State of the City of Dayton

Mayor Leitzell made his state of the city address yesterday- and wisely posted it on his blog so that he didn’t have to count on the media to get it right.

Using the web to skirt the media is a step forward.

However- speaking in platitudes isn’t an answer, a plan or even remotely what we need. What we need is a vision of leadership- a direction, a plan.

This doesn’t cut it:

  1. Dayton is on its own
  2. Dayton must reinvent itself to survive and thrive
  3. If we’re going to get anything done, we need to work together
  4. Dayton is evolving
  5. Dayton will prosper

In the meantime, we’ve not answered how we are going to staff our safety forces- our core mission for our government, we don’t have a plan to clearly “reinvent” ourselves- name one piece of legislation he’s introduced, never mind an agenda for transformation- like true charter changes? We could start with eliminating the policy of making lateral hires go back through our safety academies- and instead do OJT. We could also eliminate the charter requirements based on numbers of registered voters- and change it to percentages of last general election.

And while we continue to pour money into “economic development” projects that are nothing but corporate welfare- we could instead invest our money in programs to rebuild the fabric of our neighborhoods- working together with Dayton Public Schools and the Charters to create citywide youth sports programs- so our kids have something to do other than join gangs or move away when they reach school age. Strong neighborhoods build strong cities.

Instead- we got none of that. We got this:

we have world class citizens with world class ideas. Now is the time for us to put those ideas into action. This is our moment. Let’s work together and seize it.

via Dayton Mayor: State of the City Address.

I won’t even touch his endorsement of William Pace– but, it is his first attempt to actually stand for something- so- I guess we do have progress.

What’s the plan, Mayor?

(and- btw, I would have been in attendance, but instead I was helping coach my kids’ soccer game in Sidney).

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed! If you wish to support this blog and independent journalism in Dayton, consider donating. All of the effort that goes into writing posts and creating videos comes directly out of my pocket, so any amount helps!

Leave a Reply

23 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
17 Comment authors
David LaurianonymousStephen LahanasBillGone From Dayton Recent comment authors
Notify of

Golly, David–he says we have citizens with good ideas–maybe he was talking about YOU!  It’s the mayor’s soft endorsement of the Esrati plan.  So quitcherbitchin’ and claim victory–

Hey, any idea why my Dayton income tax payments are sent to Cincinnati?  Are we outsourcing?

Gary Leitzell

By yours and Mark Owen’s definition of “Endorsement” I guess I endorsed a whole lot of people and also endorsed my Aide who isn’t running for a political seat. I commended Mr. Pace for what he has done. Here is what I said
“I also want to acknowledge William Pace who told me that he wanted to become a voice for the people and has willingly attended some 500 plus neighborhood and Priority Board meetings to hear citizen concerns and has put out many sparks before they became fires. His proactive approach is a model for other like-minded people to follow. In my entire time on the Southeast Priority Board I have never met anyone willing to attend that many community meetings!

Then there is my personal aide, Jason Webber. He is my bulldog in the Mayor’s office. Without him, this event would not have been possible and my life would be more hectic than it already is.”
I acknowledged people who were present or informed me that they would be. I didn’t wish to embarrass anyone by shining a light on the fact that they were not there. You must have missed that Ben Franklin quote, too ….

Donald Phillips
Donald Phillips

Meanwhile the mayor is painting a set of Pottsdam Grenadiers.


@ Donald Phillips apparently being an artist and supporting yourself is an easy to attack however if you would like to see some of his work here is some. Gary painted for Gorege R.R. Martin the author that HBO has made into a Mini series (Game of Thrones).

