It is who you know. DDC hires Howard?

While it’s almost impossible to figure out why the Dayton Development Coalition gets to hand over no-bid contracts to  Congressman Turner’s wife, and pays its President almost more than the City Manager of Dayton and the County Administrator COMBINED, it’s even more interesting to think about what could be done with the money instead?

Regional government could cut the overhead of every taxpayer in the County- but, instead, it seems we just keep hiring people. For an area with a decreasing population, we sure seem to be able to hire more and more people to “grow the region.” The only thing that’s been growing is the number of overpaid bureaucrats, with very fat paychecks.

Several unconnected sources have informed me that the Dayton Development Coalition has a new hire. Of course, going to their website won’t tell you that- and according to this person’s former employer- she’s still working there:

Sharon Howard publicity shot from WDTN

Sharon Howard

Sharon D. Howard currently serves as Executive Director of Community and Public Relations for WDTN-TV, Dayton NBC affiliate. Included in her many duties she is the host of “Dayton and Beyond,” a weekly public affairs program. Over the years, she has interviewed such notables as Johnnie Cochran, Kenny G, Jerry Springer, Gloria Steinem and many more. She coordinates all station community projects, including Channel 2’s COATS FOR KIDS and FOOD FOR FRIENDS. She also is responsible for administering station community and public relations.

Howard is affiliated with numerous civic and volunteer organizations including the Sinclair Community College Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of Culture Works, Board and Founding Member of the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Salvation Army Board of Trustees and the Kettering Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors. She is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Tau Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and The Dayton Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. In December of 2005, she was appointed by Ohio’s Governor to serve on the Ohio Arts Council Board where she chairs the Education Committee and serves on the Executive Committee. Howard holds a BA degree from the University of Dayton.

via WDTN Website: Sharon D.Howard.

However, on Jan 8, 2010, the DDN reported Howard had been part of a WDTN downsizing. Now, I’m the first to say- I think Sharon is a wonderful person- and extremely talented, but her quiet hiring by the Dayton Development Coalition, an organization that is quasi-governmental and accepts public money, leaves me wondering exactly what job she is filling and how many people were interviewed? Sources have said that Howard is being paid via funds provided by DP&L- a place well known as a landing ground for political types either being put out to pasture or being cared for and fed until they may be useful. The list of DP&L alumni is long- however, I don’t have time to confirm the names that come to mind- but Tom Studevent and Kevin DeWine (while he was a State Rep) are two absolutes. (If you have more- please add in comments).

Howard’s salary at the Dayton Development Coalition is reputed to be over $110k/yr. Nice place to land, if you know the right people. It’s even better than what State Senator Jon Husted gets paid by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce for a job he never has to show up for.

If the region wants to get serious about “economic development” we’re going to have to get serious about creating a single development group, preferably non-governmental (like, duh, the Chamber of Commerce) and stop hiring “friends and family” to do pretend work while the tax base shrinks and the population goes broke supporting all the family members of elected officials and political party favorites.

The problems that this “circle of friends” who’ve been running the region for way too long, from Corporate Chieftains to Political Party Potentates, is that the people (taxpayers) who ultimately get stuck with the bill for fountains with laser shows, Corporate Headquarters that are tossed aside after two and a half years and expensive ad campaigns proclaiming “get midwest” can’t afford it.

The taxpayers have lost trust in the people who run the region behind closed doors, yet, once again- we’re seeing the chess pieces moved around by an invisible hand- that’s beyond reproach.

Had enough? Wait till the upcoming exposé by Dayton Daily News business reporter- John Nolan, who could possibly write a Pulitzer=worthy piece on the Monarchy (or Mafia) of Montgomery County. We’ll see what the Dayton Daily decides to print. It only took them a year to catch up with the Qbase debacle– cleanly leaving out the huge donations to politicians in exchange for multiple handouts.

But, in case the DDN doesn’t run anything, you still have I’m just wondering when I can get a job like Ms. Howard.

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