Issue 9 Q&A this Wednesday- Dayton income tax increase

Dayton issue 9 info session flyer by Neighborhoods over PoliticsThe activist group Neighborhoods Over Politics (NOP) is hosting a Q&A on Dayton Issue 9- the tax increase from 2.25% to 2.5% this Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm at Central State University West campus at 840 Germantown St. The event is free and open to the public.

By now, if you are a Dayton resident, you’ve seen the blue and green signs and if you are a likely voter, you’ve gotten a mailing “Paid for by “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future” Michael Voelkl, Treasurer. NOT PAID FOR WITH PUBLIC FUNDS.” Michael used to be the tax commissioner of Dayton, but retired a while back.

But, the real question is, who the hell does fund this?

It says it’s endorsed by Dayton Firefighters, AFSCME/DPSU, AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce.

Looking up organization in the Montgomery County Board of Elections worthless website- we see that they haven’t filed a campaign finance report since the annual of 2015– so there is no way to tell who’s paying for all those signs and mailings.

The former Mayor, Gary Leitzell took the time to actually read the full ordinance and makes mincemeat out of their claims on the mailer.

But, this isn’t a post to explain why I think you should vote no on issue 9- it’s about the Q&A session- which you should go to and ask the questions yourself. There won’t be any huge dollars spent against this tax hike, if it’s to fail, it will depend on a grassroots effort.

Issue 9’s backers are claiming helps “every neighborhood” and includes a bizarre venture into pre-school by City Government- instead of the School Board.

Most of the other claims are to do the things they already are supposed to do but fail at- like cutting grass on vacant lots, or resurfacing streets or taking care of parks. Want to have an extra 2 million right off the bat- don’t buy real estate for which there is no public use- and then come back and say “we need more money.”

I’ll be at this session on Wednesday with my video camera to record it and put it up on YouTube.

 

 

Save

Save

City Commission wants to raise your taxes as an Emergency!

It’s nice when the Mayor sends you a note to tell you that the Commission Clerk is now doing their job- by posting a 161 page PDF to support the commission meeting this week. You can look for the minutes for Feb 17th- at this link:

Meeting Agendas & Minutes

via Meeting Agendas & Minutes.

The actual document is at: http://www.cityofdayton.org/cco/Commission%20Agendas/2010/02-17-10%20Agenda.pdf

Here’s the bad news: The document is a scan of printouts- which means we have pictures of text- not actual text. This means it does not meet the Americans With Disabilities act requirements for public documents. (I wrote about this in 2008!) People who are vision impaired cannot use a screen reader to have the document read to them. It also- and this is IMPORTANT- means Google can’t read it- nor is it searchable. Someone in City Hall is wasting a lot of time making a document that is only visible to those they want it to be.

And of course, there are some “Emergency ordinances” on the agenda this Wednesday- that should have been able to be on the table for discussion and investigation for more than 3 days-

Let me share: (sorry for any typos- I had to use OCR software)

Sec. 171. Limitation of the Total Property Tax Rate Which May Be Levied Without a Vote of the People for All the Purposes of the Municipality.

The City Commission is hereby granted the authority, without a vote of the people, to levy taxes upon the tax lists or duplicates of property assessed and listed for taxation according to value for all the purposes of the City of Dayton, its boards, departments and institutions, in amounts not in excess of Ten mills on each dollar of assessed valuation on the tax list or duplicate.

Out of said total maximum levy, an amount shall annually be levied sufficient to pay the interest, sinking fund and  retirement charges on all bonds and notes of the City of Dayton heretofore or hereafter authorized to be issued without the authority of the electors, which levy shall be placed before and in preference to all other levies and for the full amount thereof. Of the remaining portion of said total maximum levy, an amount not exceeding five mills may be levied annually for the general fund of said city.

