Dayton Issue 9- making poor people poorer

You know when Hillary Clinton said she was broke- and yet had million dollar homes?

That’s sort of how any smart Dayton voter would normally look at raising their taxes to pay for “city services”- which is what issue 9 is ostensibly all about.

Right after Queen Nan got herself elected with half-a-million dollars of OPM (other people’s money) to a job that only pays $45K a year- she promptly decided to add an assessment to every property owner in Dayton to replace all our street lights with high efficiency LED street lights- but, wait, isn’t that what we already pay taxes for?

Now, she knows that after the shopping spree that bought all the empty downtown buildings she could get her hands on- and gave away tax abatement to 80% of downtown property owners- directly hurting the Dayton Public Schools who get a majority of their funding from property taxes- she comes out with issue 9. And to bait and switch- she’s hitched her wagon to “the pre-school promise” which is supposed to miraculously improve our school performance on incoming kindergartners. Except- pre-school doesn’t do that for kids who have other issues- like extreme poverty.

And here lies the problem- for years, Daytonians have believed that you can tax income and since 70% of it is paid by people who live outside the city- who can’t vote, it’s like “free money.” Well, the problem is, if you do that, and jobs and businesses can’t move- no problem, but as we’ve seen- Austin Landing and Pentagon Parkway have filled with new office buildings– where the employees pay NO INCOME TAX AT ALL- at least as long as they work in tall buildings and wear a white collared shirt (Austin Landing is the most unfair, illegal, taxation district in the country- where only the little people who work at Kohl’s and Kroger pay taxes).

That’s why Nan can buy any office building she wants with your money so cheap- some businesses have abandoned downtown Dayton, and some have abandoned Dayton altogether- because they don’t want to operate in the County with the second highest tax burden in the State.

But- back to the pre-school promise. We already have “5 star preschools” – there are 14 of them, run by the elected group charged with education- the Dayton Board of Education. And while people complain they are only open 4 days a week- if Dayton gave them the $4.5 M a year that was going to go to the quasi-public “Learn to earn” people, they could be open a fifth day- and even afford transportation for those pre-schoolers. But, no, then we can’t hand 20% of that money each year to Nan’s friends- and let them spend it on overhead, their own paychecks and with pre-schools and daycare facilities that aren’t “5 Star”- and, there is no income restriction- so they could even pay for third shift daycare for kid that belongs to a doctor who works at Miami Valley Hospital.

If Nan truly cared about education- she wouldn’t have given tax abatement to General Electric, CareSource, Emerson, the list is long.

And, if you really wanted to see DPS improve- she could spend the $4.5M each year for 8 years- to build out citywide wi-fi that would get every single kid in DPS online at home- with their new 1-to-1 chromebook- so they could really teach themselves how to code, or open an online business, or take part in the global economy. And we could offer low price access to people to compete with Time Warner and ATT to the rest of the citizens- to help bridge the digital divide.

I’ve already pointed out that the average donation to the Political Action Committee shoving this down your throats was $1873. That the donors are all the people who will probably get some of this money back in contracts with the city- or services or tax abatement for their business.

Hell, we just gave CareSource half-a- million dollars today- despite the fact that their CEO makes $3 million a year- and it’s all paid with tax dollars from the feds.

We shouldn’t be taxing the poor people in Dayton to help CareSource, or General Electric, or create an alternative “board of pre-school education”- we should be spending money where it comes back to all of us- in services for all.

I filmed this video Wednesday afternoon, edited it Thursday, posted it on Facebook at 6pm last night and it had over 1,500 views inside of 16 hours.

Issue 9 is spending $35K on digital advertising. I haven’t spent a dime on advertising- but, if you want it to reach more people by election day- feel free to donate by sending money to [email protected] at paypal, or dropping off a check at 100 Bonner St Dayton Oh 45410.

It won’t take that much to get it in front of a whole lot of people- or you can just share it online. Watch and share.

