What’s the plan candidates?

Next year, Dayton gets to chose a majority of the seats on the Dayton City Commission. The Mayor, Nan Whaley and Joey Williams are up for reelection.

Last cycle- Dean Lovelace and Matt Joseph ran unopposed. That can’t happen again.

“Counting to three” is the key phrase among Commission watchers- you have to be able to get three votes to get something passed, so this is an opportunity for “regime change” in Dayton. Richard Florida slams our leadership on the DDN editorial blog:

‘Creative Class’ guru loves Dayton | A Matter of Opinion
“Another thing the region suffers from is really poor leadership. And I think the reason that is, it really bears the imprint, that as the economy is changing to newer things, away from manufacturing, the leadership still reflects that top-down, vertical, 1950s organization mentality. So you get these conflicts between old-style democratic political machine and business-led organizations.

“Those conflicts become very dysfunctional. I think one of the other things is that if older cities could achieve better leadership, leadership that was more in tune with the future.

Note the suck up comments by Democratic Party patronage princess Sarah Abernathy chiding Florida for offering an opinion.

The reality is- we’ve got too many chiefs in the region- and none of them are actually leading us anywhere. See the poll from the Dayton Biz Journal: Who should lead? The fact that they have to ask is an indication of trouble in the Gem city.

With the low level of intelligent discussion about real goals at almost every level of government (talking about what a candidates preacher said, or personal affairs as measures of leadership) instead of issues is an epidemic in this country.

So what should be Dayton’s new leaders goals and objectives?

Here’s a starter list:

Restore faith in Dayton Public Schools through innovative partnerships that create marketable differences between DPS and suburban districts. Examples: every graduate gets 2 years free at Sinclair (not a big deal, because it’s already almost there for suburban districts through TechPrep). Laptops for every student with free wi-fi. New alignment for sports where we have an “Athletic track” high school with the best sports program in the region (We already have an Arts school that does this- Stivers).

Establish goals for:

Increasing population (which brings increasing income tax collections), filling vacant homes in “healthy neighborhoods” first.

Foster community pride by working on shared objectives- this can be the goals above, or maybe creating a citywide fitness goal program, urging everyone to work out (neighborhood walks every night at 8pm, or organize community sports programs). This has been done in other cities.

Reinvent citizen participation: Dayton’s Priority Board system is a mere shell of what it once was. Time to reinvent. Scrap the 7 districts- become one city again and have neighborhood association presidents meet 4x a year directly with the Mayor and City Manager to work together for the betterment of all.

Focus on small business: Waiting for the “Silver bullet” to walk into Dayton and put a huge number of jobs in place is suicidal. We need to grow our own and measure the number of small business start-ups and encourage it. If we are really a city of innovation as many people like to promote, lets prove it by being the start-up capital of the heartland. With our low cost of living, reasonable cultural attractions, high concentration of academia and military research, this should be easy if we enable and empower the process.

Reward smarts: In Austin Texas the newspaper publishes lists of local patents that are granted. Not only should we do it (I suggested it to DDN editor Max Jennings long ago) but maybe we should have a local fund that spiffs cash for every patent granted. Why not reward good ideas from locals- instead of giving handout corporate welfare to carpetbaggers?

These are just a few ideas. Do you have anymore? Anyone want to run for Commission (start getting your signatures now, you need a minimum of 500 in January from registered Dayton voters- I only needed 50 to run for Congress).

If you want to see change, we need to change the way we approach elections. Starting NOW!

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David Esrati
David Esrati

Dayton Create: http://daytoncreate.org/
Has 5 initiatives- I’ll write more about this soon- but, are these truly “BIG IDEAS” that will move us?
You can see Jeffrey’s post on this at Daytonology: http://daytonology.blogspot.com/2008/03/five-creative-region-initatives-in.html


David, are you planning on running? Do you know how many of your votes at the Primary came from City of Dayton Precincts? Do you have enough clout from your run at the Mitikades coronation by the Montgomery County Dem’s to take down another one of their own?

P.S. I don’t think Sarah Abernathy will be passing out campaign literaure for you anytime soon.

David Esrati
David Esrati

I’m seriously contemplating a run. Party be dammed, just to make it interesting. Would like to see at least 2 other candidates who want to talk about issues.
I’m not going to analyze Dayton precincts- because 12k votes aren’t enough to make it. But, I will look to see where I’m strongest- and where I need to work.
I think more people are reading this since the run for OH-3 that it could change things.

