Lori Turner withdraws from branding campaign: owes a refund as well as a mea culpa

I guess it’s a Turner thing- to exaggerate at  every opportunity how much time and what value your “work” is worth. Mike Turner used to make me sick on the campaign trail with his “I’ve donated over 300 hours” to this or that. Only a lawyer counts his time as closely.

Turner Effect bowed out from their “Get Midwest” campaign today- but I didn’t see any offer of a refund:

Lori Turner withdraws from branding campaign
Coalition officials have said the coalition has paid or committed more than $300,000 to Turner’s firm, the Turner Effect, for its role in developing the campaign with the slogan, “Get Midwest.” The firm was to receive more money in the second half of the campaign.

The campaign is funded with private and state money.

Turner’s letter seems to indicate she has not personally been paid for her firm’s efforts. She did not immediately return a phone call for comment.

Turner said in her letter that she has contributed $80,000 of her professional services to the campaign. “The bottom line: I have not been paid for any of my time spent on this project. Like hundreds of volunteers on this project, I am proud to have served and am dedicated to our community’s future.”

As to Lori’s $80,000 donation of “professional services” on a project that’s taken 18 months- and billed $300,000- let’s see: either her billing rate is astronomical- or, she hasn’t been doing much else.  That would mean she’s doing about 1/4 of the billing on the project, which is hard to believe, seeing that she has a staff of at least 12- and she would have had to spend time soliciting work in Atlanta and DC to do work for the Home Depot PAC.

We also need to know how much money the County contributed to the DDC for this campaign? And of course, the DDC is in a bind now- since the Turner Effect was “the only local firm qualified” to do their work. What will they do now?

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38 Responses

  1. Pam February 19, 2008 / 5:12 pm
    Hmmm…
    Something’s fishy.

    This is the kind of conciliatory gesture that’s made in an attempt to satisfy the press so they’ll stop digging.
    It’s subterfuge.
    I think the DDC and the Home Depot PAC are just the tip of the iceberg.

    Don’t you DARE let up on them!!

  2. Jeff February 19, 2008 / 6:21 pm
    Yeah, I agree with Pam, I was suprised to read this, too.
  3. ohdave February 19, 2008 / 7:17 pm
    I think you should put in a bid, David. I think you could do the job.
  4. David Esrati February 19, 2008 / 7:29 pm

    ohdave-
    I gave up bidding local government work after never being able to see the evaluation forms as required on all government bids.
    While I can do work for the best in the business nationally- locally, I’m a nobody. Guess I need to marry a Congresswoman.

  5. Pam February 19, 2008 / 7:36 pm
    “”During the past several weeks, the Dayton Daily News has knowingly and publicly misrepresented my involvement in the Dayton Development Coalition community branding process,” she wrote in a letter to the co-chairs of the branding initiative. They are Dayton Daily News Publisher Doug Franklin and retired Berry Co. Chairman Pete Luongo.”

    That’s the kind of language you use when you’re getting ready to file a libel suit.

    But I bet there won’t be one.

  6. Jeff February 19, 2008 / 8:11 pm
    ^
    definetly the good old boy system at work.

    The funny thing is that this back-out by Turner Effect is right after that defensive Sunday op-ed by the DDC.

    BTW, some anonymous poster at my blog is saying the DDC pork prioritization process isn’t as transparent as they say.

  7. Theresa Gasper February 19, 2008 / 9:13 pm
    Why is it that people in this town love to assume the worst about the people who are trying so hard to make a difference? You wonder why we have no “real leadership”? It’s because champions are slaughtered for trying to do their best.

    Why can’t we try to focus on helping each other be successful instead of trying to help others fail? Are we that pathetic?

    Not everyone’s motives are sinister and malicious. If you believe that about people, then maybe YOU are the problem.

  8. Greg Hunter February 19, 2008 / 9:57 pm
    Theresa, my first reaction to reading your post was a LMAO moment and for that I thank you. But then I thought about it and ………

    I have admonished you on many occasions and still you do not understand our petition. If you have sway with this crowd, please prostrate before them, and beg them to explain why their way is best!

    We have dedicated our after tax income to question the motives of these so called champions, who are making decisions about how OUR TAX MONEY IS @*%*@^@*& SPENT. I miss what part of this is sinister or malicious.

    The Constitution gives us this right, and our personal knowledge of the data gives us the credibility to call these people to task, a job that I thought was the Newspapers, but we have now inherited.

  9. Pam February 19, 2008 / 10:10 pm
    No offense, Theresa, but I don’t share your idealism or optimism. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The Turners are blazing.

