Troy Brown Email Exchanges with City Officials.

In the comment section here Straightforward made a comment about councilwoman Hicks-Clayton. I responded with questions of my own to straightforward. I posted the comment and my reply on Facebook where that started a conversation. Where Troy Brown answered what I was asking straightforward here. I asked Mr. Brown to please if he could share the emails and who answered them from the City with us on the blog. He did so and here are all the back and forth emails between his self the Mayor Council members and others working for the City.

From: Mayor Dan Paletko <Dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>
Date: Mon, May 4, 2015 at 3:03 PM
Subject: Re: Response to April 15 Questions
To: Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com>

No, I received an oral preliminary report, but I want his reply in writing with the logic/law supporting his opinon.

—– Original Message —–

From: Troy Brown

To: Mayor Dan Paletko

Cc: Ken Baron ; Tom Berry ; Robert Constan ; Lisa Hicks-clayton ; Margaret Horvath ; Ned Apigian ; Joseph V. Kosinski

Sent: Monday, May 04, 2015 10:19 AM

Subject: Re: Response to April 15 Questions

Mayor Paletko:

Have you revived feed back from your inquiry from last month? (see below)

“We just need clarification from bond counsel (Law Firm of Miller Canfield) on whether we can spend any of these dollars on items outside of the ballot issue.”

How long typically does the city have to wait to hear back from the bond counsel?  Are the guidelines written in an objective document or is this a subjective observation?

As always your help is very much appreciated.

Regards,

Troy Brown – Dearborn Heights Resident

 

On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 3:29 PM, Mayor Dan Paletko <Dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us> wrote:

The loan is not a balloon note, but rather works like a mortgage payment. Every year a portion of the principal is paid along with the accrued interest. According to the audited financial statements, approximately $1 million of principal is due in the next year. These bonds were issued by Wayne County but both Wayne County and the City of Dearborn Heights jointly owe the amount. The tax proposal passed by the citizens are paying off the Dearborn Heights portion of the amount owed.

 

These bonds were issued to the financial community and are regulated by both the Internal Revenue Service, the Security and Exchange Commission as well as the bond covenants included in the bond agreement, and State law. Only a legal opinion from bond counsel saying what we can or cannot do is going to influence any of us as elected officials.

 

I gave you a copy of the ballot language so you could see for yourself the restrictions included in what the residents voted upon. I also shared with you that these improvements were done in the Rouge System and to spend these dollars in another drainage district is an additional hurdle.

 

We just need clarification from bond counsel (Law Firm of Miller Canfield) on whether we can spend any of these dollars on items outside of the ballot issue.

 

—– Original Message —–

From: Troy Brown

To: Mayor Dan Paletko

Cc: Ken Baron ; Tom Berry ; Robert Constan ; Lisa Hicks-clayton ; Margaret Horvath ; Ned Apigian ; Joseph V. Kosinski

Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 6:09 PM

Subject: Re: Fwd: My questions of the Invoices that they want to just rubber stamp tomorrow.

Great historical information.  Thanks.

Now to the bigger questions,

why is there only 6.8 million in the fund – it says that there will be 27,000,000 by July of 2015?

why is in the “cash available” if it is ear marked for CSO improvements only? This should be down at the bottom of the page by the 500,000 flood reserve, correct?  Why is it in this section?

If indeed there are restrictions, then what will be the penalty of using them on a real need in the city? ( I know for a fact that you can file with the IRS to change ear marked funds we have done it it church before). There a real need and you all have been aware of this since you were old enough to know that water backed up into the streets and into some houses is “not good”.

Why has this not been suggested before since there is a real need and we can no longer wait for the federal or county funds to help us?

On Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 4:42 PM, Mayor Dan Paletko <Dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us> wrote:

In the mid 1990’s, the city was ordered by the Michigan DEQ (on behalf of the Federal government) to correct certain combined Sewer overflows (CSO) in Dearborn Heights. This was and still is an obligation of the City of Dearborn Heights water and sewer fund.

 

Historically, projects are simply added to the sewer rates included in the water and sewer billings to customers.  A $27 million project would have had a large impact on rates.  The City put a ballot question asking the voters if they would prefer to pay for these improvements via property taxes rather than via water & sewer bills.  The advantage being, taxes are deductible for income tax purposes.  This was put on the September 9, 1997 ballot and it passed.

 

Attached is a copy of the original proposal, which shows up on the summer tax bills.

