I Care About Council Chair.

 

Council chair has to careIn 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.

All Council members do they

 

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

I Care About Council Chair

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

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32 thoughts on “I Care About Council Chair.”

  1. The 18% voters of Dearborn heights deserve who they voted for. For the rest of the eligible voters who did not cares to participate they chose to discount themselves from the process, out of the 18% some 40% or so voted for different candidates but lost and for those I say work on encouraging more voters to participate.
    The properties value in Dearborn heights are rising above any other community in Michigan with or without updating or changing the city website or been allowed to make a comment about an agenda item before or after the council vote.
    So if I don’t like the public services and my property is in height demand and I can sell for good price don’t you thing that will be the best choice to find another city that have public services I like when I can buy similar property even for less?
    It take a lot of efforts and time and commitment to participate in local politics, and only few can endure that task. for all of those few I say “God bless you all” regardless of what your political views are and who you support or oppose.
    After all I’m happy and thankful to see handful of candidates still interested to run for public offices.
    Thanks to all of them for the sacrifice they make to serve

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  2. Thank you so much, but based on how I understand our study sessions are nothing like what the gentleman is saying takes place in Dearborn. SS are used to discuss one specific issue if it needs a study session. Not to discuss what is going to be on the next agenda for a city council meeting. At a study session the council doesn’t discuss every issue in front of the public giving them a chance to express their thoughts on something that is going to be on the agenda. Further more the resident in Dearborn Heights doesn’t get to talk about any issue on the agenda before the vote ever. This is something I know at least one newly elected council member has said they don’t like. In the end the way the council meetings are run in Dearborn Heights do everything to shut the resident up. This is no reflection of you we understand that this has been going on long before you became a council member. I believe that Garden City all so allows residents to speak before council meetings. Residents who are working to make a difference in the City of Dearborn Heights have a very hard battle. I for one have been trying for years as have many others. I think just the fact that former Council woman Janet Badalow fought for at least 10 years to get a E-Newsletter and until today the City doesn’t have one say’s everything we need to hear. You have done your own and you get information from the City and other organizations to put out yours, but the City administration still hasn’t done one. That’s just sad in so many ways to watch city’s around us move forward and our city still sitting in place is very disturbing. Thank you for all that you do and we all hope you will be on your feet soon after your surgery.

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  3. Some points of clarification:

    Study sessions are open to the public (Open Meetings Act, with the exception of contract negotiations and any pending legal actions. The information regarding study sessions are posted on the City of Dearborn Heights website, time, date and topic on agenda. Residents may ask questions at a study session (see Policy and Procedure 2012). Additional time may be requested and can be approved with 4 of the 7 City Council members approval . City Council meetings are audio taped, as well as study sessions, and are available by request to the City Clerk’s Office. Video taped sessions, City Council Regular Business meetings and special meetings, i.e CDBG budget, are posted on YouTube as well as the local Government Access channels( a link on the City’s website would be helpful).

    Regarding legislative action- Resolutions, I have sponsored the Hydraulic Fracturing Ban, MPSC-DTE Tariff Rate Increase (to allow local municipalities to have a voice at the table and taxes which impact our community) and the Resolution Against PA256. As an elected official, I feel it is imperative and prudent to encourage and seek civic engagement through the website analysis survey. How do you truly represent the views and what is important to our residents, which we are elected to serve and represent, without civic engagement? The data collected will be compiled into a comprehensive report to assist the Administration. A Resolution may be drawn to address the opportunity and would require 4 of 7 to be adopted. I am working with the Michigan Municipal League and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments for a comprehensive survey analysis. This is what our residents have indicated as a strong interest. A collaborative effort will yield better results benefiting our community. The question of hire a website designer- we have hired the City of Dearborn IT- 2 years ago.

    Hopefully, I have answered the questions presented. Please feel free to contact me directly at (313) 348-9848 if I may be of further assistance.

    Respectfully,

    Lisa Hicks-Clayton
    Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman

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  4. Go to the city of Dearborn and then go to city of Dearborn Heights website and see the difference. I’ve been asking fur over 6 years for an update. This city is still back in the 90s all if this and more would make a difference in Dearborn Heights

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  5. You are dreaming discuss before a vote no way. We get to sit and watch and maybe get to say something after the meeting during public comment portion. That is if they don’t shut us down.

