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 | www.daytondailynews.com.

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. www.joeydwilliams.com

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)

 

Introducing Independentdayton.com

Because running for a part-time political office shouldn’t cost more than the job pays, the Mayor, Gary Leitzell challenged all the candidates to limit their campaigns to $10K in cash donations and $10k in in-kind donations.

Commissioner Nan Whaley and Retired Judge A.J. Wagner both declined and have taken donations as big as $5,000 (what the donors expect back for that kind of money- one can only wonder). Both had reported over $50,000 in donations months ago- and were actively working to out raise each other.

The Democratic party-endorsed candidates for Dayton City Commission, Jeffery Mims and Joey Williams have not agreed to limit their campaigns either, and both seem more interested in riding on Commissioner Whaley’s money.

The Mayor, and candidates David Esrati (author of esrati.com where you are reading this) and David K. Greer, have joined together to put up a joint site, www.independentdayton.com to keep voters informed about our campaigns and upcoming candidates’ nights. There are three video interviews posted from our Coffee talks at Ghostlight Coffee shot by David Sparks of the Dayton Informer. Hopefully, either I’ll bring some lights, or Mr. Sparks will- so we don’t look like Ghostlighted candidates next week.

This is all a part of trying to better educate voters, instead of trying to wow them over with yard signs, billboards, mailings and TV and radio ads that big campaign war chests can buy.

Take a look.

The opportunity costs of subsidizing Midmark’s move

On Wednesday, I went to the city commission meeting to speak against handing over tax dollars to a private corporation. As usual, I was working with somewhat faulty information that I’d received from the “Dayton Daily news” in that the money was being approved by the City Commission, but was actually ED/GE funds which are from the County sales tax collections. Either way, it’s tax dollars collected to provide government services being taken from our pockets and put into the pockets of a private corporation. Here is the basics from the PR run in the DDN:

Midmark Corp. will relocate its corporate headquarters to Dayton by July.

The medical, dental and veterinary health care equipment provider said Thursday it has completed lease negotiations and will move the headquarters, to be renamed Midmark Center, to the 1700 South Patterson Building on the University of Dayton’s River Campus. The building once housed NCR Corp.’s headquarters….

Midmark received $100,000 in economic development funding from the city of Dayton to move the jobs. The estimated payroll of the employees moving to the city is $10.8 million, which will generate about $242,000 a year in taxes for the city, according to the agreement between the city and Midmark.

The new headquarters will take up more than 23,000 square feet on the fourth floor of the 1700 South Patterson Building.

via Midmark base coming to Dayton.

Originally, the city had hoped to put Midmark into one of the empty buildings they built via CityWide Development in “Tech Town”- another squander of tax dollars on subsidies of a few private businesses with money that should have been spent on providing best in class services to all citizens. That deal fell through- but UD stepped up, by offering even cheaper space in the NCR HQ building they got for a song when NCR bailed on Dayton. There are unanswered questions about how much UD pays in property taxes vs what NCR paid in property taxes on this property, but that’s something for a paid reporter to investigate.

There is the interesting sidebar to this story, that Midmark’s CEO & President Anne Eiting Klamar also serves on the UD Board of Trustees, making this yet another sweetheart insiders deal.

But before I share my speech, let’s take economics 101. Opportunity costs are the costs of actions not taken, now, and over time. While the five year payback in “income taxes” received sounds wonderful on the $100,000 “investment”- let’s look at the real costs that have already gone into that process.

We’ve paid a myriad of “economic development” people good money to go out and sell out city primarily by whoring tax incentives and deals, instead of selling on our inherent value that we offer. In turn, the money that we’ve wasted on them, and these deals (most of which had no real penalties or clawback provisions and many went far south of positive for the city) has cut our ability to pay for essential government services- like road paving, leaf collection, safety forces, parks and recreation programs, thus making Dayton a less attractive place to live and less safe of an investment- thereby sending a message that we’re a poverty riddled city, much like the ugly girl offering to pay and let a boy have his way with her so she can go to the prom.

Maybe, if we had invested the hundreds of millions we’ve squandered on these “ED” projects over the last 20 years, which benefited a few, at a cost to the many, NCR wouldn’t have left in the first place?

While Midmark may not have any direct competitors in the region, there is also the undemocratic aspect of giving to one company while not giving to their competition- since there are no open competitions for this money, with a guaranteed equal opportunity for all. Banks can’t lend to homeowners with out following the rules of equal opportunity, but our government seemingly gets to pick and choose who to favor. This should be illegal. It reeks of payola to friends and family and political donors much more than it creates wealth. We know that it doesn’t work, because we’ve been losing payroll and investment in the city for about the same amount of time as we’ve been practicing this voodoo juju in the name of good government.

