Long and Bumpy Road Ahead For Dearborn Heights

I think we can all agree Dearborn Heights is looking a little rough around the edges. Nothing that isn’t happening to may cities around us. We can agree that crime is decidedly higher all you have to do is look at the crime alerts. Now comes the news that the city will be letting go of 18 police officers according to Eddie G a blogger here said they saw it on December 7 WDIV on the 5:30 news. This news shocked Eddie, not sure why they would be the Mayor did say that he was going to do this. Didn’t everyone hear what I heard leading up to the HO vote. HO not enough to cover what the city needed. The city was still going to need over 2 million. Did everyone miss when they said that these monies would not be available until next August. Who did not hear several on council asking about the deficit budget? Who missed the part about the city borrowing money internally? No the HO was not going to make everything better. This fact made very clear on more than one occasion that HO along with cuts was the only way. Cuts that many I think did not believe the city would do. Oh yes a very bumpy road for the next several years.

As for the Senior Centers someone said never got talked about at the town hall meetings. They did at the south end meeting. Made it very clear at that meeting that the council was looking into it. Eton center  specifically because it’s a leased property and the city could not afford to repair it. That same person here said that “seniors vote.” very simple and true statement they do. That maybe why the mayors plan did not include the closing of any of the centers.. Nope by all means please make sure that they stay open while our homes get broken into because we do not have enough officers to do the job.

That’s not to say that some officers will have to go we all knew that was coming. To make that cut before you even look at closing a senior center is just asinine. So yes seniors vote and yes they do make the decision here in this city and that will continue unless the rest who live here want to vote. To those who stay at home on election day when you do wake up and want to know what is going on in your city. Well just look in the mirror you didn’t vote so this is what you get. There is a group of people who do take the time to vote. They do take the time to make themselves heard and as they saying goes the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So senior centers win out to police protection in the mayors plan they do anyway.

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39 thoughts on “Long and Bumpy Road Ahead For Dearborn Heights”

  1. Comparing other cities to dearborn heights doesn’t mean anything. They are all in the same boat. Overpromised fringes that are sending cities into receivership. Compare to the total marketplace. If they lose their jobs working for the city, they will be vying for jobs in the marketplace. Which I am sure will be a rude awakening. What needs to happen to save the city personnel costs have to be brought into a level that can be sustained. Wages can be controlled. fringe benefits are a runaway train. The city is headed for personnel costs being 100 % of the budget and each year going higher. This is not sustainable.

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  2. Vegas,
    Sorry about that. I just get so confused with all of the people that post as anonymous. It’s frustrating.
    Anyhow, do you really think that the typical clerical worker is overpaid? With all of the cuts to each department, each employee is doing the work of two and three people, with less time, since they no longer work on Friday. They have also taken that pay cut, so they are actually making LESS for doing more. They may have good benefits. That is what they were promised when they took the position. They are doing nothing wrong. Anybody who wanted these “perks” could have applied for a position at the city. I firmly believe employees DO NOT think “it is never enough”. They all took a 10% pay cut. I think I’m missing your point. You should compare apples to apples and look at what other clerical workers make in other cities. You just might feel bad for those that work for Dearborn Heights!

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  3. simplicity
    Vegas Lady here. Last night we took a power hit for about 30 seconds. I didn’t realize my name had come off the reply. I am not really the thousand anonymous. I did compare wages. City workers are not underpaid. Some of the them are overpaid. Workers are going to have to pick up more of the cost of their benefits. I don’t know why people jump to the worse case to prove a point. Never said they should work for nothing or they shouldn’t get fringe beneits. However reality is reality. They have it alot better than most people but it seems like to them it is never enough.

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  4. Anonymous (one of the THOUSAND)

    You are comparing your fringe benefits with the city employees. Are you also comparing your pay? You may wanna check that out before you rip on them for having such perks.

    I just heard that Tim Horton’s gives medical benefits. I’m not sure what the details of those are, but, really? Do you think that city employees should not receive fringe benefits? It’s not like they make tons of money.

