Let’s Receive, Note, and File That… When an Action isn’t an Action.

When the City Clerk resigned before he rescinded that resignation the council had to act upon his resignation. They did act by way of a vote to Receive, Note, and File the Clerks resignation. Council Chair asked  corporation counsel to look into how to handle the Clerks rescind. Corporation Counsel came back and told the council he made a mistake and Receive, Note, and File isn’t an action. Corporation counsel didn’t have time to look into the subject of the clerks resignation. The clerks resignation was given to corporation counsel the night of the meeting he however, did have time to look into the opinion he was asked to give on the subject of the clerks rescind.

Here’s where I’m confused if Receive, Note and File isn’t an action taken by the council then how does council use  this action. On many occasions over the years watching and attending meetings of Dearborn Heights City Council I’ve seen this vote taken.  Then does that mean that every time they have received, note, and filed something they’ve been doing it wrong? They haven’t acted according to the opinion of corporation counsel by not acting according to what I understand from corporation counsel the vote they took was  no action. Every time they vote to receive, note and file any thing that comes before them they vote on that action. A VOTE IS TAKEN each member of the council say yes or no to take the action of receive, note and file.

Now however, corporation counsel is saying no you can’t do that you have to ‘act.’ Is Council going to act on everything that comes before them? Are they going to take a vote other than receive, note and file. Take for instance when the 130 signatures brought to the clerk’s office to be added to the agenda a few weeks ago. The signatures were not added before the meeting. Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton brought it up for a vote at the council table the first action that councilman Berry said was let’s  “receive, note and file.” This within a month of corporation counsel telling the council that they can’t receive note and file because it’s not an action.  Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton said “no I don’t want to just receive, note and file I want to discuss this.”

So when is it all right to use receive, note and file? When is this action and action and when isn’t it? Does the council get to pick when it’s and action and when it’s not? Can we as residents now stand and say no we don’t want you to receive note and file that, we want you to vote on it? Can we force a discussion and vote yes or no on any issue we find important to us because according to corporation counsel receive, note and file isn’t an action and council must take an action? Was the opinion from corporation counsel just one of convenience? Was it written in a way to make sure that the Clerk could come back with-out so much as a vote to take him back by the council. If I’m understanding this right they don’t have to vote to accept his rescind because council according to the ‘opinion’ didn’t act upon the resignation. So the resignation was null and void it never happened if we want to go by that standard then every time the council has voted to receive, note, and file something they did nothing.  Does that mean  that we can bring back what they in the past have received, note, and filed up for a vote.

If this is the new way things are going to be if you want to go by what corporation counsel has said then new rules must be adopted by the council. They no longer can receive, note, and file they must discuss and vote. When are we going to see this new standard put in action. When the Mayor gives them something they receive, note, and file it. Now they would have to vote (take action) on what ever he is bringing to them. This is all double talk by corporation counsel and Dearborn Heights City Council. With this now going before a judge is corporation counsel going to go before the judge and tell him that the council didn’t act when they voted to receive, note and file the clerks resignation.  If the judges rules in favor of corporation counsel does this set the standard.  Everything the city council has voted on for years by receive, note and file will be ruled null and void no action was taken.

If the judge rules that the council did act when they received, note and filed the resignation of the clerk will he then have to leave? Does the council then have to vote on taking him back? Would they have to vote on the rescind of the clerk? What ever the out come in court I still think the opinion by corporation counsel is what the City should act on from now on. No more receive, note and filling of anything. You can’t have it both ways it’s either and action or it isn’t.


11 thoughts on “Let’s Receive, Note, and File That… When an Action isn’t an Action.”

  1. Blue, My opinion didn’t speculate specifically on the clerk or how he performs his duties, my remark was specifically to give MY opinion (not on the clerk) to state that I don’t like any citizen shut down when stating their opinion or asking questions about our city. FOIA-ed information has been restricted, no sharing, no questions, no info. Basically, I believe that the three minutes one is given to ask, state, or share is not too much to wait for. No matter if one agrees or disagrees, sit quiet, let them speak. If necessary to state YOUR opinion, I would fight for your right as well. If one has a question and an answer can be provided, then do it. No matter what your personal specifics are, we are equal as citizens. Our administration should be able to respect us, each of us, and if we have questions about legal proceedings about those who represent us, then follow through.


  2. mercy
    In the past the issue of using social media and advancing the city’s use of technology was placed at the feet of the Mayor. As I said many on the council told me for years that the Mayor is the one who is side stepping this issue and doesn’t want to use it. I felt that maybe with some help from the residents the council could get it done. Now we are seeing the council not wanting to take any action on this subject and fighting residents who do want to see these things. Frankly speaking this is just stupid that we even have to have this much discussion over this subject. It should have been done years ago and yes by the administration without one resident having to say a word.
    If the Mayor was as good as he likes to say he is he would have used every avenue avaliable for himself to communicate with the residents.


  3. Do you have any idea how many issues have been pushed to the side to be dealt with later only never to be looked at and resolved. I’ve been seeing it now for 5 years as of next month. The council takes a vote by email violating the charter and open meetings act and not a word from anyone. Disaster relief is of course the number one issue right now, but there are other issues in the city that must be looked into. As I said in the post I was confused as to when receive, note and file is considered and action and when it isn’t. This could have an effect on how the council does things going forward, or it should if the opinion given by corporation counsel wasn’t just an opinion of convenience.
    Anonymous I’ve asked several times that everyone who uses the screen name “Anonymous” use a number behind it and stick with the number. There are just too many of you on here using that screen name and it’s made it very hard to keep track of which “anonymous” is saying what.


