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Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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Tax Abatements vs. New Jobs/Reinvestment

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    Posted: Oct 15 2017 at 9:23am
Here's two very basic questions for Mr. Adkins and City Council to answer or, at least ponder:

What's the city's scorecard regarding the dollar value of "downtown" tax abatements, etc. granted thus far versus the number of new jobs (payroll) and reinvestment dollars generated in the so-called Community Revitalization Area (CRA)?

Would taxpayers have been better served by utilizing at least some of the downtown fund, UDAG and other capital resources to successfully attract new and/or assist existing businesses in generating jobs plus investing in new and/or modernized facilities?

So much has been proclaimed over the past four or five years by city staff and the Middletown Journal  about "downtown" plans, dreams, etc.  It's now high time for the city's taxpayers to begin seeing actual results.  No more Eddie Richter "fluff" pieces in the Middletown Journal or city hall "shill" posts on this MUSA blog are necessary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 8:32am
It will be interesting to learn how many of these taxpayer-assisted "downtown" deals are not current with their Butler County property tax payments by the next 11-30-2017 deadline.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote middiemom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 10:22am
Here we go again. Nelson having another conversation with himself. 🙄
Middletown... Bright past BRIGHTER FUTURE!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 3:40pm
Is it possible that Kettering Hospital and Warren County government will seize upon the "behind the scenes" anti-growth maneuvering of two Middletown council members to pursue the construction of a new medical facility adjoining I-75 on other hospital-owned property?  Such an occurrence, in addition to the recent Amazon announcement of a new 1,000 employee fulfillment center, further underscores Middletown's urgent need to re-vamp priorities, policies, plans and programs relative to economic development. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 3:51pm
Originally posted by middiemom middiemom wrote:

Here we go again. Nelson having another conversation with himself. 🙄

Wait for it wait for it...poof it's gone.  

Sad, sad individual.  Constant rehashing.  Posting, deleting, reposting, deleting.  

He needs help.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 3:53pm
Originally posted by Analytical Analytical wrote:

Is it possible that Kettering Hospital and Warren County government will seize upon the "behind the scenes" anti-growth maneuvering of two Middletown council members to pursue the construction of a new medical facility adjoining I-75 on other hospital-owned property?  Such an occurrence, in addition to the recent Amazon announcement of a new 1,000 employee fulfillment center, further underscores Middletown's urgent need to re-vamp priorities, policies, plans and programs relative to economic development. 

Nelson the Kettering facility is already under construction in Middletown.  

Even though Kettering has requested the item be removed, from the Agenda, doesn't mean that it can't be brought up again.  The footprint of the facility did not change with the rezone.  Kettering has indicated the new Middletown facility was being constructed with excess capacity with future expansion in mind. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 5:57pm
You very well know that I'm not referring to the existing Kettering Hospital development at the intersection of Ohio 122 and I-75.  I'm told today by a reputable source that they also own prime real estate at (or near) the intersection of Ohio 63 and I-75 in Warren County as well.  Because of the behind the scenes machinations of a couple of city council members, maybe, just maybe Kettering Hospital might see fit to build an overnight hospital facility there or some other place where it's BUSINESS FRIENDLY?

And, as for your personal/professional assessment of me, pray tell what you've ever offered in terms of alternative priorities, policies, plans and programs regarding Middletown's overall community revitalization needs.  You're always quick in being in condescending, provocative, etc.  Tell us all about your vision for once!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 5:58pm
Originally posted by swohio75 swohio75 wrote:

Originally posted by middiemom middiemom wrote:

Here we go again. Nelson having another conversation with himself. 🙄

Wait for it wait for it...poof it's gone.  

Sad, sad individual.  Constant rehashing.  Posting, deleting, reposting, deleting.  

He needs help.



Because of people like you, it's the City of Middletown that needs help!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 7:02pm
And.....this is why participation in this forum is pointless.

Its either vain repetition or name calling or pointless drivel....it is not changing anyone's minds and it certainly isn't inviting more participation.  And what participation we get from city people is always drummed out.

It's a vicious cycle - and if we are ever to be taken seriously - it needs to stop.