    Cynical? Maybe. But we can’t afford to assume that our “leaders” have the best intentions. People who don’t question their governments end up with governments that embroil them in unjust, pre-emptive wars over weapons of mass destruction that don’t exist.

    As for having sinister and malicious motives, I would say that what Mike Turner did when he dragged David through he courts more than qualifies. Maybe his karma has finally caught up with him.

    You might not want to see your good friends the Turners vilified, but I find it hard to have any sympathy for them. David’s been vilified for years. Of course, there’s no reason for you to defend David. He doesn’t have any money or influence.

  10. David Esrati February 19, 2008 / 11:49 pm

    Theresa-
    Lori Turner resigned the account for a reason- there are questions to be raised. When the smoke clears, your champions may be living in a different kind of gated community. Like it or not- the Dayton Development Coalition is partially funded by tax dollars. Not getting competitive bids isn’t just illegal, it’s rash and stupid. I get bids on almost everything I buy for my clients- unless time is absolutely of the essence.
    The DDC did none of that. No matter what you think of the campaign- it’s almost universally panned. You do remember the childhood story about the emperors new clothes? This is the same thing- only EVERYONE is saying it.
    Time to start looking at the facts- this thing stinks- all the way around.
    We can, and do, deserve better. That’s what we’re fighting for.

  11. Shannon February 20, 2008 / 8:42 am
    Comment to Pam’s quote “governments that embroil them in unjust, pre-emptive wars over weapons of mass destruction that don’t exist”.

    This is off subject, but I was there 18 years ago and seen the WMD’s, I observed them crossing the borders just like the Iraqi Air Force.

    Keep fighting David!

  12. yvan melnikoff February 20, 2008 / 9:18 am
    Constant retooling, rethinking, revising, creatively embracing criticism towards the achievement of shared goals is the definition of an effective strategic planning process.

    Constant evaluation of how effectively strategic objectives are being executed and communicated by the parties responsible is a basic component of strategic planning. Even more critical is how completely the shareholders and stakeholders impacted by the strategic process commit to and support those strategic initiatives.

    In this instance growing resistance to the regional branding component by critical shareholders and stakeholders supports the need for continuing scrutiny.

    It’s easy to jump on a loaded bandwagon headed downhill. It’s a lot harder to jump in front of the bandwagon because it’s headed for a cliff.

  13. Theresa Gasper February 20, 2008 / 11:35 am
    I wanted to start out with “you don’t know me, don’t judge me” but realized I also don’t know many of you, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and digging – but my question is this…what is the desired outcome? Do any of you really think that if David is elected, he won’t become entrenched in the same screwed up system? Read Joe Scarborough’s Rome Didn’t Burn in a Day for a perspective on how everyone goes into it with good intentions but just can’t buck the system.

    I am not personal friends with the Turners, but I respect a lot of what Mike has done for this region. And while my former company did business with Lori’s Turner Marketing nearly 10 years ago, I never met her. In fact, I just met her for the first time when Mike brought her and the girls to go through RehabaRama.

    I suspect many of you think I’m drinking the coolaid, but did you ever ask if you’re not doing the same thing? For the record, I often defend David- but many people are telling me how dangerous he is and I should be cautious. I see that here – it just seems like a mob mentality. David suggests Turner has done something evil and you all jump on board and say “yeah, you’re right, let’s get him”.

    David has spewed about Turner and anyone else who doesn’t see things his way for years on this blog and at many a Commission meeting prior to that. But, David, what have you DONE for this community? So you won a battle by getting enough pressure on Lori to cause her to withdraw from the branding effort. In the grand scheme of things – who does that help? Are each of you able to sleep safer tonight because the Evil Lori Turner is no longer engaged in a project designed to PROMOTE THE REGION??

    I agree that the system sucks and that it is corrupt. What I don’t agree with is destructive behavior that accomplishes nothing but defamation of character. David knows how to position this website and others so it comes up near the top with Google and others. Translation…other people around the world can read this crap so what kind of image are we giving them of Dayton?

    “Welcome to the land of critics, who attack first and ask questions later…don’t even try to do anything good in this town because we’ll automatically assume you’re an evil doer and we will slaughter you. ” Seems to me that’s a better grasp of the Dayton brand.

    I realize I won’t change anyone’s mind and we’re all entitled to our opinions. I guess I’m just hoping that if someone is reading this blog with the intention of possibly moving to Dayton, they realize that not everyone in this town is critical and pessimistic. Some of us are eternal optimists and believe in the good in others and are willing to put ourselves out on a limb, even though we know there’s a mob with a chain saw behind us.

    My guess is now that David has Lori’s resignation as a notch in his belt, the next target will be JP & the Coalition, followed by the County and then I imagine I’ll make the list because of things I’ve said here.

