Who’s The Slum Lord Now?

canfield ice arenaLast night May 10, 2017, at the City Council meeting we learned that the Canfield Ice Arena hasn’t been inspected since 2006 the Ice Arena was condemned by the Fire Marshal May 3rd and condemned by the building department on May 1st. City council members weren’t told of the building being condemned at the May 2nd study session. They were only told that the company leasing the property from us hadn’t paid since August of 2016.

What started this? The Ice Arena was set to have the circus coming yep School District 7 was renting the arena to have the circus there. The Fire Marshal found there was only one viable exit in the building apparently the other exit door didn’t open. I’ve all so heard that the building has electrical problems could these electrical “problems” have caused a fire? How long has there been only one exit from this City building? We will never know because the City hasn’t inspected that property since 2006 putting how many people at risk who were working and attending events here?  Yet in 2015 the arena underwent a conversion from a traditional ice arena to an in-line skating/hockey arena along with a host of other improvements.

Who’s a ‘slumlord now’ Mr. Mayor?

A slumlord (or slum landlord) is a derogatory term for a landlord, generally an absentee landlord with more than one property, who attempts to maximize profit by minimizing spending on property maintenance.

Is it any wonder our City looks the way it does when you have a Mayor that doesn’t care for the City’s own properties allowing this property to get so bad that it’s condemned. While other rental properties are inspected or they’re supposed to be every three years. Are they? This makes me wonder how many never get looked at. If our own property didn’t have a CofO before it was rented how many other properties are there without a certificate of occupancy?

What do I need to license my business in the City?

In order for a business license to be issued, water and personal property tax bills must be current with the City.  In addition,  you must have a valid Certificate of Occupancy for the building in which you are operating the business. This is from the City of Dearborn Heights website. 

How many other City-owned buildings aren’t taken care of how many of those buildings are putting people’s lives at risk? When if ever are those buildings inspected? Based on the maintenance record or the lack of for the Canfield Ice Arena I think we should all be asking this question? The Mayor it seems takes little if any pride in the City he is Mayor of if he did he would never let one of our properties get in this condition. If he did have pride in our City he would follow the very laws of the City he’s the Mayor of. How many violations have been given out since 2006? How many Certificate of Occupancy have been denied by our Building Department since 2006? On top of all of this corporation counsel wants to pursue going after the nonpayment of rent. This will cost the City more then what we are going to get from this company and I wonder will this company turn around and sue the City for renting out a property that hasn’t met the City’s own laws?


Commissioner Webb Clarifying Her May 2nd, 2017 Update.

