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Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 5:23 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 @ 5:23 PM
Dayton mayoral candidate Nan Whaley laid out her first major campaign policy points Tuesday, presenting a jobs plan that aims to leverage eight community assets to “grow the long-term economy of our city.”
“I believe this campaign for mayor is about the shaping of a new era for Dayton, the turning of a new page,” Whaley said at The Entrepreneurs Center on Monument Avenue.
Whaley, in her eighth year on Dayton City Commission, hit a few points repeatedly – that any plan needs to focus on the long term, that the city must collaborate with many regional partners, and that Dayton needs to get the maximum benefit out of existing assets.
Her “Road Map for Growing the New Dayton” cited eight such assets – the airport, greater downtown, the abundance of water, health and education campuses, education and workforce development, the manufacturing base, the area’s spirit of entrepreneurship and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Specifics included targeting industries like breweries and computer chip makers that need abundant water, developing a new parking plan to encourage downtown growth, and working with Dayton Public Schools and Sinclair to train young students and retrain workers.
Mayor Gary Leitzell and former county auditor and judge A.J. Wagner also are running for mayor of Dayton. If all three turn in enough signatures to make the ballot, the primary election would be May 7.
While Whaley talked about a new era for Dayton, she admitted that many of her suggestions are things that the city has already started working on while she’s been a commissioner.
That was the first point that Leitzell and Wagner each made, independently, upon seeing her plan.
“It would appear that the commissioner is willing to support and advocate for everything we are currently doing,” Leitzell said in an e-mail. “Though four years ago she was not advocating for the support of entrepreneurs and small business the way I did.”
Whaley said the key is smart leadership to see the plans through.
“Some of this is work that the commission has already done,” Whaley said. “It’s about connecting and leveraging in a more meaningful way, and that’s what a mayor can really do.”
Wagner made a similar point, saying Dayton’s mayor needs to use the power of the office to be the leader of the region.
“I see myself as a mayor who would be marketer in chief,” he said. “Who would not just collaborate with the Dayton Development Coalition or the Chamber of Commerce, but who would say to them, where do you need me to go, who do you need me to meet with, to make this plan work? … There are people trying to do that, but it takes someone at the helm.”