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MORE LEVIES FOR FIXING ROADS

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spiderjohn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 2:22pm
factguy, I appreciate the Jay Earnest dialogue, but--the only people that think that the 60% idea is ok and workable are the Council and Admin members who don't want to go back to their being respoinsible for road repair/maintenance + the S Main, downtowners and city people who have had their streets repaired without the 60% requirement/payment. NO ONE else sees this as a realistic option. Where else do municipalities do it this way?

As homeboy Chris Carter says, "Come on, man!"
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TonyB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 2:34pm
My confusion with your statements, Factguy; come from the notion that even if council put more money into street repair, it would still take 50 years. Yet you want citizens to pay additional to have their street repaired. What would be the point of putting more money into the fund or petitioning the city to fix your street if it will still take the same amount of time? Just one more reason to distrust city government and what they say as opposed to what they do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Factguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 3:38pm
How about a top 10 ranking of what you'd the city to do in 2015-2016, such as number 1, set aside $20 Mm a year for road repair. Number 2, put in colonial period street lamps throughout all resident neighborhoods. Takers? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 4:42pm
ONE MORE TIME.....we need to talk about the BIG PINK ELEPHANT standing in the middle of the room called the EPA.
We need to repair the sewers BEFORE we start paving all the streets. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trotwood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 4:46pm
Originally posted by Factguy Factguy wrote:

How about a top 10 ranking of what you'd the city to do in 2015-2016, such as number 1, set aside $20 Mm a year for road repair. Number 2, put in colonial period street lamps throughout all resident neighborhoods. Takers? 

I don't live in Middletown, but I'm from there and could potentially move there in the near future depending on where my first job out of college is, so here's my top 10 list of what I'd like Middletown to do:

1.  Clean up litter on streets and in medians. Strictly enforce yard care requirements. Draft a tougher zoning code, get it passed, and hire enough citizens patrol to enforce it (note that I'm not saying "Police" - you'd want cheaper people with less power to do the job). Look to Huber Heights and their "Yellow Signs" program as an example.

2.  Acquire vacant retail/commercial properties and start a pop-up shops program like this one instead of demolishing them:
http://www.activatedspaces.org/

3.  Build a easy to use but thorough and intuitive website that states exactly what businesses, services, amenities, etc. Middletown has within its borders. Do this by hiring an intern to contact every business in the city of Middletown and ask for a write-up on their services. Hire another intern to sort out all these services and create a basic website layout. Hire a third intern to build the website, and then have your city's IT department review it. Then ask community members to test it to ensure the site is intuitive to use and have a SEO consultant ensure it gets good search results. Then distribute to corporations and residents. It's all about getting people to know exactly what's in their own backyard so they will start using it!!
The end result should be like this: http://www.downtowndayton.org/

4.  Ask UC, Miami, OSU etc. architecture, planning, and engineering departments to have a class come investigate Middletown and its public spaces. Then allow them to propose solutions that foster connectivity within Middletown, and if possible and within budget, implement these plans. 

5. Hire StrategyWorks! at Miami University or a similar program to do targeted marketing campaigns to recruiting 1) new businesses, 2) new residents. Once done, distribute marketing material free to Middletown residents and industrial building owners on a yearly basis so they can offer it when selling their homes. Also distribute to all Butler, Warren and Montgomery county residents if possible to help put Middletown on their radar for moving there in the future or expanding their business.

6.  Get more tax revenue by increasing taxes on land zoned heavy industrial, if possible. Make this tax rate the highest in the state. You have a cash cow with AK, so milk it for what it's worth. They aren't going to China anytime soon. And even if they do, so what? The land would be far better served as an airport or for light industrial / distribution center use. And the detriment AK's presence provides Middletown every day is enough to justify the tax increases

7.  Actively recruit Rural King to fill the former Target space. This is probably my most narrow request, but it's also the easiest. Economically speaking, Rural King and Middletown both would hit a home run if they moved into the location.

8.  SCHOOLS!!! Look to Hamilton and Kettering as a model. Somehow Hamilton pulled off ranking ahead of Fairfield, and Hamilton is a near clone of Middletown. Kettering is more affluent, but has a large less affluent cross section but yet has figured out ways to get these students to accomplish amazing goals. Particularly notable are their programs for students with learning disabilities. Again, I don't know what the city can do specifically to help out the schools, but this is a big reason why people don't choose Middletown.

