Reflections on running for City Commission

500 signatures takes time. It’s ok, really. It’s been warm the last few days making it much easier. Never-mind that it only takes 50 to run for Congress, or County Commission. I don’t mind talking to people either, it’s always great to hear from citizens.

But, I have one peeve. People learn where you live. I ask several times- do you live in the City of Dayton proper, and are you a registered voter. Pretty simple. So why do so many suburbanites, who seem to think that Dayton is bad, but they still think they live in it. Moraine, Riverside, Kettering- and they still have to be asked twice. It’s as good a case for UniGov as I’ve ever heard.

In fact, many think UniGov is a good idea. Too bad, the politicians are all afraid of losing their jobs- and think UniGov is a disaster. The truth is, many people don’t understand how the system works, or is supposed to work. What does the commission do? Yes, people ask that. I almost wonder if everyone flunked civics (and I mean the class in high school, not the car from Honda).

Dayton claims to be the birthplace of the City Manager form of Government, yet we practice it so poorly, that people have no clue about how it’s supposed to work. It’s one of my primary goals if elected- to refocus the Commission to act as a board of directors and put the City Manager front and center.

If the City Manager wants a raise- we tie it to the average income tax collected in the city, or the income of city residents. When the citizens make more- he can make more. Same goes for senior staff.

How do we decide about issues? Does it make the value of everyone’s property go up? Then it goes to the front of the list. If it only makes some people’s property value go up, then we better start looking closer. If it only makes one person’s property value go up- well, you better come back with a better proposal.

What’s the primary reason people leave Dayton? If they are young people, it’s because our school system isn’t up to snuff. Since the Commission can’t fix the schools, what can we do to improve the lives of our youth? Better parks and recs, organized sports, and extracurricular activities like Scouting. If we fully support those activities, we’ll probably have a better chance of kids doing better in school. The great thing about a lot of these programs is that they also connect parents with each other- and the kids. Doing nothing is not an option- kids are our future.

I’m thinking now about what to put on campaign literature to explain this kind of thinking- without going overboard. Your thoughts are welcome.

But, most of all- I’m trying to collect signatures. To the few really rude people who don’t want to sign my petition- fine. This process only allows me to get on the ballot. You don’t have to vote for me, in fact, you can vote against me. If you really don’t like what I’m doing, here’s a better solution- get your own petitions- and run. They aren’t due until Mar 6.

America voted for change last November, it would be a shame if we didn’t have a primary because there aren’t more than 4 candidates for Commission or 2 for Mayor. We need a debate, we need the discussion- and we need new ideas.

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