Primary or no primary? 5 Dayton City Commission candidates turn in signatures

[UPDATE] The day after turn-in deadline, the DDN now reports that Larry Ealy has also turned in petitions to be on the ballot.

I’m not quite sure how this happened- the Board of Elections told me only 4 had filed- and I was leaving at just before 4- and there was only one candidate filing- and he reportedly didn’t have enough signatures.

If you don’t remember Larry- I have a video from the last Mayoral campaign that’s indicative of his style: It begins with “When I take over this city…”


I turned in my signatures at 3:45 today. 544 hard-earned signatures, knocking on probably 6x that many doors- going by the voter registration lists.

I had some help as well- more than I’ve asked for in the past. Unfortunately- a few people didn’t come through- and I don’t have the “insurance buffer” I would have liked. My fault for not working harder, longer.

Of course, the incumbents, Matt Joseph and Dean Lovelace will be on the ballot. Incumbents never face the same scrutiny of their petitions- despite often being circulated on city property, to city employees on the job, by other politicians and party people who draw a paycheck from the taxpayers.

I’ve protested these infractions before to deaf ears.

William Pace has been circulating petitions since last fall- and is on the ballot.

My neighbor, Mark Manovich, a lawyer with Robbins and Myers, turned in over 600- including about 120 that I and my girlfriend helped collect.

If all clear the process around Monday at noon- we have a primary- a stupid waste of money that actually reduces the voters’ choices at election time.

The petition process is odd- 500 signatures are required of Dayton registered voters- and the petition circulator must sign the petition as complete in front of a notary public, before turn-in. There is no verification process of the actual signers that the circulator can undertake, and asking people to see ID would be awkward. Note- the petition asks for “NAME”  on the petition- not “SIGNATURE” and the Board of Elections throws names out that don’t have “legal signatures”- yet- when voters go to vote- they have you sign- looking directly at a printout of a “legal signature” along with presenting ID, which one would say makes it too easy to forge a signature given an example.

And while the petition is checked for proper filling out of all blanks – the “Ward” and “PCT” isn’t required to be filled out- probably because EVERYONE would fail the process. Either the petition is valid- and its requirements must be met- or it’s not- there shouldn’t be any ambiguity.

Considering 13 people picked up petitions and only 5 turned in- the process seems to be counter-productive at getting candidates to run.

According to the 2011 Pickup List. here are the possible future candidates
Christopher Newton Connder
Jeffrey M. Dalton
Larry E. Ealy
David Esrati
Robert D. Jones
Matthew F. Joseph
Daniel Kennedy
Timothy C. O’Bryant
William J. Pace
Willie Walker
Tojuan Williams-Minus

not on the list:
Mark Manovich
Dean Lovelace

Considering it’s been years since we had a primary- why hasn’t the commission suggested revisions in the two rounds of charter changes that have made it on the ballot?

The Charter also has a guarantee that no one shall ever be recalled- no matter how bad their performance.

Such petition for the recall of any or all of the Mayor and the Commissioners or the City Manager shall be signed by at least 25 percent of the total number of registered voters in the municipality.
(Amendment adopted by voters 11-5-68)

Considering our voter rolls hold people for up to ten years after not voting- we have over 100,000 voters listed- despite rarely getting more than 30,000 at the ballot box. Other municipalities require a percentage of voters of the turnout from the last general election- a much more reasonable number.

The first legislation I’d introduce if elected would be to change the system of nomination and election. If it only takes 50 signatures to run for U.S. Congress- having the bar at 500 for Dayton City Commission is ludicrous. Note- a candidate in Moraine was ruled off the ballot after turning in 49 valid signatures.

We’d also ditch the requirement for a notary. And ditch the primary- and the separate elections for mayor and commissioners. I’d also move them to the same cycle as the federal government to reduce costs of elections.

To choose candidates- we’d move to Instant Runoff ballots with a ranking system. The mayor would be chosen every two years by being the candidate who gets the most votes. The recall would be triggered with only 5% of the last general election’s turnout- and to put an issue on the ballot would only require 1% of the last general election’s turnout.

Last but not least, I’d make it illegal to raise funds for local elections and instead- send a mailing to every voting household giving equal space to each candidate. There is no reason to spend $110K or more on a position that is part-time and pays $45K a year (too much).

I’d also eliminate pension benefits for elected part-time officials, as well as health care. It is unfair for politicians to get better pay and benefits for a part-time position than other city part-time employees. That also means no city car, parking pass, cell phone or laptop- they are “part-time” employees with a staff that’s too big already.

However- for any of this to happen- my signatures need to be approved. We’ll know on Monday.

Thanks to all of you answered the door. I know it was late, dark, cold, wet- and a pain in the rear.

Hopefully- we can stop this nonsense next January.

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