“A” people hire “A” people, “B” people hire “C” people: why taxpayers pay for national searches

The Montgomery County Commission is planning to hire a national search firm to help them find a new county administrator to replace Deb Feldman. They should send her the search bill, considering she’s been in charge for almost ten years and doesn’t have several people ready for the commission to choose from. Better yet, it should come out of the commissioners’ pay- since they didn’t direct her to make sure she had a successor groomed.

I just came back from my kids’ school. They are getting a new principal. She was a vice principal under David Lawrence at Thurgood Marshall High School. To give you an indication of leadership skills- he was a Dayton Public Schools principal for 3 years, and this is the third assistant principal he groomed to become a principal. That’s how the pros do it.

The headline of this post was attributed to Steve Jobs- I don’t know if he was the first to say it or not, but I think it tells you a lot about an organization: “A” people hire “A” people, “B” people hire “C” people.

The reason Montgomery County isn’t able to move regional cooperation forward is that no one is willing to hire an “A” person in the region. Same goes for Dayton- although, Tim Riordan was an “A” person on the bench- who had to leave and be hired back to get respect (as did Mr. Lawrence). This isn’t a post about politics- it’s a post about what makes any organization effective. If you are afraid to hire someone who may be better than you- you aren’t doing the organization or yourself in the long run any good.

When it comes to electing people, we’re stuck with limited choices thanks to our screwed up political system which puts money and soundbite politics ahead of intelligence and vision. However, the whole idea of the city manager form of government was to hire smart executives to transcend the vagaries of elections- it’s time we start seeing some professionals in positions of power step up to the plate and show us what they can do- despite having a board of directors made up of populists and peacocks.

If Joe Tuss isn’t ready to lead Montgomery County as the full time administrator right now, he shouldn’t be the interim either. We’ve got real work to get done- we don’t have time for a beauty pageant.

How much does it cost to get a government contract?

I think I’m starting to see a pattern. I’ve bid on a few smaller government projects as an SDVOB (Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business) which is supposed to help my small business get a piece of the government. Even when I’m the low bidder, it somehow never comes our way.

So when I saw a small local company win a contract (a company I’d never heard of before) the first place I looked was the FEC donations pages. But first, the DBJ article:

A local defense contractor has seen a flurry of new activity, including a $3.7 million deal for a high-profile client.

Beavercreek-based Sawdey Solutions Services Inc. was recently awarded a one-year contract to provide program management support services for the Defense Department’s comptroller.

As a result, the 58-employee company is gearing up to hire at least 14 people who will be stationed in Virginia at the Defense Logistics Agency, which issued the contract. About half of Sawdey Solutions’ workers are in the Dayton area.

Connie Sawdey, president of the company, said her small business was hand-picked for the latest job, which is a big deal. She expects the award to boost the company’s reputation and past-performance record, which is critical to being competitive in the defense industry.

via Sawdey Solutions corrals contract – Dayton Business Journal.

Then to the FEC Database:

Contributions to Political Committees


09/12/2005 500.00 25971192115
09/18/2007 1000.00 27931394968
06/01/2009 2000.00 29934270728
08/31/2010 2000.00 11930417557


09/02/2011 1000.00 11952654178


04/29/2010 500.00 10990876705


08/02/2006 1000.00 27960058702
08/04/2006 1000.00 27960058703


08/12/2007 1000.00 27931394968
08/06/2008 1000.00 28933530484

So the answer is…. in this case, $11,000

Note, no presidential donations, no other candidate donations, no party donations- all to Mike Turner and Steve Austria.

Unlike my donation page, or Ron Paul’s, or the President’s, Mike Turner doesn’t require people to say that they aren’t a government contractor. He just makes sure they aren’t a foreigner and giving too much per cycle:

I affirm that the following statements are true and accurate:

By submitting your contribution you are acknowledging that you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident and that this contribution is not made from any funds associated with a corporation, labor organization, or national bank.

Contributions to Citizens for Turner are not tax deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes. The maximum one individual may contribute is $2,500 per election. Federal law requires political committees to use their best efforts to obtain and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 in a calendar year. Corporations and foreign nationals without a green card are prohibited from contributing.

via Contribute to Mike Turner’s campaign today! :: Citizens for Turner – Piryx.

