County Veterans Service Commission Exec Director retires, job open

Herb Davis, retired from the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission last week and his position is posted.
The salary range is wide, and the potential contract long.
You must be a veteran, able to deal well with bureaucracy- and work under a board that doesn’t play well with others.

For those of you who don’t know what a Veterans Service Commission is, this job probably isn’t for you. The State of Ohio has one in every county- and it serves as a point of contact to deliver immediate assistance to veterans in need, helping them with housing, benefits, medical transport, and a host of other things. Money is set aside from the State to fund VSC’s based on population.

Montgomery County has played games with it’s VSC for decades, including the choice of board members, and the repatriating funds meant for veterans to the general fund. Even the lease of the office space in the old St. E’s is a political football.

This organization is ripe for fresh, enthusiastic, visionary new leadership, so if you have a love for veterans, are one yourself, and believe you can fight the county to allow you to do your job properly, please apply.

This organization could and should be a lot more active in our community- and serve a much larger number of veterans than it has in the past.

Outlaw capriciousness

The first time I heard the word capricious was in college. It was from my political science professor, Jim Jacobs at Wright State, in a conversation about the enforcement of historic zoning laws in Dayton. I felt I was being unfairly singled out for improving my $14,500 house, while a house in the Oregon District, owned by a judge (and now by library director Tim Kambitsch) had the exact same garage doors- yet I was being ordered to replace mine for being “vinyl imitating wood.”

He said the capricious enforcement of the laws was the problem. I had to look it up then. And it strikes me now as the essential problem in the United States.

Capricious is an adjective to describe a person or thing that’s impulsive and unpredictable, like a bride who suddenly leaves her groom standing at the wedding altar. You can criticize a fickle-minded person as capricious, but it could just as well describe quickly changing weather, as in “capricious spring storms.”

~vocabulary.com

The whole premise of laws, and justice, is that the scales are balanced, fair and blind. In the idealized American dream vision, Lady Justice holds a fine honed sword, the balanced scales, and is blindfolded.

However, we know that more poor black men end up in prison than rich white ones, despite there being a whole lot less black people in the population. Five times more likely, to be exact.

We know that the likelihood of death by police shooting is much higher for black men than for white ones. Three times more likely.

All of this isn’t necessarily linked to the faults of the justice system, which may just be reacting to the built in biases and failures of our country to live up to the idealized version of America set in place by the founding fathers. We all know these near sacred words, in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence- “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Yet, those truths aren’t really truths. The truth is, what makes someone happy actually may actually be the denial of others happiness. We could go down the rabbit hole of Karl Marx right now- and start discussing the merits of class structure and ownership of the means of production, but let’s just assume that we’re stuck with the systems we have, and why, when laws are made, they only have meaning when they are enforced equally.

The simplified rule of law; “the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.”

And the more nuanced version via the World Justice Project:

1. Accountability
The government as well as private actors are accountable under the law.

2. Just Laws
The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights.

3. Open Government
The processes by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced are accessible, fair, and efficient.
4. Accessible & Impartial Dispute Resolution
Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are accessible, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

When you look at those four pieces, that have to operate together, you start to see where we fail miserably in Dayton Ohio. Over and over, we have let little things slip by, accepted mediocrity and stripped away protections until we have reached a level of dysfunction that seemingly just can’t be overcome.  No one can keep tabs on those in power. We capriciously  create tax structures (Austin Landing having income taxes only on the working class). Things are done in private (school closing task forces). And, in order to enforce things as simple as the residency of a school board member- you are on your own.

And it gets expensive. Really expensive. Because the mistakes compound at an exponential rate. Need an example? How many lawsuits will we have to settle at the Montgomery County Jail?

Did I lose you?

One of the supposed fundamental points of differentiation between “liberals” and “conservatives” is the argument about the size of government. Conservatives like to complain about too much government and intervention, and liberals expect the government to solve all their problems.

Unfortunately, no one talks about too many governments.

