Signals crossed: Mayor vs School Board for Dayton Tax hike “for the kids”

Earlier this week, the Mayor and her minions started testing the waters for a .25% income tax hike, raising Dayton’s rate to rival Oakwood’s highest in the County 2.5%. Oakwood, with the best schools, the lowest crime, perfectly kept streets and backyard trash pickup. A place where public parks look like Disneyland- and even have public bathrooms “that don’t even smell” (that quote from a DPS student who was amazed at Orchardly Park while helping me with a hoops Dayton video).

Part of that money is to go to pay for comprehensive pre-school.

DAYTON — Under the threat of a state takeover, Dayton Public Schools Board of Education members agreed during a work session Saturday to draft a resolution of necessity, the first step toward placing a levy before Dayton voters in November.

The levy plan being forwarded is a temporary five-year, five mills levy targeted toward improving after-school and summer programs with possible technology components, said Adil Baguirov, board president.

“In the long run it’s more prudent and much cheaper to invest in early childhood education and summer programs and after-school programs and educational technology than it is into prisons and all kinds of remediation later in life,” he said.

Without showing improvement on its state report card, the district runs the risk of being operated under an Academic Distress Commission within the next two years. New funding could pull the district back from the brink, said Joe Lacey, a board member.

“We need to try to do something – an additional program, if you will – over and above what we’re doing to try to bring us out from under the threat of academic distress,” Lacey said. “We’ve seen some successes with that at our schools, specifically Ruskin (Elementary School).” Baguirov said the levy is not permanent and not meant for general operating funds.The measure, however, is headed toward the same ballot as a Dayton income tax increase proposed by the city. Voters in November will be asked whether to approve a 0.25 percent increase on income earned in Dayton to help close a projected budget shortfall, fund police and fire services and pay for universal preschool.

Source: Levy proposal for Dayton schools pushed forward | www.mydaytondailynews.com

Whoa, hold on there. If we just wait 2 years for the State takeover, we don’t have to worry about paying for the schools at all- it’s the State’s problems- so isn’t a 5 year levy a bit much?

And, maybe because the Mayor didn’t even bother to come to the meeting where the three Superintendent candidates were presented to the public- we might infer that coordination between the two political bodies has broken down? Both coming to tax payers “for the kids” at the same time is a monumental recipe for disaster.

Dayton already spends more per student than any other district in the county, with the worst results. Noted, they also deal with the most special needs students, an 85% poverty level population, and has to compete with charter schools that don’t have to meet any of the same requirements for hiring teachers, testing, certification etc.

So, what should tax payers really ask for in terms of change?

David Esrati Campaign literature from 1993

It was 11×17, both sides, a lot to read- too bad not enough did.

I go back to my campaign literature from 1993 when I was running for the seat that eventually was Dean Lovelace’s entry to the dais:

Neighborhood-based Schools
“It takes an entire village to raise a child”
African saying

An entire VILLAGE, people, not an entire City. If we return to neighborhood schools the parents can get involved again. The chief reason for Dayton’s decline is busing. It is The Problem. As your commissioner I will spend at least an hour a day in one of our public schools.

I also proposed, long before our new buildings with A/C were built,

The year-round school

To combat the suburbs, and to keep our kids out of trouble, I recommend we move to year-round schools over the next 12 years. We aren’t farmers, our kids don’t work the fields in the summer. Learning is a lifelong experience, we need to reinforce that with a year-round learning environment.

Subsidized Day Care

An innovative day-care program is needed to attract new busines and new citizens to the city, as wellas to put our high percentage of single parents back into the work force as productive taxpayers. This would be a high-quality 24-hour service, that would provide long-term benefits to our citizens and make your investment in Dayton grow.

Hmmm, and no one took me seriously? We decimated our parks programs, filled in the swimming pools, and the school year remains the same as everyone elses, despite having a tougher challenge.

What DPS needs to do to improve test scores and keep kids out of trouble is move to a longer school day, with a longer school year, add an additional 20 days to the 180 day school year, with a 4 day school week  for most of the year except for leading into testing weeks.

The school day would be 8:30 to 5:30, but actual academic instruction time would be limited to 4 hours a day. The other hours would be doing art, music, phys ed, home ec, extra curriculars, and individualized guided learning. You want to be a programmer- you go hang out with the computer club, you want to be a social worker, you volunteer with a social service agency, you want to be a teacher, you tutor younger kids. Teachers have more time to plan, and to guide students in their personal passions- be it genealogy, chess, quilting or gardening. And, every school should be raising it’s own food- as both a hands on learning biology and agronomy, but as a business model as well. Hire Lisa Helm from Garden Station to lead the charge- since Nan and friends are evicting them from their gift to our community.

