While everyone knows we’re about to have a battle of the God Squad, with Daryl vs Darryl (Ward vs Fairchild) there are others running petitions right now.
Now, of course, there is always the barrier of the Montgomery County Board of (S)Elections which has an uncanny ability to disqualify candidates for all kinds of reasons. The petitions are broken- as is the process.
Donald Domenick who has turned in petitions before and been disqualified is suggesting he’s running. He’s the head of the Black Panther Party in Dayton.
Lauren White who owns Indigo Life Media and the Nucleus Co-share space on E. Fifth in the Oregon District has supposedly been hustling a petition in East Dayton. She’s got her own marketing firm- and social media chops.
added 27 Feb: Abraham Sandy, 19, who is a student at Stivers and head of the Dayton Republican Club, and co-chairman in Montgomery County of the Mike Gibbons for United States Senate campaign.
If you have anyone else come by with a petition- please, add their name in comments.
Special Elections like this one for Joey Williams seat are considered the best chance of getting elected to the Commission. It was the magic for Dean Lovelace after 2 previous failed attempts.
And, no, I’m not running. 2 lawsuits, a Service Disabled Veteran who is going to need my help as he re-enters the community, my mother, and a big VA contract for my business are all tops on the list. I’ve also got to make sure I win my precinct captaincy to help overthrow the Monarchy of Montgomery County.
Let the petition failures be few, and the choices good.
Judge Skelton asked for both sides to file a memo arguing if ORC 121.22 trumped Rule 65, even though he made it clear that he believed it did to start the court arguments.
And he asked us to use a pen, not a shovel.
To me, the pen is the tool that changes history. Shovels are what you use to muck a stall. Lawyers love to shovel. I love to write.
So, my filing is 9 pages plus attachments. I strayed outside the lines of strictly interpreting the issue of ORC 121.22 vs Rule 65, by explaining all the actions of the task force amounting to repeated and willful violations of the law. Since the defense tried to claim that a TRO as required by Rule 65 was moot, since they had already violated ORC 121.22, and that he believed that sticking to the law in the future would some how fix things- clearly had to be addressed (total bullshit, needing a bulldozer instead of a mere shovel).
Needless to say, the research was enlightening.
The Montgomery County Clerk of Courts site doesn’t like my filing.
Unfortunately, the Courts website (the one with the 35 page instructions on use) gives a 404 error when trying to upload the the large document that the school task force was given during their illegal tour. I had to abbreviate it just to upload to the site. Acting in full transparency mode, I’m posting it here, now. I’m sure, this will give the advantage to the defense, who will now, re-write their memo, turning it in at the last minute- and wasting considerable tax payer dollars doing so.
That is the crux of the problem with ORC 121.22- the burden and risk, is all upon the plaintiff- who risks getting billed for court costs and attorneys fees if their motion is found to be frivolous. Public officials who break the law, on the other hand, suffer zero personal risk, having tax funded defense at their disposal.
It also turns out that removal from office has been a false threat, enforced almost never. Our “Sunshine Laws” are in practice, just blowing sunshine up our collective butt.
Or at least they have been in the past.
The actions of these elected officials and employees of the district have been so wrong, so wanton in their disregard for the law, that maybe, just maybe, this will be a case that makes a difference. Or not.
At this point, the judge will consider both filings, and then offer a conference call on how to proceed.
My call is that he issue the injunction, which allows me to begin the process of contacting the Open Government Unit to begin proceedings to remove Jeff Mims, Robert Walker, William Harris and Mohamed Al-Hamdani from office.
He should also order the task force disbanded, and all members ruled ineligible to discuss the issue of school closings because they participated in an illegal secret meeting. This means, Acting Superintendent Lolli, Associate Superintendent Burton and Treasurer Abraha would all have to sit this one out.
Mims would have to be replaced by election, the three school board members would be replaced by those chosen by current remaining members, John McManus, Sheila Taylor, Jocelyn Rhynard and Karen Wick Gagnet, from members of the community that ask to sit on the board.
The only thing left to decide in court, is how many times they broke the law, and how many times the $500 fine should be counted.
Here are the documents for you to read, which are also available on the County Clerk of Courts site.
The Esrati filing on which law to use
A guide on the sunshine laws in Ohio that is clearer than the AG’s version
Document From Media and the law explaining that Sunshine Laws are weak.
