We have too many politicians in Montgomery County to start with. That’s why I’ve started Reconstructing Dayton to move toward sensible, accountable and transparent government. While our population has been stagnant for decades, we’ve allowed one new “city” after another appear- and add even more positions for political noobs.
Clayton (13,000) and Riverside (25,000) are the two latest townships turned into “cities”- while Miami Township (50,000) has grown by leaps and bounds- and is still governed by a form of government meant for sparsely populated rural areas.
So, when you consider that entire counties like Frankilin in Columbus or Indianapolis can be run by a single government, you have to wonder why do we feel the need to have a Mayor and a City Manager for the podunk patches known as Moraine (6,500) or Brookville (5,800). Throw in all the school boards, and different courts- and what we have is a ton of overhead.
Mayor Nan Whaley (Dayton, population 140,782) loves overhead. It’s how she creates jobs for her friends and family. Not only is she an overpaid figurehead mayor who doesn’t know her place getting paid $56,500 a year, she has a full time aide making almost as much. For what? By charter, we’re a city manager form of government. No one ever told Nan this. She thinks it’s her job to run things.
I bet you can name the CEO of Apple (Tim Cook) and of Tesla (Elon Musk) and probably a few other big firms. I bet none of you can name the members of the board of directors. That’s because they aren’t supposed to run the company. That’s how the City Manager form of government is supposed to be set up- the City Manager is the professional who is hired and well paid to run our city. Mark Schwieterman is an excellent example of a City Manager- working with a much larger commission- and delivering solid, measurable results in Kettering (population 55,405).
Shelly Dickstein is constantly dancing around her highness Nan’s proclamations about what she is doing as Mayor- when in fact, that’s not her role. The city commission is supposed to set clear goals and objectives for the City Manager- and measure her performance. They are supposed to oversee her purchasing decisions- and her recommendations for operations of the city. That they meet weekly in a Commission meeting is already probably twice the times that should be needed- and that they also meet for illegal “work sessions” is a travesty.
Especially when you consider the median income of a family of 4 in Dayton under Nan and her clown crew- is only $32,540.
The first measurement of your value to the citizens of DaIyton should be that they aren’t in poverty. Under Nan’s rule- she makes almost 3x the per-capita income of $19,873 (ibid) for a job that’s specified to only take a few hours a week.
It’s not time to give the Mayor and the Commission a raise- it’s time to tie their paychecks to per-capita income, and give them a real incentive to take Dayton out of poverty- some of which is caused by having to support these idiots and their ridiculous ideas of self worth. Why does the director of the 12 person Downtown Dayton Partnership make over $200,000 when Dickstein has a responsibility for 100x the staff and budget?
Why does the Superintendent of a failing school district, the worst in the State- get a raise to over $200,000 with a declining enrollment and failing all grades? Because the school board president (Mohamed Al-Hamdani) is the same idiot who is pushing for a switch to a full-time mayor.
Because voters are stupid enough to think that these positions and lines on a map can’t be changed and are somehow written in stone. If they vote to approve any of these ideas- they are setting the stage for even more incompetence and corruption.
The committee has recommended a new way to calculate the mayor’s and city commissioners’ compensation, which if approved by voters would result in pay increases….
“The role of mayor deserves someone who can put the time into it that it requires in our current moment,” Whaley said during her annual address. “It also cannot be left only to people who are independently wealthy, are in retirement or, like me, choose not to have children.”
Dayton’s charter review committee has decided to recommend a handful of proposed charter amendments.
The amendments are expected to head to the city commission for consideration to be placed on the ballot. The changes have to be approved by voters.
The committee discussed proposed charter language that would declare the mayor’s position as full time. But members ultimately voted 5-2 in favor of making other changes to the language about the mayor’s responsibilities….
Stanley Earley, a member of the committee,..said the best chance to get the best elected officials is to “maximize” the pool of potential candidates.
He said political hopefuls should not have to risk giving up their careers to become the mayor.
Williamson said some people work two full-time jobs and thinks it’s plausible that Dayton residents can fulfill the mayor’s responsibilities without having to give up their other occupations.
The committee also recommended a charter amendment to change the method for determining the compensation of the mayor and city commissioners.
Under the proposal, city leaders’ pay would be tied to the salaries of the Montgomery County board of commissioners.
The mayor would earn 75% of the highest county commissioner salary, and city commissioners would earn half the highest salary.
Right now, the mayor’s and commissioners’ pay is determined by a compensation board appointed by the city commission.
The mayor earns about $56,500 annually and the commissioners about $47,800, city staff said. The county commissioners will earn about $107,690 this year.
Mohamed Al-Hamdani was one of the two committee members to vote in favor of charter language to make the mayor full time.
He said he thinks the city needs and deserves a fulltime mayor, given the considerable and growing responsibilities of the office. He said he is worried one day the city could have a mayor who doesn’t take the role seriously and puts minimal or insufficient effort into their work.
“For the record, I think it’s a mistake to do that,” he said, referring to the committee’s decision to approve alternative language. “I think we’re letting the past dictate our future here.”
Al-Hamdani also said he doesn’t see the point in increasing the mayor’s pay if office-holders won’t be asked to do more work.
Whaley said she wished the charter committee would have included language stating the role is full time, because she thinks citizens will not tolerate anything less.
But, Whaley said, she’s pleased with new language that will better spell out the mayor’s responsibilities, and the compensation changes are good news.
“This is part of government — you don’t get everything you exactly want, and that’s part of the process, and I appreciate that,” she said. “I would have preferred to put ‘full time’ in, but it’s not the end of the world.”
The way we select our Mayor and Commissioners in a stupid special election to narrow the field needs to be changed to a single ranked choice election where we pick 3 seats one cycle and 2 the next. Whoever has the most votes- gets the nod as mayor. See the plan on the Reconstructing Dayton site.
As to compensation, we would do much better to eliminate any urban township income tax shelters in densely populated parts of an urban county- and draw the threshold for an independent city at 50,000. Forcing podunks to band together would be a good first step. Moving to a single unified government should be the goal. We don’t need this many politicians, meetings, or tax districts to clean the streets, supply water and trash, have a functioning police, fire and court system.
And most importantly, we don’t need a full-time Mayor and a full time City Manager- it’s either or- and I vote for the professional manager over the professional politician any day of the week.