Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strickland's NCR Money In Play: Some Questions & Comments

There is some good and not-so-good reporting by the DDN in the last few days, lifting the veil a bit on things work, or don’t work, in this area. Particularly this article, which follows up on some earlier news.

The basic outline is that Srickland had made that $30M offer to NCR to stay in Dayton, and this NCR money may still be on the table.

Using Strickland's NCR Money to Subsidize Austin Road Site Development

Montgomery County, the Dayton Development Coalition and the Chamber of Commerce are making play for the money on behalf certain job creation/economic development initiatives, one of which is some unspecified “infrastructure” development at Austin Road.

Past reports on DDC earmark requests suggest that this may be to subsidize site development of RG Properties “Innovation Point” at the interchange, not for actual road work on Austin, Byers, or Springboro Pike. The cost in the request to Strickland is $6M, just a bit off from the $6.7M in the earmark request, so its reasonable to assume the money if for the same or similar things.

This is where the reporting fails, as we don’t known what is being done under the generic term “infrastructure”. Is it corporate welfare for RG Properties, or is it true public works stuff on state and county highways?

The County/DDC/CoC Plan and Dayton City Officials

The other juicy tidbit in this and a previous article is how Dayton city government (the commission and manager) were shut-out of the play. So far we’ve read that the mayor and city manager were not aware of the letter proposing new plans for the money, or maybe aware and not having time to comment, as we see Rashad Young chose his words carefully

Dayton City Manger Rashad Young said he had no opportunity to review or offer input on strategies outlined in the Dayton Region Rapid Response Economic Development Recovery Plan.

Maybe not a big deal since this seems to be a county/DDC/CoC intiative. Except there’s more.

What wasn’t reported was that at least one other commission was aware of this initiative. That would be Joey Williams, since his signature is actually on the letter to Strickland. This opens up even more questions:

First: Why was Joey Williams involved in the first place if this was a county proposal?

Second: Why didn’t Joey Williams bring this initiative to the attention of at least his city manager?

Third : What about Nan Waley and Matt Joseph? Totally out of the loop, or not?

So, a place where one would like to see some follow-up reporting.

The article goes on to quote and paraphrase county commissioner Dan Foley:

“Everybody knows the city needs all of our attention,” said Foley, adding county commissioners must be champions for all communities in the county.

Foley is quite correct, Dayton is just one of many incorporated communities in the county (and there are still large areas of unincorporated land, rural and suburban), and would benefit as much as any other locality from a generalized economic development initiative.

The Return of Revenue Sharing?

And there’s even more. A bullet point in the article notes:

Strategy will be developed for the city of Dayton to benefit from the job growth associated with this plan even if the new jobs created aren’t located in the city.

This sounds a lot like the revenue-sharing mitigations proposed to get Dayton city government on-board for the construction of I-675 back in the 1970s. So, interesting stuff going down in the wake of the NCR news. Lets hope Strickland is still good for that $30M.


Anonymous said...

I was talking with a friend (yes, so I know this is hardly verifiable) who works at the DDN and he said he heard the state say the money is not available for re-targeting. So, for whatever that's worth.

Greg Hunter said...

Never let a good crisis go to waste! Disaster Capitalism at its finest.

I find it interesting that the Phil Parker finally comes out of the woodwork only to ask for more money for the very projects that make this town unlivable for the young people and creatives that are necessary for revitalization. Mr. Parker of the Chamber has an absolute stellar record of achievement moving Commerce from the Community to some where else.

I do find the whole thing laughable now as everything we are investing in is exactly the wrong solution at all levels of government. The crash is going to be extremely hard after this stupidity sputters to a halt and no sane person or country will buy Americas debt.

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