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Housing - from last council meeting

Printed From: MiddletownUSA.com
Category: Middletown City Government
Forum Name: Community Revitalization
Forum Description: Middletown Community Revitalization News
URL: http://www.middletownusa.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=6466
Printed Date: Jul 27 2017 at 2:58am


Topic: Housing - from last council meeting
Posted By: buddhalite
Subject: Housing - from last council meeting
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 5:00am
Well, after reading everything on this forum in the last week or so - I am now caught up on everything that has changed in Middletown in the last 10 years.  Nothing.

I was however pretty appalled at the minutes and notes from the last 5/16/17 council meeting.  Especially the report on housing from Mr. Manager Adkins.

I'd like to comment....so I have quoted text from the minutes and attached my comments.  I don't know why I did this - but I couldn't sleep and decided to have some fun.  I hope that this spurs some insightful discussion and hopefully (but realistically I know better) action!  

Once the Council members returned to their seats, Mr. Adkins started his presentation. He stated there is a staggering amount of data available, as evidenced by the number of charts. As we move forward, he tried to come up with a comparison of where we were before to where we are now that makes sense. Census data was used to see where we were in 2000. We were pretty normal and compared about the same as the rest of Ohio and the US. We were in the ballpark in housing.  Along came the perfect storm over the past 15 years. We added new Section 8 vouchers, leaving us with the largest number of Section 8 vouchers in the State; AK experienced labor difficulties, leading to a lockout; the AK headquarters moved to West Chester. The Recession hit and wiped out jobs in every sector. Families moved their children out of the public school district and into private and charter schools. Eleven percent (11%) of our children do not attend the Middletown Public School System. The Heroin Epidemic struck.

Wow.  Ok.  There's a lot in that last paragraph - but let's be clear about a couple things.

1. AK Steel's continuing shrinkage has taken a toll on this community more than all other events combined.  This is what happens when a communnity's government rests on its laurels and sticks too long to the idea that one big employer is enough for a community.  Whoops.  Oh yeah, if you need further proof of this - pick any former GM town.  Yeah.

2. The recession didn't do as much damage to Middletown as the Middletown leaders did.  Continual reliance upon nearly bankrupt companies to fund this crazy town added to the destruction of dollars in the cesspool wasteland known as 'downtown' led to this.

3. Methinks the AK headquarters move had A LOT to do with the previous two points.  Think about it.

4. Middletown schools suck - yes - why?  Because the reality is that many of the kids come from low-income housing, section 8, etc.  I live in realville - and in realville - those kids don't have the same support system at home that, oh maybe east-end kids do.  It's just nature - but there's not enough kids on the east end to balance it out.  I really don't think that Middletown schools are all that bad - but seriously - what do you expect?

Everyone took a step back, but we took several steps backwards. Where are we now? Poverty is now up to 21%, which is significantly higher than both the County and the nation. The bright side is that we are now better educated than we were in 2000. Hopefully, Cincinnati State and MUM 7939 were part of that due to the fact that many people lost their jobs and went back to school. We lost many manufacturing jobs. We lost 4,580 people under the age of 54, and 3,159 working age adults. The average household income is $48,049; Butler Co. is $74,035; Ohio average is $66,409. 

Wow - yes - compared to 2000 - yep things are different.  West Chester was nothing in 2000.  Monroe was a shadow of its current self today.  All that great good wonderful cookie-cutter two-story 4/2 finsished basement and two car garage housing was built there.  

WHY?!??!?!  I'm glad you asked.  A lot of it has to do with geography and 'white flight' from Cincinnati.  Where did all the people come from that now inhabit West Chester/Liberty/Monroe?  Well, they sure weren't reproduced into the area.  Nope.  They got tired of life elsewhere and went somewhere where everything is NEW, BRIGHT, WELL-PURPOSED, LUSH, WEALTHY, UPSCALE, BOUTIQUE ad nausem.

And all that time - Middletown sat on its hands and fought companies and retailers who wanted to come here - in favor of 'revitalizing' downtown.  Yeah - what a VITAL part of our city that is.  And that right there is 50% of the problem......

The rest is JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!

Housing drives many other issues in the City. Poor quality or low value housing tends to lock in lower income and lower educated residents, limiting our work force development and income tax base. 78.4% of our housing is less than $150K. Vacancy went up to 14%; Butler Co. is 9.6%. Ownership is lower - 47.3% of our housing stock is rentals. 50% of our housing is 2 bedrooms or less. We are no longer competitive in the SW Ohio real estate market. Our residential property lost over $58,000,000 in value in over 4 years. We as a government and as residents artificially created a significant portion of our existing problem. We added significant subsidized housing; residents went into foreclosure; older smaller housing was converted to rentals; infrastructure, public safety forces and quality of life amenities were not maintained; and some landlords have not screened tenants for drug and criminal activity.

OK - low income does not equal low education in all cases.  Just Middletown.  There's no jobs here.  Nothing for entry-level folks.  Yeah, there's some - but not enough for the population.  Lemme ask this - how can someone who can't afford decent housing supposed to afford to commute every day to entry level jobs?  Sure - we have some retail - but even it has shrank in the last 10 years....

All residential property has lost value just due to economic causes.  Now - Middletown is a bit unique here.  A buncha housing was built all over the town during the late 90's and early 2000's - all of which turned out to be cookie cutter homes that started falling apart in 10 years and as a result lost value just sitting there - let alone the economic downturn.

What the heck was the 'older smaller housing' supposed to do?  Magically become the aforementioned 'great good wonderful' housing without investment?  Of course they became rentals - that's the cycle of real-estate!  New housing in the XXX'000's, wonderful schools, great neighborhood, close to shopping, mature neighborhood, centrally located, lots of shade trees, quaint housing, fixer-upper, handyman special, high-end rental, mid-level rental managed by a corporation, purchased by mid-level landlord who doesn't even paint, purchased by slum-lord who takes section 8, then Middletown west-end HUD housing.  

Plus - if the landlords screened every one of their renters - they wouldn't have any!  Let's be honest - criminal pasts are not easy to overcome - and you gotta start somewhere.  There's room for everyone - but those folks need a place to start and they need JOBS!  Section 8, food stamps, etc are not the solution!

The question becomes, “Are we willing to artificially un-create the damage?” One critical component to our path back to prosperity is quality housing. Danter was retained to help identify issues. Our problem is that we have astonishing housing for first-time home buyers, but we have nothing beyond that. People must move out of Middletown to find step-up housing. 70% of our housing is at the first-time level, with 15% at the next level. People move out. The idea is that we need to balance our housing stock. If we keep the same number of residential structures and we redistributed them to look like the rest of Butler Co., what would we have to do? Where do we start?

There's only one solution.  Everything west of University/Verity/etc....KABOOM!  But that's not realistic!  Get enough jobs so that people have some disposable income - and the housing will automatically upgrade as a result.  You know what government housing people find when they get jobs and work?  That they don't have to live in government housing.  We all live according to our means - and we've just got to increase the means for the City of Middletown.

Danter said we need a balanced housing stock. We need to build newer homes of higher value. This would add significant income to Middletown. We should be doing demolition to remove blight. We have been doing some demolition, and need to try to rebalance the housing stock. Most of our serious crimes are in rental properties. The top 10 landlords had 700 evictions. Tenants are being evicted several times. This is not good for housing, schools, etc. We need to get older, smaller stock with low value out of the City. Posters around the room give a tremendous amount of information and tell what is going on in each census tract. Fix it or destroy it by tract?

OK - If all this is true (which I don't doubt) then outlaw rentals entirely in Middletown.  Just make it where you have to own where you live.  That'll fix EVERYTHING!  If I weren't a Christian I'd call this what it really is.....something about bovine excrement....pure foolishness.  Just by making low rent housing disappear - this guy thinks that our crime troubles will be solved!?

Oh wait....I missed the first solution.  Let's just haul off and build a bunch of half-million dollar homes in Middletown - why that will fix all our woes!  Housing value means EVERYTHING.

There are a large number of tools successfully utilized in other areas of Ohio and the nation that we could use. This is the beginning of a discussion. 

Start naming the 'tools' - I'm waiting.  Many other towns like Middletown have the same issues - yes - and they all have the same problem.  No jobs.
 
Vacancy is high. There are programs that we need to be participating in. Vacant lots need attention. There are many tools that can be used for vacant lots. Maybe the neighborhoods should be deciding what to do with the vacant lots, within a framework.

Vacancy is high - because there are no jobs.  No job = can't afford housing.  Screw the programs - get some jobs for everyone and Middletown will be positioning itself to be the next big thing in SW Ohio.

Code enforcement – 100% of all structures could be compliant within 5 years.

Laughable - even 'wonderful historic amazing downtown' isn't code compliant - and we've spent more money than any city around trying to get it that way.

Mr. Adkins wanted to make sure the Council understood the data, and wanted to know if staff could develop a long term housing strategy consistent with the data and recommendations. He would like to develop this, although it will be long and hard to do, but these are the problems that need to be developed. We may need to destroy several blocks,  rather than leave holes through the community. He hopes that people will understand why we have to do what we will do. Mr. Adkins wants to give this presentation out in the community over the next 3-6 months and concurrently develop a new City Housing Policy for the next 10 years to address these issues in a responsible manner. He wants to work with the community. There may be smarter way to do things, and the community and the City should now be able to have a better relationship. He asked if the Council was on board with him moving forward.

Yeah - people will understand it when the council declares eminent domain on entire city blocks and wipes them out with a tandem row of bulldozers.  Don't worry says Manager Adkins - they'll get it.  All we have to do is create 'policy' in secret - vote on it unanimously without public comment or discussion and all the insiders in this town get what they want while the working man gets shafted in the process - and, oh yeah, moves to Franklin or anywhere but here.  

I really think that council thinks that we who choose to live here have nowhere else we could go/live if it weren't for their amazing job of managing our city.

Mr. Bohannon said our City is too landlord heavy. We need to clean the pool up. He said he would like to see all landlords be involved in the landlord process. 

That might just be the dumbest statement I've ever seen in official government print.  Let's get all landlords involved in the landlord process.  Will you be allowed to be a loandlord if you don't subscribe to the 'process'?  In what world is it proper for anyone to tell someone else what they must/must not do with their own property?  Is the city going to require a test for all landlords - and if you don't pass it they get to seize all your homes and demolish them becuase you might be renting to someone who did drugs in their past?  If your home has grass over 8" tall will the management levy a takeover of your property?  If a water line breaks - will the city-owned utility come and demolish your house?  Where is this going?

Mayor Mulligan said we didn’t get here overnight, and it won’t go away overnight. We need to look for some low hanging fruit, prioritize areas to get it accomplished, and pinpoint key areas. 

Congrats Mr. Mayor.  Brilliant insight - but not the least bit helpful.  Keep looking for the low-hanging fruit.  In a way - that's always been the problem in Middletown.  The real problems NEVER get tackled.

Listen folks - I'm no Rhodes scholar.  But this I know - there's no jobs in Middletown.  Until you fix that problem - you can forget any attempt at 'fixing' the housing crisis in this city.


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)



Replies:
Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 6:34am
Nice overview. You have just summarized what we have been talking about for years on this forum. The topics you have mentioned from Section 8 to jobs to poor schools to downtown only focus have been well rehearsed on this site.

You will find you will be working against the wind as to the city leaders changing or doing the right thing to improve the city. We do not elect people who have any common sense nor do they want to change the mantra of the MMF who are controlling the direction of the city. They are in-effective in their decision making. You can't get a reaction that is satisfactory nor will indicate they really want to address and solve a problem. I am not convinced they know how to identify problems and solve them. They certainly don't know how to prioritize city issues as to importance. Expect business as usual with the same old failed results, no matter what the topic is. This is what happens when the voters keep sticking the same cookie-cutter thinking people behind the council desk. They must be there to massage their egos because they certainly aren't there to accomplish anything pertinent.   

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Joshua
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 1:40pm
Can we at least agree it's better that the city government is identifying the problems and possible solutions as opposed to doing nothing?



Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 1:46pm
Not from my perspective, Brother.

Identifying the problem is easy and painless - and that's all they'll ever do about it too.  That's the track record!


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: Joshua
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 1:52pm
I guess we'll have to wait and see on that.
From my perspective, things are getting better in Middletown.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 1:55pm
Hey now!  There's a great positive perspective!

I've been gone for the last 10 years living in other states - so I only know my perspective having been gone and come back.  I don't see it - but I'm willing to learn....

What specifically have you seen that makes you believe things are getting better in our fair city?  I'd like the different perspective.


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 2:02pm
Joshua -

Since March 2009, Mr. Adkins has been in total charge of the city's housing programs and neighborhood efforts (not to mention millions in HUD funding).  Are we to assume that you are satisfied with the performance during this time?  Just think of the positive outcomes that could and should have taken place over the last eight years if a real world citywide comprehensive housing market analysis and action plan was in place!  The days of big bucks from HUD are over thereby making these many unmet tasks even harder to accomplish!

Nelson Self


Posted By: Joshua
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 2:09pm
The development downtown, which posters on this board love to rant about is an improvement.  There are more and more reasons to go downtown these days.  
The construction on MHS and the new MMS is a much needed improvement to our school system.  While Vale is neat and historical building it's definitely time for it to be retired.  
The mall development is an improvement to that area as well.
These are all things that I have noticed and give me a positive outlook on the city.


Posted By: Joshua
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 2:17pm
Analytical

To be honest, in 2009 I was busy with raising two small kids and trying to manage a household than I was in paying attention to the happenings in Middletown.  Now that my kids are a little older I have more time and interest in following the happenings around town.  My opinions is based on the last two or three years that I have been paying attention.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 2:32pm
Originally posted by Joshua Joshua wrote:

Can we at least agree it's better that the city government is identifying the problems and possible solutions as opposed to doing nothing?



Doing things wrong for decades is no better than doing nothing at all IMO.

"Identifying problems and possible solutions" you say?

Everyone in this city, except the priority blind city leaders the last three decades, has identified the poor streets and deteriorating sewers and infrastructure as a serious problem, yet, even today, the city commits millions of dollars and countless hours dwelling on the importance of their priority one downtown, which 90% of the town is not interested in. You tell me which is more important in the grand scheme of things, the roads, which benefit all or the downtown, which benefit a few. Most people living here, again, with the exception of the mis-focused city leaders, have identified poor paying jobs or, worse yet, no decent employment opportunities at all as a major problem within the city since the collapse of Armco/AK as a major entity here and the paper mills shutting down, yet, for decades, there has been no effort to find a solution to the replacement of these higher paying jobs lost over the decades. City leaders have sat on their hands and watched it happen and no alarm button ever went off.

City leaders, past and present, can't identify and then prioritize the real needs of the city and the wishes of it's people. The decades old agenda has failed to recognize the fact that the basics of this city should have come first and the little pet projects like the downtown are wayyyyy down the list as to importance. Instead, effort and money is placed on the "icing projects" before the cake is even baked.


The city foundation needs to be poured and hardened before the actual structure is built. They have prioritized in reverse order and the basic needs of the city have suffered. The water system is antiquated, the sewers are collapsing and the roads have grass growing where pavement should be and potholes that are ruining car suspensions at times. Careless disregard for the basics.

Another analogy:

The Griswold Christmas Vacation overcooked turkey scene. Stick a fork into the city and watch it fizzle. Trying to make it look good on the outside touting the downtown culture nonsense but there is no substance below as to basics.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 2:44pm
Let's all be fair to Joshua, here - it might be construed that we are kinda disagreeing with him/shoving our opinions down his throat - which isn't really the purpose of our forum.

FWIW - I agree that there has been (albeit a small amount) of east end development in the last few years - It has been disappointing to me as all it did was recycle old space - yet we still have old vacant eyesores out there.

