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How much is a Dayton City Commissioner overpaid?

Kettering recently put a charter change on their ballot (something Daytonians would find nearly impossible because the charter requires a percentage of registered voters instead of a percentage of voters in the last election) and cut their council members salary in half.

Well folks, I’ve got news for you- cut Dayton City Commissioners salary in half and they will make almost double what a congressman makes hourly. Yep, that’s right, your commissioners think pretty highly of themselves.

Here’s the math: A congressman is a full time job- paying $178K a year or $85.57 an hour. A city commissioner make $37K a year for a job that requires on average 2 hours a week- that works out to $355.76 an hour. Even when you measure a congressman’s job based on only the time in session- around 150 days, 1200 hours, congress only makes a little less than half what a city commissioner does on an annual basis or $150 an hour.

Now of course, Nan Whaley will tell you she works at it full-time, and Gary Leitzell says he spends between 30 to 35 hours a week at it (note the Mayor makes around $45K a year) but Commissioner Matt Joseph has a full time job at a defense contractor and Commissioner Joey Williams is a bank president pulling down at least a few hundred thousand a year. Are they really putting in the hours? Of course, we’ve got Dean Lovelace who took a year off with pay, so he’s making something close to $15K an hour for the last year, but that’s ok since Nan, Joey, Matt all gave him a hall pass.

When I first ran for Mayor 20 years ago, the position paid $28K a year and the commissioners made around $24K.  The average family of four in Dayton was making around $18K working hard. Maybe, it’s time to at a minimum tie commission pay to the average household income in the city- whatever it is, cut it in half. Or, do what I propose to do if elected: I’ll track my hours and bill my consulting rate of $150 an hour for every hour I spend working as a commissioner, anything above that, I’ll turn back into the city. And, to make it sweeter, if you elect me and none of the Democratic party endorsed candidates, I’ll cut my rate to $85 an hour, same as a congressman.

However, if I get elected and have to serve with the people who will spend $50K or more to get a job that pays $45K a year- and I can’t change the charter so that the voters can recall any of us, I’m going to take everything over $150 an hour to put into a fund to elect new replacements for the overpaid commission you have now.

And one other thing… please explain why the Mayor needs an aide who makes as much as he does? Why not just pay the Mayor a full time salary of $90K and skip the aide?


And- btw- here is the best list I can come up with on who is trying to get on the primary ballot right now: http://electesrati.com/whos-running-2013/ [1]  It’s not too late to try to get 500 signatures and join the circus.

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Gary Leitzell

David, at this moment I do not have an aide. He left in December to go work for a record company in Detroit. Would love it if I could get paid more to handle my own scheduling and appointments but that is not the case. New person should start by March and will be paid a wage similar to the rest of the office. Rhine had a secretary and an aide. I eliminated the secretary position immediately saving $30,000 a year and went on to save the city an additional  $28,300 a year in travel and training. I guess the former “full time mayor” was getting $73,300 from the city as total compensation to go to events. The travel and training budget in 2009 was $43,000. In 2011 it was $14,700. Budgets are based on previous years usage. I have more than paid for my salary and achieved more in just three years. If the people want to pay me $90,000 so my wife can quit work and be a stay at home mom and full time educator I could handle it! Even if I had to print all those proclamations and type out the marriage certificates myself!

Dr. Funkenstein

Board of Elections Director Steve Harshman is paid $100,000 a year and he common criminal!  Check out his travel budgets!  He used travel money to wine, dine and shack up with his secretary in FL on a business trip!  They recently found a job for Jan “to dumb to pass the bar exam” Kelly there as a kickback for her running for county commissioner.  A $30,000 secretary position is nothing!


“…a job that requires on average 2 hours a week”
How do you know that ?


The notion that professionals are paid by the hour is wrong-headed.  Radio personalities “work” 3 hours a day and last I heard, some of them make $8 million per year.  I don’t know what Alex Trebek gets dfor hosting Jeopardy but I do know he works about 6 weeks per year (they tape eight episodes in a day).  You call to mind the old complaint about schoolteachers working only 6 hours per day for 180 days out of the year.
Until someone comes up with strict metrics for value-addedness, it’s fair to say that a Dayton commissioner is worth more to society than a porographer–if you want to do income comparisons, start there.

Donald Phillips

And your mayor earns every penny of it, Mr. Esrati! Why during his business junket to Turkey he cemented a deal for Dayton to be the exclusive U.S.  distributor of  Turkish Delights?


The large salaries are reserved for political hacks. If you’re connected you can get a job where basically all you have to do is work on political campaigns. Leitzell tries to save the city money but he is only one of many, bottom line is the public does not care about government over-spending because they seem to elect the same old politicians every year. Esrati has tried to open peoples eyes on many occasions about this but the Dayton Daily won’t pick it up, why is that? If you’re a non-political employee and work for the city/county they tell you there is no money in the budget for  salaries or OT. If you are a political hack you get all the bonuses and OT, comp time, and pay raises your heart desires. Good work if you can suck up!


[…] this was done soon after I posted about “How much is a Dayton City Commissioner overpaid” as Gary’s response is worked into the question. I’m pretty sure Gary had his tongue firmly in […]

Mark Duddridge

“…bottom line is the general, low information, MSM informed public does not care about government over-spending because they seem to elect the same old politicians every year…”