Here is what I said. I was rudely interrupted by the Clerk of Commission as I was finishing up, because the City Commission isn’t really there to hear or respond to citizens at their “public meeting”- they are there to have the shortest possible meeting, so Nan Whaley can get back to her fund raising. For the record, Joey Williams and Dean Lovelace were not in attendance at the March  20, 2013 meeting where this was given:

People often say government would be improved if it was run like a business, but they never take the time to really discuss in depth what business the government should be in.

Apparently, now, the citizens of Dayton are in the medical cabinetry and furniture business- since our tax dollars are about to be invested in Midmark corporation. The payback is supposed to be increased employment and tax revenue for the city- and while that sounds just fine and dandy, it makes me wonder why we chose Midmark- over, well, anyone else?

You see, the tax dollars that are being handed over to Midmark, came out of the pockets of people who are working two jobs just to make their house payments. And their house, well, it’s worth less now because the house a few doors down went into foreclosure and is now occupied by a bunch of dope using thieves, who keep breaking the law and causing the police to visit, oh, 22 times a year on average.

Now those hard working residents, have to buy security cameras, replace the chainsaws that have been stolen out of their garage (twice) and they have to buy new bikes for their kids, a new lawnmower, you get the picture…

Why do hard working Daytonians pay taxes? To hire police officers to stop thieves? To pick up leaves or sweep streets? Apparently not. We pay taxes to invest in Midmark Corporation!

Not only are we spending money on this Midmark giveaway, we pay our hard earned money to hire a staff of “economic development specialists” who seem to believe that they are worth considerably more than a police officer on the street protecting citizens. What if we took those salaries and instead, made sure that Dayton was a safe place to live, where our investments in things like bicycles, lawnmowers, chainsaws were protected?

Maybe it would be easier to live in Dayton and take care of our property, and someone would want to live near us that didn’t engage in crime on a daily basis? Crimes against us.

You see, the criminals stealing my property, aren’t much different than what you are about to do- you are taking my hard earned tax dollar and handing it over to someone else- someone who may even be a business competitor of mine. You are also robbing me of additional police resources- the stuff that I thought my tax dollars were going to be used for.

This isn’t the first time the City has thought they were in a different business than providing services to their residents- I recall a recent initiative to bring a Kroger to the corner of Wayne and Wyoming. Millions of our tax dollars went to acquire options, and property for a grocery store that never came. Just imagine, instead of spending over a million dollars to own an empty lot, you’d spent it on doing the peoples business- police protection, I still might have my bicycle and my chainsaw and my lawnmower- and I wouldn’t be down here wasting my time trying to get the city to stop engaging in “economic development” and try doing the business of the city- which means making our neighborhoods safe and our city an affordable place to do business.

You could probably even cut your income tax rate- if you stopped doing “business” that isn’t any of your business, nor is it mine.

The way you help Midmark is by not getting distracted from what the business of Dayton is.

If you personally want to help Midmark- take your salaries to  the stockmarket and buy stock in Midmark- but that’s the only acceptable thing you should do for Midmark with my tax dollars.

After I sat down, Mayor Leitzell made the lame response, one that reeks of the weakness of vision of our City- “If we didn’t do it, someone else would.” He told me later, everyone on the commission doesn’t like these deals, but fears not doing it. Of course, if everyone else is doing crack, that’s no excuse to do it too, at least, that’s what my momma taught me (well, almost, since crack didn’t exist when my momma was teaching me the difference between right and wrong).

I have an audio recording that’s 7 minutes long, which starts part way into Mr. Down’s explanation that this is County money, and then my talk.

 

Nan’s having a party, for her friends and family at the first four

Wow, it sure is great never having to have to work for a real business a day in your life if you’re Nan Whaley or Russ Joseph. Just take the taxpayers money, buy tickets to the first four games, and then distribute them to your political hack friends and family.

An internal Email from Russ Joseph and guest list made their way over to Esrati.com today. From Russ Joseph- who is Commissioner Matt Joseph, to Nan Whaley and CC’d to Kery Gray who has the title of “Executive Assistant to the City Commission” which is a $90k a year position created by former Mayor Rhine McLin before she left office. (before that, the City Commission only hired the City Manager, the head of the Human Relations Council and the Clerk of Commission- this position was set up as a perk for being a loyal servant, since Mr. Gray used to go to Rhine’s “house” to pick up campaign donations on city time– we know this because of the porcelain pig/bomb episode)

Russ asks “Kery if you can round up the VIPs I can take care of distributing to this motley crew” – which I take to mean, the VIP tickets that the city and the airport have acquired for the First Four.

