Former Butler Twp. trustee faces criticism as Trump appointee

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

            Nick Brusky
Nick Brusky

A former Butler Twp. trustee who joined the Trump administration after working on the president’s campaign has been highlighted by two national publications as having questionable qualifications as a political appointee.

In response to the criticism, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that Nick Brusky is qualified for his position as a confidential assistant in the Foreign Agriculture Service, an agency with the mission of finding export opportunities for U.S. agriculture.

MORE: Butler Twp. trustee resigns to take job with Trump administration

USDA Spokeswoman Michawn Rich said “all of the appointees have skills applicable to the roles they fill at USDA.”

“Much in the same way previous administrations have done, the USDA worked with the Presidential Personnel Office to place Schedule C appointees where they could be most helpful to the mission of the department,” Rich said by email, recycling a statement USDA has used previously with other media when questioned about Brusky.

Brusky moved to Washington, D.C., in January after resigning as a trustee. He declined to comment for this article.

Current and former Republican state lawmakers interviewed by the Dayton Daily News defended Brusky.

Former state Rep. Jim Buchy, R-Greenville, said he got to know Brusky when he worked in the Ohio House Republican Caucus.

MORE: Local official who resigned office reports to work for President Trump

“Nick was very reliable, very loyal and did a good job,” Buchy said. “All I can tell you is he’s got on-the-job experience and qualifications that doesn’t have a darn thing to do with a college education for crying out loud.”

Federal Schedule C appointees range from schedulers and confidential assistants to policy experts, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition. There are more than 1,400 appointee positions in the federal government for confidential or policy roles, according to the center.

Previously, Brusky’s biography on the Butler Twp. website indicated he worked as a truck driver, having previously worked as a truck broker for NAX Transportation and as a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives. He also served for seven years as a councilman in Amherst.

Brusky served as an Ohio field representative for Trump’s presidential campaign.

A September article by the news outlet Politico reviewed several dozen resumes of USDA political appointees and singled-out Brusky and two other confidential assistants as having questionable qualifications for the role.

Politico reported Brusky was hired “at one of the highest levels on the federal government’s pay scale, a GS-12, earning $79,720 annually.”

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“Though that pay grade requires a master’s degree or equivalent experience, it’s not clear from Brusky’s resume whether he’s a college graduate,” the Politico report said. “The document lists coursework in business management and political science at three universities from 2000 to 2013, but does not specify a graduation date.”

Politico’s report said Brusky’s resume “shows he has no experience in cultivating international markets for trade goods, though he notes he has experience ‘hauling and shipping agricultural commodities.’”

Politico reviewed the records after they were obtained through records request by the group American Oversight. The nonpartisan group has hired several former Obama-era government officials and says it “does the job that Congress refuses to do, exposing unethical conduct throughout this administration and demanding investigations.”

Earlier this month, Brusky again returned to the spotlight when he was mentioned in a Washington Post column by opinion writer Dana Milbank, whose inside-the-front-page writings occupy prime newspaper real estate.

The column held up Brusky as one of the “best” Trump hires, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the president’s campaign promise to “hire the best people.”

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, said Brusky is “a true believer in what he is doing.”

“I think it’s completely unfair what the national press has said,” Antani said. “Nick is extremely smart and extremely hardworking and extremely clever.”

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Watch Dayton City Commission candidates debate

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 11:41 AM
Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 10:40 PM

Dayton Commission candidates Darryl Fairchild (left) and Daryl Ward.
Dayton Commission candidates Darryl Fairchild (left) and Daryl Ward.

Dayton City Commission candidates Darryl Fairchild and Daryl Ward took part in a debate tonight ahead of the May 8 election.

During the hour-long debate they focused on what’s next for Good Samaritan Hospital site, drugs, neighborhood needs and education.

The two are running to fill the seat of longtime commissioner Joey Williams who resigned in February.

Related: Commissioner Williams resigns 4 months after re-election

The debate was at Stivers School for the Arts, Eichelberger Theatre, 1313 East Fifth Street in Dayton.

The debate was sponsored by the Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and Radio and the League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area.

Darryl Fairchild running for Dayton Commission

The debate was moderated by WHIO-TV’s Jim Otte and Etana Jacobi of UpDayton.

VOTERS GUIDE: Compare the candidates around the region on the issues

Ward is the senior pastor at Omega Baptist Church and Fairchild is manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

This is Ward’s first run for public office. Earlier this year he was running for a seat on the Montgomery County Commission, but moved to the city commission race when Williams stepped down.

