Leitzell’s first folly

I like Gary Leitzell. I even liked Rhine McLin- both nice people. I’m sure that Gary isn’t on the take- and has the people’s best interests at heart. But today he announced his “Leadership Council”- and I’m really wondering how this group is going to come up with BIG ideas. Especially after hearing Mr. Leitzell on the campaign trail talking about helping start 1000 small businesses- something that doesn’t seem to be well represented on this “council.”

From today’s DDN:

Mayor Gary Leitzell, today, Jan. 26, announced the founding of his Leadership Council, a diverse 17-member committee of community leaders who are acknowledged experts in their respected fields.

“The Leadership Council marks a bold step in Dayton’s long recovery process. The Council, which is composed of some of Dayton’s best and brightest minds, will meet regularly to discuss ideas and strategies that can help further spur our economic turnaround,” Leitzell said.

The council’s purpose, according to its mission statement, is to foster economic development and growth in the city by undertaking independent initiatives and by providing advice and counsel to the Mayor….

The members of the Dayton Mayor’s Leadership Council

* David H. McDonald (Co-Chair), president, The McDonald Group LLC

* Jeff Samuelson, AIA (Co-Chair), managing member, jz Companies

* Phillip L. Parker, CAE, CCE, president & CEO, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

* Gregory M. Gantt, Esq., partner, Allbery Cross Fogarty, chairman Montgomery County Republican Party

* Thomas A. Raga, vice president of advancement Sinclair Community College

* S. Ted Bucaro, government and regional relations director University of Dayton

* Anne Higdon, president, ISUS Corp.

* Larry E. Couchot, partner, Couchot Hogenkamp

* William Duncan, partner, Thorn, Lewis and Duncan Inc.

* Julie Liss-Katz, director of public affairs, Premier Health Partners

* Glenn Alexander, former Dayton Fire Chief

* Stacy M. Thompson, Dayton Public Schools board member, KeyBank Vice President

* Cassandra S. Mitchell, educator, Journalism/Mass Communications Instructor/Community Outreach Specialist/TV Producer & Host

* Steve LaFlame, union liaison

* Col. Tim Donohue, 88th Mission Support Group Commander, Wright-Patterson AFB

* Richard Haas, president, Grandview/Southview Hospital System

* Rev. Wilburt Shanklin, Living Word of Faith Church

via Mayor announces development advisers.

In fact- I’m wondering why we’re still expecting government to solve our economic woes.  Maybe if the City could actually concentrate on fundamental service delivery- and learn how to get out of the way of people who actually make things happen around here.

I think Anne Higdon and Jeff Samuelson are great choices- but, the load of Republicans- McDonald, Gantt, Raga (the ones I know about) are a mistake.

And because I put my money where my mouth is- I’d recommend either Jan Lepore Jennelson East End Community Services or Amy Radachi Rebuilding Together Dayton, Wesley Center director Dr. Robert Walker, Jim Gagnet of Pacesetter Painting and Coco’s Bistro, Bill Daniels of Pizza Factory and- believe it or not- some of the people who are paid by the City- like the City Manager Tim Riordan, the planning director John Gower, Steve Budd from CityWide.

I’d also look to some of the people from UpDayton, like Theresa Gasper who has helped turn South Park housing around almost by herself.

The key to making this really work- is not picking people who expect to be on it- like Phil Parker- who already are supposed to be part of the system. But to pick people who are self-starters, the type of people who start the small businesses in this city- and mine them on their secrets. MVH, Sinclair, UD- already have the ability to speak with a big stick.

Let’s pass that stick around.

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