No Means No or Does It?

Special meeting held on February 21 the plan that most council members are not happy with came back to them for a vote. This vote is to approve what the Mayor is planning on doing to reduce the city’s deficit. Here again I would like to remind you that most on council are not satisfied with what he plans to do or with the lack of details in how he intends to reach these goals. The council votes, 3 yes votes  and 4 no votes the plan did not pass. Oh but wait just a minute because No doesn’t mean No in Dearborn Heights No means that you get to talk about it some more until someone changes their vote and gives the Mayor what he wants. That’s right Council Chair doesn’t just close the subject he say’s well it’s up to the ladies to change their vote. All the Councilwoman voted No on this plan finally a chance to make the mayor come forth with the details. Finally a chance to get some real work done a chance for the council to put some of their ideas on the table. Not so fast discussion opens up again after the vote and the Mayor of course promises to work with the council. Same thing we’ve heard before the November election. If he hasn’t done it yet stands to reason he’s not going to do it now. This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened many times in the past when something the Mayor wants happens to get voted down council chair always finds a way to get his man what he wants.

I thought when the vote was over that was it, did not know you can talk until you get someone to change their vote. What’s being said in those two or three minutes that could change one persons vote? What pearls of wisdom are coming forth that would convince you to change your vote? Was it Councilman Apigian words when he said we all know this is a fantasy, but we have to pass it. Maybe it was the Mayor with his promise to work with the council a promise he’s been making since August. For the first time in a very long time the Mayor was going to have to put up or shut up.

The council for a moment said no more Mr. Mayor we don’t believe you. We don’t believe your plan we’re not playing ball anymore, than it was gone like so many other opportunities when dealing with this Mayor. Why can’t council chair just turn to the Mayor and say well Mr. Mayor the council has voted NO and let’s hear what they would like from you. Maybe he could say Mr. Mayor sorry, but you are going to have to come up with more details the council chair knows why they voted no. If council chair would’ve said Mr. Mayor if this would’ve been brought to us in a timely manner with full details giving the council a full understanding on how you plan to come up with these numbers then maybe it would have passed. No, none of that just put subtle pressure on the council members who voted NO and get one of them to change their vote. I’m not here to place blame I’m sure there was  a very compelling reason for changing the vote. This however does make twice that this plan has passed council the same plan that they are not happy with the plan with the numbers and goals that council doesn’t think the city can meet.


34 thoughts on “No Means No or Does It?”

  1. I feel that councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton is committed to this city but made a big mistake. Why did Ken Baron insist on having another vote after the first one? Councilwoman LHC you needed to stick to your guns and speak to the matter of having one vote and that is it. This is not a jury it is a council vote.

    As far as Councilmen Baron and Berry they are absolutely terrified of the mayor and see the mayor as the alpha male and they cower in his presence. Wish they would grow some external gonads when dealing with the mayor. Councilman Apigian, what can I say, I don’t think he has a clue as to what is going on and then to make a statement that it is a fantasy plan and then vote for it….defies all common sense.

    My kudos to councilwomen Badalow, Van Houten and Horvath for their ability to stand up for the citizens of Dearborn Heights.

    More and more I think an EFM is the way to go as once again the residents are being taken for a ride. The citizens that voted for HO (myself included) had the wool pulled over our eyes. Allowing a “fantasy plan” to go forward is just more proof for the need of an EFM.


  2. The council and the mayors actions already tell me you cannot or are not willing to self manage. The last plan I saw showed the city to be in debt 13 million in five years. Plante and Moran said 5.1 between this year and next. With four months left in this years budget and 3.4 million coming from the HO, Where is the rest? Severe cuts are needed this year and next to even come close to a balanced budget. Not happening. Just pushing it out further wishfully thinking I will be gone before it catches up.


  3. I just got home a few minutes ago and sure enough councilwoman Hicks-Clayton dropped off the minutes and what the council voted on. Thank you so much for going out of your way to do that for me. I will scan and post tomorrow as soon as I can. Thank you agin Lisa that was very kind of you.


