Sep 19, 2013

Why do Murrray's campaign signs say "2018?"

I'm confused. I know Dennis Murray Jr. is running for a city commission seat this fall that has a four-year term. But his signs have the year 2018. Is he also running in that year? Charles on Venice Heights Boulevard, Debbie on West Osborne Street and Amy from Sandusky

Dennis Murray Jr., Sandusky's former state representative who also previously served as a city commissioner, provided the following answer:

2018 is Sandusky's bicentennial. If you've had a chance to learn about Sandusky's history, you know we had roughly 165 years of dynamic and sometimes even explosive growth. We built things, tore them down, started new businesses to replace old ones, moved streets and parks and City Hall around to meet the needs of the times.  

And then we stopped. Thirty years ago or so we became fearful and even suspicious of change. Now we've been shrinking.  I know, there have been a lot of other forces at work here, but clearly we lost our moxie. I want us to get it back, and here is one way that I think we might do it.

Let's celebrate Sandusky's history, and at the same time develop a plan for the future. Let's invite historians, the Sandusky Library, the Follett House Museum, and anyone else who wants to contribute to explore all of the great — and not so great — things that we've done. Let's learn from successes and failures.

As we celebrate our history, let's engage all of Sandusky's stakeholders in a discussion about a plan for our future:

• Who and what do we want to be in five years? In ten years?

• What services do we want to keep?  

• Are they all worth the cost?

• How will we pay for what we want to keep?  

• Can we help ourselves and other local governments by collaborating?  

By stakeholders, I mean a group broader than just voters, even though they remain the core. I mean to include children; people who work here and pay taxes but leave for home each night just outside our borders; giant and small businesses whose investments are critical to our future; major institutions like Sandusky City Schools and Firelands Regional Medical Center; and our local government partners.  

All of these should be asked about how they envision Sandusky and how we can help each other realize that vision.  This process will take time and will range from town halls, to neighborhood coffees to meetings with the Chamber of Commerce and many others.

I propose that we celebrate and plan by passing legislation to create a Sandusky Bicentennial Commission, a public-private partnership with full authority to accept donations and spend money. Commission appointees would have five-year terms and be accountable to and yet independent of the city commission.  

The bicentennial commission would lead the celebration of our history.  The city commission would need to be more closely involved with discussion about our future, but the independence of the bicentennial commissioners will provide the freedom to ask questions that cause politicians to winch — like what are we going to cut, or how are we going to raise revenues including taxes.

At the end of this five-year process, we would have a celebration, also lead by the bicentennial commission. It's like what we do at great Irish wakes — we stop to remember, to give thanks, to toast our loved ones. And then we move on because tomorrow arrives regardless of whether we are ready.

We, Sandusky, are not ready.  Sandusky needs a plan that extends beyond answering the phones tomorrow. We are silently drifting into a budgetary crisis partially caused by the majority in Ohio's legislature for which Ohio's cities are not a priority.  

Regardless of the cause, help is not on the way.  

Today's successful cities take control of their own destinies and don't just drift. The cuts of 2014 will be painful, equal to 10 percent of Sandusky's general fund (about $16 million annually)  And yet there is no choice.  Indeed, there has been no discussion about what to cut or even a question about how to replace lost revenues.  Absent a discussion and plan, we can only wield an indiscriminate meat ax at the budget.

The Mailbag is a daily feature on Every weekday at noon, we will post one question-and-answer from a resident. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or e-mail Please include your first name and a location in the e-mail, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."



The question was not answered. We only got his campaign speech without having to go to a rally or meeting. And he got our attention. For free.


Above is the long answer. Short answer: typographical misprint.

When your family owns a seat on the council you don't need to worry about little details.


I'd say most of the city's problems are due to that explosive growth. A small town tries to be a big city, and gets all the big city problems. During WWII Sandusky saw a huge influx of unskilled labor that stayed unskilled in subsequent generations.


Seriously? SERIOUSLY???

And as for YOU, Sandusky Register, transplant is right. You just let Murray give a campaign speech / publish a lengthy campaign ad for free. If I were running for Commissioner, I'd be in your lobby right now demanding equal time!

Licorice Schtick

Thank you.
You won't be running in 2015 either, then?


I've thought about it, but the answer is almost certainly not. I couldn't get elected anyway due to being singularly unqualified as a politician. I tend to tell the TRUTH, not what I think somebody might want to hear. I also have a really bad habit of not spending money I don't have, and I believe that what somebody DOES have should be EARNED!

See? I just lost a good 40% of the metro Sandusky vote already!

Julie R.

Geez. I was looking for a short answer, not a sermon.


Where is the disclaimer on this ad? Nice marketing tool and it worked! Everyone has dreams for Sandusky but no money to pay for them. Now, let's get down to reality of keeping our heads above water.

Darwin's choice

....I just wanted to know what time it was, not how to build the dam clock.....!!


This is why he should not be elected. The answer, albeit strange, was in the first sentence. The rest was political BS.
But he has a D behind his name, so sheeple will vote for him regardless.


Okay, forget the politics or the free political advertising (can you say "bias?") from the Register, and consider this:

If you've got to EXPLAIN your campaign slogan, it's a pretty poor slogan, ain't it?


Sounds almost like the ramblings of a crazy person, an educated crazy person....or just a politician.


Sounds like Hope & Change on STEROIDS


I think his Sandusky patriotism and his ideas are fantastic! Long live Sandusky!

Stop It

^^his brother^^

Julie R.

This reminds me of the attorney with the weekly foreclosure stories.


How about dedicating oneself to service rather than self service and full disclosure of all conflicts of interest posed by his law firm client list. Here I'm wondering how representation of Cedar Fair LLP County prosecutor Kevin Baxter and the defunct Island Express Boat Lines and others impacts his ability to truly do what's in Sandusky's best interests.

In my opinion one would be hard pressed to find entities more culpable than Mr. Murray and his law firm in the ethical decline and self dealing so evident in Sandusky and Erie County government that negatively impacts economic progress. This decline is encouraged by the Register in that instead of questioning Mr. Murray's conflicts and motivations, the newspaper acts as his and his firm's PR firm.

Stop It

Who do you think propositioned that question to the Mailbag? It seems to me that many use the mailbag as free advertising or soapbox chatter.

Julie R.



so the short answer is he is running TWICE? What a lot of words to say that.


And the list of City Commission election contenders becomes more bazar with every passing election.

I'm only doing a write in vote---Bozo the Clown--oops the Board of elections may get that confused with Murray, Brady or Schell. I better write in Smokey Bear.