Name: Valerie Duncan
City of Residence: Dayton, Ohio
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Office Sought: Dayton City Commission
Why should you be elected?
I worked for the City of Dayton for over 31 years. In working in the City of Dayton operations on a day-to-day basis giving me the skill sets to know how to handle problems. Who in the City departments can help solve the problems, and implement remedies to solve the issue or concerns. My know-how of the City of Dayton’s operations will help me tackle Dayton’s current problems. Address the problems fairly, with citizens’ input to help all of Dayton prosper and grow.
With my extensive work experience in public service, I am prepared to meet the tasks at hand as your Dayton City Commissioner. My 31 years working for Montgomery County and the City of Dayton have given me the know-how to solve City issues. I worked with various City of Dayton departments, addressing the needs of the neighborhoods, business districts, and concerns of Dayton residents. The city departments included the departments of Planning, OMB, Engineering, Recreation and Parks, Economic Development, Building Services, and Public Works. I prepared funding proposals for development projects for neighborhood and business districts to improve the viability and attractiveness. My work also involved a review of neighborhood and business proposals for zoning changes before the Plan Board, Variances before the Board of Zoning Appeals, and liquor license renewals.
As my Public career continued in the City of Dayton government, grasping more understanding of the City’s operations, its functions, and the budget processes to acquire funding for projects and programs. My expertise continued to broaden even further having the opportunities to resolve complex or controversial issues. Some of those issues included liquor application renewals, Industrial and business zoning, changes in the zoning district usage, and compliance with the City of Dayton zoning code requirements.
In the Position of a City Commissioner, it is also our responsibility to make decisions on the City’s Budget and policies that impact the City of Dayton. As a City Commissioner, I will be working diligently with the mayor and my fellow Commissioners to make decisions on the City’s budget and policies that ensure that the Dayton and regional issues of the Miami Valley are addressed. As City Commissioner, I will ensure that general funds are appropriated to Departments and their Divisions operations can perform their functions adequately. This would include adequate funding for the operations of the Division of Housing and Nuisance Abatement.
The City Budget has been affected by the reductions of revenue by Covid 19 and the reduction of the State Local Fund that prevents cities and counties to pay for vital services and necessary revenues for our local schools.
I will work as a team with my peers and other government officials to regain adequate funding levels from the State of Ohio to help Dayton, the county, and other communities to provide essential services. The most pressing fiscal issue facing Dayton is the possibility of not being able to provide services, such as police, fire, and other essential health and safety concerns. Due to the pandemic, Cities, Counties, and townships are facing a financial crisis. Like most cities, Dayton depends on payroll tax for revenue to fund Dayton’s budget. Because of the pandemic, workers who work from home but live outside of Dayton don’t pay any payroll tax to the City of Dayton. Even though their companies are located in Dayton. Cities and counties will get relief from the recent federal Stimulus, but future funding solutions need to be found for cities that continue to lose revenue from workers who do not pay payroll tax.
As Dayton City Commissioner, it’s our responsibility to ensure that the policies and procedures of Dayton have a good impact on our neighborhood conditions for its residents and to attract people to live in Dayton. My past work experience has prepared me for the challenges that currently exist for the City of Dayton. In my public career, I have had the opportunity to work hand in hand with the City of Dayton’s day-to-day operations to improve Dayton’s livability. My expertise in the city government will help implement City policies and programs that will include citizen involvement for results that benefit the residents of Dayton.
Top Three Priorities:
My top three priorities are neighborhoods, water, and jobs. Several major issues are facing the City of Dayton. The main concern with most neighborhoods is the overall conditions of our neighborhoods. The major issues centered on the number of dilapidated and boarded houses in the City of Dayton. Other issues concerned the lack of investment in the urban core of the city and the feeling of abandonment. Other concerns are the build-up of trash in the alleys and roadways. The City of Dayton lacks Youth Centers with activities for children and young adults.
