Victor Pate: Leader.

A while back I asked where are our leaders? Well here is one that won’t be eligible to run for office in Dayton. City electrician Victor Pate.

When I used to speak regularly at the Dayton City Commission meetings, Victor often spoke as well. He spoke from the heart, he spoke with passion, and most of the time, he was dead on. So when he decided to challenge the residency rule, pay attention, Victor is doing the right thing- setting an example, making his message heard, and pointing out the stupidity of our small-minded, gerrymandered thinking of what makes our city.

City employee moves out of Dayton to fight residency rule
Pate’s complaints come from what he believes is unfairness in the system. For example, some high-paid city employees can afford to buy houses in Dayton that fall within the Huber Heights and Fairborn school districts, he said.

“They don’t have to send their children to Dayton Public School (with struggling test scores and finances) or deal with the problems people face in the inner city,” Pate said.

Also, contractors who don’t have to live in the city fill jobs once done by city employees, robbing overtime pay from staff like Pate.

“I need that overtime to support my large family,” he said.

He’s exposing the dirty little secret that most of our firefighters and police officers live in the Huber Heights School District. Forest Ridge, Quail Hollow are perfect examples of how we’re still economically segregated in Dayton- the very issue that is killing our city. Hopefully, Victor’s crusade will shine a light in the direction of thinking bigger than our city limits. It’s past time for a regional government- and a city electrician just fired a shot across the bow.

What do you think of Victor’s stance against the residency requirements in Dayton?

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42 Responses

  1. Drexel Dave June 14, 2007 / 9:54 am
    Of course, our inept city misleaders are going to throw millions towards taking a losing case to court over and over again. Sounds like a plan that made a certain blogger I know semi-famous ;-)

    Seems like the only incentive that Rhine McLin can offer city employees for staying in the city is the risk of getting fired. That kind of negativity never wins in the long-run.

    Perhaps the city could offer its employees actual real world positives for staying in the city?

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  2. David Esrati June 14, 2007 / 10:36 am

    Turns out, the city is already spending over $100,000 a year “investigating” mostly false claims of residency violations.
    Hmmmmm…. could that keep 2 more cops on the street? Or hire 3 recreation department people to coordinate youth sports?
    Priorities.

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  3. gene June 14, 2007 / 12:19 pm
    I will do the same job for them for $50k – the people that handle this are out of Cincinnati, so it is a part time gig. Interesting…..

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  4. Drexel Dave June 14, 2007 / 12:26 pm
    Wow. That’s a job that supervisors could easily do with some cursory public records checks.

    I wonder who’s blowing who to get that cushy contract?

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  5. D. Greene June 14, 2007 / 12:29 pm
    Our business just got a phone call last week from a company doing a survey about the business climate in Dayton. The survey was ordered by the city apparently because there is some sort of dispute, lawsuit, yada yada, so obviously a survey would help somehow?

    In any event, the firm conducting the survey is based out of Florida. Hypocritical? Perhaps.

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  6. gene June 14, 2007 / 1:10 pm
    Dayton: The City That Will Outsource Your Jobs, Your Government, and Your Life.

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  7. Drexel Dave June 14, 2007 / 1:44 pm
    and you wonder why the populace may have a lesss than stellar opinion of the power structure, and obeying its laws and cultural mandates?

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  8. Quixotic June 14, 2007 / 7:39 pm
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure the State Legislature passed a law that banned cities from setting residency requirements. Unless the Ohio Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional, no residency requirements allowed. While my personal opinion is this is an unwelcome and uncalled for intrusion by the State Legislature into the home rule powers of municipalities, I cannot support what you tell me is the City of Dayton’s blatant flaunting of the law. $100,000 a year to enforce violations that according to state law cannot be enforced any way? Please tell me you are kidding….

    I am reminded of the speech by Spencer Tracy in “Adam’s Rib”…

    “Contempt for the law is what you’ve got. It’s a disease, a spreading disease. You think the law is something you can get over or under or around or just plain flaunt…The law is the law! Whether it is good or bad! If it is bad the thing to do is to change it, not just to bust it wide open.”

    At least Victor seems to get it.

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  9. David Esrati June 14, 2007 / 8:44 pm

    The State law was just passed. The city was spending the money before the legislature overruled them.

    And yes- Victor gets it.