 

This money is restricted, and is only to be used as specified in the proposal given to the public.  Most if not all of these improvements were in the Rouge Valley System in the north-end of the City.  It paid for the CSO Basin constructed on Edward Hines Parkway near Telegraph road, and various improvements to separate sanitary from storm water disposal.

 

The money collected is to be used to pay the bonds.  I have asked bond counsel Miller Canfield to give us an opinion on if any money can be used for other purposes.  If it can, then the City could ask voters to renew the millage.  I asked the question in late February, early March and have not received a response as of today.

—– Original Message —–

From: Troy Brown

To: Mayor Dan Paletko

Cc: Lisa Hicks-Clayton ; Heidi ; Suzanne Todd

Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 12:29 PM

Subject: Fwd: Fwd: My questions of the Invoices that they want to just rubber stamp tomorrow.

Mayor Paleko:

 

Please direct me to the location of the complete details and information concerning the CSO Reserve Fund that I brought up last night.  I would assume that all of the info is on the website or elsewhere, electronically, concerning this “cash on hand” fund .

 

You indicated you were not sure what the criteria for use was, so hopefully the complied information on this fund will explain it to me. Any historical information, as Lisa suggested below, would be great.

 

Also, if indeed there is a restriction of use, perhaps it belongs in a different section of the Water Budget since it is not readily available to any and all Water Budget Expenditures.

 

Thank you Mayor for the info and help.

 

Regards,

 

Troy Brown – Dearborn Heights Resident

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Lisa Hicks-clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: My questions of the Invoices that they want to just rubber stamp tomorrow.
To: Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com>

The Mayor or DPW Director William Zimmer.  Also, Dan Brooks is very knowledgeable.  When I was elected in 2012, I spent time with him reviewing and hearing the history and the details.

Lisa

From: Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com>
To: Lisa Hicks-clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com>
Cc: Heidi <hmbsweetjeep@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 8:54 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: My questions of the Invoices

Lisa:

 

Thanks for the information.

 

Can you direct me to where I can find all and complete info on this CSO fund?

 

 

Thanks for you help.

 

Regards,

 

Troy

Next Set of Emails

 
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Troy Brown<tbrown8036@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 2:11 PM
Subject: Re: Special Levy monies to help the flood situation on the NBECD – RESPONSE
To: Lisa Hicks-clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com>

Lisa:
Furthermore MCL 141.424 describes ONE fiscal year as the report of ONE unit of Government.  If one is to use this MCL item for a means of justifying a Water Budget separate from the General Budget, then they will have to make the assertion that the Water Fund and the General Fund are derived from 2 different UNITS, which is, as you know, not the case. Also note that the description of a fiscal year does not lend itself to separation of the budgets when read within the context of the Law.
What is your take on this?
Respectfully and Regards,
Troy
On Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 11:56 AM, Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com> wrote:
Lisa:
The Charter DOES NOT disconnect the 2 budgets. All of the other information in your e-mail is fine and you have answered many of my questions however I still cannot find in the Charter where this notion that the General Budget and the Water Budget are different.  The exact wording is this:
“Section 8.2. – Budget: Preparation of.

to me, Heidi

On or before the first day of April of each year, the Mayor shall prepare and submit to the Council a complete itemized proposed budget for the next fiscal year. It shall include at least the following information: ”

I am asking how you read out of this statement that says that there are 2 budgets: one water and one general?

It is with all respect that I ask you this because I cannot seem to see this dichotomy?  Is there a state law or something else that supersedes?

Certainly you are not suggesting that preference or methodology of the administration, past or present, supersedes the Charter, are you?

Respectfully.

Troy Brown.

On Tue, Jul 7, 2015 at 10:40 AM, Lisa Hicks-clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com> wrote:

As we discussed, per our phone conversation, the Charter defines the date for General Fund. Current Administration determines and prepares the Water Budget for presentation to the City Council.  The question would be better answered by the Administration, as I explained in our previous phone conversation.  Please remember, the Water  Budget is a self balancing budget.  All monies allocated and disbursed must be used for that purpose, in relation to, operation of the said budget.   In addition, the Water Budget is prepared after the completion of the Plante Moran audit for the General Fund Budget, Library Budget, Courts, Roads Budget.  Plante Moran prepares the annual audit June/ July.  When formulating and preparing the Water Budget, items taken into  consideration include Detroit Water and Sewage rate proposal, current liabilities, water claims, infrastructure and maintenance, repairs, must be taken into consideration. These points are important when determining the water rates, which is presented with the Water Budget.  Have you ever attended the Water Budget discussions?  By attending, I believe your questions would be answered and present a better understanding.