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  6. In Dearborn, all council of the round and council meetings are on video and posted on the city website. Does Dbn Hts do this? It is not rocket science to tape and post the study and council sessions on the city web site.

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  7. Apparently there is a big difference between Dearborn and Dearborn Hts council meetings. At Dearborn meetings, each issue is brought up, discussed among council members, and , this is the important part, BEFORE the vote is taken, “any comments from the audience?” Do Dbn Hts residents have a chance to comment on a council issue before a vote??

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  8. Yah the key is to communicate with the residents. The agenda packets are put in the website but no way for residents to go before the meeting and have any input to council. They vote and we can take after the fact.

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  9. Good answer Dearborn heights, and if what you stated is facts, the councilwoman can introduce a resolution to intact a city ordinance regulating the city website according to what the council requires the website to contain. if the ordinance is adopted it become city legal document the administrators must follow. The violation of any city ordinance is a misdemeanor with fine or jail time or both, if the council choose to enforce the city charter terms.

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  10. The City of Dearborn, if hired to do a website similar to their own, would work as fast or slow as directed by the city of Dearborn Hts on the project. I know the folk in Dearborn, and they are very computer literate. We are not creating an Obamacare website with the same inept results. The idea is to get agendas for meetings posted in a timely manner, and then residents, if interested, can attend the meetings and voice their input. The key is to have data input for these meetings done in a easy and simple manner, like one person is given the information, and posts it to the city website , ie meeting topics, 1. size of xmas tree, 2. Salt needs for the winter 3. give all city employees a 50% raise ,etc. Simple stuff like garage permits can also be filled out and paid for online.

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  11. It saves a lot of confusion by having a ‘Council of the Round’ or whatever you want to call a preliminary council meeting, held a week in advance to prepare a council meeting agenda, and discuss potential council meeting subjects, and open to the public of course. This prelim meeting ‘clears the air’ of potential stuff that delays an official council meeting, leaving more time for the public to voice their concerns once the agenda is covered.

    Think of a prelim meeting as a rehearsal for the actual council meeting.
    Everyone goes through the motions, and no one is blind sided down the road. Of course, all known topics to be on the agenda for the prelim meeting and council meeting are posted on the city website for review.
    This is what Dearborn does , and it works well. Something to consider…..

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  12. Regarding the wesbite survey; I am working with the Michigan Municipal League and the Southeast Council of Governments, developing the survey. It is my goal to have the survey available online , as well as network out via civic organizations, neighborhood associations, constituent office hours and outreach to businesses, etc. I expect to have the survey ready to launch by mid-December, 2015.

    The question posed related to residents’ concerns , each City Council meeting offers a time for residents to voice opinions, address issues and concerns. In addition, I offer constituent office hours the first and third Mondays at the Berwyn Senior Center and the first an third Tuesdays at the Eton Senior Center. Additional appointments are available by calling (313) 348-9848. Concerns may be emailed to hicksclayton4dhcotycouncil@yahoo.com, as well. I address all concerns brought to my attention- ordinance, zoning, services.

    Respectfully,

    Lisa Hicks-Clayton
    Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman

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  13. noknok,
    If you’ve been here for sometime you would know from the Truth Page that the administration doesn’t want to do anything concerning communicating with the residents. The web site is one of the many avenues that the City should be using and doesn’t/won’t use. You make it look so easy noknok, but it isn’t easy at all to Make a Difference in Dearborn Heights. When the difference is making a change or giving just a little something to the residents that they have been asking for. As to hiring someone that was done over two years ago The City of Dearborn was hired and has done nothing with the web site. By the way it took over two years to even get the IT person subject to the council table for a vote and hire someone new. IT was a company that worked years in the City without a contract and no goals. This contract never went out for bid for years it was like this. It wasn’t until council pushed that anything was done at all. She (councilwoman Hicks-Clayton) is doing just what the voters have been asking for. The voters who have paid attention to what is wrong or lacking in the City have been asking for an updated web site for years now.

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  14. Just introduce a resolution directing the administration to hire a municipal web developer to up-date the city website similar to Westland or Livonia or whatever, and have 2/3 council members coordinate with them.
    councilwomen, please preserve your time to legislate and study council resolutions and let the administrators of the city do their jobs.

