Who’s Looking, Who’s Asking, Who’s Paying Attention?

Residents of Dearborn Heights there are issues in your City. How many of those issues are known by the residents of the City? Few. We pay our taxes, but how many look at a tax bill to know just what they are paying for. Headlee Override, Act 345, CSO and so on and so on. We talk about those things here on the blog and over on the Truth Page on Facebook. We do that so the residents of this City can stay informed. Today I have to ask myself how many even know or should I say care?

I’m not posting as much as I use to, I’m not going to council meetings. I don’t feel the need to. Nothing ever changes the same people on the Council that have always said ‘NO’ to us, continue to say the same. The administration well we know all about that. The same yes votes are cast by the same council members for whatever this administration brings to it. So I stopped getting myself involved so much. The same absentee voters are going to decide who gets on the council because not enough voters get off their duff and go to the polls to vote. A few of us that pay attention go to meetings, dig to get the truth, ask questions we try to get the information out there. To who? How many look for the information?

Recently here and on Facebook it was brought up that the City charges us almost double for water/sewage compared to other City’s around us. The administration borrows from the water fund to pay the bills in the City (payroll) and then pay’s back the money with interest. This is legal, but if we the resident didn’t have to pay double in the first place wouldn’t the Mayor/Council have to submit budgets that are true in nature and save us some money? No the Council and the Mayor after the expenses of maintenance and servicing the lines have a very healthy water fund. How many residents even know this information? Not many, I would say if more did they just might be creating a fuss to get this changed. Well, maybe not because this council had the chance to change it just in these past few months during budget talks and it wasn’t. No instead, our rates went up again in December. Oh, they will say that we haven’t raised them for two years. Big deal we are still paying double even without the water rate hike. Who’s asking? If what I think I heard is correct the Council in Dearborn Heights is set to raise those rates again. How many residents will be writing to express their outrage with this? How many of us will go to a council meeting to say ‘NO.’

How many in the City know that they were over-charged for the CSO bond? How many know that 6.8 million dollars collected and by the time the bonds are paid back in 2017 there will be over 3 million to put back into the general fund.  Those of us that go to City Council meetings or watch them on Youtube  found out about a 1 million dollar refund check from MMRMA. Not the first time he’s gotten one of these refund checks from the MMRMA. The Mayor is so sure about getting these checks that he just puts one million dollars in the budget before it’s submitted to council for approval.  That can be done nothing wrong with that. I would ask how the Mayor and Council who approved his numbers knew this was coming? Troy Brown on Facebook Said this,

I wonder how much the city would be getting back, if indeed the legitimate claims of it’s residents were honored, as they should have been? I wonder if the “self-insurance” pool knew that the city had a consent agreement against the county to fix a problem, that lead to the massive loss of property on 8/11/14, and DID NOTHING AT ALL WITH IT? I wonder, IF the self-insurance” pool would have known about this huge risk and problem with the city, how much the “refund” check would have been for with this type of risky management?

Council members over the years have asked about the water rates, the CSO bond, and the budget. Councilman Berry, former Councilwoman Badalow, and former Councilwoman Van Houten Asked. With no support from others on the council, these concerns went where all concerns go that aren’t dealt with in the City nowhere.

Now the question is this how can we get people interested in what is happening in their City? I dare say this Council “the majority” there are exceptions and the administration are very comfortable in the knowledge that very few know or care what is going on in the City of Dearborn Heights. I hope we can change this it’s important that we do.

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26 thoughts on “Who’s Looking, Who’s Asking, Who’s Paying Attention?”

  1. What is left of the money after bonds are paid off will be put into the general fund according to the lawyers opinion that is what can be done with whatever money is left. If put into the general fund that will help balance the budget. The money that he is using right now and adds to the budget is the refund check from the MMRMA. He is so sure that a million dollar’s in a refund will come every year that he adds it to the budget and the council approves that. Nothing illegal using the MMRMSA refund check to balance the budget it’s considered revenue to the City.
    As for the CSO money and questions you have, The Mayor is a CPA there isn’t any reason for this man to keep collecting the CSO money at the rate he did in violation of the law (according to you.) If you’re wanting me to get inside the Mayor’s head that I can’t do I have no idea why this continued why he didn’t take action before a resident demanded some answers. These are questions for the Mayor the man that we keep electing to run our City. When you ask that question to the Mayor I would love to see the none answer, answer that he will come up with. Have no doubt that this will roll off him just like everything else and will soon be forgotten except by a very few who will remember. The real question is who knew what and when? Is there any recommendations from the lawyers overseeing the money telling the Mayor that there was to much being collected. Was there any person/agency in the state government that has to look at this money and watch how much is collected in this account to make sure that the residents aren’t being overcharged? If more than five years ago council members questioned this why didn’t the Mayor go and take a look at the numbers at that time? If he did with his background I’d think he’d have a very good idea that something was wrong. If he didn’t at least take a gander at the numbers then is he negligent in his duties? I’m not a lawyer and I don’t have all the reports, emails if any between the Mayor and lawyers. If five years ago he did look at the numbers and decided to keep collecting at the same rate then someone needs to ask him why? It all starts and ends with the Mayor.