Yes, negotiating the new teacher contracts will be tough, but most inner city teachers aren’t there for the money, especially since Dayton doesn’t pay well. And we need to take a new look at transportation- no more door to door- but have neighborhood stops, on roads built to handle buses- and ways to get kids in a community to know each other. We need to find ways to build relationships back into the neighborhoods- since when you get right down to it- people are always what make a city, what make a neighborhood- not the buildings and certainly not the politicians.

I was talking about the cost of summer and the summer slide 25 years ago. Here’s a bit from an article from the New York Times about “The families that can’t afford summer” – which is most of Dayton:

Most American schools take a 10- to 11-week break during the summer. The assumption that underlies summer vacation — that there is one parent waiting at home for the kids — is true for just over a quarter of American families. For the rest of us, the children are off, the parents are not. We can indulge our annual illusion of children filling joyful hours with sprinkler romps and robotics camp or we can admit the reality: Summer’s supposed freedom is expensive.

In 2014, parents reported planning to spend an average of $958 per child on summer expenses. Those who can’t afford camps or summer learning programs cobble together care from family members or friends, or are forced to leave children home alone. Self-care for 6- to 12-year-olds increases during the summer months, with 11 percent of children spending an average of 10 hours a week on their own. In July 2014, a South Carolina woman was arrested when she left her 9-year-old in a park while she worked. Parents afraid of being at the center of a similar incident may be more likely to park their kids in front of the TV.In summer, the lack of affordable child care and the achievement gap collide for lower income families. Most kids lose math skills over the summer, but low income children also lose, on average, more than two months of reading skills — and they don’t gain them back. That puts them nearly three years behind higher income peers by the end of fifth grade, and the gap just keeps getting wider. Researchers credit the summer slide for about half of the overall difference in academic achievement between lower and higher income students.

Source: The Families That Can’t Afford Summer – The New York Times

Arguments can be made for a 5 day school week with year round school until DPS comes out of academic emergency- but, moving to a full, real world work world for teachers would be a monumental struggle. There is a beauty to the four day work week- look at what Dayton did with trash collection savings. When you have a Tues-Friday schedule- all those national holidays except the 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas and New years- all become standard days off.

We need a radical fix for Dayton Public Schools. Anyone who thinks more money is going to fix it is delusional- because you can’t sell the same inferior product with a higher cost to voters- they will vote with their feet, just throwing Dayton deeper into the hole.

As to the City levy- the only way I’d support it if it included a rescission of all property tax abatements for companies with employees making more than $250K a year. We’re not subsidizing the rich on the backs of the poor anymore- and this goes for non-profits and schools as well. When you realize that half of the income for the hospitals is tax dollars for medicare, and the universities are heavily subsidized with grants and loans for students- it’s time to stop padding pockets into the stratosphere on the backs of the little people. The Brexit vote should be a good clue to politicians world wide that the working class is fed up with the redistribution of wealth and the widening gap.

We’ve been sold Sinclair as our savior against kids unprepared for the workforce for years, instead of making sure a high school diploma still meant something.

It’s time to reinvent our idea of school, and of how to help the poor get a real chance at not following in their parents footsteps- neither the city or the DPS tax plan will do anything to substantially revamp the equation, nor spells out actual mechanics of making it happen.

Look at my old campaign literature- and realize you missed out on 25 years of forward thinking and let’s get busy making real changes happen.

 

 

Dayton FOP endorses Matt Joseph and Darryl Fairchild

The FOP doesn’t always endorse. And usually, they aren’t big fans of Democrats. The FOP and IAFF tend to be the two Republican unions in America.

In the upcoming Dayton City Commission race- they decided to endorse incumbent Matt Joseph, who hasn’t done squat in his 3 terms in office, and Darryl Fairchild- the “un-endorsed Democrat.”

Apparently- the party favorite, Chris Shaw isn’t the choice of the cops. Could it be because he’s African American? I don’t recall them ever endorsing Williams, Dixon, McLin, Lovelace, Neal, and Lewis. Why break a perfectly good record?

The FOP endorsement means even less these days, since we dropped the residency rule. They’ve also not been known to throw much money or volunteer hours toward candidates they endorse (probably because they are all overworked, thanks to continued cuts to the department, for which they can thank Matt Joseph).

Sure, Fairchild can put it on his literature. Joseph won’t have any literature that won’t have Shaw on it- so it won’t show up there. Adding it to the voters’ guides may reach a few people- but, frankly, this endorsement means nothing.

The bigger question is why they didn’t endorse Scott Sliver?

Vote to thin the herd tomorrow May 5, 2015

Dayton residents get to waste a ton of money and their time voting in the special election on May 5 to make it easier for dummies to vote.

