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7 candidates seek 2 seats in crowded Washington Twp. trustees race

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 4:56 PM
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 4:56 PM

Voting stickers are seen at the Ohio Union during the U.S. presidential election at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan
Associated Press
Voting stickers are seen at the Ohio Union during the U.S. presidential election at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan(Associated Press)

An open seat on the Washington Twp. Board of Trustees has created a crowded field for this November’s election.

Trustee Scott Paulson is running for re-election and six others have jumped in the race. Trustee Joyce Young is not running for re-election.

All of the candidates answered questions for our online voters guide at vote.daytondailynews.com. Here’s a look at some of their responses:

Scott Colwell

Experience: I’ve been involved with local politics for over 10 years. From being a very active member of the Washington Township Forever, to spearheading sensible rezoning.such as SocialROWCPR.com Professionally, I earn my living as a program manager, where managing cost and customer satisfaction are my priorities.

David A. Douglas

Experience: I retired from Washington Township after 30 years of service. During my career, I worked in the Road / Public Works Department; Planning & Zoning Office and was also a volunteer fire fighter. I also received the prestigious AICP Certified Planner designation from the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Brian Feldmeyer

Experience: I have been a resident of Washington Twp. for 35 years. I have worked locally and owned a successful business for a number of those years and currently work with individuals and businesses as an independent insurance agent. I volunteered as a youth coach for 20 years. I served as the President of the Centerville Quarterback Club for two years. I currently serve on the board of the South Community YMCA. I understand the concerns and priorities of the residents.

Katie Levens

Experience: Miami Twp. Administrative Assistant 1996-2000: Prepared resolutions, agendas, board packets, correspondences and budgets for the Township Administrator and Board of Trustees. GDRTA Security & Facilities Supervisor 2000-2006: Managed $2.9-million budget, contract specialist for security and janitorial services, maintained contracts and relations with law enforcement and regional emergency management. Medway Technology, Inc: Vice President 2009-present; defense contractor.

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Sharon Lowry

Experience: Assistant Superintendent (Retired) of Great Oaks JVS. Responsibilities include: Operations, HR, Employee Benefits, Contracts w Vendors. Staff liaison to Board of Education Members; My husband and I are small business owners since 1981. Understand the needs and challenges of small business.

Katie Levens, candidate Washington twp. Trustees 2017(Staff Writer)

Matt Lynch

Experience: I’m not a politician. I’m simply fed up with our current Trustees choosing out-of-town developers over those in our community who want to ensure that Washington Township remains a great place to live, work and raise a family. And as a husband and father to four children who grew up here and attended Alter High School I believe we owe it to them to preserve our community. As Managing partner of a consulting firm, with experience as a CEO, CFO, I can solve the township budget issues

Scott R. Paulson

Experience: Washington Township Trustee - 8 Years Owner, Advanced Engineering Solutions, Inc. 21 Years

Education: BS Mechanical Engineering (UD) Master Business Administration (UD)

Q: What are the biggest problems facing the community? What do you propose doing to tackle these challenges?

Scott Colwell: I believe the biggest problem in our community is managing the growth. I am in support of development, provided it does not damage the investments made by the citizens that currently call Washington Twp. and Centerville home. In 2004, the city of Centerville and Washington Twp. co funded “Create the Vision”. It was a 2 year study where over 800 suggestions were gathered from citizens, business owners, and area leaders. The outcome was a series of development recommendations for the city and township on areas such as land use, economic development, and Parks and recreation. I believe we need to be proactive, and revisit those recommendations.

