Headlee to the Ballot…

Yep that’s right guys Headlee Override will be on the Ballot in November. Last night at the council meeting our city council decided to let Headlee go to the Voters by a vote 6 to 1. Councilwoman Van Houten being the one and only NO vote.  Yes without knowing the full plan for how the money is going to be used. Councilwoman Horvath said she had concerns about where the Mayor was going to spend a remaining portion of the money left after sanitation, police, and fire. This after she opened the discussion with “if we do not do this the city will close its doors.”. Much was said about the fact that yet again something was being brought before the council at the last-minute with a we have to pass this or else. There is no time to waste on this, no time for discussion, nothing taken to the public we are only paying for it. Councilwoman Van Houten said that there has been talk of this for months, but the council is only just now getting this for a vote.

So the council votes to let the public decide if they want their taxes raised as Councilwoman Janet Badalow put it. They are letting this go to the public even though they do not know where the Mayor is going to be spending all of the money. So why let it go before the public for a vote when you (the council) do not know how he is going to be spending our money. When I say our money that includes the Council they pay taxes here too so why would you not at least have an understanding of how the money is going to be spent before you put it to us (the voters.) As I said before I do not envy the position they are in and after tonight I envy it even less, but and there is always a but. The question remains why vote for something you are not 100% sure about.

The Mayor tonight pledged that he was going to cut is salary by 10% just like he is asking others to do in the city. Thank you Mr. Mayo, the others in the city who are being asked to make the 10% cut are not on board about this at all. Here is what one person said to me tonight, “I work and live in the city so this man (the Mayor) want’s to cut my salary by 10% and at the same time raise my taxes is he out of his mind?” Not everyone who works and lives in the city feels the same way though one man said that he has lived her for 40 years and has worked for the city for 25 years. He is willing to pay more to keep the city running. Many at last nights meeting had similar sentiments about being willing to pay, but others asked for the city to stop spending money on things that are not necessary. To live with in our means, not with in the budget.

I love this city I have called it home for 19 years of my life that may not be as long as many of you, but still that is a large part of my life and I am proud to say I live here. I do not want to watch my city fall apart, and it is, there is no getting around that. Ray Muskat is 100% right when he say’s this city looks like hell it does. No matter how much Jim Lynch would like to yell at everyone for asking for cuts or for asking the ordinances be enforced to make sure that everyone takes care of their property. No Mr. Lynch I do not have to clean up someone else property while they are living in it. You want us to take care of our neighborhoods we are not talking about abandoned homes here we are talking about personal responsibility for the home you are living in.. Some of the homes around here look like hell but I can not go and fix someone else fence that is falling down.. Sorry just had to touch on that a little because this city already looks like everyone has given up on it and we should not.

Now back to the subject at hand, I am not saying I am for Headlee or against it, but here is what I have to say so far. If you want the taxpayers to pay more money than I would ask just for me that there is a time limit on this that is first thing I ask. This can not be open-ended and every time the Mayor falls short on his budget he can just come back and take more from us to balance it. In the last two years the Mayor has submitted two balanced budget that the council has approved. The last budget barely past by a vote of 4 . How much is this going to cost us, and yes Mr. Mayor what are you going to be spending the money on. While it may be true that every city around us is dealing with the same thing we should be trend setters in how we are going to deal with what is happening in the city. One thing is for sure the city can not cut its way out of this, revenue is what the doctor has ordered here. How do we get more revenue well we need some ideas, yep you have an idea for revenue call the council and let them know. Here is an idea how many properties out there are being rented off the books there are many properties rented and they are not registered with the city as rental properties. I am not saying this will generate millions, but it is something. Like Councilwoman Horvath said I have some cost saving ideas they may be small but several small things add up to big savings. If you have any Ideas no matter how small of a savings it might bring or an Idea for getting some revenue please put them up here or email your council members. We are invested in this city just by having our homes here.

I would ask that the administration stop with the threats to the employees of the city. Stop with the you either do this or else crap.. To the ATTM (assistant to the Mayor) stop with the Union busting talk running around the city saying that “We are busting up these Unions.) People have enough to worry about these day they do not need hear you on top of everything else.  Many of us do not like to here this is being done to people who are trying to make a living. It is so easy for you to say these things you with your $60,000.00 a year job your car paid for by the city for the last 6 years (no car payment for you) gas paid for by the city, car insurance paid for by the city (no monthly payment for you) no car maintenance for you. How would you feel if someone was on your back threatening you with you job, your benefits. Try if you can just for one moment to put yourself in someone’s shoes for just a fraction of a minute of your day. Imagine if you could how it would feel to have someone with the stroke of a pen take everything away from you. Just knock it off.

