Leitzell on defense

I like Gary Leitzell. I also like Rhine McLin. Clay Dixon is a nice guy. I’ll leave my personal opinion of Mike Turner out of this.

Unfortunately, Turner is the only one who understood how to act like a mayor.

Not that he was great at it- his arrogance and contempt for others got in the way and ultimately is why he lost to McLin.

Even though the city manager is paid over three times what the mayor makes- and is supposed to be the full-time professional in charge, we seem to have zero trust in that position, nor allow the manager to lead. It’s why people like Nan Whaley think it’s time for a strong-mayor form of government and after reading how our current mayor is handling a mess he created- one has to wonder if we should have an elected mayor at all?

The Dayton Daily did two stories about the “Mayor’s Leadership Council” last week, and how it was shrinking down to 6 people. Frankly- we have a leadership council- it’s called the Dayton City Commission- and they were all duly elected by the voters to guide the city manager. The hubris that Leitzell came into office with- despite his microscopic win (albeit over ridiculous odds) to select people like David McDonald and Wilburt Shanklin to advise him on how to govern us was a bad starting point. He should have been building alliances with two other city commissioners, because the first rule (and the only rule) is that it takes three votes to pass anything.

Instead, Leitzell continues to flail against the DDN- and takes great pride in his 15-minute commission meetings (while still having hours-long illegal “work sessions” where the real business gets discussed)- and posts reactionary, woe-is-me responses on his own blog:

Another Hatchet Job by the Dayton Daily News – Proof that they make up stories!

Today the DDN (Dayton Daily News) printed a story that is a complete load of lies and fabrication…..

It was known to many that I attend social events with my daughter on Wednesday morning and afternoons including a gym session at the YMCA. I had been doing such for many years.

via Dayton Mayor: Another Hatchet Job by the Dayton Daily News – Proof that they make up stories!.

He is paid $45K plus benefits for a part-time job. Yet, he’s found little time in his first 11 months to post on his blog to inform his supporters of his initiatives. People ask me what I think of his tenure- and I always respond that I like Gary as a person, but am unimpressed with his handling of his job.

If he really wanted to be the people’s mayor- maybe he should be spending more time telling us the good things he’s working on- via his site, his ideas, his plans, his goals- and what he’s doing to move things forward- instead of using it to post videos and reactions to stories where he gets a smackdown.

There are plenty of people working to move Dayton forward, who aren’t paid $45K a year by the taxpayers- who are making a difference instead of excuses. It’s time for Mayor Leitzell to re-evaluate his priorities and stop making excuses for his bad press.

His role as a home-schooling parent is the lamest of excuses and even the mayor should recognize that when he decided to run for this position, some things in his life would have to change.

We elected Leitzell because our other choice hadn’t exactly set the world on fire with her vision for Dayton and we didn’t have any other choices. We don’t care if he doesn’t run again- but we do expect a person in a leadership position to act like one.

It’s time to prove the DDN wrong, Mayor Leitzell- and start generating your own positive press for this city. You know how to respond- it’s time to be proactive.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!

Leave a Reply

8 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
Donald PhillipsGary LeitzellDavid EsratiHallJordan Recent comment authors
Notify of

Great challenge to the Mayor. I had the privilege to meet Mr. Leitzell a couple months ago and was very impressed with his personality and his vision. However, you are correct to point out what he publishes has little to do with what he says he wants to do. In his defense, I believe the Mayor cares a lot more about the people he runs into on the street than he does about the people who might read the DDN, or even his Old Crackhouse blog – and that’s not a knock, as most people in politics are a generation disconnected from your average citizen. But, as I think you underscore, Mr. Esrati, if the Mayor isnt making the news with what he is actually doing during his day job, it’s not going to matter how many people he impresses in person.


My, your opinions and thoughts about sure have changed in just a little over one year…

I do have to ask, do you, or did you ever, have that “open door” to the mayor’s office?

Gary Leitzell

David, You are so out of touch with city hall. Monday work sessions?I have never been to one of those. We have work sessions on Wednesdays. In fact, this week it is an update on the DMHA master plan. These “secret” sessions that you speak of every few weeks are open to the general public and documented in the minutes at the end of the commission meeting minutes. Maybe you should read them. You will be so disappointed with their content. I would have more time to write on my blog if I didn’t have to do damage control between the DDN and you putting out wrong information all the time. Too many people are focused on my “Leadership Council” and what they do. If I called it the Volunteer Dayton Advisory Committee then I wonder if anyone would care! I don’t toot my horn because the DDN will p*ss all over anything that I announce that I am planning to do even if it is my own roof or changing the meeting schedule for the “Leadership Council”. I wait until the desired results are achieved and then I will explain my role which often times is as a catalyst and not as the person deserving all the credit. I played important roles in the Mendelson Development Plan and the GE announcement. You may say that I influenced the very fact that they are both happening. If the DDN got that info before the details were worked out then they would have messed up both. That is why I keep quiet. I want successful results, not great ideas that could have been successful if the media didn’t intervene. Two for two in 11 months is damned good considering that I was a direct influence on the people who pulled them off. You will see more things next year and then more and then more. Getting reelected is not my goal as with past politicians. Positioning Dayton for a prosperous future is the goal whether I get credit or not. In the old days political parties were about getting the job… Read more »

Donald Phillips
Donald Phillips

What exactly did you expect when you elected to the mayority a man who paints toy soldiers? As for “home schooling”, it  has always been the province of paranoics.

And Richard Florida has published a new book.


I don’t toot my horn because the DDN will p*ss all over anything that I announce that I am planning to do

Gary, quit trying to appease the DDN. I wouldn’t give them the time of day if I were you (heh, I told you this same thing many months ago). Do you trust them ? I know you don’t want to pre-announce too many things but some things you can mention or allude to and you have outlets like WDTN, Dayton Business Journal, the city’s website, etc, etc. How much traffic does your blog really get ?

Donald Phillips
Donald Phillips

18 “no votes”. Ah… my deploring fans. Too bad the mob-o-meter does not accomodate voter comments; though it is not too difficult to discern the thought processes of donkeys–or lemmings.