Services come first.

Today, the ice is finally melting off the streets. We had 4″ packed ice and ruts down the road for over 10 days. People were going sideways, hitting things, breaking things- all because the brain trust downtown decided to “save money” by not plowing. We did see a plow go down Adams- on Monday- 6 days after the ice storm. Note to city: by the time the ice is frozen and packed- you need a zamboni- not a plow.

I’ve heard that two Dayton Fire Department Medic wagons got into expensive fender benders thanks to the ice as well. Never mind the citizens who wrecked their cars, couldn’t get to work, or got hurt slipping on the ice.

Yet, we still have bureaucrats in City Hall paid 3x more than a plow driver- who are supposed to “woo” business to the city. What good is having a business in the city if people can’t drive to it?

How long will you shop at a business where there is no service? After taking my first trip to Menard’s today, I wonder why I should go to Home Depot or Lowes ever again. There were helpful people all over the store- like we used to have at Wolohan Lumber and Furrow. Frankly- cities are just like retailers- judged on their delivery of service, and the value you get for your dollar.

Dayton has one of the highest income taxes in the State- yet, our property values are dropping. Basic equation here- we have to figure out how to build value through delivery of services or we’ll not have anyone left paying taxes.

In the last weeks, I’ve been contacted by three different business people who want to locate their business in Dayton- but are having a super difficult time. Somehow, this says to me that maybe the answer is it’s time to hire more snow plow drivers and fire all the planners, zoning people and especially economic development people- at least until they figure out how to be more customer friendly and flexible.

If nothing else, maybe it’s time to hire an ombudsman that will champion new business through the maze. Or, to have the city manager start giving reports to the commission every week on every contact for permits- and explain why they aren’t being issued.

We can’t afford to drive anymore business away. We can’t afford more bad service.

It’s costing us all a lot more than we think.

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12 Responses

  1. ewtotel February 9, 2009 / 3:55 am
    THIS one you managed to hit squarely on the head.

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  2. Drexel Dave Sparks February 9, 2009 / 5:46 am
    Don’t forget about the endless tow-truck calls that had to be made for big yellow.

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  3. Teri Lussier February 9, 2009 / 10:34 pm
    >In the last weeks, I’ve been contacted by three different business people who want to locate their business in Dayton- but are having a super difficult time.

    It sucks that they are having a tough time, but it does the heart good to hear that businesses are trying to get here!

    What can we do to help?

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  4. Sarah February 9, 2009 / 11:03 pm
    What no comment on the $500,000 Anti-Obesity Campaign to be spent by the County? Pretty sure that is (NOT) a worth-while use of my property tax-assessment increase of 125% (in a declining market). Can’t get my street plowed in the snow but hey – we can start some goofy campaign to tell people to “eat less – exercise more” – Did I wake up in NYC? Or does this fall under the similar guise of anti-smoking for you Mr. Esrati? If it does, do tell.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2009/02/07/ddn020709weight.html

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  5. Gene February 9, 2009 / 11:46 pm
    Save less…….spend more…..avoid not getting ripped off. This is Hark Cloward here, and since Obama is now in the house, screw productive people. We want to send (spend) a message to people that personal responsibility is not an option, rather the government, our government, will dictate you life.

    Jobs? No. We will send you money for being a loser. Keep fat cats fat and poor cats well feed too…… and never mind the HD 73 inch tv’s in welfare homes, these folks have bad eye sight and can hardly see the tv. Why save for kids when the government hands you checks for having them? What a deal. Don’t pay your mortgage, our pres promises checks, and jobs……… build bridges, and snow cones, and snow men, and build log cabins and burn them so the fire dept has work to do……. spend, I say, spend tax dollars to get you folks back to work. Tax everyone when you need the money most.

    Law degree yes, econ degree pending.

    WE did this to ourselves, WE did not save, WE did not work hard enough. Those who bothered to should pay for it.

    BTW, Fat is Fun!

    We just need to have a sense of fairness, and taxes are fine, but not on stuff like this……. people stop eating, and businesses will close.

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  6. David Esrati February 10, 2009 / 7:31 am

    @Teri- of course the city just opened yet another “one stop shop” http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2009/02/09/ddn020909daytonbusinessweb.html for business- with great fanfare, however, every business person I speak to, feels exactly the same: they are hearing a lot more NO, than yes or maybe.
    @Sarah – believe it or not, I have a full time job running a business. I can’t write about everything. I am sure that the ad contract probably went to a Warren County ad agency as well, but, since this is my field as well, I get accused of sour grapes when I write about ad campaigns.
    I think it’s a really stupid amount of money, that could be much better spent on creating sport and activity leagues throughout the region- centered at Sportsplex. The answer for most to lose weight is get off the couch and do something. Unfortunately, we think paying economic development people and providing corporate welfare is more important than having Dayton (region) being a fun place to live, work and workout.

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  7. Teri Lussier February 10, 2009 / 9:57 am
    Dear Dayton-

    A website for your Dayton Business Resource Center would be nice. Okay, frankly, it would be a no-brainer to some of us, but I’ll settle for nice. Coming soon, shall we assume? You are building it as I type?

    Dear Dayton-

    Here’s the thing: You must think outside of a physical box. Get as much vital, valid, helpful information onto a site as you possibly can. Make it easy for someone to contact you from a computer. Begin a dialog with these people that we so desperately need right now. Be of *service* to them- we need them. Make the process smooth. Stop setting up barriers. Reach out to them, don’t make them come to you. Be open, be transparent, be smart…

    Warmest regards,
    Teri

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  8. David Esrati February 10, 2009 / 10:09 am

    @Teri- Me do web work for the city? They wouldn’t hire us if we were the last firm in Dayton.

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  9. Teri Lussier February 10, 2009 / 12:13 pm
    David-

    No offense- you do beautiful work- but honestly I don’t care who they hire. The fact that they don’t have a site up is astounding and disturbing and telling. This press release should never have been sent out until a site was up and running and tested.

    No business or service that wants to be taken seriously is without a web presence… eek. Dear Dayton, it’s 2009!

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  10. Joe February 10, 2009 / 12:55 pm
    I live on James St. and the ice finally melted the other day. Driving down Perrine to hickory was terrifying up until it melted. Especially in the morning when the 3 inches of ice hadn’t melted to slush yet. Not plowing in older neighborhoods like South Park, Twin Towers, St. Anne’s Hill, etc.. is DANGEROUS. The roads are very narrow and many of the houses are close to the street…leaving little wiggle room on icy days.

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  11. A little bird February 12, 2009 / 4:42 pm
    A little bird heard that the County is spending money on a poster campaign to publicize the Helplink 2-1-1 services information number and is wondering whether that is a good use of the County’s money.

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