No primary: time to revamp the charter

As this is published, the Montgomery County Board of Elections is meeting to review the results of the petition process.

Sources have told me that only Gary Leitzell will be allowed on the ballot to challenge incumbent Mayor Rhine McLin. In the Commission race, Nan Whaley and Joey Williams will only face one challenger, me, David Esrati.

Out of all the people filing, only 2 challengers met the task. Not all the people listed here previously turned in petitions.

Of those who did, most failed to get enough “valid signatures.” One candidate had “nominating committee” members who didn’t live in the city.

This says only one thing: the process needs some review and changes.

  1. The petitions should be available as a PDF that can be filled out on a computer. We’re not in the typewriter age anymore. The “Military flip” style of printing makes it difficult to fill out on a computer- since data can’t be entered upside down.
  2. The language on the petition needs to meet the law: the line “this petition, if found insufficient, shall be returned to” does not comply with the law.
  3. The petition should only ask for information required for filing. Asking for Ward, Precinct or Date of Signing isn’t required by the Charter (I’m not sure about the address being required- however it would be hard to verify signatures without it).
  4. The Board of Elections is actually looking for “Signatures”- yet the petition asks for “Name.” There is a difference in their eyes. If the charter truly calls for a signature- the petition should ask for both.
  5. The notary process is an added step that adds zero credibility to the process. It needs to be removed.
  6. Lastly, there should be a sample petition and instructions available to all. Lack of both, calls into question the legitimacy of this law.

The question of 500 signatures should also be examined. Only 50 are needed to run for U.S. Congress. The original requirement was 1,200 until the early ’80’s, according to former city official, Paul Woodie. Although I think the requirement is burdensome, I think that this is a better filtering function than most. I would only say that if this is going to be the requirement, I would not allow anyone but the candidates themselves to collect signatures, and force it to be door-to-door. That way, the incumbents can freeze their butts off in February as well.

Lastly, the whole process of electing the Mayor separately from the other two seats needs to be examined. It’s become a costly sideshow, for a position that has no more power than that of the rest of the commission. I propose the person with the most votes sitting on the commission, wins the seat. From all five seats. That way, the jockeying stops- and hopefully, we have the best 5 people available on the commission.

In evaluating whom you want on your commission- ask these questions of each of the other candidates. It’s a pretty good start to changing business as usual in the City of Dayton.

I’ll have the official BOE reports later. In the meantime, the BOE, not the People, has spoken- there will be no primary.

The system has done its best to keep the status quo.

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9 Responses

  1. A registered voter March 10, 2009 / 9:31 pm
    You talk about following the rules,you need to follow your own advice. Several years ago you came to a city commission meeting dressed in a black ninja outfit and made a ass out of yourself and the city. When you were arrested you bragged about it, this show you have no respect for the commission or the city inwhich you want people to elect you to. If you want my vote grow up ! Stop be rude when people are talking and you make comments aloud for all to here. Are you going to do this when people are speaking before the commission? I cant vote for a person that cant respest themselves you have good ideas and could make a differents but do it the right way

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  2. David Esrati March 10, 2009 / 9:41 pm

    @a registered voter.
    I’m sorry you think I made an @ss out of myself and the city. However, you are grossly misinformed. The facts are here: http://esrati.com/mission/Mask.htm
    If you think that the City Commission should meet in illegal private sessions- great.
    If you think that citizens shouldn’t be allowed to speak at meetings- great.
    If you think the Constitution of the United States is a laughing matter- great.
    Watch the video from one of Dayton’s most respected attorneys, David Greer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG9PQydgwHA&feature=PlayList&p=599D4F05E1EE31AD&index=0
    He has the legal training to understand what really happened.
    It was much more than “several years ago” and- 5 courts said I was right and the city- and especially the Mayor- Mike Turner, were wrong.
    I’m sorry you don’t understand what happened- it’s been hard for people to comprehend, but, respect goes both ways. The Commission has to respect the voters- and they haven’t- by violating the “Sunshine laws”
    I suggest you read more about them- and what happened.
    Maybe you’ll change your mind- maybe you’ll come out to hear me speak.
    I have done a lot of “growing up” since 1996- I hope you will see that, if you talk to me.

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  3. A registered voter March 10, 2009 / 9:57 pm
    I did not say you couldnt do a good job. You have great fresh ideas and the city needs that if its going to survive but remember most of the time you only have once chance sadly our world judges people bases on the first time they met them, I had to learn this the hard way. I truely feel you could do a great job. I am willing to give you a second chance

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  4. David Esrati March 10, 2009 / 10:43 pm

    @registered voter
    Thank you. I’ve learned some lessons the hard way as well.
    Hopefully- if I have the honor to represent you- this site will keep lines of communication open, and be a constant reminder of whom I am representing.

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  5. L Romas March 11, 2009 / 11:07 am
    David great ideas all around. Charter revisions are mandated in the city charter, could be a real campaign issue for you. Beavercreek chooses their mayor in a similar fashion to what you have suggested. Three of their council members are chosen for a four year term. The highest vote getter becomes the mayor for 2 years. At the end of that two year term the other 4 councilmembers are elected. The highest votegetter of that cycle becomes the mayor for the next two years.

    http://ci.beavercreek.oh.us/city-offices/city-council/

    The current petition process favors the establishment and those with party support. Notice that the only ones to make the ballot are either incumbents, opposition supported and you, the guy who studies this stuff in his free time. The folks who did this alone, outside the party structure, missed the ballot because of fatal flaws in petitions.

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  6. Mark Anthony Newberry March 11, 2009 / 1:31 pm
    Thanks for the Info-NOW I’m looking at one of those positions to run for that requires ONLY 50 Signatures

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  7. A registered voter March 11, 2009 / 7:55 pm
    FYI the meeting for the Wayne/Wyoming Redevelopment is on the 17th at 4:30pm not the 19th as stated in you article

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  8. David Esrati March 12, 2009 / 4:38 am

    @registered- updated, thanks!

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