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Psychoanalysis: Forbes Article On City Leaders

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Dean View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb 15 2016 at 3:34pm
Recently stumbled across City Manager Adkins article inviting Forbes Magazine back in a year or so to look back on Middletown, and having them take note (correction) of their crucial error in observation.

When reviewing the article again, written in December 2008, Forbes used the following factual criteria in choosing its list of the top 10 dying cities with population at or below 65,000.   As Forbes said, "the data come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s three-year American Community Survey, which gathered findings between 2005 and 2007 and ranks cities, towns and Census-designated places (CDPs) with populations between 20,000 and 65,000. We tracked four metrics: income growth, the rate of domestic in-migration, the change in poverty and the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher."

There is nothing in the Forbes metrics which suggests they based their ranking on the numbers of paint coatings to be on a building, the cleanliness of a street, or the number of magnolia or maple trees planted around the city building. Since this article was released, the focus has been to alter the Forbes ranking, rallying the troops of hope Middletown is great, and bouncing back.

Although not a Ted Cruz fan, there is some amusement when he speaks of Donald Trump's attacks on facts, yelling 'liar, lair.'

Upon reviewing these metrics, approaching eight years after written, there is no dispute every metric used is still the same as it was in 2008. Middletown has not been growing income, Middletown is not growing domestic in-migration, population is declining, and the per cent of bachelor degree or higher residents hasn't changed.

At the end of the day, isn't it a fact the city of Middletown has spent something like $5 Mm in downtown revitalization, that has absolutely no association to the four metrics Forbes used in its criteria for a dying city? Trying to get the head around all this. Did city leadership not read the Forbes article or have they been using it to call to arms its residents as a rallying tipping spear for the purpose of propping Main Street. To beat it all, one city leader said be damned Forbes, Middletown graduates great students.

In conclusion, not one metric by Forbes has improved in 8 years in the city of Middletown but lots of money spent downtown doing revitalization having no association to the Forbes criteria for its poor rank of the city. Someone obviously, missed the memo.

      
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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 8:51am

Dean

When the Forbes article was written in 2008 I don’t believe the leadership of this city ever acknowledged that it was their past actions and in-actions that had given us the title of “Top 10 Dying Cities”. That in fact this was a self inflected death sentence by a total lack of leadership over many years because “We don’t talk about the past”.

I believe if you go back over the records for the past 17 years you will find that City Hall has spent over $2 million dollars a year in the downtown area. I will leave it to others to decide if the taxpayers have gotten their bangs for their bucks.

In conclusion, not one metric by Forbes has improved in 8 years in the city of Middletown but lots of money spent downtown doing revitalization having no association to the Forbes criteria for its poor rank of the city. Someone obviously, missed the memo. 

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Dean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 9:15am
Ms. Moon, the city did take action associated with the article. Probably the reduction in section 8 voucher efforts was one, with results which remain either slightly below or at levels they were previously, and we could argue Nicholas Place will help this effort if 400 and something professional families move in, but unless you work in Hamilton, if you are paying no tax in a city you work, most will move in the city offering no tax. an't think of anyone paying no local tax and then paying Middletown .175%.

Struggling to see any reference in this article with downtown revitalization. Forbes didn't indicate the downtown city was the basis for their conclusion. Was Cincinnati State efforts intended in raising the per cent having a college degree? Just can't find the link between the Forbes ranking and the money invested in downtown, and to my knowledge, that is what council members and city management have been using as justification. What is missing here.
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Cooper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cooper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 10:10am
it will have no impact on what has been done and the path city leadership has set, but the old saying, putting the cart before the horse holds true in the Forbes article.

Forbes identified 10 cities that had not made the transition to the new economy, most of which were heavy industrial.

Middletown ran with the article. The horse is new economy jobs. the cart is higher educated individuals, higher paid workers and residents, and growing population with earnings which go up.

The tasks and acquisitions have been all cart. Cincinnati State, to educate individuals. Education is supposed to provide higher wages and diversification in the job market.

What the city has not done is to put a plan together to target and attract, new economy businesses. The cart has been all focus, and the horse to pull it, is no where to be found.

Think about the following. If the city has the authority, they could have offered 1,000 families $1,000 each to move into Middletown than the matching land bank to tear houses down, and had more positive impact.