Grandstanding in Dayton, and Travel Bans

There’s never a missed opportunity for our half-a-million dollar Mayor, Nan Whaley, to grandstand. Be it accepting refugees that aren’t coming, or banning travel to North Carolina and Mississippi over stupid legislation against the LGBT community. If there’s a front page story to be made out of making a proclamation or an informal resolution- she’s on top of it.

But, let’s talk about a local travel ban that the city created and now can’t find the “$35,000” it will cost to fix- and the costs the city’s lack of foresight cost a small local independent business.

For decades, 865 N. Main Street was the place to get fried chicken in Downtown Dayton. Chicken Louie’s was an institution. When Lou fell into poor health, the restaurant closed. Because the city of Dayton can’t keep a building safe from scrappers, the building quickly became a very expensive prospect to reopen. Plus, the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on I-75 through Downtown, were also taking their toll on businesses near the construction.

In November of 2014, a business that had begun on W. Third Street, rose to the challenge to bring fried chicken back to N. Main. Plans, permits, inspections, and almost 18 months later, they soft-opened this week. No big grants from the city, no tax abatements, no tax credits- a legitimate, small business opened back up in the old Chicken Louie’s- welcome back to Quincy’s. (Full disclosure- I do the advertising for them- and, they didn’t ask me to write this article).

Only one slight problem, when the city bulldozed a whole bunch of apartment buildings and built a brand new Great Miami Boulevard- they cut off the second entrance to the parking lot. Yep- made a little stub of a driveway- but, no access from the boulevard, only from N. Main, right at the light- making left turns into the lot a mess.

The city, which bought a building on Wayne Avenue for $450,000 and then sold it to a developer from out of town, and gifted them Garden Station as a bonus- can’t find $35,000 to replace the apron and access that they “improved” off the map. Here’s an aerial view courtesy of Google Maps- the yellow area is where a driveway should be- but now has curbs, grass and trees planted.

Aerial view of Quincy's Parking lot

Can Dayton put a driveway back in please?

This is similar to what they did to the old Wympee on E. Third street- when Olive Dive went to turn on their gas main- it turns out that the city had cut the gas line when replacing sidewalks- and was going to try to stick the tenant with the bill.

How 25 feet of concrete or asphalt becomes a $35,000 expense is beyond me. Why the curbs and access hadn’t been worked out and replaced well before the opening is also beyond me. But, I guess real “Economic Development” and a commitment to local small, independent business doesn’t make either the headlines- or, Miss Nan would have taken care of fixing this mistake already.

When people talk about being “business friendly” – it’s about a government that takes care of things like this and thanks the small business for bringing a building back to life. If I were mayor- this kind of bullshit would never fly, and I’d have rented a Bobcat and cleared the path myself, before they opened if I couldn’t get the city to act. A load or two of gravel over what I cleared would be a better start than leaving it as is.

Considering the only thing Nan has proven herself good at is making holes like the one on Ludlow where the perfectly usable Schwind and Dayton Daily News building were- she should be able to get a bulldozer over to Quincy’s on Monday and get this problem taken care of, $35,000 or not.

It’s a tiny investment compared to the value that having this building back in use pays back to the city.

In the meantime- go get yourself some chicken and fish, and be super careful entering and exiting the parking lot.

Why, besides the obvious reasons, is BradyWare moving to Austin Landing

The exodus of professional firms from Downtown Dayton to Austin Landing continues.

From the Dayton Business Journal:

The company currently has 55 employees in its 15,000-square-foot office. The move will be felt downtown — losing income tax and some of its daytime population — and at the Fifth Third building at 1 S. Main St. where BradyWare is among its longtime tenants.

Yet its relocation further solidifies Austin Landing as the new financial hub of the Dayton region, with other top local firms such as Merrill Lynch, Clark Schaefer Hackett and Wells Fargo. The location is said to be advantageous for firms looking to draw clients and employees from the Dayton area, as well as the Cincinnati region.