The school buildings are great - but what did it do for our schools other than put lipstick on a pig?  Sure - nice to look at - but the same results every year.

Joshua - I'm kinda like you - my kids are older - I'm paying more attention - but the one part I'm not sure about is downtown and the 'more and more reasons' to go downtown.  Maybe I'm missing things - maybe I'm not in the loop.  If there's a good reason to go - count me in, but other than the late night bar scene, I really don't see much.  Feel free to PM to me - I'd like to go to some of these things, but either I'm ignorant of their existence or the advertsing of the events is pretty poor.  Either way - inquiring minds want to know.


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 18 2017 at 2:55pm
"The mall development is an improvement to that area as well"

If you are referring to the old Towne Mall, that is all done with private money and development plans. The city did not screw up the development. It actually is yielding some positives although it took some time by the mall owner to accomplish. The city gets no credit for the mall development as they had no part in it.

The mall is a perfect example of the difference between how the public government sector attempts to develop property and how the private sector develops property. The Towne Mall has made more progress in the last three years than the downtown area has made in the last ten+ years and the businesses are much more significant in the mall location as to impact and attraction than the fru fru small business/on again/off again development in the downtown. Add to that the mall businesses offer more of what a typical resident of this city would want than the specialty/cultural/artsy/high priced/limited selection stores downtown.

"The construction on MHS and the new MMS is a much needed improvement to our school system"

Not necessarily IMO.

New buildings aren't going to improve the poor end result/final product this school system is putting out. The new elementary schools told all of us that new schools don't deliver any better results than the old school buildings. We have seen that for several years now in the test scores. New buildings are just a nicer place for the teachers and admin to go to work in. More modern buildings with the latest technology, yet, they still yield the same results. Something should seem wrong to all of us knowing that fact.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Joshua
Date Posted: May 19 2017 at 8:14am
VietVet

I'm not sure if I was assigning credit for development to anybody.  All I have done here is talk about the positive developments that I have noticed around town.  
That includes downtown, the mall area, and I'll even throw out Fig Leaf because it is a classy place that my family and I like to visit.  There is no mistaking the fact that things are changing for the better.  There are more reasons for me (not all obviously) to go downtown as opposed to leaving Middletown for shopping and entertainment.  That sort of shopping and entertainment isn't for everybody but there is no denying it's a reason for Middletonians and other folks to come downtown instead of going elsewhere.  On the other hand the shopping and dining development near the mall isn't everyone's style but it's still a positive.  I believe it a positive that there is a wide range of shopping and dining options but I could be wrong as I am not a developer.

Ultimately I believe I joined this forum for completely different reasons than most which is pretty clear.  I certainly don't have the history here that many of the posters do so my outlook is a little different.  I joined this board because I was excited about what I was seeing in my city and I wanted to learn more. 
 
You said this regarding the schools, "New buildings are just a nicer place for the teachers and admin to go to work in".  Aren't the new buildings also a nicer place for students to learn in?  Are you aware that the classrooms without air conditioning in Vale (which are many) reach the mid 90's for a good portion of the day?  I know many of you were barefoot in the snow uphill both ways but that does make a difference in a child's ability to focus at school.  It also has an affect on the teacher (they are human too).  The learning environment does matter.
Now I will sit back and wait for the heat you all are going to bring me!  To be honest, I'm not sure why I keep checking this board out.  I guess I'm a glutton for punishment!

Joshua


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 19 2017 at 8:53am
Housing - from last council meeting

Two imperatives deserve immediate attention:  1)  significantly expand outreach to residents, mortgage bankers, REALTORS, home builders, land developers, title companies, appraisers, etc., to enhance an understanding of the stagnant state of the city's housing market and neighborhoods (particularly older ones); 2)  the acute need for cost-effective, productive and appropriate city housing policies, plans and programs to be developed and adopted.

Sad to say, the past is the past.  Enactment of a fresh, market-driven high-priority housing initiative is imperative.  As was the case nearly 10 years ago, senior One Donham Plaza staff should reach out to the private sector and residents (especially former target areas) to establish; a meaningful Middletown Housing Partnership.  Continuance of a "government knows best" philosophy must become a thing of the past.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 19 2017 at 9:05am
Joshua:

"Aren't the new buildings also a nicer place for students to learn in?"

Yes, but they are not learning as indicated by the data from the proficiency testing. Right or wrong, those scores are what the public sees and uses to gage the performance of the school district. They have historically been abysmal with no improvement in sight.

Joshua:

"Are you aware that the classrooms without air conditioning in Vale (which are many) reach the mid 90's for a good portion of the day? I know many of you were barefoot in the snow uphill both ways but that does make a difference in a child's ability to focus at school. It also has an affect on the teacher (they are human too). The learning environment does matter."

In reference to the "barefoot in the snow uphill" comment:

What is important in reference to that comment is that kids weren't coddled back then. They were expected to function in a hot classroom all day, everyday at school. Expectations were more stringent then. Today, kinder/gentler people in this world want to hold the young ones hand and spoil them rotten to the point where each generation since those times have become more soft and whiny and expect their behinds to be powdered for them. Today's authority figures, be it judges, cops, teachers or bosses, aren't doing any of the kids any favors doing kinder/gentler methods. We all know life after school is a hard road at times and when the kid is groomed to be spoiled, they don't know how to handle adversity, still expecting mommy and daddy to hold their hand to work through the problems. Old school thinking? You bet. Does old school methods still work.....you bet.....if we stop using new day methods to groom the next generation. There is nothing wrong with instilling a little discipline in a kid's life.

I know all about learning in the Vail non-air-conditioned environment. Went through three years of high school in that building. All schools in the 60's had no air-conditioning.......and now the rest of the story......the teaching of school subjects still went on as fans blew around hot air and windows to classrooms were full open. Tests were still given and students still passed sweating or not. Many students still went on the college, the military or to a trade school. The schools put out a good product back then. The school performance was light years better than what you have now and the kid's never had the bar lowered for them like the school people want to do now.

No heat Joshua, just facts.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: May 19 2017 at 9:16am
Joshua

I hope you joined this forum (board?) to be able to express a point of view (yours) which may be different or opposing or supporting, etc. In other words for a healthy exchange of ideas and opinions from a cross section of all of Middletown’s demographic. I think those who have preceded you on this forum and who continue to contribute have been at times discouraged when the city continues down a declining path. But they have not abandoned this forum or this city...they live here too...and want to see a prosperous city for ALL.

So, do not give up! We need everyone’s input, more conversation, more show of concern. We may even come to some agreement on how to make it out of the “swamp”.

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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 19 2017 at 2:24pm
We need to get the citizens of this town to be  roiling mad at our leadership before anything can happen.

How do we do this?  Anyone?  I'd give everything for 200 Joshua's, 200 VietVet, 200 Whistlers and 200 of everyone else out here to show up at a council meeting and make a stand against these policies that are ruining our very special, wonderful city.

Anyone got thoughts on how this happens?  Evidently this board doesn't have the reach alone to make it happen - so we need to draft others....


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: May 26 2017 at 5:23pm
Buddha suggested, under a different topic, that we should stop bickering.

Thanks buddha!!! You are precisely right. Let’s get organized! We need to find a focus in order to get city hall to refocus and recognize that ALL of Middletown’s demographics have to be included in our recovery. Again … we need more participation. We need to get everyone’s attention.

First we must determine how to get the general population of Middletown to see that we continue to be shafted by the powers that be.

The HUD debacle where we lost all control and all fiscal benefits to Butler and Warren Counties due to mismanagement is one very glaring mistake which, understandably, has been swept under the rug and is unmentionable at city hall. Can’t seem to get any public reaction here lately, so put this on stand by?

The Journal News, Thursday, 5/25/17, in a front page article said Monroe and Trenton are gaining a little in population. Monroe attributed their growth (+1,031) to available lots for new home construction and existing housing inventory that is in high demand. (The empty lots in Middletown due to demolition are NOT available for construction.) Monroe also cited the value residents see in their great school system. (Middletown has new school construction but is near to last in academics.) Trenton attributed growth (+893) to good school system, good business base and the availability of AFFORDABLE housing and land. Mr Adkins seems bent on tearing down all the affordable housing in Middletown (which encourages renting rather than owning) so now we do not even compare favorably with Monroe or Trenton in this economic growth indicator. Mayor Mulligan’s remarks put an adept spin on our miniscule growth (+119 which might be contributed to the annexation east of I-75) by making his usual rosy comments which bear very little basis in truth. He said “I think we have a lot to offer first-time home buyers and for people starting out.” Whoa!! Does our mayor really believe that Mr Adkins’ upscale housing plan will be AFFORDABLE to first-time home buyers????

How can we find a way to inform EVERYONE that the “housing plan” that Mr Adkins is espousing actually advocates tearing down MORE of the AFFORDABLE smaller homes in Middletown just because they do not fit “his vision” of future Middletown demographics (who would reside in upscale mansions). Those smaller homes are the homes of the current MAJORITY demographic in Middletown …. and that is middle to lower middle class which continues downward toward poverty level with the help of city hall. How can we inform this seemingly “silent majority” that their house, regardless of its condition, may be the next one to be bulldozed?

Where and how can we publish the following possible scenarios which will expose how Middletown’s majority middle class is being preyed upon? Their awakening is sorely needed. This could do it.

Mr Adkins, in his recent Housing Workshop, talked about using the Land Bank to take any property (possibly yours) which the city deems ABANDONED. What if your house is targeted for no other reason than they need to reach a demo quota, or they just don’t like you. Suppose you are away for a day or so, say for some personal emergency. The city inspectors, who have your property targeted, note a sudden lack of activity, no water usage, maybe no garbage pick-up. The city can then gleefully declare your property abandoned simply because THEY SAY it is unoccupied even though utilities and upkeep are maintained. The Land Bank can then clear the title for immediate demolition of YOUR home IF there is no mortgage or lien. The city has to act fast … and they will! When you return, you are homeless and all your possessions are gone!!!

I am aware of one instance that a city building inspector was sent to a specific residence to write it up on their nuisance ordinance. The inspector was unable to find anything non-compliant, and in front of the owner and a witness, proceeded to write up nonexistent violations. So it seems that the building inspections department will, under orders, write-up SOMETHING on every inspection trip. SO, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOUR PROPERTY IS PERFECT OR NOT!!!!   It’s whatever the city wants it to be!!! If the city wants to take your property they will and THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH LYING TO GET IT!!! City officials who lie on official documents (under penalty of perjury) should be sent to prison instead of continuing to receive a city paycheck!

Obviously the city will not care what happens to you.   Your small two or three bedroom, one bath home, that took you a lifetime of work to pay for (or have downsized to retire in), is gone just because it fits the description of what Mr Adkins wants to be rid of. What do you do now? Think about it!

Here’s ONE, of many other possible scenarios, of how the city can seize your home. You are retired and on a fixed income. You become ill and unable to physically or financially maintain your lawn to the city code. The city notifies you that you have, say 5 days to be in compliance with CITY NUISANCE ORDINANCE blah, blah, blah or they will:

1.) Have THEIR contractor mow your one inch too tall grass and fine you 2.5 times the contractors outrageously high fee.
2.) Without informing you, your fine is added to your property taxes.
3.) When, in a year or so, the compounded added assessments plus interest, etc. placed on your property taxes eventually put you in default … then the county puts your house up to auction for delinquent taxes.

But of course this scenario might take too long for the city to achieve a desired speedy seizure of your property.

And finally, the city, Adkins told us recently, has not been reimbursed for the demolition of the 400 or so properties which have already been torn down. Why, you ask? Could it be because, according to the grant, the city must take possession of your property before they can raze it? Only then can the property go to the Land Bank after which the city can be reimbursed. The city was never in possession of these properties, therefore they violated the owner’s Fourth Amendment (search and seizure) rights. The Butler County Auditor’s property records show that many of about 400 razed properties are still in the owners’ names, still accumulating taxes and fines assessed by the city (for DEMOLITION COST and perhaps for mowing by city contractors at 2.5 times their fee). These properties are approaching eventual foreclosure and auction for delinquent taxes plus fines levied by the city.

All of this is counter to our city’s recovery. This is DEMOLITION not revitalization. After razing about 400 properties Atkins wanted to build five better homes. Where are those new homes Adkins? Atkins speaks of replacing homes, but that has not and will not ever happen. So his plan is only about more destruction in our city. While other well managed cities in the country grow, expand and increase their tax base, our tax base shrinks and individual property taxes therefore increase..   Adkins wants to continue demolition and raise taxes again on the remaining overtaxed properties. This, along with his continually rising water rates, and his proposed more restrictive leases, will cause the loss of more residents, speeding up our downward spiral to the destruction of our city! How can council continue to IGNORE THE FACTS? Stop this insanity before it’s too late!

Quoted from the Journal News: “Housing drives many other issues in the city, according to Adkins.” That’s garbage! Better housing FOLLOWS not precedes good jobs, good schools, low taxes, low crime, and good amenities. If Middletown had all these attractions more working class people would want to locate here. With more owner occupied property and more pride in our community the housing problem would solve itself. Trying to solve Middletown’s problems through housing is insanely “cart before the horse.”.

PS. Quote from Journal News: “rental property in Middletown contributed to some of the city’s most serious crimes and accounted for at least 40 percent of eviction cases in 2016, according to City Manager Doug Adkins.” First, not the properties, but occupants of the properties contribute to serious crimes. And if rentals account for 40 percent of evictions what accounts for the other 60 percent of evictions? Are people being evicted from homes they own?

PPS. Most important … How can we reach the people who most need the information this forum provides? As a suggestion … what if each of our friends who have read this blog and who appreciate the messages would print out several copies to distribute wherever and whenever the subjects are brought up? Need feed back on this.

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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 26 2017 at 11:28pm
This is the million dollar question, my dear.......HOW?  I'm in but I'm only one person - well, the wife makes two...but we're gonna need MANY more.

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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 27 2017 at 7:32pm
"PPS. Most important … How can we reach the people who most need the information this forum provides? As a suggestion … what if each of our friends who have read this blog and who appreciate the messages would print out several copies to distribute wherever and whenever the subjects are brought up? Need feed back on this""

Suggestions:

Mass mail bumper sticker with "Got a computer? Type Middletown USA"

A mass mailed flyer to all Middletown residents explaining the existence and purpose of this site

A billboard

An ad taken out in the Journal telling the people this site exists

An ad on WLW radio

Is there a way to send some advertising via a Smart phone? Don't have one and am not tech savvy on them.

Calling Channel 5, 9 and 12 and advising them this site exists, that they should read the forum, realize there are problems in this city and that a city government/resident standoff exists in this city as to the direction the government wants to go as opposed to the direction the people want it to go. Might be newsworthy to at least one of the stations I would think.

Perhaps some negative news for the city outside it's borders will open their eyes......but, knowing them, they will probably ignore the bad press and label it, as they do everyone who disagrees with them, as "disgruntled".

The problem is, this city has been run so poorly for so long and has acquired such a bad reputation as an undesirable/ghetto mecca/you don't want to live there city of Butler County, it is now taken for granted that the city isn't worth the time to investigate why it is so bad. Sadly, this city has been written off by the surrounded cities as to a viable player in the region and one to be respected because it has been run into the ground by past and current city leaders. The boys and girls at city hall just don't get it do they.



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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Chief Muterspaw
Date Posted: May 28 2017 at 11:06am
As I read this, I just have to shake my head a bit. Ask the majority of cops and firemen who are actually in these homes daily and not just talking about it online what they think....

They'll tell you the same thing the Manager is saying. It needs demolished or changed. A lot of these houses are vacant, full of roaches and bedbugs,, holes in the floor, no water or electricity, full of nuisance and people not from Middletown, but from all over bought to us through government programs. The majority of your tax dollars in public safety are going to these areas.

