Local residents weigh in on debate

Published: Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 7:00 PM

A sampling of local residents who watched Wednesday’s presidential debate had several things in common – a majority thought Mitt Romney had the better night, many questioned whether either candidate could fulfill his promises, and none of them said the debate changed their mind.

Exactly half of the 46 people asked by the Dayton Daily News said they watched the debate between Romney and President Barack Obama.

Mike Muenchenbach of Eaton said he’s not a Romney supporter, but he thought Romney had better answers Wednesday and handled the pressure better.

“Obama had every opportunity to come back and score points on some of things that were said, but he didn’t do that,” Muenchenbach said. “He stayed very calm, and that’s fine, but in a debate, that doesn’t work. … There was nothing on the “47 percent” tape, and he didn’t really call Romney out on the tax cuts.”

Tim Kator of Kettering thought Obama did win a point on Medicare spending.

“Romney gave some facts, and Obama came back and kind of obliterated his facts, so I thought that was important,” Kator said. “One of them’s trying to say you’re going to take away $716 billion when really he’s not. One guy’s trying to mislead the public.”

Several local debate watchers brought up the issue of truthfulness Thursday, at the same time that fact-checkers were buzzing with accusations against both sides.

“They spout off all these facts and you don’t really know if they’re true or not – these numbers,” said Jessica Bertolo of Dayton. “They say if Obama’s elected, all of these things will happen. Well no one can predict the future, so that’s kind of frustrating.”

Jennifer Brewer of Kettering said people should just look at the struggles the nation has already had under Obama.

“President Obama looked very confused,” she said. “Mitt Romney looked like the one who had been president and Obama looked like the one who was running for president.”

Randy Brown of Xenia and Robert Woodall of Kettering both thought Romney was impressive, but both still favor Obama. Brown said control of Congress will be just as important in deciding what happens to the country. Woodall said who wins the presidency will only make a small difference.

“I think Obama’s more people-oriented, where Romney is a businessman and he doesn’t mind sacrificing people to get that dollar,” Woodall said. “I think sometimes when you get to making a lot of money, you forget about the normal people.”

Laquatta Brown of Trotwood said Obama needs time to solve problems he inherited from the Bush administration. She was one of a handful of people who said religion is a key concern.

“Whoever is elected needs to put God in their plan,” she said. “We’ve taken God out of schools and everything else, and I think that’s part of this country’s problem.”

Ben Felton of West Carrollton said Romney successfully jabbed Obama all night, but he questioned whether either man can turn around the economy the way they propose.

“I think the economy’s dependent on the market,” he said. “They can influence it a little bit, but whatever’s going to happen is going to happen.”

Frank Winslow of Washington Twp. said he was happily surprised to see Romney win the night. He was glad Romney didn’t back away from his Massachusetts health care plan.

“I thought Romney was well rehearsed, with a lot more details than he had been giving – and he hadn’t been giving a lot,” he said. “I thought he was a lot stronger without being rude and offensive, which they sometimes get.”

But like Felton, Winslow was realistic about his expectations.

“I don’t think presidents have near the influence and power that people think they do,” Winslow said. “I don’t think either (jobs) plan is probably going to be very effective. I think the private sector will eventually bring back the jobs.”

What did you think of the debate on Wednesday, talk about it at Facebook.com/daytondailynews

16-year Lebanon councilman’s re-election bid rejected

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 1:04 PM


            The re-election petitions of James Norris, a member of Lebanon City Council, have been rejected by the Warren County Board of Elections.
The re-election petitions of James Norris, a member of Lebanon City Council, have been rejected by the Warren County Board of Elections.

The nominating petitions of Jim Norris, a 16-year member of Lebanon City Council, have been rejected by the Warren County Board of Elections. He was one of 13 potential candidates rejected by elections officials.

Norris has been a council member in Lebanon since 2001.

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The board also rejected the petitions of incumbent Lebanon City Councilman Stephen Kaiser, who was elected to his first term in 2013.

RELATED: Petition flaw leaves Carlisle without council race

Their petitions were among those from candidates whose election bids were rejected due to “fatal flaws” with documents filed, Brian Sleeth, election board director in Warren County, said this morning. Other incumbents rejected were Waynesville City Councilman Brian Blankenship, Carlisle Councilwoman Barb Tankersley and Kings Local School Board member Bonnie Baker-Hicks.

RELATED: School board races in Springboro, Lebanon, Waynesville

Others candidates rejected include David T. Forman for Butlerville Village Council, Beverly Altimari for Butlerville mayor, Chris Gallagher for Hamilton Township trustee, Mike Stylski for Kings Local School Board, Sean Riley for Lebanon City Council, Douglas Drook for Maineville Village Council, Benjamin Steiner, George Bocklett and Luanne Cain for Morrow Village Council and George Teasdale for South Lebanon Village Council.

Troy council opposes pedestrian bridge near downtown

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 8:37 AM


            Troy has focused on riverfront development, including the Treasure Island Park area, which opened in 2016. City council members Monday, however, said they did not support a proposed pedestrian bridge near downtown. CONTRIBUTED
Troy has focused on riverfront development, including the Treasure Island Park area, which opened in 2016. City council members Monday, however, said they did not support a proposed pedestrian bridge near downtown. CONTRIBUTED

Troy City Council members made it clear they weren’t interested in the city pursuing a pedestrian bridge across the Great Miami River near downtown as suggested in a draft riverfront development strategic plan.