    David, I wish you well in the primary. I’ve just been trying to tell you what most Americans have been trying to tell politicians for years – stop trashing the other guy and tell me what YOU have DONE and why I should vote FOR you, not AGAINST the other guy! Oh, that’s right, I live in Greene County and can’t vote for you…or Turner.

  14. David Esrati February 20, 2008 / 1:09 pm

    Theresa-
    Rehabbed 5 buildings without help or handouts- that includes hanging my own drywall, framing, wiring, finishing, demolition etc.
    Served as neighborhood president for 2 years- and transitioned smoothly to new leadership.
    Been a big brother for 20 years.
    Volunteered and served in our armed forces.
    Worked with students all over the city- with internships- and coaching.
    Hired an x-con.
    Run a business for 18 years- employing people- paying taxes.
    Taught people how to better communicate on the web.
    Brought issues to light- and strongly fought for what is right- against all odds and Michael Turner.
    You dare to even suggest that I haven’t been an active part of this community.
    Just because Mike Turner was elected and paid to serve the people- doesn’t make him a prince.
    I’ve offered many good ideas over the years- and some people believe I have a vision for a different kind of government and a better way of doing things. You seem to be OK with the status quo.
    But- lastly- for you to even suggest how I might act once elected is not only presumptuous, but incredibly arrogant- and I’m surprised you would dare to write it.
    You keep writing checks- I’ve swung hammers. There is a difference between us,
    and- between me and Jane Mitakides- who is of the same check writing cheerleader crowd. Some people prefer people who actually do the work, instead of supervise.

  15. yvan melnikoff February 20, 2008 / 2:03 pm
    You are a fierce and loyal protector Theresa. It is extraordinarily unfortunate to see your efforts blindsided by betrayal particularly by a process that you champion, however I believe that you’ve misdirected your anger.

    I agree that David burns a lot of ammo lighting up the shadows in the bushes, but it’s the Dayton Daily News that’s pulling the big horses on this issue,…and throwing all the PR to Jane Mitakides,… and I suspect that it was a “blog pro” from the Mitakides camp as well that aired all this dirty laundry at the Daily Kos. Compare the number of column inches in Dayton Daily News in the last ten days to the number of responses on the blogs here and who ends up the big winner?

    “what is the desired outcome?”

    ,…getting the mix RIGHT for regional re-development, which is an altogether separate issue from who gets elected in Ohio’s 3rd.

  16. Pam February 20, 2008 / 2:59 pm
    Theresa, you’re applying quite a double standard here. You’re asking David not to criticize other people and their efforts, but isn’t that exactly what you’re doing?

    I guess your “Live and Let Live” philosophy is a lot easier to say than it is to do. If you can’t BE the change you want to see, then at least be an equal opportunity offender and direct some of your indignation at the people who really deserve it.

  17. Jeff February 20, 2008 / 3:07 pm
    Yvan does bring up a point, about desired outcome.

    This really does transcend Turner and that branding issue.

    Basing an economic development strategy on tapping into the federal budget automatically puts one in the political arena, so there is going to be some scrutiny as to how the ED agency fits into the political process.

    But the larger issue is that economic growth becomes independent of the private sector and becomes reliant on federal appropriations, which can change depending on political priorities, fiscal issues like balloning deficits forcing cuts), budget reform (such as limitations on earmarking) and so forth.

    Ideally the DDC should be looking at defense spending as a mechanism to generating innovation, and find ways to improve technology transfer and spin-off into frims located in the region, but operating primarily in the private sector.

    Over-realiance on one industry is a repeat of a past era when GM and NCR were the dominant economic forces and employers.

  18. Theresa Gasper February 20, 2008 / 3:59 pm
    David – NOW you’re talking…about the things you have done in this community. That is ALL I have been trying to get you to do since you decided to run in the primary. Sorry I had to bait you into it, but at least now people can read this and see what you’ve accomplished. YOU are the one who jumped to the conclusion I was suggesting you never did anything!

    I believe that if elected you will give your all to make a difference. I believe that’s what Turner set out to do, and Rhine, and Nan and McCain and Obama and Hillary and yes, even W. And it’s exactly what the American public WANTS and has been SCREAMING about for ages. The problem is that when one good person after another after another fails, it’s not that the people are the problem, it’s the SYSTEM. And if one person could change it, it would have been done by now. That doesn’t mean we give up trying, but it means accepting that it’s not as simple as electing someone else.

    All I’m trying to point out is that if you do get elected you will find yourself second guessed and challenged and accused of wrongdoing. At times it might be justified and others most likely not. I just hope if/when it happens, you’ll be a little more understanding of all the others who came before you, with the same dream of making a difference, but who are caught up in the same quagmire.