That’s right- we voters can’t handle more than “choose 2 out of 4” so tomorrow, we must vote one candidate off the island. Note, this is NOT a primary- you don’t have to declare a party to vote in this election, it’s just a runoff ballot.

If you don’t know who the 5 candidates are at this point- too bad, I’m not going to give you the recap.

But, I’m going to share my insight.

The two endorsed Dems- are always the favored to come in 1/2. Let’s hope this happens, so that the party doesn’t run scared and starts pumping ridiculous money into the fall election- which will have a big turnout since legalizing pot will be on the ballot.

That leaves three- the two preachers and the only woman, who also happens to be African American. Predictions are, just because of that- she’ll make it through the run-off- because we have stupid voters who don’t realize she’s in it for her, not for them. See this video:

She was  just elected to the school board 2 years ago- and if she wins a Commission seat, the School Board gets to choose her replacement. Last time they did this, when current Dayton City Commissioner and quitter, Jeff Mims pulled the same stunt- the school boards choice was a disaster.

That leaves the two preachers, Sliver and Fairchild. The problem is, if you vote for both of them- you could potentially knock one of them off the ballot. This is where “plonking” your vote comes in. By only voting for one candidate- you assure you don’t cancel your vote and help put one over the other.

Darryl Fairchild supporters- sent out an email today asking you to plonk for him. My feeling is that if Darryl had wanted to run for City Commission, he should have run last time- when he’d printed up 2 color stationery for his candidacy- but dropped out because the party didn’t endorse him. He dropped out- for a promise that he’d be the anointed one this time. They screwed him- and picked Chris Shaw, but this time, he decided to buck the party and run. I don’t need, and this is in bad taste since Darryl is in a wheelchair, a spineless puppet on the commission.

I’ve known Scott Sliver for 25 years. He’s not a politician- he’s a touchy-feely, guitar playing, leader of people. His heart is in the right place. And, full disclosure- my firm did his campaign literature and signs, but that wouldn’t change a thing- he’s the one I want to advance more than anyone else- a true political newcomer with no baggage. I’m plonking for Sliver tomorrow and invite you to do it too.

My choice not to make the cut is first and foremost, Matt Joseph, who hasn’t done squat in 12 years on the commission, but since that’s not going to happen, Ms. Rountree is my number two choice. Watch the video- and ask yourself, do we really need someone that self-centered on the commission?

The turnout will be incredibly low. If 9,000 people vote, it will be a miracle. There are much better, more efficient ways to do this, but, for now- this is all we’ve got. So if you want to see a change, go plonk for Sliver.

 

Hazel Rountree on Hazel Rountree

I’m sorry- when I run for public office, it’s about serving the people of the community. It’s because I believe in representing people and helping our community. When I first heard Hazel Rountree talk about why she was running for Dayton City Commission, despite barely completing half of her Dayton School Board term I was aghast. I didn’t think there was anyone stupid enough to say I’m running “because there is a vacancy without an incumbent.” No, voters really are that stupid- and need that explained, and that’s why she “was called” to run.

But, apparently, Ms. Rountree, who already has a high-paying government job working for the president of Wright State University, thinks that once you get elected to the City Commission, it’s a seat for life- because, well, there isn’t an incumbent. Watch this “educated” and “wise” candidate, tell us how it is.

I’ve got the entire candidates’ night video here, if you want to learn more about Darryl Fairchild, Scott Sliver, Chris Shaw and Municipal Court judicial candidate Mia Wortham Spells- who doesn’t have a primary.

Matt Joseph wasn’t in attendance, he’s the one incumbent, who according to Hazel has a job for life.

In all my time on the campaign trail, I’ve heard some pretty horrible candidates, but, I’ve never heard anyone like Hazel who not only takes themself so seriously, but would tell you “it’s their time” because the seat is open. For all her self-proclaimed wisdom and intelligence, I’ve never heard anything as flat-out stupid as her answer to a very legitimate question.

If there is one candidate I hope you don’t ever vote for again, it’s Hazel Rountree.

The nobody cares election

Two years ago, before the petitions were turned in and certified for the upcoming special election (which was a mayoral and 2 commission seat year) I attended a candidates’ night that I described as:

the oddest candidates’ night of them all- 2 hours of people who may not be on the ballot, talking about what they won’t be able to do anything about if they got elected mayor.

via The non-candidates’ mayoral forum – Esrati.

I, being the candidate who believes in a well-informed electorate, went out and videotaped the very long, poorly structured event and put it up online.

Today I was sitting with Scott Sliver, one of the 5 candidates for Dayton City Commission that will have the field narrowed in May to four, and asked if there were any candidates’ nights so far? None was the answer, in fact the first is April 20th by the League of Women Voters. That’s just a few weeks before the election. None in BEH, Walnut Hills, Northern Hills, FROC, Patterson Park, McCook- not a one.

