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Yet Another Attempt In Downtown

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VietVet View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 9:58am
Today's Journal...

New downtown director aims to put focus on area
Goal is to promote the city, use the ideas citizens have for city.

MIDDLETOWN — A vibrant city core can make a whole city strong, said the new Downtown Middletown Inc. Director Patrick Kay.
Without a bustling downtown, Middletown is the same as every other exit on Interstate 75, with big box stores, hotels and franchise restaurants, Kay said.
“It makes Middletown unique,” Kay said. “What makes a town unique is its downtown.”

GOOD LORD, HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE HEARD THIS CRAP FROM HOW MANY PEOPLE OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS? IS THIS KID AND THIS LATEST ATTEMPT AT DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION GOING TO BE ANY DIFFERENT?

Kay is the new man in town in charge of attracting businesses and people to the city’s downtown area.
Downtown Middletown Inc. is the latest group of city stakeholders to form to promote Middletown’s city center. Kay’s position is the first paid job focused solely on organizing downtown activity, in the model of the Main Street USA program, paid for by grants.

ARTICLE DOESN'T SAY HOW MUCH HE IS BEING PAID NOR WHERE HIS SALARY IS COMING FROM. IS IT BEING PAID FOR AS A CITY EMPLOYEE POSITION (WHERE DID THEY GET THE MONEY FOR THIS SALARY)OR IS IT BEING PAID FOR BY THIS "LATEST GROUP OF STAKEHOLDERS" MENTIONED ABOVE?

WHAT CAN THIS KID DO THAT HASN'T BEEN TRIED IN THE PAST? DO WE STILL HAVE THE DOWNTOWN MIDDLETOWN PARTNERSHIP OR WHATEVER THE HELL THE LATEST AND GREATEST GROUP IS CALLED TO ATTEMPT TO GROW THE DOWNTOWN? HOW MUCH TIME, MONEY AND EFFORT ARE THESE CLOWNS GONNA PUT INTO AN AREA OF TOWN THAT HASN'T SHOWN ANY PROMISE, DESPITE NUMEROUS ATTEMPTS, IN OVER 3 DECADES? LET IT GO PEOPLE. LET THE PRIVATE MARKET DICTATE THE DIRECTION. MERCY!

That presents more opportunities, as well as greater challenges, Kay said. The good thing about vacant property is it’s a clean slate, he said.

NO SON, THERE IS NOTHING GOOD ABOUT VACANT PROPERTY.

The city’s assets include its parks and architecture, he added.
“You just need a group to pull it all together,” he said.
But don’t expect him to be Middletown’s saving grace. He said he’s not going to come up with a plan and tell Middletonians to follow it. He sees his job as applying his ideas to execute the residents’ vision of downtown.

KAY BABES....THE RESIDENTS HAVE NO VISION OF DOWNTOWN. ALL THE "VISION" IS COMING FROM THE EGGHEADS AT CITY HALL WHO WANT TO KEEP THROWING MONEY, RESOURCES AND TIME INTO THIS WHITE ELEPHANT.

Currently, Kay is laying the groundwork, conducting market research and forming committees on economic restructuring, design, organization and promotion. He wants to come up with a selling point for the city’s downtown.

ALREADY BEEN TRIED KAY. MANY TIMES.
“It’s not going to turn around tomorrow,” he said

IF ONLY YOU KNEW.
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ground swat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ground swat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 11:01am
Is this the $50k we gave many months ago that the taxpayers never heard of again? Don't wait on the urinal to ask any real questions. I'm sure the town he just came from had swap shop, gold for cash, section 8, businesses bought and paid for buy taxpayers, ugly hookers, foreclosed businesses, crumbling streets and sewers, a hotel that has EPA written all over it. But he's got a new UDF to work with!! Private money no problem but NO more taxpayer money!
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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 1:01pm

Downtown Fund
7-08-2011 Downtown Middletown Inc PO#RG022647 CK#192475  $14,375.00  
                 Services of Organ

7-25-2011 Community Dev Professional PO# RG22651 CK#19275 $1,566.50
                  Sves to create new downtown

TOTAL...............$15,941.50

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 2:03pm

Well it seems we are STAKEHOLDERS in this little venture also..ya just got to read this.

http://www.preservationdirectory.com/preservationblogs/ArticleDetail.aspx?id=2700&cati d=3
However when I called City Hall I was ASSURED that they had no connection to this new office


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 3:11pm
It is abundantly apparent which anyone should realize, the focus downtown began when a few key council members and city leaders (the urban planning Director-all living on Main Street), began to focus upon spending literally all city money on downtown, to enhance their neighborhood. It is also apparent the city does seem to have a plan to get the city population down to 30,000. One assumes that is to support the reduction they project to staff fire and police, and general city employees. With the housing market collapse, these expenditures are to enhance their property, while other areas whittle to about 60% of value decades ago. If you agree with Roger Reynolds assessment Middletown went down 10% in 3 years, I have some prime real estate for sale, fully irrigated with water for a marvelous golf course development, in Death Valley. I had a friend who had appraisals run for 6 years, 3 years before 2009, and going forward, and all should be filing a tax appeal.