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  2. drheights48127, August 20, 2015 at 9:19 am
    I can’t understand why the city government overcharged the taxpayers CSO Taxes in violation of state regulations? Then kept the money growing in the CSO fund that is restricted and can’t be used for any other city business,

    Dearborn Heights; You stated that the overcharged taxes was used to balance the budget? What budget? This fund is restricted for CSO bond payments only? The taxpayers voted to authorize the tax collection to CSO bond payments only?

    Please explain how that “balancing the budget can be done with restricted taxes”? Are you sure of that? Are you sure the city government collected taxes under the CSO bond to use the unnecessary mills to balance another city fund? Do you believe that action needed voters approval on a voting ballet?

    How the city government can collect unnecessary CSO tax mills, if the state regulations requires them to reduce the mills rate and collect taxes only to pay the bond payments.

    Tank you for all the information you are providing on this blog, Knowledge is wasted if not shared. please don’t be disappointed with the majority who are busy with life matters and lost interest in politics (community civic affairs). Please pay attentions to the few who are eager to learn and get involve in their community civic duties affairs, those few are the change engines and rely on civic activist similar to yourself in the search for information and facts. If one person benefited from published information then its an accomplished and honored civic duty well done.

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  3. I do not and have wrote about this subject before here. I also wrote about the MMRMA and the million dollars he gets back every year from them. This money the Mayor is so sure is coming every year he writes it into the budget and council votes on it. When the CSO subject came up years ago by Janet Badalow I wrote about it…It went nowhere as does all things I’ve been writing about here for years. The Residents have been and continue to be asleep. Past Mayor’s and former Council members voted on these rates year after year. Not just the ones sitting there now. If not for the flood who would have looked into this? Troy Brown took it upon his self to look into the CSO. When this was brought up years ago there was may four people (residents) sitting in the council chamber. Those few hundred that watched the meeting on TV had nothing to say about it at the next meeting. How many residents do you think show up at budget meetings? I went to them I can say when I was in the room I was the only one for many of the departments presenting their budgets. The better question is how many years this was being collected and showing an excess? If 5/6 years ago former council members showed a concern and asked about it then for at least 5 years the City/administration=MAYOR was letting this happen. If there is one council member asking and the rest of them look at them like they grew a second head what do you think is going to happen? Nothing. The way I see it the Mayor left it this way and would have continued to do so with council approval to make a nice little Nest Egg that he could use the money to balance the budget. Then run and tell the residents look how great I am. Oh, there may have been a council member that would have said something, but without others at the table for support nothing would have happened. So residents paying attention make a difference I have said and continue to say if you want things to change then make the change. Demand more from your council get engaged get informed go to meetings watch them on youtube or TV. Read the budget. Yes, I know we elect them to do the right thing, but remember it takes a majority on the council to change anything. It takes a Mayor that is forthcoming with the information. You must have all the information before you can make a decision on anything. If the full information isn’t given to you how can council members make a good decision/vote.
    Just look at how the Mayor got council or most of it and residents on board to pass the Headlee Override. Now ask yourself how many residents even came out and voted on that very important issue? Look at how he manipulated the council and the residents NO OVERTIME right city closed down one day a week, but he tells council if it doesn’t work we can go back any time to a five-day work week. No true when council, tried they found out that it was part of union contract now. The list goes on and on this isn’t all on the council we as residents must take some of the blame here.

