Issue 9- follow the money- and tax shifting

While everyone is all excited about CareSource building a new building on the old Patterson High School site that they bought from the Dayton Board of Education for a cool million, just be aware that it’s probably the last money DPS will see from that property.

Because, of course, they sold it to the tax exempt Port Authority, who will then build the building for CareSource, and pretend to own it- or the City Commission will flat out abate it, or CareSource will claim non-profit status, despite paying their CEO $3 million plus a year.

Note- all of CareSource’s revenue comes from Federal money that is targeted to the poor. Instead of the government administering the distribution of money for health care, we’ve “privatized” it because, well, we don’t trust the government to spend our money wisely. That’s why the President of the United States only makes $400K a year, and generals make about half that. Pam Morris, CareSource CEO is worth more- and you wonder why your health care premiums keep going up?

Moving on- CareSource is in the campaign finance report for “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future” a sham Political Action Committee that is doing a great job of raising money and spending it outside our community- “for our future.” On 10/6/16 they wrote a check for $25,000 to raise taxes on their employees by .25% to help fund the city. Remember, they don’t pay property taxes that fund the schools, but they are willing to charge their employees- who are paid with Federal funds.

And- in another twist, to help your medical bills skyrocket- the Greater Dayton Hospital Association tossed in a cool $30,000 on 9/15/16. This is the organization that helps the two major health care operations in the area collude and maintain high prices for less than optimal care as reported by the New York Times earlier this year. If I was paid as much as their director to write this blog, I’d get you the link – and more. Note, CareSource’s CEO’s salary is set by her board, which has people from the hospitals on it, and CareSource in turn spends their money with the hospitals in one gigantic mutual admiration and back patting and wallet padding society.

This campaign has contributions from some strange places- but, before we get to those, if you look down the list- if you are a vendor with the city, you wrote a check, if you are a high level staffer, you wrote a check, if you are a city commissioner, you or your campaign wrote a check, if you are labor and you do contracts with the city you wrote a check, if you receive funding from the city- you wrote a check.

Remember how they keep selling Issue 9 by telling us that for the average person making $35K the cost is only dollars a week and how the tax is mostly paid by people who work in Dayton but don’t live in Dayton (taxation without representation)- note, the people who can vote, aren’t donating to this campaign at all. This is being sold to people as if they are stupid.

And, the only guaranteed by the legislation winners- Learn to Earn Dayton- donated $8,000 which is chump change to pay for a potential $4 million coming into your organization a year- of which 20% will go to pay their overhead and salaries.

This is anything but a “grassroots campaign,” the average donation from 150 donors was $1873.

Compare that with almost any other campaign in this community- that’s probably 10x the average.

If you wrote a check for $100 or less, you are one of a very small group of cheap-skates, most likely, low level party people who felt pressured to show support, or who thought it might help their career advancement in the Monarchy of Montgomery County.

Usually I point out donors of $1000 or more in this kind of article- but I think in this case- $2,000 is the starting point, since it’s over the average, and people from out of the area:

  • M.O. and Nancy Diggs Jr. $5,000
  • Jerome and Patricia Tatar $2,500
  • Crown Services $3,000
  • Sandy’s $5,000
  • Friends of Nan Whaley (as if she really has any) $5,000
  • Ohio Council 18 AFSCME $5,000
  • Learn to Earn Dayton $3000 (why wouldn’t they buy their future sugar daddy some campaigning?)
  • Moodys of Dayton  $2000
  • Susan Woodhull $2000
  • Huntington National Bank $2500
  • Roger Glass $10,000
  • Copp Integrated Systems $2000
  • Weston PAC 1101 Pennsylvania Ave Washington DC $1500
  • Malt Products Corp (of NJ) $2500
  • Shook Construction $5000
  • MV Commercial Const. $10,000
  • 34 N. Jefferson LLC $2500
  • The aforementioned Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association $30,000
  • First Financial Bank $2500
  • CH2M Hill Engineers of Englewood CA $5,000
  • Hollywood Gaming $2500
  • Woolpert Inc. $10,000
  • Danis BLDG Constr. Co $2000
  • LWC $50000
  • Passero Assoc LLC of Jacksonville FL $5,000
  • HMV Hoot of Brethesda MD $1000
  • SPT of Chicago IL $1000
  • Lyn Leibowitz of CO $250
  • Dayton Business Cors? $5000
  • Realtors Political Action Com. $2,500
  • Learn to Earn Dayton – another contribution $5,000
  • DP&L $25,000
  • CareSource $25,000
  • Hazen and Sawyer of NY NY $3,0000
  • Arcadis of Highlands Rance CO $2,500
  • Richard Lapedes and Maureen Lynch $2,500
  • John Scott $2001
  • Larry Taylor $2000
  • Michael Emoff $2500
  • Charles Simms $4500
  • John Stafford $2500
  • Tina Bustillo $3500
  • Peter Haley $2500
  • Crawford Hoying $50000
  • Fund Raising Net $4629

If that doesn’t make you queasy about this campaign- note that they also spend their money in strange places, much of it outside this community:

  • LJR Custom Strategies of New Orleans LA for polling- $11953
  • Politech of Las Vegas NV for consulting $2,800  plus aother $2,800
  • Rust Belt Strategies of Columbus – Program MGT Russ Joseph- $5000
  • Stand up for Ohio – Youngstown- program MGT $1750
  • Community BLDG Strategies of Kent Oh for consulting $5,0000 + another $5000
  • Burges & Burges of Cleveland for consulting $20,000 + another $10,000 + another $10,000- $40K total.
  • Ohio Organizing Campaign of Youngstown for Consulting $3,400
  • Angle Mastagni Mathews of Ft Worth TX $10,795 no purpose listed
  • The New Media Firm Inc of Washington DC for media placement- digital ads- $35,000

and their printing provider- seems odd, Spark Space Creative– of Dayton. This organization has the same name as a Columbus firm, but runs out of a house on Peters Pike by a former Lexis employee Errin Siske. Her website is a holding page. Yet, they spent $4830- no purpose given, $18,422.27 for printing, $9273.97 for printing, $10,409.42 for printing. That’s a lot of printing ($42,935.66) to be doing out of your house.

There are a lot of talented local firms that could have been hired- but, instead, they chose to bypass the Dayton talent. They spent $218,478.19

That’s a lot of money.

And, as always, in politics, follow the money.

Note- the whole report is here: neigborhoods for-daytons future 2016 pre-election finance report. It’s filled out by hand- so that it can’t be compliant with the ADA or easily readable by google or those with disabilities. Good way to cover things up.

UPDATE

7:30 PM A dedicated reader took on the trouble of retyping the entire report- in a proper PDF- so it is accessible and searchable. It also has correct math. Although for the life of me- I couldn’t read some of the chicken scratch- so I can’t verify everything. But, compare the reports and see why this is important. Accessible 2016 10 27 Neighborhoods for Daytons future campaign finance report

Here is another video- shot on Tuesday, of Mayor Whaley and Jeff Mims trying to sell this tax hike at a forum sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha. I didn’t ask a question, because of the format of the questioning- and maybe because the last time I asked a political question in a church I was thrown out (although I was assured that wouldn’t happen here).

 

 

Our grandstanding prosecutor, Mat Heck, and the reach of UD Men’s Basketball

In another case of “it’s who you know” in Montgomery County, isn’t it somehow odd that 2 petty thieves don’t end up in jail- and have to wait for a speedy trial just like everyone else- because they were members of the UD Men’s basketball team?

Any other black male, caught breaking into UD dorm rooms and stealing stuff, who was positively identified, would have been in jail the next day, and already done with his sentence.

But, not Robinson and Scott- they get to “go home” or to some other school- and pretend like nothing happened for 3 months, until the UD season is over, to avoid distraction from “the run” that the team was on.

Read the language in the DDn article:

Two former University of Dayton basketball players accused of felony burglaries on campus in December will soon return to the area to face charges, their attorneys said Wednesday.