Scott Paulson, candidate Washington twp. Trustees 2017(Staff Writer)

David A. Douglas: The city of Centerville - Washington Twp. community is a tremendous place to live and work. The township has seen reduced income from state revenue sharing for several years. We need to find smarter and more creative ways to get the most out of the tax dollars that are spent. Organizationally we are also faced with imminent retirements of key positions. I recommend an organizational restructuring that includes replacing key positions with even more qualified personnel that is capable of getting the most out of the township’s expenditures. These positions would also work together to identify local, state and federal projects that the township can partner to help improve the quality of services and more importantly lower costs. For instance the township spends millions of dollars a year on infrastructure but the township has not had a licensed professional engineer PE / surveyor on staff for 12 years. The hiring of a PE could eliminate cost overruns, project delays and costly legal battles the township has experienced in recent years.

David Doulas, candidate Washington twp. Trustees 2017(Staff Writer)

Brian Feldmeyer: The biggest problem is trustees that do not listen to the community. Their failure to address the budget has put them in a place where they make poor decisions that hurt the residents of Washington Twp. Rather than looking for solutions and trying to do things more efficiently, they look for additional revenue with additional or increased taxes with no regard for the community. One of the primary sources of new tax revenue is outside investors. Unfortunately, many times they require zoning to be changed or disregarded for their projects and this harms Washington Twp. in many ways. I would first look to see if there were unnecessary expenses that could be eliminated or reduced. I would then look to see if there were more efficient ways of doing things, rather than continuing to do things the same way that they have been done for years. Once we outlined our options, I would make sure that what was chosen did not harm current residents.

Brian Feldmeyer, candidate Washington twp. Trustees 2017(Staff Writer)

Katie Levens: Our number one priority is to maintain our roads and bridges. Our township should continue to work with Montgomery County and the state of Ohio to aggressively secure funding where possible, but the bottom line is that we need to work within our current budget limitations and neighborhood streets currently scheduled for repair or resurfacing need to stay on schedule. We must maintain our infrastructure investment to avoid major rebuild/replacement costs in the future.

Matt Lynch, candidate Washington twp. Trustees 2017(Staff Writer)

Sharon Lowry: One of the biggest challenges facing the community is utilizing our tax dollars to meet the needs of the citizens. We need to fund the Fire department, Staff the Sheriff’s Office, recreation center, roads, maintenance, and other departments. Since the Township cannot ask for an income tax, we must utilize our dollars efficiently and effectively. We need to research and come up with innovative ways to maintain the essential services to our citizens. Collaboration with the city and county is necessary to analyze reduction of costs and efficient use of our limited funds.

Sharon Lowry, candidate Washington twp. Trustees 2017(Staff Writer)

Matt Lynch: Trustees who are completely out of touch with the community they were elected to serve. Follow the money - the township had $33,084,026 in reserves at the end of 2016. The current 5 year plan reduces reserves to $15,111,969 the end of 2021. This means the trustees approved a budget that spends almost $18 Million more than we all pay in taxes over the next five years. To make up of this breach of their fiduciary duty to you the taxpayer, they will do anything to raise money, including lowering zoning standards to allow developers to do anything they want as long as it generates new tax revenue. They raised taxes twice in 2 years. This week, they voted 3-0 to override the zoning commissions unanimous vote to allow the takeover of Hithergreen violating long-standing zoning regulations. When elected, I will put an immediate stop to zoning changes negatively impacting existing residents. I will reduce spending and find ways to lower local taxes through more efficient government.

Scott Colwell, candidate Washington twp. Trustees 2017(Staff Writer)
Scott R. Paulson: Washington Twp. is on a wonderful growth path. With sound leadership in this community, we have planned well for our future and have wonderful opportunities for growth. As the community expands, this growth must be managed and difficult decisions made as to how to facilitate growth in building, recreation and maintain existing infrastructure and programs. Sound leadership with an experienced track record of managing growth is critical to success. With sound business principles and a community minded approach to sustainable growth, I will continue to guide the growth of this community. I will, as I have in the past, challenged decisions, reduced expenditures and invest in worthwhile projects for our community. I believe that the best way to sustain success and deal with challenges is to have good honest debate and make decisions that benefit the most members of our community.