This was in response to Nan writing Russ and probably Kery in an email on March 17, 2013, at 8:33 p.m.:

So look this over but if I am right I need 10 for every day and 2 bonus for Tuesday and
Wednesday. Kery we will need to round up the YIP’s tomorrow and distribute. How many did
the airport have? JP told me on Saturday that he had found 15 with the airport. but we will need
to do some running!
–All Days: Mark Owens & Tony Nolf
–All Days: Mike Rice & Guest
–All Days: Russ Joseph & Matt Cox (Wednesday it will be Katie Joseph & Charles Eamhart)
–All Days: Sam Braun & Steven Inlow
–Tuesday and Wednesday: Karl Keith & Guest
–Tuesday: Kery Gray & Guest
–Wednesday: Meg & Nolan Thomas
–Friday and Sunday: Matt Joseph & Guest
Also [need 4 more First Four tickets for both nights like we talked via text. 2 for Jason Miller
and 2 for the Gehres’ Brothers.
Thanks for your help in ticket hell.
Nan

We also have the list of tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

For those of you who don’t know the players:

  • JP- JP Nauseef, former CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition who was shown the door after it looked bad for giving a no-bid contract to Lori Turner (then wife of Congressman Mike Turner) to create the craptastic “Get Midwest” branding campaign. JP is now in charge of the “First Four” festival, working for UD and running a Myrian Capital that is backed by Clay Mathile.
  • Mark Owens is the Dayton Clerk of Courts, The Montgomery County Democratic Party Chair and Nan’s campaign Treasurer and also served as Rhine McLin’s Treasurer.
  • Tony Nolf: ? readers, can you fill us in?
  • Mike Rice is husband to Carolyn Rice who is our County Treasurer (you pay her your property taxes) and both are good Democratic party faithful.
  • Russ Joseph: Dayton City Commissioner Matt Joseph’s brother, dem party faithful on the screening committee and works for Mark Owens in the Clerk of Courts office
  • Matt Cox: ? readers, can you fill us in?
  • Katie Joseph: wife of Russ,  Charles Earnhart is her  brother.
  • Sam Braun: Works for Karl Keith, husband of Nan Whaley.
  • Steven Inlow: ? readers, can you fill us in? Nan’s cousin
  • Karl Keith & Guest: Karl is the vice chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party and the Montgomery County Auditor.
  • Kery Gray & Guest: He’s the ticket flunky- who get’s paid $90k a year to do Nan and Russ’s dirty work.
  • Meg & Nolan Thomas: Meg works for Karl, and is a Montgomery County Dem Party insider who likes to hiss like a snake when I speak at the Dem party meeting and suggest they could also endorse AJ Wagner since 2 people will make it through the primary. I’m assuming Nolan is her husband.
  • Matt Joseph & Guest: The city commissioner who is the brother of Russ. Matt doesn’t put money in city parking meters, he parks for free.
  • Jason Miller: ? readers, can you fill us in?
  • Gehres’ Brothers: Son’s of party favorite, Judge Dan Gehres.  They do video work for Nan.

So, instead of using these tickets to reward city employees for taking pay cuts, doing great work, creating a surplus, or for use by the “economic development” department to woo and entertain prospective new employers, we have the hottest tickets in town being divvied up by the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” run by Prince Russ Joseph and Queen Nan.

I wasn’t aware that being elected or working for the government entitled you to free tickets to the hottest event in town. There are rules about accepting free tickets while in office, and I’m not seeing any mention of how much these tickets are going to cost each of these favored friends and family.

Does anyone have the balls to investigate Basketball-gate other than, well, me?

It’s time this “motley crew” started paying their own way to events, just like the rest of us.

[UPDATE: 10:26PM]

A reader sent me what they paid for tickets:

Tuesday night - 100 level at the arena $45 per ticket = $90
Wednesday night 100 level $45 per ticket = $90
Friday afternoon - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket = $150
Friday night - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket =$150
Sunday afternoon - 200 level at the arena $75 per ticket =$150

Parking for all events $40
Total: $670
Nan and Russ are dealing with 10/12 tickets for all events. Meaning they are receiving gifts of over $3,350 from the taxpayers.
Are you mad yet?

 

Why William Pace may be back on the ballot

Live by the charter, die by the charter.