    My problem with this blog isn’t criticism or descent or seeing things differently, it’s the personal attacks. So I didn’t swing a hammer in South Park and just wrote checks -does that mean that the $1.5 million I spent on nearly a dozen homes didn’t make a difference? I could have very easily cherry picked the easy houses to renovate, but went after some of the worst eyesores instead. Maybe next time I’ll just use the money to buy a nice place in Cancun so I can get away from the negativity in this town.

    And Pam, I AM being the change I want to see. That’s why I invested in my old neighborhood and that’s why I applied to be a catalyst in the Creative Class Initiative. Why is it that when any of you financially support David and have fundraisers in your homes, it’s innocent; but when someone writes a check or hosts a party for a candidate you don’t back, it’s unethical? Is that not a double standard?

    The point I’m trying to make is that not everything is suspect. And just because it might look suspicious, doesn’t mean it is. If I were Lori Turner, I’d be quite torked that people think she has no skills or talent to offer the community and that she should just stay home and bake cookies…solely because she’s married to a Congressman. Guess that means all the politicians other halves should just do the same. Guess that means Bill needs to sit it out and stop doing what he’s trying to do for the world just because he’s married to Hillary.

    Yours Truly,
    The Eternal Optimist

  19. Pam February 20, 2008 / 4:30 pm
    Apples and oranges, Theresa.

    It is NOT a double standard for me to support David’s candidacy, because I DON’T DO BUSINESS with David.

    My livelihood and any goals or agenda that I might have for myself, my family, or my employer do not depend on assistance or favors from him. I don’t profit if David gets elected (except by having an honest man voting his conscience in Congress).

    I’m not going to get a grant or a contract from my association with him. My street isn’t even going to get plowed more often!! There is no quid pro quo here. Not even the appearance of it. So there is nothing unethical about it.

    The BIG difference with the DDC and the Home Depot PAC is
    that they’re using Lori’s business as a creative way to funnel money to a legislator that they work with and need help from.

    It’s called a conflict of interest.

  20. David Esrati February 20, 2008 / 4:36 pm

    Theresa,
    I guess the fundamental difference between how I go about running for office and Turner does- is who I surround myself with- and who I receive money from.
    The pay-to-play environment in politics has to stop. It’s the basis of my campaign- and a point of distinction that I believe is crucial.
    I’ve been an activist for 20 years- I’ve never been paid for the time I’ve invested- nor have I asked to.
    AS to :”if you do get elected you will find yourself second guessed and challenged and accused of wrongdoing.”- I’m wondering what you think I am- a babe in the woods-
    I’ve been all of the above- and hauled into jail and persecuted for 2.5 years by the man you love to defend.
    Trust me- I’ve had all the heat- without ever being elected.
    The only way the system will change is if some brave souls buck the system- and actually prove it can be done.
    That’s the point of my candidacy.
    Thank you for being a part of this blog- and the community. I do recognize your investment and your choices, however, you’ve not been locked up or had to battle a bevy of tax funded lawyers for doing what was right.
    It’s not easy.

  21. Jim Crotty February 20, 2008 / 5:26 pm
    And that’s why I support David. It’s called courage, the kind that can only come from trial by fire.

    I’m not sure what this “stay away from David he’s dangerous” is all about. I’ve had my share of contact with people who are truly dangerous, and believe me, David is not of them.

    The dangerous ones are those who make the deals under the tables and behind closed doors, only to emerge with a smile on their faces and lies on their lips.

  22. Theresa Gasper February 20, 2008 / 9:00 pm
    Man – you guys are a tough crowd. I surrender! Sorry you have all come away with the idea that Turner is the “man I love to death” – thanks for putting words in my mouth. My husband won’t be happy to hear that – and he truly is the one that I do love to death. Without his guidance and support, I wouldn’t be able to chase my dreams.

    David, I’ve just been pushing you to stay on topic and focus on YOUR strengths, not Turner’s weaknesses. Turner is not yet your opponent. Take a page from sports – don’t look past the game in front of you. You’re already on to the post season and you haven’t finished conference play yet.

    Jim – just repeating what I’ve heard from about a half dozen or so people who have known David longer than I have. For the record, I’m the one always telling them there is a good man underneath the mask!

    I’ll leave you to your slaughter, I’m outta here! It’s been real, and it’s been fun, but it hasn’t been real fun!

  23. Jeff February 20, 2008 / 10:02 pm
    Well, David was Special Forces, so he probably could be dangerous, if he wanted to.

    “Turner is not yet your opponent. Take a page from sports – don’t look past the game in front of you. You’re already on to the post season and you haven’t finished conference play yet.”

