This blog started five years ago this month within a week of its conception the lawyer for the City posted this to the blog click here to read. Paid for by the residents of Dearborn Heights. This blog has come a long way commenters have come and gone and then come back again. I’ve been sued because of this blog I’ve had the most horrible things said to me via the comment section. Most just calling me vile names and statements of what they would like to do to me. I never posted those comments feeling that they just didn’t have a place here and not wanting to give them a space to vomit such things. Same goes for some of the vile comments about certain employees of the City. I just didn’t feel that they had a place here, and if it doesn’t concern their job performance, or lack of I wasn’t willing to post such gossip. I’ve always liked a debate here on the blog, and have encouraged that on every issue I write about. It’s been my way of thinking that we are all entitled to our own opinion and you don’t have to agree with what I say. State your facts and show me where I’m wrong.
I’ve written here about cars, phones, illegal hired personal, contracts, over-time, the Headlee override, the closing of the City one day a week. Budgets, technology, lawyer invoices, NSP program and more. There’s been a common theme here from me the truth.
I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.
The blog you could say has matured or come of its own in these five years. Still City officials poo, poo this blog, call all that’s posted here lies. What they can’t run from however is their own recorded in the past five years. There have been issues that I wrote about here that did get resolved. The taking home of cars by department heads. The council fought the Mayor all the way to take away the cars from department heads. How many of those cars were given back to the department heads? The CEDD director had his car taken away later it was given back to him. He stated that the car was paid for from CDBG money. Later former council woman Badalow found out after many emails and telephone calls that CDBG money isn’t supposed to be used for the payment of a leased car for the department head. The director of the building department had his car returned to him to take home at night. To my understanding all of the trucks taken home by DPW workers are still being taken home. The deputy of the fire department takes a car home as does the chief. The chief of police takes a car home and I’ve since learned so do several other police officers.
Back in 2010 I started taking an interest in the IT of the City and at that time the council was too. So much so that they had a study done by Plante Moran. The study recommended,
- the creation of an IT steering Committee,
- implement a formal IT governance structure,
- develop a more detailed IT strategic plan.
Among many more recommendations if implemented theses measures would have saved the City money in the long run. The council did hire Dearborn as IT for the city and I’ve heard that there have been some improvements. Fast forward to 2014 and the same woman who said this
Councilwoman Horvath pointed out that the Mayor has to be excited about this, and show enthusiasm for the project. After all he is the head of this city, and even if he is not tech savvy he should put his best face on this.
Is now fighting us all the way and at that time she was one of several on the council in the forefront of this. When I wrote the post I said “I would like to see city council meetings online,” That was 4 years ago and still we don’t have council meeting online. Even with the advancement of YouTube and being able to make your own channel there. You can read the whole post here if your interested. In 2013 I wrote a post again about technology and the lack of its use in the city and by officials in the city. In that post I showed just how long this subject has been discussed and no action has ever been taken. Since 2002 that’s how long ago this subject was brought before the council. Former councilwoman Badalow brought up the use of E-Packets. You can read the whole post here and how many times over the years while Janet Badalow was there that she asked for this.
In the five years that I’ve been writing here I’ve seen the council try to fight the contract of the police officers union. A contract that took a year and half to get negotiated the council said no and wanted to hire their own lawyer to look into it. The council in the end decided it was going to cost the city too much money. The councils concern was what they wanted brought to the negotiation table was never brought to the table. To this day the council never found out if what they wanted brought to the negotiation table was ever even talked about. I’m very curious as to what the council will do differently in 2016 when all these contracts are opened up. Will they insist on having someone from the council or someone representing the council at that table? Will they hire a contract negotiator to monitor contracts negotiations?
We’ve seen our council and Mayor close down our City every Friday. The closure of the City one day a week was sold to the council as a measure that if not working could be stopped. When council came back to the Mayor with complaints by residents and employees and the council wanted to open the City back up on Fridays. They Mayor informed them that wasn’t an option. The one day a week that the City is closed is part of a letter of understanding in a union contract. That contract can’t be opened up until 2016. The cost savings the Mayor said would result if the City closing one day a week have never been studied/monitored. There hasn’t been anything on going no charts no ‘hard evidence’ showing what’s been saved. Now that this one day is part of a union contract we’re stuck with it. Just what do you think the City is going to have to give to open the City back up 5 days a week?
Over the years people have asked why I keep at it? Simple the people have a right to know the “Truth.” As hard as some of it is to believe it’s the truth. These things are happening in our City. I want people to get involved in what ever way they can. Our City the City of Dearborn Heights did its business for years unobserved. Who was looking? Who was bothering to take a look at all those invoices in the agenda packets? (besides the council.) Who was writing about anything that was going on here? No one. I would like residents to know what their tax dollar is spent on. I don’t know if this blog has made any difference in the City? I know it’s made a difference for me. I never paid attention to things happening in the City. What was getting approved and why. I never went to a council meeting (I’m sure many wish I would have never started.)
I remember in the beginning I use to call Councilwoman Horvath and former Councilwoman Badalow with endless questions that both woman spent much time answering. I would say to both of them, “but why can’t you just do this and get it done?” Until one or maybe both explained to me that our city is run with a (strong Mayor weak council system.) That took me to the charter to gain more information and understanding and so on. One thing is for sure it’s been an eye opening experience knowledge is a very good thing. Once you see and once you understand it’s very hard to turn a blind eye to what is going on.
Take a look back at the older post some very interesting things happened over the past five years and they are worth looking at. Make sure to come over to the Facebook Page for this blog let me know what you remember over the past five years? On Twitter @heights48127 or as always post your comments here.