  4. The minutes form the Feb. 21 Special Meeting are available by our City Clerk’s Office, once the minutes have been approved. All persons interested may pick up a copy of the Feb. 21 Special Meeting minutes. I will deliver a copy to Kathy for posting if that would be helpful. I would like to remind our residents that the Open Meetings Act was established for all residents interested in meetings, shall be able to attend the meetings. I understand not everyone may be able to attend on a Tuesday evening, however, by contacting our City Clerk, minutes are available along with the recorded meeting taping. In addition, regular schedule City Council meetings air on your local cable channel. Unfortunately the Special Meeting was not taped for the cable channel.


  5. A few things I find bothersome. Plante and Moran being a respected auditing firm should have seen this coming three years ago. I am having a little difficulty with the fact Plante and Moran are the stewards of every city that is in financial crisis. Makes you wonder if perhaps they got a little to close . The debt problem did not start this year. It only came to light now. Things have to change they cannot be business as usual. However business as usual seems to be the word of the day. I have not heard of an effort by anyone to make the changes needed to put the city back on its feet for the long term. What I hear is the city needs money. What can we find to fine the residents for to get more cash. When it gets to a low point of fines for garbage cans my thought is what next. Ten dollars a day for a dirty car in the driveway. Looking to nickel and dime the residents instead of fixing the problem long term is what seems to be happening here. The residents have come through and did their share. It is time for the mayor and the council to get real and take the big steps to fix the problem.


  6. My point is that you should not have to vote no in order to obtain the necessary information to make an educated vote – which is what you stated you did!


  7. Where can us average residents obtain a copy of the “plan” is it published on the city’s web site? Your help would be appreciated with this either I can put up a link to it or post the whole “plan”


  8. Many of you are asking for the details of the Deficit Elimination Plan. Please note, this plan was originally approved by a 6:1 vote in December, 2011. These details have been available since then. The answer is yes, I am aware of the details because they have been available since December 2011. The reason the first edition was sent back from the state was it exceeded the five year plan time line. The first edition ran 5.5 years. My point is we are 3 month into this plan, I want to see the real, solid factual numbers (realized results). I want to know if the plan is working and if not we need to make adjustments. Please understand the purpose of the Deficit Elimination Plan to get the “car going in the right direction.” The City and its representatives need to show we can self manage our City and get back to a balanced budget. Yes indeed the State of Michigan will be following up, as I . If we chose to not re-submit the plan, that would tell the State of Michigan we cannot, or are not willing to, self manage…send in the Emergency Finance Manager. What can happen with an EFM…all contracts would be null and void, including police and fire.which could result in cuts. How about privatization of EMS.? This is common with EFM. How would that effect the residents of Dearborn Heights? Higher home owners insurance, increase in response time, etc. How about job loss, decrease in revenue to the City (result of job loss- home loss, less spending at D.H. businesses). The trickle down effect could possibly be devastating.


  9. does anyone??? My point is you don’t buy until you see and verify the facts which influence the outcome. This Deficit Elimination Plan was voted 6 to 1 yes in December, 2011 (before I was on Council). I reassure you and all residents, I am doing my homework. Case in point, I, since day one of taking office, have continued to ask and follow up on “unfinished” business holding not only Mayor Paletko,, but anyone responsible for the open business accountable. Last year, 5R Processing was scheduled to open their business in Dearborn Heights. I asked what happened during a February meeting. Another business, the Armour Group, to open business in February. I asked what happened….follow up means questions, investigate and facts to make sound and effective decisions for our community.


  10. I’m a bit confused, Lisa. On the mayor’s original presentation, did he or did he not provide details, resulting in your no vote? Once asked, did he then provide details to you and along with your sitting with P&M, you changed your no to a yes? Were those details provided to the rest of the council? From Kathy’s original posting above, it sounds like he didn’t provide the details.

    Also, how did Janet vote? If you voted no, Janet, and didn’t change your vote, why?


  11. Lisa,

    However, being the wise consumer I am, I didn’t sign the purchase agreement until I had all the facts!


  12. Dear Max,

    your point is well taken. I like to think of it like this….you are shopping for a car and the salesperson makes a great sales pitch. The deal sounds awesome! Being the wise consumer you are, you insist and take the vehicle for a test drive. Your insist on answers baked by facts.. You know, is it really what the salesperson said it was? You buy after and only if your questions and the answers have been substantiated.