In closing, I have answered your questions, via e-mail and phone conversation.   I have forwarded the budgets and previous year’s audit.

Respectfully,

Lisa Hicks-Clayton

Dearborn Heights City Council Member

From: Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com>
To: Lisa Hicks-clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com>; Heidi <hmbsweetjeep@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 7, 2015 3:50 AM
Subject: Re: Special Levy monies to help the flood situation on the NBECD – RESPONSE

Lisa:

In our conversations we discussed the budgets and I indicated that the charter stated that the budget will be submitted for approval by April 1st and Approved by June 1st.  I questioned why the water budget was separate and you indicated that the Charter says the General budget.  However as I studied this week that is not the case.  There is no distinction between the budgets and furthermore the Fiscal Year, according to 8.1, clearly begins on July 1st with again no distinction between “budgets”.  My question is by what authority does the Council operate 2 different budgets and 2 different fiscal years?

Regards,

Troy

 

On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 4:58 PM, Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com> wrote:

Lisa:

Thank you for your response, however with all due respect, my specific question was not answered.

Note I did not ask if we can re-finance it nor did I ask who pays the bill and who accepts the filling.

I asked specifically  for:

Who is the designated city official responsible for the financial reporting and record keeping for the Special Levy (CSO Reserve) Bond?

Thanks for the help. Note keyword – RESPONSIBLE.

Regards,

Troy

 

On Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 2:28 PM, Lisa Hicks-clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com> wrote:

The CSO Basin Bond, as established by the millage question, has set guidelines and terms.  Similar to a home mortgage is defined. The City can refinance the bond, if it proves to be a benefit to the City and use of the taxpayers’ dollars. The City of Dearborn Heights Treasurer John Riley pays the bond payment. As the Mayor indicated, questions may be directed to Treasurer Riley, 313-791-3410.  Documents are filed with the City Clerk’s Office, (313) 791 -3430.

Respectfully,

Lisa Hicks-Clayton

Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman

 

From: Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com>
To: Dan Paletko <dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>
Cc: Ken Baron <kenbaronsflorist@sbcglobal.net>; Margaret Horvath <nonna1936@att.net>; Joseph V. Kosinski <Kzggy@aol.com>; Tom Berry <cctomberry@yahoo.com>; Robert Constan <rkconstan@comcast.net>; Ned Apigian <ned.council@me.com>; Lisa Hicks-Clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com>; John Riley <jriley@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>; clerk@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us
Sent: Wednesday, July 1, 2015 3:11 AM
Subject: Re: Special Levy monies to help the flood situation on the NBECD – RESPONSE

Mayor Paletko and Dearborn Heights City Council Members:

 

Who is the designated city official responsible for the financial reporting and record keeping for the Special Levy (CSO Reserve) Bond?

 

Regards,

 

Troy Brown – Dearborn Heights Resident

 

On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 2:57 PM, Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com> wrote:

Mayor Paletko, Treasurer Riley, Mr. Macari:

 

 

I thank you in advance Mr. Macari and Treasurer Riley for answering my questions, as the Mayor has indicated you would.  Can I get these answers by mid-July or sooner?

Thanks for the response Mr. Mayor.

Hopefully I will hear from the Council Members on this issue as well,  since they may be able to help me with some or all of the info on these items.

Regards,

 

Troy Brown – Dearborn Heights Resident.

On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 2:10 PM, Dan Paletko <dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us> wrote:

I believe our Treasurer John Riley, the City Comptroller Vince Macari and I have attempted on numerous occasions to try and respond to your many requests for the same information.

 

I would refer you to my e-mail of April 16, 2015. These monies related to the Special Levy are restricted and once bond counsel provides a written “opinion” governing their use and restrictions, I will be happy to disseminate to everyone.

 

Your question number 3 will be covered in the legal opinion mentioned above.

 

Question number 2 is better handled by the Comptroller and Treasurer. In fairness to them, the year ends fiscally on June 30, 2015. I believe they would be in a better position to answer these questions after the accounting books are closed. You need to allow some time after June 30th for them to collect data from journal entries, cash statements, etc. before a response can be provided.