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  4. drheights48127 on August 18, 2015 at 9:44 am, do you agree with the city council members who voted to overcharging taxpayers millions of dollars by approving the collection of CSO tax mills over several years at least since 2011 when the CSO fund balance have over 6 million dollars on hand? On 1976 the city voters approved to collect CSO tax mills every year to pay for yearly payments of the CSO bond, according to the state laws, the CSO tax mills shell decrease/increase to collect enough from the taxpayers to pay the payments. In reality the CSO bond fund should have none or few dollars only, since it should be depleted by calculating every year how much the city government should collect by counting the end of year CSO fund balance and approve tax mills equal to the additional fund the city need to pay the following year CSO bond payment. The voters approved the city government to collect taxes to pay only the CSO bond obligations noting else. The ballet language didn’t include provision for building CSO bond fund reserve or surplus. Can you please help figuring out why our city council members kept approving CSO tax mills and ordering the city treasurer to collect them? Can you help figuring out for what purpose they kept collecting millions of dollars “AS CSO BOND TAX MILLS” in reality they don’t need to pay the CSO Fund obligations? And its so simple to calculate, (Just check the CSO fund balance before the vote and ask the city CSO bond manager how many tax mills you need to generate the balance needed to pay the yearly payment) then vote accordingly. If that done every year then no surplus or may be few dollars left in the CSO fund to struggle with how to use. At the same time the taxpayers could.ve kept few dollars of hard earned money to spend on food or medications.

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  5. drheights48127, on August 18, 2015 at 9:44 am,
    All council members are responsible for approving the CSO mills at time when the CSO fund had/had balance enough to pay the CSO bond yearly payments.
    Kudos to councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton for her courage to acknowledge the CSO mills taxes overcharges without intention, and for her leadership to publically admit her disappointment with the CSO surplus resulting from the CSO tax mills overcharges, in addition to her integrity and commitment to serve the public truthfully and transparently. I voted for her and trust her to represent me and carry my points of view and concerns “if they are in the best interest of the public” to the council chamber where her vote can be publically heard and recorded and make a difference without regard to wither getting supported or not by other council members. Each council member carry their own voting record. It was her choice to communicate with the public on this public blog, and I’m very grateful among others for her public comments and her transparent leadership and her integrity and truthfulness.
    I will vote for her again and encourage others to do the same. And encourage you to support her honorable and honest way of carrying her public representation without regards to how the other elected officials carry out their public business.
    Council members are responsible individually for their votes and they can collectively or individually ask for information and investigate any proposed council addenda item before they casting their votes.

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  6. Straightforward

    Have you said the same things to former council members who voted for the CSO? Have you asked by way of email other council members to do the same thing you are asking of Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton? If you did please provide their response to you here on the blog. Have you asked the Mayor to return the money? How did he respond to you? Have you talked with the Treasurer of the City? Have you gone after anyone else besides Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton? If you want her to fight on your behalf then start a campaign to ask other council members to support what you are asking for. Have you taken any of this to the Media? You want her to ‘ask other council members’ why don’t you ask them write to them call them go to a meeting and use your 3 minutes? November is the election go out and vote to put some people on the council that will help her get some things done for us in this City. Walk Your Block for the other candidates running to get a council that will work for us. Let your neighbors know what is going on in the City. How many people have you told that we were OverCharged for the CSO? I bet most residents have no idea it even happened. Take the bull by the horn and get something done there is much more than just writing to this one council member here. They all have to answer Ned Apigian is running for re-election what does he have to say about this? Did you ask him? Demand his support…what has he done for us all these years he’s been sitting there? When’s the last time he supported Lisa in anything she’s brought to the council table?

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  7. Good morning councilwoman, thank you for been disappointed for overcharging CSO taxes and I believe your “non intention” statement. You can review your council package back-up for the CSO resolution in 2014 and read the recommendations to levey the CSO 1,25 tax mill. if there are any recommendations at all. The truth is; CSO taxes been overcharged and now you discovered that mistake and as you stated was not intentional, therefore you should ask the other council members to support you to return the overcharged amount to the taxpayers and you should start an investigation according to city charter to find out what happened and how the CSO taxation overcharges were overlooked, then put in place a process to stop that from happening again to other bond funds.
    I voted for you trusting your integrity and commitment to serve the taxpayers and others who call dearborn heights (DH) home or pass by or do business in our city or visit our DH community. Therefore your attention and actions to resolve this matter is important. I believe that returning the CSO overcharged amount to the taxpayers is the most honorable and transparent way of sincere apology to unintentional mistake.

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  8. Just a quick clarification. The City Treasurer is an elected official, elected by the registered voters of the City of Dearborn Heights. I will be meeting with him for further clarification and seeking additional resources and answers to the questions. Thank you and best regards!