Full disclosure- my firm, The Next Wave is doing printing and design for Mr. Sliver.

Lucky for me, because I’m going in for surgery tomorrow, and won’t be able to carry anything like a video camera for a few weeks. Not lucky for voters who still care.

Of course these stupid runoff elections 6 months before the real one are just something to make running for office more expensive and to give the overpaid people at the Board of (S)Elections something to do. Do we really need to narrow the field? Instant runoff balloting would make this easy. Just rank your choices 1 to 5 and then a computer runs a little routine and says if your number 1 choice didn’t get enough votes, your vote rolls to your number 2 and so on until the top two choices have more votes than the rest. One election, and you never have to worry about voting for “someone you like, but doesn’t stand a chance.”

For the record, the five choices in the upcoming election, 3 of whom I’ve never heard speak in public on political matters. are:

There is going to be an “open seat” since Commissioner Lovelace has been allowed to placehold for the last three years after his many strokes. Honestly, he should have been replaced in a special election after he missed 5 consecutive meetings according to the charter. Instead he took half a year off and then some. I’d like to give you more insight on the above candidates- but I can’t. No candidates nights. Lame-o websites.

I’m voting for Sliver, one vote, at this point. It’s called “plonking” around here- and it makes sure your vote doesn’t counterbalance by giving the guy who could come in above you that chance. As I’ve said earlier, I’ve known Scott for 25+ years, when we both started our own small businesses in the advertising field at the same time. He later closed up shop to become the touchy-feely pastor who feeds poor families in need.

After the League of Women Voters candidates’ night- I may consider Shaw or Fairchild. Rountree was just elected to School Board. I don’t like quitters, ever. Plus, I’m terrified who they may choose over much better qualified candidates to replace her (she was in the field of 8 when they picked William Schooler instead).

I’ve yet to see anything resembling leadership or real effort from Joseph who is a very nice guy, but a place holder on the commission. He’s been there for 12 years and has a very thin resume of accomplishment.

At this point, if more than 8,000 people vote in the primary (early voting is open now) I’d be shocked. It’s the election that nobody cares about.

UPDATE

13 April 15 Candidates nights:

  • Northern Hills Candidates Nights- Belle Haven School, 7pm  13 April 2015
  • Riverdale Neighborhood Association- Tuesday 14 April 2015
  • League Of Women’s Voters: 20 April, 6:30 p.m., Dayton Library Main Branch, 215 East Third Street Dayton
  • 22 April, 6pm Dakota Center 33 Barnett Street Dayton OH 45402 (off W. 5th)  Black Lives Matter.
  • April 26, 11:30 am Wayman Chapel 3317 Hoover Ave.

 

 

29 Years in South Park

29 years ago the space shuttle Challenger blew up. I also bought a house.

The house had been on the market for 2 years, starting out at $22,900. When I looked at it, it was down to $17,900. I didn’t have a Realtor, and offered $14,500. They took it.

Three months later I contracted Dayton Door Sales to replace the sliding siding doors on my garage with a pair of “modern” overhead garage doors. Next thing you know, I’d broken the law for fixing up my house. I went to the city commission, expecting representation, compassion, assistance- all I got was stonewalled, stone-faced stares. That was the reason I decided that Dayton needed a new mayor.

Apparently so did a lot of other people, and the primary was a 6-way affair- with Mike Turner coming in second to Clay Dixon and me, with my $1,000 campaign, coming in fourth.

So it was only fitting that today I went to the commission again. This time to ask why they can’t deal with a few inches of snow. I explained, when schools close, single parents have to stop work to take care of their kids, meaning small businesses suffer from lack of staff. Kids, who often only eat because they are in school- go hungry. The whole thing is the most anti “economic development” scam going.

I suggested they work on some alternatives:

  • Set alternate pickup points on snow days on heavy duty streets- avoiding driving into neighborhoods with narrow streets. Kids would have to walk a little, but, we could get routes to schools cleared.
  • Open a few strategic schools as day-care centers- staffed to feed kids, and keep them out of trouble so their parents can still work.
  • Or, plow the damn streets.

I suggested that maybe the answer is getting more CDL drivers in city hall to work when we have snow. You know- like the overpaid “economic development people” or the city commission’s staff.

As always- no response. I was the only speaker. The mayor moved on to closing comments, and voila- for the first time in 29 years, Commissioner Williams did the unthinkable- he agreed with me in public- and asked for answers.

Maybe this is just posing for the new city manager? Maybe it’s because I’m right- that this is unacceptable. They called up Fred Stoval, director of Public Works who gave a great song and dance about a lack of salt. Remember, I was asking about plowing- not salt. There are places where you can’t use salt- like Fargo ND, where the temperature stays well below the point where salt is effective- and they don’t close with 4″ of snow. However, my time was up- and no one on the commission is smart enough to question the lame answers.