The city of Dayton will take a big hit in the lost income tax from all of the employees who live outside the city, many of whom stand to get a de facto 2.25 percent raise if they live in a township or city without an income tax. Unless the new office is on the first floor of a building in Austin Landing, employees are not subject to the income tax of the Joint Economic Development District at Austin Landing.

Source: BradyWare confirms plans to move from downtown Dayton to Austin Landing – Dayton Business Journal

However, the inside scoop is that apparently, BradyWare had set a meeting with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley to discuss staying another five years, but she didn’t show up for the meeting. Of course, part of the problem is that we have a City Manager form of government, and this should have been something the City Manager was doing. Of course, it would have just resulted in one of those tax rebate deals- where in exchange for keeping X jobs in Dayton for X years paying at least X dollars- we’ll throw you back some money. A finger in the proverbial broken dam.

Throw in the cramped parking that costs in the basement of the old Cit Fed/5/3rd tower Arcade garage, and the lack of food options, why pay that Dayton payroll tax?

Note- the 1 Dayton Center/5/3rd building at the corner of 3rd and Main- was built with tax dollars, despite not being pre-leased at the level required, and the building has been a financial flop since day one.

The giant sucking sound of the illegal JEDD at Austin Landing continues as a tax haven for the white-collar “2nd floor” types. Only the “little people” on the ground floors of Austin Landing pay taxes, and it’s costing the City of Dayton dearly.

Unfortunately, the idiots the people of Dayton elected to the City Commission like to accept big donations from developers and their friends – and in the end, all the voters got was the best politicians money could buy, while the developers are laughing all the way to the bank.

NAACP asks about “economic development”

I’ve been to more public meetings than most. For the most part- they suck. Forums aren’t forums, Q&A is random, some moderators have no clue how to run a meeting- and a lot of people like to talk too much- myself included.

I try to get out and video as many as possible that I think may be interesting and share them with you. Good idea number one if you are going to hold a forum- have someone video it and post to YouTube.

Good ideas number 2-5:

  • Have a podium and a microphone- with your organization on the podium (just like the Presidential Press Secretary) it answers a question- and it makes it easy for a set and forget camera.
  • Have a moderator who always REPEATS and focuses the question and directs who should answer. If multiple people will answer- have a strict timer.
  • Have set questions in advance- that are given to the panel, and the audience in advance. This isn’t 60 minutes gotcha- this is a forum- where people are trying to learn and understand and discuss.
  • Provide a backgrouder- a synopsis of the issue, with key points, reference links, opposing views- prime the pump. Make sure everyone knows what’s going on.

All that said- also, make sure you don’t do what happened here- make sure everyone knows what time it starts, stops and what’s expected. Also- don’t make everyone sit through the whole thing- have a schedule, bring speakers in at designated times and be respectful of their time.

The issue was “Economic development” – and particularly the West Side. I have my own views on this- skip forward to 1:18

From their Facebook page:

Dayton Unit NAACP Educates Citizens About The

Economic Development Environment In Dayton

On Monday, August 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the Dayton Boys Preparatory Academy, the Dayton Unit NAACP will hold its monthly community meeting entitled, “Economic Development Environment In Dayton.” The distinguished guest panelists will be Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton; Catherine Crosby, executive director of the Dayton Human Relations Council; Richard L. Wright, executive director of Parity Inc.; John A. Lumpkin, vice president of wealth management and financial advisor for Morgan Stanley; and Silvia Anderson, manager of workforce services for OhioMeansJobs in Montgomery County. The moderator will be Chris Shaw, chair of the Dayton Unit NAACP Economic Development Committee.