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  9. Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton,

    On August 15, 2015 at 11:27 am you stated:
    “In response to your post, dated August 14, 2015, the information regarding the CSO millage and the levy of the CSO millage is presented and based on the information prepared and presented by the Administration, Comptroller and the City Treasurer, as outlined in the City Charter. Therefore, Council members would vote accordingly to the information and data presented. Upon discovery of the surplus, I am disappointed. In addition, as outlined by the MCL code and specifications, provides for the surplus may be returned to the general fund. Therefore, it is imperative the City Council have a study session, which is an open meeting, to further discuss the allocations of the surplus funds. It is important to determine and prioritize the use of the funds. Some thoughts include ordinance support (our largest area of residents’ complaints and service needs), support for the five day work week, Fire Department rescue vehicles funding (public safety). Council members have to rely on the information, back up data provided (see City Charter) and yes, research information as much as possible, making informed decisions when voting. I do not believe there was intent to over tax our residents, certainly not on my behalf.”

    Thanks for not running away from answering. I respect your choice to rely on the “the Administration, Comptroller and the City Treasurer” the city treasurer is part of the administration, he is not an elected official. And you have been voting yes to levy and collect taxes to pay for the bond payments at times when the CSO fund reserve had/have enough taxes to pay the payments, The state requires to reduce the millage and collect taxes to pay the bond payments “not to build a reserve” according to the required bond payments. And before any further discussion on this subject, please answer the following question:

    (Did you know or been informed or been advised or been educated or been given as part of the back-up package that been presented to you by the officials you stated that you trusted and voted according “to the information and data presented” by them) about the state mandatory reduction of the bond mils and if sufficient amount in the reserve can cover the required bond payments for the next year the mil should be ZERO similar to what you the council did in 2015 (No CSO mills)?

    I understand you are “disappointed ” but the fact remain that “taxes was overcharged” including yourself and the property owners in your neighborhood who you see and talk to regularly.

    What will be your vote in 2014 to approve CSO 1.25 mil if you was aware of the state bond tax mills regulations?

    The overflow of millions in CSO fund are not reserve they are overcharges of taxes, the state regulations requires municipalities to collect taxes only enough to make the bond payments not to build a reserve. They should be few dollars if any in the CSO fund after paying all required payments and obligations related to the CSO fund obligations, the CSO tax mills should’ve been adjusted every year if necessary according to the value of the mills that are based on the taxable values of the properties located in the city.

    The properties taxable values fluctuate UP/DOWN and the CSO mills should follow the same pattern.

    The federal, state and local governments refund overpaid millions of income taxes to taxpayers every years.

    Please research further this subject and make your decision about the CSO overcharged millions based on the results of your investigation determining the best interest of Dearborn Heights Taxpayers according to the laws governing this matter.

    Please don’t vote on property taxes in the futures before making sure you will not be disappointed later about your vote.

    Have a good weekend.

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  10. One more update (in addition to the Federal/ Army Corp of Engineers Update):

    Update from Wayne County per Trisha Dotson (Wayne County Drains). I had been following up on this piece, as promised. I had meet with some residents, who live along the Ecorse Creek in previous weeks. There were blockages in the creek. We worked with Wayne County officials and had those blockages removed the last week in July. The blockages were manually removed using chain saws, etc. The branches and debris was left on the banks of the creek. I spoke with Ms. Dotson on Thursday, August 13, 2015. A crew will be out to assess the most efficient means to remove the debris from the banks, since they cannot get the larger equipment into the site. The assessment will include a flood risk assessment with the purpose to minimize flooding potential to the homes along the Ecorse Creek. In addition, I have heard back from Congresswoman Debbie Dingell’s office regarding a status update for the Army Corps of Engineer’s Peer Review of the Greenway Project for the Ecorse Creek. The full update should be received on Friday, August 14, 2015, as we are waiting for the additional mailing information for the Impact letters, videos, etc. I am working with Congresswoman Dingell and other officials to maximize our efforts and impact on this front. Please feel free to contact me directly at (313) 348-9848 with questions.