 

Mayor Paletko

 

From: Troy Brown [mailto:tbrown8036@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 6:34 AM
To: Mayor Dan Paletko; Ken Baron; Margaret Horvath; Joseph V. Kosinski; Tom Berry; Robert Constan; Ned Apigian; Lisa Hicks-Clayton; John Riley
Cc: Vince Macari
Subject: Special Levy monies to help the flood situation on the NBECD

 

Mayor Paletko and City Elected Officials:

 

As you know I have been questioning why the Special Levy monies (AKA CSO Reserve fund) cannot be used to purchase the 14 properties on Hanover Street along the North Branch of the Ecorse Creek, as defined by the Dearborn Heights FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Application.

 

Mr. Mayor, you most recently indicated that your current stance is that these monies cannot be used for anything other than paying off the bond debt of the Special Levy.

 

With that said, I have a few questions for all of you:

  1. In the approved water budget, of as of July 17, 2014, the Special Levy (CSO Reserve) is incorporated into the Water Fund on the sheet labeled “Cash” Available.

 

  1. To help me understand the financial status of the fund, can you please provide updated information for the following items:
  2. CSO Reserve – Cash on hand?
  3. CSO Bond Fund – Accounts Receivable?
  4. Dues from other funds?
  5. CSO Bond Fund – Accounts Payable?
  6. What is the payoff of the CSO Revenue Bond as of today?
  7. CSO Reserve balance?

 

  1. If there is money available after paying off this bond, can the city use the remaining balance for purchasing the 14 homes on Hanover?

 

In the end I would like to see the city use all of it’s resources, including any monies left after paying off the Special Levy, to expedite the solution for the whole flooding situation and immediate mitigation for the 14 homes along Hanover.

Thank you in advance for your detailed answers and to my questions and the help that you will provide.

 

Regards,

Troy Brown – Dearborn Heights Resident.

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG – www.avg.com
Version: 2015.0.6037 / Virus Database: 4365/10095 – Release Date: 06/25/15

Troy Brown

5:13 PM (19 hours ago)

Another example of no response

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 10:18 AM
Subject: Fwd: Special Levy monies to help the flood situation on the NBECD – RESPONSE
To: Mayor Dan Paletko <dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>, John Riley <jriley@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>, clerk@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us, Margaret Horvath <nonna1936@att.net>, “Joseph V. Kosinski” <Kzggy@aol.com>, Tom Berry <cctomberry@yahoo.com>, Ken Baron <kenbaronsflorist@sbcglobal.net>, Robert Constan <rkconstan@comcast.net>, Ned Apigian <ned.council@me.com>, Lisa Hicks-Clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com>

Elected Officials:
As you can see from the latest response, the administration is not answering some basic questions reading this CSO Revenue fund which I think should be used by the city to help us residents short term, in the flooding situation.
Can one of you please get this basic information to me today?
I mean this information I am asking for should have been available to you all along, maybe even in your notes since there was some inner fund borrowing against the Water Fund in early May.
I don’t understand this, there is no opinion necessary.
Just as I keep my check book balanced, so to should this fund be balanced.
If I need to FOIA this information then just let me know, I will take that route but to just say “wait until October” for stale data, in my opinion, is not acceptable to me.
I am trying to understand this fund and why it cannot be used for the benefit of us residents who need it, in the time of need.  Since April I still do not have a answer that I am confident in.
It sounds like the Mayor, the administration and the council have never considered using these funds for helping us, is that possible?.  If that is the case I understand the delay’s and the caution being taken but I cannot accept not having the current information that I am requesting.
Thanks for your help.
Regards,
Troy Brown – Dearborn Heights Resident.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Vince Macari<vmacari@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>
Date: Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 3:05 PM
Subject: RE: Special Levy monies to help the flood situation on the NBECD – RESPONSE
To: Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com>

This information will be available when the Audit is complete usually by mid October.  Attached is last year’s audit  for the year end June 30, 2014.  Page 16 and 17 will give you a lot of the answers you are looking for. Vince Macari  From: Troy Brown [mailto:tbrown8036@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 2:57 PM
To: Dan Paletko
Cc: Ken Baron; Margaret Horvath; Joseph V. Kosinski; Tom Berry; Robert Constan; Ned Apigian; Lisa Hicks-Clayton; John Riley; Vince Macari
Subject: Re: Special Levy monies to help the flood situation on the NBECD – RESPONSE Mayor Paletko, Treasurer Riley, Mr. Macari:Attachments areaPreview attachment 17784 City of Dearborn Heights 0614 Final.pdf