Nicholas Place is the best hope for new residents and income moving in. And of course, someone in the city building recognizing there is a horse to be found beyond the city, called the new economy.    
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acclaro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 11:24am
Cooper the new economy jobs are down in Mason, West Chester, and Mason, where there are no local income taxes. I get your point though. The city is expanding the wine, upscale restaurant, microbrewery, and bike path foot print, thinking these are what young, educated, and professional individuals want. That includes yoga studios. The efforts exerted have been to invest in amenities that higher educated professionals desire, while neglecting to invest and properly plan on what is required to bring upscale residents within Middletown. That is what is missing. Its the jobs that are in an area that brings in a certain type of professional. It is not restaurants, yoga studios, or Irish beer pubs. You'll find many farmers out in Gratis and truck drivers, but not many computer engineers or innovation product developers working for Ideo. Middletown is missing the job lure, while building prime rib restaurants and organic coffee shops waiting for them to come....without jobs here to support their arrival.  
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 11:54am
Dean

Only after the Forbes article did City Hall declare the Section 8 Program the #1 Enemy  of City Hall. After all the time, energy, money and legal fees that have been spent on this project..nothing has changed. We still have 1662 vouchers in Middletown and City Hall is now involved in several law suites concerning their actions in the Section 8 Program.

I don’t believe that Cincinnati State in the downtown area has moved the educational needle upward in Middletown since we already had MUM.

They continue to pour money into their DOWNTOWN DREAM because City Hall and City Council votes to do so…as they have for the past 17 years. I believe it has always been included in their Master Plans.

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Dean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 12:32pm
I am sorry but the point is not coming across.

When I read the Forbes article, and have read the years of responses from the city leadership, it is clear the Forbes article hit a raw nerve. My point is, what does revitalizing downtown have anything to do to the city of Middletown's anger towards Forbes.

How does having a community college, new restaurants, and upscale bars, improve income, improve numbers of residents possessing BA, BS, improve incoming residents growing population.

A little help here please. What is the link between downtown revitalization and the metrics city hall have been angry for many years from Forbes Magazine. Not seeing it. Are others? 
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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 12:42pm
Cooper

The new Nicholas Place 216 apartment units are the first to be built in 30 years.
However the children will go to Lebanon Schools.
We will soon know if new families will be attracted to this area of Middletown.
I’m also curious to see how long it takes to rent all 216 units. 

If new market rate apartment units are built in the downtown area do you believe they will be successful?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 1:11pm

Dean

No logic…No connection…to downtown revitalization
City Hall is angry because the article clearly showed FAILED LEADERSHIP at all levels of City Hall in my humble opinion.


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Dean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 1:58pm
I have been struggling to understand why the city manager wanted to call Forbes Magazine in a year or more and invite them back, when Forbes criteria won't change, and Middletown's position obtaining the metrics hasn't either.

Don't see the purpose of bringing it up. There is no benefit of bad press.

The city needs to let go of the Forbes article. Their attention has not been focusing on what Forbes used for their ranking and the city hasn't improved against the metrics. Yelling come on back Forbes, we have restaurants doesn't seem to serve a purpose other than keeping alive an 8 year old article.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 3:40pm
Well Dean, it seems that they have now come up with a new excuse for pouring millions of dollars more into their downtown revitalization plan called ”All American City 2020”.

Don’t any of these people remember what Middletown was like in 1956 when we were an All American City?
Good paying jobs were plentiful, schools were great, Middie Pride was off the charts and Jerry Lucas was king of the basketball courts. Every business and home radio in town were tuned into an away game so we wouldn’t miss the action. The streets of downtown were filled with owner operated businesses to meet your every want and need. Money was flowing through this town.

All American City 2020…I don’t think so. The only thing this plan does for me is make me depressed because I do remember the great Middletown of 1956.


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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 6:29pm
Dean:(just a FYI)

......."if you are paying no tax in a city you work, most will move in the city offering no tax. an't think of anyone paying no local tax and then paying Middletown .175%."

Dean, I work at Wright-Patt. There are over 27,000 employees working there in three areas, one of the largest single site employers in the state. None of them, including myself, pay any city taxes to Fairborn. We all pay our entire city tax obligation to the city in which we reside.

I pay my entire city tax obligation to Middletown at 1.75%.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Dean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 16 2016 at 9:23pm
Mr. VietVet, having a daughter that is a Partner at KPMG Federal Systems Group, I knew indeed Fairborn charges local tax. You pay or have with-held, 1.5%. You then pay Middletown the extra .25%. I believe that whole area with WPAFB has a credit tax structure. If not, you are paying 2.75% total local, which is astronomical.

If your point two married professionals working down at P & G data center in Mason making 130,000 annually, with no taxes for local, would move to Middletown to commute from the Nicholas Place, well.....I have some prime wetlands in Arizona I will sell you for 135,000 an acre.