Part of the equation of old was that the “Fourth Estate” would be a guiding hand to influence, shape and keep honest the other three- being the clergy, nobility, and the commoners. However, there was no official way to fund the workings of the fourth estate (sure NPR gets a pittance from the feds, but that’s not enough) and with the changes in technology and the media landscape, we’ve not figured out a new way to keep tabs on those in power- all of them.

We’ve allowed governments to multiply to a point where no one can keep tabs on all of it, and when someone like me, tries to shine a light on just one of the bodies of government, in this case, the Dayton Board of Education, we start seeing the raw underbelly of a beast that operates without checks and balances or even professional standards.

Part of the reason they get away with it is because the people they “work for” are too busy fighting for survival. Transplant any of the problems of DPS to a wealthier community and the outcomes would be much different.

Imagine if Centerville tried to throw a football game. The reaction would have been swift and deadly for those adults involved. A year and a half after the Dunbar/Belmont fiasco- Mark Baker gets moved out of his job (not fired) and all the building Athletic Directors lose theirs. That a district is moving to a system that hasn’t been done anywhere else in the State- and that it takes money away from teachers who counted on the extra stipend, is lost on this board of elected dilettantes.

In Tipp City, the athletic director hired some family members- and found himself out of a job and facing criminal charges. At DPS, we’re patting ourselves on the back just because no money was unaccounted for in athletics, and people who had “lost” money (euphemism for theft) were allowed to pay it back.

At this upcoming board meeting, the Superintendent wants to implement new salary guidelines for administrators based on years of experience and sizes of schools. Great. Yet, she turns right around and says something like “if it gives someone a $15K pay raise, we won’t do it, this is only for new people.” And, the board sits their and nods their heads in agreement? This is capriciousness at work.

One board member asks a question about contract bidding processes. Dr. Sheila Burton says something incredibly stupid- “We have a rubric for scoring proposals, but, we pick the best fit not the best cost” and the board member sits and lets this capricious horse shit answer fly. Nope, you don’t have a way of scoring proposals then, and you should be fired is the correct answer.

The board is about to grant all administrators and staff a 3% retroactive pay raise- because, well, the others all got pay raises. The admin/staff folks almost shut down the district two times because they didn’t want to pay the rank and file. We even spent over $200K to hire a staffing firm to back up the boards reluctance to negotiate- until they caved at the last minute. If you think you deserve a 3% pay raise- go to another district. The sad fact is, most of the people working at the top levels of DPS are making more than they are worth and our performance on state testing prove it. If this board agrees to a RETROACTIVE pay raise, they should be the first to be fired. We elected a new board because the last board kept telling us we didn’t have the money to pay paraprofessionals, and now this?

The reality is, if there was one county wide school board, we’d have money to pay teachers well. We’d have competent leadership, and we’d be able to keep track of things much better. This also goes for courts, police departments, city managers and everything else. Does Moraine, population around 6,500 really need a city manager? Who is paid $145K a year? That’s $24 a year out of every taxpayers pocket for a guy who does the exact same thing as the City Manager of Kettering- right next door- population 55,306, and gets paid $196,442 or only $3.55 per person a year. To go one further- Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein’s pay of $196,116 works out to only $1.40 per person. Start to see my point?

There is no more fourth estate to monitor the workings or misdeeds of all these banana republics- and that’s why we have capricious actions at every turn undermining the framework of our idealized democracy.

To leave you with a thought about all these governments running amok:

“Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”

? Cory Doctorow, Little Brother

It’s time to ban capriciousness- or at least, make sure we can keep an eye on the people we do elect.

Because it’s costing us a fortune.

Niccolò Lolli at the helm

Machiavelli was ruthless.

Machiavellianism is “the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct”.

Dr. Lolli announced the latest seating chart on the DPS tilt-a-whirl and analysis by the team behind esrati.com says she gets an A- for strategically solving some district problems.

Some of the people are being set up to fail, by being given horrible assistants, or assignments that should be a hint to leave. Others are being used to help set the stage for the next round of school closings. As Dr. Lolli says- this isn’t a final line-up, because she needs to find some new bodies to fill in the gaps- and she expects some to resign after seeing their new placements.