There are probably over 100 policemen and firemen who will disagree with you and your stance on this. And they are the ones in these houses every day dealing with the issues. If we continue to just rehab houses that sell for $15-$20,000 we will continue to have landlords from other states who were never here and rent to anyone regardless of the situation. Right now we have landlords from literally many other states have never been in Middletown or seen the house other than online who are running to people from anywhere for hardly nothing and not taking care of these homes. For example everyone wants the Parway Inn on Verity to close and we are doing everything we can to make that happen but the owners are in New Jersey and could care less about the problems it is causing here. That seems to be the norm around here.

Instead of thinking there is some widespread conspiracy going on or still living in the past from the sins of our prior leaders why don't we just move forward and try to get along and clean or city up a bit?   Like I told those upstairs recently we are all paying for these bad decisions from leaders in the past. Housing is a huge issue for Public Safety and public works. There needs to be change whether people like it or not.



Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: May 28 2017 at 12:58pm
Correct, chief
Clean it up--quickly and efficiently
We can't change the past though we HAVE to shape the future properly
You may not like what they say, however NO ONE posting on musa was much involved in the decision-making that put us here.

Admin needs to show some love and restore pride in our core blue collar neighborhoods and retail centers.
You and I know what rampant theft and destruction has done to the business community outside of the Broad Streef holy ground.
Overwhelming 24/7--no off-days from it.

Keep doing your jobs
We all appreciate and respect the efforts
Many of us have lived and worked here for our entire lives
Admin and Journal News can say/print whatever smoke they choose--
We know how it really is because we are in the middle of it every day.

Quality millennial need to step forward to be involved
A complete change in elected officials and appointments
Balanced and representative

If we haven't learned from the past---
Some live , learn and adjust
Others just live


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 28 2017 at 4:51pm
Chief Muterspaw -

I have always maintained that Home Ownership promotion, targeted owner-occupied housing rehabilitation and an enhanced partnership with the private sector housing industry are three principal tools to help stem the tide of property disinvestment/neglect and an increasing percentage of renter-occupied housing units in Middletown.

It wasn't that long ago that nearly 300 potential first-time purchasers enrolled in Home Buyer Education classes sponsored by the former Community Development Division.  Concurrently, nearly 60 first-time home buyers were provided supplementary financing for down payment/closing cost assistance and moderate repairs (in a number of instances), also by the Community Development Division.

Today, the city has turned over its' home buyer education role.  It has also farmed out the down payment/closing cost assistance program.  Both of these key activities are now administered by a nearby area non-profit organization.

The jury is out insofar as the current priorities to undertake aggressive residential property demolition.  The same holds true for the high priority emphasis on aggressive housing code enforcement.  Is there a need for a more diversified plan of attack and the opportunity to apply for/procure additional matching funds to supplement CDBG and HOME resources?

Over the course of my career, I, too, have been in dilapidated residential properties on many, many occasions.  I understand what you say about roaches, bedbugs, other inhabitable conditions, squatters, etc.  The paramount issue is, do current city policies make sufficient headway in eradicating these conditions and serve to improve overall housing market dynamics?

Yes, significant tax dollars are spent annually for residential property demolition plus housing code enforcement staff.  Prior to my arrival with the city in early 2007, housing code enforcement responsibilities were handled by the Police Department.  At that time housing code enforcement activities were transferred to the Community Development Division who picked up a good chunk of the administrative costs out of CDBG funds.

I am puzzled by your comment following:  "If we continue to just rehab houses that sell for $15-$20,000 we will continue to have landlords from other states who were never here and rent to anyone regardless of the situation." I am unaware of any city rental rehab program dating back to 2000.  I hope that you meant to say that there's great potential in the city for first-time buyers to purchase the abundant number of very low cost homes.

I don't believe that the future is hopeless and that Middletown is on a continuous downward spiral.  Yes, fresh market-driven thinking is the order of the day.  There are many civic-minded housing professionals like Walter Leap and Paul Renwick who have real world expertise that should be considered in the development of the city's policies, plans and programs.

You have a challenging position and I have never read one derogatory comment about the Middletown Police Department.  I do not believe that there is some widespread conspiracy going on.  But, I do take issue with past wasteful spending practices and questionable program policies.

Thank you for your comments.

Nelson Self


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: May 28 2017 at 5:37pm
Chief: Thank you for your comment!

Yes, we need to change!!! But we need and want change that sets us on a new course which improves our condition. We still have to work to correct mistakes and avoid repeating them again and again. And we will need more than a little bit of cleaning up.

Yes, we can agree that many rental properties with absent and uncaring landlords (slum lords) are a MAJOR problem. And their tenants were brought here through government programs. SECTION 8! Speaking of government programs, did city hall think they could use government program funding to solve all of our budget woes??? Boy, that worked well!!! In the RECENT past, management of the HUD program was taken away due to GROSS MIS-management under Mr Adkins. I wonder how much it cost the city to keep city management from being held accountable for that???

AND our city management PAST AND PRESENT encouraged those government programs, CAUSING the influx of undesirable people such as drug addicts, who are also thieves that prey on the rest of us. I have heard that Hamilton encouraged their addicts and indigents to go to Middletown where they could easily hide. I have personally fallen prey to thieving drug addicts. How many good people have left this city due to these circumstances? I have given up trying to call the police to report repeated break-ins because their phone is answered with a recording.

Yes, there are homes (mostly rentals) that should be demolished under our nuisance ordinance. There is concern that much of the housing previously demolished and soon to be targeted to demolish, does not fit the nuisance description, but were (or will be) torn down for other reasons which we have recently pointed out. Adkins has described his target housing for demo as smaller, older homes, under $150,000. That describes about 90% of Middletowns’ homes. Homes in Middletown have much lower value due to the location. A similar home in Mason, Lebanon etc., might be worth 50 to 75% more. Adkins has failed to mention AT ALL the NUISANCE properties that Chief Muterspaw has described. I am unaware of any $15-20,000 housing that has been rehabbed. To my knowledge the city has provided little or no aid (or loans) to law abiding low income property owners in need of assistance for rehab of their homes even though those programs do exist.

The REALLY SERIOUS problem properties have NOT been targeted for demo!!! Adkins is blaming our LOCAL landlords, placing restrictions on them, requiring that they do background checks (how legal is that?) and trying to make them responsible for their inability to attract decent people as tenants. This will only cause more vacancies. (Will Adkins declare these vacancies abandoned and ripe for demo?) Why not put all this misplaced effort on ACTUALLY tearing down the Parkway Inn instead of continuing to complain about it for years?? Surely there is legal recourse for such problems.

This is not a declaration of conspiracy but a statement of the facts. There will be no improvement until there is real change and it must start with changes in city hall.



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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 28 2017 at 8:38pm
Whistler's Mom -

From mid 2007 through mid 2008, the Community Development Division formed a partnership with People Working Cooperatively (PWC) of Cincinnati that resulted in over $500,000 in funding for a lower-income owner-occupied housing rehab program.  The city provided $150,000 of HUD funds, PWC provided another $200,000 in labor, materials and capital, plus the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati provided the $150,000 balance via a Affordable Housing Program grant.  Approximately 100 home owners were assisted in remedying housing code violations, emergency repairs, etc. averaging $5,000.

Today, the city provides provides $50,000 in HUD funds and PWC allocates $50,000 annually.  The average amount of assistance now averages $1,000 per home owner.

When I was employed $500,000 plus was allocated for the low- to moderate-income home owner housing rehab program.  Additionally, another $150,000 was allocated for first-time home buyers purchasing homes that required rehab for loan commitment/closing purposes.  A couple of years back $500,000+ in the owner-occupied housing rehabilitation loan program revolving fund was diverted by city staff for even more residential property demolition.  The number now is reportedly 400 dwellings!!

Community Development Division staff established a relationship with the Greater Middletown Board of REALTORS then.  Paul Renwick, Board President and Walter Leap, Member Broker, both served as members of the former Community Development Advisory Committee that was UNFORTUNATELY disbanded by higher ranking city staff.

I am kept abreast by Vivian Moon and a couple of other concerned former target area home owners regarding demolitions in their respective neighborhoods.  They have raised valid questions regarding why some homes were bulldozed and others in worse condition were not.

It is time for Middletown to once again have a balanced offering of housing programs.  Much, much more emphasis needs to be directed to owner-occupied rehab and overall home ownership promotion that encourages both neighborhood residents and housing industry representatives to be meaningfully involved.  Without a partnership of some kind, the prevailing "city knows best" mentality will prevail.


Posted By: Chief Muterspaw
Date Posted: May 28 2017 at 10:20pm
All I'm saying is that we have a Manager and Council that cares. It hasn't always been that way. Give this administration a chance and let's all move forward together to improve this city. I will never convince you or get you to change your minds, not that I want to, but I know how us at the City building want positive change as much as you do. Give Doug a chance. He's working hard to clean it up. Have a great week...hope things are great for all of you.


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: May 29 2017 at 10:20am
Chief Muterspaw

Your sincere concern for our city has never been in doubt. This forum is trying to tell city hall how we feel and what we think about our city government. It’s expressed here because council has made it impossible to express our concerns publicly at council meetings. Opposing views and even discussion of alternative ideas falls on deaf ears. The City Manager has had total control of the city building and Council for the past two years. Doug has already had his chance and his plan has failed miserably. In this two year time frame, a minimum of revitalization has been almost exclusive to downtown. Monetary aid and favoritism has been bestowed on a chosen few. That chosen few have squandered the considerable funds and favors.

The nice newer businesses downtown offer only a few, low paying entry level jobs. I hope I’m wrong , but I doubt that many new downtown businesses can survive. Where and who are their clientele? The homeless drug addicts?? Now Doug wants to blame our problems on what HE perceives as housing shortfall … problems brought on by city MISmanagement. He is punishing small home owners whom the city could be helping by using available government programs. The pest infested, drug addict occupied, eyesores (that should have been among the 400 properties already razed) are still standing while the retiree who may be unable to mow his grass is harassed and fined out of existence.   Doug admits to tutoring council before meetings and they approve of anything he wants, like good little sheep.   Doug’s blatant MISmanagement was the cause of Middletown losing management and funding of HUD. He can not or will not see any point if view other than his own. WE may never convince HIM that his plan is taking us backward not forward or at best we are just marking time. He is repeating the previous administrations’ mistakes. THIS IS WHERE WE NEED TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE.

We need schools that perform academically. New buildings don’t educate the kids.    Our swimming pools are gone. Our beautiful golf course is gone.     AK Corporate is gone. AK Research is still here, just on the other side of town (no new jobs). None of the larger industrial businesses we lost have been replaced.   The city fought public outcry against welcoming the high polluting Sun Coke plant. We have increasing problems with drug addicts and dealers, thieves and prostitutes. And city hall keeps saying everything is just fine.                                                                                                                      

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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 29 2017 at 4:24pm
Chief Muterspaw -

I believe that Doug's concern for Middletown and desire to improve the city aren't  priority issues for many MUSA participants.

The above personal and professional commitments, however, are imperatives for any Community Revitalization Director or City Manager to succeed in the city.  An absence of either or both in a distressed community like Middletown would help foster:  questionable priorities and policies, lost or diminished revitalization accomplishments, stalled projects, re-developer favoritism, poor utilization of HUD and other taxpayer's funds, etc.,

Regarding community revitalization over the past eight years, MUSA participants have been closely following Doug's priorities, policies, plans and programs from a cost/benefit community betterment standpoint.  In a sense you might call this an unofficial performance evaluation.  Alternative policies, plans and programs have been presented herewith to help provide Doug and city council with other unsolicited revitalization approaches that aren't mostly focused on massive residential property demolition with accompanying aggressive housing code enforcement (especially in older neighborhoods).  

At this juncture in the city's history,, it''s uncertain as as to which priorities that Doug and city councilors conceive for short- and long-term community revitalization strategies.  It will be interesting to see their course of action from a budgetary and programmatic  perspective.  It remains my hope that enhanced and meaningful citizens participation would prevail over that of a "city hall knows best philosophy."

Thank you and your staff again for the services that you provide.

Nelson Self


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 29 2017 at 7:28pm
Originally posted by Chief Muterspaw Chief Muterspaw wrote:

All I'm saying is that we have a Manager and Council that cares. It hasn't always been that way. Give this administration a chance and let's all move forward together to improve this city. I will never convince you or get you to change your minds, not that I want to, but I know how us at the City building want positive change as much as you do. Give Doug a chance. He's working hard to clean it up. Have a great week...hope things are great for all of you.


Ok, Chief Muterspaw. I will issue a challenge to you. If, as you claim, council and the city manager care about the city, and are moving forward to improve the city, how about setting up a community meeting to form a dialogue between the city officials, including yourself, and the mainstream residents of this city. How about all council members, who seem very reluctant and non-existent here, participating along with the city manager and other department directors explain to us your gameplan and, more importantly, actually letting us respond with no time limits as is in the council meeting format. Three minutes is usually not enough time to get you points across.

As to the comment that Adkins is working hard, I have a response. It is one thing to work hard. Nothing wrong with that. But, if one works hard with the wrong focus and the wrong direction, the hard work is wasted and does not benefit the city. Like the schools, not enough progress over these many decades has been made, even with the most laid back effort. The city leaders have been dragging a-- for decades as to viable city progress.

The HUD program, from the start, was not the proper focus nor the correct direction. It has devastated the city while targeting low income, crime and city image. The removal and the non replacement of the street repair funds from the 80's are the wrong focus and direction. The removal of blighted homes in the city, leaving empty lots, rather than rebuilding on the demolished lots is the wrong focus and direction. The practice gives an abandoned look to certain parts of the city. The taxpayer millions spent on the downtown dream for an arts mecca is the wrong focus and direction, particularly in a blue collar city like Middletown . The buying of real estate, using taxpayer money, for hundreds of thousands of dollars and then giving the building away to the friends of the city for a buck is the wrong focus and direction. Etc. Etc. There is a pattern here of ignoring the basics and concentrating on the last things this city needs at this point. All the projects now, especially in the downtown area, is ill timed. The downtown project should have been started when the basics were in place. The foundation of this city is crumbling and your city leaders want to make the downtown a showplace. Exactly bass-ackwards. Basics first. Mr. Adkins......Basics first. Roads, sewers, bridges, fire and police service. Let the dam downtown develop through the private sector. No city involvement at all. It is rather obvious, based on all the city screw up attempts, that the city doesn't have a clue how to deal in real estate.

We will be awaiting a city sanctioned community meeting announcement with city officials and the people as the participants.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 7:55am
Ok Chief, the story in the newspaper this morning involving the murder and shooting at the bar on Elliot demonstrates my frustration and I'm sure yours as well. I would imagine much of this is from outside influences brought to this city caused by the environment the city leaders have created. The bad guys are not confined to Middletown people alone.

THIS is exactly what I'm talking about when I mention the ghetto creating environment the city leaders have created here. When they lured this segment of society to this town, they also brought in the residuals like higher crime, more drugs and other criminal activity that keeps your police department overwhelmed and undermanned. THIS is difficult to see when you compare it to what the city was and what the city could have been without the need for federal dollars as revenue. The city leaders could have done it the right way by luring companies creating jobs and the tax money collected from that source instead but they chose to ghetto-up the town. THIS is why I blame the so-called city leaders for the malaise in this town. It falls directly on their shoulders. You can't defend ignorant leadership and you certainly can't defend incompetence. When things like this happen, it lessens the claim by city leaders that the city is improving doesn't it. Between the murders and the pharmacy robberies lately, the city is going in the wrong direction. Is this the best we can do as to attracting quality people to our town or has the bar been lowered as to what we will tolerate and accept here? In the meantime, the city image takes another hit as to attracting decent residents.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Chief Muterspaw
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 8:07am
I think the point you are all missing is this...

