Public Comments Prior To Voting On Agenda Items.





Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton has asked for a study session to give residents a chance to have public comments before the council votes. At the last council meeting councilman, Dave Abdallah brought this subject to the attention of the council and was told by several council members bet you can guess who they are all the reasons why they just couldn’t do it. No surprise it was something that the residents wanted so, of course, the answer would be ‘NO’. As you can see from the letter the council discovered at their meeting that NO (Councilwoman Horvath) you don’t need a charter amendment to allow public comments before you vote.  This would be a game changer for the residents if they use it. When you see several council members doing everything that they can for us we need to ‘Show Up.’ If the measure passed and the Council changes how they run their meetings then we need to change and show up for those meetings.

I can’t tell you how long I’ve been hearing people say what is the point if we can’t tell them how we feel about any given issue before they vote? That reason is the number one reason people say they don’t go to the council meetings. If the council changed when you are able to address them will you show up? I don’t just point a finger at you I point it at myself first. I’ve not shown up in the past several years as much as I did in the past. Mostly due to the lack of engagement from my fellow residents and disappointment in nothing ever-changing on the council. The same council members voting YES on everything the Mayor wants and NO on everything the residents NEED.

Watch this blog and ourThe Truth Page on Facebook Facebook page for the study session date for this subject. Yes, your support will be needed just showing up helps.


September 11, 2016


Dear Honorable City Council Members,


At this time, I would like to seek your consideration, support, and change the order of the Dearborn Heights City Council Regular Meeting agenda to include public comments, or questions, prior to a vote on agenda items.



As discussed at the September 6, 2016 Parliamentary Procedure meeting, the discussion included this item was found to not require a Charter Amendment, but may be addressed by procedure.   I would like to refer this item to a study session for further discussion and development of a procedure to embrace this concept.   


The public comment, questions, or hearing before a vote has clearly been demonstrated to be most effective in representing the public’s interest; “in a democracy, the more people involved the better the result” (Koch 1997, 33), benefitting to the decision-making functions of elected officials.  The complexity of legislative issues and how outcomes, will be better if all sides are represented.  Furthermore, the linkage between citizens and their government is obviously strengthened when the public has ample opportunity to have their concerns heard by the elected body.


I seek your support to move and schedule a study session to further explore, develop, and implement a procedure to allow for public comments and discussion prior to the City Council voting on the items presented for approval, adoption, or any action, as needed.


Respectfully Requested,


Lisa Hicks-Clayton

Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman




#showup #TTP


11 thoughts on “Public Comments Prior To Voting On Agenda Items.”

  1. Special thanks to L Jacobsen for his strategic input. Information that you have offered, especially comparing DH to Dearborn is important to share with the residents.


  2. Having the issues on line certainly helps, but a study session is just what the name implies, study the various aspects of an issue, work out the kinks, and decide whether it should make it to the final council meeting.

    If you have access privately to some of the council members to address concerns, that is one way to do it, although not the most open avenue…..


  3. I don’t think this is same issue, council are the public’s employees, we pay their wages (little as they may be).
    The agenda is now posted online, so residents can check it out, then council could have a meeting before, maybe 1/2 hour before council meeting to discuss agenda. This would give the Council knowledge of what the residents think should be done.
    When I worked and we had meetings the bosses were always there and always were able to ask questions before any decisions were made.


  4. Forgotten? In this day of emails and communication? Go to the study session with notes , and remind them that certain topics were to be discussed, and now is the time to discuss them.

    Are they ( the council) going to be allowed to make excuses forever?

    A common tactic in Dearborn that works effectively against the public is for the public official to simply ignore you and your input……like letting permits be issued for a monstrosity that was denied in a public hearing. No inquires are answered. Construction has commenced. What do do? Go to court and get a stop order against the owner. Bring the issue back out into the public forum….. In one instance, a home that was proposed as an American Colonial was instead built as an Arab palace. That home was taken through the court system and was torn down……did not conform to the neighborhood…..

    Do the same with Dearborn Hts, if it is needed. Use the public forums. We use ‘Next door’, a civic association free forum that lets neighbors talk over the back fences….works well, for getting a baby sitter, or for getting people to a public meeting or forum on short notice……Google it…..


  5. That’s just it several of the issues that are supposed to be sent to a study session never get to a study session they just are forgotten about. That happened a lot in the past things on that front are getting better under this new chair.


  6. The next logical step is , when the subject at hand is deferred to a ‘study session’ , is to show up at the study session and provide public input. Since someone brought the subject up, that same someone should be present to further educate the council on the study of the subject at hand.

    Again, all the principles of passive resistance apply when they try to stop one from speaking….Make sure the press is informed…..we all have the right to be heard……right???


  7. Been asking for this for years I seem to be saying that a lot but it’s true when I say those words it’s the truth been asking for many things for many years. When an issue does get brought up they play the “send it to a study session” code for ‘let it die’. Over the years so many issues haven’t even made it to the study session. Add to that the toxic environment created by a couple of council members, and the same few that forever vote NO on anything that might benefit the residents and vote YES on any issue the Mayor brings before them. These same council members are the ones who have stood in the Way of progress in this City for years. Top all of that off with an administration that shows the utmost disdain for the public and is hell bent on hiding everything from us.

    Follow me on Twitter@heights48127


  8. Every other Tuesday of the month is a Council meetings they do not have a meeting of the round all they have is a study session. The City of Dearborn has a meeting of the round, study sessions, and council meetings. Dearborns Council is paid very well for their time, unlike Dearborn Heights Council.


  9. When does Dearborn Heights normally have their council sessions? Can’t seem to find it on my computer.

    Do they have meetings of the round like Dearborn, to discuss items for the council meeting?


  10. Lisa’s right, the public should be allowed to comment on issues before council. She seems to be very professional in her request for the public to be considered……

    Dearborn, their neighbor, has allowed public input for decades in council sessions without any hoopla.

    An item number is brought up, discussed among the council, comments are asked for, including from the public, (usually none are offered on mundane items such as approving the use of a park or street for a block party etc) and then the item is either approved , denied, or , if denied, tabled for further discussion at a meeting of the round.

    Still not happy with comments? At the end of the council session, anyone from the public can speak to any subject in the city. One time I brought up emergency snow parking. Another time, Henry Fords garage on Bagley Ave, where he invented his car, as Dearborn wanted to eliminate small businesses from garages. The resolution on that issue was simple, no small businesses in garages, but the law would be enforced only upon receipt of a complaint. Fair enough…..

    My point? Plenty of input from the public on any issue, and it is all filmed for the city to view at large at any time, so there is a permanent record.

    Why doesn’t Dearborn Heights do the same thing? What law prevents them from doing so? The only bad part of Dearborn’s policy is the 3 minute rule…..but often it will be ignored if the subject is ‘riveting’.

    How to initiate public input at a council meeting? One way is to get some numbers, as mentioned on this forum at the council meetings, and when an issue comes up that you want to add input to, just stand up and speak. Likely you will be asked to sit down, but that request can be ignored. If it worked for Martin Luther King, and Ghandi, passive resistance…ie “I won’t”, then surely it will have some effect in a mundane Dearborn Hts council meeting. Likely you will be escorted out. Someone else will take your place.. The press will document the episode, and the Headline in the Press and Giude….”Free speech denied in Dearborn Heights!”

    Go all the way and play the ‘Dearborn’ card. Dearborn allows freedom of speech, why doesn’t DH?

    Just my two cents from a Dearborn Heights property owner.


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