    I’m perfectly OK with Esrati taking on Turner now, even if he doesn’t win the primary, as he’s softening up the ultimate target.

    Smart politics. Esrati isn’t attacking Mitkadis too much and Mitkadis is pretty much ignoring Esrati, so the focus is where it should be, on Turner.

  24. Theresa Gasper February 21, 2008 / 2:14 am
    OK, I’m intrigued. I’ve been thinking about this group all night and am really wondering what makes you guys tick. I suspect the reason for blogs is that people have things to say and don’t feel they’re being heard in convention channels. But that’s an assumption, and I’d like to go beyond those for a while. We did enough of that earlier! :)

    So, on the particular subject of the Lori Turner/Turner Effect decision to drop out of the branding campaign….what are your issues with the entire situation?

    Enquiring minds want to know…

  25. David Esrati February 21, 2008 / 7:43 am

    Theresa-
    Times have changed- this is a conventional channel now. It’s the mainstream media that hasn’t caught up. The 2-way nature of this is natural- communication isn’t a one-way process- never was. We just didn’t have the technology or critical mass to do it.
    As we live in a “republic”- which literally means “public thing” in Latin- the very nature of web 2.0 driven sites fits in perfectly. Debate on a blog is a lot more coherent and well thought out- and in depth, than the kind of “debate” that we have in politics today in this country.
    While there have been some arguments of late over the ideas of caucus vs primary- when this country was founded- the population was much smaller- and the people we elected were known to the voters- either directly, or by reputation. Now, it is increasingly difficult to get to know who we are electing- since most information has been delivered in soundbites and propaganda. The web is slowly going to change that- I’m just on the cutting edge. Before long, voters won’t tolerate a franked mail newsletter once a year- conveniently showing up just before an election- or rhetoric on the stump- they’ll want to be able to examine a long history of issues and answers- direct from the horses mouth.
    This system can provide us with the kind of democracy we were supposed to have- one where “all men are created equal.”
    As to Turner Effect- from the initial idea of no-bid- and no solicitation- the project shows it was little more than a way for the DDC to funnel money into the Turner camp bypassing campaign finance laws. Secondly- it is counter to the idea that we have a lot of talent here- when they say only one firm was qualified, when in fact there are many, much more qualified firms.
    Third: the money is astronomical. They’ve spent 3x what they should have – and the results are crap. It would be different if it was “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” but it’s so far away from relating to the area that it doesn’t work.
    Lastly- it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The catching of the Watergate burglars. The rest of it will begin to unravel- and it will show a pattern of questionable patterns of privilege that shouldn’t be connected to being elected.
    Hope that answers your questions.

  26. Greg Hunter February 21, 2008 / 9:06 am
    what are your issues with the entire situation?

    As with most of Mr. Turner’s relationships, it smacks of indirect political contributions to a candidate. At least for me I think the decisions being made and the projects that are benefiting are exactly the wrong types of investments to address the issues affecting Dayton. Yes, I am certain people can cherry pick some minor projects that cut against the grain, but these are merely chicken feed when compared to the overall Record.

    I saw your reference to blogs like this promoting a negative attitude concerning Dayton. you are exactly correct; however, I think you miss an important distinction. Prior to these types of blogs, this attitude was already circulated within communities and people that were looking to come here. Trust me when I run into people at bars, restaurants and in my travels I take the positive spin on describing Dayton. The perception that Dayton is backward racist town that lacks any pizazz is prevalent in the wider world. Just ask yourself, why do young people leave this town? The best and the brightest of the younger generation have left, unless they are flying/working for the Military, whom are “forced” to be here. The blogging community is just reflecting what the wider world has been saying for years and I for one am tired of stupid decisions. Just look at Daytonology’s expose on the DDC. These people are fleecing the flock and we are prophets howling in the wind. We want transparency and a shot to express our opinion about how Dayton should be marketed.

    For instance, I watched Mike’s production of Meet Me In Washington with Idotha Bootsie Neal as she was interviewed about Wright Dunbar District. I mean have you rolled through that area? Her and Mike’s take on the progress was surreal in my opinion to the point where I wonder who has been funding Bootsie to “put on the blinders”.

    I contend their are systemic problems in Dayton and that the blogging community is exposing these cancers that require radiation, before the patient can heal. Your either for us or against us, as that favorite American politician as stated.

  27. Theresa Gasper February 21, 2008 / 12:28 pm
    Thanks for your thoughtful answers to my questions. I truly appreciate them.

    I know you all think I’m gullible and up for the PollyAnna of the Year award, but consider it playing devil’s advocate. If you go by standard stereotypes, Republicans are about business and Dems are social programs – very simplistic but bear with me. So isn’t it natural that employees who happen to be Rep will gravitate toward business jobs and Dems may gravitate toward social agencies? Again, very simplistic.

