- Strengthens Women and Families
- Reduces Gender and Economic Disparities
- Improves Critical Health Outcomes
- Promotes Positive Impacts on the Local Economy
- Produces a Stronger, More Productive Workforce
Today is Women’s Equality Day and I am proud to announce that we are instituting a new parental leave policy that provides an opportunity for City of Dayton employees to take up to a maximum of six weeks of paid leave to provide parental care immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. The policy will apply to all permanent full-time or permanent part-time employees who work thirty-five or more hours per week.
At a recent campaign stop, US Senator and Presidential candidate from Florida, Marco Rubio, stated that the Wright Brothers were from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The Senator is apparently ignorant of the fact that the Wright Brothers are from Dayton. Kitty Hawk merely afforded the brothers some hot air, a lot of which has been blowing around the Republican Presidential primary season.
I have decided to help out Senator Rubio by sending him a copy of David McCullough’s excellent book. “The Wright Brothers.” I have signed it, “From Dayton, Ohio, the home of innovation and aviation–we wanted you to know the real story of the invention of powered flight.” – Nan Whaley, Mayor.
Senator Rubio should have plenty of time to read it as he flies around the country making campaign stops. Since no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio, he should be spending plenty of time here getting to know the state. If you see him on the campaign trail, try to teach him about Dayton and Ohio. We don’t want his next gaffe to be referring to Ohio as the Wolverine State.
As Mayor, I know that one of Dayton’s most valuable assets is its aquifer and the excellent drinking water it provides. I believe it is vital to our future and will be a driver of development and jobs in our region. That is why it is so important to review, update and strengthen our source water protection. The current standards were set in 1987 and have not been updated to reflect current science or evolving water resource management practices.
Last night the Dayton City Commission voted unanimously to strengthen and update Dayton’s source water protection program. The Dayton Water Department has been working on this legislation for more than a year, holding several public hearings and the Dayton Plan Board approved the updated program. The main changes to the program:
- The protection zone is being expanded by 36% and adds a broader water protection area. The boundaries have been re-drawn to be more accurate and to better reflect the aquifer’s location.
- The early warning monitoring network is being expanded from 300 to 450 monitoring wells. This expansion will allow for the detection of contamination sooner and enable the water department to act more swiftly to prevent contamination from reaching our well fields.
- Zoning land use prohibitions will be increased from 8 categories to 26 prohibited categories. By expanding the prohibition categories, existing grandfathered businesses will not be able to expand their prohibited uses, while new businesses in prohibited categories will not be allowed to locate within the protection area. None of these prohibitions currently exist.
- The variance process will be strengthened by newly established criteria with strict standards for regulating chemical substances. These criteria will impose a more rigorous standard for responsible businesses who seek an increase, requiring clear and convincing evidence that the water will be protected.
- The Risk Point Buy-Down Programwill increase the rate it pays businesses for chemicals to be removed from their site. The rate is moving from $1.79/lb up to $4.00/lb. Additional programs will be developed, such as a reverse auction, which will reward businesses that removed chemicals from the well field. These programs demonstrate our continued commitment to our primary goal of risk reduction.
- Fines are being increased for violations of water protection regulations, the maximum fine will increase from $500 to $50,000.
I will remain committed to protecting Dayton’s water and monitoring the implementation of these changes to ensure we continue to strengthen protections and employ the latest science and technology. Thanks for your support.
Mayor Whaley Reacts to Religious Freedom Restoration Act trends
Advisory Date: March 30, 2015
City of Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is disappointed that Indiana has joined a growing list of States adopting Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. Indiana is one of 19 states (National Conference of State Legislatures) with a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA. These acts reflect a growing trend among states that would allow businesses to refuse service to anyone for religious reasons.
“Dayton is a community that is open for everyone,” said Mayor Nan Whaley. “It is a message that this Commission has clearly articulated through programs like nationally recognized Welcome Dayton, the Human Rights Campaign’s All Star City designation, and local legislation to support marriage equality. Today I am proud to be a Daytonian, as we set ourselves apart from those states that protect only some citizens through RFRA laws. Dayton is open to every business and every citizen.”
Ohio is bordered by Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania all of whom have adopted Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. City officials want businesses and residents in these states to know that the City of Dayton is committed to promoting diversity in its neighborhoods, businesses, and progressive city culture.
“As City Manager, I am committed to growing our economic base,” said Warren Price. “State legislation such as RFRA’s does little to promote growth in the region. Our city remains focused on growing our core businesses in the areas of logistics and distribution, health, IT, and manufacturing. We welcome the opportunity to serve any business that seeks to locate here.”