Fairchild has run for city commission twice before. He narrowly lost a seat to newcomer Chris Shaw in 2015, but was defeated by a much larger margin by incumbent commissioners Williams and Jeff Mims Jr. last year.

The Dayton Daily News, WHIO and the League of Women are sponsoring the debate to help educate voters before Election Day.

Daryl Ward running for Dayton Commission

“The mission of the League is to provide nonpartisan information to voters on candidates and issues they can use when they cast their ballot. Dayton is the hub of the Greater Dayton Area, we feel this is an important race for the city, its residents and the extended community, said Dayton Area LWV Executive Director Susan Hesselgesser.

VOTERS GUIDE: Compare Dayton City Commission candidates on the issues facing the city

We asked both Ward and Fairchild a series of questions for our voters guide. You can find all of their answers at

Here’s a look at some of their answers as submitted by the candidates:

Q: What are the two biggest challenges facing the city and how would you deal with them?

Darryl Fairchild: 1) A year after passing a levy to increase taxes, the city announced they were still having funding issues and that there are structural problems with the budget. The loss of Commissioner Williams, who was perceived to bring fiscal discipline to the commission, raises concerns about the financial well-being of the city. I will bring my experience and tough mindedness, developed from being an executive director, 12-year board member of the Otterbein Homes, and current commissioner of Great Dayton Premier Management to monitor our fiscal decisions.

2) A majority of residents do not feel safe in their own neighborhood. The social fabric in many of our neighborhoods is so frayed that we do not have the deep relationships that create community. As commissioner, I will champion our residential neighborhoods, support new, local economic initiatives, and advocate for our children and youth. We need a clear plan to bring focus, set priorities, and recruit resources to address these issues.

Daryl Ward: Education and out of school activities for young people. Need a network of out of school sites that can hold all of us accountable for our future neighborhoods need housing and street maintenance, safety and security, unity.

Q: How will you work with the schools to improve education in the city?

Darryl Fairchild: We need our students, school district and new superintendent to be successful. Unfortunately, parents and the general public do not have confidence in the school district demonstrated by the student population loss. Likewise, the majority of our charter schools are failing our students too.

As the only candidate or commissioner with a student in Dayton Public Schools, I bring a unique perspective to education. Additionally, I have been active in working with other parents to voice concerns, offer solutions, and work for improvement.

I would use my collaboration skills to bring parties together and to bridge the mistrust created by the untimely reduction in force, the miscommunication between the city and DPS regarding levies, the prolonged contract negotiations, and the controversial appointment of a task force.

Additionally, I will work with community leaders to restore a shared commitment to education - students, parents, residents and leaders.

Daryl Ward: Get behind the new superintendent and board to partner with the other churches and community organizations to make change.

I am a Big brother in the big brother big sister organization. I have been working with my little brother for about four years. When I have done best with him I have set the expectations higher than anyone else around him. And he surpassed my expectations.! But we must surround our children with positive activities and experiences. Because achievement will fade if not enforced.

Let’s create a network of churches and other community organizations to support our children with out of school activities and recreation.



Our team reached out to the local candidates on the ballot May 8 to help you be an informed voter.

Go to to see what candidates and issues are on your ballot May 8. There you will find coverage for races including governor, U.S. Senate and Congress, statehouse, county races and more.

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Opposition cools talk of relocating new Warren County jail

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 6:40 AM

            Architect Garry McAnally was sent back to the drawing board after unveiling potnetial designs for the new Warren county Jail. STAFF PHOTO BY LAWRENCE BUDD
Architect Garry McAnally was sent back to the drawing board after unveiling potnetial designs for the new Warren county Jail. STAFF PHOTO BY LAWRENCE BUDD

The new Warren County jail is expected to be built near the existing facilities in the county government complex in Lebanon, according to the county commissioners who are to make the decision.

Talk of instead building a new jail off Ohio 63 and Markey Road on Lebanon’s west side at last Tuesday’s meeting prompted a backlash, according to Commissioner Dave Young.

RELATED: 6 options, 2 locations weighed for new Warren County Jail

The land is near expensive new homes and the city’s western gateway, expected to see development for homes and businesses in coming decades.

MORE: Lebanon maps future of 500 acres

On Friday, Young said he, Sheriff Larry Sims and a group put together to advise the commissioners met with the jail architect after the public discussion with the commissioners.

“My primary goal is to build the new facility contiguous to the existing one. And I think we’re going to be able to do it,” Young said.