And the one contract my firm was recently dismissed from as a subcontractor (after 7 months of providing the technical basis of performing the contract for free)- a smaller VA contract, I went and looked, the Prime had given $1,000 to the RNC.

You won’t see my name on a donation of over $250 to a congressman, is that why I never see my name on a government contract?

“Modern medicine” in America- buyer beware

How long would your business last with no printed prices?

Can you imagine people going to a McDonald’s and ordering a Big Mac then getting a bill for $300 after you finish eating it?

Or, you take your car into the shop for an oil change, and later get a bill for more than the car is worth?

No other business (except maybe defense contractors) operate without stated prices for services, estimates, approvals and the ability to comparison shop- except our “medical system.”

So we have stories like this in the Dayton Daily news today:

[UPDATE] according to a reader, there is no Dr. Stanley Edwards, but there is a Dr. Stanley Alexander. DDn Can’t get the name right. [/UPDATE]

In May 2011, Steve Mahoney took his youngest son, Ryan, then 6, to the emergency room at Children’s Medical Center of Dayton after the boy sliced off his fingertip in a door.

Doctors at Dayton Children’s told Mahoney they’d have to call in a plastic surgeon to re-attach the boy’s fingertip. But no one told Mahoney that the plastic surgeon, Dr. Stanley Edwards, doesn’t accept health insurance.

Edwards doesn’t work for the hospital. He’s one of two plastic surgeons who currently serve on an “on-call” basis for the hospital, said Chief Operating Officer Matt Graybill.

Hospitals are “somewhat constrained” in what they can tell families, Graybill said.

The same federal law that requires hospitals to treat anyone who comes to their emergency department whether they have insurance or not also limits what staff can say to families about paying for that treatment, he said.

“Hospitals can’t tell parents anything that might in any way encourage them not to be cared for there, anything a parent might construe as telling them not to be cared for at Dayton Children’s. And that includes telling things like, ‘You might have a big co-payment’ or ‘Your insurance might not cover this.’ ”

Edwards’ bill for the procedure, which included several follow-up visits, was $8,200. Mahoney’s insurance company paid $2,600 — 80 percent of what it considers to be the reasonable or customary charge for the procedure.

Mahoney said he tried to negotiate with Edwards’ office for the remainder of the bill, but was told to make monthly payments with 1.5 percent interest. He refused, arguing the charges were unfair.

via Dayton Daily News : Billing dispute spurs changes at hospital.

Not only are hospital bills outrageous, so are the ways they bill. You get several different bills with each visit- one from the facility, one from the actual doctors and then maybe one for supplies, all delivered at different times, all from people you didn’t know you were doing business with. For a profession with a code of conduct, they don’t have one on ethical billing practices.

One of the most popular posts on this site was dealing with ridiculous bills sent by Miami Valley Hospital to a friend who went there for 3 stitches. Cost, over $1,400.

My 84-year-old mother needed a test the other day according to her physician. They are on a fixed budget and she always asks how much something costs- and the lab said $300. She declines. Then a smart staffer realizes if they “code” the procedure differently, it’s covered by her supplemental insurance. She gets the test. If our health care system were truly focused on making people healthy, instead of navigating an arcane system set in place by insurance companies that have zero role in making people healthy, we might have a true health care system.

One of the big questions in the implementation of the “affordable care act” or “Obamacare” as the wingnuts like to call it, is how do we deal with people like Dr. Edwards who refuse to take insurance, yet do work without fully disclosing that fact? Maybe it’s time to color code our health care workers- if they wear white, the processes they do will be covered by the bill provided by the facility that you are in and are covered by your insurance, if they wear orange- they aren’t. In order for anyone in orange to work on you- they have to provide a full firm estimate of services before they work on you, or they are liable for their actions, not the patient.

If you wonder how this system became as screwed up as it has, one only has to realize that you can go from being a County Administrator to running a children’s hospital where a large portion of their income is from federal programs. Despite being the person who handed federal welfare money over to a convicted welfare fraud ex-con and not be held liable.

