League of Women Voters Prop 1 Presentation.


On April 20, representatives from the League of Women Voters hosted an informational workshop at the Caroline Kennedy Library to help clarify the complex “Road Repair” proposal voters will be asked to approve or reject in the May 5 election.

With A Sprinkle Of Fairy Dust Any Budget Is Possible.


It’s budget time again here in Dearborn Heights or as I like to call it “Fantasy Time.” It’s that time of the year when the Mayor puts together his budget or ‘farce’ might be a better word to describe the budget.  The Farce then is submitted  to the Council for approval. Yes, year after year this happens and year after year the Mayor gets his budget approved. Budget after Budget based on unobtainable numbers savings that never happen (Health Care Savings) anyone remembers that one.  Have no fear if the City falls short, from what the Mayor projected in his budget he can borrow from other departments in the City. This year is no different and it’s already been approved by the council.

 

interfund loans Dearborn HeightsLook at that four and half million that can be dipped into when needed and another million when and if there is unforeseen cash shortfall.  So now the Mayor has this money

  • The Headlee Override Money
  • Almost a million from the cable companies that he rolls into the budget. The cable company money is revenue to the City.
  •  Tax revenue

The City that’s only open 4 days a week. The four-day work week that was supposed  to save the City money I dare him to show me where he’s kept track of that savings.

The early retirements to those who took it and if I’m not mistaken most if not all are still working for the City. Pension and salary yes they are not collecting any more towards their pensions and so on I get it.  The cuts in staff for maybe a year the deputy Clerk has been put back in the budget and is working. The deputy comptroller taken out of the budget has been put back and one hired. A new department (ordinance) put in place with a department head and one or two full-timers. Yep, the Headlee Override money that was supposed to pull the City from the brink of disaster has done much more than that.

As I write this I am well aware that it isn’t going to make one bit of difference I understand that the Council will approve what every BUDGET is put before them, but I just have to vent.

Just Say No To Ned Part Two


“Just say no to Ned Apigian” isn’t something that people should take lightly. Yes, we should just say no to Ned, but there is a reason for this. Did you experience flooding In August of 2014? If you did then you are one that should Just Say No To Ned. Ned Apigian had absolutely nothing to do with any of the thousands who flooded in 2014. No, he didn’t make a call on your behalf, he didn’t come visit one area of the City that was flooded. He didn’t even know that we flooded he said that publicly at a council meeting many people were sitting in the room when he did make that statement. He didn’t offer any assistance Ned Apigian didn’t go out of his way to find any assistance after the flood of 2014. So why would you re-elect Ned Apigian for another four years to Dearborn Heights City Council? If there is some reason we shouldn’t “Just Say No To Ned” please post it here.

#justsaynotoNed

The Three Minute Rule What One Resident Thinks About It.