The City of Dayton is prepared to oppose any state legislation that would by nature give businesses the right to discriminate against anyone including LGBTQ Americans in the State of Ohio. The City maintains that everyone is entitled to fair and equitable treatment regardless of their religious views and belief.
At today’s groundbreaking for the Water Street District apartments, a $30 million investment in new housing downtown, Alan Pippenger of Requarth Co. gave the following remarks which I think really sum up the transformation that’s in progress in our Webster Station neighborhood and downtown as a whole.
Comments of Alan Pippenger, President of Requarth Co. at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Water Street District Apartments, March 19, 2015.
Thank you and good morning and welcome to our Webster Station neighborhood.
First, a point of clarification: It is the Requarth Co. – not me – that is one of the oldest residents of Webster Station. And it was my Great Grandfather – not me – who sold spruce to the Wright Brothers!
The Requarth Co. is a constant in a neighborhood that has witnessed a great deal of change over the past century. Our business moved here in 1895 from over in the Oregon District because Webster Station was the major transportation hub in Dayton, with service from both the Miami Erie Canal and a growing number of railroads.
That Webster Station is a transportation hub remains a constant. What has changed is that rather than canal boats and rail cars, we are served by trucks traveling interstate highways and planes arriving at an international airport just minutes to our north. We are also connected to one of the best bike trail systems in the country, a change that will greatly benefit residents of these apartments.
We’ve seen many businesses come and go in a hundred years, but a strong, innovative, and diverse business community is another constant. What has changed is clear: we’ve lost much of our manufacturing, the Harrison Radiators, the Delcos. What has emerged is a lively mix of retail, entertainment, business services, and a host of entrepreneurial start-ups incubating just down the street at Tech Town.
Today, within an easy walk, you can lease space for a high tech start-up, visit a farmer’s market, tour a brewery and taste a local craft beer, take a college class, attend a church service, borrow a book, catch a professional baseball game, spend a day at a spa, play in a fountain, wander aisles and aisles of surplus goods, print something on a 3-D printer, purchase communications or HVAC equipment, hire temporary staff, or buy insurance or tool supplies or church music or appliance parts, or even a 2×4. And when you’re done, you can relax in a new outdoor beer garden . . . with a local craft beer.
Yes, a strong, innovative, and diverse business community is a constant in Webster Station and it is one that is ready to welcome the new residents of Water Street to the neighborhood.
That we are a welcoming community is another constant – not just here in Webster Station – but in the Gem City itself. The Wrights moved here from Indiana, the Pattersons hailed from Pennsylvania, the Barneys from New York. They came to Dayton for the opportunities it offered just as today’s new residents arrive from Turkey, Rwanda, India, Mexico, and other countries around the world. Like the generations before them they are drawn to this place, where these rivers meet, where quality and innovation are a constant, where change – where breaking new ground – is a way of life.
Good Morning. Members of the City Commission, Mr. Manager, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
In the State of the City Address last year — my first State of the City Address — I declared it was time to get busy. Over the past twelve months, we have indeed been busy. My colleagues on the City Commission, the City staff, dozens of community leaders and hundreds of interested citizens all have been engaged and very busy.
We have been busy having meaningful conversations about how to move our city forward.
Eleven listening sessions were conducted by the 70-member City of Learners Committee. Over a seven-week period, hundreds of residents shared their perspectives of what is good about schools in Dayton and what they considered to be barriers to forging the kind of educational opportunities all of our children need and deserve.
Additionally, I held meetings with the CEO’s of Dayton’s top 25 employers and held ten business roundtables with 45 local business leaders. We had in-depth discussions about employment trends and the city’s business climate and we shared ideas on how to attract more private investment in Dayton.
Our Neighborhood Porch Tour last summer allowed us to visit and meet with residents in twelve different Dayton neighborhoods. We met in churches, in schools, in neighborhood parks, in community centers and in a couple of front yards. In these informal settings we spoke with residents who are passionate about their community. With people from every corner of Dayton we talked about how city hall can better connect with them to strengthen and improve their neighborhoods.
These conversations have been important and valuable. They are part of a dialogue that must be continued if we are to see Dayton grow and prosper. We will continue with our business roundtables and meetings with Dayton’s top business executives in the coming year. And, we look forward to more conversations with city residents during another neighborhood porch tour this summer.
But, our vision of a thriving, vibrant city can’t just be about talk. It must be about action and results. And, we have seen results.
Our top priority a year ago was the renewal of the City’s income tax at the May Primary election. The successful passage of that measure by voters allows the City to remain on solid financial ground, and it led to an upgrade to the City’s bond rating last summer. This is a testament to Dayton’s sound fiscal management. We plan to invest more than $15 million in infrastructure improvement projects this year, resurfacing a number of residential streets and rebuilding major thoroughfares. Our rating upgrade will reduce the cost of these urgently needed capital projects by thousands of dollars.