Good morning,
We are continuing to build the administrative team.
These changes are now being announced. A few adjustments from the last announcement have been made as we continue to make sure we have the best teams in place.
Edison: Jessica Reese, Principal
Myra Baker, Asst. Principal
Kemp: Stacy Maney, Principal
Gary Armstrong, Assistant Principal
Valerie: Shawnkeida Whitlow, Principal
Deidre Kelley, Assistant Principal
Teacher Leaders: Morgynne Hicks, Kristal Etter
Edwin Joel Brown: Channey Goode, Principal
Assistant Principals: Dale Robinson, Tiffany Bozeman
Wogaman: Basharus Simmons, Principal
Assistant Principals: Stacey Williams, Timothy McKinney
Wright Brothers: Eric Krissek, Principal
Assistant Principal : George Hurbanek
Belmont HS: Dr. Donetrus Hill, Principal
Assistants: Alice Owen-Clough, Karen Chichetti, Gerry Griffith
Dunbar Early College HS: Dr. Sean Henry, Principal
Assistants: Chris Caldwell, Dr. Lynda Huggins
Meadowdale HS: Nelson Stone
Assistant: Melinda Clark
Ponitz Career Center: Raymond Caruthers, Principal
Asistants : Daniel Hinshaw, Lolita Stevens
Stivers School for the Arts: Rachel Murdock, Dean of Academics/ Erin Dooley Assistant Principal: Adrienne WileyILC: Tasha Millerton, Assistant Principal
Chief of Curriculum, Instruction and PD: Carolyn Mack
Chief of Secondary Schools: Erin Dooley
District Athletic Director: Shawna Welch
Director of Outreach and Student Activities: Ida Nalls
Director of Professional Development and Curriculum
Support: Ryan Tait
Associate Director of Truancy: Mark Baker
We still have a few vacancies to fill in a few of the buildings.
Congratulations to each of these administrators!!
Elizabeth J. Lolli, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Dayton Public Schools
115 S. Ludlow Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402
(937) 542-3530
(937) 542-3555 (Fax)

As long as she relies on Dr. Sheila Burton, Marsha Bonhart and doesn’t figure out a true head of operations, she’s doomed.

However, moving Erin Dooley to supervise all the high schools is long overdue. The only proven principal in the district, Dooley can serve as a mentor/troubleshooter/drill sergeant to the principals being thrown into the fires of what passes for High Schools in DPS.

At the upcoming review session, she’s also hiking staff and admin salaries, retroactively, – with the odd explanation: “To better align with increases received by members of our bargaining units, I recommend an increase of 3% to the salary scale for Administrators and District Support Staff, retroactive to July 1, 2017.”

For the bargaining units- you waited until the last minute to sign, throwing the district into chaos? There was no retroactive pay for the teachers. And, you and your former boss, Rhonda Corr had no problem throwing several hundred thousand at Huffmaster for the strike that never happened.

At some point, you are going to say you’re broke and come to the taxpayers with yet another F on your report card- and want more money.

Yet- there were no RFPs or RFQs for research. Just a line item “Contract between Hanover Research Council and DBOE for research services, research reports, survey design, administration and analysis, interviews, benchmarking metrics. Effective July 1, 2018. $42,000 annually”

I’m still waiting for the communications that were used between DPS and the Montgomery County ESC to hire Burges and Burges for their survey. It seems all of a sudden, we’re flush with money.

And the legal bills keep coming: “Increase $158,000 to provide legal services to the district for various legal matters on an as needed basis for the 2017-2018 school year. Not to exceed $323,000 Originally approved on June 2017 board agenda Board Agenda: May 15, 2018”
“Increase $65,000 to provide legal services to the district for various legal matters on an as needed basis for the 2017-2018 school year. Not to exceed $240,000 Originally approved on June 2017 board agenda Board Agenda: May 15, 2018”
That’s over half a million, and DPS has an internal legal staff as well.
There is also another large chunk of money going to the Montgomery County Educational Service Center- a slush fund operation, which operates with Dayton tax dollars- but Dayton residents can’t serve on its board: “Increase purchase order by $91,841.12 due to vendor increasing rates for one on one

