“Not me” blamed in Urban League failure

Teflon. A non-stick coating, applied to pans so food won’t stick.

Teflon Status- a non-stick coating given certain people who aren’t held responsible for their actions in Dayton.

County administrator Deborah Feldman is the queen of teflon, but don’t expect anything to change there. She’s still playing with our money, without any oversight from the County Commissioners who seem to oblivious to the fact that when Federal money starts getting mishandled, eventually the FBI will show up and they too, will be held responsible. Need proof- look to Cuyahoga County.

But, it’s not just the people you know who have had a hand in this. There is a group I’m going to call “The league of extraordinary gentle women” who broker their bosses corporate power in the non-profit arena. They back candidates, they pull strings, they take care of their friends- and they are loved by everyone. Their titles sound like this “Director of Foundation giving ” or “VP of Community Relations.”

Even with belt tightening our local corporations still know they need to have a person “inside” the local political structure to open doors for things like tax breaks, grants and legislative assistance. The number of people in this private club has shrunk as companies have bailed out of the area, consolidating power in their hands.

When we look to the failure of the Urban League, no eyes have been turned to the board of trustees. Where was the oversight on their part? When the DDN asked:

Trustee board chair Ginny Strausburg did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday.
via Community members rally to reopen Urban League.

The first rule in investigative journalism is to follow the money. What other organizations has DP&L propped up? Long known as a place for deposed politicians to pick up a paycheck, DP&L  also feels the need to spend money from our utility bills to tell us “Tomorrow Starts Today” on billboards and TV ads. Hmmmm- is this a way to pay off the media not to investigate where they spend their extra cash in the community?

When it comes to politicians questioning where the money went, the best the DDN can do is turn to Dayton Mayor Gary Letitzell- without tying the city to the Urban League- and getting this stupid sounding quote in print (because the paper loves to pick on Gary)

Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell said there will be considerable pressures on other area nonprofits if the Urban League remains closed.

“If 250,000 people gave a dollar each the problem would go away,” Leitzell said referring to comments last week by Strausburg that $250,000 was needed immediately to keep the Dayton Urban League’s doors open.

via Community members rally to reopen Urban League.

Of course, when we pay taxes to the County and the County then funnels the money to the Urban League that’s like 250,000 people each giving a dollar. It’s what the Human Services Levy is supposed to do. However, once again- there seems to be no oversight on this money. Maybe in part, because we don’t have a chief ethics official in the county- and maybe because the people on this board are all terrified of ticking off “The league of extraordinary gentle women” that backstop almost every large non-profit in town.

The Urban League failure is being tied to the Reverend Raleigh Trammell, a man who was convicted of welfare fraud long ago, and then handed duties of overseeing welfare dollars for a segment of a community. This doesn’t even cut it in bad fiction- but in Dayton, it’s been the status quo for years.

When the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce was caught in the Eighties behaving badly- with an executive director buying lingerie and daytime room rentals at the Marriott on his expense account- things got cleaned up and a new puba installed. The dirt was swept under the rug and the organization was propped up good as new. When it comes to an organization that helps poor people of color- the same won’t be done, its usefulness in their eyes has been served. We don’t have race riots anymore- we don’t have firebrand leaders from the African American community anymore- we’ve made sure that people like Dean Lovelace are quietly tucked away, and others hired into the system to keep them quiet.

Besides, there is nothing of value left in West Dayton- the GM plants are closed, the landfills are in place and the population that’s left can’t re-elect their Mayor- despite her huge campaign chest funded from the same group of people.

In terms of money that was mishandled, the Urban League was working with chump change. More was wasted for “Get Midwest,” an absent minded marketing campaign devised by a Congressman Mike Turner’s wife, Lori Turner and “The Turner Effect” to the tune of almost a million dollars. The County gave $750K to that project, without oversight.

As always, the same person is always responsible: “Not me.”

Until we find “Not me” and hold them accountable- don’t expect anything to change. Any person with half a brain would draw the conclusion that Deb Feldman is “Not me”- but, not me. I think she’s just another puppet of “The league of extraordinary gentle women.”

They have the money, and always start with the money.

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