Public Records Request from David Esrati to the School Board for the documents used on the tour
The abbreviated version of the task force document handed out on the bus
9pm Monday, 12 Feb 18 The city uploaded their response after 4pm. They had until midnight. It’s odd in that it focuses on the judges ability to shut down the task force, which wasn’t what he asked for, and some case law trying to grasp at straws that Rule 65 applies, without any specificity to the case.
9:15 am Tuesday, 13 Feb 18. The School Board attorney also filed a brief- more to the issue of Rule 65 and also arguing that the judge can’t disband a task force. Really? How can a task force that violates the sunshine law- by meeting in private, possibly contribute to any discussion the board will have about the issue of closing schools, and, how can any employee of the district, that helped coordinate these secret illegal meetings not put the board at risk of having any decision they make to close schools, instantly overturned? They can’t. And, the total page count of both their briefs equals mine. Yet, they miss the point of the special protections the sunshine laws are supposed to provide.
The more competent response filed by the private attorney for the district. Still wrong.
The city filed for the school board. It’s short, and harmless
There they were, Jocelyn Rhynard, John McManus, Mohammed Al-Hamdani, Rev William Harris, Reverend Walker, the superintendent, their legal council, sitting in Board Chambers agreeing to join together with an illegal meeting of the Dayton City Commission where Nan Whaley, Jeff Mims and Chris Shaw to create a task force – consisting of mostly people who don’t live in Dayton to provide guidance of the Dayton Public Schools.
First up: There was no legal meeting of the DPS board to discuss and authorize and direct the Superintendent in this course of action. Rhynard and Al-Hamdani haven’t been sworn in yet. Technically a quorum would be Harris, McManus, Taylor and Walker. Superintendent Libbie Lolli is acting to subvert the new boards authority before it has even been seated.
Required action: voiding this action until the new board has been sworn in and this has been discussed at a Business meeting. Reprimands should be handed to Lolli and the board attorney for violating state law.
On the City Commission side- the city prosecutor should file against the commission for holding a public meeting, without proper calling of a meeting. It is a violation of the Sunshine laws.
Their action is also null and void.
As to the “Task force” – since the Ohio Constitution puts a strong emphasis on local control- and grants school board members special leeway (in that it’s incredible hard to remove them for cause- one of which is residency- see Baguirov) there is no way a task force of non-residents should have input on the future of DPS – at least until it’s taken over by the state (which as this continues, looks more imminent).
Acting Superintendent Libbie Lolli is not looking too good on the PR front already. First she sabotaged her tenure by letting associate superintendent Sheila Burton spring an incompetent presentation on school utilization via spread sheet in the Dec Review session. This opened up a total and complete shits storm since most of the underutilized schools were on the West Side. The lack of a proper prepared statement and course of action has led to a Dayton Business Journal article fueling fear mongering of 9 building closings (the original estimate was up to 3).
No clickable link on the email on this incompetent press release
The press release on the DPS site concerning this task force (where the meeting wasn’t properly announced through channels- I didn’t get any wind of this until both Ch 2 called and Mama Glenn sent me a message on FB)- only had a non-functioning email link on how to suggest ideas, with no background info (you are supposed to have ideas without the data to work with) and no listing of the people on the task force and their qualifications.
To fully understand the folly of this nascent boards actions, they are sworn to protect the district and have a fiduciary responsibility to oversea the district- giving Dr. Tom Lasley, head of a competing board, funded with Dayton tax dollars, that actually serves to fund kids who go to private pre-schools instead of Dayton’s 5 start pre-schools – leading to underutilized buildings is flat out criminal.
This task force idea is a good reason to start a search for a Superintendent smart enough to know when she’s being played.
A good superintendent’s first plan of action should have been to start working on identifying ways to bring students back to the district. Apparently we have a superintendent who wants to retreat instead of fight the battle that needs to be fought.
I’m going to leave this board with two words to consider to solve your problems, or at least have a real shot at not closing buildings and bring leadership back to this district: David Lawrence.
Darryl Fairchild must have the Democratic Party scared
Full disclosure: my firm does work for Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss. I’m also a member of both the executive and central committee of the Montgomery County Democratic party (and don’t recall voting to authorize this kind of dirty politics.)