Turns out, Mr. Stovall can muster about 60 drivers- and work them one 16-hour shift before he sends them home. That’s pulling everyone in public works except the trash guys. Of course, they are now on a 4-day work week- so pulling them for a day wouldn’t kill things unless it’s a week with a three day weekend, but again- no one on the commission engages in critical thinking 101.

He can also hit up the water department to help when clearing downtown. But, again, 16 hours with 60 trucks- no relief. Hello? Ever heard of temps? It’s also questionably legal for anyone to drive with a CDL for more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period, but, I’m not going to get into the legal part of all this. The reality is- 16 hours is mega OT.

The real solution is to have 180-200 qualified CDL drivers for snow duty. That way, you keep your 60 plows going 24-7 until everything is plowed- on 8-hour safe shifts. When the snow hits- there should be no other priority higher. Snow clogged streets hurt our kids, our single parents, make it hard for emergency responders to do their jobs- the only people who benefit are body shop owners- and hospitals that have to deal with the accidents that are results of our political malfeasance.

Face it- this isn’t Syracuse or Buffalo- both the first two snowfalls were under 4″ – there is no reason to close anything for less than a foot- if you have competent public works. We don’t.

This is what we pay our taxes for. It’s time to get our money’s worth.

I’ve been saying this for 29 years- and only today, did the commission catch on, but only barely.

Write a letter to your commissioners- write emails, call, demand better. This isn’t rocket science- it’s shoveling snow. Salt is not the problem- throwing it in our wounded city is.

Here is the contact info: http://www.daytonohio.gov/cco/Pages/default.aspx

and tell them, you too agree with David Esrati.

Thanks.

 

Compost or Green energy plants?

A large scale composting facility in CA

Hi, I’d like to start dumping stinky bio-waste next door to you. I’m the guy who mistakenly demolishes landmark buildings on city contracts. I’ve donated lots of money to elect dunderheads to lead your city into the ground- which has been very good for my demolition business. I charge a lot more to tear down buildings because I get the big contracts from the people I donated to. Won’t you welcome my third world solution to bio-waste to your community?

Steve Rauch, who owns the Dayton Farmersville Road property and an excavation and demolition business called SRI Inc., 1550 Soldiers Home-West Carrollton Road, and business partner Dan Wampler of Mason submitted a conditional use request to the Jefferson Township trustees for the composting facility and two greenhouses.

If approved, the proposed business would be called KOTE (Keepers of the Earth) Organic Farms and take in waste, including fruit and vegetable cut-outs and tea leaves from food processing companies, according to Wampler.

The compost created at the proposed facility would be sold.

via Proposed compost facility topic of NAACP meeting | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

A community meeting with the NAACP chapter is scheduled for Monday June 30 at 6 p.m. at Jefferson High School, 2701 S. Union Road to discuss this plan.

photo of Quasar bio digestor facility

Quasar bio digester facility

On the other hand- meet a guy named Mel Kurtz. He’s a visionary from the Cleveland area who has perfected a process to take bio-waste and put it in big sealed vessels and turn it into green bio fuel. My plants don’t stink- and I can create natural gas cheaper than fracking can- without creating toxic waste water, causing earthquakes or having your property downwind of a shit heap of flies and maggots

What is anaerobic digestion? Anaerobic digestion is a process in which microorganisms break down organic material in the absence of oxygen, creating biogas, which can be captured to use for electricity, pipeline quality natural gas, and motor vehicle fuel. Most of the natural gas used to heat and power homes and businesses in the U.S. comes from underground deposits created millions of years ago by the anaerobic digestion of ancient organic materials. Quasar’s anaerobic digestion system generates a renewable form of natural gas in a matter of days by feeding microorganisms organic waste including: crop residuals, manure, food waste, fats, oils and greases, personal care products, biobased lubricants and municipal waste water.

via quasar energy group.

Mel Kurtz is becoming a very wealthy man with his green technology. And while he can build plants from scratch, he’s tried to put his systems into our area- using old fuel farms for failed “economic developments” – by partnering with a local visionary businessman, but, because either he forgot to grease a bunch of political palms- or, well, he forgot to grease a bunch of political palms, his offers of CNG for $2 a gallon for 20 years, and offering to create clean electricity to power major airport infrastructures have been rebuffed or ignored.

The first fools to pass this up were the Dayton City Commission and Dayton City Manager Tim Riordan. The Emery/UPS facility at the Dayton “International” Airport was tied up in a lease with UPS until 2019, guaranteeing the city a few million a year, a facility maintained to FAA standards, and employment of about 50 people to maintain it.