9.  Ensure the city is a service provider to its residents, and not their enemy. The hate on this forum should not exist. Admittedly, a lot of the commenters on here have a... let's say... different perspective. One that is highly negatively biased, neurotic, and indicative of a general conservative/paranoid state of mind (there's great research on brain differences between conservatives and liberals here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/brain-difference-democrats-republicans). But a lot of this negativity also is probably tied into Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - many of these individuals are showing obvious signs they are not and cannot progress past state 2 on the triangle - the safety stage. Compare to somewhere like Mason or Indian Hill where most residents are on the self-actualization level. The city can help people out through proper engagement, programs, and customer service. Basically, help your people out!!!

10.  Bike Trails. I think I've explained this enough elsewhere on this forum... the All-American Cities thread.
http://www.middletownusa.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5978&PN=3&title=all-america-city#top

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over the hill View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote over the hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 5:45pm
Somebody que Hamit. Isn't that her dept?
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TonyB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 8:28pm
Factguy:

I see you made it as far as "2" on your list. Don't have anything else to add or don't want to let the cat out of the bag yet?

1. Not knowing the revenues of the city would make placing a definitive amount on road repair simply a wish. That being said, I would certainly repeal the 1986 ordinance that put infrastructure repair into the general fund. That should shorten the time for road repair.
2. Vivian Moon is absolutely correct when she states the biggest problem (and most expensive) is the sewers. That needs to be addressed with a sustainable and consistent revenue stream.
3. Get out and stay out of the real estate business. Stop buying property and then giving it away!
4. The city sales tax needs to be reduced so that Middletown isn't one of the highest tax cities in the area.
5. Stop the interference in business. Way too much interference and pointless ordinances.
6. Disband the Historical Appropriateness Board.
7. Improve the school system. Partner with business and social orgainzations to improve learning. Opt out en mass of this idiotic testing program.
8. Public safety and health should be given priority over government run economic development.
9. Return council to the ward system so that every area of the city is represented.
10. Rebuild trust in city government by being more open and transparent, particularly financial transparency.

I'm sure given enough time to think about it I could come up with more. What should happen is some real community outreach to find out what citizens in all areas of town think instead of what 5 members of council want.

BTW; no one wants fancy street lights. We need a functional and safe city, not one dressed up for pretty pictures.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Factguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 8:59pm
Both were excellent responses. Doug Adkins efforts to modify the ordinances will make the city more business friendly. The city has been collecting for years a set amount for sewers and the EPA concerns, so that also is a check. On the ward system, having an at large system with a reduced number, accelerates the bimonthly meetings and also was logical as the population was shrinking. Admittedly, many share your opinion, as those having issues within a ward are under represented as they see it. As one council attempted unsuccessfully to get the ordinance change, the prospects of making that a reality are not bright.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 9:33pm
Factguy-Both were excellent responses. Doug Adkins efforts to modify the ordinances will make the city more business friendly. The city has been collecting for years a set amount for sewers and the EPA concerns, so that also is a check. On the ward system, having an at large system with a reduced number, accelerates the bimonthly meetings and also was logical as the population was shrinking. Admittedly, many share your opinion, as those having issues within a ward are under represented as they see it. As one council attempted unsuccessfully to get the ordinance change, the prospects of making that a reality are not bright.

Factguy...where are you getting your information from?
Please do inform the public about the amount of money that as of this date that is in the sewer fund that they have been collecting for years. 
I have heard enough lies out of you. So if you are soooo well inform give us the numbers...
This like all the other city funds has been raped, raided and robbed......and now we do not have the money to repair and seperate the sewers. We are talking MILLIONS of dollars have simply disappeared.
Now we will need to BORROW MILLIONS to even start this project.

So show me your numbers and I'll show you mine....It's time for you to either put up or shut up and sit 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: Feb 17 2015 at 9:47pm
TonyB
I will answer all 10 of your request in the morning...however I'm not sure you will like all the answers.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2015 at 10:20pm

February 8, 1911 Wednesday    Middletown News-Signal, Middletown, Ohio
THE PAVING OF BROADWAY
  Well, well Broadway will surely be paved. Robert Jones has just finished securing the names of abutting property holders of Broadway asking for the street to be paved and we have another Mr. B. F. Harwitz who is out asking for Broadway to be paved with asphalt. The signers to the second petition were being secured today.

