I could write a long post about the editorial board interview, I took three pages of notes. Probably more than the editorial board. We also had reporter Joanne Huist Smith, and Assistant Metro Editor Anthony Shoemaker in the room- and a photographer for a bit.
Most of the questions came from Martin Gottleib and Ellen Belcher. Scott Elliott (with 2 “t”s -sorry Scott) only asked me how handing over the airport as a beginning of regionalism to a regional responsibility was a good idea. None of them seemed convinced that regionalism involves common sense- but, that’s another story.
Nan was visibly shaking through most of it. Joey sounded as if the pilot light was out. There was no energy- and no ideas discussed. Nan spent a lot of time talking about tearing things down. Joey talked about good financial management. Neither could point to any real accomplishments other than as Nan put it “we’re good at managing bad.” Truer words probably have not been spoken.
Neither Nan or Joey would say anything other than they have open minds toward regionalism. When asked when the City would go online with the regional 911 dispatch, neither had a clue. Their only effort toward regionalism, and they couldn’t answer the question.
Nan said she thought the priority board system was a mess- and that she paid more heed to neighborhood presidents, but had no plan for an alternative.
Joey spoke about his advocacy of youth programs and the hiring of a “Youth Director” and the “youth council”- however, this is kind of pathetic after 8 years in office.
They both defended the illegal work sessions as perfectly OK- and that there was no need to hold these meetings at the charter specified legal meeting. On this issue alone, the paper should rip them to shreds, but won’t.
I can’t say how many times Nan talked about tearing things down, but it had to be almost every other line. Her best was that she would continue to “attack the war on blight.” Uh, did you mean, uh, nevermind…
Martin asked to point out what cities were doing things right, to compare Dayton to others. I spoke about Portland Oregon’s smart government that started fighting sprawl long ago, and unigov. Nan and Joey said we’re in better shape than Toledo.
When asked what they tell developers coming to town as a recruitment speech, both struggled- but Joey finally came up with short commutes, the arts, sports (UD hoops and the Dragons) our “underutilized” river- and talked about how we don’t applaud ourselves enough. Me- I’ve got lots of posts talking about this- including the one that Dan Foley quoted when getting sworn in.
But, the best part was when Martin asked who we’d rather serve with. I jumped in and started since we already knew what they’d say. I questioned Nan’s $5,500 donation, her political party hackism, her focus on tearing down- and that I’d have to pick Joey over her. Joey was nice enough to acknowledge our friendship and our ability to have spirited debate, but toed the party line. Martin seemed surprised by the donation- and asked Nan who gave her the money. She said “Kitt Cooper” but almost made it as if she barely knew him- she “thought” he owned a demolition company, “Vance” something- and that his son lived on the West side of Dayton, but, she’d only met him once. Hmmmmm.
One other nugget. Apparently, Tim Riordan as interim City Manager was suggested by current assistant City Manager Stan Early to Matt Joseph and Nan over lunch. Considering neither of them have been around long enough to have known Tim Riordan was interesting enough. The part about their “great city manager” not being able to groom a successor, was a point lost on the editorial board.
I quoted Steve Jobs: “A people hire A people. B people hire C people.” Martin asked for clarification about what grade I was giving the commission- Joey answered a “B”- but, the reality is that’s giving them credit.
Their lack of vision, ideas, an ability to separate themselves from each other only said that neither were worth a vote or an endorsement since you’ll end up with one by default. But, that’s just my opinion on the sit-down. We’ll have to wait for the Editorial board to rule from their throne.