Clayton mayor-elect turns focus to development after ousting incumbent

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 1:17 PM


            Mike Stevens, Clayton councilman and mayor-elect
Mike Stevens, Clayton councilman and mayor-elect

Clayton will have a new mayor in January after Councilman Mike Stevens defeated incumbent Mayor Joyce Deitering in Tuesday’s election.

“I attribute my win to getting a message out there: to increase our development in Clayton, economic and residential. And I think that message resonated with our residents,” said Stevens, a Coldwell Banker Heritage real estate agent and retired circulation director for Cox Media Group, which owns this newspaper.

He said he wants to “jump start development” of Villages at North Clayton, a project that is currently tied up in in estate issues after principals of the two development companies died.

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Deitering, a Republican attorney who has been mayor since 2006, said she’s not sure why she lost.

“Of course the narrow loss has been disappointing but I have received a number of very touching phone calls, messages and emails relating support and stories about how grateful the citizens are for my many years of service and how my work and the city have positively affected their lives,” said Deitering. “This response and outreach was unexpected and very comforting.”

Deitering is a former councilwoman and Randolph Twp. trustee who ran unsuccessfully for the Ohio legislature against then State Rep. Roland Winburn, a Harrison Twp. Democrat who is now a Harrison Twp. trustee. Deitering is Clayton’s second mayor since the city incorporated in 1998.

RELATED: Accusations flying in local state House race

Thirty-one votes separated the two candidates on election night - with Stevens getting 1,697 and Deitering receiving 1,666 votes. Those tallies may change slightly as the Montgomery County Board of Elections counts late arriving absentee ballots and provisional ballots that were cast when there were questions about a voter’s eligibility.

The Election Day vote was not close enough to trigger an automatic recount and historically the post-election counting of those final votes generally doesn’t change the outcome of races, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County Board.

The Clayton Council will choose someone to fill the council seat vacated by Stevens, a Democrat who has been on council for two years, said City Manager Rick Rose. That decision will be made within 30 days of Stevens taking office in January.

RELATED: Who are the candidates for Clayton mayor

Stevens said he and Deitering ran good races. He said the two went to high school together and had a conversation early in the campaign.

“We both kind of on a handshake decided we want to keep our campaigns out of the weeds and we both did that,” Stevens said. “We tried to run on our merits and I think part of that is the reason it was so close. We both had strong merits to run on.”

RELATED: Redrawn district makes for expensive state House race

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With no deal on shutdown, GOP accuses Sherrod Brown of flip-flop

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:23 PM


            WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Congress is working to avoid a government shutdown ahead of a midnight Friday deadline. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
            Aaron P. Bernstein
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 18: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Congress is working to avoid a government shutdown ahead of a midnight Friday deadline. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)(Aaron P. Bernstein)

As a possible shutdown grew nearer on Friday, Republicans took aim at Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, accusing him of a flip-flop over a temporary measure to keep the government open for four weeks.

Brown on Thursday appeared set to back the Republican-backed four-week plan because it extended a program known as CHIP that provides health insurance for more than 220,000 Ohio children. But Brown Friday said he would instead support an alternative plan to keep the government open for a few days while the Senate worked toward a longer-term deal.

It’s not clear, though, if even that proposal would gain congressional approval. President Donald Trump Friday invited Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to the White House in hopes of negotiating a last minute deal, but the meeting broke up without any agreement.

Both parties seemed to be digging in as the deadline grew closer.

The plan to keep the government operating for a few days while negotiations continue was proposed by Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Both have criticized the temporary spending measures that have become commonplace as a substitute for a long-term budget.

Congress has passed short-term spending resolutions three times since the fiscal year began in October.

RELATED: Five things to know if a shutdown happens

“We owe it to the people we work for to keep working and get the job done,” said Brown.

Republicans seized on the Democratic senator’s apparent change of heart over the four-week spending plan, which was approved by the House Thursday night and has the backing of the president.

Bob Salera of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called Brown’s decision “alarming” but “unsurprising.”

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” said it’s “unusual that you have this kind of opposition when there’s nothing objectionable there.”

RELATED: Dreamers rally in Dayton to support DACA

He said Democrats were hoping to get a resolution on DACA, an acronym for a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, “but it’s an issue that hasn’t been resolved yet and it will take a little more time.”

“This is not a good way to score political points,” Portman said.