We also have the wonderful people at CareSource who single handedly have saved Dayton from going under with their income tax and sales tax revenues generated by being government contracted middlemen to distribute federal health dollars to the poor. To be in charge of a process that was once handled by some senior level government service employee who made well shy of $200,000 a year, we now allow their CEO to have her salary set by the people CareSource doles out money to (the hospitals) and she makes $3 million a year. When I wrote this post: Who’s the criminal? SCLC, Montgomery County, Caresource? I lost a few longtime friends who are now suckling at the teat of this federal boondoggle.

You can read about the fraud and deception of Reverend Trammell daily in the media, but no one questions the Queen of CareSource any more than they question our soon to be former County Administrator for their culpability in the misuse and abuse of federal welfare dollars.

This is why health care in America is not only a buyer beware, but, it’s likely to kill you with the bill.

FBI does nothing about ‘illegal’ campaign donations

Using the same rationale that the Toledo Blade used last August identifying a company CEO handing out money to his employees, or forcing employees to donate as a requirement for employment, I identified and reported a similar instance at Qbase in Beavercreek back in February of 2008. The spate of 17 donations of $1,000 each to Steve Austria’s (R) congressional campaign- by a group of QBase managers, all but 1 had never given over the reporting threshold of $250 in the past (one had donated $250 to a Democrat previously) in addition to donations by the CEO and his wife (who were frequent donors) all in one week should have set the alarm bells ringing.

The FBI did nothing.

Now, they are in the process of “investigating” the Suarez Corporation- oddly enough, the number of donors is 17 as well.

The Toledo Blade reported in August that 17 Suarez Corporation Industries employees and some of their spouses gave a combined $100,000 to the Mandel campaign and $100,000 to the Renacci campaign. Some had never given to political campaigns before, lived in modest neighborhoods, and held job titles such as copy writer. It raised questions about whose money was being contributed and whether it was an attempt to steer around the $5,000 contribution limit. Giving campaign money in the name of another is illegal.

via FBI looks at ‘illegal’ campaign donations.

The thing that bothers me even more than this circumvention strategy to funnel money to candidates is that for the life of me, I’m confused about how one of Congressman Mike Turner’s prime supporters is able to give to him at all. The Greentree Group in Beavercreek was his leading donor, giving over $18,000 in 2010. Yet, every time I’ve run, or donated to a candidate for federal office, I’ve had to put a disclaimer on the donation form- that the donor discloses that he is not a federal contractor- which Greentree clearly is.

Considering that campaigns are now handicapped by the media based on their campaign war chests more than on if the candidate actually stands for anything, if the FBI doesn’t do its job policing the donation pipeline, why do we even bother with having campaign election rules and the FEC?

Making matters even more difficult, the FEC database has no way to assist researchers to find all illegal contributions – since candidates self report donations and clerical errors by campaign treasurers can make correlating data difficult. Did the donor file as Randy or Randall? Did they list their employer as GE or General Electric? When searching to find patterns of corruption these seemingly minor differences make a huge difference.

There is only one way to begin to straighten out this mess- require anyone who is donating over $250 to a federal candidate to register with the FEC, just as lobbyists have to register, and be assigned a unique federal donor ID number. They would also have to register their primary employer ID number as well (this may be difficult for people like Mitt Romney who haven’t had a real job in years) to be able to track their companies’ donations.

The campaign finance rules we have in place today are totally inadequate thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, which have caused donations to a “candidate” to be grossly marginalized compared to donations to SuperPACs which can collect unlimited amounts of money with impunity- making the only crime the Suarez Corporation really guilty of is stupidity for donating to a candidate instead of to a SuperPAC in support of the candidate.

Our money hasn’t disappeared by accident

When JP Morgan Chase says oops, we lost $2 billion, or maybe three, and it’s no big deal to the world at large, you have to start wondering how desensitized we’ve become to common sense.

Losing $2 billion is a very big deal to most of us, most of us think that losing $100,000 in pension benefits, or half the value of our homes, would be catastrophic. But, to the good folks who brought us the global financial crisis, $3 billion is a rounding error.

The woman who is taking the fall for this massive FAIL was paid $14 million last year. To most of us, that’s a lottery win- to her, it’s just another day at the office.