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  10. Dave Shearer June 20, 2007 / 10:16 am
    I am the spouse of a 28 plus year city worker. I am currently unemployed because of the residency rule. My wife has 1 year 6 months to retirement. The State ruled to stop the residency issue before the BRAC commision moved my job to Columbus. I thought we were “good to go”. Move about half way, say around London, it’d be a do-able commute for both of us. At least for the year and a half she has left. But no, the city files a lawsuit. Then while they argue it, my job moves to Columbus; a three hour daily commute; not do-able. I have had to quit or turn down jobs all my life because we can’t move half way in between. Greenville, Xenia, Columbus Wopakaneta etc…It has been a point of aggrevation in our marraige of 27 years. Sure, the argument goes, my wife could have quit her job and moved with me long ago, but let’s face it, it’s a good paying, secure job with great benefits and now she’s too close to retirement for it to even be an option. Why should any free American have to make a life changing decision like that? She loves her job. My wife would do her job professionally no matter where she lives. Besides the adverse affects one us, the residency rule has cause the city of Dayton to regress in times when other cities have progressed. Quantity of jobs, the housing market, and the quality of life have declined in the city ever since it was put in place. Cause and effect, maybe, but more like probably. They are limited only to the talent and character that resides within the city limits. The best firefighter, police officer, civil engineer etc… could live in any one of the commutable areas around Dayton, but they can’t even be considered because of the stupid law. There is no other employer in the world that tells its employees where they can live, except maybe China and the old Soviet Union. I want to know who the attourney is that is going to fight Mr.Pate’s case. I’d like to talk with him too !!!

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  11. J.R. Locke June 21, 2007 / 10:07 pm
    “but let’s face it, it’s a good paying, secure job with great benefits and now she’s too close to retirement for it to even be an option. Why should any free American have to make a life changing decision like that?”

    That is a choice my friend and live with it. Many are not so lucky.

    I have no problem with a residency law. Proximity breeds a knowledge about the locality. Plus a public job is very different from the private sector, that is the difference between China and the Soviet Union, you have a choice to move from public to private.

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  12. Dave June 22, 2007 / 2:19 pm
    J.R. Locke..

    The residency rule probably has never affected you, friend. I’ve had to live with it. I still am. Proximity? Locality knowledge? These are all semantics. You go to work, give it your best for your employer and that’s it. You do that no matter where you live. If you don’t, you do you shouldn’t work anywhere. Let me put it in terms you will probably get. Listen to your wallet; hear that big sucking sound? Because of the residency rule, your federal tax dollars paid my severance package and my unemployment insurance. They also had to pay to train someone else for my job as well as pay to retrain me to do another job. Also, my wife is relatively young and would probably stay employed with the city another 10-15 years even if she had to drive 45 minutes a day. She loves her job that much. Instead your city tax dollars will pay her retirement, a portion of her unused sick and annual leave, plus they will have to train and retain her replacement. Two people in a two year span, not working to their potential; not paying as much taxes as before. How does that help anyone? You stated that “I have to live with it”. Guess what; you will have to live with it too, friend. Of course, if you live in Dayton you probably don’t have a job or pay taxes anyway, so forget what I said; it’s not affecting you at all.

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  13. David Esrati June 22, 2007 / 3:21 pm

    Let’s stop being stupid with this residency rule. Suppose you are a pubic employee- who starts at a young age working for the City of Dayton. You fall in love with a co-worker. You get married- everything is fine- until your spouse gets a job offer and promotion to work in the next city over- which also has a residency rule. Right there- you have an unconstitutional situation- making the whole thing retarded.
    It’s time to let go- and realize that people should want to live in your city- not be forced to.
    Simple solution for many of these stupid problems is UniGov. Wake up and smell the roses people.
    Louisville, Columbus, Indianapolis- they all got it- and are growing. Why must we be the idiots?

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  14. Dave June 22, 2007 / 7:54 pm
    Great Point !
    Marriage has never been made out to be a major point in the residency rule and it needs to be. The residency rule was adopted when most families still lived with one wage earner. Those times have changed and Dayton needs to change with the times. It doesn’t just affect the city employee it affects thier spouse. Some proponents would say just quit your job or get a divorce. That is the kind of craziness that is out there. Two of the more important components of a sucessful societies are the commitment to your marraige and the commitment to the company for whom you work. Only good things can come from both. It frightens me that people can suggest that you to quit one or both of those with such indifference.

    Thank God we still have the freedom to express ourselves in discussion on a forum such as this. Discontent leads to thought, that turns to talk, that turns to discussion, that ends in changes being made. Fight the good fight; this is one of them. Yes, this needs to be taken to the highest court.