    Thank you for your posting. Please continue to stay involved in your local government. I greatly appreciate your input.


  13. Bitsy and all my residents,

    I have always disclosed and openly discussed my positions and the reasoning for all votes I cast. I do this without being asked, because I know our residents deserve to know. I publicly post updates on my Facebook page and In addition, I meet with residents 5-6 days each week at City buildings including City Hall, Caroline Kennedy Library, the Richard Young Center, Berwyn Center, John F. Library and Eaton Center and discuss concerns and answer questions for ALL residents. I am proud to represent our residents and I do not, have not or ever will feel reporting to a resident is a cumbersome burden or obligation. I do this, and have done this since day one because I am committed to our City and to our residents.

    In reply to did the Mayor provide the information asked of him?. The answer is yes. In addition, I will continue to follow up and verify the information, i.e. savings as a result of the Deficit Elimination Plan are realized. Please note, every City Council meeting a present follow up questions in regard to open business, holding our Mayor, or whomever it may apply to, accountable.

    Lastly, my time spent with a Plante Moran Consultant to was to gain a third party, objective opinion and insight to the Deficit Elimination Plan and how each scenario would play out. Details, details, details! I have consulted with the Michigan Municipal League as well. I I would be doing a dis-service to our residents if I did not research, interview and ask questions from knowledgeable and qualified professionals. I will not make any decisions or cast a vote based on someone’s opinion. I want facts. It would be negligent on my behalf to do otherwise.

    In closing, I greatly value your opinion, as all residents’ opinions and suggestions. I make myself available to you. As I stated- I report to the residents- that would include all residents, voted or not voted for me. This is clearly stated in our City Charter, voted and approved by our residents, and is law. I appreciate the opportunity to continue serving our community,as I have done for many years.


  14. Why would more facts suddenly become available? Why wasn’t all information made available prior to the vote? Who keeps “hiding the ball”?


  15. Lisa,

    You stated “understanding this, my no vote was initiated to encourage Mayor Paletko to share current date in regard to the current progress the City has made.” Seriously? You have to resort to game playing in order to obtain the necessary information? So, your no vote was not really a no vote, just a fishing expedition? It sounds like the mayor is in charge of the council.


  16. Thank you Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton for the information and thank you for giving us the reasoning behind changing your vote. As I said to you today on the phone the problem I had was not with you, but with Council Chair I agree with everything you said today during our conversation keep working hard.


  17. correction/ addition to sentence in original submit should include OUR (residents) voice to govern and make choices for OUR (residents)City would be taken away and greatly limited. With an EFM services would be cut, contracts null and void, possibly leading to more lay-offs thus more economic devastation to our community and our residents, businesses, etc. Examples of Emergency Managers include Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Flint, Pontiac and Detroit Public Schools. There has been a recent submission of petitions in Lansing to suspend the statute. However, pending the referendum vote in November, the previous state law would governing emergency managers would govern in the interim.


  18. It always amazes me that if you don’t think as others do, if your beliefs oppose theirs, you’re the one who’s wrong and those feelings and beliefs are open to criticism. We’ve had years, Eddie, of the mayor playing his games and the council letting him get away with it. We have every right to question decisions made and just because we criticize “his mayorness” doesn’t mean we have a personal vendetta against him. We’re just plenty fed up. Are you possibly listening, Mr. mayor?Don’t really think you care, though.

    As to Lisa, you stated – “I report to the residents who elected me.” We ARE the people who elected you. We have every right to question and/or criticize your actions. Do you think by changing your vote that the mayor is now encouraged to come forth with the details? I think not. You’ve just given him what he wants. UNLESS AND UNTIL this council stands as ONE BODY, this mayor (and I don’t capitalize that because he doesn’t deserve it) will continue as he has in the past. By sitting with Plante & Moran, did you learn the details?

    Mr. Baron. When a vote is cast, IT’S CAST. You don’t question their votes. You don’t infer that they should change it. They have every right to vote as they see fit. This was a perfect time for the council to stand up to the mayor and hopefully, for a change, get what they want – FULL DISCLOSURE. Perhaps, accounting for all the times this very same scenario has played out, you should have been prepared with – Mr. mayor – the council has voted no because you haven’t provided any details for your plan. We have requested you furnish details to your plan(s) and once again we request them.

