“We don’t need no stinkin basketball nets” or change in Dayton

“We don’t need no stinkin basketball nets” Those were the words of a paid Whaley literature distributor, on Lakeview Ave at a church so aptly named “Greater Love.”

I should have learned long ago- Daytonians don’t seem to understand symbolism. Be it donning a black balaclava to conceal your face after an illegal secret meeting of the Dayton City Commission discussed ways to eliminate citizen participation- or by running a low budget honest campaign where you put up basketball nets instead of signs.

The sad thing is, looking at the election results, AJ is partially right- Dayton is a dying city with less votes cast in this election than the last one- by almost half- despite the extravagant dollars being spent. Total votes in the McLin/Leitzell election were 29,750. This election: 16,120. Last election, Gary Leitzell by himself had 15,316 and only won by 2%.

In the Mayors race:

  • A. J. Wagner 7029 43.60%
  • Nan Whaley 9091 56.40%

In the Commission race:

  • David Esrati  4345 15.64%
  • David K. Greer 4626 16.65%
  • Jeffrey J. Mims Jr. 8591 30.93%
  • Joey D. Williams 10215 36.78%

Looking at the Williams number- it should tell you something- considering he spent a fraction of what either Whaley or Wagner did- yet beat Whaley by 1200 votes- that if we did away with the stupid and expensive Mayors race- and just gave the position to the person with the highest popular vote- our elections would be considerably cheaper.

A few thoughts- considering both big spending candidates paid volunteers to stand outside for 13 hours- they both paid less than the minimum wage. Whaley was spending $80 per person- and seemed to have 2 people at each of the polling locations (there were 50) and Wagner was paying $75. Whaley was paying drivers $120 for the day- and had more than a few. I spent $10,000 on my whole campaign- she spent over $9000 just on people standing outside the polls.

It shouldn’t cost this much to run for a part-time job that pays $45,000.

The funny thing- is the primary results in the commission race- percentages stayed the same for the front runners:

  • David Esrati 2104 11.77%
  • David K. Greer 2249 12.58%
  • Joseph C. Lutz 1711 9.57%
  • Jeffrey J. Mims Jr. 5353 29.95%
  • Joey D. Williams 6456 36.12%

Even though I came in dead last- I still feel like a winner. No matter what the nasty woman on Lakeview said- our kids do need basketball nets, rims and backboards- and I’m going to keep doing it. I got at least 7 locations that need nets given to me today- which is perfect- because that’s about how many I have left.

I have $225 over my $10K goal- to spend. That buys one box of nets and about 2 cans of spray paint. I’m going to have to return the ladder that’s been on loan since June from the fine folks at Insignia Signs. A replacement costs about $175 (although I want to try to find one that’s lighter). I had a good talk with the senior recreation program coordinator today- and we’re going to work together to try to start some leagues- and get all the courts in top shape. We’ll see how much help we get from the Commission. Commissioner Williams has pledged to help me with this next year.

I’d like to thank Mr. Greer for working with me- and believing in me. Mayor Leitzell for his help. William Pace for so many things that people will never recognize- he personally put on radio ads and billboards for “the independents” and for organizing our volunteers for the polls today. I also want to thank all the people who donated time and money to the campaign, who came to my fundraisers, and encouraged me. I’m sorry I let you down. But, do know, that there are a whole bunch of future voters who now know me- and thank me- because we really do need those stinkin nets.

I love this city. Somehow, I’m going to drag it kicking and screaming into a new age- just not this time.


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