We are paying for the sins of past poor leadership. I'm not afraid to say it. When we brought all those vouchers in, it created a nightmare for us. The current administration and leadership did not do this regardless of what is going on. More than half of our major crimes seem to be by people who originally are from other cities or states, including last night.

Nobody in the city building or council now brought this here. Others who are long gone did. The City leaders now are trying to clean up someone else's mess. You mentioned I cannot defend poor leadership. No I can't. But I can tell you the leadership the brought all of this into the city is gone and has been for a while.

That's pretty much where we are at in a nutshell. Like I said I'm never going to convince you of that. Nobody is more sick of dealing with that then our police officers and firefighters I can tell you that.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 8:51am
It is OUR mess unfortunately
At this point it doesn't matter who or when or why it is here
If you live here and/or operate a business here, you are aware and see it every day

Keep the heat on the thugs, thieves and violence--whatever it takes
Also on the bars and shops where you know that they do their thing--you can pressure these businesses and cause them to leave

Maybe have officers stop in popular local businesses to talk to owners/managers about exactly what and who are the concerns--once these businesses have had enough and leave, it is too late.

Admin should PROMOTE organizations like our former Central Ave Businesswatch instead of pretending that they don't exist and hoping that they eventually and quietly go away(it did!) Police involvement was outstanding there, and the business owners were beyond appreciative.
Admin?--not so much--why??

Where is our Chamber and what are they saying??

We have resource officers in the schools---remove the troublemakers and charge both their parents and them appropriately. Show everyone that you(and WE) are very serious.

Turn Middletown in to the LAST place the junkies thieves and thugs want to be located. Eventually the stores and quality of life amenities will return. Until then......

And maybe don't worry as much about what is said here----there is truth in what most are saying---we just need to fix it now.


Posted By: Chief Muterspaw
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 10:13am
Already doing most of that...

If it was that easy to get everyone on board it would've happened already. You know that. Have a great week.


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 11:07am
SpiderJohn -

Question 1:  Is it prudent for Mr. Adkins to continue his priorities, policies, plans and programs of the past eight years to address Middletown's most urgent community betterment needs in both the short and longer term?

Question 2:   Are there other sustainable, cost-efficient, results-oriented approaches to economic development (job creation), "downtown" commercial and neighborhood revitalization (housing) to be given serious consideration by Mr. Adkins? 

Question 3:  Is there value in Mr. Adkins accomplishing the "meaningful ongoing involvement" of the private sector (business owners, former target area residents, mortgage bankers, REALTORS, urban redevelopers, etc.) in jointly assessing and addressing current market deficiencies in Middletown?

Middletown is at a crossroads.  Fresh thinking is the order of the day.

Nelson Self


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 11:16am
Chief

The point that you may be missing is that the past poor leadership has been replaced with more poor leadership.

Section 8 housing was, at first, under control for a few years. Until Nelson Self was pushed out, the program was a plus for Middletown. But the (then) admin decided to to ignore the rules and misuse the program in ways that should never have happened. DOUG THEN KNOWINGLY CONTINUED THE MISUSE.   The current admin IS NOT BLAMELESS. It’s agreed, the resulting problems certainly are a heavy price to pay by ALL of us.

The victims of the drug dealers and addicted thieves pay the heaviest. Our police pay too. But a lot of them are not residents of Middletown and they can go home to get away from the “nightmare” when off duty, our beleaguered resident victims have to live with it.

Too continue … the loss of our golf course, Sebald Park, Bicentenial Commons all occured under the current admin!!! The failed attempt to revitalize downtown has drained the city coffers … all current admin!!!

Note has been taken that VietVet’s challenge to you for a community meeting has been duly ignored.

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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: Chief Muterspaw
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 11:54am
Here you go. Tuesday, June 13 at Java Johnny's at 6 PM. I will have some of our staff with me there to answer all of your questions. It is after work hours and a few weeks away so plenty of time for you to plan to show up.

Since I have been chief we have spoken at, presented, paneled or forumed at over 90 events or sit downs. We do this all the time and this is nothing new. This is a chance for you to come voice your concerns to me directly regarding police activities and I will be more than happy to answer all of your questions straightforward and without fail.

I hope to see you all there so we can put faces with names and not communicate over a keyboard, which is so much easier to do than in person. Face to face personal communication and interaction is where it is at.

See you then


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 1:16pm
Thank you for the response Chief. Refreshing approach. Was hoping by now that the city manager would have done this in a community gathering rather than a one on one as he suggested. The one on one would allow Mr. Adkins to target individuals and would have never worked due to the trust factor.

By staff, do you plan on bringing just your police department staff or staff from the city building? Are you planning to invite the city manager and the council members as well?

Will it be an open forum where any question will be fielded or are there boundaries as to the questions asked?

You can associate a name to the person at the meeting but I doubt the link will be there to associate a face to a screen name here. Too incriminating.Vindictivefactorenters the picture. There is still an adversarial posture between the city officials and the MUSA participants on certain occasions.

An opportunity to ask questions to city officials is all we ask. A fair honest answer is all we expect. A common ground ending with understanding from both sides is all we can hope for.

Appreciate this. A tad bit disappointed that it didn't come from the city manager himself in this manner but the police chief has made the offer instead.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Chief Muterspaw
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 1:26pm
Vet, I am an extension of the city manager and I work for him. I will tell you that he is never shied away from meeting with anyone and he has participated in many community forums over the last two years with the police department. I don't know what his schedule is and I know he is busy like we are. Good to connect with you again, I do remember you from across the street and you were always pleasant to talk to.

I can't speak on behalf of him or council if they will be there or not but I will make sure staff from the police department is there. I simply made the offer only because I know that there are a lot of questions about what we do and how we are doing things. I will be more than happy to answer what I can and so will the people I am bringing.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 1:48pm
[QUOTE=Analytical] SpiderJohn -

Question 1:  Is it prudent for Mr. Adkins to continue his priorities, policies, plans and programs of the past eight years to address Middletown's most urgent community betterment needs in both the short and longer term?


I don't know. Often I feel that we are so deep into a plan that we refuse to adjust or change course. I have different priorities, yet I am not a decision-maker.

Question 2:   Are there other sustainable, cost-efficient, results-oriented approaches to economic development (job creation), "downtown" commercial and neighborhood revitalization (housing) to be given serious consideration by Mr. Adkins? 


Obviously the answer is "YES". I would imagine alternatives/modifications to be considered, though flexibility does not seem to be a strong consideration in Admin.

Question 3:  Is there value in Mr. Adkins accomplishing the "meaningful ongoing involvement" of the private sector (business owners, former target area residents, mortgage bankers, REALTORS, urban redevelopers, etc.) in jointly assessing and addressing current market deficiencies in Middletown?


Obviously "YES" again. A broad mix of opinions and unity behind decisions would go a long way towards putting more on board and on the same page to our basic community goals.

Chief--I admire your activity here, and have confidence in your dept.and you. I also hold faith in Mr.A to eventually get it right. I can vouch that he listens and responds. We simply can't agree on some of the method. Time will tell, just who has fell and who'se been left behind----when you go your way and I go mine.....(Dylan quote)

A meeting with only police is a kind gesture. I expect most ?s would be towards Admin and Council. If they aren't represented by both body and mind, I don't see the purpose.....


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 2:03pm
I have many more questions to ask the city manager and the councilmembers than I do the police department and their operations and agendas. IMO, the police and fire departments are some of the bright spots in this city. Have used the medics on numerous occasions for my wife's trips to Atrium. Excellent service and compassion. Heck, the police even called my house one night to remind me to shut the garage door I forgot to close. Excellent vigilance from your officers. I also called 911 to report a suspicious person looking into cars in the neighborhood one night. Two cruisers showed up in a matter of minutes. Great response from your department Chief. If the city building's operations and effectiveness were half as good as the police and fire operations, we wouldn't be having these "altercations/discussions/arguments" between the city, their supporters and MUSA.

While we are on the subject of who will be attending, I'd like to make a formal request that, if time allows, Mr. Adkins and at least three of the five council people show up for this. Otherwise, there may be a lot missing as to fulfillment from many on the limitations in asking questions and receiving thorough answers.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 2:31pm
Anybody on this board who doesn't attend Chief Muterspaw's little get together is a complete hypocrite.  There....I said it.

Sure - I'd love to make demands all over the place that Mr. Adkins and the council must show before I will - but let's face it.  After reading everything here - I would assume that they believe they would be walking in to a pretty hostile environment.

The way to get the council and Mr. Adkins, et. al., to appear at a proper public forum is.....well, baby steps.

Look - all of us here must go to this event and meet and greet the Chief and his staff and whomever shows for the event.  We need to listen, participate, talk, thank and criticize - and do it peacefully and on an even keel - then I bet you might find some more willingness from the powers that be to sit down and talk at another date.

Look guys - it takes time to build a village.  It takes far longer to re-build a village.  I think this is a great first step.  The Chief (I know much of his family and have met him in a past-life) is not the kind of person who is going to be vindictive toward any individual over their opinion about any given matter.  Seriously.

I put the date on my calendar, and I encourage everyone here to do the very same.  You can't say you want change - and then balk at the very first change that is made......

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 2:58pm
buddalite:

"Sure - I'd love to make demands all over the place that Mr. Adkins and the council must show before I will"

Whoa, wait a minute buddhalite!!! I never "demanded" anything. If you will read my post again. I said I'd like to make a formal request, which is far different than a demand. We have no power to demand anything on this forum or as citizens......unless we have overwhelming numbers as clout and recall them as a consequence.

And, I never said I wouldn't show if Adkins and council didn't show. You are embellishing what was actually said, which happens quite often here, especially from the pro-city/pro-Adkins crowd. They like to twist what is actually said here too.

buddalite:

"The way to get the council and Mr. Adkins, et. al., to appear at a proper public forum is.....well, baby steps."

On the other hand, council, whom the people placed and paid for in that position in the first place and is suppose to represent the people but never do, and the city manager, hired and paid for indirectly by the people through the council, in representing the people, are suppose to listen to the wants and wishes of the people and execute. The city manager and council are NOT suppose to just go their merry way and create their own agenda and ignore the people in doing so.

That's the perfect world as opposed to the way it works at all levels of government. Once elected, they ignore the people who put them there. It is happening here.

buddalite:

"You can't say you want change - and then balk at the very first change that is made"

True

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 3:31pm
Okay Vet,

Excuse me for simply reiterating what was IMPLIED by your post.  I meant no offense - but you did kinda slap the Chief instead of engaging and taking the first step.

See - here's the second problem in Middletown.  You and I should be on the same side, my friend.  I'm not mad at you - I stand by my words.  If you don't attend over some bull about the right people not being there, you're not helping  - you're not helping.

See - the problem today is we're not helping.  Look, I can lead a horse to water but you know - I've tried it - I can't make that horse drink.  What we've done thus far here is find a concerned citizen who happens to be part of the local government - who is willing to listen, willing to accept criticism, willing to accept solutions (not just complaints) and the first thing we do is knock him down?

Either we are part of the solution or we're not.  I want to be part of the solution.  This is step #1 - if you don't go through with it with an open mind and heart - forget the whole thing - you'll never be part of the solution.

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 4:30pm
First, I find it both commendable and proactive for Chief Muterspaw and his officers to plan to meet with the public on June 13th.  This opportunity for interactive dialogue should benefit all attendees and the city as a whole.

To me, the real opportunity though is for Mr. Adkins to host and participate in a "Community Betterment Forum."  Such an event would empower citizens to obtain insight regarding city priorities, policies, plans and programs.  It would also provide a now mostly non-existent vehicle for the public to voice their opinions on the status of "downtown" ventures, older neighborhood activities (massive residential demolition and aggressive code enforcement) plus consideration of best practices "alternative approaches" to improve market conditions of a distressed city like Middletown.

For some time now Middletown has had a nominal citizen participation process when it comes to housing and community development issues.  The aforementioned forum would be a good starting point for city staff to foster a badly needed private-public partnership.

Please give this some thought, Doug.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 4:40pm
Analytical,

I agree with your sentiments regarding the Chief and his officers.  Certainly a great chance to make something happen in Middletown.

Let's give Mr. Adkins a chance to see how this one goes.  I'll bet that if this one goes well, he'll be a lot more apt to participate in future forums.  I don't think it realistic to assume that Mr. Adkins would ever jump info a public forum like we'd all want to see - until he knows that people will be civil, that the discussion will be solution oriented - and you gotta remember - we've (and yes, I said 'we' because I have done it too) been pretty rough on him over time - and he's going to be reluctant to participate in anything related to this forum.

At  least I would be....

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: May 30 2017 at 5:42pm
nbd
the JJ meeting is a good thing
open gesture for public concerns
they will listen and understand--it will be informative
Dept is here for the entire community
attendance is mandatory??


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 31 2017 at 9:36am
buddhalite, spiderjohn, VietVet, Vivian Moon, Whistler'sMom, Mike Presta, etc. -

In closing, how many additional "chances" do Mr. Adkins and city council deserve?  Were millions in taxpayer funds really "invested" for highest and best uses on "downtown" and neighborhood betterment programs?  What has/hasn't happened over the past eight years to successfully address and help remedy so many issues?  And, as per Mr. Adkins, is Section 8 far less of an issue in Middletown because the number of vouchers is purportedly only 850 plus?

The days of HUD "manna from heaven" are over.  Were does Mr. Adkins and city council anticipate finding millions in additional "gap financing" capital to complete stalled projects or to begin others that are contemplated (Studio Theater, etc.)?

The time is now for Mr. Adkins to participate in an on-going substantive dialogue with concerned citizens, local business people, residential and commercial real estate professionals, urban re-developers, mortgage bankers, etc.  Middletown can ill afford eight more years of lost opportunities like the past.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 31 2017 at 2:18pm
Analytical,

If you ask me - and you didn't but I don't care - part of the reason that this forum is simply known as the muckrakers of Middletown is that there seems to be an attitude here of 'throw 'em all out - that'll teach 'em!'

You can decide for yourself if that is the way things should happen - but in the real world - things don't always work that way.  You are far more likely to find some common ground, work with people, develop solutions that everyone can live with and work toward your goal.

I refuse to take pot shots at anyone.  I agree that there seems to be a desire by council, et. al., to retain certain city employees in certain jobs whom we might all agree here have failed the city.

Now - where I think the dividing line is....do I really think Mr. Adkins, Mayor Mulligan, Council, etc.....really aimed to hurt our fair city with the policies they have developed and pursued?

I think not.  No one would do such a thing.

The way to fix what is wrong is to take the steps we are taking, work with those in office - show them in a calm collective manner what we think can happen with our city - give them the opportunity to work with us in a professional manner.....

Two outcomes are possible:

1. The powers listen, hear and take to heart the solutions presented.  They change/modify policy and begin to create the community we are looking for.  We have elections - their records stand  - and if they remain, they know they did right.  If not - well, they know what they should have done.  Either way - we get closer with each forum, each meeting, each election to a better, renewed Middletown.

2. They don't listen - and we take it to the streets and use whatever methods we can to replace them.

It's really that simple.  The issue is that as I read back several years here and newspaper articles and such - there's none of this being tried.  There's definitely a lot of complaining - but the community isn't engaged or even the least bit involved.  

That's why I think this is a great first step.  I encourage you to come and be a part of this event - I'm working right now to find a way to bolster this effort and really get a great turnout at the event.  Plus, Analytical, the more people that get involved and come to the forum - the more likely the council, Mayor and even Mr. Adkins are likely to attend....

So - to everyone - let's get involved.  Let's get this out there to the people....

BTW - can someone tell me who 'owns' middletownusa.com - I want to speak with him/her soon....

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: May 31 2017 at 3:02pm
The more constructive people attending, the better for everyone and more heat on Admin/Council if they choose not to attend or ignore the event.