February 10, 1911  Friday    Middletown News-Signal, Middletown, Ohio
BROADWAY
What Will Be The Paving Material
  The paving of Broadway is now under consideration. The situation is much as it was on Main street and Yankee road about the time these streets were to be paved. Some of the people were fooled as to material. Particularly was this the case on Yankee road which was saved from being paved with brick just in the nick of time. A brick street is noisy, filthy, and always look ugly by comparison with an asphalt street. The nice homes on Broadway, and they are almost all beautiful, should jealously guard the  immediate environment. To put a brick street would cause them to regret it as long as they lived.
  Property stands out clean and clear with a white street like Yankee road, free from the odor that emanates from the filth that settles between bricks and from the noise that is a source of annoyance day and night and especially in the summer when houses are open.
  It is probable that it is now too late to save the street from what it is said the council intends to do to it. True, brick is cheaper, but the difference is not great enough to prevent asphalt being adopted in preference to the coarser material.
  Woodblock is fine, but it is an experiment and may swell and rear up and push even the sidewalks into the cellar.
  But asphalt is the material for paving and should be adopted.
  It is said that a petition is now being circulated for asphalt or wood block, but tonight the council will say what material will be placed on the street. 

February 13, 1911  Monday    Middletown News-Signal, Middletown, Ohio
MORE ASPHALT
Wanted By The People Living On Good Streets In This City

  Lakeside people are waking up to the fact, that, possessed of one of the most beautiful drives in the city of Middletown, Tytus avenue should not be marred by inferior paving material and will make their desires known, to the council committee, having the question in charge.
  The little difference between the cost of asphalt and brick, the superiority of the former over the latter, in its appearance, its cleanliness, and from a sanitary standpoint, as well as its effect on the value of abutting property, gives it a preference far above any other material.
  A street paved with brick is always considered secondary to asphalt street. It gives it a cheap appearance and effects the value of the property, and the owners do a great injustice to themselves when with beautiful homes on which they are spending their labor and money to  give them a fine appearance, they permit the laying of an inferior street to mar the comfort and value of their property.
  The people of Lakeside appreciate this fact and are preparing to present their claims for the better material to the council. The facts are that Main street and Broad street should be paved with asphalt throughout.

October 23, 1911  Monday    Middletown News-Signal, Middletown, Ohio

THE WHITE WAY
New Cluster Lights Up In Front Of Bundy Block More Of Same Lights To Go Up
  East Third street with its pretty white way was surely the attraction, and the way the people paraded the well lighted thoroughfare showed that the white way is appreciated. Dr. D. B. Bundy had two of the splendid cluster lights burning in front of the Bundy block and the dazzling lights in front of the Bijon picture theater in the Bundy block, the street was beautifully illuminated, a credit to the east end and a strong drawing card for the business in that well lighted section. 
  W. S. Harlan was out at the white way. He was so well pleased with the new light in front of the Bundy block that he has decided to put three of the cluster lights in front of the Harlan block.
  Ed Stutz, the big boss of the white way says the place is so full of light out his way that the old rooster crows every fifteen minutes now during the night. Ed says when he used to hear the clarion note of this old Plymouth Rock, he  used to get out of bed and go down into the milk pitcher to meet the milk man and he never missed. Now since the old boy has been

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 18 2015 at 7:13am

1.  Clean up litter on streets and in medians. Strictly enforce yard care requirements. Draft a tougher zoning code, get it passed, and hire enough citizens patrol to enforce it (note that I'm not saying "Police" - you'd want cheaper people with less power to do the job). Look to Huber Heights and their "Yellow Signs" program as an example.
Tony, the mowing crews do a great job picking up the litter in all the areas that they mow and the yard care waste and furniture is now being pick up by Rumke. City Hall needs to clean up the property that they own.
We do NOT need tougher zoning codes we just need to enforce the ones that we have in place.

 

2.  Acquire vacant retail/commercial properties and start a pop-up shops program like this one instead of demolishing them: http://www.activatedspaces.org/

NO! City Hall does not have the money to purchase any more property. City Hall already owns far too many properties and all of them need to be turned over to local real estate agents to sell. Contact information needs to be placed in the window of each and every empty building that the city owns.
City Hall also needs to learn how to write a contract for the properties that they do own

Because the contract that they have written on the other downtown building were a joke imo.

3.  Build a easy to use but thorough and intuitive website that states exactly what businesses, services, amenities, etc. Middletown has within its borders. Do this by hiring an intern to contact every business in the city of Middletown and ask for a write-up on their services. Hire another intern to sort out all these services and create a basic website layout. Hire a third intern to build the website, and then have your city's IT department review it. Then ask community members to test it to ensure the site is intuitive to use and have a SEO consultant ensure it gets good search results. Then distribute to corporations and residents. It's all about getting people to know exactly what's in their own backyard so they will start using it!!