More post to come about this subject..


19 thoughts on “Headlee to the Ballot…”

  1. You DON”T during my working career I paid into the system and my employer matched to the tune of 280,000 I will never collect what I paid into the system . My husband died when he was 55 he had paid into the system with his employer match 120,000. I got a check for 255 dollars from his social security. Net gain to the government 119,745 . I paid for my medicare while I was working I still pay 97.00 a month plus 124.00 for supplemental coverage.To date since I have been on Medicare I average one trip to the doctor per year. Cost a wopping 65 dollars.
    In addition I pay taxes on my social security when 50% was taxed when I earned the money. Double taxation. My social security money should be paying me.
    If it isn’t blame the federal government for stealing it.
    Your money will be there this is just a bunch of scare tactics all governments use to make you think the .sky is falling. Just ask the Mayor.
    So rest easy you are not supporting me.


  2. vegas lady: Personally, I resent paying for your social security and medicare. These are benefits that will not even be available for most of us if/when we are able to retire.


  3. To Vegas Lady: Were you really at the same meeting I was? I don’t think city employees were there to support the MAYOR, they were there in support of their own JOBS! We ALL know the mayors assistant is not worth her salary/benefits but I don’t think you can lump all city employees in with her.


  4. I disagree with you, the council needed to vote to allow ALL RESIDENTS of this city a chance to vote on the Headlee Override! This city doesn’t belong to the council it belongs to the people so the people are the ones that should have a voice come November. Just because they voted to let the public have their vote does NOT mean they are in support of the mayor.


  5. IMO – Just answer this cause I really am wondering, if you do not mind paying 3x’s the tax hike then why don’t you put your money where your mouth is? Would you be willing to pay my taxes? I can’t afford a tax increase as many others can’t either. If the HO passes then I will lose my house it is not a question without a doubt. I struggle now, work 2 jobs care for my 2 kids. Did anyone stop to think that if more people like me would lose their homes then how much revenue will the city lose from us having to leave? Maybe the banks will pay the taxes on my foreclosed house, but I won’t have to, I won’t be needing to use any water or sewage either, won’t need garbage pick up, won’t need to shop in town anymore, won’t be spending or fueling at my corner gas station either. My kids child care provider is here, but I will have to move that when I do. I don’t get how you can sit back and think this is a personal hate for the mayor & assistant? I only know the results of his wasteful spending & we have all seen personally how he carelessly fought council to keep the fleet of cars, how he told his assistant she did not have to answer to council. Then we watched how she went on camera and admitted not parking the car until her boss ordered her too just last week. So all of this type of stuff going on, we have to sit back and watch how the money was just thrown around while we work our tails off to be able to stay in our homes…Then after we see the spending and the attitudes and come so close to loosing our house! Well what do you think our opinions would be about this mayor and his assistant?? Don’t you think we should want him out? Just so you know this is NOT about who I like or don’t like, I don’t care who was in office I would ask everyone not to vote for the HO because if you do, there might be a lot more empty houses on your block in foreclosure. We have all said there are other ways put a freeze on spending, like saying no to the trees because we can’t afford the labor to install. The 15 thousand $ faucet, the 10% cut he should take and letting go of his office staff! Now if he would have done all this for the past 2 years then maybe things would not be this bad…but now that it is don’t come asking me to vote anything but NO for this mayor I can’t afford it but if you can and do vote yes you will end up a empty city just like Pontiac. The only way to stop this is to freeze spending, reduce cost & create revenue!


  6. I was very young when my family moved from Detroit to Dearborn Heights. When my new friends would say Detroit was a garbage city I was hurt. Now the saying is Dearborn Heights is little Detroit. Well I raised my family here and I am not going down without a fight. This is the city I care about, it’s my home and I WILL not let a few people bring it down, that includes the mayor or anyone else. I think that Marge H and Margret Van Houghton, Janent B do a great job with their jobs on city council. lately Tom Berry has stepped up yo the plate and is hitting some home runs. Keep up the good job! I will support all who makes Dearborn Heights the best place to live. The mayor should start by owning a home here instead of renting, then HE COULD be a TAX PAYER.