Public Safety and Admin people don't like being stereotyped and don't all think alike any more than those here posting. We are all individuals and should be looked at similarly.
Approach the gathering with a positive open mind, dedicated to improving dialogue and actions from everyone.

Could be a very positive lead in to the summer!!


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: May 31 2017 at 6:15pm
BuddHalite -

Muckraker Meaning "one who inquires into and publishes scandal and allegations of corruption among political and business leaders," popularized 1906 in speech by President Theodore Roosevelt, in reference to "man ... with a Muckrake in his hand" in Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" (1684) who seeks worldly gain by raking filth.

Allegations of corruption and scandal are not the issues of concern.  Debatable, ineffective priorities, policies plans and programs are.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: May 31 2017 at 11:42pm
See - this is exactly why this forum has left a bad taste in people's mouths.....

I used a word (and if you read the context in which I said it - it was used correctly, but I digress....) that someone can latch onto and then obfuscate the entire point of my post.  FWIW - *I* didn't call this muckraking - SOMEONE ELSE DID - it was their opinion and after reading years of posts here - I understand their point of view.

Argh.  I give up.  I'm going to do my best to ensure that this forum isn't just a bunch of complaints - but a place where the people and the leaders of our fair city can come and offer/discuss possible SOLUTIONS to the issues - not just complain.

Hope to see all of you on the 13th.

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 01 2017 at 10:54am
buddhalite:

"See - this is exactly why this forum has left a bad taste in people's mouths....."

Why, because it questions what the leaders are doing? It brings to the attention what the public should know about their city government? It highlights the policies and practices that has done harm to the city? It creates an information vehicle that provides news that the puppets at the Journal never publish because it is too controversial? It tells the truth rather than embellishing the city propaganda?

buddhalite:

"Argh. I give up. I'm going to do my best to ensure that this forum isn't just a bunch of complaints - but a place where the people and the leaders of our fair city can come and offer/discuss possible SOLUTIONS to the issues - not just complain."

So, referring to the new school buildings (see one of your earlier posts in this discussion) as "putting lipstick on a pig" is your way to ensure that this forum isn't a bunch of complaints? Couldn't this be construed as being an adversarial comment to the school folks? Reread some of your earlier comments. Sounds as if you have now jumped to the other side of the fence supporting the city leaders from where you started and are now criticizing what you once did before your perceived city supporting conversion.

Many "complaints" have been justified with actual data if you read back through this site. Pick a topic and you are bound to find some supporting data that backs claims made here. Vivian Moon and Mike Presta are our main researchers here.

This forum has been here awhile. All of a sudden we have captured the interest of the city manager and the police chief. Before they entered the fray, we had the attention of the former school board president, Ms. Marcia Andrew, who has apparently stopped participating. Not a word from the new board president Urso as yet. Never have heard from Mulligan nor the city council or school board members either.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 01 2017 at 11:19am
I'm guilty of it too - however I have made a concerted effort here to provide solutions and a pathway to success - not just complain.  Large difference.  I think that getting council and city employees involved is tremendous step forward.

Secondly - I've not jumped any fences - I am firmly against the actions taken by the city in regards to the topics we've all been debating.  But - I am a realist.  I live in the real world - not some fantasy dimension where everyone believes that we can just rise up and slay them like we're in Braveheart.

The reality we have to face is that it won't happen that way - it never happens that way anywhere.  If it did, Trump would have implemented everything in his agenda already and he'd be looking for an exit.  But that's not the real world.  Plus we have to realize that there are people in this city who like what the council, et. al., are doing!  That being said - we have to learn to work within some of the existing framework to achieve our goals.

Yes, it's easy to get on here and complain for the sake of complaining ( of which we all are guilty ) but it is time to wake up and be the adults in the room and find ways to accomplish what we'd like to see with our fair city - and not be the ones who are putting the proverbial lipstick on the pig by constantly looking for the pie in the sky when there's a slice being served up at the dinner table.

Oh yeah, and we need to stop eating our own - it is a shameful and useless display that only serves to bolster the other side.

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: Jun 01 2017 at 7:42pm
Buddhalite,

As the chief said, he has held or attended similar meets to the one he has proposed. Most were limited to fire/police concerns and were in small venues with limited attendance. This is in no way derogatory to the efforts put forth to make those meets happen. However, if the proposed meet at Java Johnny’s goes unadvertised and is known only to the few who are involved on this board, it seems likely that both factions will be preaching to a very small choir … again. Hope not, but we could be spinning our wheels.

In other words, this “first step” has been taken repeatedly and ended with no plans to go further. Vet’s request was for much more. No disrespect is meant toward Chief Muterspaw, but … A larger venue and attendance by at least some from city hall and council would lead to better opportunity for meaningful discussion. Yes, getting involved and informing as many more people as possible would increase our chances of making positive change … all of us want that, right? “Friend”, best of luck on making it happen in the “real world”!

Buddha, you have not been around to witness the city’s very real harassment of those with differing opinions and who truly have tried to calmly reason with them. City council meetings allow 3 minute comments by citizens IF you notify before hand. And you have not been here to see how, in meetings, council consistently dismisses virtually all complaints and suggestions. Actually, the preoccupied council probably didn’t hear a word that was said. There is no feed back from council and with a cursory “thank you for your comments” that’s the end of it. It’s just that simple. That’s a just ignore ‘em, that’ll teach ‘em attitude.

After the public is treated with such disdain, no wonder they are apathetic.   Every time we elect, to council, someone with new ideas, if they do not fall in line, council gets rid of them (harassment style). City hall has made it clear for years … they know everything and we know nothing. That attitude seems set in concrete, and IS harming our city and our ability to have meaningful communication whether that is “their aim” or not. The adverse effects of that are staring us in the face all over town.
Over the past 30 years OUR CONCERTED EFFORTS failed to get the MANY COUNCILS to listen to the citizens’ POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS, leaving us the last resort … complaining! If you can’t work with them, for the sake of our city, the only recourse is to replace them.

Your supposed reuse (a pot shot by proxy) of muckrakers as a description of some on this forum, has to be in reference to city hall since that is the main focus here. If city hall doesn’t like having their muck raked then they should stop making muck. It would be interesting to know your source of initial use of the muckraker description. BTW … this is the first time I have heard of it. Was it on this blog?

Also, Vet is right, the vindictive factor does enter the picture. If this meet is limited to a few people, such a small group from MUSA would be very vulnerable to city scrutiny and subsequent harassment. So small a group is nearly the same as the one-on-one that Doug has offered several times and which is viewed as a “hostile environment”. In previous meetings, names and addresses were requested from anyone who wanted to ask questions. Dissenters can then be singled out for possible unfriendly persuasion. If you (Buddha) were the recipient of some manipulative or vindictive city tactics (hopefully this will never happen to you), you might understand why some discussions about city management are less than complimentary.

Perhaps Doug’s reluctance to be involved herewith is because, in any public forum, he might be confronted about the harassment coming out of city hall. Or he may not feel confident about fielding unrehearsed questions. Seems he prefers total control, like how he controls council meetings where he admits he has everything pre-programmed. Is this why HE COMPLAINS that we are not being civil with him? It seems to me that Doug has sent the Chief to take the flak for him and so will side step having to attend a meet.

Even with all this said, we must still keep trying and take any positive gesture from city hall into account. It’s a shame that we must do so with so much caution. It goes without saying … these days nothing involving government from national to local level is easy. Correction of so much nonsense in government could start at the local level and work up. Let’s show them that we will take a stand.

City hall needs to treat their citizens with the same respect that they expect and require from us. And that means we should have freedom of speech to express opposing ideas (that just might be of use) to a city government of the people, by the people, for ALL the people, not just the people in power. City hall is holding tight to it’s own lipstick adorned pet pig downtown …. “pie in the sky” which has been heretofore force fed to the general public. I expect that this will leave a “bad taste in peoples’ mouths.”

Vet … You have their attention. Stay strong!!

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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 01 2017 at 8:02pm
Well ok then Whistlers' Mom - 

Screw it.  I have a corporate sponsor lined up, who was going to provide all kinds of stuff for this event - but you scared him off.

And - you scared me off.  You know - I'm not going to sit here and be berated simply because I am a realist.

You can do whatever you want.  I will be there on the 13th - and I'm personally petitioning ALL of the city leaders to join us - and you can sit your rear end at home being afraid of somehow being maligned by the powers that be.

They'd never do that in a public forum - they've got more class than that.  Sorry you don't feel that way.

Oh well - this could have been a big deal - but I guess since y'all all pooped on the party long before it happened - screw it.  I've got better things to spend my time on - oh yeah - and my money.

For those brave enough to give 'em another chance - see you on the 13th at an underfunded, under-organized event.  

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 01 2017 at 8:07pm
Furthermore - I'm not the least bit scared of anyone at city hall.  What are they going to do?  Cut off my water and sewer because they don't like something I said?!?!?!?  Argh.

I don't care what people think of me.  Period.  Everyone here should try to do the same.

Yes - they're gonna ask for name and address - no one from outside Middletown should be participating in something in which they have no stake.

There's just so much wrong with your words Whistler - I don't have time to deal with it all. 

All I want is for our fair community to get JOBS back here - so that we can afford to fix the rest of the city's problems.  There's a lot each of us can do to make that happen - and worrying about backlash from city hall should be the least of our concerns.

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jun 01 2017 at 8:19pm
Come on people
It's not a big deal
Kind gesture by the Chief to take on whatever is thrown his way
He can take it--will listen and give an honest answer
Quit acting like you will be blacklisted if you complain or attack---it isn't going to happen. Try being constructive and positive. Don't put whomever on Defense for the short time(JJ closes @ 7pm).
Ask real ?s that can be honestly answered, and they will be honestly answered.
Wouldn't be surprised if Mr.A shows(is it a Council Tuesday?)--he is an honestly open person imo.

Not the first time for this type of thing--used to happen regularly.
It will be what the attendees make it to be.
Hopefully no one tries to dominate and everyone gets a turn.....

Corporate sponsor to do what???
Just buy a coffee, sandwich or dessert---support the host!!


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 01 2017 at 9:06pm
FYI - the corporate sponsor was going to pay for flyers and social media promotion and such - but no more.

The only way to get the word out is to spend a little money.  I'm willing to put some personal dollars in it - but we really need some money to make something happen.

I have no idea about the venue-gonna check it out tomorrow AM.  We may need sound system and stuff - it all takes cash.

We need a moderator and and agenda - I'll volunteer to do it all - but this won't be successful if half the board is pooping on the idea before it ever hits the ground.

Bob

FYI - I've been trying to get the owner of the site to contact me via PM or any possible way - and I wish they would.  I'd like to use their 


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: Chief Muterspaw
Date Posted: Jun 02 2017 at 8:34am


Come on, really?

The Manager sends me so he don't have to answer hard questions? Seriously? The Manager didn't even know I was doing this. Like I said we've done this at over 90 things total since I became chief. This is nothing new. I have spoken in front of 200 people and I've spoken in front of two or three. This is nothing difficult for us. And if you think Doug Adkins has problems handling tough questions, then you don't know him very well.

These conspiracy theories are really over-the-top. Please don't speculate and come up with these theories on your own without merit. My goodness. We will be there regardless if there's one person or whatever there. Try to come with an open mind and if you don't want to come that's fine too. We will just move onto the next one.



Posted By: middiemom
Date Posted: Jun 02 2017 at 11:53pm
Chief,

                 You have made a huge mistake posting on this website. Just ask Mr. Adkins. No matter what you say or propose on this site it will be met with automatic criticism, negativity, and reminiscing about times past.  They will never let go of past poor decision making by past councils and will continue to throw it in your face. You are truly wasting your breath. Spider, Buddah, and maybe a couple of others are the only ones that are willing to forget past sins of previous administrations and focus on the current problems and try to solve them. NO WAY any of the others show up to your forum. They enjoy the anonymity that their keyboards provide. They would never dare act like this face to face. Never. You can talk about solutions to problems until you are blue in the face and your proposals will be met with ramblings about the past, people being fired by previous administrations, conspiracy theories, and cover ups. It truly is amazing. Do yourself a favor delete your account.    reaction arrested development mistake will arnett gob GIF





-------------
Middletown... Bright past BRIGHTER FUTURE!!!


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: Jun 03 2017 at 7:09am
Chief

First, sincere appreciation of your offer to arrange to meet with and listen to concerned citizens has been expressed repeatedly by the several participants here on this forum. Middiemom’s suggestion that you have made a mistake by joining this forum … hopefully, you will not take seriously. Everyone else has encouraged you!! Every wish for a productive outcome!

Second, some of the matters of concern which we wish to address go beyond the police department’s scope and need to be addressed by city hall. Doug Adkins has not, PAST OR PRESENT, offered significant opportunities for citizens to ask questions, offer alternative solutions or express concerns, Why is that? People quit trying to speak at council meetings because their questions and comments are pointedly and consistently ignored. So now, we are considered apathetic for lack of participation!!! Catch 22.

Doug is NOT willing to modify his plan. A plan which the public has not seen. There have been requests for copies of his plan to no avail. It’s hard to converse about a ghostly plan. I wonder if Council is working in the dark too.

One opposing comment made to Doug’s City Managers Blog, that did get posted, has since been edited out. And all subsequent opposing comments have been rejected and never posted. The only comments that Doug allows are brief, superlative complements, like … Wow!! Good job!


Middiemom

Forgiving past sins would be a lot easier if history were not repeating itself time after time.

It’s sad that in order to be able to air critical comments, or even have suggestions heard and considered, has to be done behind a keyboard for fear of reprisal. There are a number of people who have gone silent in order to avoid harassment. That is past and present too. And we don’t know who you are.



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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: middiemom
Date Posted: Jun 03 2017 at 9:10am
Correct me if I wrong but , Doug has repeatedly agreed to meet with you all and NO ONE has taken him up on it. No one. I'm telling you, Chief you are seriously wasting your time on this forum. It's great that you are willing to meet with the community . Talking with those people that will show up is a great idea. However, you really are seriously wasting your time on this forum. Whistlersmom just proved my earlier point. "Reprisals"? What reprisals? Is Doug going to come to your house in the dark of night and Pull you out of your bed and lock you up? Will the fire department not respond to your 911 calls? Do any of you know anyone that has asked a legitimate fact based question of city council or the chief and has been the victim of a "reprisal"? I'm telling you, Chief, I'd just stop posting on this forum you'll thank me for it.   

-------------
Middletown... Bright past BRIGHTER FUTURE!!!


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: Jun 03 2017 at 10:42am
Middiemom

Your post proves my point. Doug has offered to a few of his detractors on this forum, ONE ON ONE MEETINGS out of public earshot. Why one on one? The questions to be discussed were of public interest and not at all private. Having an individuals identity will make it easy to CONTROL them.

Pressure has been brought to bear on individuals who expressed dissent and the proof of that is on this blog if you take the time to read it. Most of the pressure has been applied through the misuse of city nuisance ordinance. Very minor things like peeling paint on gutters. In one instance, the gutter was painted by the lady who owned the home (she had expressed, on this blog, some concerns about the city which were not well received). But the city was not satisfied and demanded that she have the painting redone using one of a list of their contractors which they supplied to her. Put yourself in her place. Don’t you suppose she did the painting herself because she could not afford to pay to have it done?

The city doesn’t need the dark of night to get to you. This forum allows us to be a part of the solution by voicing an opinion without fear of harassment.

-------------
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 03 2017 at 2:05pm
Wow Middiemom - I don't know about you, but if Mr. Adkins offered me a personal meeting - I'd take it.  It's far easier to bend someone's ear in private than in public.  

But in any case - part of being 'someone' in the community and trying to push new ideas and such requires THICK SKIN.

