Warmer Temperatures, Blooming Flowers, Budgets, and Rudeness.

A long and brutal winter is starting to fade in our memories… temperatures are warming flowers are up and blooming and its budget time in the City of Dearborn Heights.  It’s been a while folks I know. The budget passed. With  [what’s] that a 1.4 million dollar surplus. Mayor Dan Paletko submitted a budget with a surplus and City Council passed it. Just want to point out the obvious our CITY IS CLOSED ONE DAY A WEEK!  Has that fact been forgotten by all parties involved? How do you consider it a surplus budget when you’re not providing 5 day a week service to the taxpayers of the City? Hey who am I to say anything? Council ‘brainiacs’ passed the budget and even managed to spend some more of our tax money. Not saying that what they are spending it on is bad…not all of it anyway.

The Mayor created a new department last year (ordnance department) with its very own department head at 44k a year plus 10-15k for benefits. This department has 3 full-time employees one of whom is a relative to someone working closely with the Mayor. This department is getting a clerk/typist not sure the starting salary for that. There are part-time workers all so working in this department. Is this department needed? Yes. Is a clerk/typist necessary for this department? I don’t think so.  Can’t they type up their own reports? They certainly did before when ordinance was part of the building department and all the workers at that time worked on a part-time basis. Why If you’re going to make a whole new department wouldn’t you give them the equipment needed to file reports with photos while they are in the field? (iPads, or tablet pc’s?) I think the cost of those would be much less than a clerk/typist position salary and benefits. Why didn’t one member who sit inside the ‘brain chamber’ think of asking for iPads/Tablet PC’S before they just simply put their stamp of approval on this department’s budget? I know many on that sit at the ‘table of knowledge’ aren’t equipped to understand the benefits and cost savings of using such equipment/technology so maybe it’s best if I just stop on this line of thought.

Moving on. The City Clerk got his deputy clerk a [position]  written out of the budget a few years back. The council approved this at a cost of $48,000.00 a year plus benefits. The deputy was brought back to the comptroller’s office at 45,000.00 a year plus benefits. This deputy is a needed one the comptroller’s office is a very busy office and deals with all moneys in the City.

 

Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton was nice enough to post on her Facebook Page that the Mayor said and I use this word “Said” carefully that he put money in the budget for what the Give-me group are asking for. For those of you who don’t know who the ‘Give-me group’ is click here  That would include an E-Newsletter something that’s been asked for as far back as 10 years ago. The ” I want” the group of taxpayers would like to see the council meetings streaming live on the City’s website. We would like to have Nixle, Facebook, Twitter, and so much more. Many of these things are for free and every City around us and throughout this nation are using them to communicate with their residents. I would appreciate it Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton if you could please let us know in what department this money was put and what line item it’s under. I can’t seem to find it in the budget.  God bless me if we ask or should I say beg for something from the Council and this administration. When we do we are put in one category or another to delegitimize what we are asking from our elected officials.

For example last night I caught the ending of the May 13 2014 council meeting do any of you that sit at that ‘table of knowledge’ in the ‘brain chamber’ ever watch the council meetings? I was listening not watching and cringing at the way everyday residents are talked to or yelled at. The Chief of police for Gods sake went after a resident on camera yelling at him over the fact that he didn’t know… and he should know. How many cars the police department has. To my understanding after the meeting the Chief  of police went after this 70 year old man and the Chief of the fire department had to get in-between them.

Suzane Todd who spoke about the email sent out by one of those who sit at the ‘table of knowledge.’ Was told that she was making a personal attack against that councilman. She answered that she was. She went on to read the email undeterred by Council Chair trying to violate her rights. He sent out the email calling residents who ask for anything Gime, Gime, Gime group and so on. He sent this out to another council member and cc the resident who then posted it here on the blog. It’s all right for the council member  to publicly name call residents asking for very simple things, but Councilman Berry wanted to cut her off because she was “attacking him personally.” Instead of Councilman Berry apologizing for what this man said about the taxpayers of this city… he want’s to shut her up.

Next up to the mic was Mary who asked again about the use of the cars in the city. Stating that she’s been waiting a long time for the information. Only to be told by the Mayor that he doesn’t believe that her and ‘others’ are right about the cars usage being abused. Well how in the hell would he know? There is no system in place to keep track of who uses the cars. For what they are used for. For times taken out for what purpose. No mileage written before or after the car is used. Hey how about putting GPS on the cars in question including the Mayors taxpayer paid for car? Mary was quick to point out that the Mayor worked for Ford Motor Company and knows very well that when a car was used the use of that car had to be accounted for. She said I expect no less from my City.

