November 5, 2011
The 2011 City Council race comes to a close. I would enjoy personal conversation with each of you, face-to-face. That being impossible, I will speak to you from my heart here.
From day one of my campaign, I pledged to think like a business person, not a politician. When solving Kettering's problems, I pledged to focus on ideas, rather than labels, party affiliation, or name-calling. Even when others made unfair, and outrageous claims, I kept that pledge because, I believe, that you, like me, are sick of leaders who attack people, rather than attack problems.
There has been nothing misleading in the information provided voters. In the Dayton Daily News, our city manager admitted the facts were accurate. Examine the facts yourself on this website. I have been open and transparent about my information, where I found it, and how conclusions were reached. I allowed others to share it, too, because it is information all Kettering residents need to know.
Throughout the campaign, I have sounded one clear theme: Kettering taxpayers cannot continue to financially support government which increases its spending ten times the increase in the median income. Despite pride in our parks, the Fraze, and the rec center, we must face the harsh reality that these amenities alone are not drawing business to our city, and home buyers to our homes. The fact remains we are losing jobs, losing people, and losing property value. Without a competitive tax base we cannot attract business. Moreover, our city is aging, and we must not pile one of the Miami Valley's highest income tax rates on top of aging housing stock and expect to attract young families.
Mayor Patterson sought to deflect criticism, claiming my 8-point -plan is “Long on rhetoric, and short on specifics.” Well, you can't get much more specific than this: I call on the Kettering City Council to lower their salaries to Beavercreek level, and redirect that 4 year, $300,000 savings to economic development.” You will notice no Council member has addressed this very specific challenge. If elected, I am willing to accept this challenge. Ask Bruce Duke, or the Mayor, if they will accept this challenge, and you'll find out how committed they are to bringing small business to Kettering. Leadership starts at the top.
My opponent argues that Kettering cannot be compared to Beavercreek. Whether city officials like it or not, businesses and home buyers are comparing Kettering to Beavercreek. And to Springboro. And to Washington Twp. And to any number of cities throughout the Miami Valley. And, despite our own personal loyalty to Kettering, the FACTS are clear. Kettering is coming up short. We must change that! We must set goals which make Kettering competitive again. It will take work, but I know, together, we can do it!
Please understand, my argument is not about Beavercreek vs. Kettering or Anytown vs. Kettering. Throughout this campaign, I have heard nothing but excuses from Kettering's leadership Granted, I am a candidate. But, I am also a Kettering citizen –a citizen who is tired of excuses and justifications. Nobody said it would be easy to hit Kettering's challenges head-on, but the longer we wait the harder it gets.
As a community we are blessed with at least six major roads running through our city. These roads can either be lined with vibrant businesses which bring residents, shoppers, and workers into our city, or they can be the routes by which these same residents, shoppers and workers leave.
I end my campaign the way I started, with the words of Charles Kettering:
“You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.”
I ask for your vote for Kettering City Council on November 8.
Join me in ”Thinking about Tomorrow”.