What Do You Do When You Have A Council Member That Does Not Understand What is Going On?

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You can say you are not interested in “these things” these things being the way the city runs. You are not into the Details I think I have had just about enough of one of our council members who does understand nor is he taking the time to understand what is going on in our city. On more than one occasion Councilman Ned Apigian has said to several people that he does not understand all “this stuff”. Yet he is fully prepared to vote “YES” on a Headlee Override why because the “city needs the money”..

If he would take five minutes to pay attention to what is going on in this city he would realize what the Mayor is asking for and before the Mayor has even cut one cent from his own budget.. Not just this year but for the Past Three Budgets the Mayor has asked for cuts from every department, but not his own… If you are a concerned council member and have been interested in what is going on with our city you would have been going to council meeting since 2009 and would have been to the budget meetings for the last budget. You would have versed yourself in our budget and what is going on in the city..

There maybe a lot that I do not understand, but just as a taxpayer I have taken the time to learn what I can.. I sat for hours with Councilwoman Badalow who was very generous with her time to go over not this budget, but the budget for 2009-2010. Many others in our city look at the budget and make sure they understand what is going on with it and what is happening in our city.. To have a Councilman  act as if this is all a waste of his time and just vote Yes because the city needs money.. The fact that the city needs money is not in dispute, but what the people are concerned about and mad about is what this Mayor is going to do with this money..

When and if  Headlee override if put on the ballot and passed by the voters, when is it set to expire? Did he even set a Sun Set Clause?  When is he going to put into effect the changes he said he is going to make? Why has he not lowered his salary? Did he have to give up his longevity? Why even when the city way back when was having problems did he insist on having a car that cost us $800.00 a month. Has Councilman Apigian even asked these questions. Has he taken the time?

I did not use this blog in the last election when I ran against him. I have stayed away from commenting or writing about him here in the months since the election. I did not want to be perceived as a (sore loser), but guys I can not sit back and not say something about someone who is so willing to vote yes when he fully admits he does not “understand all of this stuff” his words.

Mr. Apigian has been on the council since November of 2010 that is nine months, nine months to get a handle on these things the basic would be the budget..Tonight the Headlee override is on the Agenda I do not know if the council will be Voting on it tonight or not if not tonight than next council meeting for sure. I am very interested in the discussion tonight. I do not envy the Council and the decision they have to make many thing have to be taken in to consideration before any of what the Mayor is asking for are put into action..




22 thoughts on “What Do You Do When You Have A Council Member That Does Not Understand What is Going On?”

  1. Rose – To be honest, it sounds like you just have a problem with the DROP program. Do you realize that when the employee enters the DROP they stop earning pension credits, therefore, the amount of their pension is less than if they did not have the DROP and continued to work? You sound like one of those people that thinks “if I can’t have it, they shouldn’t have it either”.


  2. Private
    Guess what some of our residents lost 100% of their wages. Would your rather lose 10 percent or 100. Would you like to try to live on unemployment. Some residents of this city are for the first time in their life in financial difficulties they never dreamed about. Your compassion for city workers are admirable, but city workers are not the majority of who lives here. If you feel you can afford to make contributions to the families of city workers to keep their life style going. Donate to the city your 3%. Realize other people are not as fortunate as you and city workers. Have some compassion for your other neighbors who cannot afford a 3 or 5 percent increase in their taxes.Remember those that are struggling to keep their homes as well as those that work for the city.


  3. Sean,
    If taxes go up, I loose my house I am struggling to keep it and put food on my table for my girls. If I loose my house then let the garbage pile up for all the resident who could afford a tax increase and vote yes for the HO!! I don’t care if I loose any city services and I wouldn’t go to our city hall and complain either, I will be facing foreclosure don’t you get it, and there are many more just like me, if this HO passes!
    You wanna think that I don’t care about the city employees your wrong I do, just not at the expense of loosing my home!! Your boss the mayor put us into this situation and that creepy assistant he has and now he is crying wolf, typical for him to do so, there are other ways he could choose to save the city without a HO or without cuting salaries or shorten work days but he is not willing to take the time of effort to do it!! Let him fire her first nobody likes her rude snotty atitude anyways. Let him cut his pay give up his car, but don’t cry wolf all theses years and expect me to forget the true ways of this mayor!!