If you wonder how it came to this, we have to look back to policy changes that allowed banks to do a bunch of things that were specifically outlawed after the 1927 crash and the subsequent depression. Those laws managed to protect us from another massive meltdown for a long time. However, policy is boring- and like sausage, no one wants to really watch it being made. The fact that the same people who pay themselves millions a year to play with our money, also buy our politicians in the things we call “democratic elections” – except there is nothing democratic about them anymore, they are run like auctions. Just read the paper and see how most of the reporting focuses on fundraising instead of issues. None of it matters though, we’re only picking puppets, not the puppets’ masters.

If you wonder how they gain access to those kinds of dollars, it’s pretty simple- they’ve created a casino, where they are the house and the customers at the same time- but, playing with your money. But you say, I don’t have any money in the stock market, and there you are wrong. Your tax dollars are in the stock market- funding the pensions of civil employees, your pension (if you’re lucky enough to have one) your tax dollars are invested by our government (the largest purchaser of goods and services in this country, if not the world) and spent by our government with companies that are listed on the market.
Think about it- when Congress awards a contract worth billions to General Dynamics for a fighter plane or Boeing for a refueling system, the companies’ stock goes up or down. It’s all tied together.

The problem is, the people running the casino are working as hard as they can to keep their bank accounts filling up as fast as possible- because billion dollar deals are where they make the big bucks- fast. They do it in minutes- while most of us would work a lifetime to do the same.

They do it by cheating.

“Insider trading” is a pretty way of saying swindle, steal, thieve and lie. And, it largely goes unprosecuted. How many people making $100,000 a year are going to take a stab at someone making that a day- and not end up on the hit list?

It turns out one man tried- a Navy veteran who got a master’s degree in finance. He saw the deals happening first hand inside Lehman Brothers and reported it. He lost his job, he can’t work again in the industry and the people he reported were a prime factor in the fall of the economy. You can read about it in the New York Times- but here is an excerpt that sums things up:

But Mr. Parmigiani and others suspect that the P.R. of the Galleon case glosses over risks that insider trading can and does occur regularly at many Wall Street firms. In their view, it has become institutionalized. The flow of information between a firm’s analysts, its traders and its clients — a lucrative heads-up on stock upgrades and downgrades, for instance — can bolster trading profits, brokerage commissions and, ultimately, Wall Street paydays. Those in the know can get rich before the rest of us know what happened.

“Prosecutors say insider trading won’t be tolerated, that this is justice,” Mr. Parmigiani says of the Galleon case. “But they refuse to acknowledge that their widespread net has a very big hole in it.”

via Is Insider Trading Part of the Fabric on Wall Street? – NYTimes.com.

And while Ron Paul supporters say the only way to return to sanity is to return to the gold standard, the reality is when you have a global economy built on trust- you can’t have liars and thieves making the rules and running the game.

There isn’t a reader of this site who hasn’t been affected by this criminal mischief- from the loss in value of your home, to the cuts in public service and the rise in gas prices. All of this, thanks to the greed mongers who think nothing of losing billions- “by accident.” Yet, if you rob a bank with a gun and get away with $6,000, and they catch you- you will go to prison.

There is no reason for stocks to be traded as often as they are- other than to create commissions on the churn. No major company’s fortune changes that much in a day- other than in the minds of the people profiting with each swing of a share- often in pennies, but being traded in huge blocks.

If we really wanted to fix our economy, we need to change the game. There are many things we can do, but haven’t- including dismantling the mutual funds where bunches of small investors are conned into letting the puppet-masters play with their money on a commission basis, to eliminating all private money in the election process. Or, the federal government could stop buying products from companies that pay their executives millions, while the rest of us go broke.

And while JP Morgan Chase says they “lost 2 or 3 billion” I can assure you, it came out of someone else’s pockets- not Jamie Dimon the CEO, or Ina Drew the $14 million a year winner in the payroll sweepstakes, but yours and mine (remember who pays for the bailouts) and ended up in someone else’s pockets.

The money doesn’t disappear by accident folks, you’re being conned. You can’t elect someone to clean this up, you can’t stop it with your protests or even by changing your behavior, eventually, someone ends up “winning” the game- with all the money in the world and we’re going to end up in a world that resembles feudal times, if we’re lucky.