The Montgomery County prosecutor’s office on Tuesday issued nationwide arrest warrants for Jalen T. Robinson and Devin H. Scott. Robinson, 21, is currently enrolled at the University of South Carolina Aiken, according to the school’s sports information department. Scott, 20, is in Georgia, and has been researching schools, his attorney said.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. approved three charges against Robinson and seven against Scott with more possible, according to a press release issued Tuesday….

A supervising deputy for the U.S. Marshals confirmed that the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team (SO-FAST) and Dayton police were working to bring in Scott and Robinson.

“They are not typical fugitives who went on the run after they became aware that they are wanted,” Supervising Deputy Jeremy Rose said. “I believe in the near future they will turn themselves in.”

Jewson admonished Heck’s office for the press release, which stated that surveillance video from Dec. 14, 2014, positively identified Anderson and Scott and that the investigation is ongoing.

“None of that information has been presented to me and, frankly, I think it’s inappropriate for the prosecutor to attempt to try this case in the media and — basically regurgitate all the facts that they have that haven’t been disclosed to the defense — and put those out into mainstream media through Facebook and other outlets,” Jewson said, adding that such video hasn’t been tested for authenticity or admissibility. “It’s basically rumors at this point.”

via Lawyer: Ex-UD players to return.

And, at the same time, the coach who brought these misfits to Dayton, is getting a contract extension and probably a raise.

What’s even more troubling, is that Devon Scott, had already been in trouble for domestic abuse. Found guilty, and handed a suspended 30-day sentence. See Aug. 25th WHIO article:

University of Dayton basketball player Devon Scott won’t serve any jail time after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct against the mother of his son.

Though he didn’t appear in Dayton Municipal Court with his attorney, Scott was sentenced Monday by Judge Deirdre Logan to 40 hours of community service to be completed by Nov. 30, a suspended 30-day sentence, a $250 fine with half of that suspended, and court costs.

Scott also must show proof of completing a domestic violence program and will be on non-reporting probation for one year in which he has no new offenses.

via UD’s Devon Scott takes plea in April assault case | Dayton, OH | www.whio.com.

Normally, when a black male has a suspended sentence, and is caught in the commission of another crime, he goes to jail, directly to jail, he does not pass go, he does not collect $200. But, again, we’re dealing with UD, which gets a different set of rules for its riots, and especially for its  beloved basketball team.

I was aware of the thefts before the news broke because I live within 5 miles of campus and enjoy the anonymous social app Yik Yak as a way of taking a mental break from the serious. Everyone on campus knew the two 6’7″ bball stars had done it, because, well, they are hard to miss and well known. I didn’t want to break the news- because I don’t consider reading Yik Yak a reliable news source- nor, do I think that petty theft is worthy of my blog. But, this ranks as front page breaking news in local media. Sad to say, thieving from students somehow is worse than domestic abuse, and being able to play basketball provides you privileged treatment by the courts here in Dayton.

The University has taken great effort in trying to change student behavior, stressing “#community” and a positive ethos- with their “Green dot” program. They teach their community members (staff, faculty, students) that there are “red dots”- acts of hate, violence, disrespect- and that in order to reduce these types of occurrences, everyone needs to be tuned into “Green dot” behavior- helping each other out, respect, integrity.

From last night- a yak said “watched a clearly drunk girl stumbling home alone and got nervous when a guy approached her. I watched as he called mom’s limo for her and waited with her until they came. I fucking love this school. – posted around 3am. 63 upvotes, and a comment “green dot”

Shared UD yik yak about green dot behavior

Shared UD yik yak about green dot behavior

The fact that our prosecutor seems to enforce different standards of prosecution in Montgomery County is a red dot to me. Do lawyers and their families who break the law get different treatment here? How about politicians? If only half the stories I’ve heard about some of the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” in the past are true, the answer is yes- but the mainstream media are in bed with the royalty and afraid to cover it. When names are missing from police reports- and it only says “an Oakwood resident” my “friends and family” radar always goes off.

Seemingly, only the pawns, lowly basketball players, are fair game for the media to mock, and the prosecutor to play games with in public.

This is just another example of why I believe if the Justice Department came into Dayton, we’d fail the Ferguson test.

There’s more sunshine in the county than in the city

Last week I made an identical request for public records from the county and the city. In Montgomery County you send your request to the Auditor’s office, run by Karl Keith, the elected Democrat who is also Vice-Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. They have a very informative page with all the info you need to fill out a request here: http://www.mcohio.org/government/auditor/public_records_policy.html

I asked:

“I’d like a spreadsheet with the names of all county employees- title and department, home zip code and the street number of their home.
Thank you very much.”

I immediately got an automated reply saying they had received the request. A few days later I got another email clarifying the request:

After reviewing your public records request, further clarification is needed.  Please clarify that the information you are requesting is listed below…

  • Names of all county employees
  • Title and Department
  • Home Zip Code
  • Home street number

Please respond to this email to confirm or clarify if the above criterion is accurate or inaccurate.

Thank You

I said that was correct and thank you. The next day it showed up. Exactly what I asked for.

On the other hand, the request to the city generated this response from Tom Biedenharn, from the city’s office of public affairs. The city FOIA request page is here: http://www.cityofdayton.org/departments/pa/Pages/PublicInformationRequest.aspx

David,

We have completed your request to the extent that we can.  However, according to a previous Ohio Supreme Court ruling, State ex rel Dispatch Printing Company vs. Johnson, 2005 – 106 Ohio St. 3d, 160 (see attached), home addresses of public employees are not subject to Open Records Requests since they do not fall under the definition of a record that “documents the activities” of the organization.  Please find attached a document containing the other information you requested.

Thank you.

Tom Biedenharn
Office of Public Affairs

He included a 24 page PDF explaining why it was none of my business to get the home zip code and house number of city employees. I’m including a copy of it here: Case re public request for employee addresses

And while the response with the list of employees was almost instant- even with going back and forth, he stood his ground.

Please note, that if you are a registered voter in the state of Ohio- anyone, can go to the Secretary of State site and download the voter files, with your full name, address, birth year, gender, political party affiliation, and voting record (if you voted- not who you voted for). Yet, asking where the people we pay to work for us are is private?

Note, I was careful, not to ask for home addresses- just a zip code and a house number. I really don’t care where you live, but I was trying to corroborate something that I think is of major interest to the taxpayers of our county: Who is getting patronage jobs- and how they are controlling elections.

But, that’s the beauty of the Sunshine Laws- I don’t have to explain why I’m asking. The fact that the two government entities treat my request differently is an issue. But, what’s more important is what I found and posted in a previous post:

The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and the party central committees – See more at: “The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and party central committees”
What I found by cross referencing the two employee lists, with the voter database, with the list from the Board of Elections of who was elected in 2010 to the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee- was that of the 361 precincts, 175 are empty, 186 are filled. 84 are people I could identify as either: government workers, elected officials, union heads, former elected officials, relatives of employees, and I’m sure if I had some insiders helping out, we’d have even more. To me, this is a conflict of interest- an EPIC FAIL to running open and honest elections, because in Montgomery County, the parties endorse pre-primary. That’s right, the party central committees, made up of the friends and family of elected officials – the people who can hire and fire government workers, pick a secret subset of these people, to serve on the “Screening Committee” that picks the winners and losers- and oversees the elections.
If you wonder what a “Screening Committee” meeting sounds like- I recorded one and posted it (they were mad) – I just can’t find it right now. Here’s a post that has the written questions: http://esrati.com/answers-to-the-montgomery-county-democratic-party-screening-committee/521/
The one question that always gets asked- “If we don’t endorse you, will you drop out.” Let me ask you, when that’s the question- why have primaries at all?
Is this really how a democracy works?
Do you still have the full trust in your government now knowing that your home address isn’t protected and city employees addresses are? That the party central committees- which only require 5 signatures to run- get to decide who runs in elections, who gets endorsed and most importantly- picks who runs the election itself?
This is nothing short of organized crime.
Want to do something about it? Let’s fill the 175 empty seats- and a flip a few of the others- and stop this “friends and family program.”
Are you with me?