  4. Recall the Mayor,

    You say that you don’t care what you lose (not loose) as far as city services, but I’m sure you will be one of the first people knocking at the city hall front doors demanding your garbage picked up, your streets swept, the water main leak stopped, city hall open on Friday’s and immediate and personal service from the employees that you couldn’t care less about.

    I agree 100% that things should be CUT within the city, starting with the mayor’s office. But, I can assure you, if services are cut, everyone will be complaining. Including me.


  5. Anonymous

    Welcome to the Blog and the City the only thing I can think of when referring to a Grant Coordinator would be the city’s Community and Economic Director that department is paid for from CDBG grant funds.. He does have a very big staff you are right as to your question about the health care and city council. The council has nothing to do with the Health Care that is done by the Mayor. The council approves or not what the Mayor wants to spend and the council approves for the Mayor to sign agreements. There have been no cuts in his department budget but every other department has been cut some of them to the point of nothing. You have a couple of departments that have a department head and one other working in the department that’s all. “Fringe Benefits” for council would most likely be for the council chair who does get some benefits he is the only one that receives anything. As for the numbers the numbers would have come from the budget you can find the budget for the city on the city website under the Mayors picture click on the link it will open in a new window.. The city just went through a big health care shake up that was suppose to save the city money and it did not according to the Mayor Corner Stone said the city was suppose to realize xyz amount of money and they are off and way off.. Can not remember the numbers the Mayor gave last night will have to watch the council meeting on TV. Watch it 3 and 9


  6. Rose u r so right, yes our taxes went down because of our failed home value. And yes our taxes went up because of the PA 345 millage. I haven’t seen any decrease in my taxes and if they decrease more, good I hope they stay there as low as possible. Police and fire are not the only employees who will be effected. But we as tax payers have and will continue to as long as the council approves everything this mayor puts to them! Its a pathetic mess! I remember them just discussing a 14 or 15 thousand $ water faucet! Really why waste your time on that when we have so much more to worry about!! I will be voting no this year and don’t you think for 1 second that I’m scared to loose our city services! at this point I don’t care what we will have to loose as long as its not digging deeper into my pocket!! And townsmen when will you all stop believing the lil boy crying wolf? He plays his part and you all get scared and come running. Council good thing you ARE CHICKEN! See you all at the polls!

    Imo your a rude person, you must sit and judge everyone don’t you? What makes you a better person then Rose? What stops you from opening up and paying more then you have to? You mean what? Volunteering? In our city hall? Ha!! I could never be in such a hostile environment! Everyone is on pins and needles in that place! Go ahead Rose what else is on your mind?


  7. Your right. None of the volunteering I have done has resulted in a strike. I have had my house and car egged. Maybe a few phone threats over the last thirty two years. Phone harassment for sure. All that pales when I know I have helped someone solve a problem or protected them from self serving politicians or the ones who just don’t want to do their job.

    You want me to put on my gun and patrol the streets? I did that when I lived in Detroit years ago but always called the police when there was a problem. I bet if I tried to mop city hall I would get a reaction.

    Seriously, you didn’t say if you or private were going to write a check to the city to help out.

    I am sure that there are many things Kathy Abdel-Hak do not agree on but I would like to thank her for taking an interest in our city and putting forth an effort and this forum. It takes time, effort and even personal financial expenditures to make it happen.