There appears to be a lack of resources and commitment by the current City Commission to abate the dilapidated, boarded-up houses and no programs to allow Dayton residents to become homeowners. Programs for tax abatement should be provided for all residents to participate regardless of their income. Housing programs for residents including low and moderate-income families need to be created. Collaborating efforts can be done for those neighborhoods that suffer from housing blight by channeling resources to address these problems. The City of Dayton’s partnerships needs to be created for housing programs that give residents opportunities to become a homeowner. The Dayton Development Coalition and similar neighborhood development corporations need to be established with an overall plan and objectives for City residents to acquire houses that can be fixed up, become homeowners, and helping current homeowners fix up their homes. Those efforts that are at work to grow Downtown development need to be applied to all our Dayton neighborhoods.
The prime stabilizer in the City of Dayton neighborhoods is its housing stock. Good housing stock enhances the neighborhoods, attracts people to want to live in the neighborhoods, reduces crime, reduces health, and safety issues. Neighborhoods become a safe place to live and raise your families. Blighted houses in the neighborhoods cause eyesores. They also attract criminal elements in the neighborhoods. The empty houses are causing health and safety issues and are not properly addressed. Families next to vacant houses feel unsafe. There is an increased possibility of fire hazards. Blighted houses unabated can encourage all sorts of illegal activities that have an impact on the safety of the neighborhoods.
The abandoned houses are a liability and potentially are affecting the livability of the families next to these vacant structures. The City of Dayton Commission needs to commit to appropriate general funds to remedy these housing problems by demolishing chronic deteriorated houses. At the same time, create opportunities for rehabilitation, redevelopment, and homeownership. The City of Dayton Commission needs to be committed to addressing the housing blight of our city neighborhoods. That includes adequate allocation of the City of Dayton general funds for the Division of Housing Inspection and Nuisance Abatement. As your Dayton Commissioner, I will be committed to addressing the issues of our neighborhoods including the housing blight, and creating housing programs that will lead to homeownership for all city residents including moderate and low-income. As your City Commissioner, I am committed to addressing the problems of our neighborhoods.
There are other issues that the City of Dayton needs to address including our water Quality and Safety. There is a continuous pressing issue in protecting the Citys drinking water. There are over 400,000 people that use the water in Montgomery county. The EPA has found pollutants in our water supply in areas of Dayton. The site at Behr Dayton is located on the old Chrysler operations. Groundwater beneath the plant is contaminated with volatile organic compounds. Polluted groundwater has migrated underground through residential, commercial, and industrial areas. Valleycrest landfill is another site that has contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. The landfill has been identified and listed by the EPA since 1994. Work is soon to begin to install a large-cap over the landfill sites.
Other pollutants from the chemical runoffs from the City of Dayton airport and the Wright Patterson Air force base have contributed to chemical contaminants that are getting into Dayton’s water supply. The City of Dayton needs to address the issue of chemical contaminants in our water and be more proactive to remedy these problems. We shouldn’t wait until there is a region’s water crisis. The City needs to take the necessary actions to prevent the drinking water from becoming contaminated to prevent pollutants from affecting the health of our families with children.
As your Next City Commissioner, I am committed to being a good steward of the Dayton water supply that serves the Miami Valley region and DO what it takes to tackle this important issue.
The City can also help seniors, the homeless, and women who experience domestic violence by providing comprehensive programs coordinated with the County. We also need to create more technical training and education programs that improve skills for higher-paying jobs at all age levels including at the high schools. This would include apprenticeships with our Dayton Fire, Police Departments, and Dayton Trade Unions. There is currently a Dayton FireFighter training program at Belmont High school. Additional programs that involve High School level students need to expand into apprenticeships for Fire, Police, and Trades.
There are other opportunities to create good-paying jobs in Dayton. One way is to partner with the Wright Patterson Air Force base. The Federal government is pouring millions of dollars into its operations. We can locate these jobs in Dayton by helping businesses apply for these contracts. This can be done by helping cut through the red tape to create jobs. The expanded job availability will promote Innovation, Science, and Industrial development. Wright Pat is set to acquire millions of dollars for Material Command and the Space Force program. Dayton needs to be ready to create this opportunity by helping create good-paying jobs.