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$96M plan ‘transforms public housing in Dayton’

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 6:00 PM


            The DeSoto Bass Courts would be transformed under a plan for public housing in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
The DeSoto Bass Courts would be transformed under a plan for public housing in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A $96 million proposal to transform public housing in West Dayton calls for demolishing Hilltop Homes, shrinking and replacing DeSoto Bass units, adding new mixed-income housing and making other investments.

The multi-phase project — which could take as many as 15 years to complete, depending on funding — seeks to replace obsolete housing with new units and break up concentrated pockets of poverty by more evenly dispersing subsidized housing across the community.

The project’s price tag is daunting, but the community has a shot of winning up to $30 million in federal funds to help make the plan a reality.

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“We are planning on a 15-year plan that I think completely transforms public housing and makes it a moderate-income place of choice to live,” said Kiya Patrick, Greater Dayton Premier Management’s senior manager of development and real estate.

The changes seek to stabilize the targeted neighborhoods by reducing the number of subsidized units and having different kinds of people, with different income levels, living together in the same place, Patrick said.

A $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has helped create a blueprint to transform two of Greater Dayton Premier Management’s (GDPM) largest public housing projects in West Dayton, as well as the surrounding area.

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GDPM plans to demolish Hilltop Homes’ 150 units. DeSoto Bass Courts, which sits on a 45-acre-site at Germantown Street and Danner Avenue, would be reduced from 350 to 250 units, and old units will be replaced with new ones.

Hilltop was constructed in 1965, and DeSoto Bass was built in two phases, between 1942 and 1953.

About 100 new replacement units also would be developed either in other parts of West Dayton where there are more amenities or elsewhere in the city and Montgomery County, Patrick said.

Additionally, the housing plan calls for working with a partner to build 40 units of single-family homes.

The plan also recommends putting service or commercial space in a town center at Germantown Street and James H. McGee Boulevard.

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Tarina White said she grew up in a public housing development in Youngstown and now lives in Hilltop Homes with her children.

White, 42, said she would like to see Hilltop torn down because it is old and deteriorating. GDPM estimates it would cost $28 million to modernize Hilltop Homes.

“If they can build some new homes, that would be good, and also some new playgrounds and a community center and better parks for the kids,” she said.

She said McCabe Park right now is “trashy,” which is a shame because it could be a nice public space.

She said GDPM’s proposed improvements would make a huge difference in the quality of the neighborhood.

GDPM’s vision is to create better housing with more choices.

GDPM, which has worked on the plan with the city of Dayton and CityWide, wants to reduce the concentration of subsidized housing, increase safety and security, enhance the Germantown corridor, offer enhanced open space and improve walkability.

The targeted area includes all of Miami Chapel and portions of the Edgemont and Madden Hills neighborhoods.

DeSoto Bass and Hilltop get a bad rep, officials said, and tenants hope to change the perceptions of the housing developments and see investments that strengthen the economic status of the area.

GDPM estimates that it will cost about $64 million to construct 250 replacement units at DeSoto Bass and build the 40 homeownership units.

It could cost about $2 million to tear down Hilltop Homes and around $30 million for replacement housing offsite, Patrick said.

GDPM received HUD funding, called the Choice planning grant, to create the plan. The public housing agency plans to apply for Choice Implementation funds in coming weeks. HUD’s awards have typically been around $30 million.

Even if GDPM does not win the implementation grant, it intends to move forward with implementing the plan, though some ideas may have to be scrapped and it could take 15 years to complete, officials said.

GDPM would pursue tax credits and other financing for the improvements.

“The more money we get, the more we can fast-track the plan,” Patrick said.

Also, other parts of the plan focus on improving infrastructure and transportation around DeSoto Bass. Officials would like to connect James H. McGee and Danner Avenue and extend Lakeview Avenue south to create a new boulevard through the development.

Officials say some roads dead end in DeSoto Bass, which create safety issues.