The “Monarchy of Montgomery County” starts in the BOE and the party central committees

UPDATE

The first post of this had incorrect salaries for the BOE, they have been corrected. Other details from comments, and emails are being added. I’m also going through employment data from the county and the city to cross reference central committee members to public employees. It would seem that the party central committee is hardly representative of the general public- in that most are either;  elected, work for elected people or are related to government workers.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is a cesspool of patronage positions that are totally controlled by the two political parties in the county.

Every position has 2 people to do it- one D, one R. The annual budget of the BOE is substantial, but they don’t really report to anyone. There is a lot of confusion because the Board of Elections is actually two parts: the actual board- of four members, 2 from each party, that usually meets twice a month and is paid about $20K a year, and the workers in the Board of Elections- who work year round to manage voter registration and coordinate elections. These positions are all filled by the parties and at least on the Democratic side, are expected to donate at least $100 a year for every $10,000 they make back to the party.

The current board is former GOP party chairs Greg Gantt and Kay Wick for the Republicans. For the Dems, it’s Rhine McLin. former Dayton mayor and state rep, and John Doll. They replaced Dennis Lieberman, long time Dem Party chair and husband of County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman and AFSCME leader, Tom Ritchie after a dispute with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted over early voting hours.

This is the organization that employs handwriting experts (graphologists) who ascertain the validity of petition signatures (graphology isn’t accepted in U.S. courts) and finds ways to keep as many candidates off ballots via technicalities as possible.

I’ve split the employees by party and listed alphabetically by last name. The information comes from at least 5 sources of former BOE workers from both parties. I’m sure my readers can help me fill in blanks- and refine this data. I am not a paid journalist, and I do my best to make sure information is correct- or at least correctable.

The wage data came from a public records request and was furnished by Director Jan Kelly.

Democrats:

Guy Aber, $42,016 election ops
Probably being groomed to take Steve Harsman’s place. His father, Russ Aber, works for Montgomery County Auditor and Dem Party vice chair Karl Keith in the data processing “division”. Was a friend of Tony Tipps. Guy is known by some former employees for having a temper.

April Alford, $35,817 registration
Friend of Beverly King. Known as a pretty hard worker and is about to complete her degree at WSU.

UPDATE

? Blackshear– son of County Recorder Willis Blackshear- information missing on Public records request.

Tina Brown, $38,737 campaign finance
Daughter of Jefferson Township trustee, Brice Sims. Replaced Henderson Scott after he was asked to step down after a sexual harassment investigation. He worked for Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley when the suit was filed, and was transferred to the BOE so he could keep his job. Tina is dependent on Republican counterpart Denis Aslinger to do parts of her job, which is one of the more complex parts of the operation..

Robyn Fecke, $43,035 poll worker coordinator
Her father is Dave Fecke who is a union boss friendly with union boss and former BOE member Tom Ritchie.

Anna Fernandez, $33,820 registration
Common law wife/girlfriend of Steve Harsman Jr.

John Fletcher, $32,843 registration
Unknown connection.

Steve Harsman, deputy director $119,995
Longest running employee, and predates sources for how he got the job in the first place. was a friend of Karl Keith, working in Dem HQ with former Dem Party Chief Joe Shump who gave Harsman the job. Owens wanted to remove Harsman, but Keith supported him. In typical dog-eat-dog dem fashion, AJ Wagner appointed Karl Keith to the auditor position, when he became a judge- and then Keith supported Nan in the Mayors race. No loyalty.

Laura Jordan, $33,820 registration
Commissioner Judy Dodge’s daughter.

Beverly King, $64,043 registration supervisor
Unknown how she got the job, but is famous to readers of this site for getting her son brother hired without a job application. Turns out he was a convicted rapist and registered sex offender. He was quickly shown the door as the office women felt betrayed.

Cathie Merkel, $57,886 Finance
Deceased husband, Mike, used to be Montgomery County Dem Party chair Mark Owens’ right hand man at the Dayton Clerk of Courts. Well known by insiders as the sometime girlfriend of Steve Harsman.

John Murphy, $34,840 registration
Dem Party faithful and father of Gen Murphy, who is Nan Whaley’s errand girl and president of the Ohio Young Dems.

Priscilla Ritchie, $37,960 absentee
Daughter in law of Tom Ritchie

David Owens, $37,918, campaign finance
Brother of Dayton Clerk of Courts Mark Owens who is the Dem Party chair.

Republicans:

Denis Aslinger, $49,046 campaign finance
Brother is a judge in Darke County. Husband of Julie Aslinger, a former magistrate for probate court.  Former director, Betty Smith was a probate court supervisor before coming to the BOE. Julie now works for Job and Family Services.

Denis is one of the true professionals in the office, and has been a huge help to me at getting good information in a timely manner, except when Steve Harsman forbade Denis to talk to me, over the recording and posting of my call about William Pace being on the ballot.

To accommodate Dave Landon, he’s being transferred downstairs. Landon ostensibly came in as a voter registration clerk at a very high pay- and Jan Kelly had to take a pay cut to make room for his inflated pay, but now as campaign finance director his pay is fitting his position.

Linda Brewster, $52,000 finance
Board member Kay Wick’s best friend.

Carolyn Clark, $49,046 absentee
Her mother did investments with Tom Young a Republican qho has been part of the old guard GOP in Montgomery County, possibly a girlfriend of a previous County GOP Chairman.

Bill Hibner, $49,046 election ops
Arlene Setzer, former state rep put him in under Jeff Jacobson. Father is Bill Hibner Sr. of Vandalia, who works with Greater Dayton Construction. Not sure how this is politically relevant, other than GDC/Oberer development is a major donor to politicians.

UPDATE

Francine ?– information missing from public information request.

Douglas Jones, $31,761 registration
Owns Studio Zumba and hired Jen Robertson as an instructor, and then she got him a job at the BOE.

UPDATE

Suzanne Joo, $35,713 Registration
Lives in Greene County. No connections. Reportedly stood up and protested the addition of Dave Landon to the BOE staff, took a personal day because she was so angry.

Jan Kelly, director, $100,006
Very helpful, used to work for SOS Jon Husted and ran against Dan Foley for County Commission, coming close, despite wide funding gap. Previously ran Chuck Curran’s campaign for county commissioner when he was a Republican. An attorney by profession, but not admitted to Ohio Bar. Had to take a pay cut to hire former GOP chair Dave Landon in.

UPDATE

Dave Landon, $69,992 finance
Long time GOP party old guard member. Disbarred as an attorney. Writes for Dayton City Paper. Fired from Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor’s district office for running his private auto sales business on state time. Despite only being there a few months, he’s already been in hot water for sending a robocall to endorse candidate Mike Nolan in a Miami Township political campaign which is a no-no for BOE employees. Also, reportedly attended a Dayton Daily News candidate interview for or with Nolan, during the time before an election when BOE employees aren’t allowed to leave the office. DDN supposedly looked into if he had taken personal time- and found no record of it. Reports from inside the BOE say he is still running his car business on BOE time- and takes extended lunches frequently.

Mark Mazer, $34,652 absentee
Good friend of Sandra Brassington who sometimes runs the local GOP and now works for Governor Kasich.

Karen O’Meara, $53,123 registration supervisor
Unknown connections.

Joshua Pettis $29,993 registration
Unknown connections.

Jennifer Robertson, $38,500 poll worker coordinator
She lives in Darke County but still serves as a precinct captain in Montgomery. When she was running for precinct captain, she put down the wrong address on her form. Greg Gantt, who was best friends with her brother growing up, possibly broke the law and allowed her to change the form after she had already turned it in.

Sarah Scott, $25,001 registration
Former GOP chair Rob Scott’s sister.