    Respectfully,
    Lisa Hicks-Clayton
    Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman

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  11. Dear Just Answering,

    In response to your post, dated August 14, 2015, the information regarding the CSO millage and the levy of the CSO millage is presented and based on the information prepared and presented by the Administration, Comptroller and the City Treasurer, as outlined in the City Charter. Therefore, Council members would vote accordingly to the information and data presented. Upon discovery of the surplus, I am disappointed. In addition, as outlined by the MCL code and specifications, provides for the surplus may be returned to the general fund. Therefore, it is imperative the City Council have a study session, which is an open meeting, to further discuss the allocations of the surplus funds. It is important to determine and prioritize the use of the funds. Some thoughts include ordinance support (our largest area of residents’ complaints and service needs), support for the five day work week, Fire Department rescue vehicles funding (public safety). Council members have to rely on the information, back up data provided (see City Charter) and yes, research information as much as possible, making informed decisions when voting. I do not believe there was intent to over tax our residents, certainly not on my behalf. I will continue to work hard at representing our residents on issues important to them, including disability, elder services, family services. economic development and the Ecorse Creek Resolution. Please feel free to visit my Facebook page, LinkedIn or subscribe to the E-Letter Communication for updates. In addition, Constituent Office Hours are the first and third Mondays of each month at the Berwyn Senior Center, 10:00 a.m. and the first and third Tuesdays of each month at the Eton Senior Center, 10:00 a.m. Additional appointments are available by calling (313) 348-9848.

    Serving Our Community,

    Lisa Hicks-Clayton
    Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman

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  12. Update from Congresswoman Debbie Dingell’s office regarding the Ecorse Creek Greenway Project and the Army Corps of Engineers Peer Review per Kevin Hrit, Congresswoman Dingell’s Constituent Services Director. The project is currently under technical review for best solution,, which is estimated to take 2-3 months to complete. Following completion of this stage, an independent review by a contracted outside, independent agency will occur ( 6 months). This stage is not currently funded. However, funds are being considered for reallocation from a Louisville project which has stalled. Upon completion of the independent review, a slate report will be submitted to the Head of Engineers at the Army Corp of Engineers and submitted to Congress. The Ecorse Creek Greenway Project is considered on top of the list in its district based on the magnitude of impact and the density of population of impact. Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton will be authoring and submitting a Resolution of Impact to be submitted to Congress on behalf of the City of Dearborn Heights. The Resolution will be proposed to the Dearborn Heights City Council in the near future and forwarded to the President of the United States, U.S. Senators and U.S Congress members. In addition, a Citizen Petition will be circulated, seeking and encouraging residents signatures, asking our Federal elected officials for support of allocations for the Ecorse Creek Greenway Project proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Please call Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton at (313) 348-9848 if you can help with the Citizen Petitions and collections of signatures.

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  13. grandmasuzanne610,

    On August 9, 2015 at 7:54 pm, you stated “Why do I exclude Lisa Hicks-Clayton from the rest of the council?

    (2) If you question her as to why she voted one way or the other she will tell you her reasons and listen patiently and with respect to a person who may not share her same opinion.”

    Without any argument the councilwomen is a committed public servant and do the best she can. But according to what I heard during the council meeting on 8/12/2015 she voted to levy unnecessary CSO tax when the state regulation state that the council sell not levy and collect taxes if CSO bond reserve is sufficient to pay the bond payments. How can she vote among other council members in contrary to state laws? Do you think she can correct her action and introduce a council resolution to return the excess 3.5 Millions CSO overcharged taxes to the taxpayers of Dearborn Heights if she voted without knowledge of the state regulations?
    There are taxpayers who are working 2 jobs to barely survive and need every penny to pay for food, medications, health insurance copayments and deductions/office visits, mortgages, DTE, WATER, phone, cable, internet, city taxes, county taxes, WCCC taxes, library taxes, public safety pension taxes, sanitary taxes, car payment, gas, and other expenses.
    Overcharging taxes is unacceptable and must be returned, If a store overcharged sales taxes, the customer can go back and ask to be refunded and the store will refund the overcharged taxes with an apology, even the amount could be few dollars.
    I heard the council chairman saying he didn’t know why they approve to levy 1.25 mill since 2011? Do you know if in 2011 the CSO fund reserve was sufficient to pay the bond payments for 2012? how about in 2014, definitely the CSO fund reserve was sufficient to pay the 2015 bond payments, but the council members including the councilwomen all voted to levy 1.25 mills, overcharging Dearborn Heights taxpayers over 1.25 millions.
    Please talk to your councilwoman who you are defending to publicly apologize from Dearborn Heights taxpayers for overcharging them CSO taxes and ask her to correct her action in good faith as she was trusted by over 4000 taxpayers who voted her in office including myself to serve in their best interest transparently and truthfully.
    All public matters are very important but the most important tasks for city council members is approving the collection of taxes as been voted by the taxpayers according to state laws to be able to pay for city functions and financial obligations. Councilmembers should make sure they understand what they are voting on before they cast their votes, they can ask the city administrators to explicitly explain any matter as needed to their satisfactions. they are part time and should rely on the full time professionals who are well paid public taxes to assist the council to legislate city matters.