The Dayton Police Department reported a 3 percent drop in crime in 2014. This continues a trend in recent years of a steady decrease in crime in almost every category. Since 2002, total crimes reported in Dayton have decreased by 37 percent, and the number of violent crimes is down by a dramatic 46 percent. Commissioner Joey Williams has made this issue a personal priority, meeting monthly with the community police council since 2010 to improve community and police relations. We commend him for being an effective voice for the community.
In May, Dayton was named one of twelve communities nationwide by the federal government as an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership designee. In collaboration with our partners from the City of Cincinnati, the Dayton Development Coalition and the Regional Economic Development Initiative of Cincinnati, this designation will allow us to take advantage of our strengths in aerospace manufacturing throughout the region. It allows us to develop a network to support existing businesses, attract new investment, and to create jobs.
The new Water Street District project broke ground a year ago expecting to bring $45 million in both commercial and residential development along Dayton’s riverfront. Along with our new Bike Share program that will launch later this year, this development promises to energize and bring a new sense of vibrancy to the urban core.
Additionally, thirty-nine businesses have opened, expanded or relocated in downtown Dayton in the last year. Businesses like the Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition, Catapult Creative, and the Warped Wing Brewing Company have brought more than 450 new jobs to our urban core. The Warped Wing Brewing Company was recently named the best new brewer in Ohio, and we congratulate owner Joe Waizmann and his partners on their success.
Last November, Dayton was identified as the hottest housing market in the nation. The unemployment rate in the City has dropped to its lowest level in 25 years and last year Dayton recorded its first population increase since the Sixties. Details about additional successes and accomplishments can be found in our 2014 Road Map Report which was released earlier this year.
Great things are happening in Dayton. We are making progress and we are proud of our successes. But, there is so much more to do.
The overwhelmingly positive response to the call to make Dayton a “City of Learners” demonstrates that the people of Dayton are ready to do what it takes to make even greater things happen. The community leaders who devoted their time and talents to embrace this challenge this past year are simply incredible. The action plan which the City of Learners Committee released in January identified five important priorities that we must address: Ensuring all children attend a high quality school; Ensuring high quality preschool is offered to all children; Increasing business partnerships with our schools; Providing mentors to more children; and, Expanding sites for afterschool and summer learning.
Each of the task forces working to address these priorities will need this community’s ongoing commitment and support to be successful. They will need City Hall’s ongoing commitment and support to be successful. We pledge our best efforts to champion, to back, to sustain this vitally important work.
And, constructive efforts are already happening. The “Men of Color” initiative spearheaded by Commissioner Jeff Mims in December brought 125 African-American men into various Dayton Public Schools to serve as role models and mentors.
Dayton police officers are making efforts to visit our schools to build positive relationships with students, teachers and administrators. All of our department directors have agreed to participate in this year’s “Read Across America” program. City Hall is firmly committed to making education a top priority.
Our partners in county government are committed to this cause as well. County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman has agreed to co-chair the City of Learners Preschool Committee and the county is actively seeking to identify a source to fund a county-wide preschool promise.
In our discussions with local business leaders, the importance of education and workforce development was made very clear. Many of the business leaders we talked to said they were poised to grow and looking to hire skilled workers. They support the City of Learners initiative because of their need for a better trained, better educated workforce.
This is especially true with some of the new private investment we are seeing around the Tech Town campus. Tech Town has become one of the hottest areas for new business development in the region. One of the newest companies to locate downtown is Proto BuildBar, a 3-D printing lab and the only BuildBar in the country. We welcome this innovative new company and its owner, Chris Wire, and we congratulate him and his team for bringing this one-of-a-kind creative space to Dayton. Proto BuildBar is part of the maker movement, what I like to call the “democratization of manufacturing.” This movement highlights the kind of skills needed for the jobs of the future.
This is what it’s all about — preparing our kids to be part of our future workforce. This is our most important economic development strategy. We must not fail.
After a long period of decline, Dayton is moving forward. As we look to rebuild our neighborhoods, as we work to provide greater economic opportunities for all, as we strive to create a new image for our city, we must not forget the importance of the basic services we provide.
Commissioner Matt Joseph has always championed basic city services as a critical quality of life issue for our residents, and surveys have indicated a high level of satisfaction with the City’s services. But we know that that level of satisfaction hinges on how we perform each and every day. It hinges on how well the streets are plowed after the next snowstorm, how quickly we repair that pothole, our response to an emergency, where we leave that emptied trash container and how we answer each and every phone call.