This folks is typical behavior of Dearborn Heights Government. Don’t ask what [they]  are doing.

, don’t say a word about how they are running the City or not. Pay your damn taxes and shut your mouths we only want to hear from [you] the taxpayer… when you want to make an announcement, or when [you] want to sing our praises. I use to think this was just the Mayor, but have found this attitude is Citywide department heads, Council members just about everyone who works for the City. I guess everyone just watched the Mayors office for all these years get away with it and decided why not do the same thing..

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21 thoughts on “Warmer Temperatures, Blooming Flowers, Budgets, and Rudeness.”

  1. As I said, I hope they have the courage and can man up and explain why they approved such deal??????? I suspect they will never do that but, I will be so happy among many others to see them proving me wrong and come out and explain? just an explanations! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, make you wonder???????

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  2. If Berry worked at his company the way he works as a councilman, he would be out of a job and the company he works for would be out of business. Same thing goes for Ken Baron. The problem is that both Baron and Berry aren’t managing their own money when it comes to city funds, so their priority is definately NOT being good stewards of the city’s money.

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  3. Another note: The council pro-tempt works for a big company with lot of employees, did he receive pays for hours he don’t work? Or did he ever paid his stores employees for hours not clocked on the payroll records?

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  4. Note: The contract dos not state what the 4 hours are paid for! nor defining any reason? So the council voted yes to pay taxpayers hard earned money for what? I never heard of such thing like that ever before ” just pay me 4 hours per week that I don’t have work and accounted for and I don’t have to tell or explain anything, “JUST PAY” The council chair own and operate a business in the city dos he pay his employees non working hours? I hope he has the courage to answer??????

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  5. Fixed cost savings is almost ZERO, since the buildings are kept cooled or heated. Almost all the savings are employees hours cost, no saving from fringe benefits, and since the employees are paid 36 hours per week but working 32 hours only according to the contract and city council resolution extending the contract terms to all city non union employees. So the $350,000.00 he talking about represent 4 hours per week only. That mean if we paid only for the 32 working hours the saving will be double @ $750,000.00. I have no idea how our city council members approved to pay for non working hours? What was the logical reason that motivate and convince them to do that? The city general fund was in deficit at that time! And why not going back to 5 days/40 hours per week? Why this subject is very sensitive to city government? Why not discussing this matter during city council meetings and hear what the council members has to say? The contract was negotiated in good faith by both parties and was approved according to all rules and regulations. So what the catch?

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  6. Paletko at the mayor’s debate last October said we were saving around $350,000.00 by keeping the city hall closed on Fridays. I would like to see how he came to this figure in numbers and written down on paper So all we have his word on it and we know what that is worth.

    How about those clean and swept streets we have and those lovely little gravel pits left from where they dug up broken water mains? We have had our street swept once since April and one day some child is going to fall into those “gravel pits” and be seriously hurt.

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  7. Anybody on the this blog know why the city is closed on Fridays? I was not able to find a clear answer yet?

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  8. At last night’s study session, it was voted 6:1 to deny an e-newsletter. Tom Berry and Joe Kosinski cited financing for the project and sustainability. Huh! Kosinski is one of the least computer savvy people on the council and Berry has shown up at two council meetings in a row saying he didn’t have time to study the agenda items because he “was too busy” with his full-time job. So naturally he wouldn’t have time to read an e-newsletter. This vote is appalling. The only yes vote was from Lisa Hicks-Clayton. As in the case of Janet Badelow, she is the ONLY forward-thinking individual on the council. And as in the case of Janet Badelow, one vote against 6 won’t get you anywhere – which is where this city stands. And as in the case of Janet, Lisa is running for State Representative and will probably win – so there goes another forward-thinking individual. We’re left again, folks, with the Clown Car. Except this isn’t funny. This is just SAD! Anyone who feels angry about this needs to show up at the council meetings and voice their opinion. Kosinski asked the other council members if any residents had asked them for an e-newsletter and from their “no” responses, they made the decision to deprive the rest of us. Another informed vote! That’s how they do everything. They ask themselves how they feel and then they vote. This whole council – along with Dan AND HIS WHOLE STAFF – needs to go! If you have something to say, come to the council meetings and voice your opinions. Don’t just complain on this blog. Voice it where it will do some good and let others in the city know how you feel by getting up to that microphone and letting them hear your opinion(s).