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  14. Just Answering,

    Why do I exclude Lisa Hicks-Clayton from the rest of the council?

    (1) She is a council member who actually listens to what we say and will make a personal phone call to you and give you an answer to what your have asked at a council meeting. In all fairness, Marge Horvath would call me or email me once in awhile too. However, none of the others on the council bother to call or email most of us.

    (2) If you question her as to why she voted one way or the other she will tell you her reasons and listen patiently and with respect to a person who may not share her same opinion.

    (3) Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton proposed a creek “walk-about” in order to see the trouble spots.

    (4) When the flood hit, not only did Lisa H-C walk and talk with residents even while the streets were flooded; she, Janet Badalow and Carol Stuart found all the information they could to help flooded residents and organized a meeting a few days after the flood to get the information out.

    (5) Lisa Hicks-Clayton has attended and added her voice to every city, county and state meeting regarding the Ecorse Creek. The mayor should be doing this and not a council person. Also she is a first term councilmember; whereas, the others have sat on that council so long the seat cushions on their chairs have permanent impressions of their butts in them.

    How about asking what the other longstanding councilmembers have done to help us with the flooding issue? Also the mayor can’t hold a candle to all the investigating and questions asking Lisa H-C does on behalf of the residents in this city who flood.

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  15. Justanswering

    You do realize Lisa H-C isn’t the Mayor? She isn’t the elected official in the City with the power to “FIX” the problem. How would she be able to fix the problem? All she can do in her capacity as a council member is just what she’s been doing as far as I can see. She has taken a more acting role in what is going on where this subject is concerned. At the very least she isn’t rude to residents who’ve been flooded when they are at council meetings. How about you ask those council members that have been on the council for 15+ years what they’ve done to “FIX” the problem.

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  16. grandmasuzanne610,
    On August 6, 2015 at 4:09 pm you stated in your comment: “Why isn’t our council (excluding Lisa H-C) supporting us now?”. To be fair, transparent and informative, can you please elaborate why you excluded that council member?. What the excluded council member did in “fact” since 2008 different from the rest of other elected officials to fix the North Branch Ecorse Creek/Drain flooding? Please be specific about the actions to fix not the actions to help the victims of the flooding after the flood, because if the flooding issue was resolved no victims will be their to help.

    I want to make sure that I stress-out the facts that all the help and assistance provided any one to victims is an honorable public services and very much needed and appreciated. Such actions shows the commitment to serve the public and the care for others.

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  17. Justanswering,

    The council and mayor are big on talk. It is very easy to support something with your talk but a whole different matter when it comes to actually walking the talk you spout.

    Why isn’t our council (excluding Lisa H-C) supporting us now?

    (1) In order to walk their talk they would have to make a lot of political enemies in Wayne County, State of Michigan and neighboring cities. They don’t care about anything except their own political life.

    (2) They are ignorant of facts. Twice I have been called on by council members to answer questions from residents at council meetings because they knew nothing about the subject that is being questioned. (and as council members they should have know the answers).

    (3) Some just don’t care and one of the council members was even heard by a reliable person that attended a study session to make an asinine remark and actually laughed when he said it, regarding the plight of flooded homeowners.

    (4) Some are so busy with their day jobs they don’t have the time to deal with city business and so just rely on the mayor’s proposals….and oh boy! does the mayor take advantage of that.

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  18. 25 years ago the county elected leadership responded to the court order to fix a county sanitary problem by accepting the responsibility under the michigan drain code and issued the CSO bond and obligated the effected municipalities to pay their portion. Dearborn heights voters chose adding property taxes to pay their portion of the cost.

    In 2004 the elected leadership of Dearborn Heights run of patient and they rallied behind their mayor and said enough and in 2005 they filed lawsuit (Under Chapter 8 of the state of Michigan Drain Code) a demand to force Wayne County to fix the flood issue cause by North Branch Ecorse Creek/Drain.

    In 2008 the court ordered the county to fix the ” North Branch Ecorse Creek/Drain.” flood issue. The wayne county elected leadership did not acted similar to how the county elected leadership acted 25 years ago and never issued a bond to fix the problem and obligate the effected municipalities to pay their portion of the cost.

    The county leadership choose to follow different finance routes to pay for the fix including federal assistant.