Former employees:

  • Alicia Scott Bey – retired. Was close to Jeff Jacobson. R
  • Tamar Gullate D
  • Anthony Harris- shuffled around the county building, must be related to someone. D
  • Joel Hart
  • Brittanee  Iles
  • Helen Jacobson -Former GOP party chair Jeff Jacobson’s mother R
  • Nancy Jenkins
  • Robin Lehman – left BOE for Domestic Relations Court. Is the Republican Party’s longtime treasurer. R
  • Marlene Kincer- Greg Brush’s mother in law- Kym Brush’s mom. D
  • Micah Leventhal
  • Kim Loy – Wife of former Vandalia Mayor Bill Loy D
  • Nancy Marino- runs Trotwood Dem Club D
  • Susan Martin- Tom Robert’s sister D
  • Brian Mead – now in State Auditor’s office- wife is lobbyist for CareSource R
  • Christine Michaels -former director of registration, Chris Conney’s mother. R
  • Andrew Morris R
  • Kelsey Rankin
  • Suzanne Robillard – Now Joo
  • Julie Russel- best friend Carolyn Clark
  • Henderson Scott – D out of Foley’s office
  • Betty Smith – former director, retired for health reasons. Knew her election law and was always helpful to me. Formerly a probate court supervisor R
  • Krystie Spirk – daughter of Mike Spirk – works for Karl Keith D
  • Dru Stewart – R
  • Bryan Suddith- R- Republican party activist.
  • Sinthy Taylor – D, Friend of McLin’s
  • Tony Tipps- Son of Ohio super lobbyist Paul Tipps. Was fired for ostensibly forging a signature on an absentee ballot for his daughter in front of Caroline Clark.
  • Robin Titus – D
  • Carol Varro – son worked for Jeff Jacobson.
  • Missy Mae Walters- Hired by Betty Smith, lobbyist and former girlfriend of former Republican Party Chair Rob Scott.
  • Shynae Whiteside
Screen shot Montgomery County Board of Elections (Ohio)  site on Jan 12, 2014 still showing 2013 dates

Screen shot MCBOE site on Jan 12, 2014 still showing 2013 dates

Despite all this amazing talent, the current website has upcoming election dates and registration deadlines in as of today, Jan. 12 2014.

UPDATE

since this post went up- they finally updated the dates

To see what a real county board of elections website should look like, visit Franklin County’s.

The real question is how the parties control these jobs and political offices. That’s determined by whom we elect to the party central committee. Dems have their elections with gubernatorial primaries- and Republicans do theirs with the presidential primaries.

Just in case you are interested, the deadlines to file your petition to run for Central Committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, the dates that aren’t on the BOE site are:

  • 2/5 – Central Committee Precinct Captain Petitions are due by 4 p.m. at the BOE
  • 2/24 – Central Committee Write-In Candidate Forms are due by 4 p.m. at the BOE

You need to get only 5 signatures of registered voters in your precinct to get on the ballot. Get at least double that so the “graphologists” don’t throw your petition out.

This is how Rob Scott took over the local Republican party from Greg Gantt, and how Dennis Lieberman ousted Joe Shump.

To find out what precinct you live in: http://www.mcohio.org/boe/voter_information/voter_reg_lookup.cfm

If you want to find out who your precinct captain is- good luck- the worthless site run by the local party has nothing. www.montgomerydems.org

(compare it to the excellent Franklin County site www.fcdp.org).

And- if you want the form- also- good luck, go to the Sec. of State site to download it. http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/forms/2-L.pdf Make sure you print it on legal paper, have it signed in ink- and that they SIGN- not print their names. If you want to run as a write in, the form is: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/elections/forms/13.pdf

To read about how precinct captain takeover’s work: http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com/

Below is the list of the current Dem party precinct captains- with a few titles filled in.
Note how many seats are empty? Also- note, how many people are either in office- or work for elected leaders. I don’t have time to cross-reference every name- but, if you can add in comments who works for whom- we can fill this out.

If you want to end the rule of the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” it will start with independent-minded people getting elected to the central committee. Please contact me if you need help with the process.