Dayton ACE
Dayton ACE

1.  The city is in worse shape than it was after the great flood.
2.  The City of Dayton government has never and will never fix anything or reinvent anything.  The only hope is for residents at the neighborhood level to get together and say we have had enough and we will take the city back our way without the help of city hall.
3.  We do need to work together but at the neighborhood level.  We need to work against the illiterate, no H.S. diploma, single mom, obama loving racist “takers” in the city that the democrats that currently run the city keep giving free stuff to in exchange for votes.
4.  Dayton is evolving into a place that is nothing more than an embarrassment to society.  We should be disgusted and hang our heads in shame that we have taken this great industrial city our forefathers built up for us and turned it into a disgusting, corrupt, third world disaster of a city.
5.  Dayton will never prosper until the decent people in the city cut the freeloading retards off from the tax dollar trough and keep it so it can be spent on the right things like fixing neighborhoods, paying for school, or for security in our neighborhoods that the police will never provide.  We pay a ton of money to a city that in return provides us with unusable or useless services.  It is time for the decent people in this city to wake up, stop being spineless, and tell it like it is.  We cannot let the human sludge that uses the City of Dayton as a platform to leach the resources of this county to keep the racist black democrat political machine going. 

Civil Servants Are People, Too
Civil Servants Are People, Too

The Great Flood killed hundreds of people and cost billions of damage in today’s dollars.     DaytonACE presents exactly the wrong attitude, and sounds more racist than anyone he is trying to describe.    Shame on you.
Any large city in the rust belt (and most of the smaller cities) are having the same problems as Dayton.   As a region, we are hardly unique in our weaknesses.   If you are comparing Dayton to the suburbs, then you are ignoring the long term issues such as suburbanization, sprawl, poverty, globalization, and the automotive culture.   These things have FAR more to do with Dayton’s issues than anyone in City Hall can possibly control.
Believe me, you can find bad neighborhoods in nearly ANY city on the planet.
However, Dayton is unique in it’s strengths and I certainly hope your city will continue to improve.    The problems stemming from a 100 year history will not be easy, and will not be solved overnight.   The challenge is to build on your assets and do the best you can with what you’ve got.
Playing armchair quarterback is a lot easier than actually getting the job done, sir.


I really think the kids in Dayton are doing better than most adults in Dayton, except for those adults who have the gravy jobs!  To elaborate, every public school in Dayton, that I can think of, has been renovated … The kids have plenty to do after school as well, there’s Bomberger, Lohrey and the Boys and Girls Club.  Dayton’s Parks and Rec have tons of programs for them, to divert them from gangs and drugs … Dayton’s kids are our future, and the adults in charge haven’t done much for the rest of us adults …
Why are other nearby cities so much more prosperous?  Higher taxes?  Kettering, Centerville, Beavercreek are so much nicer looking and kept up.  The best appearance in Dayton I’ve seen is the new Riverscape, the Relizon and Care Source buildings, but that’s about it!  Of course, UD is elite, but they are private.
At this point of my life in Dayton, at 50, I hope at least I get my Social Security, because that’s all I’m going to have to live on, so sad!


Isn’t William Pace a known slumlord and delusional entertainer?

Jeff Dziwulski
Jeff Dziwulski

It’s Potsdam, not Pottsdam


Well, looks like the Mayor’s Aide is going to get a good shot at a political job in City Hall!  And I wager to bet that Dean Lovelace is going to get his last term so he can collect on his City retirement!
If the BOE is indeed fixed, we soon shall see, shall we not?  When are the City Commisioner elections anyway, November?
David E., How will you, if elected, be able to still run your business thoroughly?  Isn’t a City Commissioner seat a full-time job?

Greg Hunter
Greg Hunter

“If you are comparing Dayton to the suburbs, then you are ignoring the long term issues such as suburbanization, sprawl, poverty, globalization, and the automotive culture.   These things have FAR more to do with Dayton’s issues than anyone in City Hall can possibly control.”

True statements all including the Shame on Ace; however, those at City Hall did have a say in Sprawl and chose to embrace it instead of fight it.  Austin Road comes to mind…   And with Nan, you in the Civil Service are aiding an abetting the issue.  Take the abandoned houses and give them away.   Absolutely abandon enforcement of drugs, prostitution and gambling, but double up enforcement of littering, stealing and human on human crimes.

