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Faux regionalism plan finds foes pre-launch: must be good

The headline is a joke. “Plan divides Democratic leaders” says today’s Dayton Daily news. Calling them “leaders” is the first miscue, and the second is referring to them as “Democratic” since the party has worked to make sure no one gets elected, or even on the ballot, before first passing muster in front of a select group of a “screening committee” of which Dayton Clerk of Courts Mark Owens and County Commissioner Dan Foley both are a part of. They endorse pre-primary filing, to strongly advise people NOT TO RUN- unless they gain the endorsement. This is how it is in the “Democratic” monarchy of Montgomery County.

The paper says there is a rift between Owens and Foley:

One county commissioner’s plan to unify the governments of Dayton and Montgomery County has apparently caused a rift between the Democrat and his party chairman before a coming announcement this week detailing the consolidation effort.

Commissioner Dan Foley, a longtime advocate for a more regional government, said he will announce the proposal, called Dayton Together, downtown on Thursday. On Monday, Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Owens tersely questioned Foley’s merger plan push.

In the letter, Owens writes to Foley: “First, a number of questions have been raised about the transparency of your actions to date, the process you are planning, who is involved and how your plans are being funded.” Foley said this effort shouldn’t come as a surprise to the community as he became active in the discussion as early as 2008 after he was first elected commissioner in 2006. Paul Leonard, former Dayton mayor and lieutenant governor, is co-chair of a 16-member committee working on the charter. Foley said committee members working on the plan would be revealed Thursday at the 1 p.m. news conference at the Engineers Club of Dayton.

“Our first job that we are going to be announcing Thursday is really building this charter so people can then form an opinion about whether they support it or not,” Foley said.

This is just the first step in a months-long process, the county commissioner said. Any charter would have to go to voters and be approved.“We’re asking people to keep an open mind until we finish the charter,” Foley said. “The community has the ability to say yes, they support it, or no, they don’t think it’s a good idea. But we’ve never really respected the community by asking them yet. So what we’re trying to do is build the process,” Foley said.

The result of that process, Owens said, could lead to the disenfranchisement of Dayton’s 140,000 residents when pushed into a larger voting block.

“They won’t have a say in local government like the people in Kettering would, Vandalia would and Huber Heights would.” Owens said in the letter it would diminish Dayton’s ability to help determine police and fire staffing, when streets are paved and when trash is collected.

Regional economic competitiveness and cost savings would outweigh some early growing pains, Foley said. “The question about a more efficient structure of local government is one that’s rooting in how can we compete better for jobs and how do we become more unified,” he said.

Source: Plan divides Democratic leaders [1]

This  “Dayton Together” effort has been going on for a while, only it was called “One Dayton” a few years back [2]. The group screwed a local consultant who was hired to manage the process, and seems to have scaled back the grand plans.

But, let’s be honest about what’s really bugging Mark Owens. Dan Foley used to be clerk of courts. He full well knows that there is only one need in the county for a clerk of courts, one single website for all legal filings, and one database and system- at the county level. That’s the way it’s done in Columbus. Municipal judges, who are limited to hearing misdemeanor cases, run countywide. If we really were doing this right, Kettering, Centerville, Vandalia, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Miamisburg and who knows who else- would all lose their municipal courts- and the patronage jobs that go with them (Owens has a staff of 90 I think). And, the races for Municipal Court judge- plums to hand out to the party faithful in the law profession (just because politicians make laws, we somehow think lawyers are somehow qualified to be leaders, nothing can be farther from the truth) would be harder to control. (We rarely ever have someone challenge a sitting judge in Montgomery County- thanks to an “unwritten agreement” between the parties [3]– another way voters are disenfranchised- by Mark Owens, who DOES NOT BELIEVE IN LETTING VOTERS CHOOSE CANDIDATES).

Let’s be really honest. The idiots in Columbus who keep talking about Ohio taxes being too high are missing the problem. Ohio’s problems stem back to the Northwest Ordinance of 1785 which divided Ohio into 88 counties and gave us this insane structure of villages, townships, cities, counties and a whole other grid of school boards, that has no rhyme or reason, but results in way too much governmental overhead.

80% of Ohio’s population is packed into large urban areas. The rest of it- is rural farm land with sparse population. By electing so many Tom, Dick and Janes, we really end up with quantity over quality and a big whopping bill to pay.

Don’t count Foley as a saint either- his goal is to get a job at the quasi-public slush fund he helped start- the Dayton Development Coalition which will pay him 2 to 3 times what he makes as a County Commissioner- for doing next to nothing (County Commissioners also do next to nothing- since we have a County Administrator who actually runs the county).

The biggest problem in all this is that we have to say “look at this” to legitimize doing the right thing. That regionalism worked in Indianapolis or Louisville or even partially in Columbus isn’t how you make something better- look at the entire State of North Carolina that runs via County Governments and wake up.

Also- stop picking party puppets to get elected by the party instead of the people. That would be a real start to regionalism.

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Brian West

Is Dan’s proposal better than the current situation, and a move in the right direction?

