Today’s meeting was held at The Amber Rose restaurant. Barry Hall opened the meeting with introductions and local updates
· National Night Out/Taste of Old North Dayton will be held on Tuesday 8/4/15 from 5 to 8PM. There will be ethnic foods, church activities and a band playing. The event is great fun and has been very well attended by all in the neighborhood. Please make plans to attend, whether as a business or attendee. Contact Ann Seifer or Barry Hall for more details.
· Leo St property use nuisance hearing resulted in the individual vacating the premises for 1 year.
· DPD police report:
o Armed robbery of an elderly man who was assaulted-the assailant was arrested and charged. A few incidents of shoplifting. There has been an uptick in B&E. The counterfeiter who was passing bogus bills in local businesses has been arrested.
o There was a truck vandalized at Groundskeepers; there are no current leads.
Chris Shaw and Scott Sliver, candidates for Dayton City Commission
Chris Shaw, 4th generation family businessman runs Shaw Cleaners, which originally opened on Germantown St in 1910. The business services many local hotels and UPS as well as individual retail customers. He has seen the effects of the economic highs and lows in Dayton as they serviced GM and understands the need to maintain strong, continued economic development in the area. He has a vision for the future that involves getting people to move to and work in Dayton. He has served as Economic Development Chair for the NAACP (Dayton Unit)
Dayton needs to take advantage of its resources: water sources, hospitals and hi-tech and needs to train its population to serve companies that can take advantage of these resources. He feels that the city of Dayton needs to be more customer friendly, especially in its dealings with companies and small businesses. Infrastructure details need to be addressed to make the area more attractive to large and small business alike. The recent flooding situation highlights some of the issues that need to be addressed.
Scott Sliver is the pastor of Vineyard church and executive director of the Hope Foundation of Dayton. He has a background in marketing and advertising, having worked in Dayton, Cincinnati and New York before settling in Dayton. He believes that Dayton has a lot going for it: witness the Water St project, GE facility, Fifth/Third Field, Healthcare and Fairgrounds development, but the core is hurting, most recently in the sale of Standard Register He believes that the heritage of Dayton is important, (Patterson, Kettering, etc), but we need to focus on the current entrepreneurs and empower them to create the next big development.
They each spoke on a variety of topics and addressed questions and concerns from the membership:
On the subject of Dayton City Schools:
Shaw: Feels that the businesses have to have a relationship with the schools. Schools should take advantage of non-traditional educational resources to develop a better foundation for students. He served on the Montgomery County Vulnerable Youth in Transition Advisory Board supporting programs and services that assist local youth as they transition to adults.
Sliver: We need to find ways to increase parental involvement. It’s hard for schools to discipline students and hard to get parents to continue a child’s learning through the summer break. Recently his church raised $9,000 to purchase books for every child at Louise Troy Elementary to each have 10 books to read for the summer.
On the subject of drawing people to downtown Dayton:
Shaw: Need outreach to businesses to draw companies in. This appears to be improving and businesses are being recruited. Dayton needs to protect its water and use this resource as an asset. He thinks that the flight to the suburbs is turning around. Our interstate assets also need to be used to our advantage; the I-70 and I-75 interchange allows for easy logistics and distribution hub activity.
Sliver: Need a company to buy into downtown and develop businesses. Dayton should advertise and do a better job of promoting itself. He lives downtown and is happy to see an increase in population. Dayton should encourage the conversion of office buildings to residential; maybe we can even get a grocery store back in downtown. He also feels that several tax abatements given for development are actually good for the schools in the long run.
On the subject of Employment:
Shaw: We need soft skills training as well as work force training. Dayton needs to do a better job of outreach.
Sliver: Many problems relate to potential employees passing drug tests; how do you solve the drug problem? This is a tough question and not easily solved or discussed in a brief way.
On the subject of converting old buildings or properties into parks
Shaw: The Land Bank is actively working to acquire properties to develop
Sliver: Of concern is the cost of rehab versus razing; complications include issues relating to asbestos removal and other concerns.
On the question of the candidate’s willingness to “vote away their job” if regionalization and consolidation were possible
Shaw: There are a number of obstacles with surrounding areas and discussion on consolidation, but if it’s better for the community, then he is for it
Sliver: Sure! If it’s good for our community as a whole. There has been a move toward consolidation in Columbus and Cincy, but it was met with opposition.
On the subject of how to help small businesses flourish, in particular relating to obtaining permits, taxes on employees and improvement taxes
Shaw: feels that small to medium business growth is needed in Dayton. The city of Dayton needs to be much more customer friendly and streamline processes.
Sliver: the mayor spoke of improving the city’s processes, but it needs to be acted upon. He feels that the city is making progress. Some owners are afraid to speak out for fear of retribution; this needs to change.
Barry thanked the candidates for their attendance as questions and discussion continued past the normal meeting time. Look for information to come via email and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gondba on our next meeting on July 22nd.
Thanks for keeping
our businesses strong! See you next month.
Archive of Meeting Minutes