“The bridge seems to me to be a luxury item,” Council President Martha Baker said, pointing out the proposed bridge would lie between the Adams Street and North Market Street bridges, which are a short distance apart.

None of the seven of eight council members attending a work session along with Baker spoke in support of a proposed bridge after seeing drawings of three possible options ranging in estimated price from $7.659 million to $16.756 million for a cable-style bridge.

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Council members called the proposal premature and said there were other more pressing needs in the city such as maintaining its streets.

“I’d hate to put a bridge in that only a few are going to use when we have roads out there that need paving,” said Councilman John Schweser.

Council member Lynne Snee said council needed to take a “wider look at our community and what Troy residents are being asked to consider,” including a bond issue for new elementary schools that is on the fall ballot.

Other council members said it was hard to consider the proposal without knowing what changes might be pursued on the river’s north side such as housing, a parking complex or retention of green space. “There just are a lot of ifs now,” said Councilman Doug Tremblay.

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The presentation was made to council because participants in a June focus group on the draft riverfront strategic plan listed the bridge as a project they’d like to see given priority, and the deadline for a possible federal funding source is nearing, consultants from MKSK and LBJ said.

The funding being suggested was federal transportation dollars available through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. The proposal was for $2.82 million through the MVRPC and $4.2 million as the local match. The grant application would be for money available in 2023, so project estimates included a 20 percent inflation factor, consultants said.

The source of the estimated $4.2 million local share was questioned. Other possible grants such as from the state capital budget, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and foundations were mentioned.

City Auditor John Frigge was asked about possible funding. “We don’t have those kind of funds right now to invest in this type of project, and I don’t think the citizens would want us to,” Frigge said.

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The bridge was proposed as a link between property on the north side of the river and the south, which includes the downtown. The area north is home to Hobart Arena, the river levee and the stadium, where there are underused parking lots.

The bridge would connect that area to the south side for those on bikes or those parking vehicles north of the river to avoid searching for parking in the downtown and walk across the bridge, said consultant Joe Nickol of MKSK.

Before council’s discussion, members heard a riverfront strategic plan process update from J.C. Wallace of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce. He represented the Activate Troy Partnership, the name chosen by those organizations and private investors paying for the MKSK study.

The study is in the draft stage with more public input being sought, Wallace said. The draft study is available on the city website at troyohio.gov.

Warren County selects builder for new event center

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 10:20 AM


            Warren County picked Conger Construction Group to build an event center at the county fairgounds in Lebanon.
Warren County picked Conger Construction Group to build an event center at the county fairgounds in Lebanon.

Warren County has selected Conger Construction Group to design a $3 million event center at the county fairgrounds.

This morning, the county commissioners authorized Administrator Tiffany Zindel to negotiate a construction contract with Lebanon-based Conger on the project.

RELATED: County inks $19 million racino development deal

The fairgrounds is undergoing a major makeover, prompted by the end of the harness racing era at the facility in downtown Lebanon. The county has committed $4.5 million to the project, $3 million from the owners of the Miami Valley Gaming racino and $1.5 million from state racetrack redevelopment funds.

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The Lebanon Planning Commission is reviewing plans for the event center to be built where grandstands stood until they were demolished earlier this summer.

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The county expects the event center to be in place early next summer, in time for use during the county fair in July 2018.

4 Montgomery County candidates ruled invalid; Dayton schools race set

Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 11:25 AM
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 4:47 PM


            Montgomery County Board of Elections officials ruled four candidates will not appear on the November ballot because of problems with their petitions. CHRIS STEWART/STAFF
Montgomery County Board of Elections officials ruled four candidates will not appear on the November ballot because of problems with their petitions. CHRIS STEWART/STAFF

The names of four Montgomery County residents who hoped to run for office will not appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The Board of Elections on Tuesday ruled invalid the petitions of Julia Caserta, Ben DeGroat, David Esrati and Donna M. Hill.

According to the board, three names were tossed due to an insufficient number of qualifying signatures: Caserta, who filed to run for a Harrison Twp. trustee position; DeGroat, who filed for German Twp. trustee; and Hill, who sought a Dayton School Board seat.

MORE: Miami County tosses out petitions for 19 candidates

David Esrati, a Dayton resident who has had petitions for different offices rejected in previous election cycles, was denied a spot on the ballot for the Montgomery County Educational Services Center board because he doesn’t reside in the center’s district.

At least 188 candidates requested petitions for the election heavy on municipal and school board offices, according to the Board of Elections.

Due to differences in municipal charters, candidates hoping to make it on the ballot in Kettering, Moraine and Riverside races have until 4 p.m. on Aug. 24 to file their petitions with the elections board.

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“We’ve just had four invalid at this point. That’s actually pretty low,” said Jan Kelly, Board of Elections director. “I think the candidates did a great job of filling out the petitions.”

Dayton School board race set

Eight candidates were certified to run for four seats on the Dayton School Board.

Joe Lacey is the only incumbent seeking re-election in November.

The other candidates are Mohamed Al-Hamandi, Paul Bradley, Ann Marie Gallin, William Harris Jr., Jocelyn Rhynard, Jo’el Jones and Karen Wick-Gagnet.

ELECTION COVERAGE

Our team of local reporters will have coverage of the key races and tax issues on the ballot over the next few months.

The ballot is full of local candidates running for mayor, city council, school board and township positions.

In early October, look for our online, interactive voters guide with information on hundreds of candidates and issues across the region.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 10. Early voting starts Oct. 10.