Montgomery County Dem Central Committee

WARDPRECINCT FIRST NAMELAST NAMEEMPLOYER
DAY 1A
DAY 1BJessicaMichaiak
DAY 1CRonaldLeeDayton School Board
DAY 1DJoanWagnerWife of AJ Wagner, former Auditor, Judge and Dayton Mayoral Candidate
DAY 1EDavidEsrati
DAY 2A
DAY 2BAnthonyBallisPartner of Dayton School Board Member Joe Lacey, who works in the County Treasurers office
DAY 2CMatthewCoxAuditors office
DAY 2D
DAY 3A
DAY 3BRichardCox
DAY 3C
DAY 3D
DAY 3E
DAY 3FCJBartley
DAY 3G
DAY 3HMaryKuehne
DAY 3IMarkCunningham
DAY 3J
DAY 3KMarkOwensDem Party Chair, Dayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 3LAnnMurrayDayton Municipal Court
DAY 4ASamuelBraunMr. Nan Whaley, County Auditors office
DAY 4B
DAY 4CWalterDoty
DAY 4D
DAY 5AAprilAlfordBoard of Elections
DAY 5BFredStrahornState Representative
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DAY 5EBarbaraHarris
DAY 6ATomRobertsFormer State Rep and Senate
DAY 6BStaceyBenson-TaylorAFLCIO Union Representative
DAY 6CDorothyBarnes
DAY 6DLawrenceFlowersDayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 7ARhineMcLinFormer State rep, senate, MCDP vice chair, Dayton Mayor and now on BOE
DAY 7BClaytonLuckieImprisoned State rep
DAY 8AKarlKeithCounty Auditor, Vice Chair MCDP
DAY 8B
DAY 8CMeghanCole - now ThomasDayton Clerk of Courts (moved)
DAY 8DGeorgeEstes
DAY 9AMaryMontgomeryProsecutors office
DAY 9BGenevieveMurphyPresident Ohio Young Dems, Auditors office
DAY 9CMatthewJosephDayton City Commissioner, Brother of Russ Joseph, Dayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 9DGuyAberBoard of Elections, his father Russel works in Auditors office
DAY 10A
DAY 10B
DAY 10CMaryPattersonCounty Treasurers office
DAY 10D
DAY 10E
DAY 11A
DAY 11B
DAY 11CRachellePaynter
DAY 11DJessicaAbernathyFormer Deputy MC Recorder, Admin Secretary at Family First Council
DAY 12ACatherineMerkleBoard of Elections
DAY 12B
DAY 12CChristopherConner
DAY 12D
DAY 13AShawnDayDayton Clerk of Courts
DAY 13BHayesShepard
DAY 14AGeraldMarshall
DAY 14BJohnBoston
DAY 14C
DAY 14DLakiaGray
DAY 15AReginaMarksCounty Environmental Services
DAY 15BJohnSmith
DAY 15C
DAY 15D
DAY 16AClayDixonFormer Mayor of Dayton
DAY 16B
DAY 16CIrvingJohnson
DAY 16DClaudiaMason
DAY 16E
DAY 17AMichaelNelson
DAY 17BJamieSimpson
DAY 17CLindaMcKenna
DAY 17DAudrennaWhitesideClerk of Courts
DAY 18AFredRalston
DAY 18B
DAY 18CGretchenMoore
DAY 18D
DAY 19AJamesAtchisonIT Manager at the City of Moraine
DAY 19BWillisBlackshearCounty Recorder
DAY 19C
DAY 19DKeithLanderFacility Services at MC
DAY 20ALelaEstesBoard Member at City of Dayton
DAY 20BRichardSeitz
DAY 20 C
DAY 20DThomasRitchieUnion Head, former BOE member
DAY 21AWillieMarshall
DAY 21B
DAY 21CMarciaKnoxUnion Chief
DAY 22ASinthyTaylorFormer BOE employee
DAY 22BJohnFletcherBoard of Elections
DAY 22CAlvinFreemanDayton Civil Service Board
DAY 23A
BTADebraArmaniniCounty Prosecutor
BTBKym BrushWife of Greg Brush County Clerk of Courts
BTCEmily JacksonNow Emily Bradford- works in County Commission office for Judy Dodge
BTDRichard Carnelobbyist
BTEWilliam Davis IIDayton Water dept.
BTF
BTGPatriciaKunk
VDA
VDB
VDC
VDDWilliamCrawfordDayton Street Maintenance
VDEMarkMacNealyVolunteer Physician at Reach out of Montgomery County
VDF
VDGJudy DodgeCounty commissioner
VDHElaineZimmers-JohnsonRetired-Director of Real Estate for the Auditor’s Office
VDILawrenceO'Donnell
VDJStevenHarsmanBoard of Elections
CLAA
CLAB
CLACRichardRenner5 Rivers Metro Parks
BRKA
BRKB
BRKC
BRKDAmy EddsCounty Auditors office
PHB
GERA
GER-B
GTNA
GTNB
GTNCJeffHastyEnvironmental Services
HARA
HARBWesleyWellsUnion Leader
HARC
HARDElizabethDyer
HARE
HARF
HARGJustin AllenStillwater
HARH
HARIChristineKinterDayton Clerk of Courts
HARJRolandWinburnState Rep
HARK
HARLTony Curington
HARMBrookeWrightDayton Municipal Court
HARN
HUB 1A
HUB 1BLuDale
HUB 1CIsacDaniel
HUB 1D
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HUB 2B
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HUB 2D
HUB 3ADonaldPayne
HUB 3B
HUB 3CEdwinPrimm
HUB 3DLinda Manning
HUB 4A
HUB 4B
HUB 4C
HUB 4D
HUB 5A
HUB 5B
HUB 5CDavidRichards
HUB 6ADanaClark
HUB 6BEdLyons
HUB 6CEllenWilkey
JAKAKarenCriswell
JAKB
FARM
JNLBAVickiGebhart
JNLBBDave Fecke
JEFAFredMeacham
JEFBBriceSimsJefferson Twp Trustee
JEFC
JEFDLynnThomassonCounty Clerk of Courts
KT 1AJasonStanton
KT 1BRobin Barker
KT 1C
KT 1D
KT 1EDennisMcCarthy
KT 1FKathy Williams
KT 1G
KT 1HLauraJordanBoard of Elections
KT 1I
KT 2A
KT 2BFredSchindlerMaintainance at WPAFB
KT 2C
KT 2DNancy SimpsonCommunity Economic Development
KT 2EMaryRobinson
KT 2F
KT 2GDavidWisemann
KT 2HPatBiddle
KT 2I
KT 3A
KT 3BJonathanHardin
KT 3CFrederickKrumholtzDayton Clerk of Courts
KT 3D
KT 3E
KT 3FRobertaBeyerDayton Recreation and Youth Services
KT 3G
KT 3HAncilWebb
KT 3I
KT 3JMiriamMaue
KT 3K
KT 4ANancyEnright
KT 4B
KT 4CLauraHawthornLogistics management at WPAFB
KT 4D
KT 4E
KT 4F
KT 4GJonathanKleinman
KT 4HJohnMurphyBoard of Elections
KT 4IWesleyBishop
KT 4J
KT 4KMichaelBockKettering School board
TR 1ATommyStewart
TR 1B
TR 1CMarjorieTownes
TR 1DEllaBollingCounty Treasurers Office
TR 1ENancyMarino
TR 1FDawnWojcikMCDP employee
TR 2ATiaCoxJob and Family Services
TR 2BKevinArnold
TR 2C
TR 2D
TR 2EDonnaGales
TR 3A
TR 3B
TR 3C
TR 4ADjunaBrownex-Auditor’s Office
TR 4BPatrickThomassonMarried to Tisha who works in Dayton Clerk of Courts
TR 4C
TR 4D
RVA
RVBGladysStump
RVC
RVDWilliamFlauteRiverside Mayor
RVEKennyNance
RVF
RVG
RVH
RVI
RVJ
RVK
RVLEdythMitchell
RVM
PM
MIAA
MIAB
MIAC
MIAD
MIAE
MIAF
MIAG
MIAHWilliamMelke
MIAI
MIAJ
MIAK
MIAL
MIAM
MIAN
MIAOMarkLandersVeterans Services
MIAP
MIAQP MichaelRobinetteFormer head of Conservancy District, MVRPC
MIAR
MIAS
MIATJohnnaShiaCounty Prosecutor
WCRA
WCRBBrendaWhiteDayton Clerk of Courts
WCRC
WCRDToddAhearnCounty Prosector
WCREChrisHolmAuditors office
WCRF
WCRGReneeSheppard
MBG 1A
MBG 1B
MBG 1C
MBG 2A
MBG 2BCharlesBowlingFormer BOE employee
MBG 2C
MBG 3A
MBG 3B
MBG 3C
MBG 4A
MBG 4BJulieBrunsCounty Prosecutor
MBG 4C
MBG 4D
MOR 1AJacquelineCole
MOR 2APatriciaCelesJob and Family Services
MOR 3A
MOR 4ALindaPauley
OAKAPeggyWellerJFS childrens services
OAKB
OAKC
OAKD
OAKETony TippsFormer BOE worker, son of Lobbyist Paul Tipps
OAKF
OAKGCarolHolm
PERA
PERB
PERC
PNLBABettyBenningtonDayton Clerk of Courts
CTN 1A
CTN 1BMattHeckProsecutor
CTN 1CDennisLiebermanFormer MCDP Chair, Former BOE, Husband of Debbie Lieberman
CTN 1DTinaBrownBoard of Elections
CTN 2A
CTN 2BJackeHorne
CTN 2CJoeLitvinFormer County engineer
CTN 3AJamesGorman
CTN 3BTedGudorf
CTN 3CCheryl Hart-GroffDayton Clerk of Courts
ENGA
ENGBJudyGerhard
ENGC
ENGD
ENGE
ENGF
ENGG
ENGHPearlieJohnson
ENGI
ENGJ
UNA
UNBRobinDavisDayton Clerk of Courts
UNC
UNDMikeSpirkCounty Auditor
WSAJamesVangrovCounty Commission office
WSBKrissGang
WSC
WSDMaryMiller Ellis
WSE
WSF
WSG
WSHSusanHesselgesser
WSI
WSJMichelleGrodnerProsecutor
WSK
WSLBarbaraShump
WSM
WSN
WSOPaulRobinsonCounty Treasurer
WSP
WSQ
WSRJohn Roll
WSSPatEdsall
WSTShirleyMarion
WSU
WSVLeigh AnnCapizziJuvenile Court, married to Tony Capizzi, former Dayton City Commissioner and now Judge
WSW
WSXBeverlyKingBoard of Elections
CVA
CVB
CVCCharlotteVitali
CVD
CVE
CVFCathyStartzmanCounty Commission office
CVGStephenDavis
CVHDavidSaphire
CVI
CVJ
CVKMichaelRiceHusband of County Treasure Carolyn Rice
CVLChristiannaRomerCounty Commission office
CVM
CVN
CVOLeeFalkeFormer County Prosecutor
CVP

 

 

The different standards for public graft and corruption in Dayton, Ohio

Full Disclosure: my business, The Next Wave, does limited amounts of graphic design work and printing for the Sidebar and Brian Higgins. His websites for both the Columbus and Dayton restaurants are on our server.

Front page, center, top of fold. Multiple photos. Even when Mayor Clay Dixon took me outside to be his punching bag, it was below the fold.

The Dayton Daily News new modus operandi is to grab onto a small story and expand it into a grand inquisition. You can almost be guaranteed that if they do one investigative story, more will follow, each bigger and more inflammatory. Ask Sherry Oakes from Design Homes, Raleigh Tramell, or the operators of Richard Allen Academies, all whom have been dragged through the trial of public opinion in the Dayton Daily of late.

Now, we have the post mortem being written for a small, seemingly successful businessman, who happens to be in the body hauling business.

