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Real creativity, comes from thinking big

Dayton, 2012: Two years into unigov, we’ve consolidated all fire, police, street maintenance, and brought all parks and recreation facilities together under 5 Rivers Metro parks banner. It’s not just Montgomery County either- it’s including Greene and Northern Warren. Population is almost doubled for the Metro region.

The finishing touches are going on SportsPlex down on the former Parkside Homes property. We’ve already had the Olympic trials here for swimming in the new pool, on the velodrome, and the indoor speed skating oval.

New hotels downtown along the river have popped up to support the non-stop flow of people to the new white water park, as well as the huge waterpark, BMX track, and getting ready for X-Games 2013.

The new light rail system that connects the VA on the West side across to Wright State and the Base is running, and the new North South route is half way complete- it is running from the Airport, down past the old Salem Mall area, and will then connect down through to the Dayton Mall.

The school systems have all integrated Countywide with Sinclair becoming the primary administrator. We’ve got magnets all across the region, with open enrollment at the high school level. We’ve extended our school year to 215 days, and have lengthened the school day to a full 8 hours. All students begin with headstart at age 3. Subsidized day care is available to anyone making under $25K a year, as long as the parent is enrolled in continuing education.

The GM plant in Moraine is now producing 150cc scooters and micro cars, after being sold to India’s Tata motors. Part of the plant is building light rail vehicles and their is talk about building high-speed trains.

There has been a moritorium on building on farmland for 2 years. All new developments must be built on current infrastructure. No new roads, plats, extension of utilities. A 15 year tax abatement is offered on all housing built to replace a nuisance structure.

To attract new residents to the area, we negotiate to be a test area for unlimited H-1 Visas for people who are willing to live and work in a HUB-zone. To further increase residency- amnesty is allowed for illegal immigrants who are willing to move in and rehab properties deemed uninhabitable- as long as they have no criminal record, complete at least an associates degree and learn English within 10 years. We also allow honorably discharged veterans first choice of homesteading on REAP’d properties.

The Arcade has been made into a Casino – with the old Dayton Daily News building connected both through skywalks and tunnels. The Crowne Plaza gains a new wing, with a remake of Dave Hall plaza into a Fraze like concert facility.

The new ice rink downtown is home to the Dayton Bombers and a new youth hockey program. The back of Memorial Hall is opened up to Riverscape- with a grand plaza- and the stage is home to many large outdoor concerts and events.

A youth sports commission works to coordinate coaches, league scheduling, tournaments and provide opportunities to all kids to play at the highest possible level. Dayton becomes known as the Olympic/Pro athlete training ground to the United States.

Music programs are expanded in all schools- with a feeder system that takes the best musicians and feeds them to Stivers and 2 other arts magnets- one North, one South. Winterguard, drumline and dance squads compete year round- with the national competitions coming here annually.

There could be more ideas- but, that would of course- require us to think big and then act- instead of talking about things and doing the same old thing.

Of course, it’s all Michael Phelps fault- who would have thought anyone could win 8 Olympic Golds, set 7 world records? And keep me up way past my bedtime rambling about what I believe we could do, if we only believed we could.

Got ideas to add?

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Mike Bock

David, I enjoyed your post on thinking big. I don’t agree with all of your ideas, and, in fact, I heartily disagree with some of them. But, regardless, it is an interesting question how big ideas can be envisioned and how big ideas can take hold in a democracy and reach fulfillment. You describe big ideas as, “what I believe we could do, if we only believed we could,” and use the word “we” three times in that short phrase. Your use of the indefinite “we,” to me, points out the central problem and central challenge.

The problem is, it seems to me, that “we,” as in “the people,” barely exist. We have no center. We are sliced, diced, separated. Democracy has little reality without community at its center. I appreciate the fact that you desire to lead — to show a path to better ideas, a better future — but when you look around, where is the community that you are seeking to lead? If you were elected mayor of Dayton, where is the community that would hold you accountable, inspire you, support you? Where is the community that would work together to hammer out the big ideas and work together to bring these ideas to reality? We have our blogs, our unions, our churches, our political parties, our places of work that we identify with, but we are lacking a general community that centers on understanding and promoting the general good. Without community, we are all marginalized, and even those elected to office are still marginalized –outside of the center — because the center has disappeared.

The first big idea to be fulfilled, the precursor to the articulation and fulfillment of the type of big ideas you mention, it seems to me, is to find a way to create authentic community, to create a space where the center can define and realize itself. I’ve given some thought to that big idea here. http://daytonos.com/?p=2629


That is the main problem – too many ideas, too many different ideas. If this were a war our enemy would have taken control by now because we cant get a game plan and execute.

BTW – “grass roots” is code word for “keep republicans and big business out.” With out their support nothing will happen. It is a funny saying though. People who like grass root efforts are the same people who fail to cut their own grass. They like the natural look of their lawn (and ‘Says) while the conservative like a tighter, cleaner look. Keep on spinning those wheels – or you could decide we need everyones money and backing to get real stuff done.

daddy Skate

Huh!? Not sure what Gene and Mike are talkin bout, but you forgot the skatepark…a big un, like the one on Louisville…full pipe and lot’s of vert…kettering has street skaters, Dayton can dominate the vert…

visit Louisville xtreme park any day of the week, the parking is full of out of town and out of state cars…looks exactly like the kettering skateplaza lot on any given day…Ask a kettering parks person what the most visited and used park amenity is and they’ll tell you the skateplazza…

Dave is right about the sports venues in Dayton…You build it and they will come (just like the movie, headlights thru the corn)…I’ll take up paddling with my whole family if they build the whitewater park, THAT’S your Olympic qualifier venue…


David would want no smoking at the skate park – and a lot of skaters smoke. What to do, what to do?


David – I love the post. I love it when people put out into the Universe what they WANT vs what they FEAR. Yet, unfortunately, Mike Bock has a point in that the community has to somehow re-engage and be part of the solution vs part of the problem.

Gene – I’m Republican and I believe in grassroots movements. But then most people that know me think I’m a democrat. I’m so confused!

“what I believe we could do, if we only believed we could.” – there has to be a good way to reword that and make it a t-shirt!