Young said architects Wachtel & McAnally were tasked with developing a different plan, opening up space in the complex by razing maintenance garages.

Sims has been pressing for a new facility for two years. Last week, he said “Last September” when asked when he wanted to begin designing the new facility.

RELATED: Sheriff calls for faster action

On Monday, commissioners Tom Grossmann and Shannon Jones agreed the county complex seemed like the best place for the $50 million jail expected to hold more than 450 inmates and provide adequate space for decades.

RELATED: Warren County hires new architect for jail project

“I’m not considering anything else,” said Grossmann, while holding out for a design that would enable future expansion.

“I don’t want to create a problem in the future,” he said.

Jones joined the other two commissioners in favoring the complex area, but said she awaited the architect’s design and plans for relocating the maintenance facilities.

“With every action, there’s a reaction,” she said.

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Dayton: We need your help to fix potholes

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 @ 7:07 AM

            Dayton city leaders want residents to use an app to report pothole problems.
Dayton city leaders want residents to use an app to report pothole problems.

The asphalt plants have opened after shutting down for the winter, and the city of Dayton hopes crews will be out filling potholes and resurfacing streets beginning next week.

Dayton City Commissioners last week approved a nearly $2.2 million contract for asphalt resurfacing for streets in about 13 neighborhoods. This is the city’s first residential paving contract for 2018.

Here is a list of all the residential streets that the city will repave in 2018: list of roads.

RELATED: Bumpy ride: Which Dayton streets are in the worst condition?

Weather permitting, crews will get to work grinding existing asphalt and installing new blacktop on streets in neighborhoods including Fairlane, Five Oaks, Five Points, Grafton Hill, Highview Hills, Old Dayton View, Roosevelt, Southern Dayton View and Wolf Creek.

But citizens who wish to report potholes can use the city’s Dayton Delivers app. Citizens can upload photos of the holes on the app. People also can report potholes to the city’s call center by calling 937-333-4800.

“Please help us out by letting us know where we have potholes that need attention,” said Shelley Dickstein, Dayton city manager, “and our staff will work to address those as quickly as possible.”

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Warren County to grant $750,000 tax break on apartment building

Published: Thursday, April 05, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

            An apartment at the District at Deerfield is the latest property to be held by the Warren County Port Authority as a way to enable the developer to avoid sales tax on building materials.
An apartment at the District at Deerfield is the latest property to be held by the Warren County Port Authority as a way to enable the developer to avoid sales tax on building materials.

The Warren County Port Authority voted to subsidize development of a 242-unit apartment building to launch a mixed-use community in southern Warren County.

In a teleconference meeting this week, the board approved a resolution agreeing to enable developers of the building as much as $750,000 in sales tax savings on the $28 million, 242-unit apartment building - the first of 12 planned at the District at Deerfield.

RELATED: Warren County weighs subsidizing housing

The vote, conditional on obtaining a letter and development agreement demonstrating Deerfield Twp.’s support for the deal, was cast in the absence of board member Dave Bolton, who questioned the deal last week.

“I don’t see how that’s economic development,” Bolton said during a meeting last week. “I don’t understand why this money is being spent by the public.”

Five board members, Greg Sample, Tiffany Zindel, Tammy Laine, Matt Layer and Cheryl Reindl-Johnson voted to conditionally approve the resolution.

Bolton and board member Greg Ficke were absent and did not vote.

RELATED: Warren County Port Authority takes ownership to allow tax break

After the meeting, the county obtained a copy of a development agreement between the township and Wilkens Associates II LLC, the name Silverman has taken for this project. The township has agreed to use property tax funds diverted into a tax incremental financing fund to pay for the main road into the development. Also the township is to own the park area at the center of the District of Deerfield.

In the agreement, the township agrees to contribute nearly $4.8 million to the project. The developer has until the end of 2021 to complete the development.

With two members absent on Monday, the board approved 5-0 a resolution to enter into leases with the developer, Silverman and Co. The leases and other agreements needed to seal the deal were not approved on Monday.

The 28-acre District at Deerfield would join a handful of walkable, planned, mixed-use communities in the area, including The Greene, Austin Landing, Liberty Center and the proposed Austin South Springboro.

MORE: What’s happening at Liberty Center

West of the Fields-Ertel-Mason-Montgomery Interstate 71 interchange, the District at Deerfield is to include $140 million in development, including a two-acre public square and an entertainment district, brewpubs, retail and restaurants.

Zindel, who is also the county administrator, said she motioned to conditionally approve the resolution so that the developers could continue forward with work at the site.

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