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  5. Private
    If I work how much have I given back? Not the right question. How much did I not get would be the correct one. Let compare city workers to non city workers.
    Healthcare City workers pay 91/2 percent of all their heathcare cost. I pay 10% of my personal costs and 25% of my family cost. 19 to 26 year olds cost fully paid by the city., my 24 year old fully paid by me .Prescription drugs city workers 5 dollars for non generic, generic no cost. My cost 10 dollars for generic and 20 dollars for non generic. City workers vision and dental . I don’t receive vision or dental as a fringe benefit. So fully paid by me. Retirement 80% for city workers plus healthcare, life insurance . I will get approximately 40% of my salary. I can remain on the companies healthcare plan but I must pay the entire cost. No vision or dental no life insurance.City workers get longevity or bonuses as they call them. I get none. On and on I would give back 10% of my pay for a four day workweek and all the above fringe benefits. Perks are not part of a job.

    You need to take a long walk on the other side before you make judgements. You should try living on unemployment for four months and see how much that allows you to be a responsible taxpayer.,I believe city workers should make a good living but the fringe benefits are over the top . They get benefits I am sure they do not even use.

    Fringe benefits are breaking the city. When it finally goes broke I am sure you can find a way to donate to the fringe benefit fund . As a taxpayer I say enough is enough. Before you all say I should move I will say if I did not have to admit that my basement floods ( four times since May) and the street in front of my house wasn’t sunk. I would.

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  6. Vegas Lady,

    Our city employee’s have already given back to the city….fringes and perks are part of the job and responsiblity of the tax payers….do you expect them to work for nothing? If you work how much have you given back. As I taxpayer I support our city workers and understand that they have families and need to make a living.

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  7. How many more times will the ATTM be allowed to make foolish moves regarding operations in this city before the council does something to stop her? WHO IS GOING TO END THIS?????

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  8. I don’t know how many police are on the force right now at budget time their were 91. They have to get them out of the office so to speak and respond to calls. If only 3 officers are available what the hell is the rest of them doing. .. Kathy I did not mean for the 25 or 30 officers to write tickets. I meant for them to respond to calls.
    While I am at it. The city is all out of money. So why do the clerks need to work Friday for overtime? Why does a deputy have to take a car home? Taxpayers did their part . City workers gave up 10 percent of their pay. However their health insurance went up 13 percent. Like every State, City and County fringe benefits for government employees are sending them into receivership. Soon the cities workers are going to have to come to the realization the fringes and perks they have enjoyed for so long have to come to an end.

    To the council… in all the years I have watched the meetings I have never once heard you say that would be nice to do but can we afford it? The idea that taxpayers will be forced to pay more in taxes to pay for inept leadership leaves me cold.

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  9. Vegas Lady,

    With 18 layoffs they will not have any officers to send out….I hope it is a scare tactic because if she does follow through with her threat we are all in big trouble. Trust me the criminals follow the news and will be well aware that Dearborn Heights is open for business with the 3 officers they have working.

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  10. They only do that when there is overtime that can be rolled into their drop thanks to the ATTM for putting that in their contract.. 25 to 30 officers the same officers got this over time. An average of 25,000.00 to 30,000.00 a year the mayors plan cuts overtime, and the state came in and said that municipalities could no longer to tickets for overtime. So how is the city going to motivate the PD to get out there and give those tickets bring in the revenue.

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  11. How could a CPA not know? He should read this blog. I have been saying the number is much higher for months now and taking alot of heat for it. I know the Mayor changed his plan somewhat but if you look at the numbers it is not 5.1 million it is closer to 13 million. As I said before they do not have the financial smarts to deal with this problem.

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  12. They had every member of the police department on the road during the construction on Ford road to give tickets. They can send them out again to keep the city safe. This is all scare tactics to force a special assessment for the taxpayers.Send the Mayor and the ATTM out on patrol. Give them something constructive to do.

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  13. Cut the Police and fire? But keep the senior centers? Well, seniors be prepared for longer response times!
    When I was polling in the recent election, I spoke to a few police and fireman. They said it will happen. Not a threat, its just is, what it is.

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  14. I talked to someone within the city and was told that if the Mayor or I should say ATTM layoff 18 officers and cut the overtime budget we may see 3 officers on the road per shift. With 3 officers and as busy as the police have been we could be looking at 1 hour or longer response times.