Osama Bin Laden was a total scumbag, but he did know where the real enemy to a free world was headquartered when he attacked the World Trade Center. As much as we blame so much on him, and have spent trillions trying to vanquish the planet of his followers, he did attack the symbols of what this rigged casino has wrought. We just continue to ignore the true evil among us, the con men holding the puppet strings, who can lose $3 billion and not go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Yep, the money is disappearing, but it’s no accident. There are people running things who don’t have to answer to anyone. How does that make you feel?


The return of David Lawrence to Dayton Public Schools

I’ve written about David Lawrence before. First as the new principal at Thurgood Marshall High School where he made great strides, then as he took the helm at the Dayton Regional STEM school.

That lasted exactly one year.

Last night, the Dayton Board Of Education made a smart move and brought homegrown talent back to the District and created a new position in the hierarchy:

Chief of School Innovation at the rate of $100,000.00 annually
Eff. 7/1/2012 – 6/30/2013, 001.2421.111.1114.000000.500.00.110
Lawrence, David

You can find it in the board minutes PDF here: http://www.dps.k12.oh.us/documents/contentdocuments/document_23_5_2053.pdf

It would appear he also took a pay cut to come back. You can watch this WSU produced video about him:

The big question is how much impact can one person have on a district with over 800 teachers, 30 buildings and a student population that has 85% of the students eligible for the free lunch program?

The biggest question is who will the STEM school bring in to fill his shoes?

“The last nail in my political future” – supporting gay marriage

Yesterday, the president, our first black president, finally took the correct stand on gay marriage- to support it. It’s not about god, the bible or religion, it’s about equal rights. The same equal rights that were so long in coming to the black community, are starting to have a chance for the LBGT community.

On twitter and Facebook- I made some comments- including that this may be the biggest small business stimulus package the president could make- florists, wedding photographers, caterers, DJ’s, tux rentals, limo rentals, event facilities- all could see huge rises in business if we follow through and make it the law of the land- without any federal “stimulus” involved.

A few haters came out on Facebook, including from a friend who happens to be black and a minister.

David watch this. You may be putting a nail in your political future in the city.

a second message

Well you remember you said this when we you are soliciting the ministers I influence. Wrong position to take because I will tell them not to support you! There are more people who oppose this postion (sic) than you think. And yes there are a lot of churchs (sic) that are standing with us in our Moral Majority and Traiditonal(sic) Family Values. You are out

I never knew I was in. I’ve been to the screening committee of the ministers several times- and never once been endorsed.

And, my final answer to him:

I believe “single issue” voters are one of the biggest problems this country faces. Judging candidates on issues that have ZERO bearing on the office they are running for (when I’m running for City Commission for instance) is a huge mistake.
It’s polarizing this county and causing us to ignore the much bigger issues. Gay marriage won’t make one iota of difference to most of the people who will vote against me over it-
it’s like you worrying about your next door neighbor’s back yard flower selection-
the current city commission offers you zero candidates btw- so what now?
There are many white voters who didn’t want to give equal rights to “niggers” either- how do you feel about that?

Yep, I used the “n” word.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t really make decisions based on either my political future- or what’s politically correct for my livelihood either. I run a small business in this town- and have attacked many of the biggest possible accounts in this town and have been turned down even for working with charities because I have attacked the “powers that be.” We once did a project for Caresource- that will never happen again after my post comparing the crimes of their CEO vs. the crimes of a leader of the black ministers. I dug into the Dayton Development Coalition and their hiring of Lori Turner’s firm (wife of Congressman Turner) on a no-bid contract and went after improper campaign donations to Steve Austria by the local poster child for misguided corporate welfare – Qbase (and no, I don’t have time to get you all those links). I’ve had the nerve to go and look for work from Teradata’s COO (former chair of DDC) and look him straight in the eye after mocking their status as a public welfare leach (to his credit- he took the meeting and didn’t have a problem looking me right back in the eye- and yes, Bruce, my firm does better work than what you’ve been buying, but that’s your problem).

Last Saturday night I got called every name in the book by an elected official, because I’d been too hard on him in a post. I’d betrayed our friendship, and he was right- I was too hard and I did a quiet edit of the post (David Lauri, please leave this alone- I know you love to show off your Google cache recovery skills).