Downtown has several organizations that develop downtown. These include the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Chamber of Commerce, City Wide Development Corporation, and the Dayton Development Coalition to name a few. With these organizations, downtown Dayton is focused on Downtown, as a place to work, live and visit. There is a comprehensive plan that is structured to help attract residents, businesses, visitors, and downtown investment. The same efforts and focus by the City of Dayton need to happen with the rest of the city neighborhoods. As your Dayton City Commissioner, I am committed to efforts to create better-paying jobs.
Starting with my childhood, I was born into a blue-collar family, learning the importance of hard work and caring about my neighbors. After graduating from Wilbur Wright High School, I went on to college to receive my undergraduate degree in Urban Affairs from Wright State University. I continued my education, receiving a graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Dayton. I also have a Paralegal degree from Sinclair Community college.
With my extensive work experience in public service, I am prepared to meet the tasks at hand as your Dayton City Commissioner. My 31 years working for the State, Montgomery County, and the City of Dayton have given me the know-how to solve City issues. This includes years working in various City of Dayton departments, addressing the needs of the neighborhoods, business districts, and concerns of Dayton citizens.
As a young High school student, I learned about the United States Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the three branches of government. We also learned about economics including the stock market. As a college student taking political Sciences courses, I got inspired by the civic duties of government and its role to serve the general public. That the role of the elected officials is to identify the needs of the community and work to meet those needs.
My first taste of politics was in college, where I ran for president of the student council at Wright State University. I found that I liked politics, posting flyers, and persuading my fellow students to vote for me. Running for office gave me a taste of politics and I got bit by the “political” bug. Towards the end of my college courses, I had an opportunity to do an internship for the Southeast Priority board at the City of Dayton office. There I learn about local government, the many public services the City of Dayton provides to the public and a lot of hands-on experiences.
When I was appointed to the Southeast Priority Board as a representative, I developed insight into how the city government works. I furthered my abilities by serving on several committees including Housing, Budget, Economic Development and Land Use, Recreation and Parks, and Personal. Learning the meeting processes with the use of Robert’s Rules of Order and talking to city residents about City services. Soon after graduating from college, I got my first job working for the City of Dayton at the Southeast Priority Board office.
I worked with the city departments including the departments of Planning, OMB, and Engineering, to prepare grant proposals for development projects. The development projects enhanced neighborhood and business districts improved their viability and attractiveness. My work also involved helping neighborhoods and business districts reviewing of zoning changes, variances, and liquor licenses.
As my Public career continued, I grasp more understanding of the City’s operations, its functions, and the budget processes to get projects and programs funded. My expertise continued to broaden even further, in the ability to resolve complex or controversial problems, such as liquor application renewals, Industrial and business zoning changes, zoning district usage, and compliance with the City of Dayton zoning code requirements.
Ever since the first Women’s march in 2016, I have been more involved in women’s issues and have been inspired to run for public office. The Dayton City Commission race is the opportunity to service my fellow Daytonians. As a Dayton City Commissioner, I will be able to apply my 31 years of public service that includes the understanding of City operations, City policies, the City budget to help solve City issues.
The City Budget has been affected by the reductions of revenue by Covid 19 and the reduction of the Local Funds that prevents cities and counties to pay for vital services and adequate revenue for our local schools. The Federal government and the State of Ohio need to increase funding to help Dayton, the county, and other communities adequately provide services.
In the Position of a City Commissioner, it is also our responsibility to make decisions on the City’s Budget and policies that impact the City of Dayton. As a City Commissioner, I will be working to ensure that the various Dayton and regional issues that affect our citizens of Dayton.
As a Dayton City Commissioner, I will take my political passion and dedication to serve the public. The expertise of the city government will help implement City policies, that will include citizen involvement for results that benefit the people of Dayton.