assistants services during the 2017-2018 school year. Originally approved December 19, 2017
Board Agenda Not to Exceed $341,841.12 For May 15, 2018 Board Agenda”
On personnel issues, there are some non-renewals- including the Ruskin Principal, Jennifer Dearwester, and the assistant principal at Ponitz who was part of the failure to keep a riot from getting a teacher dragged down the hall- Debra Corbin is non-renewed and the other assistant, Julie Nighswander, resigned.
Dr. Bob Bucheim got demoted to “Associate Director, Secondary Social Studies” which should serve as a hint that he’s no longer useful to the district and that he should be job hunting elsewhere.
There will be some battles over the other non-renewals, but, this board will sit in a trance and let the Superintendent get involved in more lawsuits. I’m starting to wonder if the new board members weren’t sponsored by the local bar association.
The real question is what happens this fall, if the district doesn’t pull a rabbit out of the hat with improved annual yearly progress to stop the State from stepping in. The last team to get an A in AYP was headed by Lisa Minor and David Lawrence who have both left the district. And, while it’s early in the resignation season, many DEA members are saying they just can’t take another year of the tilt-a-whirl, and we’ll see how many abandon the good ship Lolli-pop.
Less victims for Dr. Niccolò Lolli.
Machiavelli, however, is applauding from his tomb.

Why isn’t Chuck Taylor being charged with perjury?

Chuck Taylor is a Baliff in Montgomery County- who lied on the stand as the Dunbar High School Basketball Coach

Chuck Taylor is a Baliff in Montgomery County- who lied on the stand as the Dunbar High School Basketball Coach

At some point, someone has to start applying the law to members of the Monarchy of Montgomery County- and or elected folks.

Last year, I published the story of people getting pepper sprayed in restraints in the Montgomery County Jail– right after Sheriff Phil Plumer said it was a random occurrence. He lied. And not only is he still in office, the people torturing inmates still have their jobs, or were allowed to retire with a medical retirement. Phil is now running for State Rep.

Then I published clear evidence that School Board Member Adil Baguirov not only was ineligible to be on the board, but had also committed voter fraud, claiming a shit house as his place of residence for voting. It took a threat of a mandamus filing to get him to resign months later to get him out of office. He’s now planning on running for County Recorder.

I posted on March 12, 2018 that video existed showing that Chuck Taylor, the rookie Dunbar Boys Basketball coach, lied on the stand. No investigation was started by the prosecutors office. He hasn’t been fired by Dayton Public Schools, even though they just had to pay $50K to the Ohio High School Athletic Association for their legal costs and apologize to other schools and get smacked with even more sanctions- including no post season play for Dunbar.

Let’s also remind people that School Board Member Sheila Taylor also works for Dayton Municipal Court with Taylor- and that she advocated for his hiring by DPS, and voted to go on this wild goose chase court case along with the rest of the board. A board that seems to protect it’s hires and bad hires more than the kids they are supposed to serve.

What’s worse, is this liar works for Judge Dan Gehres, every day, administering an oath in court to poor folks, who would be thrown in jail for lying to the court. He still has his job.

But- now that it’s “Front Page News” in the Dayton Day-Old news, (in this case- month old)- will anyone step up and do their job?

Let’s define perjury: “the offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court after having taken an oath or affirmation.
synonyms: lying under oath, giving false evidence/testimony, making false statements, willful falsehood”

And, Ohio Revised Code:

2921.11 Perjury.
(A) No person, in any official proceeding, shall knowingly make a false statement under oath or affirmation, or knowingly swear or affirm the truth of a false statement previously made, when either statement is material.

(B) A falsification is material, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, if it can affect the course or outcome of the proceeding. It is no defense to a charge under this section that the offender mistakenly believed a falsification to be immaterial.

(C) It is no defense to a charge under this section that the oath or affirmation was administered or taken in an irregular manner.

(D) Where contradictory statements relating to the same material fact are made by the offender under oath or affirmation and within the period of the statute of limitations for perjury, it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove which statement was false, but only that one or the other was false.