    
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2016 at 6:13am
Dean, will speak for my situation only. I work for a defense supply contractor here on the base. I have NO Fairborn or Middletown city taxes taken out of my paycheck and I have been doing this for over 10 years. I file with Middletown as to city tax payments and make quarterly city tax payments to them based on what I declare as my income for the year. Everyone in my group files with their city in which they reside.

Again, my entire 1.75% goes to Middletown and nothing has ever gone to Fairborn. As mentioned, it has been this way for over 10 years. The city of Fairborn would have contacted all of us by now if this were not so. Apparently, a government installation like WP is tax exempt as it applies to the city of Fairborn in this case.

Is KPMG located on the base or just outside the perimeter? Would make a whole lot of difference if outside the base perimeter where Fairborn tax is collected.

As to your point on P&G.....

My wife and I both worked for P&G in the 80's/90's at the Sharon Woods Tech Center. We both had Blue Ash city tax taken out which was greater than the Middletown tax rate. Therefore, we owed Middletown nothing at tax time. If the Blue Ash city tax rate was lower than Middletown's rate, we would have owed Middletown the difference between the Blue Ash rate and the Middletown rate. If both are the same or if the Blue Ash rate was higher, no money is owed Middletown with Blue Ash getting it all. That is the way it worked for us back then.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Dean View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2016 at 1:56pm
Riverside, Ohio has litigated twice WPFAB associated with the 1.5% local tax. I believe it is still in federal court or may have been settled, but the issue was the perceived unconstitutionality of federal non local taxes when the base sits within an Ohio city. Don't know how much you make sir, but of it was 100,000, would be down in a non tax area putting an extra 1750 net in my pocket each year. You have lost nearly 20,000 in cash in ten years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2016 at 3:13pm
Dean:

"Don't know how much you make sir, but of it was 100,000"....

Don't I wish but I'm not a high roller here and don't make half that amount.

Double checked with all the group members asking them who they pay their city taxes to and all said to their home city. As I metioned, none of us have paid any Fairborn city taxes since we have been working on the base. It all goes to our places of residence and each of us pay differing amounts depending on our tax rate.

No, at 1.75% Middletown city tax, for ten years (and Middletown's city tax rate use to be 1.50% until a few years ago), I have "lost" (in the form of taxes), in the wide range of 5 to 8 grand paid to Middletown, no doubt for some great causes and worth every penny as I know how frugal they are with our tax money...... Not close to 20 grand.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SEEKING THE TRUTH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 17 2016 at 8:36pm
So after all the finger pointing on this topic we all have to step back as citizens of this city and look at ourselves in a mirror and say what have I done today to make this town better. People this is a group effort but it starts with one person's idea. We need to roll up the selves and get started on real projects that will make a difference in the community trust me I am not a big fan of city hall but city hall did not make this town people did and it is still a proud town full of good people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 18 2016 at 7:50am
Originally posted by SEEKING THE TRUTH SEEKING THE TRUTH wrote:

So after all the finger pointing on this topic we all have to step back as citizens of this city and look at ourselves in a mirror and say what have I done today to make this town better. People this is a group effort but it starts with one person's idea. We need to roll up the selves and get started on real projects that will make a difference in the community trust me I am not a big fan of city hall but city hall did not make this town people did and it is still a proud town full of good people.


If you would try to gather the citizens for a problem solving/ idea creating event, you will find out quickly that you will be battling the apathy bug in this community. Years ago, a small contingent of people tried to gather people at the library. The initial meeting produced the largest group of approx. 35 people. After that, the group size dwindled to less than 10 with each Sunday meeting scheduled. We talked about the city and visited topics like the streets, jobs, taxes, looked at the city finances and tried our best to understand how the funds were set up. Even had Marconi and Scott-Jones show up one meeting but they both did a good job avoiding an explanation (or didn't understand it themselves). We talked about econ. dev and a number of topics back then as we do on this site. The meetings went away over time. Nick Kidd tried the same thing years ago at the old Montgomery Ward store on University. Again, apathy took over.

You will not get any cooperation from the city leaders on a "leader/council/citizen" discussion arrangement. They are more into the exclusion of the general public on any new ideas or suggestions. If you approach them, you will find that out quickly. They have their ideas.......yours don't count. You can see that in the faces of council members as you speak at the council meeting podium as old Lawrence Mulligan cuts you off before your 3 minute time limit is up.....if you are not a friend of the city. Exclusion is the name. You're not important is the game.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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