Dayton mayor to seek 2nd term in 2013

Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 2:08 PM
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 2:08 PM

Mayor Gary Leitzell said Friday he would seek a second four-year term becoming the second candidate to enter the 2013 mayoral race.

“I was elected on a certain day in history by the majority of voters to represent the majority of the residents of Dayton,” Leitzell said. “It appears at this moment in time that the overwhelming majority of the people that I speak with support what I am doing and want it to continue, so I am willing to go through the process of getting re-elected.”

Leitzell said he was running on his record, referring a reporter to his blog,, where he listed 62 projects or initatives that happened during his tenure as mayor, including construction of the General Electric Aviation building, the University of Dayton’s acquisition of NCR headquarters, the development of more housing units downtown, the Welcome Dayton Immigrant Friendly initiative, increased recycling and the Domestic Partner Registry.

“When,” he asked, “in the last 40 years have you seen this many things happen in just a three year period?”

Leitzell challenged other candidates to limit their campaign spending and encouraged “unknown” candidates to enter the race.

Former Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge A.J. Wagner declared his candicacy for mayor this summer. City Commissioner Nan Whaley is considering a run but has said she would make no decision until after the November election.

Both Wagner and Whaley are Democrats; Leitzell is an independent.

Should Whaley enter the race — or anyone else — it would trigger a primary with the top two vote-getters advancing to the November 2013 General Election — and the possibility of two Democrats facing off.

Mark Owens, chairman of the county Democratic Party, said it was a “bit early” to ask who the party might endorse. “It won’t be Leitzell. We obviously have one (candidate) announced and one looking. … Both are very strong. We’ll make a decision in December or January.”

“Congratulations,” Wagner said on hearing the news of Leitzell’s announcement. “I think that it will be a good campaign. Both of us get to present our vision for the city.”

Asked how his and Leitzell’s visions differed, Wagner said, “I don’t know what the mayor’s vision is.

Wagner said his vision is: “No. 1, a prosperous downtown; No. 2, education from preschool to college for all our citizens; No. 3, a safe and walkable community and No. 4, a thriving arts and entertainment community”.

Leitzell, then chairman of the Southeast Priority Board, upset two-term Mayor Rhine McLin in 2009 by 878 votes on a platform of change. “We are going to kill the old and outdated methods of governing that consolidates all of the power at the top of city hall and council chambers while leaving John and Jane Q. Taxpayer out in the cold,” he told supporters election night four years ago.

Leitzell said he raised $17,000, plus $5,000 in-kind donations, for his last campaign.

“The two parties believe that they have to win at ‘all costs’ and trust me, it is costing dearly. I do not believe that I need to spend any where near that much money this time around. … So, let me lay down this challenge because I know full well the two parties will never issue the same. I will not spend more than $10,000 cash and $10,000 ‘in kind’ to get re-elected, and I challenge any known political challenger to match the same,” Leitzell said.

He said he would raise the cap on his challenge to $20,000 cash and $10,000 in kind for any “unknown candidate” because such a candidate would need to raise additional money to increase their name recognition.

Oxford resident plans to challenge Boehner in 2014

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

OXFORD — Tom Poetter announced this week he will run for Congress in next year’s midterm election and while he may not meet incumbent John Boehner during the campaign, Poetter does plan to meet with as many residents of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District as he possibly can.

Boehner has swept to re-election with 60 percent or more of the votes every time and last year, was unopposed. Poetter wants to offer a Democratic alternative and a challenge to the status quo.

Poetter, an Oxford resident for 17 years and an education professor at Miami University, said Boehner has a history of not campaigning and not appearing at voter events, while assuming re-election.

“When I talk to people in the district, the issue of presence comes up,” Poetter said. “I’ll be on the ground talking to people about things that are important to them. I’m not a Washington politician. I’m not a local politician. I will serve two years and if people like what I do, they will re-elect me.”

Poetter said Boehner’s past election domination makes any attempt to unseat him look futile, but he does not let that deter him.

“It looks ominous on paper but we’re not afraid of that. It’s a big step and I did not take it lightly,” he said. “Speaker Boehner has a war chest. People across the country are expressing interest. It will take a national and regional effort. This is really a big, big district, gerrymandered to cover rural areas.”