(E) No person shall be convicted of a violation of this section where proof of falsity rests solely upon contradiction by testimony of one person other than the defendant.

(F) Whoever violates this section is guilty of perjury, a felony of the third degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-1974.
Source: Lawriter – ORC – 2921.11 Perjury.

Yet, there it is- in the paper.

Dunbar varsity coach Chuck Taylor filed an affidavit March 2 swearing that the player at the center of an eligibility dispute “was not involved in the (Jan. 10) altercation” that the Ohio High School Athletic Association said led to him being ineligible.

Then in a March 6 court hearing, Taylor, who is also a bailiff for Dayton Municipal Court, said he went above and beyond to make sure he had it right.

“I probably watched that video 50 times just to make sure — I value my integrity — just to make sure that kid was not on the floor,” Taylor said in his March 6 testimony.

But after new cellphone video was submitted, both OHSAA and Dayton Public Schools acknowledged last week that the player did, in fact, leave the bench and go into the fight.

“The player was seen in the videos in the fight,” DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said Thursday. “I’m not going to speculate on whether or not someone was not telling the truth.”

Taylor did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment for this story.

Taylor had testified March 6 that he passed the player, referred to in court as “John Doe,” immediately outside the locker room, away from the court, near the start of the brawl.

Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Krumholtz called Taylor’s account “the unrefuted explanation” that was key to his decision.

Last week’s joint press release from DPS and OHSAA clearly mentions Taylor’s impact in the case, quoting directly from the judge’s ruling: “The court further found, ‘thus, as Coach Taylor testified, John Doe was already in the locker room hallway before the fight broke out.’ ”

Asked whether the new brawl video clearly showed Taylor and the key “John Doe” player on the court at the same time, OHSAA officials said they had not looked for that specific detail, and would need to watch the videos again to answer.

Asked whether the player was only in the brawl for a few seconds, and could have quickly then gone into the hallway, OHSAA spokesman Tim Stried said it was longer than that.

OHSAA Executive Director Dan Ross viewed the new video and photo evidence with DPS staff.

“Dr. Ross … said that we don’t plan to pursue legal action against Chuck Taylor or other DPS personnel,” Stried said. “The court could pursue action, of course, especially since Chuck Taylor is employed by the court.”

DPS spokeswoman Marsha Bonhart said Friday that Lolli would not answer this news organization’s further questions about the case, saying, “she feels everything has been said.”

But questions remain about the “corrective measures”

Lolli said DPS has already taken, as well as the personnel changes that she said will be effective for next school year. And there are questions about the fate of Taylor, after Lolli said it was “yet to be determined” whether he will return as coach.

Questions not asked:

Recognizing players: Taylor testified that he was only able to identify three jersey numbers of players in the video of the fight. He said he had numerous others watch the tape and asked them, “tell me what numbers you see,” with similar results. Early in his testimony Taylor said he was able to identify people while the brawl was actually happening.

“It’s a brawl or melee. I see parents, players, administrators and community, kids from the school, on the court fighting — everybody landing punches,” Taylor testified.

But he was never asked on the stand, by either attorney, which players he recognized by face or by physical build — either during the fight itself, or on the video later.

What did the key player say: Neither DPS nor OHSAA would comment on whether they asked the player himself if he had gone onto the court for the fight. But testimony suggests OHSAA did not ask. In court, DPS attorney Brian Wildermuth pressed OHSAA staffer Ben Ferree twice on that issue, demanding to know why he had not asked the player if he left the bench.

Ferree said it would have been a waste of time, suggesting he would not have gotten reliable information.

Despite having challenged OHSAA on the issue in court, DPS would not answer whether they themselves had asked the player about going into the fight — or whether he lied or told the truth if they did ask.

Judge’s key wording: Krumholtz, in a crucial part of his ruling, wrote that “as Coach Taylor testified, John Doe was already in the locker room hallway before the fight broke out. As such, John Doe was not in violation of Rule 10-5-5 … (and) was an eligible player …”

But Taylor only testified that he knew the player’s whereabouts after the fight broke out, not before. Taylor said in court that he was inside the locker room drawing plays on the chalkboard when the fight started and only came into the hallway after he heard the commotion of the fight under way. On cross examination, OHSAA attorney Steven Craig asked him, “You say you passed (the player) in the hallway once the fight had started?” and Taylor answered, “Yes, sir.”

