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Published: Thursday, February 01, 2018 @ 12:10 PM
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has joined mayors from nine other U.S. cities, including New York City, Seattle, Denver and Philadelphia, to call for replacing “tough on crime” policies and strategies with “smart” ones.
Tough on crime laws and policies, which date back decades, led to more arrests and longer prison sentences but had a disproportionate impact on minority populations and has contributed to one in three Americans having arrest records, according to the group of mayors and the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning research and educational organization.
Lengthier jail and prison sentences and higher incarceration rates have a minimal long-term impact on crime but have lifelong effects on predominantly black and Latino and Hispanic communities, center representatives said.
Whaley and other mayors call for using data and evidence-based strategies to reform the criminal justice system, including prevention, diversion and re-entry programs.
The mayors will share best practices and promote policies that make communities safer and improve community-police relations, Whaley said.
She said she’s proud of the work of Dayton’s Community Police Council and initiatives that break down barriers between law enforcement and public, such as Coffee with a Cop.
She praised Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl for spearheading what she said are some of the city’s successful initiatives.
In Dayton, all of the city’s first responders are equipped with Naloxone, a medication that prevents fatal drug overdoses. Whaley has been a leading advocate for comprehensive, public health approaches to combating the opioid crisis, according to Smart on Crime supporters.
In Denver, police and behavioral health professionals jointly respond to some calls to help divert people away from the criminal justice system and into treatment.
Boston’s summer jobs program, which connects young people to work experiences, has been credited with reducing criminal activity among program participants.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:11 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:15 PM
The Dayton City Commission on Friday voted to hold a special election on May 8 to replace Commissioner Joey Williams, who has resigned after 16 years in office.
Two well-known faith leaders have already declared for the seat: Darryl Fairchild and Daryl Ward.
Though Williams was re-elected to a fifth term in November, he officially stepped down Friday, a decision he says was motivated by a more demanding travel schedule related to his new job.
The election is 74 days away, but Dayton residents who wish to replace Williams have just two weeks to collect 500 signatures of registered Dayton electors to appear on the ballot. The deadline is March 9.
That is a tall order considering that commission hopefuls usually have months to acquire the necessary signatures, said Fairchild, who has run for the seat twice before.
On Friday afternoon, Ward, the senior pastor of Omega Baptist Church, announced he is dropping out of the Montgomery County Commission race to instead run to try to replace Williams on the city commission.
Fairchild said the timing of Williams’ announcement seems deliberate to create a short window to discourage people from running. Dayton municipal special elections must take place 60 to 90 days after a vacancy on the commission.
Fairchild, the manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, fell just 208 votes short of winning a spot on the commission in 2015, when he was edged out by political newcomer Chris Shaw.
He and another challenger were defeated by a much larger margin in November 2071 by Williams and incumbent Commissioner Jeffrey Mims Jr.
Fairchild said since November’s election, Dayton has seen some of the negative consequences of failing to address the issues he says he prioritizes, including neighborhood development.
“We have Good Sam closing, we’ve got schools potentially closing, we’ve got Aldi’s closing and we have threats to our water well field,” he said.
Fairchild said he would push the city to develop a comprehensive plan for its neighborhoods, similar to the plans the city has for downtown and the Webster Station neighborhood.
At a Friday press conference, more than 40 people joined Ward at the Montgomery County Board of Elections to show their support as he took out a nomination petition.
Ward was flanked by family members and friends and the crowd included all four members of the Dayton commission and Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley.
Rev. Ward said he is running for commission because of his love for the city and its citizens.
Ward said he was very sick several years ago, but though his body was shutting down, his vital organs were intact and strong.
“That’s like Dayton — we’ve got a lot of problems, but we have people, we have water, we have the strength of a wonderful history,” he said. “I would be so proud to be a part of helping that history become a bright future.”
Ward said his best traits are his maturity and wisdom and he’s an excellent listener who is detail-oriented.
Dayton’s last special election to fill a vacancy was in June 2001, when Edythe Lewis won a seat to complete the term of her husband, Lloyd E. Lewis Jr., who died about three months earlier.
Office-seekers had a short window to file a petition after the city had passed an ordinance calling for a special election: Just 10 days.
Edythe Lewis finished the last remaining months on her husband’s first term in office.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said it will be challenging for Dayton residents who want to serve on the commission to get the signatures they need in two weeks. But, she said, it’s been done before in even shorter time frames.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 5:55 PM
DAYTON — Less than four months after winning re-election, long-time Dayton City Commissioner Joey Williams tonight announced he is stepping down, effective Friday.
The 52-year-old Williams, the top vote-getter in the Dayton commission race in November, has served on the body since 2002. But tonight’s city commission meeting will be his last as an elected Dayton leader.
Williams said he ran for re-election last year expecting to complete his full four-year term, but his work responsibilities have grown so much since being named the new Dayton market president of KeyBank. KeyBank publicly announced his hiring about two days after the election.
Williams said he quickly realized that the amount of travel involved in his new role would be difficult to juggle with his commission duties.
He said he typically missed a few commission meetings each year. Since November, Williams said he has been missing at least one meeting each month.
