DAYTON – In an outpouring of support for Steve Floyd, city employees made quite the impression at Monday’s Dayton Community Development Corporation meeting.
The DCDC met to consider several items, including the terms of an Interlocal Agreement between the city and DCDC concerning the employment of the cost and employment of the city manager as executive director.
“As a board, we are working to find solutions that work for all parties involved. DCDC has never had an Executive Director who also serves as the City Manager in the past, which has posed some challenges, but we will overcome those together,” said DCDC Board President Tonya Smikal.
That issue was tabled after city staff spoke on behalf of Floyd and asked the DCDC to consider tabling the item in hopes of working through any issues.
“The transition into the city manager/executive director of DCDC has had its share of challenges, or growing pains as I like to call them. I will say that I was a bit surprised to see that the DCDC Board was wanting to vote on me not continuing to serve as DCDC director,” said Floyd.
Issues between the DCDC and Floyd date back to August when council was set to consider a resolution to order an election that would have asked voters to dissolve that organization and reallocate the half-cent sales tax they collect. In the same vote, it would have approved using those funds for economic development as well as street and infrastructure improvement funds.
Floyd believes economic development needs have changed in Dayton and so have the tools at the city’s disposal.
“I feel the most important incentives are those that encourage growth and developments into the City of Dayton whereas, we can sell them services and get them on the tax roll for future revenues as homes or projects are built. I feel these projects are planting seeds for future revenues, which this city desperately needs,” said Floyd.
Floyd believes that the city has to refocus its plans for economic development to prepare Dayton for future growth, which he believes will bring its own economic development.
“I cannot support storefront grants or more murals until our city has quality infrastructure and is more financially solvent. If that is the direction that DCDC wants to continue in, then I probably should be removed as their director,” said Floyd.
A full house of supporters waited through a lengthy closed executive session for the board to return to open session and address the matter at hand.
At that time, Police Chief Derek Woods, Tammy Alexander, and Kimberly Judge took the opportunity to speak on Floyd’s behalf and ask the board to at least table the item and talk through any issues.
Woods, who has a long-standing relationship with Floyd and came to Dayton because of that relationship, spoke highly of his character and how he had built a strong foundation in the city.
“We have established since January a very professional organization that’s in place right now and it was done with the leadership of this man right here. All of these folks that are out here tonight are all majority city employees and they came here unsolicited. Nobody called them and asked them. They found out about this and they showed up to support this gentleman right here who is leading the City of Dayton,” said Woods.
Those sentiments were echoed by Alexander, who heads up the Human Resources department, as she made the case that Floyd had resurrected the staff after the city fell on tough times under past leadership.
“We were left broken and divided with not much hope for the future,” she continued, “He has brought us hope and made us a family again.”
Finally, Judge spoke on how Floyd had earned her trust and won her over, even speaking to her own leeriness initially, but believed if DCDC gave him an opportunity, they too would find he is out for what is best for Dayton.
“You have to give a person that opportunity to gain that trust, to earn your trust. So, you have to stop and think, have they been given that opportunity,” said Judge.
After the comment period, DCDC Vice President Tammy Pratka motioned to table the issue until a later date and Meadow Noyer seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Board member Taylor Choate asked to have the item placed on a future agenda, which could be next month after the board decided to return to a monthly meeting schedule; meetings had been conducted quarterly in recent months.
In the meantime, the work of the DCDC goes on and members work to expand economic opportunities in the Dayton area.
“We want to be good stewards of the funds entrusted to DCDC to further economic development for new and existing businesses and only want what is best for our community. We are working on ways to implement strategies and goals to that end,” concluded Smikal.
Floyd was grateful to all of the city staff that came out in support of him and hoped they could continue to work towards improving the city as a team.
“I would like to thank the many staff members that showed up in support of me at the meeting. This speaks volumes for the team we are building here trying to make Dayton a better place,” he concluded.