The X

The X would support an Esrati campaign for City Commission. Remember the Mayor won by less than 2% when she defeated Turner. It is time that a new voice was heard on Dayton Commission. I would suggest leaving the ninja mask at home and appease the voter with a real lit piece. Nothing like you used 10 years ago. Stick with a big picture, large last name printed and few words. This formula works. The citizenry of Dayton could care less about the cost of your house, or your scooter, or your creative ideas that slam the intelligence of them and their friends.

You have to fight the establishment on their turf by their rules. Snappy You Tube videos will not get you the vote in Inner West. Those old ladies who take the church van to the polls don’t have the interweb and could careless about the price of Rhines house. They will remember the snappy metrosexual who knocked on their door one evening in September and talked to them on their porch about developing community, increasing police presence and keeping (returning) taxes to a lower rate. They don’t care about tech town, Oregon District’s creative class and they don’t care about how you “would have done it better or different.”.

Clean lit piece, door to door, and you can make a run of it. I would suggest a real automobile to appeal to the East side blue collar crowd.

One last thing. How come picking up trash is not on your list? Rhine touts cleanliness as a cure for manufacturing loss, mortgage fraud and broken families. You disagree? On her New Years wish list she lamented the real need for a UD championship and cleaner city. This has won her two elections against very competent men.


I think Florida’s remarks were more in a general sense. Recall he was being interviewed by a Cincy person. The “region” he was talking about could have been Cincy/Dayton, but I think he was talking more about the industrial Midwest as a whole, Chicago to Pittsburgh, more or less. Dayton and Cincinnati are part of this are.

The leadership issue in Dayton, both public and private, is an issue, but not in the conflictual way Florida was talking about. Its more about lack of leadership and the private sector abandoning the city, leaving it as a sort of urban bantustan.

X has some good points.


“…but, are these truly “BIG IDEAS” that will move us?
You can see Jeffrey’s post on this at Daytonology”

Since you linked I will expound a bit more.

My opinion on these is that they are quality of life things to some extent. The idea seems to be to create more of a buzz, to make Dayton a more interesting place to live. I like the localist aspect of some of this, too.

There are some that go beyond that, like the Under 40 summit and the Dayton Pride concept, which puts its finger on a flaw in local civic culture.

David Esrati
David Esrati

I’m still looking for big ideas?
How do we cut down on foreclosures in the City?
How do we solve the child care issues for poverty wage earners in a way that gives them an opportunity to rise above it?
While art galleries and urban hipster hangouts are nice- this city is a bit bigger than the “creative class.”


My feeling is that I will not vote for any council candidate who did not vote to support equal rights. Joey Williams has failed the test of intestinal fortitude on this issue. McLin may be odd-looking (can we convince her to get a symmetrical pair of glasses?) but my sense is that she works with what she has–surround her with better people and progress might be made.

Do you want big ideas? Fine–the city has no authority to help education the ways you describe, that’s a DPS and state BOE bailiwick. But the city has the capacity to do collaborative things like co-locating rec centers near schools so that students can use facilities for enriched activities. Note–they’re already doing some of that.

More big ideas? Re-set the timing on traffic lights so that traffic may flow continuously along major access routes. It’s absolutely ridiculous to waste fuel and time by stopping for four consecutive traffic lights along Patterson under rte. 35; why are we paying engineers not to do this?

More big ideas? Put a muzzle on the city’s income tax office. People who work out of the city are ready to pay our fair share of taxes, but we shouldn’t be hectored into making quarterly payments nor paying penalties and interest for an overly complex system.

Still more? Work to eliminate all tax breaks aimed at individual taxpayers–individual citizens, or individual businesses. It is obscene for some homeowners to be paying 1/4 the percentage of others, or for certain businesses to get by with the same 75% reduction while others don’t.

Another: abandon that stupid idea of ruining Deeds Point for housing that’s not needed and a big box store that will stand empty after 3-5 years. Instead, improve Deeds with proper restroom facilities and use it for Cityfolk, Celtic Festival, Lebanese Festival, and the other events that currently take place on streets and parking lots. Deeds would be more comfortable for those events, and then the streets can be used for (gasp) TRANSPORTATION and the parking lots for (gape!) PARKING!



If only Daytonians could have this memory for their golden years: Remember the snappy metrosexual who knocked on their door one evening in September and talked to them on their porch…ahh, those were the days.

Maybe this could be the September it happens.


I’m just amused that David now has the title of “snappy metrosexual”.


Bruce Kettelle

Me too!

J.R. Locke

Mommy whats a funkadelic….I mean metrosexual?