates and a positive record of participation in recent civic issues” and as well as: “Greater Dayton’s key websites, whether based at large media organizations, IHE’s (Institutions of Higher Education), civic andeconomic development organizations or standing independently like Dayton Most Metro”

Bribing media outlets isn’t out of Burges reach either: “Whether or not this level of media involvement is entirely achieved, it is important for strengthening awareness and engagement. Determining the level and net cost [after media sponsorships] will define how far we can go with media involvement. If helpful, we will work with the county to help build commitments to participate from the media, other sponsors and partner organizations between the time the project is funded and when it formally begins.” remember, Burges places media buys for all the levy campaigns and major political campaigns- nice loot to wave in exchange for “public support.”

I don’t have the luxury of Mr. Burges inside connections. All I have is the most read political blog in Dayton- that tries to give those that care to know about the nasty inner workings of our obsolete and crumbling political/nepotism machine in Montgomery County and it’s minor fiefdoms. I know this post is long- but, you now have most of the documents that I have on this back room deal- and a little analysis to chew on.

What say you, members of the community now called OneDayton in the greatest sense of the word?

8:34 am note: the fallout from this piece has already begun. I’ve decided to add to this piece in the comments.

What does “safety” mean?

To the homeless man, safety means he can sleep at night without worry of being shanked.

To the young, unemployed or underemployed mother- it means not having to depend on someone else to be able to feed her kids.

To the American soldier in Afghanistan- it means coming home in one piece to his family.

To the people of South Park- it means going out on patrol to make sure their homes and garages don’t get busted into.

To way too many Americans- it means not having to worry about having a job, being able to pay their mortgage, being able to afford to educate their kids, to have health insurance that won’t bankrupt them if they get a major illness, to know their life savings won’t be sucked up in a giant Ponzi scheme run by the FIRE- Finance, Insurance and Real Estate moneychangers of Wall Street.

Those moneychangers think they are safe because they have millions of dollars in the bank and believe they have great wealth and power, except when it all falls apart.

Money- gold, silver, diamonds won’t buy security when society falls apart. Unfortunately, the people who know this best are miscreants.  Criminals, terrorists, sociopaths. They understand that in the end, guns talk louder than money.

Ten years ago, a punk named Osama Bin Laden showed us that money wasn’t really all that important. He took down the towers of finance with weapons he didn’t even have to buy- just rent 20 seats and a few boxcutters (if the government’s account is to be believed). One man was able to change the world- for the worst. And why? Because money doesn’t mean a thing when order breaks down. Need proof- look to the LA riots- or New Orleans after Katrina. At some point, we’ll finally figure out that just like in war, there really are no true winners in Monopoly either- not when guns and nuclear weapons exist.

None of us are safe when there are people who have no other option than to steal to survive.

Mark Twain is quoted “Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.” Our country is entering the most dangerous time of all- not because of 9/11 but because of our own negligence in letting society/civilization run amok. No CEO is worth $144 million in a year, especially when he’s running a “health insurance” company that is doing everything it can to NOT provide care for its clients.

No Wall Street Wizard should be able to pull $5 billion a year out of thin air- that money came from somewhere didn’t it? Your pension funds, mortgages that will never be repaid, company values that aren’t connected to performance.

Why do elections cost so much? Why are “public utilities” owned by private companies? Why can we afford to put people in prison that we couldn’t afford to teach to read?

Safety is not when we put more people in prison, safety is when we work together to build a society where we all have no fear.

When politicians talk about what the other guy would do to you- they aren’t working in your best interest. We need to change the conversation from us and them- to just us.

Because isn’t the US what we created back in 1776, where we realized that “all men are created equal” and we all had rights?

Safety will only come when we start thinking of US instead of them, of US instead of me, of US as a nation that leads the free world in basic rights- to sleep in safety, to be able to feed and educate ones children, to know that what we work for will still be of value tomorrow.

I don’t blame terrorists for our lack of safety, I blame US for not understanding what real safety means.

 

Dayton makes the New York Times- again for the wrong reasons

We’ve made the news, the New York Times.

Instead of talking about why Dayton is a great place to locate your business, with a highly trained workforce, low cost of living, high quality of life- we get a mid-level manager talking about our long-term unemployed:

Lucious Plant, work force development administrator in Montgomery County, Ohio, where Dayton is the county seat, said companies were shortsighted for viewing people who had been out of work for several months as somehow inferior. Given today’s economy, he said, it was common for those who lost their jobs to stay unemployed for six months or more, and that many of those workers were highly skilled.

“I think it would be very easy to have six months of unemployment and still be a top candidate,” Mr. Plant said.

via Employers Say Jobs Plan Won’t Lead to Hiring Spur – NYTimes.com.

This is a global publication- who gave Mr. Plant the opportunity to speak for the region? This is why you have spokespeople and hire PR firms to fine tune a message. It’s why we have the “Dayton Development Coalition” to put our best foot forward.

Instead, we’ve got a guy with an odd name, making statements that run counter to what’s becoming a national trend: unemployed people aren’t even considered as candidates.

Until the United States changes the tax structure, and starts rewarding employers for job creation, more than rewarding the Wizards of Wall Street for their casino operation, we won’t see more jobs, more consumer confidence or a stable economy.

From the same article:

Companies are focused on jittery consumer confidence, an unstable stock market, perceived obstacles to business expansion like government regulation and, above all, swings in demand for their products.

Stabilize the stock market by eliminating all flash trades, tax any transaction made on equity holdings that have been held for less than a year at a ridiculously high rate, as well as bar all companies from the market that pay their executives more than a ratio of 20/1 of their median U.S. employee salaries.

Also, since small businesses are the major engine in employment, consider rewarding owners of companies who employ Americans and who pay decent wages. Offering those job creators lower personal tax rates based on a ratio under 10/1 of median employee salaries to their income with tax breaks.

Also, states like Ohio need to cut the practice of charging companies unemployment rates based on a three-year floating account- and make it into a real insurance pool. My small business was hammered after firing one employee after 17 years of never having done so, with a 10% unemployment tax going up from a sub 2% rate. With a 10% unemployment tax it incentivizes hiring contractors instead of employees.

And by the way, like it or not, nobody knows where Montgomery County is- or Centerville or Oakwood- it’s Dayton,people. If we were smart, we’d have one government- with one name that’s on the map.