The city law director and the pedants at the Board of Elections may have a problem big enough to drive a car through in their reasoning to exclude Mr. William Pace from the primary ballot, May 7, 2013- and it’s because of their insistence on continuing to use the petition written and designed by people in the stone age.

The petitions have this very specific language:
“We name as the nominating committee the five registered electors of The City of Dayton whose names and addresses appear below who shall have authority as provided by the Charter to The City of Dayton, to nominate a candidate to replace the person named herein in the event that such person dies or withdraws his candidacy”
Since Harsman said that Pace didn’t accept his candidacy by signing the petition- but, the petitions were still valid meaning  the nominating committee can still name a candidate.
Harsman and the vity have to accept the committee’s  nomination, because the signatures of over 500 registered voters gave them the right to.
I suggest they nominate Mr. Pace- or if that’s unacceptable- they nominate someone else.

That argument was presented briefly by Attorney Clinton Ralph Wilcoxson II at the city commission meeting tonight. Of course, there was no feedback from the Mayor or Nan Whaley or Matt Joseph. After the meeting though, they were chuckling about their continued success at keeping people off the ballot.

Since Mr. Harsman obviously knew that the petitions were unsigned when he contacted Mr. Danish, on May 11 for an opinion,  days before the deadline for the signing of the “acceptance of candidacy” that was by midnight of May 13th- and that Harsman held the meeting of the BOE, at 4 p.m., after the offices were officially closed, without publishing a public agenda of the business to be conducted 24 hours in advance.

From the Ohio Sunshine Laws, pg 90:

Public bodies must provide at least 24 hours advance notification of special meetings to all media outlets that have requested such notification, except in the event of an emergency requiring immediate official action (see “Emergency Meetings,” below).

When a public body holds a special meeting to discuss particular issues, the statement of the meeting’s purpose must specifically indicate those issues, and the public body may only discuss those specified issues at that meeting.

When a special meeting is simply a rescheduled “regular” meeting occurring at a different time, the statement of the meeting’s purpose may be for “general purposes.”

Discussing matters at a special meeting that were not disclosed in its notice of purpose, either in open session or executive session, is a violation of the Open Meetings Act.

I specifically asked for the minutes in advance of the meeting at 9:30 a.m. on March 13th, in a recorded phone call that was posted on this site. See this post: http://esrati.com/william-pace-should-be-on-the-ballot-the-BOE-should-be-investigated/9620/

When Harsman denied my request, I contacted the Mayor and the City Commission office, asking them to force Harsman to release the proposed agenda, since the meeting was going to be held at 4 p.m. instead of the normal 11 a.m., and that Harsman was merely a subcontractor of the city which, by charter, is supposed to run its own nonpartisan elections.

At 2:25pm I received an email from Kery T. Gray,  Executive Assistant to the City Commission:

“Thank you for calling regarding your concerns with the Board of Elections.  As promised, I shared information with the Mayor and with Mr. Harsman.  If I get additional information that I am allowed to share, I will do so.”

No further information came.

I am unable to determine what time that Mr. Danish responded to Harsman with his opinion about the signatures : Board of Elections Opinion-Improper Notarization-1 but the fact that Harsman had been hoping to knock Pace off for lacking signatures was known since he made a request on the 11th. This should and could have been on a public agenda 24 hours before the meeting, so that citizens could have observed the meeting and weighed in. Open Meetings are the law in Ohio- and as I said in the call, regardless of the “triple checks” that Harsman said his staff was undertaking, this issue had nothing to do with triple checks of signatures- it was purely a ploy to hide behind closed doors and not notify the candidate in time for the submission of the single signature.

As soon as Harsman identified that the signature was missing, he should have contacted the nominating committee at that time- and asked whom they nominate- and then got that candidate to sign before the deadline- instead of holding his illegal, after-hours meeting- without an agenda provided 24 hours in advance- to push his personal agenda of excluding Mr. Pace from the ballot.

Unfortunately, the Sunshine Laws don’t have serious penalties or teeth behind them, but, as clearly stated on the petition, “Whoever commits election falsification is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree”- to which I say Mr. Harsman committed a felony by knowingly asking questions of the city attorney on the 11th of May, and refusing to respond to public requests for information in a timely manner that could have changed the course of this election.

And may it also be noted. that the Board of Elections routinely pays its staff and particularly, its directors overtime. By all standards of previous meetings, the signatures off all petitions should have been checked before the normal Tuesday meeting at 11 a.m. and presented then, which would have given the candidate a full day and a half to file his signature.

This really warrants an investigation by the Secretary of State and United States Attorney General, but first, you can start the clock on how long it takes the Dayton Daily news to steal this story.