At our most recent Commission retreat, we spoke at length about how we might improve our service delivery. As a government organization we face unique challenges when it comes to customer service. Let’s be real; the statement, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” is widely considered to be a bad joke. Public sector service delivery is often the target of late night TV hosts and stand-up comics.
It is especially challenging because many of the services we deliver meet people where they are, in the privacy of their homes and at their businesses. We want every citizen’s contact with the City to be a good experience. The final result may not be what someone wanted and people may not always be happy with the outcome, but we want the interaction to be a good, fair and professional encounter.
Today I am excited to announce our “Dayton-At Your Service” initiative. Staff is developing a multi-year action plan that will make improving customer relations and service delivery a major priority for city hall.
This plan will focus on increasing efficiency and responsiveness. We will develop systems and processes that interface well with the public. We will develop measurable standards so that we can be held accountable. We will re-define our customer service vision to make excellence a driving force throughout the entire organization.
To do this, we must take a hard look at what we do well and where we see opportunities for improvement. Staff across the organization will begin meeting bi-weekly to outline the scope, standards and key performance measures for this initiative. We will engage the community so that we clearly understand what our citizens and businesses expect. And, we will review best practice models that have resulted in the consistent delivery of great customer service.
One of the things that impressed us about our new city manager is his commitment to customer service excellence. My colleagues and I moved quickly to appoint Warren Price manager because we were convinced he is the right person at the right time for the job. With his broad background and management experience he will bring a fresh, new perspective to Dayton. We are eager to work with Mr. Price to develop a more customer-focused culture at City Hall.
However, “Dayton-At Your Service” is more than a customer service initiative. It’s about rebuilding Dayton’s neighborhoods. It’s about meeting the needs of our citizens. It’s about supporting local businesses and it’s about expanding our economic base.
As the longest serving Commissioner in the city’s history, Dean Lovelace has seen Dayton through some tough times. Throughout our difficulties, Commissioner Lovelace has been a voice for those who have felt the tragic effects of a struggling economy. He has been a staunch advocate for the need to expand opportunities to every citizen of Dayton and beyond. Dean, your voice has been heard.
“Dayton-At Your Service” is a call to action. It is a call to rebuild this City’s image as the region’s leader.
We understand that the work we do has an impact that reaches beyond the borders of our city. The president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Phil Parker, was recently quoted to say, “As goes the city, so goes Montgomery County and so goes the region.”
The leadership Dayton provides affects the image and the quality of life of the entire region. We stand ready to find new ways to collaborate with our neighbors to grow jobs, promote development and attract new capital investment to the area.
Let every community throughout southwest Ohio know that Dayton is ready to work with you to promote our common interests. We are ready to work with you to leverage our resources to grow existing business and to recruit new industries. We are ready to work with you to build on our strengths and overcome our weaknesses so that together we can promote further economic recovery. Dayton is “At Your Service.”
Carved in one of the tablets by the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge overlooking the Great Miami River and downtown Dayton is this quote from Daniel Webster: “Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.”
Dayton is a great city with great people who call Dayton home. We have great neighborhoods and great community leaders. We have great businesses and universities. We have great resources and regional partners. We have a great history and dream of an even greater future.
Let us resolve today to continue doing the hard work that will make that dream come true.
Mayor Nan Whaley has announced five winning community projects to receive support from the Dayton Mayor’s Fund.
The Dayton Mayor’s Fund is a special resource supported by private donations to celebrate the culture, creativity and diversity of Dayton neighborhoods. Each winning project will be awarded $500.
The projects selected from among 31 applicants are:
* Greater Old North Dayton Business Association: Taste of Old North Dayton (local restaurants, churches and ethnic groups showcase diversity in cooperation with the National Night Out event).
* Walnut Hills Association: Adventure Hills (family fun festival, events and entertainment showcasing Walnut Hills Park and promoting a safe community).
* Redcrest Neighborhood Association: Picnic at Haines (locally grown foods from the Helena Urban Garden and educational displays by area civic groups).
* McPherson Town: Movie Night in the Park (outdoor film and television events).
* Historic South Park Inc.: South Park Movies on the Boulevard (family-friendly movie night in a neighborhood green space).
“We are proud to support neighborhood vitality and sustainability through The Mayor’s Fund,” Mayor Whaley said. “These neighborhood-driven initiatives will encourage unity and highlight cultural diversity in our wonderful urban communities.”
The Mayor’s Fund was established through donations made at a community celebration held in January 2014, following Mayor Whaley’s election.