“The Dayton Unit NAACP is highly concerned about the lack of Employment Opportunities to include City, County and State Highway Construction Jobs; Small Business Development to include Retail Outlets, Restaurants and Service Facilities; and the lack of Franchise Businesses which are so prevalent in other areas of the Region, said Derrick L. Foward, president of the Dayton Unit NAACP. “We look forward to hearing the great things these leaders are accomplishing from an Economic Development standpoint in Dayton proper,” said Foward. “The citizens of Dayton are counting on you in a BIG way to enhance their quality of life.”
“The Economic Development Committee is concerned about jobs, business development and wealth building,” said Shaw. “While we know issues and opportunities exist, by bringing together community stakeholders, we will be able to update the residents of Dayton on collaborative efforts to further these goals. We look forward to community participation,” said Shaw.

via Dayton Unit NAACP.

There were about 50 people in attendance. At the end- I was asked to take a photo of everyone with their hands in the air- “hands up don’t shoot” for their FB page. Good to know I’m good for something.

We elect stupid people.

In the latest tiff over who can get the most publicity for a non-issue, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer should win a prize for the stupidest statement by a local politician:

Plummer said he signed the letter out of concern that taxpayer resources are at stake and that some of the children could join gangs here and get involved in the heroin trade.

“Is anyone vetting these kids? Is anybody doing background checks on these kids?” Plummer asked.“We need to take care of our own first. That’s not a selfish point of view. Everybody says the federal government is going to pay for this, but it is still our tax dollars.”

via Immigrant friendly but mired in controversy | www.mydaytondailynews.com.

How exactly do you do a background check on a kid from a dirt poor country?

I do agree we could try to take care of our own first- with one in five kids living in an environment where there are questions about where their next meal is coming from. Where we have an educational system where an 80% graduation rate from high school is considered OK and even those “graduates” aren’t really ready for college.

We have children here living in conditions that we would send money to a third world country to rectify, yet, Mayor Whaley is offering up the Naval Reserve training facility on Gettysburg to kids from Honduras- while I’ve been talking to people about turning it into a charter boarding school- to provide a safe place for kids to live while their parents or guardians are going through tough times. Yes, we could be taking care of our own first- but, that doesn’t make headlines.

Leave it to the two Dayton Mayors with the biggest egos to have a knock-down drag-out in the media over a non-issue and the dumbest of our local pols to join in. The Beavercreek council- yes, those who fought the RTA from bringing “those people” from Dayton to their mecca of retailing stepped up to say no to immigrant children, as did Plummer and State Rep. Mike Henne who joined Turner in a photo session for the paper.

You can expect to see all of them- out working with our own kids, you know, doing things like making sure our basketball courts have rims and nets on them- and no vegetation growing through the cracks in the pavement?

And while Montgomery County’s latest brilliant solution to the scourge of  the “heroin trade” is to put up badly designed billboards that say “heroin kills”- where are the programs for youth recreation?

I drove by the Gateway Sports complex yesterday and Kettering fields by the river- and saw empty baseball diamonds in the middle of summer on a Saturday afternoon. Contrast that with driving by Delco park almost any day, where you see hundreds of kids playing soccer- with adult supervision.

I’m not saying that sports are an answer to keeping kids off drugs- but, it’s a good start. Where are programs like that in Dayton, Mayor Whaley? And, going back a few years- Mayor Turner?

Last week I went by Mary Queen of Peace on Gramont. I stopped and talked to a guy who lives across the street from the playground and asked what happened to the basketball court rims? He told me the church took them down- and locked the gates.

a personal note-

I just stopped into Tuffy Brooks on Friday and saw my friend Jim. He’s ordering my fourth box of 100 nets. This will clean out my net money. I’m out of stickers to put on the poles to give kids my number to call for a net. I’ll be needing more zip ties- and the chain nets I bought- don’t attach to the rusted “chain” rims I run into at places like Gettysburg park- so I need to buy some type of S hook to put these nets up because zip ties aren’t the answer. If you can spare some money to donate to our own kids, it will go a long way toward my efforts to keep our kids on playgrounds instead of into other stuff.