  8. I am just an average middle class private citizen who has also been affected by the economy.
    I understand that my taxes have gone down as well as my property value, but everything else is going up….insurance, gas, electric, water, grocery, education, cable so why are you not complaining about all the other companies that are abusing the consumer especially the Detroit Water Board.
    I do not like the idea of a Headlee override unless it can be capped at the 3% for 5 years. I would gladly pay an extra 3% to keep the services that the city offers and our employee’s should not have to take away from their families because they choose to work for our city. At 3% I am still paying less in taxes then I did 5 years ago.


  9. “There is nothing to prevent you from making a contribution to the city. You could volunteer to assist with the services you support. Oh I forgot you can not do that, there would be a strike. ”

    How much volunteering have you done that has resulted in a strike?


  10. You have me at a disadvantage. You know who I am ,but I do not know who you are. Are you a policeman, fireman, council person, mayor, city employee or average citizen like me?

    I never said I did not respect or appreciate the job our police or firemen do. I support them as well, but not at the expense of everyone else and within reason. I also like to have other city services. I realize they have families and homes to support but so do the rest of us.

    Do you know the interest they were promised on their investment? Do you know the bonus they were promised for their participation? Do you know the return on investment the city has been able to get on their investments lately?

    Part of your property value decline is a result of people losing their houses because of job loss. The amount of overspending at all levels of government from both parties has killed the economy. Pension and benefit problems at the federal, state, and local levels has gotten government into a fix. Promises easily made when passed on to future generations to pay, and that includes Dearborn Heights, has put taxpayers in bad situations.

    There is nothing to prevent you from making a contribution to the city. You could volunteer to assist with the services you support. Oh I forgot you can not do that, there would be a strike. You could write a check. You wouldn’t do that unless you could make me write one too.

    People in the private sector have lost more than there home values, they have had their retirement and other investments devastated. If you think this city has been run well, then write that check and leave me out of this.


  11. I’m new to the city, so this is the first time that I’ve had a chance to get involved with City Council. I have a few questions, if you would be so kind to answer. I’m looking over the packet that was handed out yesterday. Under expenses, there is a “General Government” category. These numbers don’t match the “General Government” category in the 2011-2012 budget, do you know where these numbers came from? Also, looking over the budget, has our city council done anything to try to lower health care costs, they seem very high?
    The mayor’s budget is a joke to me, there are absolutely no cuts. Could someone explain to me what his Grant Co-Ordinator does? He seems to have quite a staff for a city that is financial trouble…a secretary and an assistant???
    Also, can someone explain to be what the “fringe benefits” are for the city council?
    Sorry to get a little off topic, but this questions arose after last nights board meeting.


  12. Rose,

    I am aware that my taxes have fallen because my property value has tanked, but that is no fault of the city or it’s administration.
    I support our police and fire and I know that the police have taken recent pay and benefit cuts and the fire are soon to follow, but they need to make a living and have families to support just like the rest of us. What’s the difference if an employee decides to stay for the Drop and invest his pension within the pension system earning the system interest or if they leave. If they leave the city is going to hire someone else still paying wages, FICA plus health care benefits. I do not have a problem paying a little extra for my families safety.
    The Drop maybe a financial gain, but they are still working for a paycheck if it is with the city or if they leave and get employment at another job so either way they still get a pension. Personally I would rather see that pension check stay within the system and keep the experienced employee’s.


  13. Kathy: I’ve been waiting since last night for you to post this morning on who voted to put the HO on the ballot and who was the lone dissension. Information, please. Another thing. I was also hoping that the council meeting shown last night would be the current one but it was August 9. So what – we have to wait 3 weeks to see this meeting or is it longer? In any case, I would be willing to work to inform our citizens and ask them not to vote for this tax increase. Let’s not give it a really nice name – whether it be Headlee Override or anything else. How about the Paletko Override? Did anyone get up and say they were against the Mayor’s idea? Info, please.


  14. Haha, good glad you get to lol…but 1 word for council, CHICKEN!! Now its on the polls guess we the tax payers get to decide if we can afford another increase to our worthless homes with NO real value!!