  7. Sorry but you are wrong. Janitors make 25 k tops in the private sector the city pays 40k. Administrative assistants do not make 60k and a car in the private sector, only in our city. police , fire and department heads have a value package of wages and fringes of 90 to 100k, If my memory serves me correctly the lowest paid people make approximately 37k . The median income in Dearborn Heights for women head of household is 32k. For men 46k. I don’t know what percentage you pay for health insurance the info is not available. According to the budget city workers health care cost 8 million so you can’t be sharing the cost to a large degree. Most private sector plans are shared cost 50/50 . If city workers paid 25 percent the city could save 2 million. As far as sick and vacation time goes if you receive what the unions do it is generous. To watch the union city workers get up to the mike to tell the taxpayers rah rah you must override headlee to keep our lifestyle going it is your obligation was a bit much for me. They went over the three minute limit and were self serving. I agree with you the Mayor should be the stand up and should have taken the first cuts. That being said I can’t keep my lifestyle due to my losses in my pension. So I don’t think I should be forced to a further decline to keep up city workers lifestyle. I just think a reality check was in order. I think the council was wrong number one in approving the budget everyone knew was not in balance number two approving the headlee overide vote. The taxpayers are drained . The budget already contained 3 hefty miillage increases. Maybe a financial manager is the answer.


  8. You do not want to see DH like Pontiac NEITHER DO WE. If you have been following what is going on in this city for the last two years you will have seen the Mayor more than once mention that he knew what was going to happen.. I do not think that cutting our way out is going to bring this city out of what we are in.. I do not like the Mayor I do not like what he has done for the past two or three years. I do not like the fact that he has hidden things from the council, I do not like the fact that he lies over and over again to the council, and the public. I do not trust this Man because he has given me no reason to trust him.. He has not presented a plan on how he going to spend this money. You watched the meeting you heard what councilwoman Van Houten said this was given to us last minute and there is no plan on how you are spending this money..

    Do not think this is the first time this has happened this is the norm for how things work in the city. When the Mayor want’s the council to pass something with out looking into it this is how he does it last minute shove it down throats .. I am asking for some fiscal responsibility here and transparency I do not want Wayne county, the State Police, or Private Fire. I did not say am not willing to pay I am asking for every penny to be accounted for I want things to change in this city. I want him to take cuts just like he is asking every other employee to do in this city.. I would all so ask you to read Fumings comment and my reply. Read the whole blog there are many examples of what this Mayor has been doing for the past two years and please call your council members they can tell you more than me what has been going on and what they have been up against with this man. There is no need to take my word for it ask them they have been incapable of doing their jobs on the council. Why just a couple of weeks ago Councilman Berry had a lot to say on this subject and how they are ignored, and the charter being violated. Call him and ask him about it..


  9. Fuming

    Finally someone has said what I have been saying for so long here I agree, agree, agree. This is a very sad situation for so many and for few they sit back and keep getting while others are made to cut, cut, cut. Give me, Give me Give me. Thank you for coming and saying it..


  10. vegas lady: The employees were not there to support this administration!!!!! We wanted to find out how cutting our wages and mandatory furlough time given to employees only could be justified without management or the Mayor’s office taking the same cuts. If you compare city wages to private sector, you will find our wages are LOWER than private sector. We have not had raises in over 4 years, nor do we get cost of living increases, we have been cost sharing our health insurance and prescriptions for years. Many of us qualify for HUD home improvement loans. Some of our kids get free or reduced lunches at school. We live paycheck-to-paycheck just like everyone else. We are tired of being this administrations “whipping post” for everything. We don’t make six figure incomes, have a city paid for car with gas & insurance. We don’t get unlimited vacation and sick time, stroll into work anytime we want to.


  11. There comes a point where cuts are impossible to make. I wonder if the last two posters really actually know what the city’s finances are, or are they just hating headlee for the sake of hating headlee. I am not super knowledgeable about them myself but the rhetoric here is extremely anti-mayor. No matter what he does. The blogger hates the mayor. This is obvious. It is personal. Would everyone here seriously be on board if he left office? Or is that simply a crutch? Because I see it as an excuse to not vote for something this community probably needs. If the mayor left, it would be some other random excuse people would latch on to.

    I am realistic enough to know that at some point you cannot get something for nothing. Say what you want about this error or that the mayor may have made the simple reality is what it is. It is not like if the mayor changed one policy, we would suddenly be out of the mess we are currently in. Cities around DH have millage proposals on the ballot, or they are coming. Is almost every city in SE Michigan mismanaged? From what I read in the paper we are not alone. Not even close, which tells me this is a regional problem, not some local aberration.

    Hate the Mayor or like the Mayor, hate the Council or like the Council, there is a decision to be made as to whether you want your city to look more like Pontiac or more like Dearborn Heights. Because Pontiac has an EFM. They share services with the county. Anyone envy them? Did I blink and miss the Pontiac renaissance?

    Anyone want the Wayne County Sheriff’s dept moving in? Do you think giving DH’s police budget to Wayne County would be some panacea and that somehow they would do this great job policing the streets here? Do you think outsourcing Fire to god knows whom would suddenly result in better fire and rescue? Would a volunteer fire department be brought back? Would our parks, libraries and DPW all be somehow covered by volunteers?