I’m including a few photos:

  • Esrati hangs nets so kids can play
    Kids behind the Dayton Boys Prep academy
  • Rimless backboard in Dayton Ohio
    This backboard has been missing a rim at Virginia McNeal park- right next to UD Arena
  • Photo of nets taken down and replaced by David Esrati
    Nets I’ve taken down- most of them, with green on the bottom (mine)
  • Gettysburg park leaning backboard
    While the leaning tower of Pisa may be an attraction, this backboard at Gettysburg park isn’t.
  • Rusted rims in Dayton built for chains
    This is the type of S hook I need to source to hang chain nets on these rusted rims
  • Crime scene photo in Dayton Daily news with Esrati net and sticker in background
    I would be happier if my nets didn’t appear in the paper as background for a crime scene

I’ve been reporting issues non-stop with our courts with the Dayton Delivers mobile app. The backboard without a rim at Virginia O’Neal Park- or Welcome Park- depending on which sign you read- was reported resolved a few days after I turned it in. I went back to the park- and the rim was still missing – and I reopened the case. If you have a smart phone- download the app- report potholes, unpainted speed bumps, tall grass in parks, street lights out- instead of grandstanding, lets start seeing our commission get a report each week about the number of issues opened- and resolved in Dayton each week- instead of the focus on Guatemalan kids. Our kids deserve better than this.

And as a side note, I sent a proposal to the Dayton Public schools to ask them to pay $5 per net I hang at their schools and was turned down. The only reason I asked, was because I was called into the office and scolded for placing my “Elect Esrati” stickers on school property with the number to call for a net. Considering buying nets onesy twosy is a $5 proposition- and doesn’t include the labor- I figure I average about 20 minutes per net- including driving time, ladder time, etc.- it was a steal of an offer. I was turned down by the Superintendent. I’m still hanging nets on their properties.

Also note- the only guaranteed maintenance to our parks by our Mayor and her minions- every single one of my stickers on a basketball pole has been scraped off. No nets hung by the city.

 

 

Shit that really matters that you wish politicians would care more about

Dayton Daily News cutting about SGM Woodall Murder

Gone, but never forgotten. SGM Woodall, US Army Special Forces

In today’s Dayton Daily news, the war of words continues about Mayor Whaley’s quest for the spotlight and Mike Turner’s subliminal inferiority complex. It’s July 29th and I’m the only one who remembers every year that a real American hero was gunned down in his home, and that the spineless murderers are still running the streets of Dayton- free.

The headline- which peaks out above my monitor “Veteran of 3 wars, 85, dies in home invasion” is still there- reminding me that there has been no justice for Sgt. Major North E. Woohall. Every year I write a post. Every year I hope for justice.

You don’t hear updates on the unsolved murders in this city at every City Commission meeting from our police chief- because that might remind people that while “economic development” takes millions of your tax money and hands it over to developers and large companies, we can’t hire enough detectives to solve this crime. And while every year I write a post, hoping the day comes when I can take that yellowed piece of newsprint off my wall- I could be adding more just like it.

Photo of the tomb stone of Oscar Keithly Beason, murdered in Dayton Ohio

Another unsolved murder of a veteran in Dayton Ohio

My friend Keith Beason, who is one of the partners at Quincy’s Fish on West Third Street- has to go to bed every night, without knowing who killed his father. Oscar Keithly Beason was another veteran of WWII- killed at 95 in Dayton Ohio. Keith posts things like this on his Facebook wall:

If anyone has any information regarding the murder of Oscar Keithey Beason on or around February 16, 2013 please contact Det. Darrell Smith or Det. David House with the Dayton Police Homicide Department at: (937)333-1166 or (937)333-COPS

The senseless deaths of two senior citizens who served our country is more important than the plight of Honduran children to the people of Dayton Ohio. Our senior citizens deserve the right to feel safe in their homes. Our community deserves to be free of fear. For all the horrible things that may happen to those children in Honduras, our first priority is that our own children, even if they are grown adults, shouldn’t have to go to sleep each night, wondering who killed their father, and are their other senior citizen relatives safe in our City.

That’s shit that really matters- Mayor Whaley, Congressman Turner, how about taking care of our people first?