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  15. I attended the presentation tonight of the Plante and Moran audit. Facinating when the Mayor realized that the defecit reduction plan needs to balance a deficit of 5.1 million instead of 2+. In the same 5 year span. This means cuts of over $1 milion a year – more than double what he thought. Also the deficit reduction plan was supposed to be delivered to the state 90 days after close of fiscal year….which would have been around Sept 30. He thought he had 90 days after submission of financial statments which are due in January. Incorrect! Now the rush is on to complete and present a plan, and get council approval. It has to be reasonable and results have to happen. If a plan can’t be presented to state – the state will come in and do a review. Plan has to be sent to state shortly after financial reports are filed on Dec 31. Several council members showed their annoyance at the fact that it is not prepared, he was not proactive and now it’s a bigger task than expected. I think everyone should buckle their seatbelts – it’s going to get rough.

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  16. Linda

    I would like to see our Mayor doing his job and that includes him doing the negotiating of these contracts. If he can not then can we please have our council hire someone with experience in these matters doing the negotiating.

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  17. Well, then, they DO have the power…to just say NO, especially if Timmy’s post above (RE threat by the ATTM) is true.

    Layoffs in Public Safety are a scare tactic by an ATTM who has neither the education or the credentials to do the job to which she is assigned.

    It’s time to call her bluff.

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  18. At the council meeting the Treasurer is going to ask the council to approve interfund loans of 11 million dollars plus another 2 million he wants from the library fund. All this but the only plan is to kick the can down the road. Money to be paid back after August tax collections. Next October they will be asking for 16 Million in loans. Face facts council the city is going under. You need to cut the budget by at least 6 million dollars. The city won’t make it till 2013 . Action required.

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  19. Crime is up in dbh hgts but it is going to get really bad when 18 cops are laid off.You have a council and mayor that act like kids.Homes that people moved into dont take care of. And you tell them not to call this place DETROIT HEIGHTS. Wait it is coming.I know my home was broken into so dont tell me not to call this place DETROIT HEIGHTS since i lived here since 1962 when this place was a beautiful place to live. WELCOME TO DETROIT HEIGHTS.

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  20. Hate to say this because I have great respect for Senior citizens, BUT keeping Senior centers open while laying off police is insane! Just what are those seniors going to do when they are at the center and their home gets broken into?
    To the poster who said we are not Detroit, THANK YOU! You are right!

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  21. This blog is frighting in showing how politics trumps common sense. Overwhelming at both city hall meetings residents stated that police and fire are main concerns. Yet no deficit reduction plan has been presented and layoffs have been issued. I tried to find the article that Eddie G referenced and could not -please post? Hopefully, these are lay-offs and when the deficit plan lines up with reality we can call some/all of the affected back.

    Seniors are important citizens in Dearborn Heights and we value them. However, there are many other options to city provided recreation. Many churches and agencies offer the same programs for seniors and as a city we should look for redundancies and merge resources. This may prove far more efficient for the Seniors as well – as instead of having 2 locations, we could perhaps split the city in quadrants and list programs offered within each. Making proximity easier.

    Metrics should also be examined. How many residents use the Senior Centers (last calculation I did was under 1%). If this is true we need to look at how much effort and money the city uses to fund this segment of the populations recreation – in comparison to other parks and recreation expenditures which benefit larger segments or population as a whole.

    I suggested to Lisa Hicks Clayton the incoming Council member that we try to get an intern from the local college of Public Policy to compile and analyze the programs, so we can have good data on where redundancies occur and how we can proceed in streamlining. There are no quick fixes – analysis takes time – but let’s quit throwing good money after bad and make a commitment to do this right.

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  22. In regards to the layoffs. The ATTM has threatened the Police Unions to take additional concessions or lose 18. The problem is that no one trusts her anymore. She has failed to keep promises already. Her word is no good anymore. No one wants to be played for a fool again!
    The council should make inquiries to the Treasurer and Comptroller and demand documentation.

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  23. Cutting public safety first is a scare tactic.

    Why don’t they cut something less useful like street washing.

    While it’s nice to have my street washed every week on the day after Garbage Day, it’s certainly not necessary.

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  24. Can the City Council issue subpoena’s and put City officials under oath?
    This is the only way the Council will ever know the true financial status of the City. I fear that it is much worst than we know.
    The Council seems unable to get true answers out the administration. There is never any real action taken. Talk is cheap!

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  25. If 18 officers are let go, exactly how many are left on the force? Also, how many officers per shift will be working the city?

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  26. And to all those who call this Detroit, please stop. Crime is everywhere. When people are hurting and jobs are scarce, crime goes up. We are not Detroit, nor are we Highland Park. We’re a long way from that.

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