Poetter said the recent government shutdown cost the country $24 billion and left the country’s security compromised. It was something that could have been averted if Boehner had allowed the issue to come to a vote. That has left some 8th District voters disenchanted and Poetter said he wants to represent those people.

“Really, they took the step of shutting down the government of the greatest nation in the world to satisfy the wants of a small number of people,” he said. “What happens when somebody is 24 years on the job and the company melts down? They get severance and told to leave.”

Poetter is a native of St. Mary’s, Ohio and graduated from Heidelberg University in business and English in 1985. He played baseball there, but is a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame with the 1984 basketball team that went to the Sweet 16. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1988 and was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1989.

That began what he and his wife, Chris, call their three-year series — three years as he taught at Culver School, three years in Bloomington as he earned his doctorate at Indiana University and three years teaching at Trinity in Texas.

That ended when he got the job teaching at Miami University and they moved back to Ohio, closer to both of their families.

“I’ve been at Miami 17 years now,” he said. “This is home.”

He led the Miami Partnership office for 10 years, opening new opportunities for the Talawanda teachers and students, as well as Miami faculty and students. It was those experiences melding the varied interests of those involved into a cooperative effort that he points to as a valuable political tool.

Poetter said he has learned much from the politics of university life and enters this campaign with an eye toward talking to as many district residents as possible and talking about leadership and working together in Washington, which is something he feels is a strength.

“Voters will have a lot of responsibility in November ‘14. They have to decide whether to do business as usual. Speaker Boehner can kick the can down the road and be an embarrassment to the nation and not make decisions on spending priorities, especially as we are making our way out of costly wars,” Poetter said. “We need to grow the economy again and be a strong and peaceful nation again. The percentage of debt is dropping. The economy is showing signs of improving.”

Poetter said he refuses to make a quick answer to questions just to please a questioner. If necessary, he said, he will ask for time to consider a question and get back to the person concerned with an issue.

“Leadership is not just about decision-making. It’s about dialogue and consensus-building. It’s about authenticity and working together. It takes time and involvement. I can make a decision, but an informed decision,” he said. “I’m going to be present. I do not take that lightly.”

Local man missing for 3 weeks found

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 @ 5:28 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 25, 2013 @ 5:28 PM

An older man, missing since the fourth of July, has been found three weeks later.

Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, July 4th., 79 year-old Donald Cooper left his daughter’s home on Beech Tree Court and hadn’t been heard from since that time.

Cooper is a diabetic and concern from his family grew because he was without his medication.

We have requested information on Cooper’s condition and where-a-bouts during the time he was missing. We will update this story as we receive further details.

Supercomputer unveiled at Wright-Patt

Published: Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 9:12 PM
Updated: Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 9:12 PM

Military leaders cut the ribbon Monday on a $25 million supercomputer that’s fast — really fast.

In fact, Air Force officials said the supercomputer known as “Spirit” is able to complete 15,000 trillion calculations every second, making it 36,000 times more powerful than your average PC.

Spirit is named after the B-2 Stealth bomber and is reported to be the seventh fastest in the United States and the 14th fastest computer in the world, according to the base.

WPAFB officials said the computer will allow scientists to virtually perform complicated and expensive weapons tests.

“Instead of going out there and blowing something up, we can simulate it,” said Lloyd Slonaker, head of the supercomputer project. “We save a lot of money that way and we can take a look at the different options available to us.”

The ceremony held at Area B’s Information Technology Complex was hosted by Maj. Gen. William McCasland, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

— Staff Writer William Garbe is a senior at the University of Dayton.

Protesters march along Fairfield Road to bring bus stops for workers

Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 3:48 PM
Updated: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 3:48 PM

Well over 100 protesters came out to show their support in favor of RTA busing to the Fairfield Commons Mall area.

At 12:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, a group formed from the members of Leaders for Equality and Action in Dayton (LEAD) at the corner of North Fairfield Road and Colonel Glenn Highway to start a protest march on North Fairfield Road over the I-675 Overpass toward the Fairfield Commons Mall.

The organization wants to bring attention to what they feel is a need for RTA bus service to three new stops.

LEAD’s Civil Rights complaint with the Federal Department of Transportation found Beavercreek in violation of Title VI.

LEAD members state the new bus stops would bring access to jobs, education and health care.