    We are in 2015 without fix, last year the county elected leadership changed, But Dearborn Heights mayor and the majority of city council are still seated. What happen to this same leadership who after years of the same flood issue, showed the courage and the leadership and the wisdom and acted in above all politics and accepted the responsibility and the public trust and without delay started the fix process over 10 years ago by filling the lawsuit under chapter 8 of the state drain code?

    The flood is a health and safety issue and need immediate fix similar to what happen with the CSO over 25 years ago.

    Public Health and safety is above all politics, and municipalities should accept their responsibility and bond together and compromise to come-up with an immediate solution to the North Ecorse Creek/Drain issue.

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  19. Hey Just Answering: Please don’t use the term “above water” when referring to the city of Dearborn Heights finances and public accounting practices. To the 1400+ flood victims and home owners who filed a claim from the illegal flood of 8/11/14, that this city council unjustly denied, being above water has at least 2 serious meanings to it! Thanks

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  20. Suzanne Todd, August 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    The CSO fund reserve don’t transfer to the city general fund automatically, must be used to pay-off 1st the CSO bonds, 2nd to pay-of any other outstanding city municipal bonds, 3nd if any money left will go to general fund. The 2 council members you are illustrating in your comment are without any doubt an outstanding public servant as other city public elected officials, They all serving trustfully as best as they can and know how. But for fairness and transparency we must call them all according to their actions on certain council vote such as assessing taxes on properties to pay CSO bond payments when the fund balance have adequate dollars to pay the yearly payment. Such as in 2014 the CSO fund reserve was over $6 millions way over the amount of the bonds payments for 2015, nevertheless the council approved 1.25 tax mill to be collected by the city treasurer to fund the overloaded CSO FUND! Did the council member you are referring to in your comment voted “NO” on the 1.25 mill? “Please read the state regulations that address this issue”.

    Just call the public elected officials according to their voting records not according to what they promise to do. Statesmen/stateswomen are the ones who cast their votes to support their talks ( walking the talk). Politicians are the ones who talks the talks and cast their votes in contradiction to their talks ( walking the politics).

    I support “Walking the Talks), Do you?.

    We should not support our elected officials blindly, we should support them based on their voting records on issues of public concern.

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  21. I became involved with city politics in 2011. Janet was a stand-alone vote NO on the mayor’s budgets and proposals while the majority of wimps on council caved into the mayor. Janet knew this was very bad for her political image but always had the good of the city when she voted. She knew Paletko would attack her in any way he could. Janet was and is a stateswoman and not a politician. The same can be said of Lisa H-C, she is also a stateswoman and not a politician.

    I heard that Paletko was gushing over Dave Abdullah at Dave’s fund raiser. Dave seems like a nice guy but if he is endorsed by Paletko than there is no way he is going to get this old lady’s vote. Another Paletko minion is poison for this city. Besides how many council sessions has Dave attended personally? I hear he lives in a gated community, not in the neighborhoods where we have to put up with all the crap. I also hear he is a very successful relator and is number one in the nation; will he really have the time that’s needed to focus on city problems. Will he be just another Berry who didn’t have time to read something he should have and just trust the mayor?

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  22. Good to know that at least one council member was asking! But; its understatement to say there was a decline in the general fund ‘rainy day fund’, by 2011 the” rainy day fund” was totally depleted in addition to about $5 millions of loans from other city funds. I can’t understand how the city elected officials missed that huge deficit indicators and kept saying the city was financially “OK” At time when surrounding cities are taking drastic measures to stay financially above water and asking what type of “financial wonders” our city officials are practicing to keep DH financially “OK” ! The fact was there are no “wonders” at all! They depleted general fund $ 5M reserve and borrowed another $millions from other city funds and by 2011 the state demanded a plan from the city to show how the loans will be paid back. Municipalities must be solvent at the end of every fiscal year, Municipalities general funds can borrow from other municipal funds to carry on the operational functions and needed cash flow but must be able to pay them back during the same fiscal year. Very simple and basic municipal accounting practice: Municipal general funds must be balanced based on general funds revenues and expenditures. How many years it took to spend about $10 million over the city general fund revenue prior to 2011? Without noticing the financial trouble of the city “genera operating fund”? I wish that your favorite council member forced her opposition beyond voting “NO” by calling “press release” to expose the unbalanced general fund budget and provided recommendations to reduce spending when the fund reserve “was gone”. You have to understand that the city as a municipal entity was never in deficit at all. Only the “The city general operating fund ” was.