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  15. Sandy July 7, 2007 / 11:18 pm
    Had this happened to a respectable city employee I think I’d have a different take on the situation. Having personally known of Mr. Pate for many years, aware of his many antics, I find it hard to believe that his decison is nothing more than money driven. I can assure you that he has taken this gamble in hopes of suing the city (and us tax payers) for a free ride. If the Dayton Daily News wants a real story they need to hunt down folks he’s worked with over the years, starting prior to the city of Dayton employment. I am sure a different view of this story will blossom.

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  16. David Esrati July 8, 2007 / 8:05 am

    Sandy-
    I seem to remember another persons actions being labeled “antics” when they questioned the legality of actions of our city commission-
    I’ve known Victor a long time, and even if his motive is a large check from the City- it’s because the City Commission thinks they are above the law.
    Someone had to step forward and test the law, and Victor was the one who was gutsy enough to do it. Stop questioning the person- look at the actions. It’s your kind of petty thinking that allows a total idiot to be elected president- or allows a Rhodes scholar to be impeached.
    Please consider a more enlightened perspective, it will do us all well.

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  17. Victor Pate August 26, 2007 / 2:51 pm
    I really appreciate ALL of the comments that I’ve read on this great blog.
    For those that feel I’m only seeking a ‘Big paycheck’, I will offer these comments: 1) If the City of Dayton would obey the State law on residency, then I would be unable to be in any position to sue. 2) If the City of Dayton would have treated me like one of the former Firefighters that called me 3 weeks ago (He was allowed to live in Huber Heights in a non-annexed area), then I would be unable to be in any position to sue.
    The painful hypocrisy that I’ve experienced over and over again is on display at The City of Dayton’s commission chambers. I cannot tell you how many times that I’ve heard these so-called leaders (like Mayor Rhine McLin and former Mayor Mike Turner) lecture youth on the proper method to address laws that they (youth) disagree with. “First Obey the Law, THEN seek proper steps to change that law”. I guess Residency issues don’t apply to this concept.
    Finally, The City of Dayton still has the ability to atone for their position on my issue by insisting that The Civil Service Board reinstate me to my former job. But I seriously doubt that happening. After all Civil Service is run by a former Acting City Manager/ Deputy Director…. Mattie Seegie. Mattie is City of Dayton hypocrisy personified. Issue 12 failed, yet Mattie represents the submission of Civil Service to City Management. The citizens of Dayton DID NOT want Civil Service to be a function of City Management, yet after that issue was defeated (as a part of Issue 12) the process of creating a De Facto condition began with the Commission changing the Civil Service Board and the new Board replacing the Chief Examiner with a City Manager! Adding salt to the wound, Mattie organizes the firing of City employees that have second jobs in government agencies (like the U.S. Post Office), yet Mattie enjoys two governmental incomes as the Chief Examiner. She receives PERS Retirement and a City of Dayton paycheck. Even though this condition is doable, it flies in the face of ethical consideration.
    Gotta run, Holla at Ya’ll later.

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  18. Jeff August 27, 2007 / 12:16 pm
    Fascinating! That tale about Mattie Seegie is a real interesting one.

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  19. J.R. Locke September 5, 2007 / 4:43 am
    Now you bring up the fact that tax money is spent here there and everywhere to train etc…. But what about the lost taxes for every public official that would move to a locality elsewhere instead of having that money be spent within the city? A lot of the city of Dayton’s problem is that we are so spread out regionally that the core suffers. This has everything to do with proximity and where one takes residency!

    And how easy would it be to have a marriage exemption on dual residency law marriages….come on.

    Well Mr. Shearer responded quite aggressively to my blog. There is a response Mr. Shearer pertaining to that there.

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  20. Dave Shearer September 5, 2007 / 12:23 pm
    JR Locke: But what about the lost taxes for every public official that would move to a locality elsewhere instead of having that money be spent within the city?

    The City will still be drawing income tax from the employees checks because they work in the city. I worked in Kettering and Kettering got thier income tax and I had to pay the difference to the city of Dayton. So that argument does not hold water. As far as spending money in the city of Dayton; there aren’t to many places to spend it. Is there a K-Mart, Walmart, Lowes, Kohls, Sears, Elder Beerman, JC Penney or any other national chain within the city limits? No. Well at least not downtown anymore, and I know there isn’t any in my neighborhood. I have to go to the suburbs. I don’t buy lottery tickets, shop at a carry-outs or use check cashing places. Those type places are booming around here. It’s sad. Besides Groceries and the ocassional restraunt, one would really have to work hard to try to spend money in Dayton. The core is hurting in most major cities. Other cities have figured out ways to gernerate funds in there downtown areas, most by putting up night club districts similar to the Oregon but the whole downtown. The day of retail in that area is long gone and it won’t be back. You won’t get the office business back unless the city offers free parking everywhere. The city should buy all the lots and make them free. Why go downtown and get a $15 haircut and have to pay $2 to park. Instead the City would rather spend our money checking on employees and fighting stupid lawsuits.