Funding applications were reviewed by a selection committee of community volunteers and ranked on criteria. The Dayton Mayor’s Fund is administered by The Dayton Foundation.
When I was sworn in as mayor just one year ago, I spoke about a number of issues and initiatives that are important to our City and to our community. One challenge rises above all others. It is to ensure that every child in Dayton leaves high school ready for college or to start a career.
I called on Dayton to become a City of Learners. I promised that I would be the biggest champion, the staunchest advocate and the most tireless supporter for high quality traditional public schools, and private and public charter schools in our City.
There can be no debate about this cause or this priority: Dayton will not prosper — our region will not prosper — if we do not give our children a world-class education. Businesses will not locate here, and they will not invest in our community if we do not have a skilled and talented workforce. They need employees who can create, innovate and deliver for 21st century enterprises.
Our schools are the foundation for creating a first-class workforce. They, of course, are not in this work alone, but that base must be strong. It must be built with the finest materials. Each building block must be aligned and secure. There can be no cracks in the mortar.
Today’s high-school freshmen will enter a world of work where nearly two out of every three jobs will require a college degree or a credential attesting that they have a skill. Put simply, the days of being able to join the middle-class with only a high-school education are over. If we want our children to grow up to be successful adults and lifelong learners, we have to give them the education they deserve when they are young learners.
Among the first things I did after I took my oath was to create the City of Learners Committee. With more than 70-members, the group has worked for the last year to understand what is and is not working well for children in our schools and in our community. But we did not stop there. We also asked: What must change for every child to succeed?
This report is the product of the City of Learners Committee’s research and its willingness to unravel complexity.
As Mayor, I will annually report back about the progress we are making on each of the challenges the Committee has identified. We will celebrate our successes. We will own our failures. We will keep asking for the help we need to ensure our children succeed.
I am immensely grateful for the Committee’s boundless commitment and energy. It will take an army of us, resolved to do the ongoing hard work that being a highly educated community requires. If you are interested in joining our efforts, please reach out to our Task Force staff. They welcome your involvement and thoughts. (See the list of contacts on page 15, right before the Appendix.)
Thank you for all that you do for our children, their schools and our future. We are not finished, but we are on our way to making an incalculable difference.
Dear City Residents & Partners,
The City of Dayton is on the right path. We have accomplished much since 2013 when I first shared my Roadmap with the community. I promised that we would become a City of Learners, our economy would continue to grow, we would better leverage our community resources, and create vibrant and connected neighborhoods for generations to come. As I reflect on the progress we have made during my first year in office, it is clear that we have created momentum in all four areas.
As many of you know, our City of Learners initiative has become a rallying cry in our community. During the twelve listening sessions held this summer, it was clear that there is a strong correlation between having a robust education system and economic mobility. The 2015 City of Learners report combines the voice of the community with next steps based on best practice models. I am proud of the work that the community put forth on this effort, and I am committed to creating measurable goals that will move all of us towards academic excellence and economic strength.
Speaking of economic strength, the Dayton economy continues to grow in jobs and opportunities. In 2014 we saw unemployment drop to a historic low of 5.7 percent; a level not seen in more than a quarter century. Locally we have seen new technologies that are changing the environment for manufactures and their workforce. In 2015, manufacturing will continue to be a key focus for Dayton. The national Makers Movement provides an opportunity to bring well-paying jobs back into our community. To this end, we partnered with the City of Cincinnati, the Dayton Development Coalition, and REDI Cincinnati to create a 27 county manufacturing region based on supply chain strengths. Nationally Dayton was one of 12 recipients designated by the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. This spotlight will help to encourage business investments and attract more federal funding to our city.
Comparatively, our neighborhoods are being reimagined. Supported by a broad base of residents and city investments, we transferred over 225 vacant properties to citizens who want to make a difference in their neighborhood. We have also aggressively pursued state and federal funds to demolish blighted buildings that cannot be redeveloped. Over the past two years we completed over $6.6 million of demolition resulting in 540 structures being removed. We have also made strong commitments to improve city services and infrastructure by investing over $15 million in projects this year.
Finally, Dayton is a community that is committed to being open, vibrant and welcoming. We will continue to focus on programs like Bike Share, which provides accessibility and connectivity to the urban core and recreation. We will strive for nondiscrimination policies that create measurable community impacts like the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. And we will, of course, continue to be a national leader in immigrant inclusion through the Welcome Dayton program.
While the accomplishments outlined in this document – and many others –give us great pride, we still are at the beginning of this journey. Our vision of a vibrant, thriving city that provides opportunities for all will require additional time and effort. As your Mayor, I invite you to review all of the progress we have made so far on this journey. I look forward to serving you, as we continue on this road together.