In January, the very first vote of the Council will be to pick a new council chair. Dearborn Heights isn’t like the City Dearborn the highest vote getter doesn’t get to picked as council chair. Here in Dearborn Heights the Council members vote for the Council Chair position. In the past residents have never had a say in this or should I say never paid attention. We do have a say or should at least make sure that the council chair voted in by council members is one that will allow issues that affect us to be voted on.
The only way that these issues will even have a chance for discussion and vote is to get on the agenda. Council Chair is the person on the council who decides what makes it on the agenda. Over many years, I’ve written about some of these very important issues and others have worked on trying to make sure these issues make it to the light of day. A few of us put together a list of items that have been discussed by many of you right here or on the Truth Page when it was up. For 6 years, residents asked for these things. Some of the issues on this list are as old as 12 years and still haven’t been done.
1.Eliminate the Mayors total control over the council. Council is the check and balance in the City. They are the check and balance for the administration. Many of us have called the Council a “rubber stamp council.”
2.Up Council productivity. All concepts from council members will be heard and have a role. At the very least be on the agenda for discussion and vote. Not every issue is going to get enough votes to pass, but at least let it get on the agenda.
3.All parts of the City represented equally. Address issues particular to areas of the City. Flood, Blight, Crime, City Services. Putting a rec-center, fire house, and library at the South End of Dearborn Heights doesn’t mean they are treated the same. It shouldn’t matter what area of the City pays more in Taxes. What area of the City has bigger homes, what area in the City comes out and votes more. It’s all one City Dearborn Heights, but each end of this City has its own issues. The South end of Dearborn Heights has been dealing with flooding for 50 years. They have more blight than other areas of the City. Yet they are talked down to at council meetings, yelled at, and ignored time and time again. This has to change. Any council member sitting or newly elected that doesn’t see this will never work for the residents of this City.
4.Communication. Update City Website, utilize social media, redo council chambers, audio, and video system.
5.Make City Accessible ADA compliance. The city should be working with the disabilities commission to make our City ADA compliant. The City buildings are still not in compliance with ADA standards there are no parks that have anything for those children in wheelchairs. Making our City compliant will promote inclusiveness. A City that cares for all of its residents.
6.Fleet Managment and tracking of all city assets. GPS for all vehicles,
electronic tagging for all city assets, updated asset list, logs for vehicle use, sticker control of charge back of vehicle use to water, department.
I know there is so much more that can be added to this list, but the things added here are what have been asked for by residents for years. So how can all the members of Make A Difference In Dearborn Heights make a difference? Well, Give thought to who you would want to see as council chair and why.
Think about how council members have talked to residents at council meetings.
Identify council members that have given a “damn” to put it bluntly about residents.
Ask yourself if your issues have been addressed by Council
When you have decided who you would want as council chair and why, start talking with family, neighbors and friends. Explain why the council chair is such an important position. Let them know what we are missing in the City. You can share this post to your own timelines on FB. Use the hashtag in your post about this subject #ICareAboutCouncilChair or #CouncilChairHasToCareEmail, Call or write on those council members pages here on FB who you want as council chair and why. Council Chair has to care all council members have to care about all of us. We have from now to January 9th to make sure we are heard on this subject. We can Make A Difference In Dearborn Heights.#madidh