    I won’t be checking your blog reponse. You’re just another self indulgent blow-hard with a computer.

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  21. Jeffrey September 5, 2007 / 5:26 pm
    I like the idea of free parking in lots downtown, esp on weekends.

    Sacramento actually did that. They had a downtown shopping mall that had free parking in the mall garage on weekends.

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  22. gene September 5, 2007 / 7:13 pm
    Ahhhhhhhh…………… in Dayton, or the like, it should always be free parking. NY, Chicago, Boston, fine, I get that. Dayton? Come on….. people hate going downtown as is, paying to park just makes it worse. And Daytonians RARELY go anywhere unless they can park almost inside the place they are going, just see my dad. I wish people would walk more, but getting a downtown up and moving requires more than just wishful thinking.

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  23. Bill Pote September 5, 2007 / 7:39 pm
    Ok, though this is completely off topic…

    Gene – if you make all the parking free in Dayton or ANY downtown, then people will park and have their car camped out there all day because it wouldn’t cost them to do so. Then people will complain about coming downtown because there is no available parking.

    Btw – parking IS free after 6pm and ALL DAY on Saturdays and Sundays. Quit being so suburban – get a couple of quarters out and don’t be afraid to walk a couple blocks.

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  24. gene September 7, 2007 / 10:39 am
    Parking meters are fine, and I don’t mind walking – but the VAST MAJORITY of Americans do not like to walk, they want to park super close to where they are going, and don’t want the hassle of a garage. I don’t care – actually I often take the bus downtown so I can have a few cocktails, so I walk a bit. But I am talking about attracting a lot of people downtown to shop (which we have none of) and eat (very little compared to growing areas) and this is done by giving them FREE PARKING. The malls don’t charge, my dentist does not charge, my pharmacy does not charge, my bank does not charge (well, they are getting theirs one way or the other :) ) the post office does not charge, the liquor store does not charge, the pizza factory does not charge, the ad agency does not charge……………

    There is a lot of free parking downtown, people can’t seem to find it and there is no reason to go downtown (for most people) . All businesses want close parking, and open space would help attracted future growth. It is when the Schuster of D Dragons or the Victoria charge $10 for parking, it leaves a bad taste in people mouths. It is about perception, not reality. I always find parking, but most people find it a pain in the ass, so they don’t come downtown.

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  25. D. Greene September 7, 2007 / 12:44 pm
    Gene, those examples are all well and good but those are for parking lots owned by PRIVATE business.

    Government owned roads are a limited resource that we all are forced to pay for. So, you have to find a way to ration this resource and to fund it. One way is through parking restrictions and parking meters.

    There are a few spots downtown without meters where certain vehicles sit on the street for days. One I can think of (right across from Miami Jacobs on 2nd Street) is a big green van that I’ve seen there over the past few weeks at night and during the day. I don’t know if it’s moved yet, but you can be damn sure if there was a parking meter there it wouldn’t be taking up that space.

    When people show up for the Dayton Band Playoffs and try to park nearby the Canal Street Tavern, it is sort of difficult for the fat lazy fucks who don’t want to walk at all to find a parking space. Especially if it’s on the same night as a Dayton Dragons Game. That van is using one parking spot that a paying customer at one of the bars on that block, or a student at Miami Jacobs could be using.

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  26. gene September 7, 2007 / 1:14 pm
    I agree with all of it – in short my point is it would benefit more businesses and Downtown in general if there we FREE PARKING, brought to you by THE CITY OF DAYTON……. obtain a few space and go from there….. just put a “tow” sign out that states NO OVERNIGHT PARKING….. I don’t have all the answers or the details, it just seems silly that the MALLS have free parking, which people go to and like it FREE, and Downtown doesn’t, and guess what??????? People complain about having to pay to park. Everyone must do the math, have DDN conduct a poll, in fact they have asked people why the don’t go downtown, and the results……. 1. Too much CRIME 2. No Shopping
    3. No Free PARKING…… they ALL have to work in order for Downtown to succeed. Metered Parking is fine and acceptable on a 9-5 M-F basis, but a few lots would make sense for THOUSANDS of people in the Miami Valley, Mr. Rusty Noshirt charging $10 for an event you don’t really want to go to in the first place does not make sense.

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  27. Mike October 17, 2007 / 11:44 am
    So you want to do away with the meters. That means the ONE and only One city employee that collects the money would then be out of a job adding to the unemployment rate just because you to,lazy to want or you butt so tight that you can’t afford a quarter to park.