City Commission should not be a full time job, but one where someone has standing or investment in the community to provide guidance to the full time city manager.  In house consultants but not meddlers.  Currently no commissioner meets that definition as they are bought and paid for by the local corporations that stand to benefit –  Banking and Tearing em down.  The Civil Servants should recognize that THEY GO DOWN with idiots who lead the ship and try anyway they can to wreck the careers of those that are ruining Dayton.  It is your civic responsibility.  :)

Mr. Fixit
Mr. Fixit

Dayton has made the same mistakes most urban areas have made with renovating schools.  A school that is all shiney and new looks makes people feel good and makes it seem like the school must be better.  The failure in logic is that you are doing nothing more than putting a silk hat on a pig.  You can make U.D. look like harvard and have nicer facilities than harvard but it won’t have any effect on making the students any better.  You can turn the county jail into a four star hotel but the inmates will still be scumbags.

I would love to know much the city of dayton schools have lowered the bar to get higher graduation rates.  I am guessing they threw out the evil traditional learning concepts like learning how to read, write, speak english, do addition and subtraction in favor “learning style” techniques Forrest Gump could figure out.  Anyone have the real scoop on what scam the liberal, labor union, democrat party run school district is running now to screw the children in the schools and the future of our city?

What is the best guess on how many dayton school teachers can’t write a single correct sentence in english?  I would be comfortable with guessing at least 100.  Thanks democrats.

Gone From Dayton
Gone From Dayton

Without decent housing and neighborhoods, Dayton will continue to die a slow death.  A lot of neighbors are permitted to be neglectful of their properties.

Get out as soon as you can.  It will NOT get better anytime soon.


We need to fix the Board OF Elections before anyone can get win a fair election.  Why is the DDN ignoring the corruption there?

Stephen Lahanas
Stephen Lahanas

David, it’s important to keep in mind that detailed plans require a vision first to provide the foundation for future policy decisions / initiatives. From my perspective I think it was an important first step – the question is how will it be followed up? The one area that concerned me in the vision is point 1 – Dayton is Alone. I strongly believe that without a more regional approach neither Dayton nor its metro area will be able to effectively compete either with other cities in this state or comparable metro areas nationwide.


Mr. Fixit:

As an educator, I have spent some of my own time and money re-wiring the media players in my classroom so that it no longer looked like a joke.  Why would I do that?  Because I know from experience–and others have proven through careful research–that a classroom environment that looks like a joke makes students think that what goes on in there can’t be very important.

Rebuilding Dayton’s schools–and most urban schools in Ohio–was past due.  The buildings were so old that it was not possible to get into the walls to install new wiring for phones, internet, or electricity.  It would have cost more to gut and renovate than it did to tear down and build new–and building new also provided cost savings from no longer needing constant repair.

You wouldn’t shop at a grocery that looked like it hadn’t had new paint since it opened 100 years ago–you wouldn’t think well of a bank with facilities with crumbling plaster and antiquated windows.  Why settle for schools that are so seedy?

Donald Phillips
Donald Phillips


I perused your link and stand corrected. Painting ‘fantasy’ figures is more a severe emotional impediment than daubing toy soldiers, whether Potsdam Grenadiers or Ninth Bengal Lancers.

Gone from Dayton’s pessimism startles me. Doesn’t he know of all the wonderful ‘things’ Mr. Esrati (via his handlers, whom I daren’t mention on pain of proscription) and the Metroids are doing for Dayton. He should ask them during a lull in their self-congratulatory-award-bestowal ceremonies that constitute Dayton’s social season.

Now what is the color scheme for a kobold?


LEitzell is censoring critical (but polite and factual) responses on his blog.

David Lauri

@Anonymous: Mr. Leitzell, in his capacity as a private citizen operating a blog, is allowed to decide what appears on his blog. The remedy you have is to start up your own blog and say whatever you want on it (well, whatever you want that doesn’t violate the laws of libel).

Donald Phillips
Donald Phillips

The mayor stands on precedent. Mr. Esrati (to whom I humbly bow) excepted, Dayton bloggers delete everything that makes them uncomfortable.


Hey Vee, welcome to Politics… Obama fans want a gravy life of food stamps, medicaid, SSI, SSDA and a free cell phone; but Republicans want them there folks to earn it.
Obama is for education, and I’m all for it too, because I’m sick to death of seeing grown adults who still cannot spell, speak properly and write correctly!