For the lady with peeling gutters - let's make a public case of it - let's get names and addresses and hold people accountable for their actions!  If it is true - and can be verified - hey - I guarantee my friends at Cox media's properties will print, publish and air any kind of corruption like that.

I can tell you that my real name is attached to my profile on this forum - and I don't say anything that I can't back up, that I can't defend - and therefore I am afraid of no one - and oh yeah - a 2 second google search will reveal my address.

This is getting out of hand.  I support my leaders - regardless of my agreement/disagreement with them.  If there's wrong doing, I'm the type who doesn't stand down in those situations.  If nothing is wrong - I work with them and within their framework to change things.  That's the order of the world - you can't change that.  

Sure - elections matter - but until then - and that's assuming you get your way in the elections (which you obviously haven't been) - you have to work with them - not against them.  You've been working against - and it has gotten you NOWHERE.

Time for a new approach.

Bob


-------------
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 03 2017 at 3:09pm
middiemom:

"You have made a huge mistake posting on this website."

Then why do you continue to do so mom?

middiemom:

"They will never let go of past poor decision making by past councils and will continue to throw it in your face"

THAT ONE FACTOR has made Middletown what it is today and is one of the most dominant reasons why there is so much anger and resentment toward city leaders. It is not easily forgotten about and has resulted in decades of downward progression for the town as well as the schools. It is the singular most devastating occurrence that has done the most damage to this once great city. It is not easily forgiven and may never be by we who have seen our hometown devastated by uncaring Middletown born councilmembers as well as outsiders who didn't have a clue about what this city was all about. THAT is why it remains a wound that won't heal mom. The poor decision making continues by a new group of people. The poor decision game hasn't changed. Just a new gameplan with new players and it ain't working either.

middiemom:

"do yourself a favor delete your account"

Chief, ask middiemom why she hasn't followed her own advise. Not only has she not deleted her account but she stays and interjects her "let's accept, without question, what they do" mentality as if we could be convinced, as she has been, to accept all that is told to us by some in the city building. She is a sheep supporting a pack of wolves.......and doesn't have a clue she could be the next meal.

She won't answer you but I'll tell you exactly why she isn't following her own advise........she is an agitator here. Just as argumentative as the rest of us. She periodically gets on here, knowing there is an overwhelming theme to this forum that is "anti-city supportive" in nature. She knows too, that she is on the other side of the fence and she will never convince most here to adopt her way of thinking. She also knows the reasons why this site is so hostile at times toward the city administration/direction of this city. The reasons, and at times, the supporting evidence has been documented throughout this forum. Yet, for those on this forum, like her, who serve the city building mantra, no amount of evidence nor explanation will sway them from being in denial concerning what is transpiring here. There are several in her camp who continue to choose to monitor and occasionally engage us here to offer what will never be accepted. It is very simple. If the thoughts on this forum upset some so much, why do they continue to hang on? Why torture yourself. Just like a TV show you hate, turn it off or change the channel. Never view it again. We will not be upset if you leave us. If you want to believe and follow the city leaders, read the Journal and enjoy the propaganda and one-sided, non-objective reporting. They are the mouthpiece for the city, not the people.

The Adkins offer? Like scheduling your own recognition execution given the past history of vindictiveness under the Gilleland Administration. Adkins is a product from that administration. She instilled fear of retribution in the people if you crossed her and her supporters. I understand, according to information along the way, that it was that way with the city building employees when she was city manager. Fear is never a good way to motivate people. Some managers are too dumb to understand that. Let's face it, the city can make it awfully tough on a citizen using harassing means if they target you. That is why no one has taken Adkins at his word and an invitation to his one on one he has offered........and, after all, he is a lawyer as well and we all know the stereotypical talk about lawyers and politicians don't we.The trust factor just isn't there.



-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 03 2017 at 4:05pm
buddahlite:

"If it is true - and can be verified - hey - I guarantee my friends at Cox media's properties will print, publish and air any kind of corruption like that."

Bob, there are incidences in this forum over the years that indicate corruption, money wasting, hidden agendas and pet projects using taxpayer money for friends of the city of all types. How about contacting your friends at Cox Media and giving them and overview of what is transpiring in this city behind the scenes and out of the public's view. You can start with Adkins contacts to the councilmembers, between council meetings concerning city business which is a questionable Sunshine Law violation suspicion that councilmembers are being prodded to vote a certain way on issues outside the proper venue.   

You can also mention the handling of funds earmarked for certain needs and funneled to other funds. Ask Vivian Moon about the history on this topic. She has presented data throughout this forum on the subject of "where did the money go" and using block grant money for other purposes. Analytical may be a source also.

Or how about the city spending millions of taxpayer dollars to buy real estate,
concentrated in the downtown area and then giving it away to their developer buddies for a buck but bashing the hell out of the O'Reillys auto parts place and providing as much resistance as possible for them to develop their business downtown. Not a friend of the city I guess.

Or, hey, how about the city giving 75 thousand taxpayer dollars to the MMF ane, to this date, we still don't know if they repaid the loan, not to mention the taxpayer dollar loan to the Moormans, friends of the city, to start their stained glass business downtown. Never have seen it printed where they paid back the 65 grand loan to them either.

Duncan Oil?, Office Outfitters?, Rose Furniture?, Manchester Hotel?, Hobby Lobby?, PAC money?, Sonshine Building? (Sue Wittman giveaway?), Old Seniors Building buyback?, Old Barnitz Bank building?, Thatcher building give-aways?, Cinci State failure on enrollment numbers, Old Studio Theatre fiasco, Failure of Bicentennial Commons on non-usage .....etc.

Plenty of ammo to keep an outside investigator busy here if they want a story. I can see the caption now......" A City Against The People...Kept In The Dark"


-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jun 03 2017 at 4:45pm
perfect opportunity to prove middiemom wrong by making this event(if it hapens) a forward-moving dialogue between police dept and citizens. Maybe put away beating on the past to only concentrate on moving forward and how the police dept will provide a safe community in these challenging times. If admin or Council choose to participate, then it should be even more productive.

make this an opportunity to begin constructive dialogue on an on-going basis--PLEASE!!


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 03 2017 at 6:25pm
Listen everyone,

If you think that the Manager meeting with Council outside of scheduled meetings violates any law - my lawyer friend says no.  The sunshine laws are there to prevent voting on public items in secret - and that's about as far as they can really be put to the test.

FWIW - I've been a nomad much of my life and I've lived lots of places.  This happens everywhere.  And, frankly, I could care less.  If they stifle my voice in the proper forum - then I have a problem.  That has not happened to me - and I don't think that has happened to anyone here.  Proof is that Mr. Adkins will talk to you if you want.....just make an appointment.  Meetings are held in the open and have comment sections.  All of your elected leaders are approachable via telephone, email, internet, in-person - it's up to YOU to reach out and make your voice heard.

BUT - just remember what it is like to raise children.  You can tell them everything - but if they don't listen and put it to practice - you have to watch as they make mistakes.

Trust me - if you are posting here on this forum - your voice is being heard.  If you are calling/writing your councilpersons - your voice is being heard.  If you are contacting Mr. Adkins - your voice is being heard.

Your advice might not be heeded - but it certainly is being HEARD - and sometimes it's all the recourse you may have at that moment.  Ultimately, there are elections - but for some reason.......

Oh yeah - here comes the part that is hard to hear....read VietVet's reply to me at 4:00 today....

It sure was easy to say that the people of this city are in the dark - but then he wants to list no less than 17 ways the city wronged its people.....but in every case - the way I read the charter - the council was in its authority to do what it did (maybe a bit unscrupulous for my taste) - but I believe they had the legal ability to do those things within their power.

Vietvet - everything you list in your post sounds bad - however - there's no evidence there that shows and/or proves any of it.  Yes, there were loans made - did they repay?  You don't know the answer, nor do I!  That's pretty close to slander in my opinion.  Get an answer (even if the answer is just a shrug) and then we can talk about where to go with it.

Has anyone here yet considered that style matters?  Sometimes you have to approach people in the right manner and the right way to get an answer.  I bet you I could schedule a meeting with Mr. Adkins and in the space of an hour, I could get him to answer any question that you want him to answer.  Why?  Well....

First: by now he knows I'm not going to lambaste him with a bunch of accusations.  He knows I want the best for the city - just as he does.  We may disagree on the method - or the plan - but we both want the best.  I don't want to tear people down - I want to lift our city up.  Much of what I read here (although thanks to those who have come to my defense and shown solidarity with my methods) is just tearing individual people down over decisions and issues from the past.  

Second: it's all in the approach.  I am sure that any question that I would/could ask would get a slightly complicated answer from a slightly tilted point of view - but there's always underlying issues that exist.  You have to understand that, right?

Third: I'm not going to waste my time on things like O'Reilly, Hobby Lobby and such.  Why are you?  Whether or not a private business decides to open in Middletown is their business - not mine.  Doesn't mean we can't do things to entice business to come here - but I can't believe those are even realistic things you would have aired in the media about our city.

Fourth: I'm just a concerned citizen who might be forced into action...and no politician likes that.

Listen folks - all this bickering gets us nowhere.  Let's give the powers that be one last chance to do right by us - it's not going to hurt anything - and if you follow my path, I think you'll get far more answers than you ever imagined.  It's all in the approach.  

I'd put in to be City Manager - but Mr. Adkins can keep his job - the role of City Manager sucks - you can't please everyone...ever....I feel for him in that manner.  Maybe I should run for mayor of Middletown? 

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Jun 04 2017 at 1:48pm
OHIO STATE BAR ASSOCIATION

What You Should Know about Ohio’s “Sunshine Laws”

​Q: What is a "sunshine law"?
A: In Ohio, the "sunshine laws" refer to Ohio's Public Records Act and Ohio's Open Meetings Act.
These statutory laws are based on the notion that there should be "openness" in government, with
public access to records and meetings and the conduct and activities of government.

Q: What records are public under Ohio's Public Records Act?
A: Generally speaking, a "public record" is a record held by a public office and is intended to include
such things as paper, computer disks, film/videotape - that is, any item, regardless of its physical form,
that is a stored or fixed medium.

Q: What is a public office?
A: The Public Records Act specifically defines a "public office" to include a "state agency, public
institution, political subdivision, or any other organized body, office, agency, institution or entity
established by the laws of this state for the exercise of any function of government." That is a broad
definition, and has been applied to otherwise private entities that perform a public service and are
supported by public funds.

Q: What are a person's rights under the Public Records Act?
A: Generally, a person's rights include the right to a prompt inspection of public records and, upon
request, the right to copies of those public records within a reasonable period of time.

Q: Are there any exceptions under the Public Records Act?
A: Yes. The Act specifically identifies certain records, which are exempt, including medical records,
trial preparation records, confidential law enforcement investigatory records and adoption records,
among others.

Q: What is Ohio's "Open Meetings Act"?
A: This law essentially requires all public bodies to take all official actions and hold all deliberations
on official business in meetings that are open to the public.

Q: Do public bodies have to keep minutes?
A: Yes. The public bodies have to keep full and accurate minutes in order to enable the public to
understand and appreciate the rationale behind the public body's decisions. Those minutes are public
records.

Q: Can a public body ever hold meetings in secret?
A: Yes. There are specified reasons for a public body to adjourn into what is called an "executive
session," although the fact that the body is going into executive session must itself be part of a public
meeting and proper protocols must be followed. These sessions are not open to the public. The
reasons justifying an executive session include discussions about personnel matters, the purchase of
property, pending or imminent court action, and collective bargaining.

Q: Does the media have any "special" rights under Ohio's "sunshine laws"?
A: Generally, no. The Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act apply equally to "all persons" under
the law. The media enjoys no special rights under these sunshine laws except with regard to certain
law enforcement identity records. The press tends to be vigilant about protecting people's rights under
the sunshine laws. If access to records or meetings is denied, it is often the press that will commence
"mandamus" actions in Ohio's courts to enforce rights under the sunshine laws (a "mandamus" court
action asks a judge to "mandate" or order a government agency to make records or meetings open and
public). 

Q: Why does the media often times go to court about access issues under the sunshine
laws?
A: There are a number of reasons why the press will file lawsuits seeking to enforce access rights under the sunshine laws. Clearly, access to records and meetings provide very important sources of information
for the press in its newsgathering and information-gathering efforts. The workings of government are
for the public and involve public dollars, public officials performing their job duties, and policies
impacting all governed people. It is for those reasons that the media always has been the "fourth
estate" in reviewing the work of government and keeping the public informed of its government's
performance. 

Q: Do the sunshine laws guarantee access to courtrooms?
A: No. Our rights to access to public courtrooms has generally evolved from interpretation of the
constitutions of the United States and the State of Ohio as well as important case precedents handed
down by the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Ohio. 

Q: Are there any occasions when Ohioans do not have access to Ohio courtrooms?
A: Generally, our right of access to court proceedings is a well protected right and a courtroom can be
closed only in very rare and unique circumstances, most often, proceedings involving juvenile
delinquency. 

Q: Are all courts equally accessible by citizens?
A: No. Juvenile courts are treated somewhat differently, and may restrict public access if, after
hearing evidence and arguments, the juvenile court judge finds that there is a "reasonable and
substantial" basis for believing that public access could harm the child or endanger the fairness of a
judge's decision, and that the potential for harm outweighs the benefit of public access. Nevertheless,
those who want a juvenile court proceeding to be closed must prove that an open proceeding would be
harmful.

11/24/2015

This "Law You Can Use" consumer legal information column was provided by the Ohio State Bar
Association. It was originally prepared by Richard M. Goehler, and updated by Monica L. Dias of the
Cincinnati office of Frost Brown Todd LLC.​​​
 
Create PDF via PDFmyURL.com
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Articles appearing in this column are intended to provide broad, general information about the law. This
article is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem,
readers are urged to seek advice from a licensed attorney.


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Jun 04 2017 at 1:56pm
The Honorable Mike DeWine
Ohio Attorney General

What is a meeting, as defined in the Ohio Open Meetings Act?
In order for the Open Meetings Act to apply, the members of a public body must be meeting to discuss the public’s business. A meeting is a prearranged gathering of a majority of the members of a public body for the purpose of discussing public business. R.C. 121.22(B)(2). For example, if there are five members of a school board, and only two get together to discuss public business, this is not a meeting and the Open Meetings Act would not require it to be open to the public. However, if three members gather to discuss public business, this is a meeting and the Open Meetings Act would require it to be open to the public. Also, if there is a meeting as defined by the Open Meetings Act, the public body must give notice to the public.


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Jun 04 2017 at 2:20pm
City of Springfield, Missouri and Many Other Municipalities Nationwide
HUD Community Development Advisory Committees
How Does the City of Middletown Compare Mr. Adkins??

Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development

The Citizens' Advisory Committee for Community Development makes recommendations for
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME and other discretionary funding to the City
Council, within the established guidelines. In carrying out its duty, the Committee holds monthly
meetings, public hearings, and reviews project updates.