  4. Can we get past the Clerk issue? Quite tired of hearing about it. There are other pressing issues we need to be dealing with such as diasaster relief and other help and support groups.


  5. dhdoctor, The censuring of the clerk was done after the council created and adopted a new ordinance allowing them to censure. What the censuring means anyway?

    The clerk is an elected official and can only be removed from office by recall or the governor. No public information about him been charged or convicted of any crime against the people.

    And why asking the council or the administration for information they can’t legally disclosed? The information can be FOIA-ed if its public or the public records can be checked for any legal proceedings.

    The clerk did good job during the election and was cleared from all election related accusations by the court.

    The clerk office was short few employees, but he managed the election with hard work and long hours without pay.


  6. drheights48127, The social media services are an administration services and can be done without the council approval. The council needs to get involved only when the elected full time administrators fail to do so. Please take that in consideration and ask if the council received an answer from the administrator explaining why the social media is not in place? The hall situation is confusing and no clear picture about who is opposing or preventing the social media from been in place? The administrators are observing the social media drama without comments.


  7. Okay, okay, okay. I have been at or watched the council meetings for a long, long time. Here’s my opinion: Council Miotke doesn’t seem to be on the same wavelength as the citizens. He is, however, right up the Mayor’s alley. I have been made aware in the past that when the citizens choose to ask questions, to require more information, or anything that may need clarification, Council Miotke doesn’t seem to be on the mark, unless of course, by option of the Mayor.
    The citizens have questioned the censuring of the clerk many times, always to be shut up by Council Miotke or the Mayor. Because of the past reputation of the Mayor, I don’t think he is the one to mete out, suggest, or discuss punishment or censuring.
    Every meeting there is a question brought by a citizen asking where the money goes, why so much paid to the lawyers, etc. and so many times we get to listen to the Mayor talk down from his throne at the bad, bad citizen, or the mediocre tone of Council Miotke doing the same. If they think this will just make the citizen go away, they are mistaken. Too many questions, too many shut downs, and may I include, a few council members that are guilty of the same.


  8. The clerk resign with an effective date, his resignation was not “effective immediately”, therefore the council had one of few choices: 1) Appoint a replacement effective the date of the clerk official resignation, 2) Accept or reject the clerk resignation “given that will not force him to stay” it will be a vote that reflect the council body point of view. 3) Vote to take no actions by “receiving note and file”, 4) Vote to start searching for a replacement pending the clerk final resignation, given that he has the right to resend his resignation before the effective date, or 5) Not respond at all as a council body, because the resignation (As i understand was an agenda item), and if that was correct, then the resignation should been added by approved council resolution to the agenda first and sponsored and seconded then voted on to “receive note and file”. May be the council action totally null and void if there was no resolution to add the resignation letter to agenda. (No streamlined council meetings to electronically review that council meeting). That is one of the benefits of having ” Streamlining”

    The council must take an action when there is definite resignation of the clerk and since that was not the case then the council took a vote by resolution to “receive note and file”.

    The council can by resolution “receive note and file” if they don’t want to take an active position regarding the issue, Its passive resolution of the council.

    So, what difference it makes wither the council acted “YA” or “NA” or wither appointed or choose to wait to appoint after the resignation is in effect?

    The clerk reseeded his resignation before the effective date, and that was within his right under the state law, and the state law supersede municipal regulations.

    Some voters may don’t like that maneuver from the clerk and may wish that he is out of office, but we have to remember he was elected by more voters then any other elected officials other then the treasurer and he has the right to exercise his choices and actions within the state rules and regulations.

    Therefore, I believe the clerk acted properly in relation to attempt to resign and his action to resend that and stay in his elected post and continue to serve DH.

    As far as the council acting on the 130 petitioners for “social media”, 1) The council chair must accept the item on the agenda, 2) the agenda item must be supported and seconded by council members 3) the council must take an UP/DOWN vote on what the resolution asking for.

    The agenda item can be introduced to the chair by any member of the council, The mayor, the clerk, or the treasurer. 1 or 1000 residents can present a resolution to any of those elected officials for adoptions, its up to them to make it official agenda item pending the chair approval.

    I hope that clarify some confusion about the process and some questions about the residents right to have their issues put on the council agenda for public discussion.

    Have a nice and productive day.


  9. bitsy08

    We shouldn’t even have to ask for this these things are just done for the residents in other city’s without so much as one resident asking for it. The fact that we have to go before our council and Mayor with hat in hand like beggars is disgusting. I think the fact that 130 people signed a petition in a matter of and hour is very good and very telling to what people are looking for…
    If he has the right to or not isn’t what I’m discussing in this post what I’m asking is when is receive, note and file an action and when isn’t it?


  10. According to the Charter, the Clerk was in his rights to rescind his resignation. There is nothing in the Charter that says he cannot. As far as Tom Berry and receive, note and file? In my opinion that’s just another way for him to blow us off. As to the petition with the 130 signatures on it, “I” believe we should have made every effort to get more signatures. “I” also believe that THIS council is not going to pay attention to 130 people out of what – 56,000? Never gonna happen.


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