There's a point there - and I can't believe I'm about to take up for Nelson - but we've invested millions and what have we gotten in return? I applaud Ms. Vitori and her efforts - but a soap shop, leather shop and a restaurant doesn't truly make a recovery.  And at some point - she'll run out of money - and we'll run out of other funds too - and what will we have?  She's created a lovely spot....but what is the realistic possibility that this can continue to reinvent the entirety of downtown?  And....where will the money come from?

I'm not against it - especially if it comes from private sources and they stay out of my pockets - but I do question the sustainability of the effort....and I don't think that at this point the jobs created as a result even come close to begin trying to calculate the ROI on the full investment that has been made.

Oh well....
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 7:31pm
Originally posted by Analytical Analytical wrote:

You very well know that I'm not referring to the existing Kettering Hospital development at the intersection of Ohio 122 and I-75.  I'm told today by a reputable source that they also own prime real estate at (or near) the intersection of Ohio 63 and I-75 in Warren County as well.  Because of the behind the scenes machinations of a couple of city council members, maybe, just maybe Kettering Hospital might see fit to build an overnight hospital facility there or some other place where it's BUSINESS FRIENDLY?

And, as for your personal/professional assessment of me, pray tell what you've ever offered in terms of alternative priorities, policies, plans and programs regarding Middletown's overall community revitalization needs.  You're always quick in being in condescending, provocative, etc.  Tell us all about your vision for once!
In looking at the Warren County property records, I do not see where Kettering owns land in the vicinity you mentioned and there does not appear to be an LLC that has a tax mailing address for Kettering Health Network. If you can find it or get your "reliable source" to elaborate, please feel free to post it. 

Atrium/Premier does have a project in Monroe in Butler County just west 0f 75 near Main Street/63 intersection. 

I don't need to share my vision.  I don't collect a paycheck or pension from the city.  I don't hold office or sit on any boards.  I am not running for elected office. I have not asked the city for assistance (financial or zoning/planning) for any project.  

But thank you for asking.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 9:20pm
BuddyBob and SWOhio75 -

Please note that it's doubtful that a nine-year mainstay of the MUSA blog has any desire to speak with either one of you.  However, she has an extensive network of city business people, a couple of elected officials, realtors, MUSA participants, target area residents, etc., etc. that have helped remove the veil of secrecy at One Donham Abbey.

She's been a real bulldog over the years in obtaining useful and revealing financial/other information from One Donham Abbey sources.  Her efforts have helped expose what's really happening in the world of "downtown" and neighborhood development.

I don't find it necessary to reveal the names of any elected official who have confided in her.  One reason is that they'd surely face retaliation and the flow of information to the public being impacted.  You can choose to accept that or not.

She's discouraged/dismayed by the blog indifference to repeated questionable actions of city government.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 17 2017 at 11:46pm
You think that I am any less dismayed?  I'm so roiled about it - my poor wife just had to tolerate an hour long rant about the situation...because it's just flogging a dead horse and I feel better after my rant.....but you know what? 

I've said it before and I'm gonna say it again - the only thing that matters is the ballot box.  And if this is one of your pet peeves - not one of these candidates this go around will make any significant change.  So quit it - and run for office if you are so annoyed.  Oh wait, never mind.  I'm the first to know the wrath you love to spew even to those who are really on your side.  This city is doomed - and you are leading the charge down the drain.

The people here who are so 'well connected' as you say they are are sadly silent and only talking to you?  Really?  You sad old man - you were kicked out of One Donham and as far as I'm concerned, you don't sound like a problem solver - just a disgruntled former employee.  You seem to be a one trick pony - who can only harp on the same old thing over and over.

You have information - you allude to it - and don't reveal it - no one takes you seriously - and they shouldn't.  

And if you think the veil of secrecy is lifted off One Donham - you ought to know what is REALLY going on down there today.  You haven't the foggiest clue.

I stand still at elections.  Until we vote out that element - nothing will change and all you are doing is stirring a cold pot.  If your mystery source wants to come out and actually start naming names - hey that actually might bring us closer to the revolution we need - but your incessant barking about all this secret crap only you know.....isn't doing anything but giving you a false sense of self-importance.