Last December, Brown voted against a temporary spending bill that kept the government open because it only extended CHIP money for three months instead of five years. In a floor speech the night the bill passed, Brown complained that a three-month extension “provides no certainty to the states that are running CHIP.”

RELATED: 7 things to know about the Children’s Health Insurance Program

But if he votes against the House version of the new spending bill to keep the government open for the next four weeks, Republicans can argue that Brown in essence is voting against a six-year extension of CHIP. Brown faces re-election in November.

In a statement Friday, Brown spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue said: “The fact is CHIP would have been passed months ago if Mitch McConnell and Republican leaders had listened to Senator Brown, but instead they’re holding the program hostage and using Ohio kids as political leverage. Senator Brown is continuing to fight for CHIP as part of a bipartisan budget deal, and if Republican leaders will bring up a clean CHIP bill, Sherrod will cast the first vote to pass it.”

The bill the Republican-led House passed Thursday would keep the federal government open through mid-February. Both House and Senate Democrats have balked at the deal, however, in part because it does not offer legal guarantees for DACA children, the so-called Dreamers.

Because of different rules in the two chambers, the House bill could pass by a simple majority, but the Senate needs 60 votes to approve it. If no agreement is reached, the federal government could partially close at midnight Friday for the first time since 2013.

RELATED: Trump and Schumer end private talks with no deal in hand

It would represent the first time that the federal government has closed when the House, Senate and presidency are all held by the same party.

Republicans made clear they will blame Senate Democrats if a shutdown occurs. House Speaker Paul Ryan called the last–minute maneuvering “absolutely, needless, completely unnecessary and wholly because of Senate Democrats trying to shut down the government.”

But a Washington Post-ABC News Poll released Friday indicated most Americans blamed the party in power: 48 percent of those polled blamed Republicans while 28 percent blamed Democrats.

Government shutdown: Will I still get my mail?

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:33 PM

Packages advance on a conveyor belt as they are sorted at the U.S. Postal service’s Royal Palm Processing and Distribution Center on December 4, 2017 in Opa Locka, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Packages advance on a conveyor belt as they are sorted at the U.S. Postal service’s Royal Palm Processing and Distribution Center on December 4, 2017 in Opa Locka, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Palm Beach Post Staff Writer)

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees could be barred from working if Congress can’t agree to a budget plan and avoid a shutdown.

But the country’s more than 500,000 postal service workers won’t be among them. 

Mail service will continue uninterrupted, even during a government shutdown. 

That’s because the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars for everyday operations.

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Rezabek to seek judgeship, opens up hot race for Ohio House seat and Dan Foley confirms he’s running

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:39 PM

Rezabek seeks judgeship

UPDATE: Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley has confirmed he will run for the Ohio House 43rd District seat.

State Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election and will instead run for Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Juvenile division judge.

His decision will likely lead to one of the hottest Statehouse races in the region as the Ohio 43rd is one of the most evenly divided politically in the Dayton area.

Thursday night Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley confirmed that he will run for Rezabek’s seat. Foley, a Democrat, had earlier announced that he would not run for re-election but will serve out his term  on commission through the end of this year.

Democrat Ralph Dean Brill of Brookville, also took out nominating petitions from the Montgomery County Board of Elections but could not be reached for comment.

On Friday Clayton Councilman Kenny Henning will formally announce he is running  in the Republican primary for the seat, and Stephanie Garrett of West Alexandria has also confirmed she is running in that primary.

RELATED: Dan Foley won’t run again for Montgomery County commission

Foley declined to say more about his candidacy but said he will hold a formal announcement news conference soon.

Dan Foley, Montgomery County commissioner, speaks at the Engineers Club in Dayton. FILE(Staff Writer)

‘We made an impact’

Rezabek said he wants to use his experience as a lawyer and a legislator to bring change to the juvenile court.

“We made an impact in the legislature,” he said. “But the real impact is directly on the community and directly with those kids and with those families.”

RELATED: Rezabek bill would give judges more say on trying juveniles as adults

Rezabek, an attorney specializing in juvenile cases, is running for the seat being vacated at the end of the year by Juvenile Judge Nick Kuntz, who cannot run for re-election due to age limitations for judges.

The race for Kuntz’s seat has attracted a lot of attention, with at least five other people taking out nominating petitions.