About the Committee 

Purpose
  • Make recommendation for CDBG, HOME and other discretionary funding
  • $1.4 Million (CDBG) for FY 2010 / 2011
  • In accordance with consolidated plan adopted by City Council create 5-year document
  • outlining needs and priorities for funding
  • Within guidelines established by council
Authority
  • Citizen Participation Plan
  • Special Ordinance 23074, December 16, 1996
  • City Council Guidance, Resolution 8720, December 14, 1999
Project Examples
  • https://www.springfieldmo.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5041" rel="nofollow - CDBG Projects 2008 / 2009 (PDF)
  • https://www.springfieldmo.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5040" rel="nofollow - CDBG Projects 2007 / 2008 (PDF)
  • City housing and small business programs
  • Urban districts improvements
  • Non-profit housing development and upgrade
  • After-school and summer programs
  • Supplemental food program
  • Shelters
Annual Action Plan
  • Incorporates committee and council recommendations
  • Becomes annual application to HUD for funding
  • Entities apply for funding
Public Participation
  • Annual joint committee / council public hearing
  • Allows applicants and public to speak
  • Publish notice in News-Leader
Formal Recommendation
  • Meet following public input to finalize recommendation
  • Review staff evaluation of projects per council direction
Follow-Up
  • Committee hosts presentations
  • Committee tours projects
  • Reviews accomplishments


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Jun 04 2017 at 3:00pm
City of Springfield, Missouri and Many Other Municipalities Nationwide
HUD Community Development Advisory Committees
How Does the City of Middletown Compare Mr. Adkins??
(CONTINUED)


Description
Makes recommendations to City Council on the Community Development Block Grant Program. Members shall represent various population segments (minorities, elderly, handicapped) likely to benefit from CDBG, HOME and other discretionary funds.    http:" rel="nofollow -

Appointed by
City Council

Member Terms
3 years

Residency Requirement
3 years

Meeting Time
Fourth Tuesday monthly 06:00 PM

Meeting Location
First Floor Conference Room, Busch Municipal Building, 840 Boonville Ave.


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Jun 04 2017 at 3:19pm
Contrary to a prior unfounded post, VietVet is correct in one instance that I know of first-hand where Perry Thatcher had a $40,000 delinquent balance on a loan that he was given by the city to make repairs to the Manchester Inn.  Think before you speak and do your homework, Budd Lite.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 04 2017 at 10:32pm
Okay - if you're gonna call me out in a forum - be prepared to take the wrath of Bob - because that's what is going to happen.

You just made an accusation against someone - saying that at one time they had a delinquent balance on a city loan.  

You provide no evidence (just that YOU know something) and you don't provide any information that they did/did not pay the loan off - and if they didn't what actions the city may/may not have taken against them or what any resolution was.

So - I say to you dear sir - YOU do your homework.  Accusations are just that - accusations.  If everything you people say you have on the city is actually true in its end result - you'd have no trouble getting media attention, auditors attention, etc.

But for some reason - you can't get traction - and this is why.  Incomplete stories only designed to denigrate the character of others.  Put up - or shut up.

There - you have it.

Bob


-------------
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 04 2017 at 10:35pm
See, the difference here is I consulted with an attorney - your very reposting of a legal column from the bar association does not equal 'legal advice'.

QUOTE:
Articles appearing in this column are intended to provide broad, general information about the law. This
article is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem,
readers are urged to seek advice from a licensed attorney.

The sunshine law allows for meetings between one or two different people to discuss things.  If you didn't have the outside discussion - no business would ever be conducted in a sanctioned meeting.  It would take forever.

I'm really confused as to what y'all are even arguing about here.

Bob



-------------
Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 04 2017 at 10:44pm
It has been stated that 'questionable' meetings between the City Manager and Councilmembers are being held.  No details are given - just allegations.  Well, I read everything that was posted here - and I read AG Dewine's own opinion piece and this is what he said in part:

QUOTE:
For example, if there are five members of a school board, and only two get together to discuss public business, this is not a meeting and the Open Meetings Act would not require it to be open to the public. However, if three members gather to discuss public business, this is a meeting and the Open Meetings Act would require it to be open to the public. 

Okay - so - before any further accusations are made - I'd like to ask that any further accusations include details so that it can be determined in the court of public opinion if they are accurate, have any merit and actually violate code, law or otherwise.

I have a distinct feeling here that some of you just have a giant ax to grind for whatever reason - and i'm gonna call that out when I see it.

I'm beginning to think that this forum may be part of the reason that this city can't get anywhere.  Too much bickering over the past - not enough outlook for the future.

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 05 2017 at 8:03am
Bob:

"The sunshine law allows for meetings between one or two different people to discuss things. If you didn't have the outside discussion - no business would ever be conducted in a sanctioned meeting. It would take forever"

Bob, look, if the city officials have a meeting outside of the public view, and they discuss city business and that discussion influences the decisions made within the council meeting format, it has essentially violated the public's trust of their officials. NO city business should be conducted without the public's knowledge. It doesn't matter whether it is one councilperson meeting with the city manager or all five, if a decision is made on any city business, outside the parameters of a public meeting, it doesn't do anything for the trust level. The conversations between councilmembers and the city manager between council meetings was brought to this forum's attention by Mr. Adkins himself I believe and a discussion ensued within these pages on the subject.

If it isn't a violation of the Sunshine Law, it certainly sends a message to the public that information is being hidden from the people or that a decision was made prior to the public knowing about it via council meeting and out in the open as all decisions need to be.

The public has a right to know what their leaders are doing in their city. It isn't exclusively the leaders city, it's the people's city and they are suppose to represent our wishes, not form the opinions/direction themselves without including the people. It eludes to good old boy backroom antics and none of us want that, do we?

What is it that needs to be discussed behind closed doors anyway other than city employee personnel matters as is stated in the council meeting notes.

And on the subject of providing you proof on the claims made on this forum, I have suggested once (now twice) to you that if you pick a subject, you, most likely, will find some data that will support the MUSA claims. You just need to search for it and accept it as factual in nature as it usually comes from the Journal articles. I still don't know why you started on this forum lambasting the city leaders and suddenly, you are defending their actions. Puzzling at best. You have made a complete turnabout IMO.

And, why do you take your attorney's word as the ultimate truth? His opinion is not necessarily the gospel either.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 05 2017 at 11:04am
To explain my views (and my Attorney's view) on the Sunshine Laws so everyone can understand - I'm going to use a hypothetical situation to explain it.

Let's imagine together that our fair City Manager wants to create a new commission sanctioned by the council to, oh I don't know, help spur east end growth.  Just like any other commission - it is supposed to have members, a charter, a purpose, etc.

The Manager drafts a proposal and sees one of the council members walking past his office.  He asks him/her to come in and talk with him and give some input on the proposal.  The Manager listens intently, has some back and forth with the councilperson, and may or may not make changes to his proposal.

The Manager solicits this advice from every councilperson he sees walk by his office. 

Two days later - the same councilperson walks past his office and stops in to inquire about the progress on the commission.  The Manager shows him/her the newest draft.  The councilperson says that he/she won't support the idea unless a certain provision is added.  The councilperson and the Manager go back and forth on the matter - and they walk away.

Another of the consulted councilpersons swings by, looks at the newest draft - and pledges his/her support.

The item is added to the agenda at the next meeting - where the proposal is read, and discussion ensues.  The councilperson who demanded his/her idea be included is visibly upset that their recommendation has been ignored and brings it up for discussion.

The council discusses - there's public discussion and comment as well - and it is determined that it should go for a vote.

The vote is scheduled for the next appropriate meeting.

The Manager is accosted by the councilperson who felt maligned in the process.  The Manager eventually convinces him/her that their support of the program is essential - and that though their thoughts were not put into play - that the program will be successful and it can be amended if necessary.

The councilperson decides to support the measure simply for the good it might do for the community.

At the next meeting when the vote is carried out - it is voted in on the consent agenda and put into effect.

--------

Now - it has been said on this forum that these little side meetings somehow violate either the sunshine laws or the intent of the sunshine laws.  I believe they violate neither.

First - unless a majority of members are present - there's no violation.  I have read lots of old posts here - and there doesn't appear to be a concern when this is argued over how many councilpersons were present (so, I have to assume it doesn't matter for the sake of the argument).

Second - the intent of the laws was to prevent secret meetings and secret votes - all *actions* must be taken in the daylight view of citizens.

Now - imagine the above scenario playing out in the manner of no meetings with anyone outside of the public council meetings:

Upon first reading of the ordinance - there would be three hours of comments and questions and idea sharing on just this one proposal - rendering the meeting totally ineffective as no other business gets conducted due to time constraints.

The proposal would be read, at each iteration, at the next meeting - what, 5, 6, 7, different times?  Just to pass something - it would take 16-20 weeks without any outside convo regarding the matter.

The system is what it is - I am afraid that there's voices here on this board who bring up these issues out of a pit in their heart simply because they feel maligned by some action that the council took.

HOWEVER - these same people only "want to throw 'em all out" - but for as long as you have been preaching that message it hasn't worked, has it?

Nope - I say everything that I say here to gently nudge each of us into remembering that it's easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar - and the approach of 'screw 'em all' is not viable to the citizens of our fair city.

Until we can demonstrably prove to the greater citizenry that our current council cannot be entrusted with another term - we must endeavor to work within the framework that already exists to make it publicly known where we stand, make a case for our beliefs, push them to enact a framework which we can work within - and if/when those efforts fail - we then have a case to take to the people and push for a wholesale change of our local government.

There's a method to the madness folks - but you don't start a race at the finish line.

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 05 2017 at 2:07pm
Ok Bob, have read your hypothetical situation involving the city manager and the "stop in/one at a time councilmembers"

Bob:
"Second - the intent of the laws was to prevent secret meetings and secret votes - all *actions* must be taken in the daylight view of citizens."

The situation you have described where there is conversation between city manager and council people about adopting a policy IS out of the daylight view of the citizens. It is not in council chambers where the public is able to hear the dialogue and provide input. Rather, it is a private conversation concerning city business and a proposal and is held in the city manager's office which is not an announced public venue.

An example of a committee being formed out of the public's view, that has had some dire consequences in the past, is the Historical Committee. Designed to control architecture and color schemes in the S. Main St area, it has expanded to include the entire downtown apparently as they have stuck their noses in the O'Reilly's fiasco as to "proper" exterior design" for their precious downtown area. Ridiculous.....and the committee should be dissolved as it is more of a nuisance than a worthwhile endeavor. Self-imposed important people serving the community in a negative way in most cases.

Bob:
"The item is added to the agenda at the next meeting - where the proposal is read, and discussion ensues"

Are the people allowed to comment or is it strictly between council and city manager in your story?

Bob:
"The proposal would be read, at each iteration, at the next meeting - what, 5, 6, 7, different times? Just to pass something - it would take 16-20 weeks without any outside convo regarding the matter"

You're WAY OFF on this one. Read the history of the work agendas on the city site. Most of the proposals that come before council are declared emergency readings and therefore, only read one time for consideration to push it through quickly. Very seldom are council agenda items read a second time and delayed from enacting. If you attend or watch a typical council meeting, the reading of the proposal is given, there is little to no discussion before the blanket rubber stamp "ayes" are spoken by council members. Never a question asked(which makes it appear as if it has been discussed before the meeting and the vote pre-arranged- Hmmm) It is so habitual, it has been duly noted on this forum and is rather apparent when viewing council meetings. This is what we are talking about Bob when we mention that the city manager contacts each councilmember BEFORE the actual meeting to discuss the item and to perhaps "convince" the councilperson to vote in favor of the measure BEFORE it hits the chamber floor for consideration. THIS is the problem as this is, what did you say before......"all actions must be taken in the daylight view of the citizens" Does this activity look to you like it is in a daylight view of the citizens Bob?

Bob:
"HOWEVER - these same people only "want to throw 'em all out" - but for as long as you have been preaching that message it hasn't worked, has it?"

Number of reasons for that happening Bob. Getting them thrown out hasn't worked for us because we can't seem to persuade decent people on this site to run for office. The reasons no one wants to run ranges from no time to do it to don't want the headaches of dealing with the MMF political candidate machine set up here to not having a chance of winning because our side of the ledger doesn't have enough voters to overcome the voting block who support the city fed candidates. Don't want to end up like Josh Laubach and forced out either. Rebels with independent thinking are forced out Bob. Comply or leave is the mantra. We don't know how to get the potential voters off the couch and to the polling place on election day to overcome the city block and vote for a decent, non-programmed candidate and therefore, turn council personnel over to a 5 person combo who will actually represent the people rather than play puppet for the city manager/MMF. If we could get 5 people on council who will not buy the city nonsense and actually control the city manager (or fire him for incompatibility with council's agenda), we could start to see a change in direction for the city that would be a positive for the people. Until these things I mention are in place, we have business as usual with no hope on the horizon of making this city any better. JMO

Note: 7 days until JJ's


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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 05 2017 at 2:21pm
Viet,

Look, I stand by my original statement - this happens everywhere.  If every jot and tittle of every single ordinance/policy/spending/statement were approached in the manner you want it to be - nothing would get done.

And still, nothing happening there, IM&MAHO, doesn't violate the sunshine law.  But - I'm going to quit on that subject because I'm apparently the only one on this board with enough outside Middletown experience and knowledge to know that this is an everyday occurrence around the world.

Having said that - I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding the 'emergency' stuff.  There's WAY TOO DANG MANY EMERGENCIES with this council.

The Emergency codified ordinance is there for ACTUAL emergencies to skip the brouhaha of the multiple readings and subsequent vote ritual.  However - I read one where back in the day the golf course needed fertilizer and seed and such - and the expenditure was passed on an EMERGENCY!

Someone didn't do their job - should have been held accountable (maybe it happened - maybe it didn't - don't know) - and the expenditure should have gone the normal course.

Even on 4/4 - two emergencies were declared - Yankee road and a mysteriously located traffic signal - hardly I would think either to be an emergency.

FWIW - I think that form matters.  If people on this forum are going to rise up and run for office - they've got to be cool, collective and remember how you boil a frog - if they aren't, any attempt to run will be futile.

I think there's room for both sides in this world - what matters is being able to succinctly state your point of view in a persuasive enough manner to win your enemies over.  

Bob


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: whistlersmom
Date Posted: Jun 05 2017 at 5:13pm
Buddha

If I may, let’s assume your lengthy hypothetical situation up to the point where the council meetings take place. Here is where the problem lies.

In a REAL council meeting in Middletown, usually the first reading of the ordinance is just that, A READING, and only a reading with NO DISCUSSION because ALL of the discussion has already taken place and everyone has already agreed to approve it. ALL of council has been informed of its merit according to our city manager’s view and have been persuaded BEFORE the meeting to approve it. Our city manger thoroughly explains how he does this on The City Manager’s Blog (titled City Council Deliberations and dated February 17, 2017) on website City of Middletown,org., and he ACTUALLY SAYS that discussion in the meeting is unnecessary.

In council meetings there is almost always immediate, unanimous approval … no discussion. This is not conjecture …

Go to the You Tube videos of our Council meetings and see for yourself. Also, almost all of the ordinances are declared an EMERGENCY, another point of contention. Declaring an emergency allows council, at their discretion, to IMMEDIATELY APPROVE AN ORDINANCE on the first reading with no notice to the public whatsoever. Why is the city continually operating on an emergency basis??? Here’s why:

An emergency ordinance, under Ohio rules, WILL BE IMMEDIATELY ENACTED upon approval; circumventing the required thirty day waiting period for enactment of new ordinance. (They may, but seldom do, wait to approve an emergency ordinance at the next meeting with a second reading.) Either way an emergency ordinance can be and usually is, easily approved WITHOUT ANY DISCUSSION and without public input. COUNCIL FINISHES THE RACE BEFORE IT STARTS!!! This MAY not violate the Sunshine Law BUT IT DOES VIOLATE THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW.

We, on this forum, have been running a marathon for years. Then you come along running a sprint for the last few yards, reaching rapid conclusions from the perspective of a newcomer. In the brief period of time since you joined this board you could not have absorbed all the pertinent information here on MUSA, City of Middletown.org and You Tube videos of council meetings..

If you or your attorney had thoroughly read, without prejudice, the several posts on this subject, you would have known about this. You wanted proof.   Its right at your finger tips.


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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" Edmond Burke


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 05 2017 at 5:31pm
Well then, I apparently know nothing - and I'm an idiot - and I can't possibly know what I am talking about - so I quit.

I will no longer participate in the Middletown USA forums.  You may now return to your regular gripe fest of negativity.

I will pursue other methods of getting out a positive message about our town and work as closely with council as I can to make this city the best it can be.