At the end of the day, and within 5 years, all that will be left in Middletown are the lifers, those controlling council, and a few doing the bidding, while others bolt. It amazes me so many council members and the former city manager, Bill Becker, were adamant that the city was dead, and a money sink, now all support the waste in funds, knowing full well, WHY THESE FUNDS ARE BEING SPENT, and its NOT restoration nor bringing back the downtown. If that were true, and Main and the historic area could support downtown before, what happened to the lack of spending support by the consumer when the Mart was downtown?

This issue and repetitiveness is boring and a clear issue to most. To think an individual in Donham to take care one stop shopping is going to restore the luster in the city just is nonsense. As for branding, you can't brand what Middletown doesn't have- that is, a willingness to repair and maintain roads, infrastructure, provide basic core services, and a school system that just will not get traction for improvement. As the MJ article stated yesterday, MCSD loses $1.4 Mm in funds from students leaving to Monroe, elsewhere, for open enrollment. How do you brand failure in a positive manner- Middletown is Avis, it tries harder? Get real.

Middletown is a dead-end, a one way ticket to nowhere. No matter how the Main Street politicians and city employees 'spin" it. When all else fails, the city and council has a strategy: revert back to what failed previously. Shameful, and shameless council members who let these funds be spent knowing the motive and ability is not to re-kindle downtown, and will NEVER come to fruition. City hall and MMF CIC have more interest in having a city council member on the court in Butler Cty than anything pertaining to uplifting the city image or its over-all population. so much for the theory it is better to focus upon what impacts the masses than a minor few. That's been Middletown's probem for > 30 years. 

It will be interesting to witness what private universities file briefs with the state AG about Cinci State's plan to give a % of tuition as a fee for HEP.       

  
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ground swat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ground swat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 3:59pm
Was wondering if someone might bring up the 1.4 mil lost in the school system due to one simple reason. Failure to control the hoodlums !!
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 4:39pm
I noticed the story in the Journal about students bolting to other districts didn't produce a comment from any of the Middletown school board members, the superintendent or any of the school district people. Perhaps by convenience, Middletown wasn't mentioned??? How about a comment or two from Ms. Andrew or Mr. Fiora concerning the loss of money and their opinions as to why this is occurring. It is the taxpayer's money that is at issue here. At the very minimum, and explanation is in order here, don't you think?

Looks like, once again, Middletown's reputation has produced some negative vibes. Sad to hear.....again. Between the schools reputation/lagging performance and the way this city is being run, it is a miracle we have done as well as we have as a city. Both seem to be unable to make correct decisions about the most common sense issues on a continual basis. Sad to see. Council/city leaders/school board/super, don't you care what you are doing to the city? It has been obvious we are going downhill for many years. Why are you all trashing the city? Disgusting to see, IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NOLA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 7:33pm
I am at a total loss...I would love to see MainStreet USA again in Middletown but lets be realistic.  Who is going to come downtown?  Those who spend money don't want to spend it downtown because of all of the crime and unsavory individuals.  You wont see police (because they are too busy teaching people social, marital and parenting skills) walking downtown to remove the problem elements.  I have considerded numerous times of moving my business downtown but I continue to run into the same problem; Assuming my clients are family, would I let my family go to a business in that type of area?   The city admin can preach that we all should do our part to make this work however I don't make risky investments; especially to fit only a small groups pet project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike_Presta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 08 2012 at 7:49pm

Strange thing about all of these local history buffs:  They want to force everything about history on everyone else except how to LEARN from it!!!

“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bocephus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 09 2012 at 7:14am

So let me get this right..they are laying off firemen but somehow they have the money to hire someone for this useless position?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 09 2012 at 8:56am
Evidently, this is another non-profit group. With all this attention on the downtown area, we should see a quick turnaround in no time!!! Just don't hold your breath or you'll pass out and miss it!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Middletown29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 09 2012 at 2:29pm
Another stupid idea of Gilleland. Maybe she should have taken this job.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote crazycatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 09 2012 at 3:22pm
Not an idea of Judy's. The idea has been around for about  6 years. The entire process is not easy. They just revived it last summer and if they can get Main Street status it could mean a lot of grant money for downtown easing the burden from the city. This is a proven program in many cities. Let them at least try before you all bash them on the heads. These people are ciizens just like you, TAX-PAYERS, there a word you all love to use.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 09 2012 at 3:37pm
The idea of a Main Street Program has been floated around a lot longer than six years.  The notion was of joining the Main Street program dates back to the mid to late 90s and the old Downtown Middletown Partnership, Inc.  There was interest back then with that group and a Main Street program.  SpiderJohn shouild be able to back me up on this one. 
 