It’s not easy sticking your rear end on the broiler over and over. Some would say I’ve cooked my goose by speaking out, and others would say I’m toughening the meat. But unlike the president, I can’t waltz into George Clooney’s mansion and pick up $12 mill the next day. There are a few readers who’ve gone out of their way to send some business my way, despite “the risk”- TP, BW, LW, – I thank you. I hope the work that we at The Next Wave have done has been worth your risk.

I also have to thank the one elected official brave enough to endorse what I do and mean to this community on video: Stacy Thompson of the Dayton Board of Education. When I put the call out asking for support, she was the only one who stepped up.

If my endorsement of equal rights was the last nail in my “political future” I guess I should be writing my obituary now, because I’ve never done any of this for a political future- I’ve done it because I wanted to speak out for truth, justice and to prod our community into thinking beyond the drivel that has passed for a discourse on the future of our region. I don’t do this for me, I do it for us, you included. This site is my hammer, and thanks to the shallowness of some of our loudest voices in this community, I’ve got an endless supply of nails.

And, if you want to see this voice grow stronger, and you need better marketing, I have four employees who would be very grateful for a chance to work with you. The nails, unfortunately, do hurt them.



A.J. Wagner wants to be the Dayton mayor- now, not 2 weeks ago

Despite the local Democratic party’s private plans for the Dayton City Commission involving Nan Whaley beating Gary Leitzell and Rhine McLin taking Nan’s old seat- or Dean’s once she fails the first time and he resigns as a back-up plan- A.J. Wagner decides to run- of course, you read it before anyone else on this site.

Former Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge A.J. Wagner announced Tuesday his candidacy in the 2013 race for mayor.

“I come to this announcement well equipped and uniquely qualified to be mayor,” said Wagner, pointing to his near three decades of public service, including 20 years as an elected official.

Wagner, a Democrat and former county auditor, has long been rumored to be interested in the job.

via A.J. Wagner announces his candidacy for Dayton mayor.

His new site doesn’t look as good as his first one- but, what do we care? A.J.’s bravado is unmatched. First he quits after 2 years of his judgeship, and now he thinks he should be mayor. We posted a list of questions for our future mayor right after we leaked his site: “Questions for A.J. Wagner-our future Mayor”

He hasn’t answered them on the post- or on his site: http://ajwagnerformayor.com/ and we know he knows about them because I sent him an email asking him to respond- to which he wrote on 4/30/2101 at 3:58 PM: “Thank you David, but I am not a candidate at this time.”

Well, now that you are… we’d like answers please.

The next Montgomery County Administrator? Clay Mathile?

Clayton Mathile portrait

Clay Mathile

If New York City can have the services of Michael Bloomberg for a dozen years, why can’t Dayton benefit from having local business legend Clay Mathile take the helm as the new Montgomery County Administrator now that Deb Feldman has found her soft landing which so many of our local political has beens seem to find.

Instead, our county commission is announcing the de rigueur “national search” to find Feldman’s replacement:

Deputy County Administrator Joe Tuss will be named interim county administrator. County Commission President Judy Dodge anticipates a national search for Feldman’s replacement.

via Feldman named new CEO of Children’s Medical Center.

Feldman’s leaving this year came as no surprise to anyone, it has been known for over a year by insiders. The real question is why, if Feldman was such a capable leader, do we need to do a search at all? Why hadn’t she groomed a stable of capable replacements. As I’ve said before, true leaders build organizations that can continue smoothly after they leave. Despite various pundits claiming Apple without Steve Jobs was doomed, its stock price has almost doubled since Jobs’s death and the profits keep soaring. Granted, the real question comes after 2-3 years to see if the product innovation pipeline continues to deliver smash products, but for now, look at how smoothly the company transitioned leadership.

Why Mathile?

Besides being well known in the region, he’s also someone who chose to build a business here and did it successfully. His focus on high-performance organizations has been backed up with his kind donation of Aileron to the community- a business institute committed to improving businesses for the health of our community. He knows our community well, as well as all the major players and could be the one leader who is capable of moving regional cooperation and consolidation forward without having any of our mini-fiefdom leaders toe the line and get in step.

