Who’s Looking, Who’s Asking, Who’s Paying Attention?

Residents of Dearborn Heights there are issues in your City. How many of those issues are known by the residents of the City? Few. We pay our taxes, but how many look at a tax bill to know just what they are paying for. Headlee Override, Act 345, CSO and so on and so on. We talk about those things here on the blog and over on the Truth Page on Facebook. We do that so the residents of this City can stay informed. Today I have to ask myself how many even know or should I say care?

I’m not posting as much as I use to, I’m not going to council meetings. I don’t feel the need to. Nothing ever changes the same people on the Council that have always said ‘NO’ to us, continue to say the same. The administration well we know all about that. The same yes votes are cast by the same council members for whatever this administration brings to it. So I stopped getting myself involved so much. The same absentee voters are going to decide who gets on the council because not enough voters get off their duff and go to the polls to vote. A few of us that pay attention go to meetings, dig to get the truth, ask questions we try to get the information out there. To who? How many look for the information?

Recently here and on Facebook it was brought up that the City charges us almost double for water/sewage compared to other City’s around us. The administration borrows from the water fund to pay the bills in the City (payroll) and then pay’s back the money with interest. This is legal, but if we the resident didn’t have to pay double in the first place wouldn’t the Mayor/Council have to submit budgets that are true in nature and save us some money? No the Council and the Mayor after the expenses of maintenance and servicing the lines have a very healthy water fund. How many residents even know this information? Not many, I would say if more did they just might be creating a fuss to get this changed. Well, maybe not because this council had the chance to change it just in these past few months during budget talks and it wasn’t. No instead, our rates went up again in December. Oh, they will say that we haven’t raised them for two years. Big deal we are still paying double even without the water rate hike. Who’s asking? If what I think I heard is correct the Council in Dearborn Heights is set to raise those rates again. How many residents will be writing to express their outrage with this? How many of us will go to a council meeting to say ‘NO.’

How many in the City know that they were over-charged for the CSO bond? How many know that 6.8 million dollars collected and by the time the bonds are paid back in 2017 there will be over 3 million to put back into the general fund.  Those of us that go to City Council meetings or watch them on Youtube  found out about a 1 million dollar refund check from MMRMA. Not the first time he’s gotten one of these refund checks from the MMRMA. The Mayor is so sure about getting these checks that he just puts one million dollars in the budget before it’s submitted to council for approval.  That can be done nothing wrong with that. I would ask how the Mayor and Council who approved his numbers knew this was coming? Troy Brown on Facebook Said this,

I wonder how much the city would be getting back, if indeed the legitimate claims of it’s residents were honored, as they should have been? I wonder if the “self-insurance” pool knew that the city had a consent agreement against the county to fix a problem, that lead to the massive loss of property on 8/11/14, and DID NOTHING AT ALL WITH IT? I wonder, IF the self-insurance” pool would have known about this huge risk and problem with the city, how much the “refund” check would have been for with this type of risky management?

Council members over the years have asked about the water rates, the CSO bond, and the budget. Councilman Berry, former Councilwoman Badalow, and former Councilwoman Van Houten Asked. With no support from others on the council, these concerns went where all concerns go that aren’t dealt with in the City nowhere.

Now the question is this how can we get people interested in what is happening in their City? I dare say this Council “the majority” there are exceptions and the administration are very comfortable in the knowledge that very few know or care what is going on in the City of Dearborn Heights. I hope we can change this it’s important that we do.

Where Was Ping4Alerts For This One?

DEARBORN (WWJ) – A tennis ball wrapped in duct tape and deemed suspicious was the cause of a bomb scare outside Dearborn Heights City Hall.

Nothing exploded and no one was hurt, according to Police Sgt. Steve Pop, who explained it started at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

“Our officer that has a detail here at City Hall was walking the grounds to check on things that were on the grounds and he found a device which is a tennis ball. It was wrapped in gray duct tape.” Full Story Here

Thank you Mr. Mayor, Fire, Police for sending us that Ping4Alerts. NOT! Those of us signed up  didn’t get a ping on this why?

