Reality Check for the Dayton Development Coalition

The top paid administrator in Montgomery County is Deborah Feldman- her pay is around $180K

That pales in comparison to what the Dayton Development Coalition pays its top honcho, who has been paid in the $300K range (numbers are hard to nail down because the DDC is always late in filing its financials).

While all of us are tightening belts, and people are losing jobs, benefits and accepting pay cuts- it’s business as usual for the DC lobbyists of the Dayton Development Coalition. Funded partially with your tax dollars, yet with no oversight by the public, this organizations continues on cruise control as if nothing has changed.

Yesterday, 2 of 3 Greene County Commissioners decided to put direct services to the people first and cut the Dayton Development Coalitions allowance:

Greene County Commissioners in 2010 will provide only one-eighth of the funding they did 2008 to the Dayton Development Coalition, one of the largest cuts the group has seen.

Greene County’s contribution this year will be $25,000, compared with roughly $200,000 in 2008.

The coalition is a collaborative of business and elected leaders who lobby to bring jobs and project money to the area. It’s funded by business and municipal members….

Commissioner Marilyn Reid said she couldn’t agree to more funding for the coalition when county employees had been furloughed, had hours cut and had no pay raises in two years. “It’s just a very, very difficult situation,” she said.

via Greene County slices funding to Dayton Development Coalition.

The sad part is that our “elected leadership” doesn’t feel welcome, or capable going to either the State House or the White House to lobby for you directly. They seem to think they need to hire these slick talking, well dressed, high dollar suits to remind those at the top who really represents us.

Not only that, they need private corporations’ help to fund them (or the private corporations need our help- can’t tell) on their mission of “economic development.” The sad truth is that these people are still living in the “If it’s good for General Motors, it’s good for the country” mantra- we see where GM is now- and in reality, the beneficiary these days still has the word “General” involved- but, it’s the retired generals– who are cleaning up for the military-industrial complex.

The real question is whether other communities will follow Greene County’s lead?

These are your tax dollars. You can’t vote the DDC out- but, is this the beginning of a move to demand that the people we elect be our only lobbyists? Since the Supreme Court just gave corporations a blank check in elections- will we need lobbyists at all? We can just auction off the seats in Congress on Ebay.

Kudos to Greene County for taking this bold step.

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