Montgomery County may have violated its own contracting requirements last month when it renewed a contract with a body-hauling business that was delinquent on hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal and state taxes, a Dayton Daily News investigation found. The debt — more than $215,523 in past due federal and state income taxes, and workers’ compensation premiums — would appear to put the Dayton-based company GSSP Enterprise Inc. in violation of its contract with the county, which requires payment of “any and all” taxes. Owner Brian E. Higgins also never disclosed that he had a business relationship with the director of the coroner’s office – something that the owner is required to disclose in a contract.

via County renews contract with delinquent business.

As a small business man, I can tell you from first hand experience that it’s very easy to get fined and have tax liens placed on your business. The myriad of websites, forms and differing reporting deadlines- as well as the number of different payments required by the state, as well as the complexity of tax laws make mistakes almost inevitable. Couple that with the misleading business practices of Intuit, makers of Quickbooks software, who sell a product for $150 every year that requires a $200 a year subscription to be able to use the payroll/taxation functions- including the ability to print out the basic filing forms and you have a recipe for the government to make more in some cases from fines than from collections. I remember one year not having sold any printing of business cards or letterhead for the six-month period that I report sales taxes in. The state decided this is impossible, “estimated” my sales taxes due, slapped a fine on my company and then took months to fix its assumptions.

The numbers that are reported on the front page of the Dayton Daily news (lowercase N intentional) add up to under a million dollars, and include the mixing of personal and corporate debt to inflate the numbers. This would never be done in a credible news story since the two aren’t in any way related. Corporate CEO’s get divorced all the time, with big settlements, and yet it would never be included in a financial analysis of their company.

But, there is one quote the DDn did dig up:

Susan Willeke, spokeswoman for the Ohio Ethics Commission, would not directly comment on the Betz and Higgins business connection, but said, “If someone uses their public position to secure a public contract for themselves, their family or a business associate, it is a fourth-degree felony.”

Really? Esrati.com has exposed multiple instances of county employees hiring friends and family without open competition. The hiring of a convicted rapist in the Board of Elections without even a job application, the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts made sure both his wife and father-in-law had jobs for the county, and if we go back to pre-blog days, I stood up at the Dayton City Commission meeting after losing against Bootsie Neal and Dean Lovelace for a commission seat, and threatened to file for an injunction to stop the “emergency legislation” the commission was enacting to purchase the former Sears site downtown for the Riverscape fountains project.

A brief recap of the Sears project: a group of local businessmen formed an LLC to purchase the Sears building for $200,000 with a five-year option on the real estate that it was on for $1.5 million. The businessmen included: Alan Rinzler who owns the Talbot Tower and other real-estate holdings; Sandy Mendelson, owner of Mendelsons; Jason Liff, a local real estate broker and former owner of MotoScooto, and Bruce and DeNeal Feldman, owners of Economy Linen.

Full disclosure once again- after I threatened to file the suit to stop this “emergency legislation” I naively approached Mr. Mendelson to do his advertising, something he mentioned when giving me a $500 cash donation for my campaign (a donation I had to return and get as a check to satisfy the BOE- who doesn’t believe cash is legal tender for donations larger than $100). He told me to “go-to-hell” when I called- which I didn’t understand, since I didn’t realize at the time he was part of the LLC. Over lunch at Franco’s he explained his part of the deal- and told me that “nobody cares” about this, and I had a simple choice- file the suit (which at best would stall the deal and force it into a regular ordinance- taking two readings and 30 days to go into effect) and “find my body parts in different area codes” (exact words- you don’t forget threats like that from someone you barely know at the time, who wears a lot of gold jewelry) or, drop it, and have a nice little advertising account that puts money in your pocket.

For a year and a half, my firm did award winning advertising for Mendelson’s Liquidation Outlet. We re-did his logo, introduced the new tagline “The first place to look for every last thing” and developed the “explorer” character in a series of TV ads. His business grew substantially. When we couldn’t agree on terms for me to close my business and come run his retail operation, including the eBay business that I had pushed him to, we parted ways. I did do a small campaign a few years ago because he had severely damaged his brand publicly by suggesting he was closing and moving to another location and his sales were down. He stiffed me for a few thousand dollars- to date, the biggest uncollected debt my business has had in 22 years.

Back to the Sears deal- if the names DeNeal and Bruce Feldman don’t ring a bell, maybe Bruce’s wife’s name does: Debbie Feldman, our county administrator, who is one of Montgomery County’s highest paid government employees (as far as I know only Steven Johnson at Sinclair is paid more and it’s a horse race between Debbie and Dayton Schools Superintendent Lori Ward for second depending on how you count their perks).

The price that the LLC got for their $200K investment and option on the Sears deal? $8.7 million.

Front page story anyone?

There are lots of people getting rich off government contracts in this community. Our Congressman’s wife got a no-bid contract from the Dayton Development Coalition to come up with “Get Midwest” – a tagline that may go down in the annals of advertising history as one of the lamest- if it had been consequential. She also had a GSA schedule to do work for the Federal government while her husband was a sitting congressman on the defense appropriations committee- no DDn story outed her for doing work for the Army Corps of Engineers after I exposed it and work for the Home Depot PAC- a convenient way to skirt campaign finance laws. I could go on.

I can’t tell you if Brian Higgins got any special tax breaks for job creation from any government or quasi-government organization for “job creation” or “economic development”- but I can tell you that everyone of those government bureaucrats who will be first to load the shells into the guns of his firing squad over these tax issues- ate at his restaurant or maybe enjoyed hors d’ouvres at a fund-raiser he hosted (I had my election night event there- Brian donated food and allowed us to use the private back room to gather and watch results). I can also tell you that the building owner, Mike Ervin (who filed an eviction notice on Friday causing a Saturday DDn article) had put several different operators in the former Pacchia space where Sidebar 410 is today- and none of them could make the menu and atmosphere work the way Higgins has. Higgins employs at least 40 to 50 people and spends his money locally- with companies like mine. Yet, he doesn’t get a 30-year tax abatement like GE. While “high-tech” jobs may pay more, we have an awful lot of people who need service jobs too.

I’d look up the performance of all the “job creation” and “economic development” deals and compare them to Higgins’ operation any day of the week, but of course, there is no required posting and reporting of tax dollar giveaways in return for promised job creation. Hmmm- I wonder why not?

In the grand scheme of things, Brian Higgins and his tax bills or his government contract are being used as smoke and mirrors to cover up for wholesale thievery of public tax dollars. I’ll once again set myself up for “you’ll never do work in this town again” by calling out the “job creating” and “tax roll enhancement” juggernaut, CareSource. A company that despite paying its CEO, Pam Morris, $3 million plus a year, getting all kinds of tax breaks- including its new HQ built with public dollars- is 100% dependent on tax dollars for income, making their CEO right up there with the CEO of Countrywide, FannieMae and FreddyMac- as criminally overpaid quasi-government bureaucrats who have zero risk and 100% upside guaranteed.

Where is the front page story hanging them up?

While I don’t doubt that the body collection contract award probably didn’t follow correct practices, I’m pretty sure that Debbie Feldman or Roy Sigritz (the head of county purchasing) won’t take a hit on this. I’ll also add, that getting paid $128 to go pick up a body anywhere in Montgomery County on 24-hour call isn’t exactly raking in big bucks for what can be some really disgusting work. I asked the owner of a tow truck company if he could make money on that price- without accounting for mileage or disposable supplies on each run (remember some of these corpses can weigh as much as 600 lbs, could be several weeks old, and can be dangerous- open wounds with bodily fluids etc- you’d want to wear a bio-hazard suit) and he said “barely.”

The real bodies that need to be moved in this county are the ones running this three-ring circus with impunity- but, that would require the newspaper to do real investigations and run the risk of alienating the friends and family of the Monarchy of Montgomery County- and they have the advantage of owning everything from elections to judges. Good luck with that.

 

The fall of the Montgomery County Republican Party?