Bob
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2017 at 11:43am
I get your points about nelson, though to expand here:

Let's talk about the long-running plan of residential demolition---over the last 50+ years, we operated very successful businesses in all areas of middletown. We had a neighborhood concept. Over the last 10+ years, I watched the destruction of these neighborhoods, particularly in the Sutphin/Moore/Crawford area and in the former 2nd ward. Dilapidated housing was demo'ed in a somewhat random manner, leaving these areas looking like a 3rd world city that had been bombed. The now empty lots are too small to be re-constructed and flanked by housing that honestly isn't much better. Instead of having people live there, now we have nothing = loss of customers/shoppers = loss of necessary business, + the overall ambiance and crime rate of these areas hasn't really changed.

No coincidence that I sold my former 2nd ward business and my Central Ave business after sales declines. I sold my 2nd ward business to the best operator that I know currently in similar profession. Without any press or admin knowledge/concern, he recently closed that business and stripped the building. Why? Because he could never increase business traffic + the strip center has been neglected by both the landlord, Chamber and Admin. THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT HE WAS CLOSING/CLOSED THE BUSINESS!!! Neither ED or Chamber EVER visited the owner or landlord contrary to their repeated business-friendly claims and repeated assurances that they all had made those visits. Trust me on this.

I then sold my Central Ave business property, stripped the building, and now we have an incredibly dysfunctional Dollar General in it's place(how many will we have in town by year's end?). Bottom line---the housing demos have not helped these struggling neighborhoods, and now we have two very important "food deserts" in totally residential mid-city areas. We are incredibly fortunate that the former Marsh location found a quality buyer, or the situation would be FAR worse.
ED, Admin and Chamber did not involve themselves in any of these situations, yet they celebrate the "coming soon" opening of every trinket shop in the former downtown area(which IS slowly getting better thanks to concerned young entrepreneurs returning to their home for very cool start-ups and residence).

To me--this seems like a serious issue to be openly addressed by ED/Admin/Chamber/DMI/MMF/CBI/MSS and everyone in power who honestly cares about the entire city prospering and moving forward in a positive way.

so--SWOhio, middiemom/middie29, ED, Mr.A-----tell me where I am wrong here?
I obviously still care for my community, show it in ways you probably don't know about, still have a residence here and want to be involved.

help me out--and quit sniping @ one another!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2017 at 11:59am
BuddyBob's insulting comments remain irrelevant.  The only legitimate matter facing Middletown residents  is whether the city has charted the proper path to engender the highest/best uses of limited taxpayer funds to help achieve sustainable long-term community redevelopment.  The prioriities, policies, plans and programs of the City of Middletown will determine if a "Brighter Future" is to be realized.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2017 at 12:17pm
The problem is here - i'm NOT interested in re-devlopment with ANY taxpayer funds.  If private money can and will go into those areas and invest THEIR money and can sustain it - then great!

Why should the taxpayer be on the hook for ANYTHING?  We've spent (just off the top of my head, I'm sure the number is way larger) at least $35M on downtown in the last 20-25 years - and what do we have to show for it?  

I'm waiting.  I think Vitori is doing things right - she took on a task I sure wouldn't have - and I wish her continued success - but really there's no one lining up to do business in downtown Middletown.  

Therefore - if private money sees that area as a less than stellar investment - so should the city, state and federal governments as well.

However - allowing businesses that want to build on the east end to walk away from the city because of indifference due to politics, money and competitive impedance - well, that's just silly......and it has to stop!

Bob

And Nelson, you get what you dish out.  Peace.
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2017 at 12:21pm
SpiderJohn -

Let's see, who've been the persons that spoke so much about the housing demolition blitzkrieg in of the past eight years?  Who have been the ones that's noted the "gutting, or at least de-emphasis" of previously successful home owner housing rehabilitation programs?  Who have been the one's to disclose the misdirected use of NSP monies several years ago?  I'm glad to see that you're now confirming the negative impact of these policies upon the housing stock of areas close to your former Central Avenue store and elsewhere.

As I previously noted to you in a private message, upon assuming my former position with the city back in early 2007, I proposed to Marty Kohler that three different "mini target areas" be selected for intensified community development activity.  One of these was the Crawford/Sutphin/Central area close to your former store.  The other two involved the Church Street area of Ward One plus the 14th - 18th Street area of Ward Two.  Marty Kolhler opposed these three recommendations as I also noted to you.