A local visionary took a plan to the former airport director and UPS to put solar arrays on the roof of the facility, turn the fuel farm that was sitting unused into anaerobic biodigesters, and fill the facility with equipment for disaster relief using RFID tagged supplies and UAVs to fly over a relief site- tracking all the supplies. Cutting edge stuff- instead, they let UPS opt out of the lease for net present value of about $7 million- and handed half of it- and the $100 million + facility that your tax dollars helped build and equip, over to the vultures of IRG, who quickly let the facility go to hell, scrapped the fuel farm, the 4 huge emergency power turbine generators, the computerized conveyor systems  and leased a small portion out to some low tech business with 35 jobs.

That local visionary then turned his sights on Wilmington Airpark. Another flop of “economic development” where taxpayers gave millions to Airborne Express to make an air freight hub, only to be acquired by DHL- and then abandoned. There, a similar fuel farm was waiting for biodigestors- but a former Dayton “economic development expert” who failed his way up to the Ohio Department of Development under Governor Strickland- and then found his way to the Port Authority of Wilmington, has sat and collected a $150K a year paycheck to scrap parts of that airpark just to keep the lights on. In an email that was accidentally cc’d he said flat out that there is no way he’d ever do business with that local visionary.

Problem is- Mel Kurtz, who offered to walk in to Wilmington and invest about $30 million asking nothing other than to sell electricity back at about half the going rate from DP&L/AEG, likes that local visionary. Now Mr. Kurtz, though the local visionary, is moving on to try to work with the people at Montgomery County to set up his systems at both the South Transfer Station and the proposed new Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Brookville. County officials are traveling to Columbus to view one of his systems there. Interesting thing- other than a 20-year land lease and a contract to supply energy at a discount for 20 years- Kurtz isn’t asking for any taxpayer handouts.

I’m not going to tell Derrick Foward and the Dayton Unit of the NAACP what to say at the meeting with the shit pile king of Dayton, but, building compost facilities today is akin to trying to sell mercury filings for teeth, cigarettes as a way to help asthma or thinking that “separate but equal” is a valid solution to civil rights.

It’s time for the people of West Dayton to say enough to being used as a dump for other people’s problems. It’s also time that the people wake up and realize that there are some pretty smart people in our community trying to work their magic, except for the fools we’ve elected over and over with the money supplied by those who have their own interests in mind.

 

 

Pardon me, but are you still the “Dayton City Commission” if you meet in Sharonville?

Screen shot of agenda header

Is it still the “Dayton City Commission”

The almighty Mayor Nan and company believe that Dayton isn’t good enough for them to hold a retreat, instead, wasting our tax money and time- they scheduled a retreat tonight and tomorrow in Sharonville.

I suggest they reconsider this- and am seeking counsel to file an injunction.

From the Ohio Sunshine Laws Manual– page 88:

1. Where Meetings May be Held
A public body must conduct its meetings in a venue that is open to the public.831 Although the Open
Meetings Act does not specifically address where a public body must hold meetings, some authority
suggests that a public body must hold meetings in a public meeting place832 that is within the
geographical jurisdiction of the public body. 833

833 1944 Ohio Op. Att’y Gen. No. 7038; 1992 Ohio Op. Att’y Gen. No. 032.

I’m not linking this to the Dayton Daily News article about the session, because the paper is too chickenshit to do its job.

Here is the link to the City of Dayton “agenda” for the special meeting- in Cincinnati.

http://www.cityofdayton.org/cco/Commission%20Agendas/2014/01-10-14%20%20Agenda%20-%20Special%20Meeting.pdf

Why would the city commission go an hour away from the citizens that they “represent” to discuss plans for our city? Why would they add an undue burden to the citizen who wants to monitor their actions?

Why isn’t there a place in the city that is good enough for them?

I would advise Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Lori Ward and School Board President Dr. Walker, not to attend and open themselves up to a violation of the law.

This meeting should have been clearly announced in the Wed Jan 8, 2014 meeting agenda– but is not. Considering the only change to the commission is the addition of Jeff Mims, who rode the Whaley bandwagon into office, the real question is why is there even a need to work on “team building.” This is Nan’s team. It’s what she campaigned on. She sold voters on her “roadmap”- what’s to discuss in Cincinnati?

 

 

The reality of “a publicity stunt”- Esrati puts nets on rims

Tom Archdeacon should have written this story a few weeks ago. The story would have shared the history of Dayton street basketball, and the sorry shape of our community’s parks would have been the focus. Instead, it became a political piece, and I was interviewed again. Two pictures, front of the local section, and Commissioner Williams calls my efforts a “publicity stunt.”