The City Commission, without a vote of the people, may not authorize any property tax levy or levies for permanent improvements other than those which may be made within the 5 mills levy for the general fund, as set forth in the second paragraph of this section, if such levy or levies will increase the total levies for all city purposes, inclusive of all levies to pay the interest, sinking fund and retirement charges on all unvoted bonds and notes of the City of Dayton and those voted bonds heretofore or hereafter issued pursuant to vote of the electors, beyond 10 mills.

Unless authorized and approved by a vote of the electors conformably with the general laws of this state, the City Commission shall levy no property tax outside of the limitations set forth in this section. Provided, however, that the City Commission shall annually levy, to the extent necessary, outside the limitations provided in this Charter and by general law a sufficient sum to pay the interest, sinking fund and retirement charges on all bonds and notes of the City of Dayton heretofore or hereafter lawfully issued, the tax for which by general law or by this Charter has been or shall be authorized to be levied outside of tax limitations.

Section 3. That upon approval by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the amendment to Section 171 shall take effect  on July 1, 2010.

Section 4. That upon approval of the amendment to Section 171 by a majority of the electors voting, existing Section 171 of the Charter is repealed effective June 30, 2010.

Section 5. That the Clerk of the Commission is directed to certify a copy of this Ordinance to the Board of Elections of Montgomery County, Ohio, immediately upon its passage, and to give notice of the proposed amendment to Section 171 of the Charter by newspaper advertising in accordance with the provisions of Section 731.21.1 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Section 6. For the reasons stated in the preamble hereof, this Ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure and shall take effect immediately upon its passage.

Should laws to raise taxes be put into effect without considerable discussion and explaination?

They also want to change the Charter rules on calling meetings- something they seem to think needs to be able to be done at a drop of a hat:

Sec. 39. Meetings of the Connnission.

For the purpose of allowing newly-elected and qualified Connnissioners to assume the duties of their office, the Connnission shall meet on the first Monday in January following a regular municipal election, or the next day if the first Monday in January following a regular municipal election is a legal holiday. The Connnission shall meet at a place and time announced during the last Connnission meeting of the previous year. Thereafter the Commissioners shall meet at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or resolution, except that they shall not meet less than once each week. Should a scheduled meeting of the Connnission lack a quorum, the meeting may be cancelled by a majority of the Connnission providing written notification to the Clerk of their unavailability. A cancelled meeting shall not constitute an absence from a meeting by a Connnissioner and shall not require authorization from the Connnission.

1.) The Mayor, any two members of the Commission, or the City Manager, may call special meetings of the Commission upon at least 24 hours’ written notice to each member of the Commission, served personally on each member or left at his usual place of residence. All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public in accordance with the Ohio Sunshine Law presently codified in Ohio R.C. § 121.22. The Commission shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall keep a journal of its proceedings.

Section 3. That upon approval by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the amendment to Section 39 shall take effect on July 1, 2010.

Section 4. That upon approval of the amendment to Section 39 by a majority of the electors voting, existing Section 39 of the Charter is repealed effective June 30, 2010.

Section 5. That the Clerk of the Commission is directed to certify a copy of this Ordinance to the Board of Elections of Montgomery County, Ohio, immediately upon its passage, and to give notice of the proposed amendment to Section 39 of the Charter by newspaper advertising in accordance with the provisions of Section 731.21.1 of the Ohio Revised Code.

Section 6. For the reasons stated in the preamble hereof, this Ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure and shall take effect immediately upon its passage.

And of course, they say they have to use “newspaper advertising”- just to appease the “watchdog” that should stop this kind of “emergency ordinance” malarky. I guess they haven’t figured out that voters don’t read the paper anymore- or maybe that’s why they are using it…

They also have to change the residency requirements in the charter- now that they’ve been ruled unconstitutional. Why we’re not just deleting this part, I’m not sure:

Section 187. Residency for Part-time Employees.
Part-time employees and volunteers shall have the same residency requirements as full time employees.
Section 3. That upon approval by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the amendment to Section 187 shall talce effect on July 1, 2010.
Section 4. That upon approval of the amendment to Section 187 by a majority of the electors voting, existing Section 187 of the Charter is repealed effective June 30,2010.
Section 5. That the Clerle of the Commission is directed to certify a copy of this Ordinance to the Board of Elections of Montgomery County, Ohio, immediately upon its passage, and to give notice of the proposed amendment to Section 187 of the Charter by newspaper advertising in accordance with the provisions of Section 731.21.1 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Section 6. For the reasons stated in the preamble hereof, this Ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure and shall take effect immediately upon its passage.