Vivian Moon and I have endeavored to enlighten MUSA participants regarding older neighborhood issues/opportunities not to mention "downtown" misadventures.  I think that we've succeeded in this task though she has stopped posting.  And, the blog is better off having had the contributions of VietVet, Whistler'sMom, MiddletownScouter, Acclaro, What A City, etc.  You also have offered an entrepreneurial perspective that's been unique to the blog and most valuable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2017 at 12:29pm
BuddyBob -

I need to remind you that Torchlight Pass (Ami Vitori) did receive a modest amount of city funds (facade improvements) plus a grant from Duke Energy that totaled a reported $50,000.  Are you saying that the city's $30,000 investment should not have been allocated to her?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2017 at 12:36pm
I know it sounds harsh, but yes.

If the city invested $30,000 - how long does it take the City to recoup $30,000 from a business?

My point is simply this - if a city has to invest cash money (not referring here to any infrastructure) to get someone to build in a specific location - then I'm against it.  

The city should never be in a position of propping up enterprise.  Enterprise (as a result of taxes from economic activity) should bolster the City and region!

Bob
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2017 at 12:55pm
Originally posted by buddhalite buddhalite wrote:

I know it sounds harsh, but yes.

If the city invested $30,000 - how long does it take the City to recoup $30,000 from a business?

My point is simply this - if a city has to invest cash money (not referring here to any infrastructure) to get someone to build in a specific location - then I'm against it.  

The city should never be in a position of propping up enterprise.  Enterprise (as a result of taxes from economic activity) should bolster the City and region!

Bob

Then you are saying the city should not offer any form of economic development assistance to any entity in any part of the community.  

That does't sound very business-friendly...
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Originally posted by Analytical Analytical wrote:

BuddyBob and SWOhio75 -

Please note that it's doubtful that a nine-year mainstay of the MUSA blog has any desire to speak with either one of you.  However, she has an extensive network of city business people, a couple of elected officials, realtors, MUSA participants, target area residents, etc., etc. that have helped remove the veil of secrecy at One Donham Abbey.

She's been a real bulldog over the years in obtaining useful and revealing financial/other information from One Donham Abbey sources.  Her efforts have helped expose what's really happening in the world of "downtown" and neighborhood development.

I don't find it necessary to reveal the names of any elected official who have confided in her.  One reason is that they'd surely face retaliation and the flow of information to the public being impacted.  You can choose to accept that or not.

She's discouraged/dismayed by the blog indifference to repeated questionable actions of city government.
Nelson - For those of us who have been here for years, it is clear who your "reliable source" is.  

That being said, Council would have needed 4 of 5 votes to over turn planning commission's decision. It's been alluded here by you and whislersmom that Mayor Mulligan is one of the hold outs. You've had no problem calling him out by name. That means the remaining four would have had to have been on board to over turn the decision.  

Simply put, Kettering likely did not have the confidence that they had the votes needed for the rezone, and thus pulled the application.

Again, it's been alluded here that there was a second council person who was opposed to the rezone.  yet you refuse to call that person out by name as you have done with Mayor Mulligan so don't give me the BS that you don't find it necessary because you past practice speaks otherwise. 

Just because Kettering pulled the application doesn't does't mean they can't bring it back.  The footprint of thefacility was not changing when the rezone.  The use of the facility was impacted. 

Does their decision weigh in on the fact that two council seats are up, and is one of these council seats the second in opposition?  Is it Dan Picard?  Or Dora Bronston? Every candidate should be asked the question as to where they stand on this issue. Could the rezone be brought back up in January after new council is sworn in? 

Today's MJ article indicated that more than 300 email exchanges too place between Atrium, Kettering, City staff and council members.  These emails certainly would be available under the Freedom of Information Act.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 20 2017 at 10:54pm
SWOhio75,

The city should offer economic assistance in competitive situations where we as a city are vying for businesses with other cities and locations.  And, the assistance should only be given when the situation calls for a number of jobs and a much greater return on the city's investments.

In other words, I cannot say that I am 100% firm on any investments to Mrs. Vitori's business from the city - but I think I would have stood against it, for the simple fact that if I were a councilperson - I'd want to be held accountable for the money and how it is spent.  I have passed by Torchlight Pass (see a previous post about it) and at 8pm on a Thursday is was nearly empty.  The question is this - how long does the business have to operate and how many employees must it have and how much revenue must it generate to regenerate that investment back to the city in a reasonable time-frame?