Asked last week about the discrepancy on the timing, Krumholtz declined comment, saying through his bailiff that “a court can only speak about any case through its decisions.”

Source: New video refutes coach’s testimony – Dayton Daily News

If we don’t see Chuck Taylor charged with perjury, and removed from both the coaching job, and his job as Baliff, as well as his being responsible for reimbursing DPS for the legal costs associated with this case, it’s time to call in the Department of Justice to start a Racketeering case against the people in office in Montgomery County and at the State level.

At some point, when, as a country of laws, we stop applying them equally to those in power, as to those without, we stop having a functioning government.

thumbnail of Esrati.Bills Redacted.042518

This is how much they’ve wasted to protect themselves when they were wrong. Click to download PDF

One other issue. I asked for the bills of Subashi and Wildermuth concerning this case and my case over a month ago. I have the bills for my case, over the illegal secret meeting bus tour of schools to close, showing DPS has paid Wildermuth:

CUMULATIVE FEES TO DATE: $12,435.00
CUMULATIVE COST TO DATE: $49.70

The costs for the Dunbar case are significantly higher, yet they have not provided them.

The incompetence and illegal behavior must be stopped.

 

Retail politics and May 8, 2018 election

thumbnail of esrati 2018 central committee sm

What educated voters in Dayton 1-D are getting hand delivered. Click to download PDF

The way you win elections isn’t with :30 second TV spots, yard signs, or facebook ads.

At least that’s not how the most successful campaigns do it anymore.

It’s all data driven, trying to target most likely voters, and deciding who we need to get out and vote. It’s done through personal contact, door knocking, volunteers calling, and endless data collection and analysis.

Or- you ignore all the data, and just realize you have to meet and convince more voters than your opponent and hope.

That only works when you are running for something as small as precinct captain, which, yours truly is.

I’ve got 2 opponents. One has even printed a tri-fold brochure. So I have to out work, out knock, and out talk him.

Which is what I’ve been doing including enough time in the sun yesterday to be told by my mother that I’m sunburned.

I was also preaching the sermon for Darryl Fairchild and to vote yes on Issue 1.

And here are the takeaways:

  • Despite all efforts to clear voter rolls and eliminate old data, there are still some people on the rolls who shouldn’t be (hadn’t voted since the 90’s, dead, house has been torn down).
  • That some homes in my neighborhood have had multiple addresses- and the voter rolls still haven’t been fixed.
  • Party affiliations are often wrong.
  • A ton of “UNC” or unclassified voters- way more than D or R. So no matter how much the two parties think they should rule the roost of the Board of (S)Elections- by the look of things, we’re letting the foxes run the hen house. And many of them are pissed that they can’t vote for me as Precinct Captain and Gary Leitzel for County Commission at the same time.
  • Issue 1- most had no clue it was on the ballot.

What we need more than any ballot reform- is a real voter information system. No one seems to know where to go to find in-depth, relevant information about each candidate and race. If we had a board of elections that took their job seriously, we’d have a better system than what we have now.

thumbnail of Sample ballot 1-D

Sample Ballot for Dayton 1-D for a Dem in the May 8, 2018 election (Click to download entire PDF)

For now- if you want to know what your ballot sort of looks like- you can go here and download your personalized ballot.

https://www.voterfind.com/montgomeryoh/ballotlist.aspx

Then you have a choice of party, or issues only, to see what will be on the ballot in your precinct.

You should go, download a ballot, and research every issue, candidate, and try to make a decision long before you go to the polls.

If we’d switch to vote by mail, like Oregon (the State, not the district) did long ago, we could even mail a catalog with equal space for every candidate to summarize their candidacy and provide links to their site, for more information.

If we had a system like that- we could eliminate 90% of campaign ads, mailers, signs and stupidity.