1. End court ordered busing. It has replaced racial segregation with economic segregation. Our focus should be on highest quality education solutions, based on choice, and community involvement - not on race based quotas.
2. Sell off the many pieces of real estate that the city has acquired without a development plan. Government is not in the real estate business; it is in the infrastructure support and services business. An example of this failed effort is the corner of Salem & Grand.
3. Phase in a decrease in the income tax. Having one of the highest income taxes in the State is not conducive to attracting better paying jobs. Reynolds & Reynolds, one of "our great downtown supporters" has moved or "created" 1,500 jobs in Kettering over the last year.
4. Eliminate the Downtown Dayton Partnership SID tax. Fund through ED/GE or other sources. Adding taxes to attract business is hypocritical, esp. in the age of tax abatements as a development tool.
5. Reorganize the citizen participation system to eliminate the expensive layer of bureaucracy and create a new system with a direct feed to the City manager. I propose having neighborhood presidents meet with the City Manager on a monthly schedule to keep in touch with citizen driven issues.
6. Serve as model commissioner. We need a commission that understands how to work as a board of directors, instead of armchair managers. The commission has failed to set measurable objectives for the City Manager, resulting in an unfocused future for our community. (One objective will be to speed the implementation of high speed internet access to all: Dayton is behind Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland on DSL, Cable modems and access to subcontracted ISDN services)
7. Build on strengths instead of weaknesses. We need to move past 2003 and the Wright Brothers invention as a positioning strategy for the global economy. Our core strengths to exploit are:
Warehousing and overnight shipping: proximity to 3 of 4 major overnight hubs:Emery, Airborne and the USPS hub in Indianapolis.
Sinclair Community College which custom trains workers for emerging business models.
Tool Town and our machine trade skills. We custom manufacture the best manufacturing tools.
WPAFB and its spin-off high tech knowledge workers.
Affordable cost of living, reasonable quality of life, temperate climate.
8. Rebrand Dayton as a success. We are our own worst enemies. We have a defeatist, negative view of our own region and lifestyle. We quibble on too many local turf issues and miss the big ones.
9. Set standards. We must benchmark our schools to equal Oakwood, our recreational facilities to rival Kettering. We must enforce our housing codes, inspect sidewalks, curbs and streets. We need to clean streets more often, write more tickets, and expect more of our citizens if we are to move forward.
10. Streamline government. If you aren't innovating, churning, making mistakes, you aren't trying very hard. We need a faster, more responsive government that is focused on key issues: Raising income of citizens, and hence, tax revenue, raising net property values and hence, perceived quality of life, raising opportunities for citizens to raise their standards of living. It has a name, it's called the American Dream, and it needs to return to Dayton.
Ideas for change
I learned in the Army that a leader is only as good as his successor. In Dayton, we have a woeful system for developing new candidates for the commission its called political parties. That's why there was no primary and we can't even vote the incumbents out- at least one of them is staying no matter what I do.
So If elected, I will start promoting the 2001 election, and recruiting candidates. In January, when candidates would have to be out knocking on doors for signatures, I will host a rally at the convention center and invite at least 2000 voters, all the candidates, and host a commission convention. Each candidate can speak about their vision, answer questions and present himself or herself for endorsement. On the way out, voters can choose to sign the petitions for whoever they choose. Then, once petitions are ratified, I will organize public debates, and candidate's nights throughout town, and make sure they get on GTV and DATV. I will offer technical support to all candidates, and work with them to create open honest campaigns as long as they turn down money from PACs, Unions and political parties. Hopefully this will take big money out of local politics.
I will do the same when it is my turn to run again but, hopefully, I can turn the reigns over to one of my proteges.
Who are all those city staffers at a commission meeting?
How long would a corporation last with weekly board of directors meetings, where they pulled in every head of every department to sit and do nothing while the board went through the motions? About a month?
There is no reason for all the staff to be in attendance. Ambush questions from the commission are stupid after all aren't they all supposed to be on the same team? If a commissioner has a question about an item in the packet they receive on Friday night, they can inform the city manager on Monday- or even Tuesday, so that the staff member can be there, and be prepared. If a citizen comes and asks a question that the City Manager can't answer they can wait a week for a response. In the meantime- put those people back to work.
How many complaint departments do we have?
Well, at least seven priority board offices, and then every department has their number in the book as well. What we need is one number for complaints citywide and a modern tracking system so that we can measure our ability to resolve customer (citizen) complaints. This should be part of the evaluation program for the city manager, and a weekly report to the commission i.e. We received 120 complaints, of which, 50 were classified as 24-hour resolution issues and we resolved 40 of those etc
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