Ronald Gable

Keep up the goof work!

Auston Hensley

Merging Dayton with the rest of Montgomery County would only exacerbate the problem. It would allow Dayton City Hall to reach into the pockets of suburban taxpayers to continue subsidizing one patronage project after another.

Because how dare those taxpayers leave the city for Austin Landing after being taxed without representation all those years, right?

Regionalism is brilliant in theory until you realize which bozos will be in charge. Which is why I’ll continue to be a very vocal opponent of any merger that involves (1) Dayton and (2) any adjacent or nearby jurisdiction in the whole metro area.

Because Nan doesn’t deserve to govern a shrimp stall – much less all of Montgomery County.

Rahn Keucher

Maybe we could lock all of these clowns in a secure room until they either figured it out, or they cannibalized themselves into a solution. Bonus: new blood and new ideas!

new government

It seems there is a lot going on behind the scenes for power control and jockeying of the purse strings for the tax base. This might be a time when the tired old system has cracks and we may see new ideas, new people, and allowing fresh blood to turn a new leaf. Sadly when a free for all and no accountability for your hard earned taxes go to pay for all the chiefs running things they see fit, instead of real leaders making our tax dollars work hard for all of us we have a system out of control and is seeing its age and time. Perhaps there is a silver lining as this is proof the system is breaking down and one hand does not know one from the other.

“Dayton together” sound sounds like a repackaged idea called welcome Dayton not exactly for the original intent; more like a stolen idea run amok.

Lets be honest fair elections locally has been since long gone years ago and if new blood comes batting at plate we might see some fair hard working leaders who really care and not get paid to be a career politician for years but only serve a limited time with term limits and be a paid puppet and listen to the concerns of the citizen!

new government

It seems there is a lot going on behind the scenes for power control and jockeying of the purse strings for the tax base. This might be a time when the tired old system has cracks and we may see new ideas, new people, and allowing fresh blood to turn a new leaf. Sadly when a free for all and no accountability for your hard earned taxes go to pay for all the chiefs running things they see fit, instead of real leaders making our tax dollars work hard for all of us we have a system out of control and is seeing its age and time. Perhaps there is a silver lining as this is proof the system is breaking down and one hand does not know one from the other.

“Dayton together” sound sounds like a repackaged idea called welcome Dayton not exactly for the original intent; more like a stolen idea run amok.

Lets be honest fair elections locally has been since long gone years ago and if new blood comes batting at plate we might see some fair hard working leaders who really care and not get paid to be a career politician for years but only serve a limited time with term limits and not be a paid puppet and listen to the concerns of the citizen!

CarpathianPeasant

As posted in City-Data:

That Paul Leonard is partly running it has to mean the best interests of Dayton are inconsequential.

(If Nan doesn’t agree, back Nan.)

CarpathianPeasant

If I’m not mistaken, you once lived in Five Oaks … corner of Five Oaks and Grafton.

[…] new post alert in my email from local political blogger David Esrati, which reads:  “Faux regionalism plan finds foes pre-launch: must be good.”  This was in response to an article in the Dayton Daily News that broke the news that Montgomery […]

CarpathianPeasant

You never lived in Five Oaks. Interesting. Then it’s possible someone briefly “adopted” your name. It’s unusual enough for the area to be remembered if someone makes a point of it. It’s been some time ago. “Mentioned” in conjunction with the Wright-Patt Credit Union amid some now forgotten things.

Carl

At least Foley is trying to do something. Metro-Gov has worked very well in other places. Efforts such as this have to be an all or nothing proposition. Political tradeoffs only chip away at the improvements gained by such an effort. Take the project to establish county wide police and fire dispatch. The public arguments against the plan were bogus. The real problem was the management and control of the project by the Mont Co Sheriff. The various municipal governments were unwilling to give over control to an uncooperative Dave Vore or his unknown successors. They had good reason to be wary of anything being run by a county sheriff. Compromises were made and the balkanized system of dispatch remained. The same fate could await Foley’s plan.

J Dziwiulski

Bypassing the incorporated suburbs and just merging the city and county is how they did merger in Louisville…tho the suburban cities were not totally exempt as they still got to vote for metro council members (and still pay county taxes).

There was also a political split among the Democrats there, as there apparently is here. The GOP and the business community was “for” it down there, since they would be politically competitive in a merged government.

Don’t see this happening, but I credit Foley for sticking his neck out for something that will be unpopular with this base.

J Dziwiulski

Should also say the political opposition in Louisville came from urban liberal and minority Democrats, who formed a strong bloc on Louisville’s olf Board of Alderman. They would lose influence…or their bloc would be diluted…in a metro council. They preferred the “hollow prize” of being in charge of a declining inner city vs competing, politically, in a metropolitan context.

I’d expect to see the same thing in Dayton, or the same kind of opposition. A difference in Louisville is that the local GOP supported merger, as did the business community, and it did get suburban support since certain suburban areas would get better representation on a metro council.

Should say that Louisville elects council members by district, not at-large; a big difference with Ohio. And there were no civil townships to complicate a merger.