This is an email sent to Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton about the Three Minute Rule at the Dearborn Heights City Council meetings and her response. I understand the need to have a time limit on residents who want to bring an issue before the council, but I do think maybe three minutes is to short. In some cases the person hardly has time to say what they want to say and their time is up. I think maybe they should try a few different ways and pick the one that fits most everyone’s needs council and residents alike. One thing to kept in mind no matter what you’re not going to make everyone happy. Myself,  I’ve always envisioned a meeting that could be lived streamed and people participating by asking questions via Facebook or Twitter. I know that’s to much, but someday that will be the norm just not now.
Hello.  I just wanted to email you regarding something that bothers me about the city council.  I was watching the council meetings and upset every time with the timed 3 minute when it comes to Dearborn Heights residents talking to or addressing the council.  This to me is ridiculous and insulting to us citizens that live in the city and you represent.  I had out of the state relatives and friends come in and watch the show and all of them could not believe the council times the citizens questions.  They said that their council doesn’t not do this and had to actually laugh.  They even agree that its insulting to the citizens.  It comes across that your time is more precious then the peoples time coming to meeting and address the council.  This also shows that your not willing to listen to the people that again you represent.  Council meetings are a time that citizens have a chance to get answers or to be heard by city officials.  I know people can go on and on but there are other ways to address this then time limit.  Recently I watched a gentleman talking about the past flood and really wanted to hear more but council chair brush him away.  You may not want to hear but people watching or the citizens in the audience want to hear.  Again this is a time for citizens to be heard and get answers.  How is council representing the citizen when they cut or censor the citizen.  This is the problem with government.  The perception that government doesn’t care or listen is because of this type of action or response by the government.  Just like this past flood people were upset and hurting.  People want action or government to at least try to make changes.  This perception that hands tied or behind my political office is wrong.  One person can fight the system and win.  Being a victim from this past flood I realize what others are feeling.  I am angry and upset.  I lost things I can not get back.  Its not just the money but loss of personal items.  I know heard the report saying nothing went wrong but sorry I don’t trust the report.  Something did go wrong.  This is not the first time also. It has been happening for years.  Empty promises of fixing problems and Ecorse Creek have been just that empty promises.  This is going back to Mayor Canfield promising tubing the creek or tiling and also tubing with a cover over to give more land.  Yet more loss of property.  More cost for clean up and physical work to clean.  Maybe just once other than timing just listen and let the citizen vent.  Don’t make empty promises because we know nothing going to be done.  Just a thought.  I hope this is brought up at the next meeting.  If a council time is more precious or in a hurry to go home then that council person should just resign because he or she is not dedicated to the citizen they are suppose to represent.   Thank you for your time in reading this long email. Lol.
Sincerely,
Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton Response,
Dear Mr.
I appreciate your time and your correspondence.  I wish to assure you, and all of our residents, I work for you and have always made time, valuing all opportunities to engage our community.  As an elected official, I offer constituent office hours the fist and third Monday of each month at the Berwyn Senior Center.  Constituent Office hours are offered the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Eton Senior Center.  In addition, I frequently, on average, 6-10 appointments weekly, meet with our residents by appointment.  I offer by home phone for our residents to call me directly.  During the flooding of August 11, 2014, I walked from home-to-flooded home, meeting with residents, delivering resources, water, food and more. Since August, 2014, I have organized or attended over 30 public meetings and/ or meet with residents’, discussing their concerns.
In addition, I attend many community functions for two purposes;
1) be available to our residents
2) provide service for our community as a public servant
I serve on several committees which provide a wonderful opportunity to further engage and be available to our residents including;
1) Member of the Dearborn Heights Commission on Aging
2) Member of the Concerns for Disability Commission
3) President and Neighborhood Watch Coordinator of Golfview Manor Civic Association
4) Vice Chair for the Dearborn Heights Salvation Army Community Advisory Council
5) President of the Dearborn Heights Kiwanis Club and Advisor/ Coordinator for K-Kids, service club for our elementary students
6) serve on the local school parent advisory boards
As a Council Member, I work to offer several programs and opportunities for our community including;
1) Dearborn Heights Light Up the Night- a community crime awareness program(author and co-chair)
2) sponsor the Earth Day Poster Contest for Dearborn Heights students
3) offer and organize Community Conversation which engages our residents and provide an opportunity to have their voices hear on Michigan issues.
4) serve on the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments task forces including ACCESS to Core Services for our disabled, Veterans, senior citizens and low income families of our community.
I wish to inform you that prior to my election in 2012, the City Council did NOT entertain public comments at the study sessions.  I had advocated for this to be added to study sessions.  The City Council policies and procedures were amended in 2012 to include a public comment section.  In addition, the 3 minute rule for regular City Council meetings may be extended upon approval of the majority of City Council members.  Each time a resident has requested additional time, I have supported their request.
Regarding the Ecorse Creek.  I have continued to meet with all levels of government, Federal, State and County.  I have actively lobbied for funding.  The final resolution lies with the Army Corps of Engineers approved plan- the Greenway Space.  Currently, this plan is in the final phase of the required peer review.  Upon approval, the item is submitted to Congress for consideration of appropriations.  I have already begun lobbying for those appropriations.  In addition, as your City Council Member, please watch the April 14, 2015 meeting, as I requested the follow up for the 2010 Consent Judgement which holds Wayne County legally responsible and accountable for the maintenance and development of the Greenway Space. In addition, on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, I met with a representative from Wade Trim for the purpose of defining tributaries to the Ecorse Creek and the legal mechanizisms for MDEQ as a check and balance of the tributaries. During the flooding of August 11, 2014, I walked from home-to-flooded home, meeting with residents, delivering resources, water, food and more.  I brought in additional support resources, including the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team, which offered FREE cleaning of homes, food, and clothes to our flooded residents. Since August, 2014, I have organized or attended over 30 public meetings and/ or meet with residents’, discussing their concerns.   In March, 2014, I offered and met with residents for the purpose of evaluating,documenting, and addressing concerns regarding the Ecorse Creek.  The information,  pictures, etc.  were submitted to MDEQ, County of Wayne and the Dearborn Heights DPW Director for follow up.
In closing, though the City Council position is classified as a part time position, pay of approximately $600.00 per month, I average 45-50 hours per week attending meetings, conferences, following up and addressing residents’ concerns, and meeting with our residents.  I did not elect to run for office for the money.  I chose to serve because I care.   I greatly encourage and support civic engagement.  I sponsored the Communication Initiative, which featured improved and additional communication opportunities for our residents.  This included use of social media, e-letter news, Ping4Alert and streaming via YouTube, the City Council meetings- available to view at your convenience.  I am NEVER in a hurry, or attempting to short change, devalue or minimize our residents’ concerns.  I chose to serve our community.  I would be happy to meet with you at your convenience.
Respectfully,
Lisa Hicks-Clayton
Dearborn Heights City Council Member

Water Rates Marked Up 515% In Dearborn Heights.


