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Residents claim First Amendment violations on trustee’s Facebook page

Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 11:30 AM


            A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of five Hamilton Twp. residents claims Trustee David Wallace Jr. violated their First Amendment rights by blocking them from commenting on a Facebook page he uses to communicate with residents about township business.
A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of five Hamilton Twp. residents claims Trustee David Wallace Jr. violated their First Amendment rights by blocking them from commenting on a Facebook page he uses to communicate with residents about township business.

A township trustee running for re-election in Warren County has unblocked Facebook critics since the filing of a federal lawsuit claiming he prevented residents from commenting on his trustee site on the social network.

The lawsuit is filed on behalf of five Hamilton Township residents who claim David Wallace Jr. violated the First Amendment when he blocked them from commenting on a Facebook page he uses for township business.

Wallace is one of seven candidates running for two seats on the three-seat board of trustees in the booming township, south of Lebanon.

MORE: Intergenerational community gets $9 million in state tax credits

Also running are Darryl Cordrey, Cadi Kelly, Nathan Myers, Joe Rozzi, Roxan Tarnowski and Kim Lukens.

The lawsuit is related to his management of a Facebook site where he interacts with residents about village issues, but which also features re-election materials. He also has another web page devoted to his campaign.

MORE: Huber Heights candidates speak out on Facebook fights

The lawsuit, claiming First Amendment violations, is filed in U.S. District Court for Lisa Wilson, Danny Wilson, Kathryn Wuest, Kyle Riley and Amanda Johnson.

“Recently, a federal court in Virginia found that a local politician had violated the First Amendment when she temporarily banned a constituent from commenting on her Facebook page. This case raises substantially similar issues,” Joshua Engel, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, said in comments posted on his law firm’s website.

MORE: Dayton police called about woman posting about boyfriend on Facebook

This morning, Lisa Wilson said she also had been unblocked, but that others were still unable to comment on the site.

Also this morning, Mike Stine, who is not a party in the lawsuit, indicated he had been unblocked since the lawsuit was filed.

“Also thanks for unblocking me, I know it took some people to file a lawsuit so that I can contact you, one of our elected trustees,” Stine said in a post on the Facebook page in question.

Follow Larry Budd on Facebook

This morning, Engel indicated the lawsuit would not be withdrawn because of Wallace unblocking critics.

“We won’t be dropping the suit because we can’t confirm what he has done to unblock people and, more importantly, we need to make sure this is not done in the future,” Engel said this morning via email.

Wallace did not respond to requests for a response and has not responded to the lawsuit, filed on Sept. 5.

Staff writer Richard Wilson contributed to this report.

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Find out where Centerville will spend more than $4M to fix streets

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 8:00 AM


            Centerville has started working on road improvements after voters approved a levy last year. File photo.
            FILE PHOTO
Centerville has started working on road improvements after voters approved a levy last year. File photo.(FILE PHOTO)

Centerville will move ahead with plans to improve its infrastructure, using funding from its annual street program budget to repair more than 20 of the possible 256 total lane miles in the community.

After an income tax levy passed in 2016, the city council added money to the annual street program budget, Maureen Russell Hodgson of the community resources coordinator city said. Voters approved Issue 3 in 2016, which raised the Centerville earned income tax by a half-percent to 2.25 percent.

MORE: Amid concerns, Oberer shelves plans for new homes in Sugarcreek Twp.

Funding for the 2018 Street Repair program — which includes repaving projects for more than 60 streets — has increased 68 percent from the 2016 budget, with the city planning to spend more than $4.4 million this year, according to Hodgson.

Multiple projects will be completed by the end of the year, Public Works Director Doug Spitler said.

Concrete work to repair curbs, catch basins, storm sewers and sidewalks also is underway now, Spitler said, and street work will start soon after because asphalt plants aren’t open yet.

MORE: Former Northmont standout student-athlete dies; coach: ‘My heart is just broken’

“If you go down Alex Bell Road and Spring Valley, they are working on concrete right now,” he said. “It will take another month or so before we see any asphalt work. We give the contractors a window of time to get the work done and most of the work is being done on residential streets. But we make sure roads are open for our Americana Festival and Fourth of July events.”

Another project includes a joint effort with Washington Twp. on West Spring Valley Road.

“Our share of the project is about $300,000,” Spitler said. “The township is the lead agency on the project since a majority of the road being worked on is in their area. But if we pave at the same time, then we get better bid prices. We’ve started doing concrete repair on the road in anticipation of resurfacing work being done later this summer.”

The Ohio Department of Transportation is also partnering with Centerville on another major street repair project. The state agency will cover up to 80 percent of a $1 million project to resurface Ohio 48 to the Greene County line.

“We pay 20 percent so our share is $200,000,” Spitler said.

He added that one more project will be completed this year involving phased work on a residential street, Bethel Road.

“We got outside funding from a Community Development Block Grant,” Spitler said. “CDBG gave us $50,000 to help do a major repair involving curb repair, catch basin repair, storm sewer repair and asphalt resurfacing and that entire project cost is about $290,000.”

Two other phases of repairs have been done on Bethel Road, he said, and the city received funding for that work as well.

“We are applying this month for more funding for another phase on that street,” Spitler said. “So we are trying to leverage our local dollars obviously as much as we can with outside funding state or federal.”

But the tax levy that was passed in 2016 has been a huge difference maker in improving the city’s infrastructure, according to Spitler.

“Council wanted to make sure that we were funding our streets adequately and we have absolutely lived up to that commitment as we are putting millions of dollars into the residential street program,” Spitler said. “We make a lot of residents happy when we can fix the infrastructure.”

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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 vote.daytondailynews.com

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.

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VOTERS GUIDE ONLINE

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

Go to vote.daytondailynews.com 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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