Too many sources have been whispering in my ear to let this one go by without mention: The days of Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Greg Gantt are coming to an end with a coming takeover by the Tea Party – led by Rob Scott. The party offices are to be no more- at least not in the Sherry Oakes/Design Homes building with subsidized rent (Oakes is still looking through rose-colored glasses about the FBI investigation into her maze of companies and their questionable minority contracting status). Money is so tight that Gantt borrowed $20K from Sheriff Phil Plummer earlier this year- and now has no way to pay it back.

Not only has the party been ineffective in raising money, somehow, its star, Congressman Mike Turner is now facing a primary after the statehouse Republicans took orders from House Speaker, John Boehner, who used to have part of his district in the county.

Rumors are also flying about a shake-up at the Board of Elections, with top Republicans about to be shifted out.

Montgomery County, as with most counties with a large urban core in Ohio has traditionally voted Democratic, but with the giant sucking sound of people leaving Dayton, the county can no longer be counted as a solid Dem win. The Montgomery County Democrats, under Chairman Mark Owens, aren’t in a whole lot better shape. Still smarting from the underdog victory of Mayor Leitzell over the incumbent party-favored daughter, Rhine McLin, the Dems are now facing challenges for county offices – something that used to get worked out in a back room.

The monarchy of Montgomery County is still hanging onto the last vestiges of the patronage system as long as possible- the recent embarrassment of having a Republican Judge’s son shoot someone five times outside Therapy Cafe on East Third Street- especially ironic because he was in a patronage position for another Republican judge where his job was to assist domestic violence victims in filling out their paperwork and helping them through the system.

To be fair, all of this was standard operating procedure for years, while the local version of the Fourth Estate, the Dayton Daily News, refused to do any kind of investigative reporting, instead believing that they were part of the secret society that ran this town. Now that they have jettisoned the flotsam and buckled down to attempt real reporting- it won’t be long before the entire org chart of both Dayton and Montgomery County gets cross referenced with a genealogical database and all the relationships come to light.

Even with the loss of population, Ohio will still be a key state for the presidential campaign and there will be a lot of money flowing through the party offices. The real question will be if the locals can be trusted, or will outsiders be brought in to try to steer the sinking ships in one last battle royale.

 

 

Barber college gets scalped- City gets beheaded

And despite the efforts of the Dayton Downtown Partnership, one of the few remaining vintage businesses of Downtown is leaving:

The owner of a 51-year-old downtown business says it will close today and move to the Dayton Mall area.

Dayton Barber College owner Todd LeMaster says police constantly harassed students after a student’s arrest on suspected felony drug trafficking nearly two years ago.

“They ran my customers off,” he said. “At the end of the day the cops could have helped me rather than forced me from downtown.”

Dayton police deny LeMaster’s claims that the school was targeted.

The college will board up its 28 W. Fifth St. location and reopen Monday at 2741 Lyons Road in Miami Twp. LeMaster says the new facility underwent $300,000 in renovations.

Aside from the felony drug arrest on April 4, 2009, Dayton police Lt. Larry Faulkner said most arrests made of students were for minor marijuana charges and followed citizen complaints.

“We’d be happy for them to stay. It is not my job to run businesses off. I am here to encourage business,” he said. “None of this rose to the level that he seems to be taking it.”

Faulkner said there have been few problems at the college in recent months.

Police began working with the college and the Ohio Barber Board after complaints about suspected drug activity.

“It was a terrible perception having their students standing out front (of the school),” Faulkner said. “The businesses and citizens didn’t like it. They felt it looked bad and gave the wrong impression.”

LeMaster agreed that students wouldn’t be allowed to hang out front, but didn’t always keep that promise, Faulkner said. This prompted more complaints and investigations.

LeMaster, who has owned the college for 21 years, said he never formally complained about police to avoid trouble.

Students performed 400 hair cuts a week before problems with police began, LeMaster said.

The school gets about 200 clients a week now. Enrollment dropped from about 75 students to 45.

LeMaster appealed a public nuisance charge filed on April 15, 2009, by the city’s division of housing inspection brought on by the student’s arrest for suspected drug possession and trafficking charges.

The City of Dayton Nuisance Appeal Board upheld the charge and ruled that LeMaster could have known of the student’s criminal activity if reasonable care and diligence had been exercised.

LeMaster said he found the nuisance charge personally painful because he strived to maintain a quality business.

“We take pride in what we do and the service we provide,” LeMaster said of the college that offers haircuts for $7. “Now they can look at a boarded-up building.”

via Barber college owner says move prompted by police harassment.

Let me translate the above paragraph in bold italics for you: “It was a terrible perception having young black males standing on the public sidewalk,” Faulkner said. “The Spaghetti Warehouse, and The Dayton Chess Club and Tri-College Bookstore” and the one resident on E. Fifth Street didn’t like the cigarette butts on the sidewalk.

Had LeMaster put up a little wrought iron fence, and put cafe tables out- served latte – and had at least one white student- he’d still be there.

Despite the City being at least 50% African American, the reality is that the Monarchy of Montgomery County only tolerates enough African Americans to stay in power. We have no interest in strengthening and supporting black business- unless they are large supporters of the political machine or move in the correct circles.

The damage has been done, yet another business in Dayton closes up and moves to suburbia- and we can wait for the next art gallery, coffee shop or tax supported business to take the bait.

Best wishes to Mr. LeMaster. Sorry to see you go.

PART 2 (added 2 hours later)

It occurs to me that I should have supported my claim that political supporters, especially white ones- get a different treatment. Read this post about an “unnamed nightclub” in Downtown Dayton:Houses of ill repute vs. regulators of no respect. Now- look at this article that was published by the DDN this a.m.:

DAYTON — An unidentified man was shot four times early Friday morning during an argument at Hammerjax nightclub in downtown Dayton, police said.

The victim was taken to Miami Valley Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

Police responding to reports of a disturbance heard gunshots shortly after they arrived at the nightclub at 111 East Fourth Street at about 2:30 a.m.

via Man shot at downtown Dayton nightclub.

The difference- one club owner hosts birthday parties for Rhine McLin and gives gifts of tile mosaic portraits.

LeMaster was cited and harassed-

“a public nuisance charge filed on April 15, 2009, by the city’s division of housing inspection brought on by the student’s arrest for suspected drug possession and trafficking charges.”

While shootings at nightclubs…. hmmm.

The fear of speaking out and up

My last post was up for less than a day, before the owner of the restaurant in question kindly asked for me to take it down.

Unfortunately, the Internet doesn’t have a real delete key. There are many of you who can figure out how to read it by going through caches, by using the wayback machine- or looking in RSS feeds. Plus- a few really pertinent comments were added- that I don’t have a right to censor. So I password protected the post- and if you look around, or write me an e-mail- I’ll gladly give it to you. Of course, if you want to try your mad code-breaking skills- the password is a word from the post’s title- take a wild guess at which one… you’ll probably get it.

But- I posit to you, it’s this kind of fear of airing our grievances that has us where we are today in Dayton- facing huge obstacles to overcome, with leaders who fail even the most basic leadership skill tests. Those who have vision- often don’t have power, those with power- often only use it to keep their power to themselves. Those who study leadership know that you can only gain true power by giving yours away- yet, that is rarely done here.

We’re terrified of the new, the different, of speaking out and up- because we fear that those with very little power, use it to punish, to blackball, to ostracize, to ridicule.  I’ve often quoted Paul Woodie, one of the more interesting people to have worked in Dayton City Hall- who told me early on “In this town, you need a herd to be heard.” How true.

I’ve written so much about bad behavior by our elected “politicians” in this county- and even given them a name: “The Monarchy of Montgomery County”- yet, there has been no outrage, no investigations of merit, and very little punishment of those behaving badly. The wagons are circled, the lies protected.

A small chink in the system- in neighboring Greene County comes with the fall of the “House of Schmidt” to which the Dayton Daily opines:

The pattern is egregious.

