Dayton Parking Meters Flunk Math and Overcharge

  • Dayton Parking meter displaying 1:52 minutes
    Dayton Parking meter after 10 quarters, or $2.50, when it says $1.20 hr
  • Dayton Parking meter claiming $1.20 an hour, on a 5 hour meter
    Dayton Parking meter claiming $1.20 an hour
  • This is the meter that's shortchanging taxpayers
    Meter W4-226, the bandit

On Thursday, I was running to the Courthouse to testify at the William Pace trial. I parked on Fourth Street, at one of Dayton’s fancy new computerized, credit card taking, parking meters that said 5 hours. I knew I had a 4 p.m., and it was just a few minutes to 2 p.m.. The meter said 1.20 for 1 hour. I needed 2 hours plus a buffer. I started inserting quarters- at 5 quarters, I had less than an hour, at 10, or $2.50 I was at 1:52 minutes.

Is there an extra charge for using cash? When I came back, the meter was expired, or is this just another revenue enhancement strategy for the City of Dayton? Maybe with addition of a lever, we can advertise our parking meters as slot machines, since you are gambling with a ticket every time you park?

And, btw- Because this is a story worthy of the DDN front page iTeam investigation, remember where you read it first (that means you DDn crack reporters). Also, I’ll be nice- On Monday, April 1st at 2 p.m. there will be another session with the Court of Appeals on Mr. Pace’s case (and no this isn’t an April fools joke)


Pace gets his day in court

It was more like a half day, running from 2 p.m. to 4:45. I was a witness, and was ordered to be sequestered for the first hour so as not to hear BOE director Betty Smith’s testimony, so I couldn’t cover the whole thing for you.
I did tape my part of the proceedings and as long as I could stay- which was until 3:50, and will be posting it as a podcast at the end of this post.

Mark Gokavi from the Dayton Daily news was a bit perturbed, getting this assignment dumped on him at the last minute (they do read my site) and wrote a cursory story for tomorrow’s paper:

The Board of Elections ruled March 14 that Pace did not qualify to run for Dayton City Commission on the May 7 ballot because of a problem with his acceptance of candidacy — basically a signature — which had to be filed by March 13, according to Dayton’s city charter.

Steve Harsman, deputy director of the BOE, told the Dayton Daily mews earlier this month that his office received the signed acceptance from Pace via a fax, time-stamped 7:38 p.m. March 13. Pace had learned at 5:45 p.m. that he had not signed the statement on his previously filed petitions. Pace said Thursday he raced down March 13 to add his signature but that doors were locked at the county administration building.

The BOE met the morning of March 14, and Harsman said the body asked for a legal opinion from the city of Dayton’s law director, John Danish. Harsman had said that the BOE had not accepted faxed or e-mailed signatures in the past.

Danish said Pace’s fax was not sufficient.

“Our charter requires a candidate to file an acceptance of the candidacy,” Danish said. “And the word ‘filing,’ I believe under court cases, means physical delivery to a government office, and that a facsimile does not qualify.”

Pace’s attorney, C. Ralph Wilcoxson, questioned BOE Director Betty Smith on Thursday about why she didn’t match Pace’s faxed signature against those on his petitions and she said it was because it was not an original signature in ink. She also said a 2011 Ohio Secretary of State directive prohibits board of elections from pre-checking forms to ensure they satisfy the requirements of law.

Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office civil attorneys John A. Cumming and Maureen Yuhas argued that Pace didn’t follow the law and making exceptions for candidates could lead to more risk of abuse and favoritism.

The three-judge panel of Judges Jeffrey Froelich, Mike Fain and Jeffrey Welbaum said they would deliberate and have a decision by April 8.

via Court to decide if candidate can appear on Dayton ballot |

Fain was the presiding judge, and shocked me when he attempted to swear me in and couldn’t remember the line most kids can recite by heart when playing lawyer “Raise your right hand, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?”- Fain failed- needed prompting from Froelich and myself.
I’ve already posted some of the evidence in this case in prior posts. Unfortunately, we have a legal system, not a justice system, and process can interfere with common sense. The County prosecutors would have lost had there been a jury, with their constant motions and interruptions. Fain often ruled over them, to see where this was going, but their strategy was shaking Pace’s attorney from his game plan.
I don’t know what was discussed while I was in the hall, but, apparently getting testimony from only one source was good enough in some instances (which I found odd).

The key issue of what standing the nominating committee has, may not be included in this decision, thanks to an omission in Pace’s motion. While it may not have been in the brief, this could end up reopening the case again after the ruling. In the meantime, Pace is left without a definitive answer on his candidacy, and the clock to the primary is ticking down. The judges don’t help matters by giving themselves until the “drop dead date” for putting Pace on the ballot, a quicker ruling would be the better option on this time sensitive matter.