The residency rule has been unconstitutional for at least a year- why this wasn’t done without an emergency ordinance is inexcusable.

We’re also doing an emergency ordinance to deal with classifications of employees:

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF DAYTON:
Section 1. That an amendment to Section 95 of Dayton’s Charter be submitted to the electors of the City at the May 4, 2010 regular municipal election.
Section 2. That the proposed amendment to Section 95 of the Charter read as follows:
Sec. 95. Classification.
The Civil Service of the city is hereby divided into the unclassified and the classified service.
(A) The unclassified service shall include the following at-will positions:
(1) All officers elected by the people and members of appointed boards.
(2) All officers and employees of the Commission.
(3) The City Manager and deputies, assistants, secretaries, and aides of the City Manager and all other employees in the office of the City Manager.
(4) The heads of departments, one assistant or deputy of a department, heads of divisions of departments and one secretary for each department.
(5) The heads of Commission agencies, including but not limited to the Chief Examiner of the Civil Service Board, one assistant or deputy of a Commission agency, and one secretary for each Commission agency.
(B) The classified service shall comprise all positions not specifically included by this Charter in the unclassified service. There shall be in the classified service three classes to be known as the competitive class, non-competitive
class, and labor class.
(1) The competitive class shall include all positions and employment for which it is practicable to determine the merit and fitness of applicants by competitive examination.
(2) The non-competitive class shall consist of all positions requiring a college degree, a professional license, unique community service or peculiar and exceptional qualifications of a scientific, managerial, professional, or educational  character, as may be determined by the rules of the Board.
(3) The labor class shall include ordinary unskilled labor.
Section 3. That upon approval by a majority of the electors voting thereon, the amendment to Section 95 shall take effect on July 1. 2010.
Section 4. That upon approval of the amendment to Section 95 by a majority of the electors voting, existing Section 95 of the Charter is repealed effective June 30.2010.
Section 5. That the Clerk of the Commission is directed to certify a copy of this Ordinance to the Board of Elections of Montgomery County. Ohio, immediately upon its passage, and to give notice of the proposed amendment to Section 95 of the Charter by newspaper advertising in accordance with the provisions of Section 731.21.1 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Section 6. For the reasons stated in the preamble hereof. this Ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure and shall take effect immediately upon its passage.

Somehow, it’s also an emergency to redefine the boundaries of a neighborhood that’s over 100 years old. No real justification for this either:

Establishing and Describing the Boundaries of the Twin Towers Community Reinvestment Area in the City of Dayton, and Declaring an Emergency.

I’m sorry- but these are not emergencies, by any stretch of the imagination. These issues all show a total disregard for the principles of open, honest government. The rule of P’s comes to play- prior planning prevents poor performance- and any city staff members who were involved in bringing these forward as emergencies should be written up for failure to do their duty to the citizens of Dayton by being better prepared- and set for a longer discussion horizon.

Because of this- I recommend that the citizens show their displeasure by voting down each and everyone of the ballot issues to send a message that all issues as important as those that must be voted on- must also have a proper time frame for discussion. The staff’s lack of planning does not an emergency make.

I’ve uploaded a copy of the OCR’d document- so those with disabilities can read it. Unfortunately- the links put in by staff no longer work properly (learn to use the technology please). 02-17-10AgendaOCR

There is a lot to analyze out of these ordinances- and, frankly, I’m not paid enough to figure it all out. I suggest you ask your elected leaders to explain each of these in English- and why they are passing them as emergencies.