GDPM, and the city, are looking at improving McCabe Park, which right now is underutilized but could become a destination if cleaned up and upgraded, officials said.

This process is going to take time, even if GDPM wins a large federal implementation grant.

GDPM does not have approval from HUD to demolish Hilltop. GDPM expects to apply to demolish the units this year, and HUD typically takes 12 to 18 months to make a decision.

It is likely to be 2019 or 2020 by the time HUD makes a decision. Relocation of Hilltop residents would occur around 2020 or 2021, with demolition to follow in 2021 or 2022.

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Kettering seeks $6.9 million police station renovation, addition

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 5:00 AM


            The City of Kettering plans to expand and renovate its police department facilities. The existing police facility at the Kettering Government Center will be renovated, and an additional floor will be added for office space for the chief, captains, and administrative staff.
            Contributed
The City of Kettering plans to expand and renovate its police department facilities. The existing police facility at the Kettering Government Center will be renovated, and an additional floor will be added for office space for the chief, captains, and administrative staff.(Contributed)

City leaders are expected to take initial votes Tuesday on a multi-million dollar plan to expand and renovate the police department.

City Manager Mark Schwieterman said Wednesday the estimated cost for the project is $6.9 million.

If council members approve, the existing police facility at the Kettering Government Center will be renovated and an additional floor will be added for office space for the chief, captains, and administrative staff, according to Schwieterman.

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“On Tuesday night at the Kettering City Council meeting, administration will be asking council to approve the appropriation for design services for the renovation of our police department,” he explained.

The design work will be for about $500,000.

“Currently, based on our conceptual renderings and space utilization studies we are anticipating a roughly $6.9 million total project cost,” Schwieterman said.

The latest effort to improve public safety facilities comes on the heels of a multi-million dollar overhaul of the fire department.

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“We’ve gone from a seven station model down to a four station model with our fire department and the last station on Dorothy Lane will be completed later this year,” Schwieterman said. “In total, the fire department project is roughly $30 million for those new stations and the equipment.”

Schwieterman said the police department renovation project planning was part of a two-year analysis that also included a space utilization study.

“Our finance department, once the design is done and we have a schedule put together, will determine whether or not we will utilize our general fund reserves for the project or we go out and issue notes,” he said. “We could do both as well. But we will make that decision after the design is back and we have a little firmer estimate on what the total cost will be.”

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If approved by council Tuesday, the city would enter into a design services contract in 2018 and by mid-2019 be ready to put the renovation project out to bid.

“We anticipate because it is a renovation and they will have to work around our existing operations that it will take about 18 months to complete construction,” Schwieterman said. “So, I would say at this point that the earliest we would see a completed product would be in 2021.”

Schwieterman feels an update to the police facility is necessary.

“Certainly, we need some renovations to our police department. It has been a very long-time since we’ve had an overhaul in that facility,” Schwieterman explained. “New HVAC and mechanical equipment is necessary, and we also need to change the space utilization because our police station doesn’t operate in the same manner that it operated 30 years ago.”

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Modernization with an eye towards the future is something he feels will make the new design a benefit to the community.

“So, I think it will be a benefit to the public in that we will bringing some access to the ground level of this plaza. But also, certainly a benefit to our operations as we will build a new station that is built around the way we police today,” Schwieterman said.

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New county scam alert keeps ‘an eye on your property when you can’t’

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 8:23 AM


            Montgomery County Recorder Brandon McClain demonstrates a new fraud alert system that will notify enrolled property owners if changes are made to certain property records. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
            Chris Stewart
Montgomery County Recorder Brandon McClain demonstrates a new fraud alert system that will notify enrolled property owners if changes are made to certain property records. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Chris Stewart)

Scammers could see the 253,000 parcels of real estate in Montgomery County as opportunities to defraud senior citizens and others from their property.