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  9. Eva1972

    For years now I’ve been told things by people working inside City Hall about what goes on and who’s getting what and who isn’t. 99.9 percent of the time I’m asked not to say anything because they will know who the information came from and they will not could will be fired. I’ve honored what’s been asked of me, but have to say that there does come a time when they are going to have to stand as a group and fight what’s going on. The longer they stay quite the harder it will be to bring change to that place. One or two people can’t do it on their own all must stand up as one voice and make the change from the inside out.
    I will say the citizens of this city didn’t re-elect the Mayor a group of dedicated voters [seniors] elected him. The other 90 percent stayed home on election day… Until that other group of people decide to come out and vote until they decide to pay attention to what’s happening in the city they live in. Sorry to say things are going to remain the same.
    Someone asked if the City gets money from the Cable companies? The City does and it’s close to a million dollars. That money not even a penny of it goes to anything cable related, website related communication related nothing. That money has been used to balance the budget every year. I wrote about those money’s many times here on the blog. It became clear after that first year that those money’s would never be used for anything, but balancing the budget. That money is paid to the City because we use those cable company’s to watch our televisions and use internet we pay for that on our bills.

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  10. Kathy, I also saw the May 13 meeting and I was appalled at how the residents were treated just for speaking their minds, but sadly this is nothing new as you know. The Mayor and some members of the council are simply schoolyard bullies. I want to thank those residents for standing up for what they believe in and for speaking the truth!

    As far as the communication goes as you said many of the social media sites are free and by the way, do not take much time or skill to update. I have made 2 Facebook pages for different groups at the High School it was free and takes me maybe 20 minutes to update them depending on how much info I need to put on there.
    The truth is the Mayor does not want this, which makes one wonder what he is hiding.

    I know people who work at City Hall, and I know just as grandmasuzanne said, they are afraid to say or do anything against the Mayor for fear of losing their jobs.

    Lastly, I cannot believe that the citizens of this city actually re elected this piece of garbage!

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  11. Hi Jody,

    No, what I posted is not a joke, this truly happened. I told my husband that people on the blog would not believe it because we have been lied to so many countless times before by the mayor and council.

    What I found amazing about the whole thing is the timing. My computer is in the shop so I have to drive over to my daughter’s house (max of 5 minutes) and use theirs. I posted my view of why the tape wasn’t playing, Kathy had to approve it and I drove back home and in that time a call was made to me that my husband picked up and was given the information. I can tell you that my husband being a former cop does not joke around and did not make this up..

    I truly believe the caller was only making the call because someone in the mayor’s office who keeps a really tight check of this blog, saw my post and made the caller contact me. When the mayor is not there his faithful watchdog stand guard over the kingdom. Too bad the mayor’s office can’t act that fast for more important things.

    Jody, you have to remember that aside from the our elected clerk, treasurer and union people, when the mayor says jump to the city workers and department heads, they do and keep on jumping until the mayor says stop. All of them are dependent on the mayor for their jobs. He has the power to fire and hire. There is a lot of fear in our city workers for their jobs and the mayor knows this and uses it as a powerful tool to keep them silent or to do his bidding. I can’t blame them one bit either as I would keep my mouth shut too if I were in their place. It is for this reason that I am not identifying who called me and spoke with my husband. I don’t want to cause anymore trouble for any of them.

    That is why it is so important for the rest of us to attend council meetings and make our voices heard. People need to see and hear for themselves how the city is being run.

    As for why the mayor has such a strong hold over the council? I can’t answer that one. If it were not so tragic it would be funny. Instead of having all those council members up at the table my husband and I often joke about having all their voices record an “aye” vote so that when a motion is made all the mayor-in-waiting, Tom Berry, has to do is press a recording of their voices saying “aye”. Even when one of them does speak disagreement they still capitulate to the mayor or the mayor-in-waiting. Sad truly sad and our city suffers for it.

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  12. If all employees in that department truly left, then who did the taping? is that official saying that an employee recorded the meeting on Tue night and shoved the job back to the city next morning? How about the communication director? how about any body who may know to put a tape in the video machine and hit start button? how about calling Dearborn IT to help them run the meeting? a city with $42 million dollars budget and receive about a million dollars from the cable channels has no body to run a video tape for a council meeting? Sorry grandmasuzanne610 I hope you are making a joke! Are you joking or what? Is that city official was real? I can’t believe that is the case. How about the other programs? how come they are running? or not running? and how about now? they can still get assistance and broadcast the meeting? how about getting the tape and publish on YOU TUBE? Only in DH in the Social media age we can’t a have a council meeting published. If you can contact that official back and ask it its a joke?

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  13. Setting the Record Straight

    As my computer is in the shop being fixed I need to use someone else’s computer to get my email. I was just finishing up my other computer work, my when my husband got a call from a city official regarding my recent post today on this site wanting to set the record straight.