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  28. David Esrati October 17, 2007 / 11:50 am

    Mike- ignore Gene, or at least take him with a grain of salt-

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  29. Mike October 19, 2007 / 11:16 am
    I’ll tell that to Steve who collects the parking meters….he read the comment and laughed at him also.

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  30. Mike October 19, 2007 / 11:22 am
    You know if the residency rule was to be somehow be abloished, many of the Blue Collors employees in the lower pay grade eg. waste collection, water meter readers, security workers still could not afford to move because the city is starting to play games with the health insurance…..more details to come

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  31. gene October 19, 2007 / 12:56 pm
    And this is why Downtown Dayton is so successful…………. btw, other cities do sponsor FREE PARKING to attract people to downtown areas. We need more than the 44 spaces in the OD parking lot.

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  32. Mike October 26, 2007 / 11:36 am
    Gene: Tell me again why Dayton is so sucessfull…that way maybe I can stop LMAO.

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  33. Mike November 1, 2007 / 11:17 am
    Man……..I must have made everyone mad…….no one has responded

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  34. Mike November 6, 2007 / 12:16 pm
    Mr Esrati”

    How about running again for City office. The City is trying to force blue collar in to a High Deductable Saving Account. This plan was introduced to the city by the police during their nogotiations. The City will contribute x amount the first year but that doesn’t hold true for the remainder of the contract, and the new language says the only the City Manager can ask for a wage and benifit opener. We thought our Mayor and Commision was labor friend…..but apparently we were wrong. maybe they ought to realize an election year is comming.

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  35. gene November 6, 2007 / 5:25 pm
    Mike – you should run for office……..Dayton needs a successful downtown, and you could bring that to our region.

    David wishes he could run again, but there is a law that prohibits the same person from running again and again and again and again and again……. To the point: People who live in Dayton do not care. I hate to say it but it is a waste of time. I must be reading election results.

    So your going to pay more……. at least you have the option unlike most people in Dayton.

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  36. David Esrati November 6, 2007 / 6:36 pm

    Note to anyone who reads the above: Gene’s statement that there is a law that prohibits people from running again and again is not true. We have term limits in Ohio which prohibit people from serving more than X number of terms (changes with the position and term length)- but there is no limit on how many times you can run.

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  37. gene November 7, 2007 / 9:24 am
    I KNOW there is no law……it was a joke. If one runs too often and loses, he becomes more than annoying.

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  38. Mike November 7, 2007 / 12:29 pm
    The Only thing that will make Dayton sucessful is to get rid of the public and charters schools ( I know that really can’t happen) and turn everything over to Metro Parks or let Oakwood annex Dayton to use as soccer fields

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  39. Mike November 7, 2007 / 12:35 pm
    Oh Gene:

    NO WE DIDN’T HAVE AN OPTION. the plan the city has forced us to take was the only plan offered and it was first proposed by the police union when they were in nogotiations. It’s a high deductable health plan with a $4000.00 out of pocket expense first. Yes the city is going to contribute $3000. and the employee $1000.00. but that is not a guarentee for the following years.

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  40. Dave November 7, 2007 / 1:02 pm
    I’ve tried to make sensible comments and sugestions on this message board regarding the problems that maybe the City of Dayon can fix to make this place more livable; it’s fultile.
    Mike, I already lost my job to the residency rule. I’m sure the city of Dayton can find your friend Steve something else to do like cut grass or shovel asphalt. Or hey, maybe he can find a new job unloading coins from vending machines for Coke or Pepsi. You know, one of those high aptitude vocations.
    13 more months and I’m out of this hole called Dayton. No more tripping over used condoms, crack pipes and needles in my alley anymore. Or dealing with the “my baby’s daddy” tenants who where rented to by some vacant landlord who doesn’t take care of his property. I grew up in this nieghborhood and it was beautiful then. Rentals, drugs, prostitution and friggin Jihad run gas stations selling “gin and juice’ and running shoes, have killed it. It’s gone to shit and will nver be back! After 21 years in this house I’ll be lucky to break even when I sell it. Y’all can deal with it because no matter what is said on this forum nothing is going to change until the money (jobs, stores, entertainment etc..) comes back to this city. It’s beyond fixing, so run while you can.

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  41. gene November 7, 2007 / 3:55 pm
    Mike – what I was getting at was at least you have health care – sorry for the confusion – It may not be an OPTION, but at least your employer (C. of Dayton) offers it. It may not be the best but it is better than Nada…..

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  42. Mike November 9, 2007 / 12:49 pm
    Point well taken.

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