Call the Mayor 313-791-3490 or Email dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us ask him why he didn’t give an alert to his residents? Ask him why he hasn’t asked the Fire Department or the Police Department to use this service? Let him know you want to be notified through Ping4Alerts.


City Hall was open during this incident residents could enter the building. This might be the reason there wasn’t a Ping4Alert put out for the residents. Just trying to keep it real here guys.

How Deep In Our Pockets Does The City Get To Go Before We Say No?

As far back as 2010 former councilwoman, Badalow and Van Houten asked about the excess in the CSO Millage. They questioned the amount in this fund and asked at the time to have it lowered. I believe councilman Berry also had concerns about the water fund and this CSO Millage.  Mayor Paletko wasn’t the Mayor in 1998, he sure was on City Council. He was well aware of what the residents paid into this account as Mayor and a CPA when members of City council, brought this to his attention he should have reduced it. No other council members voted on or discussed this Millage. Now in 2015 the Mayor pushed by a resident for answers ask for an opinion only to have them tell him what was said five years ago. Do we as residents get that money sent back to us in the form of a refund from the City with a thank you letter? No.

Yes, there is 6.8 million, this as the letter indicates is well over what is still owed.   The last bond will mature in 2017.


Now what will happen with the 3.2 million that’s left after all bonds are paid off?

Where The Money Goes

This Mayor and other elected officials in this City had their hands so deep in our pockets that the City will get after all is paid off  over 3 million dollars of our money back in the general fund. This wasn’t good accounting or even being smart with our money.  This was just doing something that the residents of the City didn’t pay attention to. To think that this Mayor can put another 3.2 million of our money into the general fund. Even when the law was clear that he should have lowered the rate years ago makes me so angry. Council when at least two council members brought this to your attention five years ago why didn’t you do something for us? All the years since not one of you looked/noticed something was wrong?

Five years ago was there even one resident who asked or called after this was brought up at a council meeting? I recall writing something here about it but did anyone ask or demand that the law be followed? As residents don’t we have some responsibility to make sure the people we elect are acting in our best interest?  What can we do about it now? Nothing. Are we going to sue the City to give back our money? Is there even a provision in the law to do such a thing?  I know what everyone is going to say make sure they don’t get re-elected. That’s fine to say this how are we going to make sure they aren’t re-elected? It’s not going to happen as long as we sit at home on election day. It’s not going to happen when the majority of residents aren’t even aware that these things are happening.

I thank Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton for all her work on this, and Councilman Berry five years ago for asking about this along with former Councilwoman Badalow and Van Houten. We won’t know until 2017 how much money is left or even what can be done with that money. One thing is for sure this Mayor will not be getting credit for it. Not if we remember what he’s done  To let this man take credit for not following the law and spin it in a way that will make him look like some ‘budget genius’ would be an insult to us all.

The Wrong Vote From Council Could Cost Us.

On agenda, July 14th, is the Resolution to intervene, having a seat at the table, regarding the proposed Tariff, MPSC Rate Case U-17767.
The decision to intervene is simple: the City should have a seat at the table when its money is being spent. Projected loss of $100,000 annually for the City of Dearborn Heights, if the TARIFF passes. DTE would rather not have anybody else at the MPSC table, asking hard questions about its proposals, but I view that presence as a simple and necessary act of stewardship of public funds.

Thoughts on DTE Tariff/ Proposed Rate Increase before MPSC:

The focus needs to be on potential savings by migrating to new technology. Right now, the potential savings from LEDs is larger than it will be under the proposed rates.

Under current tariffs, municipalities are typically able to reduce annual spend around 35% by migrating to LED. That potential savings will be more like 20%-25% under the proposed tariffs. The difference sounds small in % terms but it’s a lot of cash when our budget is $1m/year.

26 communities have signed the Resolution. From: Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton.

Michigan cities gearing up for fight with utilities over LED streetlights

Letter Regarding CSO Millage For City Of Dearborn Heights.