In such a small town as Xenia, the truth had to be known — or should have been known — to a wide range of people in important positions. It’s simply hard to believe it wasn’t. After all, people were quitting out of frustration with the way the office was run. Others were unhappy.

The leadership of the Republican Party needs to take some blame. That party totally dominates elective offices in Greene County. With that power comes responsibility.

The fact that Greene County doesn’t have a vibrant two-party system fosters complacency in officeholders. The dominant party has to know that and keep its own eye out for bad behavior.

The Democrats also failed. That party has to pick its targets carefully. It missed one. Nor do the media have much to be proud of here. The story broke only because one employee finally went to the state.

Still, of course, the offender here is Mr. Schmidt.

via Editorial: Schmidt case has message for Greene leaders | A Matter of Opinion.

However, I beg to differ- the offender here isn’t Mr. Schmidt- it’s us, the people- who’ve sat in complacently while our “representatives” and the “system” that we swear by- continues to fail us, to embarrass us, and to cause our community to lose value and our values. That we haven’t risen up, spoken out and stopped the madness. The Dayton Daily just wrote a story about the coroner who is working three jobs- that they aren’t posting online- without a call to end the stupidity of electing a coroner. We had the sheriff and his appraisers, the city manager and his child porn-surfing grandpa on the payroll, the convicted rapist hired by his sister at the BOE, the father-in-law, the brother, the uncle etc. We’ve had welfare money handed out to convicted welfare thief – and family members benefiting from county real estate deals. We’ve had retroactive pay raises that weren’t approved by city commission, hell, they didn’t even know it happened, and all this- doesn’t make us wake up and scream?

What we’ve allowed to pass for leadership in the community is an embarrassment. And despite the criticisms hurled this way for my “negativity” – let’s be realistic-there are no voices other than this one calling for investigations, prosecutions and change.

But, you don’t have to accept me as a leader. That’s what at least seven (I think- I can’t even remember them all at this point) elections have said to you who are keeping count. Why do you keep running if you keep losing? Why can’t you accept that no one wants to hear your voice- we wish you’d just go away.

To all of you- my supporters and my detractors- I will share with you an essay by someone far smarter than me. You should read the whole thing- twice, and then print it out, or add it to your Kindle or iPad or even cell phone- and reread it every time you see our community stumble- and then think- what can I do to change things, how can I make a difference? Do I need to enter the fray by running for office? Do I need to support someone who has the vision? How will I identify the leaders I want to lead? And what can we do with the impostors we’ve got?

Here is an excerpt- and there were many I could have pulled- but this will have to do:

We have a crisis of leadership in America because our overwhelming power and wealth, earned under earlier generations of leaders, made us complacent, and for too long we have been training leaders who only know how to keep the routine going. Who can answer questions, but don’t know how to ask them. Who can fulfill goals, but don’t know how to set them. Who think about how to get things done, but not whether they’re worth doing in the first place. What we have now are the greatest technocrats the world has ever seen, people who have been trained to be incredibly good at one specific thing, but who have no interest in anything beyond their area of exper­tise. What we don’t have are leaders.

What we don’t have, in other words, are thinkers. People who can think for themselves. People who can formulate a new direction: for the country, for a corporation or a college, for the Army—a new way of doing things, a new way of looking at things. People, in other words, with vision.

via Solitude and Leadership: an article by William Deresiewicz | The American Scholar.

What is your vision? Who stands between you and achieving it? Is it your boss, your partner, your community leaders, the banks, is it you? Is it Inspector Gotcha? Do you need to go and read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill (only .89 for kindle)?

Do you feel a need to blame someone else for where we are?

Are you a part of the problem, or part of the solution?

Share your answer below.

It’s time for an elected ethics officer in the county

[UPDATED WITH CLARIFICATIONS – 1 DEC] We elect a coroner, an auditor, a clerk of courts, an engineer and a sheriff. But, when it comes to the people who oversee those elections- they are appointed by the political parties- people we don’t elect.

And- for every position, the taxpayers get to pay two people- one Republican and one Democrat- as if this balance of power is somehow going to keep our elections honest.

The problem is that there is no one watching over the hen house- and the hen house is full of foxes, liars and people of limited morality.

If we as voters had a choice, maybe we should be electing a chief ethics officer for the county,  who would  oversee a department that investigates complaint about government employees breaking the rules and to oversee elections to keep things honest.

We need a total housecleaning in the Montgomery County Board of Elections- and the removal of all four current board members, who have chosen to look the other way on so many things it would make your head spin.

But, let’s start with an easy one. Back in 2006 the board set a policy of residency required in Montgomery County to work there – because you have to be a resident to work at the polls. They fired a Chris Heizer appointment who lived in Miami County over it [The fired worker got a job at the Miami County BOE]. Yet, for the last 6 months, Mark Owens, our Clerk of Courts and the Dem Party Chairman, has managed to get his brother, Dave, a job at the BOE despite living in Fairborn- Greene County.

UPDATE

This means Mr. Owens can’t work at the polls or troubleshoot on election day

There is also the question of why Ricky Boyd who was placed in the BOE to do, well, menial work while waiting for his court case to finish on his termination for cause at the Health Department. Conveniently, his case wasn’t resolved until he had his 30 years in, and while “working” at the BOE he was often seen reading the paper- or even caught taking naps in his car. This is in an office where security cameras are  in place to allow the director and deputy director to watch employees to make sure they aren’t doing something like Facebook on the job, and aren’t allowed to listen to MP3 players while doing data entry.

And while we saw a public firing of Tony Tipps for forging a signature on an absentee ballot, we also saw a 3-day suspension handed out to Beverly King who hired her brother, a Tier 3 sex offender, without a job application, and the quiet firing of another employee for sexual harassment, for contacting another employee outside the workplace- despite her discussions in the workplace about the size of a senior employee’s “package” in the office.

And while no laws were broken when the chatterbox took a trip to Miami to bunk with a high-level employee on BOE business, proof was presented  to by the Board- and no action was taken- despite the high-level employee being married and being the direct supervisor of the chatterbox.

Yes, if we had a chief ethics officer in Montgomery County- the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” would be no more- and we’d have a lot less Peyton Place going on, and probably get more for our tax dollars than we’re getting now.

But, since we don’t have an ethics officer, or an investigative journalist at the “Newspaper”- you have me. I apologize for not doing a better job in advance.

But what about the lack of job apps?

You read about the convicted rapist who was hired by his sister at the Montgomery County Board of Elections here first: Government Job- no posting required.

Now the punishment is being meted out-

A Montgomery County Board of Elections supervisor will serve an unpaid three-day suspension for recommending her brother for a job without notifying the board that he had a felony rape conviction, according to board Director Steve Harsman.

Beverly King, who is supervisor of registration, will serve the suspension Dec. 1, 2, and 3.

The delay is because she is needed through the end of November to assist with the certification of ballots and other election duties, Harsman said.

The discipline was for displaying a lack of appropriate judgment and in response to complaints from employees about discourteous treatment by her. She will be required to attend management classes, but will not be demoted, Harsman said.

via Election official suspended, touted ex-offender brother for job.

There was a 2 hour meeting on Tuesday by the board- and this is the best they can do?

What about the fact that none of these jobs are legally posted- and handed out to friends and family?

What about the fact that all the employees that are “Republican” (because the BOE is a 2 party slush fund) had filled out full job applications- and NONE of the Democrats did? Isn’t that illegal? And shouldn’t the head of the BOE, Dem Steve Harsman also be facing either discipline or dismissal?

It’s time that a full investigation of number of employees- pay, benefits- budgets of the BOE be examined and reevaluated.

Hiring of your brother, convicted rapist or not, without a job posting, job application- or any oversight (he also had more hours than any part-timer- including overtime because he rode to work with his sister) is grounds for not only dismissal but criminal charges. But of course for the “Monarchy of Montgomery County” laws, nor common sense apply.

Is it any wonder that we don’t trust our government to regionalize?