Who is Joe Lutz who is running for Dayton City Commission?

I’ve know Joe Lutz, aka Joey London, for at least a dozen years. He lives in my neighborhood, South Park, but hasn’t been involved in the neighborhood organization. His house, on Warren Street, was one of the ones Miami Valley Hospital hasn’t been able to acquire and tear down, despite repeated tries. I am used to seeing him tearing up the dance floor at David Hurwitz’s bi-annual solstice parties, sometimes with not much more than a Speedo on. I’ve always considered him a friend- and an interesting soul. Until this election, I’ve never known him to have political aspirations, and was surprised when I heard he was running for Mayor (incorrect) and now City Commission. He’s agreed not to raise more than $10,000 in his campaign, if he raises any at all.

He runs a company called “Dayton Digital Media” that has a website that looks like it was built pre-turn of the century. The information is static, dated as are the animated GIF’s in the heading. From his bio:

Photo of Joe Lutz, candidate for Dayton City Commission

Joseph Lutz photo from his Corporate website

Dayton Digital Media, Inc. was founded in 1995 by Joseph C. Lutz. He serves as the President of DDM to this day. Mr. Lutz’s roots run deep into technology, graphic arts and corporate quality. During his tenure as a Professor of Engineering at a local college Mr. Lutz developed his acumen for technical training and multimedia programming. He served as Faculty Consultant to The Center for Interactive Learning in 1994-95. During his years working in industry Mr. Lutz designed, built and operated chemical plants and spearheaded NASA/DOE research projects. During the late 1970’s, he was a photographer and worked in the Los Angeles film industry.

More recently, Mr. Lutz was one of the few people on earth to be simultaneously certified by the American Society for Quality as a Quality Engineer, Reliability Engineer and Quality Auditor. Mr. Lutz holds a graduate degree in economics as well as degrees in engineering and liberal arts. With Mr. Lutz at the helm, you can be assured that DDM will help your firm reliably communicate your corporate message with great fidelity, whenever and wherever it must be heard.

via corporate.

Feb. 16, 2013, Joe was a presenter at Pecha Kucha night, the same night that the Mayor gave his presentation on rebuilding “this old crack house.” Joe, talked about “the Science of Dance” – from his years of experience club dancing. It was quite entertaining. He’s written a book about it:

Joey London’s first book, ‘Trouble on the Dance Floor: The COMPLETE Guide to Emergent Nightclub Dancing’ hit number one on Amazon in two categories. It describes all facets of emergent dance, from simple techniques to the deep psychology behind the experience. Interwoven into the book is a memoir of the 50th year of his life as viewed from the nightclub dance floor and beyond. “Trouble’ explores the primal aspects of Self and how they can be unleashed at the club. This book is a complete handbook for the nightclub dancer. ISBN-10: 1466438703

via Joey London Home.

He’s also written a novel:

Joey London’s exciting first novel, ‘The 2012 Debates’ is now available (in paperback and Kindle) at Amazon. It’s the story of the pseudo-intellectual lay about Jerry Linden, pimping out his rhetorical skills to the highest bidder. Jerry ends up debating all of the important political issues facing America today. He is a soldier of fortune working as a hired gun in debates for the Tea Party, Republicans, Democrats, and Occupy Wall Street folks. In these various roles he argues all sides of the issues while maintaining some semblance of personal integrity. The plot has more twists and turns than a Rubik’s Cube. With both Tea and Occupy support, Jerry Linden finds himself at the head of a new political movement called ‘The Unified Opposition.’ A quick read, ‘The 2012 Debates’ is airy but not vacuous, sexy but not pornographic, substantial but not staid. Truly a page-turner, this book is a romp that you can polish off in a day. Not only is it entertaining, it is also thoughtful and provocative. ISBN-10: 1470011409

I can’t find a website for his commission run, and last Facebook update was to tell his friends he made it on the ballot on Thursday the 14th of March.

When viewing Joey as an artist and a photographer, I’ve always found his work provocative and surreal. He has a huge direct-to-print camera he calls the Giganticam, which takes incredibly long exposures. Unfortunately, I can’t find examples of the work online, except on Facebook. Here are three examples of exceptional portrait work by Joe.

  • Cake Party- by Joey London
    Cake Party- by Joey London
  • Vines #2 by Joey London
    Vines #2 by Joey London
  • Visualizing a better future by Joey London
    Visualizing a better future by Joey London

 

I’ll try to keep my readers up to date, by posting video of candidates’ nights, links to sites and other information about the campaign.