I got a mailer today. “Darryl Fairchild refused to support an issue that would provide many quality neighborhood services to Dayton residents” – a hit piece, from the Montgomery County Democratic Party.
Problem is- Darryl is a Democrat.
He’s such a loyal democrat that he dropped out of the commission race 4 years ago, so they could give Jeff Mims his seat. They had told him, “it’s not your time” and we’ll let you run for the next seat- and then they picked Chris Shaw instead. Doing deals with the devil- will always get you burned.
A party that will do this to their own, doesn’t deserve the right to call themselves Democrats. This is a republican thing- eating your own. Or at least it should be.
Darryl wasn’t in support of Issue 9- which raised the income tax- to pay for some of the things they claim:
Hiring more police officers
Improving Dayton’s Public parks
Cleaning and mowing vacant lots
What they left out- was that Issue 9 created another quasi-governmental organization and handed them huge amounts of money to compete with Dayton Public Schools. And, the reason we have to raise income taxes to do the above? Is it because Joey Williams and Jeff Mims and their crew- give tax abatement to every big company that comes with their hands out.
Had Williams and Mims been good stewards of your tax dollars- they should have been able to afford all of the above. And, for the record, they have not “hired more police officers”- they’ve hired more replacement police officers to fill retiring officers positions. The force has not grown, and in fact may have shrunk. One thing is for sure, it hasn’t gotten any more diverse.
Taylor Communications, General Electric, Emerson, Midmark, and every other developer (except the guys doing the FireBlocks projects- who actually pay their taxes) all got tax breaks.
Nope- no mention of the fact that under Williams- 80% of downtown properties don’t pay property taxes.
Also, no mention of the money spent buying vacant buildings a half-million dollars each, and then turning them over to “developers” for pennies. All of those stupid deals have been covered on this blog.
The fact is, the party is scared and thought the right answer was to go negative.
Hopefully, the voters will see this as a desperation move- and do the same thing that they did to Rhine McLin after she sent out 6 negative mailings about Gary Leitzell, vote Williams and Mims out of office and vote for Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss.
Dayton doesn’t need this kind of mud-slinging. What we need is real leadership.
full disclosure- my firm has done printing and is currently producing work for Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss. However, I’m equal opportunity- I’ll print or produce work for anyone who is willing to stick their neck out and run. It’s not that easy.
True story: last time I ran, Jeffery J. Mims Jr. was running too. I offered to gather signatures for him- and asked if he would do the same for me. I got 80 voters signatures for Jeff- had them notarized. He chose to not pick them up, not to turn them in. He ignored the wishes of 80 voters who wanted him on the ballot. He didn’t get a one for me. I still have those petitions.
Another true story: Joey D. Williams first ran for School Board when I was first running for Mayor. We were sitting next to each other in a church pew, at a candidates night. He leaned over to me, whispered in my ear, “I sat in the bathroom and read your entire campaign piece, it’s right on.” Of course, he wouldn’t tell anyone else, or endorse or stick his neck out. That’s not Joey’s thing. He’s got a plan for his career- it’s a safe one.
The funny thing is, I still have copies of the Esrati for Mayor 11×17 flyers, 2 colors, 2 sides, with lots of words on them. And, the issues I talked about then, are still issues today. It’s sad, because after being on the school board, Joey had a chance to tackle a lot of those issues. But, football isn’t his sport- tackling is out. He’s a basketball player, he likes to pass- pass on doing what needs to get done.
Four years ago- I started hanging free green basketball nets on courts all over the city. I hung over 500. Yes it was a stunt, but I kept doing it even after I lost. Our basketball courts were in shitty shape. Joey actually did do something about it- getting the city to invest over a million dollars on refurbishing our courts, backboards and rims. Would it have happened had I not gone out and hung nets, put posters in every barber shop in town? Doubt it. The way to get Joey Williams to act is to embarrass him.
The problem is, he doesn’t embarrass easy. Nor does our city. Especially under Nan Whaley, who can somehow think she’s governor material- and be in Columbus- and see what progress looks like- and somehow think Dayton is pulling its weight. We’re not. She’s so amazing, she’s running unopposed. The reality is, no one felt like trying after she spent half a million to get a $50K job.