The city used the old Downtown Middletown Partnership as a "mall and parking garage management" firm when the City Centre Mall still existed.  They provided the majority of the funding.  Once the mall was gone, there was no need to fund the organization.  Prior and during the mall's removal, the organization attempted to fund itself outside of the city's coffers through a Special Improvement District (SID) which would asssess property owners to fund the organization which would market the downtown area and make beautication improvements in the district.  It's my understanding that several large property owners---including Mr. Thatcher--were against the idea.  Mr. Thatcher still pouting that his "People's Plan" did not get approved by Council.  He and Peggy Blakely (who once headed up the downtown partnership, go figure) worked to lobby other property owners against the plan.  They owed the Cingery building together under the Venture partnership and Peggy and her husband owned property on their own and through The 2005 Group.
 
Dick Isroff has be a big supporter of this organization.   Glad to see this all resurfacing.  As you say, it has proven successful in other communities. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 09 2012 at 8:29pm
"Let them at least try before you all bash them on the heads. These people are ciizens just like you, TAX-PAYERS, there a word you all love to use".

crazycatcher quote

Well crazycatcher, we citizens who have been around since the 50's, have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in this city. We have seen the once vibrant downtown area of the 50's thru the mid-60's taken down to the bottom with the advent of the City Centre Mall of the 70's, the vacant, desolate store fronts since those days, the continued attempts at "re-branding", the anti-business climate created by Kohler and company and the vast amounts of money wasted on ideas, schemes and failed agendas to last a lifetime, concocted by city leaders from the 70's thru to current. No administration, no council and no city development people have found the real answer that has brought success and stability to the area. To say "let them try before you all bash them on the heads" has some redundancy, given the track record of success to date. They all have had their fair share of "trying" to establish a clear track record of failure. Everything they have tried or touched has turned to crap. It is with high confidence that "we the people" can "bash them over the heads" and be correct in our actions. JMO. Oh, and no, these people are not at all like we are. We know when the horse we are whipping is dead. They continue to beat the same dead horse, expecting life to return.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard Saunders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2012 at 4:45am

"They continue to beat the same dead horse, expecting life to return."

You are right, VietVet. And of course they expect the taxpayers to provide the whips: diamond encrusted, gold plated, Faberge` whips.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2012 at 6:26pm
correct swohio--I was a volunteer board member of the Downtown Partnership for a few years until we disbanded ourselves.
Your chronicle of the last few years is basically correct.
We were managing what was left of the mall, parking garage and downtown area. After the young guy (Chuck) moved on, another full-time director was hired, and given office space in the Chamber complex. We attempted to organize the businesses all the way up Central to the railroad tracks, with little success. The small "un-connected" business owners trusted us(me) but had no faith in the city. I was given the duty of walking the entire area repeatly, asking for support and inquiring what could be done to help them. Since I was recognizable local face, they were quite open with me. As you mentioned, Mr.Thatcher, the Blakelys, etc. were against us. They "had their own plan" and did not need our intrusion. Well---since they owned their property, I had no beef with that. I also got along openly and honestly with them, since I socialized with them.
Mr.Isroff was also a key partnership figure, while also being tied to the Thatcher/Blakely group as an investment partner. He became somewhat of a "mole" in the Partnership, and imo was playing both sides of the fence to his best interest. "I like and respect Mr.Isroff, however he was not open here imo.
 
After hitting the final wall of being unable to reach any constructive united direction, we decided that that the Partnership was no longer necessary or working, and honestly we had nothing left to manage or control(and felt un-wanted-sob) and chose to dissolve ourselves without spending more city $$(our director was the only paid employee--the rest of us were strictly un-commpensated(in any way) volunteer members).
 
Most amazingly, Commission(now called Council) urged us to keep going, and tried to give us $75,000 in funding for ???. To our credit, we declined and all walked away in frustration.
 
Anyone have a different version?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ground swat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2012 at 8:46pm
My interest are more with the future not that we should avoid the past I suggest we learn from it.  Again for those in the crowd that support giving money away that comes from the city we all want to see this town bounce out of the funk of poor city leadership.  We are stuck with this problem but stop throwing money at it without some businesses ready to move in, papers signed.  Why don't investors come to our downtown? IMO it's our piss poor reputation for how this admin. works with or lack of businesses already in town. How do think those folks feel on 1st ave or Central ave watching all these give aways four blocks down but they watch money pissed away for brown areas that aren't kept up and get to call the cops every day because of the rift raft breaking in every night.  Some one like SJ who not only talked the talk but went door to door giving hundreds of hours to see this freakin dream come true is pretty serious it most not be working at city hall. When I come into a house 99% of the time it's from the street or the curb.  We don't have a gas station at our exit!!!  Why stop in Middletown?  When you walk up someones sidewalk an trip on cracks and crumbling concrete whats your first impression?  Government always over complicates simple businesses practices. Ease up the paper work, cut the vendor a break on sewer hookup but stop trying to spend the TAXPAYERS money wisely it's insulting.    For the record If anyone cares I would not have my wonderful life if not for our downtown. It provided a living for my family starting back 130 years ago. The building went thru the fire and my grandfather dug in and made it work. WE all care for our city. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 11 2012 at 7:26am
lesson learned:
 
when you have a title, but:
no money
no real power
don't own any of the properties involved
 
you really can't do much
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