I’ve never done a pr stunt that took as much work, and, if the city had been doing its job, I wouldn’t have to be doing the basic fundamental city service of maintaining our parks. A good friend in the advertising business uses this as a mantra to clients- “actions speak louder than words” to help guide clients on where to spend their ad dollars, I am a believer.

Here is the DDn article on the commission race- mostly about my nets campaign. There is no mention, unfortunately of the video that 2 Ponitz CTC students did.

Esrati’s hoops promise enlivens Dayton campaigns

Posted: 12:05 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23, 2013

Dayton City Commission candidate David Esrati is installing basketball nets and trying to replace damaged rims at many of Dayton’s neglected parks. He leaves a sticker with his phone number to call if net replacements are needed.

By Jeremy P. Kelley – Staff Writer

DAYTON —

Dayton Daily News Photo by Jim Witmer, of David Esrati with his pole sticker

Dayton Daily News Photo by Jim Witmer, of David Esrati with his pole sticker

As the six candidates for Dayton mayor and city commission fire up their campaigns for the November election, one candidate has made a very public show of improving city parks this summer.

Commission candidate David Esrati has called the state of Dayton’s parks “a disgrace,” and he’s spent the past two months improving basketball courts — digging out weeds and branches that were growing through the pavement, plus putting nets on basketball hoops that had none.

Esrati said he’s personally put up more than 200 of his green-marked nets on city, school and church courts, and even on kids’ portable baskets. He puts a sticker on each pole, encouraging people to call him if a net needs to be replaced.

“Who wants to live next to a park with no rims and no nets, a tennis court with weeds, grass that doesn’t get cut? That makes a statement,” Esrati said, hauling a ladder out of the trunk of his car. “But this is pride. It’s community pride.”

Esrati said he got few votes in West Dayton in May’s primary and needs to do better in November to win one of the two commission seats up for grabs. He’s putting up nets in all parts of the city, but he went to more than two dozen Dayton businesses, largely West Dayton barbershops, to get people to sponsor his nets program. The grassroots effort is important for a candidate who has pledged to spend no more than $10,000 on his campaign.

“I know from advertising and marketing that an ad is pretty worthless, but a service is worth something,” he said. “The stickers will stay, and if I win or if I lose (in November), I’ll still fix the nets.”

Esrati is one of four candidates running for two commission seats.

Incumbent Joey Williams said he has done steady work for the community for years, referring to Esrati’s basketball-net effort as “a publicity stunt.” Williams pointed to safety initiatives, such as the Community-Police Council that he’s championed, plus his role in improving the city’s bond rating and finances, while some cities struggle.

Candidate David Greer said he’s been spreading his message of citizen empowerment at public events and neighborhood meetings, and his campaign will be going door-to-door this weekend. Greer is focused on getting people to vote, saying turnout for the May primary was “very discouraging and sad.”

Commission candidate Jeffrey Mims said he has not done much campaigning yet, but continues his youth mentoring and other community activities. He said he is focused on improving jobs, safety and the school-community relationship.

via Esrati’s hoops promise enlivens Dayton campaigns | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

There is evidence that conditions of public parks have a direct impact on property values. For all the “economic development” projects the city has engaged in over the years- from Courthouse Square, the Arcade, Riverscape and tax abatementa, grants and other expenditures of our tax dollars on big things that will “save Dayton” – there is nothing as valuable to our citizens as clean, safe, well maintained parks with functioning amenities for the people who live here.

From a 2010 article in Dayton Most Metro, written by Shannon O’Neil (full disclosure- a supporter of my campaign)

Over 30 studies have been done on the impact of urban parks on property values. Typically people are willing to pay more for a home that is near or overlooking a park due to the “hedonistic value.” This means that the value of a property is affected by the home’s proximity to the park and the quality of the park itself. The report measures the value of a home within 500 feet of the park but states that the economic value of the park on property values has been measured at distances up to 2,000 feet…

Parks that are poorly maintained or unattractive are marginally valuable and dangerous parks can reduce property values. Parkland adds 5% value to the assessed value of dwellings within 500 ft. Excellent parks add 15% to the value of a dwelling while problematic parks reduce the assessed value by 5%.

via Economic Impact of Revitalizing Cooper Park | Dayton Most Metro.

The facts that you can’t play a full court game at Princeton Rec Center, despite it having 6 backboards and full time city staff, or that the only park with lights on at night is Burkham park- where the poles spin, the backboards are made of rotting wood, and 1 rim is missing and 1 has more curves and ups and downs than a roller coaster, should make it clear that these problems didn’t happen overnight, nor are they something that our current commission has cared about.