    All I’ve heard is how the council is now standing up to the mayor. Huh. Coulda fooled me. You might initially stand up to him but then you cave – AGAIN. To think that some in this city voted to give him more money, EXPECTING by now we’d have heard his ideas on how to save the city more money, and once again, being faced with THE SAME OLD CRAP! All I can say is I’m fed up with the lot of you.


  19. Eddie

    It might interest you to know that I ran side by side with Lisa during the election we campaigned for each other. We met many times and Lisa is well aware of how I feel about the mayor and she shared some if her own thoughts during the campaign.

    The blog post was not directed at Lisa or the fact she changed her vote it was directed at the way council chair is chairing the meetings. This was not the first time this has happened and will not be the last. By talking about it here I’m giving everyone including you a chance to say what you feel. Lisa is all so given the chance and has been kind enough to come here and explain her reasoning for changing her vote. Better we talk about it in the open then everyone is asking why she did it and believe me many are, and not just on this blog.

    Eddie you make it seam as if it’s only the people who come on this blog are the only ones having problems with the way this Mayor runs this city. There are hundreds of residents who have real issues with this mayor who have no idea about this blog. Is your answer to all of them to pack and move? Eddie the solution is not for you to move or me to leave the city. We should all stay and fight for what each of us thinks is right.

    Eddie your one of my bloggers and I respect your opinion you’ve hit me pretty good and insulted me when ever you get the chance to do so and that’s fine your passionate about what you believe. Having said that I look forward to your solution to the Mayor not giving the council the information they are asking for. When Lisa her self is saying her no vote was a message to the mayor. What would you have them do if they are never to say no, and if you would have me shut my mouth where does that leave us?


  20. Aren’t a couple posters being a bit…jaded? If LHC had changed her vote from yes to no, would you still be here saying she didn’t “stick to her guns”?

    Her job is to come to a decision based on the facts available. If more facts and details come to light she has every right to change her decision.


  21. I have always openly shared and disclosed the back up information for the votes I cast. First and foremost, the Deficit Elimination Plan is a live document (per Plante Moran) and is subject to change and will change according to existing conditions. I met with our representative from Plant=e Moran and discussed the viable options. Understanding this, my no vote was initiated to encourage Mayor Paletko to share current data in regard to the current progress the City has made. I want to see the real numbers and the real results. I have asked since day 1.If the Deficit Elimination Plan was NOT submitted by the established deadline, our City would be subject to an Emergency Finance Manager. I for one do NOT want this for our City or our residents. If this was to happen, OUR (residents) voice to govern and make choices for OUR (residents) city. Ultimately the power lies with our Council. OUR Council is prepared and ready to be accountable for the necessary changes to realign the budget and balance it once again. Tough decisions will be made. These tough decisions will not be realized in a live document which will change as conditions change. This is a five year plan. Can you write the five year budget and know that it will remain unchanged?

    Please feel free to call me at (313) 633-1845 to discuss your concerns. I have dedicated over 26 years to community advocacy. I research my information to make sound, informed decisions in the best interest of OUR (residents) City and its residents. (as sworn in and stated in OUR City Charter).

    I report the the residents who elected me.


  22. No that’s the budget I’m trying to find the deficit reduction plan submitted to the state. I know the state makes it public just haven’t had enough time to sit down and search for it.


  23. This post wasn’t meant to tell you what’s in his plan. I’m working on getting the plan it’s public information just have to fine a copy of it. If you are able to get a copy please share.


  24. Tell us what his plan is. How is he going to reduce the budget. Is he going to lay of police,fire,rec,city hall dpw.Tis article tells us people nothing.


  25. I’m waiting to see what the state will do. I don’t think the Mayor can shmooze anyone there.

    From what I’ve seen so far, I don’t think the state will accept a “fantasy” plan. I’ll be really disappointed if they do.


  26. Oh, no. Bad start, LHC. Don’t do this switcheroo stuff, you will lose us and we won’t believe you. You’ve heard all the gossip about the ones who do not stick to their guns. Please don’t do that.






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