Who will be the next Clerk of the Dayton City Commission?

I have no idea, but the applications were due by end of business today- and I applied.

Here is the cover letter I submitted- this was not an easy decision, however, I’m pretty sure the Commission won’t have a hard time making their decision.

30 June 2008

Ms. Angie Freeman
City of Dayton Commission Office
Via hand delivery

Dear Ms. Freeman,
I’m almost sure the initial response of the Commission will be something like “when hell freezes over would we hire David Esrati as Clerk of Commission” so this cover letter will attempt to be as brilliant as the Constitution of the United States and as short as the Gettysburg address.
Why should hell freeze over?
“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” There is no stronger critic/observer of the way things have and are done in the city; if hired, I would have to shut up and perform. I have every intention of running for Commission or Mayor next year. If hired as Clerk, obviously, I won’t run.
While that may sound like a veiled threat, it’s not. It’s out of concern for the future of our community that I plan to run. As Clerk, I would be part of the team that’s responsible for making Dayton great.
I believe the Clerk of Commission position has been under-utilized in the past. Nothing against those who have come before, but I believe the role of the Clerk should be that of an activist ombudsman, and as a facilitator of the exchange of ideas between citizens and their city government. I believe City Commission meetings should have an element of think tank/community outreach built into every session. Via my Web 2.0 skills, I believe we can create a better-informed public, empowered to control the destiny of their neighborhoods through a more efficient and enlightened conversation about the challenges we face.
As the liaison between City staff and the City Commission, I believe we can more efficiently utilize our top people by letting them work, instead of having a full house at every meeting. It would be my job to coordinate the informational requests of Commission with the attendance of staff. The days of “ambush style” questions from a commissioner went away with Commissioner Orick. There is no need for these highly paid officials to sit through every meeting if a good system of communication is in place. No corporation would ever task their top officers to a meeting a week, in which many never participate actively. I believe I can create that open flow of information.
As a citizen who has been in front of the Commission more times than most, I am also acutely aware of how frustrated citizens can feel. It is my vision to make sure not only are citizens clearly heard, but, responded to promptly and with a publicly documented process. Never again, will a citizen feel their voice isn’t heard, respected and valued, however, I will also make sure citizens comments are focused and meaningful. No more gratuitous appearances and rambles. I believe, I have the credentials from the other side of the wall to gently enforce the rules.
While I could continue with my credentials as a neighborhood president, founder of South Park Social Capital, founder of VOB108, and as an agent of change within the community, working with organizations such as Daybreak to build better relationships within the community, I think, the Commission knows me well enough to know if they want to have me in for an interview.
To accept this position, I would have to give up my career in advertising, which I love. I would be walking away from working across the street from my home, with my dog, and some of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the chance to work with. I don’t submit this letter and resume easily; yet, I do believe it is a position where I could serve my community and make a difference.
Yes, I do have my differences with Commission, however, I know that all of them have the same dreams for Dayton that I have: to regain its position as first choice to live, work and build a future.
Because of that, I humbly ask that the Commission put aside any personal feelings and consider me as a serious candidate for the position of Clerk of the Commission.

This position is one of only a few that the Commission have a say in hiring. The decrease in the pay range from teh previous $100K+ a year to the $70-90K per year depending on qualifications should eliminate many of the current city hall chieftans, who would be taking a pay cut.

Of course, there is also the residency rule. I’ll keep you all informed if I even get an interview, but in the mean time, I have no intention of quitting my day job.

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