One-on-one with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s been a little more than 50 days since Nan Whaley was sworn in as the Mayor of Dayton.

We went one-on-one with her to see if her “road map for a new Dayton” is being followed.

Whaley tells us she’s getting a lot done.  2 NEWS Investigates met with her in December to see what she had planned for her first 100 days in office.

She said her focus was going to be on jobs, education and Dayton’s economy.  This week, we’re about half way through and we wanted to see if she’s following those plans.

Nan Whaley says she has been busy since the new year hit.

While a lot of attention has been on the city dealing with the winter mess and filling potholes, she says she’s finding time to start getting long term work done.

One of the big economic drivers of the new year is the new racino.

Whaley said she’s met with the general manager and expects things to get rolling soon.

“They hope to be open 3rd quarter,” said Whaley, “and we hope to see them hiring in the next few months.”

She’s also helped create the “City of Learners” Committee as part of her education plan.

Superintendents, community leaders and school boards are sharing ideas on what they need to do to help keep up on the education of children in Dayton.

“We know this is a long term economic development driver for us. We know it’s a long ball.  It’s going to take 10-15 years to make a difference, to see the difference made, but if we don’t do it, we can’t afford not to.  We have to invest in our children to have the workforce we need tomorrow.”

Finally, she’s focusing on becoming more of a business friendly community.

Not only is she in talks with the Mayor of Cincinnati on bringing more aero space jobs to the region, she’s also meeting with local business owners in Dayton to understand how they work and what they need from the city.

She’s already found some of the discussions surprising.

“Most businesses, the small businesses I met with that day normally hire off Craigslist and I thought that was really interesting,” said Whaley.

Whaley said another big area she hopes to focus on is to resurface more roads in Dayton.

She says the city will be spending 19 million dollars to do that this summer.

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