    Mayor you are a slime-ball you make me sick!! Today 1 work 2 of my jobs just to have enough money for my beautiful girls to eat!! Enjoy your 800 free monthly ride BIG SHOT.


  15. The DROP program relieved the general fund budget of the cost of benefits for those involved and transferred the cost on to the PA 345 millage levied to pay the benefits. Yes the pension is deferred and yes interest is earned for the city and those who have deferred their benefits. The benefit costs however are picked up buy the millage. They are then rehired and we pay their wages and FICA only out of the general fund.

    You can’t possibly believe they they went through all the trouble of implementing the DROP program without a financial gain. They transferred the liability on to the taxpayer in additional millage.

    As far as your taxes going down, your property value has gone down. Your have lost substantially on your investment. That did not stop the police or firemen from taking advantage of your misfortune for their gain.


  16. Recall
    Now that I have finished laughing my a$$ off and have wiped my eyes for the hundredth time because I laughed so hard I cried. Sorry I can not put what you wrote all the way sorry but just might get in trouble for it. I will be telling several people it is just to good and just so true.. Someone said that I should take down the post because all the council least one voted to put the Headlee Override on the ballot. I said after tonight’s meeting I double down on what I said in this post just watch the meeting and be the judge for your self..


  17. Private
    Thank you for your in put I would have liked to have some input before the Mayor hit everyone with this.. Since what was said at the council meeting by Councilwoman Van Houten that the Mayor knew he was going to do this two months ago.. Why not ask us the people who are going to pay for this some say in how we want it put before us.. Having a limit on it is the first thing that I want to see. What I have heard says there is not Sun Set clause in the Headlee override..


  18. Umm..yes, this is true! That’s why it is called the truth page! I have read Kathy’s blogs and if she discovers something that’s not right she will fix it or come back and clarify it! She has been very truthful on her blogs if she is misinformed or is corrected she comes right back to say so!!

    I’ve listened to Ned and she is right on he has said more then 1x that he doesn’t understand this stuff! How can you not understand! Its a shame that he will vote yes just because the city needs the money, what he don’t understand is we the tax payers, well we need our money too!

    The mayor still hasn’t cut his offices he’s not letting go of his assistant in fact she help create such a huge deficit! He should be doing the work he hands off to her anyways if he did that maybe we wouldn’t be in this spot we are!

    Ned listen we will vote you down, don’t even try to ask us for more! Take what you got and deal with it!


  19. Rose,

    I do not understand how the Drop is going to cost taxpayers and hit us with huge increases. It is my understanding that the Drop actually earns the pension system interest since an employee is reinvesting there pension check within the pension system instead of collecting. An employee is going to collect his/her pension if they retire or stay for the Drop.
    I really don’t agree with the Headlee override or with everything the mayor’s office and council are doing, but all cities are in trouble and asking taxpayers for help. My taxes have dropped and I would not object to a 2.5% millage increase with a 5 year limit.


  20. Headlee Overrides or roll ups do not expire. You lose all gains made over the years equal to the millage overide requested. The millage will only roll back if the next years revenue plus an inflationary increase exceeds the previous year’s revenue.

    Then there is the “Phantom mil” trick if they try to use it. That is the latest way to try and deceive the voters. http://www.wctaxpayers.org then click on Special Reports then click on Phantom mils for more information. I am trying to get the AG to opine on this and legislation drafted to make it illegal as well.

    I don’t know about you but I am tired of getting tax increases. We had the 1% administration fee. The PA 345 millage went from 4.7 mils in 2010 to 6.1 mils in 2011. You can expect even bigger increases in the future some of which is attributable to the DROP program and lousy negotiating.

    Because they can’t get any more out of us without a vote they are putting a Headlee override on the ballot. Don’t be crazy folks.


  21. Lord, if this is true, what the heck is he doing on the council? And why did he even run? Can we hold a special election and vote some of these useless people out? I know it’s just wishful thinking on my part. As I said before – it just keeps getting better and better.


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