    My point is that the DDC is about econ dev, jobs, the economy – not all just Republican concerns obviously, but it does appear likely that it would draw employees who are Republican, or who have contacts with other Reps. You guys support Esrati because you believe in him and what he wants to accomplish. Is it hard to believe that people like JP, Lefty or other DDC board members are simply doing the same thing? Should I or others assume that your intentions are sinister? I mean, David makes a point of saying he won’t accept money from PACs, corps or spec int groups – coincidentally the very sources that are tracked on the watch dog sites. That could be construed as suspicious, don’t you think?

    For example, my hubby accuses me of being Republican only because my Mother is. I started out that way, but when I bought a secretarial service that catered to DoD contractors when I was 25 years old, I spent my time with mostly R’s (it’s too long to keep typing out). AND, when my first hubby & I were married and bought my grandmother’s house, Jimmy Carter was in office and the interest rate on our mortgage was 16.75%. That combination is what formed my political ties as an adult.

    However, given my current interests in housing, neighborhoods and the slaughter of all who engage in predatory lending – people often mistake me for a Dem. My hubby is a Dem, a serial entrepreneur, and often accused of being a Rep. Enough background, I’m sure you don’t care.

    My point is that the DDC has scored one BIG win in its existence (no matter what the name) and that was pulling together the Region and winning in the latest round of BRAC. They saved jobs and it remains to be seen whether or not we’ll get the ones from Brooks, Hanscom & Rome – people often don’t transfer with a BRAC.

    To me, that’s GOOD for Dayton. What they are trying to do with the brand is GOOD for the region. My hubby has encouraged them to take the same approach they used for BRAC (pulling everyone together and speaking as one voice) to keep other businesses here – or to get them to consolidate their jobs here.

    I don’t think you can place the blame of college kids leaving town on Turner’s shoulders. It’s a rust belt issue that the entire state of Ohio and others in this part of the country are facing. Kids are leaving here because we don’t have jobs for them. Someone in Five Rivers told me they’re seeing a huge trend of 30 somethings moving back to Dayton. They went to the “big city” for the job, the glamour and the lifestyle, decided to have kids and finally figured out they’ll never be able to afford a house in the Big City, so they come back to Daytion to raise their families.

    I totally agree with healthy discussion and dissent – it’s what this country was founded on. And I agree the Internet is changing the world and elections.

    I guess my long winded point boils down to this…isn’t this type of discussion much more productive than just hurling accusations or personal attacks? It’s clear to me you guys have a lot to say and you care passionately about Dayton or you wouldn’t take the time to post your thoughts for the world to see. So how do we capitalize on that? How do we have healthy, passionate yet RESPECTFUL discussions focused on the solutions rather than the problems? How do we correct the sytem, not hurl accusations at the people within it.

    Please don’t take that as I’m insinuating that those type of debates don’t take place here, I’m generalizing about all blogs. You guys have been doing this for a while, and have for all intents and purposes formed a small clique…click… how do you spell that word? So as an outsider joining the conversation midstream the threads can look a little vicious at times. And sorry for all the “you guys” but I use it to show ‘you’ as in plural vs ‘you’ as in singular so now one feels singled out.

    If you had a magic wand, if you were king or queen for a day what is the ONE thing you would try to change to make Dayton better?

    In fact, David, would it be worth starting a separate thread on that alone? I pitched it to the DDN and they haven’t run with it. I know you have the poll on your home page but this might expand the discussion.

    David & Greg, thanks for taking the time to clarify your thoughts, you may not change my mind but you’ve expanded it. I hope the feeling is mutual.

  28. Greg Hunter February 21, 2008 / 1:26 pm
    If you had a magic wand, if you were king or queen for a day what is the ONE thing you would try to change to make Dayton better?

    Let’s just be honest, the reason they are coming back here is that they have equity in the house and they can move their family into a school system where everyone talks, acts and dresses like them.

    First and foremost I have spoken and looked at the problem forever it seems and either A) I cannot explain it well or B) people lack the data skills to comprehend the interweaved issues.

    I think the answer to the problem is sprawl. If there were no more Waste Water Treatment Plants, Interchanges and Road Widening in Ohio, then people would have to use the existing infrastructure, and there is plenty. My concern is that wealth is created in part by the house and in Dayton we have been decreasing housing values in many older areas by taking tax money and building new places too sprawl into, while we abandon older places that have race or low employment problems.

