Dayton Commissioner Joey Williams to resign 4 months after re-election

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 5:55 PM

Joey Williams resigns

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New firefighters to join Dayton Fire Department

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 9:35 PM

The Dayton Fire Department welcomed 14 new firefighters at a ceremony held tonight, according to a release.

The members of the 2018-A fire recruit class took part in a formal graduation ceremony and swearing-in. The ceremony took place at the Engineers Club of Dayton located at 110 E. Monument Street.

The class members completed a rigorous six-month training program at the Dayton Fire Department Training Center. They have also completed training and attained certification from the State of Ohio as Emergency Medical Technicians, Firefighter Level II and Fire Safety Inspectors. 

Upon graduation, the new firefighters will be assigned to work in one of Dayton’s 12 firehouses while they complete additional training during a six-month probationary period. 

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Dayton Air Show impacts airport commercial traffic

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 8:24 PM

Airport commercial traffic is impacted by the Vectren Dayton Air Show, according to Terry Slaybaugh--City of Dayton Director of Aviation. 

There are stretches where the air space has to be exclusively used to the air show and commercial flights have to be grounded for 30 to 45 minutes at a time. It takes a lot of coordination to minimize the impact. 

All weekend long, there will be high-flying and high-speed acts in the skies at the Dayton Air Show. During this time, the Dayton International Airport remains open for business.  

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Travelers flights still have to go on at the airport terminal during the air show. “It’s something we start working on way before the show,” said Terry Slaybaugh.

For jet teams like the Blue Angels or other supersonic fighters like the F-22 to be in the air, the airport closes its airspace for an hour at a time and no other planes are allowed to take off or land so the jets can practice safely and alone. “We’re shutting it down for a very large area. Five miles around the airport and five miles--or five thousand feet--over the airport there’s no activity,” said Slaybaugh. 

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There were three closure times scheduled tonight and there will be more this weekend. The airport tells airlines when those closures will be so carriers can schedule flights around those times to minimize any delays, but there’s a little more flexibility when propelled planes perform. “We have two parallel runways so we can actually put up the slower speed aircraft, the turbo-props. We can put them up, they can practice, and we can still operate commercial flights on our other runway,” said Slaybaugh.

All of this, plus constant communication between the air show and commercial pilots and air traffic control is what makes sure the air show weekend stays safe. “It takes a lot of cooperation from a lot of people,” said Slaybaugh.

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Dayton International Airport’s bond rating down graded

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:05 PM

            A traveler enters the Dayton International Terminal as recent renovations were under way. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF
A traveler enters the Dayton International Terminal as recent renovations were under way. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the rating of the Dayton International Airport’s revenue bonds.

The rating has been changed to BBB from BBB+, and the rating Outlook has been reduced to negative from stable.

The change was made because of what Fitch Ratings says is continued weakness in the airport’s operating performance. The firm pointed to “multi-year declines of the enplanement base.”

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The airport faces challenges including the recent loss of Southwest Airlines, the access to alternative airports such as Cincinnati and Columbus and service area demographics, the firm said.

“In Fitch’s view, the airport’s financial flexibility is potentially more at risk to be pressured with rising costs per enplanement as well as lower coverage as higher debt service costs are now factored into the annual budget,” the firm said.

This news organization is reaching out to the city for comment and will update this story.

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Big check means big things for Dayton Gem City Market

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 7:05 PM

            Supporters celebrate a $100,000 donation to the Gem City Market, which plans to be Dayton’s first food cooperative. STAFF/CORNELIUS FROLIK
Supporters celebrate a $100,000 donation to the Gem City Market, which plans to be Dayton’s first food cooperative. STAFF/CORNELIUS FROLIK

A giant cardboard check presented tonight was a giant leap forward for efforts to open Dayton’s first food cooperative, the Gem City Market.

KeyBank announced it has awarded $100,000 to help with the project to build a community-owned, full-service grocery store on the 300 and 400 block of Salem Ave., which is located in one of the largest food deserts in the state.

With KeyBank’s commitment, the market has now raised about 40 percent of its $4.2 million capital campaign goal.

“Our partners at KeyBank are joining the fight” against hunger, said Tony Hall, with the Hall Hunger Initiative.

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But that’s not the only good news that was shared at the market’s community meeting tonight.

The food co-op has now sold about 1,385 shares, which is nearly 70 percent of the its membership goal.

The market seeks to have at least 2,000 members by the time the grocery store opens, which is planned for 2019, supporters say. The market had about 920 memberships in mid-May.

Gem City Market will be built on a vacant lot on the 400 block of Salem Avenue and will involve the former Ken McCallister Inc. art supply property at 300 Salem Ave.

Market supporters say do not yet know if the vacant art supply structure will be renovated and incorporated into the project or if it will be demolished.

This is the second major financial boost the market has received in the last 10 days. Last week, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley accepted a $150,000 CommunityWINS grant, from the American Conference of Mayors and Wells Fargo.

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KeyBank wants to lift up the communities it serves, and this will give the community a place where it can get healthy food, said Joey Williams, KeyBank president.

“I think Gem City Market will be an incredible addition,” he said.

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