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  23. She didn’t change her vote on the police contract. To answer the question about spending for years she asked about the spending, she asked about the decline in state shared revenue. She pointed out the decline in the ‘rainy day fund’ No support I mention her because she at the time was the only one asking these questions.

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  24. You focused on one council member, good for her for standing her ground and voting “NO” on what she opposed, You said budget? I guess you mean the General fund budget! Do the city have one budget for all funds we pay taxes for? Did she voted “NO” on all funds budgets? Please explain if you know! How about that contract you talked about? Did she changed her vote in 5 minutes like every other council members and the “NO” turned “YES”? How about other contracts ? Did she voted “NO” on paying city employees for 36 hours per week but only requires to work 32 hours? (According to AFSME “Memorandum of Understanding” , witch was extended by council vote to all non union city employees? Did She voted “NO” on the that extension? Just asking? Other council members may be wondered why she voted “NO” on the general fund budget when the mayor was telling them that the city was in good financial status. But it turned out few month later over $5Millions in the red after spending another $5Millions of general fund reserve. In 2011 the council approved a ballet proposal for deadly override for additional 2.9 tax mills (about $3millions per year) and the voters approve the ballot later in 2011, and saved the city from potential take-over by the state, I don’t remember any city elected official talking about deficit or state take-over before 2011. Did she warned the other council members or did she wrote any news article or called for press release to raise the $10millions spending over the general fund revenues prior to 2011? Please explain why none of the council members see what was coming before 2011? It took some few years to spend $10Millions over the general fund revenue! Elected public officials must come up with solutions or alternatives when voting “NO” and present them on the table for discussions to persuade other elected officials to see what they see and secure their support. Anyway “No” ended up been the correct vote but didn’t save the residents from paying additional taxes to bail the city out from the red and avoid a potential state “Financial Manager” .

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  25. I hope you’ve been watching or going to council meetings over the past 10 years. I say this because if you had you would know that former councilwoman Badalow voted NO on almost every budget during her time on the council. That NO vote didn’t bring with it other council members in support. For 12 years, I watched as that woman tried and tried again to get things changed on the Council. The simple truth is that if certain council members don’t like you for personal reasons they will make darn sure that whatever you bring to the table is voted down. I’ve spoken over the years with council members who will agree with what I’m saying. They will be 100% on board with something, night, of the meeting, do 180-degree turn and vote the opposite way. Add the fact that this Mayor will misdirect council, misinform council, or out- right lie to council you have the makings of a mess. That’s just how it’s been for years. The fact that she asked questions and said NO she was was called by members of the council and residents a ‘B’, trouble maker, complainer, whiner and other, unpleasant phrase. The only time I saw the council as a whole take a stand on anything was during the police contract. They all voted NO. The Mayor had them up and out of the council chambers in a closed session in all of 2 minutes. They came back in about 5 minutes to take another vote. The vote was to accept the contract. Just like that it was all done. Mind you this was a contract that took a year and half to negotiate (Mayors words) and he also thank his assistant for all her hard work during the negotiations. Being strong standing up and voting NO doesn’t get a thing done with this council as.

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  26. If we start encouraging the council members to vote “No” when they oppose a council resolution such as “Fantasy Budget, High Water Rate, Not reducing COS Tax Rate as the state laws mandate, 32 hours/4 days city work schedule but paying for 36 hours/4 non-working hours pay/per AFSME contract/for no stated reason/working 32hours and paid 36 hours/just like that”. Most council members claiming that they did not like this or that and they questioned that and this, excellent talking without walking the talk by voting “YES”. When a council member argue a point of view and oppose an action then stand their ground they show other members that they are serious about what they talking and arguing about whether they the vote or not. We have to stop thanking those members for talking without actions and voting “NO”, their action of voting “YES” on what they publically opposed verbally is actually encouraging other members and the administration to pay very little attentions to their opposition ” They will talk loud and go with the flow and vote “YES”. Council members are the authorizing body for every tax penny spend, the administration will have no power to expend “one penny” without council authorization, and the administration job is to recommend whatever they believe is best for the city, The council shall analyze, evaluate, adjust, recommend, negotiate, compromise and approve/reject/refer back for changes/study session and seek expert opinion. All bucks stop at the city council public voting bench.
    Stop patronize for those members who talk loud supporting your point of view but casting their vote the opposite way. For every city issue will be few point of views they all good in the eyes of supporters and you need the members who support your views to vote “YES” for you point of view and vote “NO” to oppose what you oppose.

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