The focus, the movement, the city on the move- has been limited to downtown and around the major employers in town- UD, CareSource, Premier, Kettering Health. The rest of the city- twisting in the wind. Right after Joey, Jeff and Nan got elected last time- came the street light assessment. A lot of talk about “City of Learners” and working with the School board all ended right after they pushed issue 9- and said it was “for the kids” – while it was really a way to raise all of our income taxes- to Oakwood levels, so that all the tax abated and non-profits who don’t pay property taxes- which go to the county- can get taxes to keep them and their friends in patronage jobs.
This has been the modus operandi in Dayton for as long as I can remember, and from what I’ve been told by old timers- since the flood. It’s time for a change. It’s time for the party people to actually have to do their jobs. It’s time for actions to speak louder than words.
There is no way I’ll ever vote for Joey or Jeff or Nan or Matt Joseph or even Chris Shaw- until I see them actually working to deliver value to the neighborhoods where the people live, instead of focusing on collecting income taxes from companies they’ve recruited with tax abatement.
Which brings us to your two choices for change on the City Commission. There were no others. There was no run-off primary. Running for office isn’t something most people are willing to do anymore. It’s a very real problem we’re facing.
I’ve had my issues with Darryl Fairchild in the past. He had printed signs and letterhead- and gotten ready to run four years ago. Then the party asked him to “wait his turn” and he said “ok.” He let Jeff Mims on the commission. Last time- when it was supposed to be “his turn” – the party went out and backed Chris Shaw- and Darryl came close to beating him. The difference this time is that Jeff is now an incumbent- and incumbents are historically almost impossible to beat in Dayton.
Fairchild isn’t great on the campaign trail. He wants to talk wonk. About best practices, about injustices- especially social ones, he wants to discuss structural failings of the system, inequity. Voters, for the most part- don’t get it. Some see that their neighborhood isn’t any better- and their property values haven’t gone up, and that their taxes, their fees, their water bill all have- and they get that, but Darryl isn’t concise. He does have a strong support group- and they have been working hard- he and Shenise have both raised more money than the two incumbents, but, not Nan money. Not even close.
Joey and Jeff have an easy formula- on the West side- it’s I went to school or church with you, your momma, your brothers cousins aunt. It’s old home week. On the East side- I’m the party pick, with the union endorsement, and, look at downtown- ain’t she pretty. And, frankly, both are good decent human beings. I like them both, as people, just not as city commissioners.
Joey hasn’t even been showing up at many of the candidates nights. He doesn’t have to- he traditionally has gotten the most votes of all candidates- including the mayor- without trying very hard.
Shenise Turner-Sloss used to work in city hall. She was the one who was responsible for all the grants and HUD Funds that Congressman Turner is currently making a stink about City Hall losing via ineptitude. She had moved on, out and up to a base job – meaning she has to be careful about her campaigning- she’s a Federal employee and the Hatch act applies to any partisan electioneering. Luckily- this is a non-partisan race, but she can’t say “I’m a democrat” or ask for party endorsement- not that they’d give it to her.
Speaking of the Montgomery County Democrats- when the issue of endorsing in the race came up, I stood up twice- once in executive and once in central committee- both times to ask, are we here to elect democrats- or just the ones on the friends and family plan? Darryl is most definitely a dem- why can’t we endorse him too. I wasn’t well received for suggesting such larceny. The party still doesn’t remember when they chose to endorse Hilary over Bernie- and helped give us Trump.
Shenise Turner-Sloss got her start with the group “Neighborhoods over politics” – which is really at the heart of their campaign. The idea of working on fixing the systemic failures of our city to support the neighborhoods- be it in welcoming investment, making sure parks and streets are well maintained, or that the police actually come when you call. She has an urban planners perspective when it comes to problem solving. She’s bright, motivated and not willing to back down from a fight.
Can I honestly think that electing Darryl and Shenise both will over-ride the Nan, Matt, Chris triad and bring real change to Dayton- no. But, then again, if Nan does get her wish, and becomes Lt. Governor candidate to Richard Cordray- and he beats Husted or whoever the Republicans run- we’re rid of her next year and the special election to end all special elections will emerge.
Darryl and Shenise will both bring new voices to the city- and help amplify the few strong voices left in the neighborhoods, and that’s why it’s time for a change.
November 7, 2017, you can vote for the same old tired incumbents, or you can vote for hope and change.