More Emails

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Yahoo Mail <cctomberry@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: Dearborn Heights CSO Millage
To: Troy <tbrown8036@gmail.com>
Cc: Margaret Horvath <nonna1936@att.net>, “Joseph V. Kosinski” <Kzggy@aol.com>, Ken Baron <kenbaronsflorist@sbcglobal.net>, Robert Constan <rkconstan@comcast.net>, Lisa Hicks-Clayton <hicksclayton4dhcitycouncil@yahoo.com>, Ned Apigian <ned.council@me.com>, Mayor Dan Paletko <dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>, “clerk@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us” <clerk@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>, John Riley <jriley@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us>, Suzanne Todd <grandmasuzanne610@yahoo.com>, Heidi <hmbsweetjeep@gmail.com>, Ray Muscat <rmuscat5@gmail.com>, Jerry Nosal <jhnsr33@aol.com>, “deblynn11@yahoo.com” <deblynn11@yahoo.com>

No, I’d rather discuss it on tv so all can see and hear…

Sent from my iPhone
On Aug 6, 2015, at 12:27 PM, Troy <tbrown8036@gmail.com> wrote:

That’s fine. Just send the requested info in written form and that will be sufficient.

Sent from my iPhone
On Aug 6, 2015, at 7:27 AM, Yahoo Mail <cctomberry@yahoo.com> wrote:

Mr Brown,

You’re correct, I did not respond because you were not in attendance.

I’ll be happy to reply at the next televised session.

Sent from my iPhone
On Aug 5, 2015, at 10:11 PM, Troy Brown <tbrown8036@gmail.com> wrote:

Councilman Berry:

I have watched the “last meeting” 2 times now, trying to find your response, as you said you would have for me. I looked in the Back Up and Agenda documentation and I could not find the requested information there either. Is it possible that you forgot or is this just another case of a promise not kept? Hopefully it is the former and not the later.

Anyway can you please forward me the information that I requested and you agreed to supply?

Thank you Councilman Berry.

Regards,

Troy Brown – Dearborn Heights Resident

On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 2:20 PM, Troy <tbrown8036@gmail.com> wrote:

Councilman Berry:

I look forward to your response at the next meeting. However in the best interest of time, completing my most recent spreadsheet in advance will ensure I get the info I have requested.  This will also allow for some dialogue on the data provided.

Thanks Mr. Berry.

Have a great weekend.

Regards,

Troy Brown – DeArborn Heights Resident.

Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 24, 2015, at 12:44 PM, Yahoo Mail <cctomberry@yahoo.com> wrote:

Mr Brown ,

I will respond at the next meeting.

Hope to see you there.

Sent from my iPhone

I feel it’s important for all of us to understand who’s answering, who’s asking the questions and most of all who isn’t responding. It’s an election year we need residents to know just what has happened in this City. How the money is being spent or not.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Troy Brown Email Exchanges with City Officials.”

  1. As part of Mr. Brown email stream with city officials, please read the following:
    “On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 3:29 PM, Mayor Dan Paletko Dpaletko@ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us wrote:

    The loan is not a balloon note, but rather works like a mortgage payment. Every year a portion of the principal is paid along with the accrued interest. According to the audited financial statements, approximately $1 million of principal is due in the next year. These bonds were issued by Wayne County but both Wayne County and the City of Dearborn Heights jointly owe the amount. The tax proposal passed by the citizens are paying off the Dearborn Heights portion of the amount owed.

    These bonds were issued to the financial community and are regulated by both the Internal Revenue Service, the Security and Exchange Commission as well as the bond covenants included in the bond agreement, and State law. Only a legal opinion from bond counsel saying what we can or cannot do is going to influence any of us as elected officials.

    I gave you a copy of the ballot language so you could see for yourself the restrictions included in what the residents voted upon. I also shared with you that these improvements were done in the Rouge System and to spend these dollars in another drainage district is an additional hurdle.

    We just need clarification from bond counsel (Law Firm of Miller Canfield) on whether we can spend any of these dollars on items outside of the ballot issue.”

    According to Mr. Brown, this bond requires the collection of property taxes every year from city of Dearborn Heights properties owners to pay the bond debit payments on yearly basis. The tax mills rate collected from the properties owners suppose to be adjusted according to the required yearly bond payment. The collected taxes will be accounted for and deposited in a municipal account called “CSO bond fund”.
    As you will see and hear during Mr. Brown 3 minutes public comment that the state of Michigan regulations are very clear in plan English about the CSO bond taxation, collection, record keeping, and distribution.
    Please watch Mr. Brown argument about the CSO bond regulations by the state of Michigan.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s