    Now in my heart of hearts I think this is just a side benefit on the moratorium on sprawl as I am frightened to my depths about the lack of discussion about how Americans are burning up energy to live as far from possible from others in huge wasteful houses. This policy is part of the problems that we will face as a country. In Ohio we have driven out farmers who locally supplied produce. This IS coming back to bite us and we have to address it NOW. I have been preaching this as part of the stupidity of Austin Road and the Development Policies of America. Can you say Subprime! This is not a Republican or Democrat thing it is the Right Thing.

    The Military does not care about these issues as they are building COAL to JET FUEL plants so we can project force. These are bad ideas and does not a future make. War is unsustainable.

    I have tried to have these discussions with Dayton as a member of the Chamber’s Sub Committee on Environment. The Environment Committee would not even entertain a discussion of the consequences of rising Energy Prices due to Peak Oil. They scoffed in 2002 and 2005, when Capital was more available to address these issues and now infrastructure costs are rising and we have shot our wad building big boxes over Farm Land. Hell Yes I am pissed off and very afraid, but remember I am a Republican and a 2nd Amendment lover, who is willing to eat his own.

  29. Greg Hunter February 21, 2008 / 1:36 pm
    Wait this is Dayton and I live here so my perception cannot be trusted. Try this link
  30. Theresa Gasper February 21, 2008 / 3:10 pm
    Greg, I could not agree with you more. Sprawl is a huge problem for so many reasons and on so many levels….and you’d be amazed how people really do see eye to eye on that issue.

    Anyone else?

  31. yvan melnikoff February 21, 2008 / 3:13 pm
    These are becoming distressingly circular discussions.

    A government contract software engineer produces a program to return the astronauts to earth following a space mission. He got the contract no bid from his cousin, and the software program doesn’t really work the way it’s supposed, but it might so we’re all gonna get behind it and use it anyway because,…well “ because we’re all in this together right!” Acceptable? Even if the context is a bit exaggerated the ethical issues run parallel. to the whole Turner, development, unity, regionalism thing.

    Turner Effect, the branding, regional development = flawed processes. Flawed processes produce flawed results. Each time a flawed process produces a flawed result the worth of the flawed result is generationally diminished. Garbage in-grabage out. It will NEVER get better until it is fixed. It will never get fixed until it gets torn apart.

    The “tearing apart criticism” (necessary to the fix) is like tearing out the walls of a rehab house; you’re never know what you’re going to find, it’s usually not good, and it almost always smells bad, but it has to done!

    Find a way to force consolidation of all local and regional development under a single auspice, audit functionality, and then clean out all the dead wood.

    In the basics of strategic planning there is a notion that challenges are also opportunities.

    The challenge here is that “the camps” are talking the same fight and disagreeing on the strategies. It is extraordinarily disconcerting to see so many strong lead horses pulling in opposite directions while the wagon sits in the barn.

    Intervention?!

    I hear Dr, Phil’s prices are dropping,…

    Finally,…The notion of a “dream Dayton” or “what would you change and how would it look” needs to be the Dayton Burning Man, buzzfest of creativity, It is a notion I have flogged through the blogs and the Dayton City paper since the first of the year,…lemme see what was I saying about frustration and circular arguments?!?

  32. Jeff February 21, 2008 / 4:02 pm
    “So, on the particular subject of the Lori Turner/Turner Effect decision to drop out of the branding campaign….what are your issues with the entire situation?”

    What are my issues?

    I was suprised to see Turner Effect drop out of the campaign. Even though the Dayton Daily News did raise the conflict of interest/favoritsm issue, and their Sunday op-ed and Mary McCarthy column reinforced this, Turner Effect did have the support of the DDC and the publisher of the DDN.

    So, good show of journalistic independence on the part of the DDN, that the editorial staff felt free to critique a project that was supported by their publisher.

    However, as has been pointed out I think at Dayton Most Metro, and maybe on this blog, it isn’t a good thing for the branding effort to have the ad agency leave in mid stream.

    Turner Effect leaving does remove the political “confilict of interest/favoritism” issue for Mike Turner, but hanging tough and weathering the controversy would have been better for the branding campaign (whether the campaign itself good or bad is another issue).

    Doing a lessons-learned on this:

    DDC should have not sole sourced such a high-viz campaign. Doing a source selection via a panel of outside account executives from, say, CIny & Cols, to select a local ad firm or joint venture (even if the firm was or jv included Turner Effect) would have removed the appearance of favoritism.

  33. Theresa Gasper February 21, 2008 / 4:15 pm
    Great stuff guys – keep it coming. I’m impressed with what you’re saying. At some point, we’re going to have to figure out what to do about it all though!
  34. Jeff February 21, 2008 / 4:17 pm
    “….needs to be the Dayton Burning Man, buzzfest of creativity, It is a notion I have flogged through the blogs and the Dayton City paper since the first of the year”

    buzzfest of creativity. Sounds interesting.