“It’s really not fair to the community if I can’t put the proper time and effort into the job,” he said. “I had no idea this job was in my future.”
Williams also told this news organization that his new job creates more potential for conflicts of interest since he’s more heavily involved with bank activities and its customers.
The city will host a special municipal election during the primary election on May 8, which is 76 days away.
To fill vacancies, the commission determines by ordinance a special election that must take place 60 to 90 days after the vacancy occurs, according to city charter.
Dayton residents who want to replace Williams will need to collect at least 500 signatures of registered electors by March 9, which is 60 days before the election, according to the city charter .
If the city had to host a special election just to fill Williams’ vacant seat, it would cost more than $100,000, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
But costs should be minimal — perhaps $6,000 to $8,000 — if the race is placed on the May 8 primary election ballot, Harsman said.
Williams said the timing of his departure is intended to avoid a special election.
“I didn’t want the community to have to have a special election as a result of me having to resign,” Williams said. “I wanted to do it at a time that corresponded with a primary or general election.”
Williams’ colleagues on the commission praised his contributions and leadership.
“When (people) go back and look at the history of the city the last decade and more, they are going to point to you as maybe the main reason we as a commission was able to lead and bring the city out of one of the worst crises we’ve ever seen,” said Commissioner Matt Joseph.
Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 4:00 PM
— A legendary member of the Ohio Players has died, according to news reports and a post on his official Facebook page from his daughter.
Walter “Junie” Morrison, a noted producer, keyboardist and singer, is credited with writing The Ohio Players major hits “Pain,” “Pleasure”, “Ecstasy” and “Funky Worm.”
Morrison, a Dayton native, was 62.
“Dear friends and colleagues, we lost another great one. I’m sure you can agree that Junie will be greatly missed. I wasn’t around my father much, but somehow I am like him in so many ways. In that regard, thank you for your support and respect of our privacy during this time,” Akasha Morrison wrote.
Morrison was a 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and was also co-creator, writer and producer of “One Nation (Under A Groove)” and “(Not Just) Knee Deep” by Parliament Funkadelic, according to juniemorrison.com.
In the 1970s and 1980s, southwestern Ohio — particularly Dayton’s west side — was known for its stable of funk bands whose influence can be heard in hip-hop, house and other musical forms popular today.
Morrison inspired singer Solange’s recent song “Junie” on her 2016 “A Seat at the Table” album.
Gregory Webster, the original leader of the Ohio Players, said Morrison, who was hired into The Ohio Players shortly after he graduated from Roosevelt High School.
“He was really friendly,” Webster said of Morrison. “He was young, but we got him together.”
Longtime WDAO radio show host John “Turk” Logan said “Pain” — a song Morrison wrote, produced and played most of the instruments on — was the first “funky” song from a Dayton group that he played.
Logan managed Morrison for a short time after he left the Ohio Players.
“Junie was an extraordinary talent. The guy had a sixth sense about the music business,” said Logan, a 1968 Roosevelt graduate. “Junie was a handful because he was a genius.”
Dayton musician Ronald Frost of the band The Deele said Morrison was a critical member of The Ohio Players.
“When Junie came, that’s when they became extra funky,” Frost said.
Frost’s father Ronald “Nooky” Nooks played with The Ohio Players sometimes after Morrison left the band in 1974 for a solo career.
He released three solo albums on Westbound Records.
Frost was a big fan of Morrison’s work.
“Junie was just a different kind of musician. He was totally incredible,” Frost said.
Morrison was induced into the Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center based in downtown Dayton last year.
Hall of Fame president David Webb said Morrison was a great musician who supported preserving funk’s heritage.
“We are praying for his family,” Webb said.
Response on Facebook to word of the funk legend’s passing was swift.
“Junie Morrison WAS funk to me and many others,” one comment read.
Okay enough is enough, somebody tell me this ain't so. In case it is we have lost another frequency in the... https://t.co/FzO5VeDtvX— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) February 16, 2017
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 12:16 PM
Greater Dayton Premier Management, the local public housing authority, is working on a plan to improve conditions and the housing stock in a poor part of West Dayton where more than 6,000 residents live.
GDPM is targeting five neighborhoods west of Interstate 75 and south of U.S. 35 that have some rundown and aging public housing facilities and many vacant and abandoned structures.
There’s demand for up to nearly 1,000 new housing units, including a mix of subsidized, senior, market rate and for-sale units, according to a market study done for the agency.
Residents who live in the area, which is home to the DeSoto Bass Courts and Hilltop Homes, also say they want community gardens, a grocery store, a laundromat and increased police presence and visibility, according to a survey of a public housing residents and some neighbors.
GPDM’s “transformation plan” will be submitted to the federal government, which in the past has awarded tens of millions of dollars to communities to implement their plans and help pay for new housing, amenities and other investments.
The Trump Administration’s current budget does not have funding for implementation, but even without that money, GDPM hopes to remake this part of Datyon, though likely it would take longer and require some adjustments, agency officials said.
“We have alternate plans for our housing if we are not fortunate enough to receive this Choice Neighborhood funding,” said Jennifer Heapy, CEO of GDPM. “We are still committed to a transformation for that particular part of the city — it’ll just take us longer.”