It is a shame that someone can't just have a differing opinion and method without being shouted down.

It's been fun - like a good enema.

Bob

Oh yeah - as a parting shot - thanks for nothing.  This topic is almost #2 in all time views on this forum (from what I can see - no report to view, just anecdotal evidence and it's only 2.5 weeks old) - and was headed for #1 - but who cares anymore.


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: Mike_Presta
Date Posted: Jun 05 2017 at 6:33pm
Mr. Buddhalite:

With all due respect, perhaps you (and your attorney) should do a little more research.  The scenario you describe wherein the manager and fewer than a quorum of council members meet in succession to discuss the same subject is, in fact, a violation of Ohio's sunshine laws.  I cannot recall the exact legal citation (I am old and somewhat absent-minded) but I'm sure that if you google "Cincinnati Post v. City of Cincinnati" you will find it.

In fact, if you search that term on this very forum you will find it, along with lengthy discussions, in a few of my posts from years ago.

You will find that the judge in the majority opinion called such meetings as you describe "legislative musical chairs in an attempt to thwart the intent of the Sunshine law", or some similar language.

Regards,
Mike Presta


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“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jun 05 2017 at 8:23pm
lol--what did I miss??
budbob is gone already??
did he take a job in admin or is he running for mayor(or both)??
with his lawyers, Cox and corporate sponsors he should make a run
middiemom, middielover and Middletown29 behind him also even though he is against the $$$ spent on the former downtown
this is the most viewed topic because he posted in it about 100 times

oh well--you have to admire his passion and enthusiasm
better to burn out than to fade away--rust never sleeps!


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 06 2017 at 6:38pm
Well John,

Make all the fun you want.  I'm not scared of your petty little insults.  You have no idea who I am nor what I am capable of.

This is one of the more viewed topics - because some solutions are being presented - people are finding out that there's folks here who actually care about the city more than their overly petty complaints.

That's what is happening here.  I encourage you to join me at the next council meeting (I was there tonight, were you?) and a Java Johnny's next Tuesday - I'd love to meet you face to face.

Oh - and thanks to all who reached out to me yesterday and today.  I guess it makes more sense for me to sit right here and keep participating and keep working to change our beautiful town into the shining city on the hill that it should be.

You knew I wouldn't stay gone long.... :-)

Bob - rust never sleeps.....lol


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 5:55am
Thank you for staying Bob N. Your masterful input and dialogue has value added meaning to this forum. My hope is that you will join forces with middiemom, Middletown 29, Doug Adkins and other city defenders and one day convince all of us naysayers that we have been looking at the city and it's leadership in a negative manner after all this time with the wrong focus.

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 6:15am
Bob:

"I guess it makes more sense for me to sit right here and keep participating and keep working to change our beautiful town into the shining city on the hill that it should be."

Darn right it makes sense for you to sit right here Bob. If you'll wait a few minutes, we'll get the flag out as a backdrop, find some patriotic music and you can do the "keep working to change our beautiful town into the shining city on the hill that it should be" routine with more effectiveness. Better yet, we'll get the same writers for the "My Town" song on You Tube that was performed a few years ago in the city building. Drama is your game Bob. It is entertaining.

Five days Bob to the Java meeting. Are you ready to meet some of us face to face as you mentioned?

By the way Bob, what are you "capable of"?

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: spiderjohn
Date Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 1:24pm
Come on bob--lighten up
Don't take me or yourself so seriously
Correct--I know nothing about you and probably vice versa
No more council meetings for me-- been there done it for decades like many others .
Same with other meeting forums
I do trust the chief and manager 100% though we occasionally differ on method

Make a positive difference--I absolutely hope so
Keep on truckin and chuckin straight ahead
It can only get better and Council seats are ripe for the taking
Make middietown great again and drain the donham swamp!
Maybe the hydraulic canal also


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 9:25pm
VietVet,

I am capable of leading any group of people, anywhere, anytime.  I can lead armies, accountants and even politicians.

Leadership has always been my game - and I've also always been successful - even when the proverbial chips are stacked well against me.

I have the JJ's meeting on my calendar - and I will be there even if my house is on fire and there's only one dog peeing on it to put it out.  It is my sincere hope that other members of council and city employees, etc., join us as well.

Drama seems more to be your game - I'm interested in hearing how to fix the issues of this city - and most of what I hear is a bunch of petty finger-in-face comments toward those who are genuinely interested in fixing what's wrong and making Middletown all it can be - not just what it will be.

Bob




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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 9:44pm
Bobby:

"I am capable of leading any group of people, anywhere, anytime. I can lead armies, accountants and even politicians"

Surely you gest.

Armies and politicians?

Incredible. You are amazing Bob. You are also delusional.

Ever been in the military Bob? If not, you have no clue about the military environment, much less being able to lead within that environment.

Ever been in the political arena? Run for office did ya? You do know how cutthroat this environment is don't you Bob?

Quite the imagination Robert.   

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: buddhalite
Date Posted: Jun 07 2017 at 10:17pm
VietVet,

Did you take your medicine today?  LOL  You are a crack.  

Bob

PS.  You ever call me 'Bobby' again - we will have problems.  Petty, maybe - but I've never disrespected anyone here.


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Buddhalite - about 50 pounds short of a full buddha, but was 30 over so the diet is working! Never mind - diet quit working, but then again, I quit the diet! :-)


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 08 2017 at 6:48am
Originally posted by buddhalite buddhalite wrote:

VietVet,

Did you take your medicine today?  LOL  You are a crack.  

Bob

PS.  You ever call me 'Bobby' again - we will have problems.  Petty, maybe - but I've never disrespected anyone here.


You are the medicine Bob. Great entertainment at times. Wow, wearing our temper on our shoulder today as well? And pray tell, what kind of problems are we going to have? Your profile indicates a Bob N. as your name. Bob can be referenced as Robert or Bobby as well. And just how is using a proper name disrespecting you? If I wanted to do that, I would have called you a clueless wonder, a city shill or something worse. Didn't do that did I?

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Mike_Presta
Date Posted: Jun 08 2017 at 8:47pm
Originally posted by buddhalite buddhalite wrote:


Oh yeah - as a parting shot - thanks for nothing.  This topic is almost #2 in all time views on this forum (from what I can see - no report to view, just anecdotal evidence and it's only 2.5 weeks old) - and was headed for #1 - but who cares anymore.
Buddhalite:

Just FYI, this topic is no where near #2 in number of views and it is doubtful it will ever come close to number one.  There are topics on this forum that have had well over 10,000 views, and have done so with less than two full pages of posts!  (This topic has nearly FOUR pages of posts.)


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“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012


Posted By: middiemom
Date Posted: Jun 10 2017 at 4:34pm
Bob, you truly are wasting your breath on this site, and more importantly, with Vet. You could give him and the others a million dollars as a gift and they would get out the pitchforks and torches and demand to know where you got it and how long have you been holding out on them. None of them will be at that meeting. None of them.  I'd find another forum, if there is one, to propose your positive agenda. It will be met with constant negativity and rejection on here. Doug has given them their meetings and NO ONE took him up on it. There are only one or two who want to be a part of turning this ship around. The rest on here just continue to scream "no, no, no" at the top of their lungs, cross their arms and stomp their feet. Cry

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Middletown... Bright past BRIGHTER FUTURE!!!


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 11 2017 at 5:37pm
Ok mom, I'll ask the question once again just in case you missed it the first time.

If participating on this site is a waste of time, and you have suggested to Bob to stop being involved, WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO POST ON THIS SITE?

Why don't you take your own advise and sign off for the last time?

You are demonstrating the same thought process that all city officials, city supporters and those who want to live the city planned dream do. You want to bitch about how negative we are on this forum, yet you still want to add your snide little two cents worth on the insults. Why?

Just leave for greener pastures if you don't like the grass in this one. No one will get mad if you depart. You won't hurt our feelings if you go.

Do yourself a favor and say goodbye.

OR, are you just like us and want a venue to complain about things as you claim we do? You're no better than we are so come down off the "holier than thou" throne lady and take your rose-colored, Jim Jones kool-aid drinking, accept all they tell you opinions with you. It is amazing just how clueless and gullible some people are when the facts are right in front of them. How in the hell do you think the city got from All-American status five + decades ago to the early stages of a ghetto we have now? Bet you weren't even around to make the comparison, were you? How can you support past and present city leaders that have brought us to where we are now?

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I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: middiemom
Date Posted: Jun 11 2017 at 10:29pm
And, Vet sir, you prove my point. You cannot get out of the past. It is truly a sight to behold. People now are trying to make decisions based on the good of the city and trying to get us out of our rut that was created by PAST administrations. get on board and help out. I know for a fact that you do not attend council meetings. You did not reach out to the manager to hold your meetings with him that all on this site demanded. Doug could say the sky is blue and you would find something to disagree with him on. Bob offers a ray of positive vibes and guess who is there to destroy that? All he was doing was offering a positive point of view, commend the chief for his out reach , and you cannot let that happen. You even resort to calling him "Bobby" which, by the way, I noticed you didn't do again.  He puts his money where his mouth is. The rest is hot air. Also, to answer your question as to why I don't leave it is simple. I, as a strong woman, will not allow the likes of you to bully those of us who are trying to change the city and it's reputation into silence, sir. There are great things happening downtown with all of the new restaurants, wine shop, and vodka distillery. These are exciting times! Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way. 

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Middletown... Bright past BRIGHTER FUTURE!!!


Posted By: VietVet
Date Posted: Jun 12 2017 at 6:45am
mom:
"I know for a fact that you do not attend council meetings"

I've attended my fair share of council meetings mom. Not lately though. A little hard to break away from caregiver status for my paralyzed wife. Would you be willing to caregive for her every other Tuesday night while I attend the meetings to meet your requirement? Doubt that you could handle it anyway.

mom:
"You did not reach out to the manager to hold your meetings with him that all on this site demanded"

Good Lord lady! You know as well as I do the reason that wasn't done. A one on one with the city manager would have resulted in targeting and payback down the road. The city government has had instances of vindictiveness on occasion with the residents of this town. It has been documented. If any of us scheduled a meeting with Adkins it would be like scheduling your own lynching. Who needs the added drama from the city in their lives?

mom:
"Bob offers a ray of positive vibes and guess who is there to destroy that? All he was doing was offering a positive point of view, commend the chief for his out reach , and you cannot let that happen"

Simple. Bob is not immune, just as I am not, to the scrutiny and opposite opinions being posted here. We all don't have to agree with Bob just because he chooses to be positive and more forgiving of city nonsense. When you participate on a forum, you should expect some flak now and then regarding your ideas. Like others here, I certainly have received my fair share of opposing comments. It is the nature of the beast on a forum. So, what, are we suppose to all be kinder/gentler to Bob and those on the city side of things? Kinder/gentler has ruined society, masking real issues to be solved for the sake of hurting someone's feelings. It's a tough cruel world out there mom in case you haven't noticed. Not everything is sugar coated and wonderful. A trophy for participation is a joke.

mon:
"He puts his money where his mouth is."

Oh really? How does he do that? So far, he has just given us his opinions without really providing any backup proof in his critique. Isn't that what you city supporters always demand of us even though there is supporting documentation on this very forum to support much of what is said here.

mom:
" Also, to answer your question as to why I don't leave it is simple. I, as a strong woman, will not allow the likes of you to bully those of us who are trying to change the city and it's reputation into silence, sir"

Then don't suggest that Bob leave. Stay strong mom. Again, why do you think you are being bullied on here? We are all trying to get our points across and just because some have a stronger "writing technique" than others doesn't necessarily define a bullying event. Some are more insistent than others IMO. Again, nature of the beast on an open forum mom. You want me to E-Mail you a Hurt Feelings Form? Got one here at work.

mom:
"There are great things happening downtown with all of the new restaurants, wine shop, and vodka distillery"

Perhaps, but these
great things" only encompass less than 3-5% of the population therefore severely limiting the effect it has had on the city's other 98%. The "great things" going on downtown are for a very small contingent of so-called "culturally motivated" people. It is of no interest to the vast majority and therefore, not of any major value.

mom:
"These are exciting times! Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way"

My hometown too mom. I was here long before most in the city building and most who are trying to develop the downtown. Instead of full speed ahead with a downtown gameplan for the arts and fru fru, it would have been more correct to have asked those who have been here for awhile what they wanted for their city as well. You don't come into a town as a newby, start pushing your way around, changing the direction of the city without offering those who were here well before you an opportunity to have input into the direction of the city. That is rude and unprofessional and it has created some hard feelings with some of the long term citizens. Perhaps we don't want the arts and the fru fru shops downtown. Perhaps we don't want this "culture" crap forced down our throats. Perhaps the new people should have respected the old guard by at least asking for our input and placing a value on it as well after we told you our desires for our city.


-------------
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.


Posted By: Analytical
Date Posted: Jun 13 2017 at 2:44pm
swohio75 -

In response from your earlier "critique" of my post that included only website facts for the Nicholas Place Apartments project adjoining I-75, I noticed today that monthly rents for 2 Bedroom/1 and 3-4 Bath units have been reduced from $1,145 to $995 monthly (special offer).  Larger 3 bedroom units were stated at $1,445 monthly instead of $1,545 (special offer).

I also learned today from a highly knowledgeable real estate investor that the first of several buildings to encompass this 216 unit development is partially occupied with some additional interior construction still to be completed.  The construction status of the other buildings is not known.

The above makes one wonder about the Middletown area market demand for "luxury" housing even now with reduced monthly rents such as these?

Nelson Self


Posted By: What A City
Date Posted: Jun 13 2017 at 8:06pm
Ok, we had our meeting at JJ's. buddhalite , two ladies and I showed. The rest .....well......

Mr. Adkins, Mr. Bohannon, the Chief and Lt Jim Cunningham were there as well. Topics discussed included Section 8, upgrading the housing stock, heroin, crime, the schools and the performance, the city image ,city neighborhoods and attracting decent people to live here.  Wanted to discuss the downtown and the fascination with it's development but ran out of time. 

Got a different perspective from this meeting as to my opinion concerning certain officials in the city building. Have come to the conclusion that I have been way too critical concerning the efforts to date on fixing the problems of the city. Guess it took a face to face explanation.  All city leaders indicated to me that they were well aware of the problems and are attempting to repair the damage that has been done here the last four + decades. They indicated they can't do it overnight, to give them time to expect results. Fair enough.

It was a different feeling for me to be able to talk to the city leaders and not be confined to a council meeting format but rather have an open, no time constraint discussion about things. They were very cordial.

I very much appreciate them taking their time to listen and offer feedback on this occasion. 

Let's do it again sometime (with more from this forum participating perhaps?). If the next session goes as this one did, I will guarantee you will enjoy the experience. Nothing hostile about tonight's discussion. I think it went well with no adversarial talk in sight. 




Posted By: swohio75
Date Posted: Jun 13 2017 at 9:19pm
Originally posted by Analytical Analytical wrote:

swohio75 -

In response from your earlier "critique" of my post that included only website facts for the Nicholas Place Apartments project adjoining I-75, I noticed today that monthly rents for 2 Bedroom/1 and 3-4 Bath units have been reduced from $1,145 to $995 monthly (special offer).  Larger 3 bedroom units were stated at $1,445 monthly instead of $1,545 (special offer).

I also learned today from a highly knowledgeable real estate investor that the first of several buildings to encompass this 216 unit development is partially occupied with some additional interior construction still to be completed.  The construction status of the other buildings is not known.

The above makes one wonder about the Middletown area market demand for "luxury" housing even now with reduced monthly rents such as these?

Nelson Self
I can't say what the build out plan and timetable is.  I am not surprised at the "special" rates as it is common for complexes under construction to reduce rates and gradually raise them as more buildings come online and the site nears completion. 



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