It seems that the proposed rat control program the city has been “pursuing” may have died before even starting. City attorney Gary Miotke has made a decision that a right of entry onto property to inspect for rat infestations does not exist and therefore it cannot be done. He cites the Fourth Amendment search and seizure as the basis for this decision. While this would apply if the ordinance officers were going in to write violations and/or tickets, does it apply to health and safety issues? He also states that a rat control program would not be a benefit to the city, but would open the city up to liability. Currently the city ordinance officers may either direct a resident to hire at their own cost a pest control company to bait for rats on their property, or they give them city supplied rodenticides (rat poison) and instruct them, in at least once instance I am aware of, to just sprinkle it around the yard. Read the rest South Heights Blog
Anyone who’s watched this administration operate over the past eight years wont be surprised at this. If Dearborn can do this for the past 70 years without a problem why not Dearborn Heights? Watch out Dearborn residents of your city just might decide to start suing you because Vector control came to their back yards to take care of Rats on the property. The administration has been meeting with people affected by the Rat problem for months and months all the while telling them that they are going to do something about it.
There is already a large problem along the borders where rats from DH enter into Dearborn and because of that the Director of the Residential Services Department and the Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s office gave the approval for Dearborn’s Vector Control officers to train the DH ordinance officers, at no cost, and to provide whatever aid and assistance necessary to get the DH Vector program up and running. Oh, and by doing so, the two cities would be sharing services which would qualify both cities to receive State funding through a grant program for shared services. This offer was made back in January of this year. To date no training has happened, Dearborn Vector Control has not received a single request from DH officials for assistance. All the forms, literature. handouts, etc used by Dearborn were given to DH city hall back in November 2012. This leads me to believe that despite all the lip service given by the mayor’s office and department heads, there is no real desire to deal with the rat situation. I have spoken at length to Bill Zimmer, the mayor, several council members and ordinance officers, and while they all say let’s get it done, no one actually manages to do anything.
Comment made on the South Heights Blog by, John Davidson