Following is the actual markup of 1 Residential Billed Unit (rounded)

The City pays a total per unit of $1.42 ($0.77 (disposal) + (fresh water) $0.65)
The total City charges us is(selling price) $8.74 ($4.98 (disposal) + $3.76 (Fresh Water).
That will be a gross profit of $7.32 a Unit.
The gross margin will be 83.76%
The markup will be 515.76% per unit 

Percent Mark Up Proof (1)

I would like to thank Troy Brown for this information this is something that should be a concern for all residents of Dearborn Heights. This fund is the go to fund for shortfalls in the budget me and others have been saying for years. If the administration has to borrow from this fund and they do to “make payroll” they pay back the money with interest when taxes come in. It’s been said to me over and over that this money can’t be used for anything except water related expenses. That is until the administration needs to borrow from it to pay the bills. I’ve written about the use of this money to pay a portion of the DPW fuel bill. That happens when the DPW fills the Fuel Tank at the DPW yard a portion a very large portion of the invoice is paid by the water fund. When I asked I was told this is because the trucks are used for sewer/water main breaks. That’s fine, but where is the documentation showing what trucks, how many water main breaks and the exact amount of fuel each truck used for each of these jobs.

The administration hasn’t put in place any fleet management system there isn’t a way to keep track on one vehicle in this City. No one documents the mileage when they get into one of these trucks and when they bring the truck back after a job. They don’t document when a truck is filled up they don’t document how much fuel the truck has when they take it out. To my knowledge, they don’t have a computer ledger or written one showing when the truck was taken out on a water main break. Yes the water department knows of each water main break job they’ve gone on, but from my understanding they don’t know the truck that was taken on that job.  This information is a few years old, and maybe they do track this now in this department. It’s been said many times at council meetings by council members when they are going to pay an invoice “is there any way to pay this from the water fund?” Many of us including myself have heard this said. It’s important to note that years back Councilman Berry did try to bring in a system to the City to manage the fleet including fuel consumption. As always it went nowhere even though it was shown how this would SAVE the City money. However, this would have all so tracked the use of car/trucks in the City. Something we know the Mayor does not want.

If our water rates are so high just to make sure there’s enough money there for the Mayor to borrow from when he needs it. I say Mr. CPA go back add 15% for expenses and so on and give us back our 500% overcharge you’ve been taking for years. Put a fleet management system once and for all in place keep track of who is using these cars/trucks for what and where they are taking them. Take a 100% over the what the City is being charged for water and sewage it’s still cheaper than what you are taking now. If there is a reason for the 500% markup I want to see it a full detailed explanation for this. I don’t see any of this money going to pay for the flood that happened August 2014.

#stoptheovercharge

Just Say No To Ned.


Local Election this year for 3 seats on the Dearborn Heights City Council who’s up?

  • Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton
  • Council Chair Ken Baron
  • Councilman Ned Apigian

I know that Ned Apigian has his supporters I don’t understand it, but he is an elected council member. I would like to point out that council Apigian has sat on the Dearborn Heights City Council now for many years not one or two and still he can’t make a motion the right way. He still interrupts people while talking without being recognized by Council chair. He still mumbles under his breath. He doesn’t seem to support the residents ever he is downright rude and condescending to many residents that he talks with at council meetings or outside of the Council meetings.

Take the January 13, 2015 City Council Meeting for instance start at 2:44 another example is at the 17:30 mark where he is mumbling something.

During the January 27, 2015 Council meeting you can get a better idea of who Ned Apigian is at 3:46-5:21 and again 7:59-8:50

These two meetings give you an idea of what I’m referring to please watch all the meetings there is so much more. You can go to the City’s Channel on Youtube City of Dearborn Heights.  I know some of you are going to be upset with what I’m putting up here and think that I’m picking on Councilman Apigian or signaling him out. That is a true statement that is just what I am doing and for a darn good reason. I would think that after one year on council you would understand the ins and outs of the meeting. Not only would I think that you would, you should and if you haven’t by that time you have no reason to be sitting there. When I see time and time again council members have to correct him, tell him how to say things how to word a resolution and so on it’s time for someone new.

Ned Apigian

Councilman Ned Apigian has been on council now for five or six years, more than enough time to get his act together.

He’s against most of what residents want and for that matter need. He did nothing during the August 2014 flood he didn’t bother to go and see the affected areas. Never bothered to go to the meeting held by the South West Dearborn Heights Neighborhood Association. Councilman Ned Apigian has since then only managed to insult people for having basements. Saying at the recent study session concerning the flood of August 2014 that he would never even have a basement. As if having one was the fault of the homeowner who bought their home that way. If that wasn’t bad enough at least four times at the flood study session he didn’t get the month right of the flood saying that it was in October. A life changing event for many residents of Dearborn Heights and he doesn’t even have the good sense to have the month right. No, I’m not willing to keep quiet about this man anymore, there’s been more than enough allowances made for him. I will only speak for myself, but I hope there will be others joining me in “Just Say No To Ned Apigian.” 

#justsaynotoned