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  15. Does the Dearborn Hts council have a ‘council of the round’ similar to Dearborn’s , where subjects are brought up and discussed the week before, and then some make it to the council meeting, others don’t , but all concerns are heard.?

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  16. I have been contacted and addressed by several organizations, City of Dearborn Heights Commissioners, and residents regarding the city’s website. I understand quite a bit of effort, time, and consideration has been applied to the creation and managing of the website. Upon the requests, and in response, to the suggestions, etc. expressed, I would like to complete an website assessment. This by no means is to criticize the current website, but to offer suggestions by members of our community with the over all goal of offering information which will prove to be beneficial to our residents.

    The means of accomplishing the goal is to encourage partnerships between the neighborhood associations, non-profit organizations, community leaders, elected officials, and residents. Soliciting information and suggestions for the website. The information received will be compiled into a comprehensive report and presented to the Administration, for your consideration.

    “Additionally, local administrations may deploy some leverage in the development of their municipalities by transforming themselves into learning organizations that: a) have productive relationships with other governmental bodies and private entities, b) share knowledge and information with their stakeholders and employees through a two-way communication channel, and c) are committed to their citizens to work jointly towards a more adequate list of services (Feller et al., 2011)The kind of services offered in a corporate web page should be those that are in highest demanded by citizens, activity that councils do not usually engage in,unless it has political significance (Fan, 2011).”- A Dynamic Study on Municipal Website Expected Benefits, June , 2014

    In closing, I would like to work with the Administration on this project. The City of Deaborn Heights website is a tool which will impact our community, how we deliver services, and provide support for strategic thinking and analysis in preparing for our future. Municipal government and its leadership are becoming aware of the need to embrace a citizen-centric model, where accessibility is enhanced through reliable and secure channels, as well as the need to develop their capability to achieve a better outcome and community satisfaction.

    Respectfully,

    Lisa Hicks-Clayton
    Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman
    (313) 348-9848

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  17. All Dearborn Heights elected officials who voted for overtaxing CSO bond mills to property owners don’t deserve to be the council chair, The 2 new comers should become the chair and vice chair. They may do better job then the others. At least give them chance

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  18. We’ve been told over the years that it’s to expensive to change the charter. The charter is outdated and needs looking into there are many things in the City of Dearborn Heights that are outdated. We have many building codes but have a 4 day work week and not enough ordinance officers working to enforce the codes. We in my opinion don’t have enough building inspectors. I say it again having a 4 day work week lets people do whatever they want from Friday 5pm until Monday 9am

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  19. I agree with you Joyce new council members aren’t ready to be council chair I do think that both would make excellent council chair in a couple of years. Watching council meetings this past year and especially the last few I know, who it shouldn’t be. The insults by some council members to residents is uncalled for. The same goes for residents insulting or yelling at council members no place for it at the council chambers. It’s not about who I want as council chair it’s who all of you feel should be council chair and letting other council members know that. By calling the other council members or writing on their Facebook pages. Send them emails to let them know who you support.

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  20. The first thing Dearborn Hts should do is change the dumb rule that removes voters from deciding who should be Chairperson. There is no reason that all Council members cannot be elected at the same time, rather than the current policy of being elected partially over a period of elections. Who determined this illogical rule? It can be changed and needs to be changed. Allowing all council persons to be elected at the same time would allow the top two vote getters to be council chairperson and council vice-chairperson. This removes some of the Mayor’s power over the council and returns some power back to the residents/voters. The person who gets the majority of voter support should logically be the chairperson.

    Regarding items 1-6, the list of suggestions mentioned makes sense, but many of them are incidental. Of primary importance should be zoning and building codes so you do not have outrageous additions being built on postage stamp lots with no room for street parking or additional garage space. Of garages being used as breezeways and kitchens. We all know homes that are typical of this blight. Instead of pondering and caring about issues like this, what’s happening? We have a council who has to ‘care’ who should be the Chairperson, a decision that should be made by the voters.

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  21. Who in your opinion is the best chair? Certainly not the two newcomers. Marge is opposed to social media and likes to do things the old fashioned way. We need a chair who holds the mayor accountable and someone who will ask questions and say no whe it doesn’t benefit the hard working taxpayers of this city. Who and why is the best person to treat all residents with respect and listen to their concerns. Whomever that person is, please get the message out there. Thank you

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