    ###

    ““what would you change and how would it look”

    I think I blogged on my new years wish for Dayton, what I wish would change, at the start of this post:

    http://daytonology.blogspot.com/2007/12/daytonology-man-women-of-year-2007.html

    How would it look?: Daytonians being as positive about their city a these Louisvillians are of theirs:

    http://www.consuminglouisville.com/one-thing-i-love-about-louisvi/

    …especially this post, which really does capture how the locals feel about their city, the civic pride and local patriotism:

    http://www.consuminglouisville.com/2008/01/one-thing-i-love-about-louisvi-15.php

  35. David Esrati February 21, 2008 / 6:00 pm

    Let’s start with the root problem- we have a leadership void in government. We have 68 municipalities- all fighting each other. That’s why we have the DDC, the DACC, the DDP, Citywide, Countwide, the MVRPC, the Eagles Forum- hell, I don’t even know them all.
    The reality- we won’t start acting as a region until we have regional government. Columbus, Indy, Louisville get it- we don’t.
    J. P. Nauseef gets paid more than Deb Feldman at the County and Rashad Young in the City- yet has practically NO FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. That’s insanity folks.
    Maybe if we paid the Mayor of Dayton more than a pittance- to be a strong leader- or let the City Manager run the joint like a CEO instead of a handmaiden to the Commission – we’d have a start.
    Ego’s and power struggles abound. We pay the wrong people- to do the wrong thing- with the wrong message.
    It’s time to blow up the dysfunctional web of repetitive and overlapping orgs and get one good one. It’s also time to stop trying to buy jobs- and instead provide what government is supposed to- infrastructure that works. That’s the thing they’ve all been ignoring.
    What is that infrastructure:
    Good Schools, Good Public Transport, Good Recreational Options, Fair Taxation, Solid Property Values, Efficient Government, Customer Focused Government, Public Safety, Water, Sewage, Trash Collection, Recycling, Safe Neighborhoods you get the point.
    Do those- and the jobs will come naturally.
    It’s easier for a healthy, attractive person to get a date- than it is an unhealthy, unattractive one- the same can be said for “economic development”- it comes to places that are healthy- it avoids locating in cancerous areas. We can’t keep “buying” our dates- we need to heal ourselves- and earn them.
    Hope this makes sense.

  36. yvan melnikoff February 26, 2008 / 8:35 am
    THIS IS FROM THE DAYTON DAILU NEWS

    Study says change essential for Dayton’s economic development
    Consultants outline six recommendations to help the city’s economic development delivery system.
    By Joanne Huist Smith
    Staff Writer
    Friday, December 14, 2007
    DAYTON — It’s time for change, Dayton. That’s the message coming from a study by KMK Consulting Company, LLC looking at ways to improve the city’s economic development delivery system.
    “We got six pretty significant recommendations and we’re certainly evaluating them and devising a plan of attack,” Young said.
    Five organizations impacting economic development in Dayton were reviewed as part of the study, including the city’s Department of Economic Development, CityWide Development Corporation, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority and the Greater Dayton Foreign Trade Zone.
    The study found the city’s biggest inefficiency fell in the area of business retention.
    “Everyone does it yet no one is responsible,” the study said.
    Another obstacle pointed out in the study, “none of the staff of the various organizations, nor any of their board members interviewed, indicated a willingness to give up any of their ‘turf’ and narrow their current scope of services.”
    The six recommendations include:
    • Creating a specialized agency to direct a new, consolidated business retention and expansion program for the city. The program should be managed by an independent agency on an interim basis until a development authority has been formed.
    All business retention activities currently being conducted for the city should be consolidated into the new program.
    • Create a government oversight committee to guide the consolidation of economic development services to achieve bold delivery system improvements for the city. The consolidation should be accomplished in six months.
    • Launch an initiative to reinvent downtown Dayton. The city, in partnership with the county and the private sector, should hire a national consultant to analyze the Dayton market and recommend ways to transform the city’s core into a residential community.
    • Form a city development authority or a city/county development authority that would be located at one site and called, the Dayton Montgomery County Growth Center. The collaborative would be governed by a private sector board selected by the mayor and Montgomery County Commission.
    • Create a private-sector deal fund. This support finance function would source and manage private-sector equity and debt into the development pipeline. Private sector funds can be raised from investors who are interested in the redevelopment of Dayton.
    • Expand support of the Regional Leaders Forum. This collaborative should be engaged in an advisory role focusing on regional cooperation. All the individual members of the Leaders Forum should have a interest in the competitive success of the urban core of the region that is the brand name of the region — Dayton.

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