I had planned to publish this on Jan 1, 2020, but, didn’t get around to it. So, now I’m editing and adding… and finally posting.
2019 had to go down as the shittiest year ever since the flood in Dayton. We had the Strike, the Klan, the Indictments, the Tornadoes, the Shooting, more Indictments. We’d already lost daily news, with the newspaper running day old news because of their new deadline of 6pm, and now, instead of new ownership, we get stuck with the same fam-damily owning it after all the dance with the FCC. Mayor Nan got her crew back intact thanks to a huge push by labor and the Realtors PAC. The county jail is still the most dangerous place in Dayton, and Good Sam is being turned into a pile of dust while Premier builds brand spanking new mini-hospitals everywhere else.
The Arcade and the Fairgrounds are moving along quite nicely with sweetheart deals from the taxpayers, a small crisis was averted at the Knoop Prairie, with GM sprawling out to Brookville- instead of expanding in Moraine where it makes sense. Other projects sure to get tons of tax dollars include the Mendelson’s building, the “Manhattan” project 2 (601 E. Third St- another questionable tax dollar deal) and now the city has given up the convention center, which has been a folly since day one.
Wright State is still pretending to have survived the misdeeds of a criminal board of trustees, which is slowly being refreshed by Governor DeWine who can’t admit he was asleep at the wheel when he was the State Attorney General. Finally, they’ve put a president in charge who may be competent, but, they have no idea of how to bring back students who are smart enough to abandon ship after the stupid strike, the cuts, and the general lack of leadership. In a bold move, Fairborn has now decided to add a vendor tax to Nutter Center events to soak the poor folks who paid for the overpriced nut house if they actually want to see a show there. Pretty soon, WSU will be trying to add a property tax to support it- ala Sinclair, because they’ve dug such a big hole. And of course, they hired the same folks who’ve done so much good for DPS with their “parent shaming” campaigns- The Ohlmann Group, to help “market” the ship. I’ve been waiting too long for the public records request for the documents on this, so you’ll just have to trust me on it. Turns out, the contract was for media buying only- and Wright State’s “Chief Information Officer” is either a liar or incompetent or both.
Dayton has fallen in love with free transit- although, it’s really only for Premier and CareSource people to be able to get around downtown without having to deal with parking. It’s not the version I proposed, that would actually act as an economic stimulus and do something to alleviate poverty and put Dayton in the spotlight as a progressive forward thinking city. UD folks will also like the free bus once they are doing whatever it is they think they will be doing at the Arcade. The eyesore belonging to the indicted demolition contractor Steve Rauch still stands across the street with a $950K price tag- paid for with your tax dollars thanks to Nan Whaley and Shelly Dickstein. Both of whom should have been wearing handcuffs long ago. But, well, the FBI seems to prefer to indict black people 6 to 1.
Joey Williams will be going away for a year, Clayton Luckie will be serving 4 months, and we’re still waiting to hear what kind of sentence RoShawn Winburn will get. What the FBI called the “Culture of Corruption” extends way beyond the 7 people they’ve fingered so far, but, in the mean time, folks who should be behind bars are still drinking at them- and laughing about how they’ve not been busted yet. There are people in the black community who still think that these “pillars of the community” couldn’t have done these dirty things (well, except for Clayton) but trust me, they could and did. It’s pervasive here. We’ve just become desensitized to it.
Last year also saw a giant water main break, right next to the Keowee bridge construction. A lot of finger pointing has gone on, but, in the end, the taxpayers are getting squeezed with a water bill increase, because, well, we’re still not taxed enough to support the 30+ jurisdictions in the little berg we call Dayton. The latest fear of city hall is that the county will stop buying water from the city and do their own thing. If anyone had any brains we’d just shut down all the city halls except for Kettering and let the only competent local administration steer the ship (although they really should refurb the rink as a double rink…)
More hocus-pocus and tax dollars are flowing into Austin Landing to fix the things Randy Gunlock broke the first time. The only problem is that other than the income tax haven that he built, the rest of it was totally unnecessary. We’re overbuilt with retail- and given a choice on where to shop and relax- the Greene beats his chopped up mess hands down.
The Dayton Board of Education got a break last year when I finally gave up going to their meetings. It’s too painful to watch when you’ve got total incompetence in every single seat. I’m not holding out any great hope for the new members making a difference when you’ve got Mohamed Al-Hamdani sitting center seat next to Dr. Lolli. Following the Sunshine laws is the last thing on their minds and with morale at an all time low in the district, the implosion is pending. After the great Lolli deck chair on the titanic rearrangement, schools like Thurgood that were stable went sideways, and now even Stivers is turning into hoodville. State takeover was really the only hope, but even that was like choosing between death by hanging or death by electrocution or death by firing squad…
The Fairgrounds is in full do nothing without tax dollar supported charity mode. The greatest un-reported story in Dayton is how Fuyao’s chairman approached the city with a plan to sink at least $250M into the fairgrounds to build a mini-company town for his people, and instead, the powers that be sucker punched him by giving it to Premier and UD for a fire sale price. If anyone wants to leak to me any documents- I’d love to figure out who was the point person on this stupid move.
2020 is going to be awesome. I can already tell by the number of stories I’ve got in the queue. But, the only one I really care about is when the FBI comes and shuts the city down by arresting so many folks that they’ll have to build a temporary prison at the Fairgrounds to hold all the folks they round up. You know, like what Trump is building on the border. The public can come and parade around the holding cells, looking at the folks from the Dayton Development Coalition, Learn to Earn, The Pre-School Promise, CityWide Development Coalition, The Downtown Dayton Partnership, half of city hall, some of the county building, most of the two political parties leadership…. a certain library director and even a few judges and prosecutors. The list of private business folks that can also get rounded up has already been posted here: Issue 9- follow the money- and tax shifting. Public shaming, putting folks in stocks, or even public stonings might be the only thing that might put a fear of doing their dirty deals may be the only way to right this ship.
But, wait, that’s all part of the story, 2020, the year in review….