The Montgomery County Recorder’s Office is unveiling an alert system today that will send out an email notification if changes are made to real estate records that might indicate someone trying to fraudulently take control of another’s property.

This year alone, the county has identified six instances where a property deed was transfered out from under a rightful owner. Another six cases of deed or mortgage fraud showed up during 2017, and many more cases are likely undetected, said Brandon McClain, Montgomery County recorder.

“If you don’t have early notice, you’re stuck chasing a ghost,” McClain said. “How are you supposed to catch someone who has a 10-year start?”

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The Fraud Alert Notification System (FANS) will also allow family members living afar to keep tabs on the home of an aging loved one and out-of-state owners to monitor multiple properties.

“It’s going to have specific benefit for our elderly community and also for our investors,” McClain said. “This incentivizes investors to feel comfortable to spend money and invest in Montgomery County. This is oversight without intrusion, this is us keeping an eye on your property when you can’t.”

The FANS service is voluntary and free. Those enrolling can opt to receive an email, a letter or both whenever a deed, a mortgage or a lien is filed on parcels enrolled in the service.

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McClain said deed fraud is typically carried out using a forged quitclaim deed signed with the help of an inept notary who doesn’t verify the identities of bogus signers, or one that is outright unscrupulous.

“Someone would then be perpetrating a fraud on the system by wrongfully assuming title of owner,” he said. “But they are not the true and rightful owner.”

Before becoming the county recorder in March, McClain saw similar cases firsthand as a public defender and Dayton Municipal Court magistrate. Many of those falling prey to the schemes are elderly and living on a fixed income.

“They don’t have resources, they don’t have the funds to hire an attorney to go to court, so that becomes quite a tall mountain to climb,” McClain said.

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A defrauded property owner can expect to spend $2,500-$3,000 to get the mess untangled, McClain said.

“The most frightening thing about deed transfer fraud is that these terrible circumstances cannot be corrected absent a court order, which generally speaking is timely, costly and burdensome,” he said.

On top of a fraudulent deed transfer, perpetrators commonly put the home at further risk by using it as collateral for a loan or rent the property to someone else, McClain said.

Rightful owners often don’t know what’s hit them until hit with a mortgage foreclosure notice.

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Eight other Ohio counties — including Miami and Warren — offer a similar service through a third-party vendor, Property Fraud Alert. The service is based on a search of a property owner’s name, which could be shared by many, or missed due to variations with initials or name changes.

Montgomery County’s system is based on the specific parcel identification number, McClain said. The site was developed over the last several months in-house by Niko Infanto, a county programmer analyst, with contributions from Chris Boyd, Gail Hicks and Melissa Carito.

Fraud Alert Notification System

Voluntary enrollment in the free program begins today.

Online:

www.mcrecorder.org

In person:

Montgomery County Administration Building

Recorder’s Office, 5th Floor

451 W. Third St., Dayton

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Dayton, county: Big money at stake in census

Published: Monday, May 14, 2018 @ 3:47 PM

A 2010 census questionnaire is pictured FILE PHOTO
A 2010 census questionnaire is pictured FILE PHOTO

Dayton and Montgomery County have established a joint committee to encourage all residents to complete the 2020 census.

Mayor Nan Whaley and Montgomery County Administrator Joe Tuss announced the formation of the Complete Count Committee on Monday, according to a City of Dayton news release.

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The committee will include local leaders, community partners and grassroots groups. It will work to help citizens overcome cultural, economic, linguistic and technology barriers to completing the census and stress to residents the importance of completing the census.

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“We are taking steps now to support a full and accurate count of Dayton and Montgomery County because of its extraordinary importance to our community,” Whaley said in the release. “We want Dayton to be the best-counted city in Ohio, and we encourage our residents to join in the effort.”

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The census determines the number of Congressional districts in each state and helps determine which communities and states receive nearly $700 billion per year in federal and state assistance, according to the release. That funding provides resources including housing, health care, education, and transportation.

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