Darryl Fairchild recently addressed the Dayton City Commission, calling for a comprehensive plan for residential neighborhood revitalization, a plan similar to the one the Commission has for downtown. Without a comprehensive plan addressing all Dayton neighborhoods and all the issues that our neighborhoods face, progress will be slow, uneven and insufficiently funded, Fairchild maintains.
“While economic development is best initiated by private partners, neighborhood development must be led by the City, with genuine resident participation," the candidate told the commissioners.
Pointing out that many residents are pleading for greater attention to their neighborhoods, Fairchild said, “Alongside the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, we need the Great Dayton Neighborhood Plan, a plan that addresses the need of 93% of the city and the needs of 99% of the residents who live beyond downtown.”
Here are his remarks to City Commission in their entirety:
"Recently you stated that everyone should applaud the important work that is occurring in downtown. I applaud you.
However, I need to correct some confusion. Over the last 18-24 months, as I have advocated for our residential neighborhoods, you have been hearing people talk about the neighborhoods.
Perhaps I have not communicated clearly; maybe you haven’t heard well. Regardless, my concern about residential neighborhoods is not in opposition to downtown.
No - my message is simple - Our residential neighborhoods need work.
It is not either/or; rather it is both/and. We need a revitalized, vibrant, safe and vital downtown. AND, we need revitalized, vibrant, safe and vital residential neighborhoods.
This concern is not new. LEAD was advocating for the demolition of blighted properties over 10 years ago. In the early 2000’s, Ms. Gloria Leigh was lamenting about the deterioration of her neighborhood.
Some of our neighbors are crying out because their neighborhoods are falling apart - literally falling apart - around them.
I’m not sure how you have not heard them. They have spoken in this chamber, community meetings and forums. I hear them when I am in the community, on the streets and knocking doors.
The key is a comprehensive plan. Alongside the Greater Downtown Dayton plan - we need the Great Dayton Neighborhood Plan. A plan that addresses the need of the 93% of the city, the needs of the 86-99% of the residents who live beyond downtown.
We need a clear analysis like we have for the Arcade - $12 million to demolish, $1.5 million to stabilize gives us 3-5 years to develop plan, $100 million to complete. We should know how much to demolish or rehab the vacant properties? to align our housing stock? to bring our houses up to code?
We should know how much the blight is costing us in deflated home values, loss tax revenue, mowing grass, boarding and maintain properties, fire and police runs, and loss investment to name a few. It is more than we can afford.
We need plans like the one for The Nine. While we do not need plans for every 9 blocks, we do need a plan for every neighborhood. And I will work hard so that we have a plan for the 9 blocks around every elementary school because every elementary school should be safe, vital and attractive.
And, we need to make a clear distinction between economic and neighborhood development. While economic development is best initiated by private partners; neighborhood development must be led by the city with genuine resident participation. With few exceptions the City has focused on neighborhoods where there are institutional partners like UD, MVH, Children’s or Good Sam. While this is a cost effective approach for a few neighborhoods, as a city we have an obligation to plan and support all our neighborhoods.
I invite you to listen again. Your residents are speaking and they are saying - our residential neighborhoods need work."
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I commend you for your continued determination to reach out to serve the rest of us…Thank you so very much!