They include Democrats Julie Bruns of Miamisburg, Greg Scott of Dayton, Steven Wagenfeld of Centerville and Cynthia L. Westwood of Farmersville. Republican C. Ralph Wilcoxson II has also obtained a petition.

Rezabek ran unsuccessfully for the job in 2012. First elected to the Ohio House in 2014, he won a bitter re-election battle in 2016 against David Sparks of Clayton.

RELATED: Race for 43rd House district has turned ugly

Henning said he will make the formal announcement that he is running for the seat at an 11:30 a.m. news conference Friday at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center’s adult center, 6801 Hoke Road, Clayton.

RELATED: Donald Trump is the new president and local residents saw it happen in person

“I’m 100 percent invested in the community and I want to ensure that our 43rd House district has a strong champion to advocate for the district in Columbus.” said Henning, who is a judicial assistant to Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Erik Blaine.

Kenny Henning, Clayton councilman(Staff Writer)

A Clayton native who has served on the council since 2012, Henning said his campaign will focus on farming and agriculture, the concerns of small business owners and trying to restore Local Government Fund revenue slashed by the legislature. He said he also wants to address the opioid addiction crisis.

Garrett is president of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau and assistant treasurer of the Ohio Republican Party.

Stephanie Garrett, president of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is running as a Republican for the Ohio House 43rd District seat.(HANDOUT)

“I wanted to teach my children that they could make a difference. So I got involved in my community and started working with candidates and the Republicans.”

The filing deadline for the May 8 primary is Feb. 7.

Mark Owens, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, said the 43rd House district is about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans and can be won by a Democrat like Foley.

“If he’s willing to get out and roll up his sleeves and work I think he can win it,” Owens said.

The district covers parts of Englewood, Clayton, Trotwood, western Montgomery County and all of Preble County.

RELATED: Ohio could have two redistricting proposals on ballots this year

County commission

Multiple people have pulled petitions to run for Foley’s county commission seat. Democrats include Montgomery County Treasurer Carolyn Rice and Daryl Ward, senior pastor of Omega Baptist Church in Dayton.

RELATED: Candidates seek to replace Foley on Montgomery County commission

Both Rice and Ward have turned in their nominating petitions.

Republicans include former Miami Twp. Trustee Bob Matthews and current Miami Twp. Trustee Doug Barry, both of whom have turned in petitions. Petitions have been obtained but not submitted by Greg Hart and Joshua Smith, both Dayton Republicans.

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Warren County’s Massie Twp. meeting tonight over fire department future

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:43 AM


            The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.
The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees has called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.

The Massie Twp. Board of Trustees called a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the future of the township fire department.

Fire Chief Scott Hines, the department’s only paid employee, resigned on Jan. 2 after learning he was under scrutiny for purchasing food for firefighters, and part of the department’s entirely volunteer force resigned too.

“They left us with a skeleton crew,” Trustee David Crisenbery said this morning.

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The township, home to about 1,500 residents, is on the south side of Caesar Creek Lake. The department handles emergency calls from the lake.

Since Hines’ resignation, fire and emergency calls are being handled by the remaining department along with mutual aid from fire departments in Wayne Twp., Warren County, and Chester Twp., Clinton County.

The trustees are also weighing creating a joint fire district with Chester Twp. with new levies supporting the operation.

“That is the goal,” Trustee Daryl McKinney said.

MORE: Coach boating with daughter drowns in Caesar Creek Lake

A larger district qualifies for more grants, McKinney said.

The Massie Twp department operates on a $92,000 budget from two levies.

MORE: Beavercreek Twp. to build $2.5 million fire station

Crisenbery said the township could seek an additional local levy to fund part-time paid firefighters. Also, Hines’ replacement could be picked, Crisenbery added.

“Anything’s possible tonight,” Crisenbery said. “All options, I feel, should be on the table.”

Hines said he was working with the Village of Harveysburg on creating a fire department, taking over fire and ambulance services within its municipal limits within Massie Twp.

He accused Trustee Mark Dawson of “micromanaging” him for more than two years.

“I just got tired of it,” he said.

Dawson said Hines was the subject of two internal investigations which provided 11 grounds for his removal.

“It is our responsibility to address the issues,” he said. “I call it doing the job we’re appointed to.”

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the township fire station, 10 N. Harveysburg Road.