And of course, while we’d be more than happy to pay him what Feldman makes or more, I’m pretty sure he’d work for a $1 a year, and attract a whole bunch of new talent to the ranks of county government of young bright talent who know the value of the experience of working with a business tycoon. Gone would be the legions of sycophants and patronage peons who grace every floor of the county building, putting in their time for their almighty pension payoff.

Sure the argument can be made that at 71, why would Mathile do this? Bloomberg seems to have found new energy as mayor of NYC and would have been more than happy to serve another term. If Bloomberg can, why can’t Mathile?

Our region needs a transformational leader more than ever, and the short list of possible candidates is small. My second choice would be to recruit David Hopkins from Wright State or possibly Dan Curran from UD. Former hospital network CEO’s could also be on the shortlist.

If we’re going to rebuild this community, we should begin by realizing that we have local talent, we only need to look around and think of what could be, instead of what we’ve done in the past. The past is what got us here, time to move on.

I welcome your suggestions, comments or candidate submissions on this post.




Towed in Dayton: we kick our poor people while they are down

Matt Joseph parks at expired meter and sticks his free parking card

Matt Joseph parks for free

On April 15th the Dayton Daily news reported that the city of Dayton began a tow on sight program, targeting cars with unpaid parking tickets and camera violations.

Immediately after I started hearing from people- “you have to do something”- and “write about this”- which I would have loved to do, but, you have to remember, I have a job, and it’s not to do the one that our elected officials are supposed to do (and yes, I auditioned for that paying job more than a few times).

At Wednesday night’s commission meeting, in the final comments, about 5 weeks after this draconian illegal seizure of vehicles began, Commissioner Joey Williams asked in closing comments if there was something “that could be done” like a payment plan, since the people this is affecting can’t all just write a check for the tickets, the tow and the storage fees. He asked the city manager to look into doing something similar to what the water department does to restore service, noting that if you take people’s cars, you often stop them from working. No other commissioners chimed in.

Here is what the DDN reported on the 15th of April:

Police began towing vehicles with a combination of two or more unpaid camera-caught violations or parking tickets on April 2. In announcing the decision, the department said that those who haven’t paid within 30 days of the second violation would be subject to towing….

Dayton police said a vehicle on the tow list that is “operating or parked on a public street” can be towed, not just vehicles involved in a traffic violation. All police cruisers have copies of the tow list, and five cruisers contain technology that reads license plates. Five more license-plate readers are “ready to be installed” in cruisers, police said.

Costs include $105 per tow and $20 per day for storage if a vehicle isn’t picked up in four hours….

“My main concern is why are most of the red camera lights in the West Dayton area?” said Smith’s husband, John Smith. “I think that’s very important and significant.”

Of the 11 intersections with cameras in Dayton, six are in the western part of the city, one is to the north, one is close to the middle and three are in the eastern section…

New city contracts for towing began April 1 for Sandy’s Auto and Truck Service and Summit Towing Inc. Each is paying the city about $150,000 annually during the next five years.

Sandy’s tows and stores vehicles in the city’s East Zone, from east of the Stillwater River until it flows into the Great Miami River and east of the Great Miami to the eastern city limits. Summit Towing Inc. tows and stores vehicles from the West Zone. Neither company returned calls Friday seeking comment.

“With the way that the economy is today, they need to work with people,” said Tiffani Richardson, who paid fines at Dayton Municipal Court last week. “At least let them make payments if they don’t have all the money at once.

“That’s putting us a step back if you are going to tow my car. How am I going to get to work or anywhere else to be able to pay the ticket?”

via Spike in towing angers ticketed drivers.

Matt Joseph window passes and placard

Why pay parking when you have two jobs

Note, you can get multiple tickets for drunk driving and they don’t seize your car and hold it hostage.

In a city that claims to have the welcome mat out, seizing cars for minor speeding, red light or parking tickets is a bit draconian, don’t you think? Especially since the cameras have no way of proving who the driver is, or if the ticket was delivered to the vehicle owner. Of course, if you are a city commissioner like Matt Joseph, you can go to events that aren’t official city business, stick a placard in your window, and park for free. (pictures taken May 18, 2010, on E 2nd Street by me) Note- Matt also gets free airport parking as well- and a city car.

It’s easy to make laws if you don’t have to live by them.