For a city with basketball nearing a religion, we’ve had heretics leading us for years. One of my favorite things to point out, is that the two mayoral candidates spent $360,000 in the primary to get 7,500 votes- or $50 per vote. Although it’s illegal, they would have done better to promise to pay every voter $20, had twice the voters and still had $60,000 left over- which could have bought new backboards and rims for every city court. Frankly, although I prefer the idea of A.J. Wagner as Mayor, I’m not so sure I want either of these money-blowing candidates holding our city checkbook.

Right now there is a relatively new backboard at Roosevelt Rec Center on W. Third Street where the backboard failed and not the rim. I’d be out there getting it welded this weekend, but the question of if the backboard is under warranty or not hasn’t been answered. It’s been a 6 days since it was reported to the Rec Center staff. I guess it’s a PR stunt by watching how long it takes for the city to act as well, seeing as this is one of the most popular courts in the city. It will be interesting if they ever fix the 4 lights that are there as a tease to our ‘ballers- since they’ve never been turned on, and now have all 4 lenses shot out.

I would be remiss, not to thank Jeremy Kelley, who wrote one of the nicest articles about me to ever appear in the news. Thank you.

As to my statement of ads being worthless- and being in the advertising business- 95% of ads (and 99% of political ads) are horrible and are reaching the wrong people. Advertising has changed a lot with the advent of the Internet and the ability to micro target, but even then, most ads are an unwelcome intrusion into your life- the masters of advertising believe in “marketing as a service” or- giving you utility as part of the relationship between the brand and the customer. That’s what Google does- in trading utility for the opportunity to deliver advertising. Which would you rather see- green nets, or political yard signs? This question will be on the test on November 5th. Your actions will speak louder than words.

 

Thank a barber, Esrati hangs nets on rims

If you see a basketball net with a bright green bottom, I hung it. If you see a rim without a net, or with a poor excuse for one- call 985-1312 and I’ll get one out and hung.

That’s the message that isn’t on my campaign literature. It’s what I’ve been doing since the beginning of June, hanging nets on what passes for rims and backboards in Dayton.

I had to spend over 4 hours pulling stink trees and other opportunistic weeds out of the three courts at the old Parkside homes. I’ve hung nets on rims with rust so bad one kid said “yeah, when you score you get rust in your eye.” I’ve seen rims with nets hung with knots, tape and even shoelaces.  We’ve got rims missing hooks, rims built for chains, which never got replaced. Backboards are just as bad- rusty if made of metal, rotting if made of wood (seriously, who bought wood backboards for outdoors). One is recognized by all old-school players as having been eaten up for years- it looks like a dragon bit the bottom off.

To pay for the nets- I’ve been using campaign funds and asking donations from the ultimate local business: barber shops and beauty salons. I go in, tell them what I’m doing – show them my posters- and ask them to sponsor a net. Most sponsor more than pne. I take a picture of them with the poster- put it online and hang the poster in the shop. Check out the pix at www.hoopsdayton.org My donations come from the community, not from DC or Columbus or the ‘burbs, but from the people who live and work here. I’m just as happy to accept $2 as $200, which is what a box of 100 nets costs me at Tuffy Brooks. That’s the crazy thing- nets actually cost less than yard signs. I’d much rather put up a net and do something positive in the community than place a yard sign. It takes a lot more effort to hang a net too- between hauling the ladder (I’ve had to hike it across a few football fields to get to some courts- like Western Hills) and doing court cleanups.

The support has been fantastic at many levels. But the real question is how come our city, which always has a million bucks for a developer, or a tax break for the world’s richest companies- can’t keep nets on rims? Or take care of the courts? Just yesterday, the City Manager rolled the convention center into the department of Parks and Rec- calling it one of the “entrepreneurial  departments.” Really? He wants to make money off providing parks and rec? This is the kind of thinking in City Hall that makes me run. Having nice parks is economic development in my book- as are safe streets and neighborhoods. Not by having buildings like Tech Town that sit mostly empty and compete with private developers.

Campaign poster for David Esrati for Dayton City Commission, next time a politician asks for your backing, ask about our backboards

One of the series of posters I’ve been asking for sponsorship for.

As one of my posters says “Next time a politician asks for your backing, ask them about our backboards.” Joey Williams, a former Dunbar basketball star has been on the commission for 12 years- with at least 2 supporting votes the entire time. Apparently, rusty backboards and rims, cracks in the courts, and not turning on the water in parks like Hickorydale is OK with him- as long as we have nice privately developed student housing for students at Sinclair.

I think not. If you’d like to help, please donate at www.electesrati.com/donate-2 After I hit my cap of $10,000, all money will go into a fund to start buying new backboards and rims and getting them up. I’ll need help from someone who knows how to weld when that time comes.

If you see a rim that needs a new net call 937-985-1312

If you’d like to change our city’s focus on what constitutes “economic development” and believe it should be “Parks and Rec” – not “Parks are a wreck” please volunteer for the campaign.

Thanks