I understand it isn't a loan and isn't expected to be paid back but I do realize that the city makes the investments with the hope that over the lifetime of the business it reaps hand-over-fist what it invests - but I am a businessman.  I don't invest money without a long talk about ROI.  That's what is missing to me - the ROI.  It's great that people like Ms. Vitori want to bring their money and do things in downtown.  However, if she'd opened up her restaurant in a storefront in the Middletown Shopping Center - would the same monies have been granted?  Had she opened up in one of the outparcels of the Towne Mall - would she have gotten the same?  The official city position would be, well, no.

In fact, unless I'm mistaken and her operation is way larger than what the naked eye can see.....according to a document on the city's website - her business would have qualified for nothing from the city (unless her payroll is $1M annually - which may be - but doesn't appear on the surface it would be that large...) at all.  Facade grants - well, those are reserved for the city's 'urban core'.

Again, my only point is that private money should be allowed to do what it wants.  Public money is a totally different story....remember....we are STILL paying nearly $1M/year for the mall roof removal!  There will NEVER be a positive ROI on that little project.....

We may disagree, but I still love ya!
Bob
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 20 2017 at 11:04pm
It is my understanding that Kettering pulled the entire request, thereby negating any reason to bring it up to council for any reason, so - it has been removed from consideration by the requester - so they'd have to start again at square 1 to get it back before council.

Isn't it amazing?  After all that hub bub - Kettering is still building, and Premier has to BEG people to change their INSURANCE COMPANY and make a public spectacle of it????  It's sad, but it's a victory lap and a last ditch effort at survival all rolled into one!

Yep - the real issue is that Premier is in serious financial and business trouble - and Kettering's plan would have taken one of their biggest assets down to the very shaky foundation upon which it was built.  And our city's leaders stood idly by and dug their heels into the concrete to prop up a bad business instead of letting competition force it to become stronger.

Yes - competition would have forced Premier to their knees with UHC and the contract would have been approved within weeks of the decision - they'd have had no choice - instead 200,000 people can't use their facility or doctors or whatever.  

Yeah - this all makes sense.  I for one support competition - it's good for all businesses all the time - and when the city government steps in to prevent it - shame on them.  

Vote every last one of them out.  It may be the city's only chance at survival.

Bob
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 21 2017 at 9:52am
BuddBob -

Lest we forget. city staff is the responsible entity for formulating/recommending priorities, policies, plans and programs.  City Council is then entrusted with the ultimate approval/disapproval of same.

BuddBob Quote:  "Vote every last one of them out.  It may be the city's only chance at survival."  End Quote.  

My response to your reasonable post is where and how does senior city staff fit into this equation?

  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 21 2017 at 11:05pm
Nelson,

I would think that if there was a complete overhaul of the council, Mr. Adkins would likely take his own leave after conversations I've had with him in the past.  

If you're asking me to make some kind of blanket statement about people I either don't know well, or well enough to make a judgment call, I'm not going to do that.  

The way I see it - there's been multiple chances for our council just in the last two meetings to do the right thing and show the city staff that they are more than just a rubber stamp......but they didn't.  I think if we have a do right council - staff will take their leave as necessary too.

Yes - staff does the recommendation and planning - but our Council holds them accountable through the Manager position.  

Our city will never regain its prominence in our region with this council, manager and senior staff - and I think it's time for it all to change.  Does that answer your question?
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau
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Joined: Nov 19 2015
Location: United States
Status: Online
Points: 335
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2017 at 10:21am
Originally posted by swohio75 swohio75 wrote:

Originally posted by middiemom middiemom wrote:

Here we go again. Nelson having another conversation with himself. 🙄

Wait for it wait for it...poof it's gone.  

Sad, sad individual.  Constant rehashing.  Posting, deleting, reposting, deleting.  

He needs help.



SWOhio75 -

We're still waiting for you to offer ANY POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS to help resolve Middletown's numerous challenges.  I do note that you're quite talented when it comes to excessively biting critiques, personal insults, defending One Donham Abbey senior staff, etc., etc.

What say you when it comes to "downtown" as well as older neighborhood  revitalization priorities, policies, plan and programs of the city?  Do you agree or disagree that millions in city taxpayer funds have been utilized cost-effectively for highest and best use undertakings?
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