    My husband told me that this city official told him that the reason the recording from the last council meeting was not up and running was because three people in that department had quit and all the work was left to one person. One person in this department who was working part-time quit because they got a job somewhere else full-time. The second person working in this department was in a car accident and does not have any transportation to get to his job. The third person in this department is on medical leave. This is the reason the last council meeting has not been on the community channel. This department is now interviewing as I type for someone to fill one of the three positions.

    Because I believe in accountability, transparency and truthfulness I am posting this right away; hoping my example will rub off on the mayor and council. If you talk the talk, you need to walk the walk.

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  14. Hi Jody,

    This past meeting was about voting in the new budget, voter approved millages from past elections, motions brought up by various city officials and of course lengthy bloviations by certain council members to try and justify why they are sitting up there .

    I think that perhaps the meeting is not being televised because a resident spoke up about how those of us who ask questions or comment on things that the mayor or council don’t like are disrespected both at the meeting and after the meetings. This resident also spoke about our First Amendment Rights being violated.

    As an FYI other residents have reported to me and others of being called a “piece of shit”, dropped the “F-bomb” on, shouted to “shut-up” at council meetings, told not come back to city council meetings and even being goaded into a physical confrontation by some of the people in the city administration who are supposed to be working for us.

    They probably didn’t like the fact either that I questioned as to how a “balanced” budget that was voted on by the council last year and touted by Mayor Dan during his re-election now needs to be loaned several millions of dollars in order to meet the rest of the year expenses. I also brought up the fact that one million dollars of the above was approved to be loaned to the city by the library fund who just last year we voted to increase our taxes for because it was in such dire straights and we were threatened that even closing one library would not be enough.

    During one council meeting this year it just so happened that when a resident was commenting about a certain situation that put the council and mayor in a very bad light, the tape picked up only one word out of six. The tape ran perfectly while the council was conducting business but some how got messed up when this resident began speaking.

    Please do not blame the person doing the taping as I know this person to be an honorable and hard working person. However, everyone who works at city hall or for the city administration (except for union personnel and elected officials being the treasurer and clerk) does so at the pleasure of the mayor and if they displease him or don’t do as he wants will lose their jobs.

    People are beginning to realize what is happening in this city and word is beginning to spread. Now all we need is more residents to attend city council meetings and see for themselves why our elected officials are trying to suppress our freedom of speech. Those of us that speak out are not trouble makers but are only asking for accountability and transparency which are two words that put fear into our city council and mayor.

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  15. grandmasuzanne610, since you attended may, 27 2014 council meeting and since the administration is not broadcasting that meeting, can you please tell us what happen during that meeting? and in your opinion why they not showing the meeting publicly? I’m just curious after I read what the bloggers are saying. Is the broadcasting required by the state laws or it’s up to the city?

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  16. To the blogger of this article: According to last approved union contract all city employees receive 36 hours pay per week and only works 32 hours. So the saving if any will be 1/2 day pay anyway. So why the employees what to go back to 5 days to receive only 1/2 day pay. They better off working overtime and making more. Good for them.

    So if the 5 days restored, the saving may not be significant. So far no study done to show the actual saving that been published by the administration to justify the 4 days work, unless you are aware of one and please publish the results and the amount of saving in $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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  17. The rule was never changed, all comments should be addressed to the chair and he suppose to be the only person who can cut off or stop you for clarification, he was not manning up to his position and let the officials do what they want without any respect to his chairmanship.

    It’s about time he act as “chairman of city council” let see if he can stop pro-tempt council T.Berry from jumping on and trying to cut off the residents during their comments. Or best of all the mayor from telling a resident to shut up wile making a public comment.

    For one county seat we have more candidates than for 4 council sets, no public interest in city politics? wonder why? I guess $8,000.00 per year want make the cut.

    I also noticed that the last council meeting is not playing.

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  18. Kathy, you are so spot on with your statement. However, take heart my friend, people are beginning to start watching the council meetings and are coming up to me and making comments;especially about Chief Gavin’s very unprofessional rant at at an elderly resident and council members not saying a word. Its a trickle now but this resident will tell this neighbor who will tell their neighbor and from the trickle will come spring a gusher and from the gusher will form a crack and before you know it, the damn will come down. Those standing in back of that damn are going to be washed away in the torrent. We just need to be patient the process has started and we need to keep exposing the wrongs this council and mayor try to keep so well hidden.

    At the last council meeting Baron tried to change the rules on public comment. We now have to address our concerns solely to Baron and he will ask the person in question if they want to answer to us or not. Really!!! Our residents are beginning to wake up to the fact that his city is being run by dictators and they don’t like it.

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