Letter Regarding CSO Millage(24755820_1)



#CSOoverpay #wedemandbetter

City Levied The CSO Millage At A Higher Rate Than Necessary.

Here is the conversation taken from the Truth Page on Facebook. Suzanne Todd posted this on the Truth Page for all residents of Dearborn Heights. The letter she is referring to is part of the Agenda Packet that is suppose to be on the City’s Website under the City Council Page, I didn’t find it there. For those that are so quick to praise the administration I ask you if this is fine with you? If taking money from you that wasn’t suppose to be taken from you is fine then there isn’t anything to talk about. If you do feel that enough is enough from this administration then I ask you dear resident of Dearborn Heights what are you going to do about it?

I read the letter from Miller, Canfield…. on the CSO bond we have been paying for since 1997. In 1997 we gave the city permission to charge us 2.5 mills ($2.50 per $1,000.00) for the CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) bond in support of the City’s bonds and contractual obligations owed to the Wayne County. The total amount of this contractual obligation for the bond issues are estimated at $27 million dollars.

The letter goes on to say ” The fact that the City had an accumulated balance of over 6.8 million as of June 30, 2014 means that the city levied the CSO Millage at a higher rate than necessary to pay the obligations that were intended to be paid from the CSO Millage”

The letter goes on to say ” Section 701(4) of the Revised Municipal Finance Act requires a municipality to reduce the amount of the annual levy to take into account any surplus money on hand”

WOW! Our city administration and some council members are something else. Not only are we charged more for our water than any other city around us, we were also taxed more than we should have been on this CSO bond. They even had the kahunas to thumb their noses at Section 701(4) of the Revised Municipal Finance Act. We know the city borrows from the water fund in order to make ends meet; we now know that the City was sitting on millions of dollars in this CSO fund. Wonder how much they borrowed from the CSO fund to make ends meet. Of course, expecting a truthful answer is pie in the sky.

Now for those residents that flood and that means those along the Rouge River and Ecorse Creek, this is like throwing acid in our faces. We are overcharged for our water, overcharged on CSO bonds regarding sewers and we have to put up with water in our basements and houses.

People we have got to start culling some of the council members and we need to start with Ned Apigian. Thank goodness Ken Baron is leaving. That leaves two spots open on that council that need to be filled with people who will represent our concerns instead of their own. We need to keep Lisa Hicks-Clayton because she is the only council member that is working her butt off trying to help us. In two years we need to get rid of Horvath, Kosinski and Berry. Those three are as useless as lips on chickens.


  • Mary Saputo Don’t hold back, Suzanne. Tell us how you really feel. I do SO agree!
    19 hrs · Like · 2
  • Lisa Rosol Muscat Suzanne you need to run for city council!!!!!
    19 hrs · Like · 1
  • Donna Cipolletti Colias Amazing….but what can we do about it? We can’t even get anyone to admit to these facts…how can we make them tell the truth?
    17 hrs · Like · 1
  • Suzanne Gaskell Todd I want to make sure everyone knows that it was Troy Brown who has been dogging the mayor about this CSO fund and it was his persistance for several months that brought this letter to the light of day. If he hadn’t, we would have never known what was gSee More
    17 hrs · Like · 2
  • Janet Badalow I guess no one was paying attention when I voted NO on the water budget the last two years I was on Council. Former Councilwoman Van Houten was a NO before she left and Councilman Berry was the 2nd NO vote with me. Margy and myself both made note of the overage in the fund. Glad Lisa Hicks-Clayton is continuing the fight and will be pleased when Ray Muscat joins her.
    17 hrs · Like · 3
  • Suzanne Gaskell Todd Hi Janet,
    Yes I was paying attention and that is why I said “some council members”.  I should have listed you and the others but sometimes I get really wordy and try to shorten my message.  I apologize for not mentioning the dissenting council members See More
    16 hrs · Like · 1


Ray MuscatI agree with Lisa Rosol Muscat, Suzanne Gaskell Todd needs to run for city council in the next election.
#wedemandmore #CSOovercharge want to join the conversation on this subject go over NOW