    Maybe I missed it, I just do not see this overwhelming tide of volunteers that everyone talks about. A dedicated few, perhaps. But this is not the 50s or 60s anymore. The volunteers do not help local government anymore in any tangible numbers. Jane the typist does not mow the lawn at our parks on her off time. Bob the carpenter does not help out the DPW. That is what local government and taxes are for. Because people could not handle the workload, provide the competence level needed or deal with the grief.

    When I saw Jim Lynch last night, I did not agree with everything he said, but he does have a point that sometimes people have unrealistic expectations. There is no magic solution around the corner folks. Consolidation and employee layoffs will not mystically erase the deficit. There have already been layoffs galore. All you get is poorer services and less local control. I would rather triple my taxes than rely on Wayne County for anything here.

    Everyone vote on how you feel but personally I don’t want us to become Pontiac part two.


  12. Watched the council meeting. Found it very interesting the Mayor had all the employees show up. For a rah rah overide Headlee. They were allowed to talk never saying if they live in the city. Talking about what went on ten years ago and how much we need unions. Guess retirees that live here should get a union that makes the city pay the retirees benefits and pay them a wage that equals them to the wages of city workers. Personally I resent having to pay for my own health care costs plus I have to pay for the majority of city workers health care also. I have to pay for my own life insurance, my own dental, my own vision. I lost several hundred dollars a month from my retirement from the crash. I also collect social security which has not had an increase in three years. Cost of living has gone up at least 20 % in food ,gas, utilities I struggle to survive on the income I have I do not have a spare penny. Selling my house and moving won’t help its worthless. Lets compare tax rates from 10 years ago maybe we are paying a little less. However gas . food clothing, utilities were much lower also. Don’t tell me I can afford to pay more in taxes because ten years ago they were more. The here and now for alot of people is a disaster.

    The city should do a study comparing wages and benefits to the private sector. Most companies charge employees 50% of health care costs. They pay no health care or life insurance after retirement. City wages are on the high end of the private sector. Their is room for taxpayer savings in the wage and benefit packages the city give its employees.

    To the gentleman that thinks no cuts should ever be made and we should all be willing to pay more in taxes to the federal, state and local, governments. How much money should we be allowed to keep? When do we have to live in the street and stop eating?

    I am very sorry the headlee override was placed on the ballot. As the Mayor said he will have his whole team out working to get it passed. I am sure city workers will be spending their time on headlee instead of doing their jobs. This should not pass. The sky won’t fall but the Mayor will have half the city believing it will. This is also a time when people that don’t own property will be allow to vote for a tax they don’t have to pay. The Mayor doesn’t own property here. As council people come up for reelection I will not vote for anyone that said yes to this proposal.

    This makes as much sense as the 2 billion dollars the federal government paid to find out the effects of escalators on shrimp.


  13. One thing I noticed at last nights meeting Ch 7 and Ch 2 were at the meeting they both put microphones at the podium for public comments.. What they did not realize is that the public does not get to take or ask questions before the council votes on any thing we get to talk to them after the fact.. Now I know this would be problematic for every council meeting to have the residents talking and asking questions about every thing. I would have thought since you all on the council want to hear from the public you would have opened up the meeting just for this very important issue to the public to comment before you vote.. Just a thought


  14. IMO

    I am far from a hermit if I was not community oriented I would not take the time to write and help administer on this blog. Not sure what your point is but if you are suggesting that I go and fix my neighbors fence that’s falling down while they are living in the home maybe you could elaborate how that works.. If they where a senior citizen that could not do it I would be the first one there. If they are disabled again right there to do it.. As for volunteering I would be more than happy to put a few hours a week over at city hall doing something if they need the help I would help.. I took issue with Mr. Lynch tone at the council meeting implying that we are waiting for hand outs from the government what he forgot is we are still paying taxes here. With paying those taxes we are guaranteed under the charter certain things read the charter and see for yourself it is our contract with the city as taxpayers.. If you would like to start some kind of volunteer group to go and clean up properties that people are living in let me know…


  15. “No matter how much Jim Lynch would like to yell at everyone for asking for cuts or for asking the ordinances be enforced to make sure that everyone takes care of their property. No Mr. Lynch I do not have to clean up someone else property while they are living in it. You want us to take care of our neighborhoods we are not talking about abandoned homes here we are talking about personal responsibility for the home you are living in.. Some of the homes around here look like hell but I can not go and fix someone else fence that is falling down..”

    There is actually much more you can do than just take care of your house. Being a responsible
    hermit is not being very community oriented.




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