The end result should be like this: http://www.downtowndayton.org/
Tony after the Forbes article labeled Middletown, City Hall spent some big bucks to rebrand the community. They also joined Main Street USA and started “Downtown Middletown Inc.” It is my understanding that the ED and DMI have web sites to promote

the current development plans.

4.  Ask UC, Miami, OSU etc. architecture, planning, and engineering departments to have a class come investigate Middletown and its public spaces. Then allow them to propose solutions that foster connectivity within Middletown, and if possible and within budget, implement these plans. 
I believe Miami Students did help City Hall with their last 5 years Master Plan however their main focus was on the Downtown Area. Mr. Adkins hired UC to do a study concerning the Section 8 Program and imo it proved we needed more low income housing not less…and that’s when he declared all of Middletown “Slumville USA”.

5. Hire StrategyWorks! at Miami University or a similar program to do targeted marketing campaigns to recruiting 1) new businesses, 2) new residents. Once done, distribute marketing material free to Middletown residents and industrial building owners on a yearly basis so they can offer it when selling their homes. Also distribute to all Butler, Warren and Montgomery county residents if possible to help put Middletown on their radar for moving there in the future or expanding their business.

Tony, I believe they did a study however I do not know what the ED is doing to recruit new businesses so I will have to pass on this one.

6.  Get more tax revenue by increasing taxes on land zoned heavy industrial, if possible. Make this tax rate the highest in the state. You have a cash cow with AK, so milk it for what it's worth. They aren't going to China anytime soon. And even if they do, so what? The land would be far better served as an airport or for light industrial / distribution center use. And the detriment AK's presence provides Middletown every day is enough to justify the tax increases

This will NEVER happen. Mercy..we have few well paying jobs now.

7.  Actively recruit Rural King to fill the former Target space. This is probably my most narrow request, but it's also the easiest. Economically speaking, Rural King and Middletown both would hit a home run if they moved into the location.
I believe Target needs to handle this job since it is their building.

8.  SCHOOLS!!! Look to Hamilton and Kettering as a model. Somehow Hamilton pulled off ranking ahead of Fairfield, and Hamilton is a near clone of Middletown. Kettering is more affluent, but has a large less affluent cross section but yet has figured out ways to get these students to accomplish amazing goals. Particularly notable are their programs for students with learning disabilities. Again, I don't know what the city can do specifically to help out the schools, but this is a big reason why people don't choose Middletown.
TAXES and our SCHOOLS are the two greatest reasons why Middletown property is in free fall and new families and companies do not want to move here…period!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 18 2015 at 8:24am
Vivian:
Thanks but those are Trotwood's ideas, not mine!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike_Presta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 18 2015 at 3:47pm
There's just one little problem with a 50-year paving plan: The average pavement life is only 15 to 25 years!!!

With a 50-year paving plan it is guaranteed that at any time in the 50 year cycle, at least 50% of the pavement in the city will be well past (25 years or more) its service life.
“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 Trotwood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 19 2015 at 1:27am
Originally posted by TonyB TonyB wrote:

Vivian:
Thanks but those are Trotwood's ideas, not mine!

That they are! But thanks for taking time to reply, Vivian Moon.. I do appreciate your input.

I should have specified earlier with Activated Spaces that the program does not require city ownership of the properties in question. In fact, it's the opposite - the city works with landlords to allow new clients to pay a next-to-nothing rate for space as they are getting off the ground. Sure, the city may have to pay certain subsidies/offer loans to the businesses at onset, but that doesn't mean the city cannot recoup these payments via taxation, loan collection, etc.

But I would argue this program could not be successful without a well-targeted nationwide marketing campaign. The best and brightest in industries relevant to Middletown need to occupy these spaces. And that can only happen with effective communication of what exactly Middletown could offer a budding entrepreneur.


For the Section 8... yeah, I bet you're right that there is a need for more of it. Middletown is becoming a magnet for these kind of residents. But Section 8 can, if implemented well, be like this example in Dayton's notoriously impoverished southwest district:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Observer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 19 2015 at 9:10am
TonyB - I could be wrong but isn't the sales tax rate decided by County Commissioners?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TonyB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 19 2015 at 10:28am
Don't we have an "add on" in Middletown? Why would the tax rate be lower in West Chester if that were true?Or am I thinking of income tax? Whichever it is, that is what needs to be lowered to bring Middletown more in line with other local communities.
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