The key questions weren’t really discussed while I was in the court room, nor was I questioned properly to get the answers the court needed.

  • The first is why the meeting wasn’t held at its normal Tuesday at 11 a.m. time. I was asked if I knew what a quorum was by an irate Mr. Cumming- to which I gave more of an answer than he wanted by suggesting that the BOE members are paid $20K a year for 24 meetings, (or around $800 a meeting) and there is no excuse for the delay in holding this meeting. Harsman knew well in advance that he could knock Pace off the ballot, by requesting a decision from the law director. This piece of evidence almost didn’t make it into the record, as the prosecutors were trying to claim my publishing of it was just hearsay, despite it being public record.
  • The issue of Harsman evading supplying an agenda, and violating the Sunshine laws wasn’t argued at all, because no one believes the Sunshine Laws mean a damn thing.
  • And lastly, the standing of the nominating committee, who have been properly nominated, should be able to name someone to appear on the ballot, regardless of what the BOE says- since they met the required number of signatures.

Every time I go into a court, I’m reminded of how fragile our legal system is. In the right hands, it can be bent and manipulated into accomplishing almost anything- like getting OJ off. In amateurs’ hands, it’s brutal.

The will of the 500+ voters is the last thing to anyone involved in these proceedings, it’s all about nitpicking and exercising power.

The recording is lame, I did it covertly, but if nothing else, listen to the first minute to judge for yourself if Mike Fain is all there?





Today I testify, in the William Pace case

At 2 p.m. today, Mr. William Pace will be in the Montgomery County Court of Appeals asking for his name to be placed on the ballot.
I am being called as a witness, to discuss the actions of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, which have been described and reported on this site in these posts:

It will be interesting to see if the “Dayton News” organizations will see fit to cover this case.

They have been notified thanks to this post. (I know you all read me, I understand IP addresses).

What will be more interesting, should the court decide in Mr. Paces favor, is that if any criminal investigation is conducted of the BOE for their meddling in election outcomes. It’s a 5th degree felony to tamper with the petitions, it should be an even higher degree of felony for tampering with elections.

The “Endorsed Dems” move election date

Screenshot from Joey D. Williams site for Dayton City Commission

The primary election is May 7, 2013, except for Commissioner Williams

When your official campaign website is a brochure about you, instead of a vehicle to share and discuss our city, getting the election date right would be a good start.

Or maybe when you assume that you are automatically going to get re-elected, none of this matters.

Check out the site before he has someone fix it.

Who delivers in the snow?

Snow removal mission accomplished, City of Dayton, side streets

Corner of Bonner and Adams Streets before 8am Mar 25th, 2013

The City of Dayton Street Maintenance department delivered this morning- with a plow, hitting my street (which is three blocks long) and the rest of South Park. This is what we pay taxes for- and it’s the first time in a long time that the City has impressed me in a “snow emergency.” (Here’s a post out of frustration about snow removal from 2009)

Schools are off for “Spring break” this week, so it’s not causing a school shutdown, but, it does have an impact on local businesses who depend on customers who won’t come if the roads are bad. Investing in top notch delivery of services like snow removal has a bigger economic impact in one day, than the “investment” in a private business like Midmark– and is what the city has failed to understand over the last 20 years.

Clear streets are also essential for delivery of police and fire services, if the roads aren’t passable- fire trucks can’t get to a house fire. We also see a dramatic decrease in traffic accidents when streets are passable- all of which are keys to economic growth (unless you own a body shop or towing company).

And, onto who doesn’t deliver in the snow? The Dayton Daily news- can’t get their iPad edition delivered. Apparently the snow is interfering with their electrons getting to my house. I called, and they started to offer the dead tree edition- until I repeated “iPad edition.” Guess I get to read my old stories re-published in the DDn later today- if ever.

But, the real experts at delivery in Dayton today, weren’t delivering in Dayton- they were delivering on the home-court of a lower ranked opponent in the Women’s NCAA basketball playoffs, where the University of Dayton Women’s team went into double overtime to beat St. John’s 96-90. Congrats to the UD Women, who are the best deal and real deal when it comes to watching more hoops for your buck (yep, they sell tickets for a buck on televised games and $5 normally).

If you haven’t watched the UD Women this year, don’t call yourself a basketball fan. And considering that they only have 3 seniors this year, maybe you should be buying season tickets now (the games are all general admission- so I’m not sure they even sell season tickets- yet).

I’m almost tempted to spend the day shoveling snow for campaign donations, but I’ve got a ton of work to do, so get out there and do it yourself ;-)

(note, as I was finishing this at 8:26 the plow just went back down Bonner)