Is Dayton on right track? Candidates’ opinions differ
Four city commission candidates agree this is crucial time for Dayton.
Staff Writer

Four candidates are running for two seats on the Dayton City Commission this November. For our online voters guide, we asked them about issues important to the city and the region. In the coming days, we will take a look at their answers. Early voting starts Oct. 8.

Q: What is the current state of Dayton? And is the city headed in the right/wrong direction? Please explain your answer.

Chris Shaw: Dayton has faced an incredibly challenging summer, and I am so proud of the strength and resiliency that our city has demonstrated in response.

Dayton is strong and getting stronger. While we have faced setbacks, we are moving in the right direction and beginning to see new momentum, both in downtown and in neighborhoods across the city. As we continue moving forward, we must work to continue expanding access to resources, equity in our development, and transparency in our government.

Shenise Turner-Sloss: The Dayton community has had a challenging summer.

Together, we have endured public acts of hateful rhetoric that led members of the Alt-Right to our community, the devastation of 14 tornadoes that ravished our neighborhoods, and the heinous act of the senseless killing of nine victims in the Oregon District who will forever be in our hearts.

Dayton is at a pivotal point.

The direction that our local government takes could further strain our resources to where it would take much longer to recover.

Residents are living in dilapidated neighborhoods that are further declining and attracting criminal mischief.

The conditions of neighborhoods are becoming the rationale for existing businesses to relocate and starter businesses to be steered away.

Furthermore, residents are experiencing an increase in mental illness from their living conditions that stifle opportunity to overcome those conditions.

David Esrati: Dayton is poised for great things, as soon as the FBI and the DO J finish indicting a whole bunch of politicians who have been playing “Pay to Play” with our tax dollars instead of doing what they were supposed to do.

Taxpayers don’t need to subsidize rich developers or huge corporations for them to come here. Every single example of that has been an embarrassment or a trade-off where our local businesses were put in an unfair position.

We need to focus on delivering services more efficiently and streamline our regions tangled mess of governments into something that works. While the Dayton Police Department is almost half of what it was, private police forces now exceed it.

We used to have a Dayton jail that was safe — now we have a dangerous county jail where people die while awaiting trial. And our property taxes penalize those who fix up their properties which only serves to promote disinvestment. It’s time for equal opportunity economic development.

Matt Joseph: The current state of Dayton is strong and is continuing to grow. As a city, we have worked to strengthen the downtown core in order to gain the resources we need to continue and expand vital services to our neighborhoods.

We have brought back hundreds of jobs to the city, paved more roads, enabled 4-year-olds to attend quality pre-K programs, and brought back curbside leaf pickup, while supporting new amenities like Gem City Market.

Dayton is moving in the right direction, but we must work hard to keep the momentum going. 


■ This week: Each day this week in the Local section, the Dayton Daily News will look at where the candidates stand on issues such as the economy, water safety, downtown and neighborhood development and more. You will be able to see all the candidates’ answers in our interactive voters guide coming soon.

■ Candidate forum: The candidates for Dayton City Commission will take part in a forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the main branch of the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St. The forum is sponsored by The League of Women Voters, UpDayton, Dayton Daily News, WHIO TV and Radio and DATV. The forum will stream live on and and air at a later date on DATV.

■ Register to vote: The deadline to register to vote in the November election is Monday, Oct. 7.