On Mon, May 8, 2017 at 5:40 PM, Diane Webb
Mayor & Council,
See WVGC follow-up letter below from Commissioner Webb.
May 6, 2017
Dear Concerned Residents,
I am writing you this morning in response to some questions and feedback I received to my most recent update dated May 2nd, 2017.
It appears as though there are a couple of items that I covered in my update that require clarity.
First of which, concerns the potential funding source the City of Dearborn Heights would use to purchase the WVGC, if they decide to buy it, that I translated into layman’s terms and referred to as the City’s “Rainy Day Fund”. This is NOT a bucket of money that is in addition to the City’s Fund Balance, and the Fund Balance DOES NOT represent a bucket of extra cash that has no purpose or can be used to provide or enhance additional or existing services. Cities have to set funds aside to cover cash flow issues throughout the year, because not all revenues are collected in time to cover budgeted expenses. Cities that have no FUND Balance have to do internal borrowing to cover cash flow issues throughout the year and/or cover unexpected or emergency expenditures. The funds have to be paid back with a very low amount of interest— both are paid back to themselves. Again, this fund balance exists because the Mayor and his Team, which includes the Council, the Treasurer, the Clerk and all of his Department Heads have been financially prudent, and have been able to accumulate a small Fund Balance in order to manage cash flow without internal borrowing.
Taking $1.8M of the nearly $5M from Fund Balance will require a short term internal shuffling of internal funds that will have to be accounted for in the next fiscal year, but in speaking to both the Mayor and the Treasurer, will not represent an undue burden on the City. Therefore, using some of these funds to prevent a potential environmental disaster, much like what currently exists in the area surrounding Ecorse Creek on the City’s south end, is a legitimate use of these dollars. City’s that are fortunate to have a fund balance can and do use these dollars to mitigate risks that could represent greater financial burdens down the road all of the time; reducing liability, preventing lawsuits, decreasing housing values etc. are situation that could result from the development of this property that would end up costing the City more in the long run.  They are NOT dollars that can or should be spent at a whim-if they were, the Funds wouldn’t exist when they are truly needed. I think most of you got this but I was asked to clarify, so there it is.
The second Item I want clarify relates to the Commission’s potential votes on this item, and no one said anything to me in this regard, but I just want to clear, that no vote of the Commission has been taken at this point. A handful of Commissioners have made it clear to me that they would not support the development of the property, and I am pretty confident that I have enough information against the proposal to get to 8 or even 10 votes to stop it—but I used the term “hopefully” when referring to the Commission standing by the Mayor/City and I because you never know how politicians will vote until they do, because we have no way of knowing what is going with them behind the scenes. The only way to ensure your votes is enormous public pressure. Thousands of letters and some media coverage is a pretty sure fire way of stopping votes that don’t make sense. This leads me to my last topic.
I was asked by several people if we should continue the letter campaign and go after the media to keep this item in the public eye. My response to that question was not right now. I think we need to KEEP A WATCHFUL EYE as the City conducts their due diligence. By all means stay organized and be ready to pull that trigger if we need to. We just don’t want to assume this battle is over and forget about it, because I may need your help to apply pressure if the City determines it doesn’t want to purchase the property for whatever reason and the Hillcrest proposal ends up in front of the Commission for a vote. If organizations or individuals opposed to the sale of this property to Hillcrest for Development want to send the Commission and CEO letters/emails, to the effect that you understand the City is contemplating the purchase at this time, but that you know the CEO still has the Hillcrest Proposal on the table, to reiterate that you are opposed to that deal and you are still watching, feel free, but we want to save the full blown campaign and media blast card until or in case we need it.
In closing, I want to thank you for your kind words of support, it is truly my honor to represent all of you on the County Commission, as residents of Dearborn Heights, the 8th District, and communities throughout Wayne County. The County Executive’s Proposal to sell off and develop County Park Land that we all pay for as taxpayers, and value as residents could negatively impact us all.
Thanks again for your feedback and all of your assistance with this battle. Know that WVGC is still there right now because of all of our efforts, and I will keep you in the loop.
Warmest Regards,
Diane L. Webb
Mayor and his Team, which includes the Council, the Treasurer, the Clerk and all of his Department Heads have been financially prudent, and have been able to accumulate a small Fund Balance in order to manage cash flow without internal borrowing.
Taking $1.8M of the nearly $5M from Fund Balance will require a short term internal shuffling of internal funds that will have to be accounted for in the next fiscal year,

NO, NO, and NO, it’s called ‘internal fund borrowing.’ It’s been done for years and the funds are taken from TIFA, Water Fund, and others. Not to forget the Headlee Override Money each year.

His team isn’t financially prudent for heaven’s sake these funds are always available and have been used in the past read the story here in the Press and Guide stop selling this man as the Supper Hero of Dearborn Heights.

Fire Marshal Condemns City Owned Property.

The Canfield Arena that the City of Dearborn Heights owns and is renting out hasn’t received rent for one year. Yet the Mayor ‘Double Dipping Dan’ hasn’t seen fit to say anything about it to the council until Tuesday’s May 2, 2017,  City Council Study Session. For one year the great financial wizard our very own CPA kept quite never saying a word to the Council that the rent hasn’t been paid. On May 1, 2017, the Building Department posted this 

On May 3rd our Fire Marshal Condemned the property, yes a property that the City owns and presumably is supposed to be taking care of has been Condemned. The City didn’t want to manage the Canfield Arena so it was rented out to a company who turned the arena into a multi-purpose arena. The Mayor has said if the City purchases WVGC he wants to rent it out the same way he’s rented out the Ice Arena and look at what a bang up job he’s done with that.

Canfield Arena is a multi-use facility in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.
We are located in the middle of Central Park off Kinloch Street. Our
facility is unique in that it can offer a cost effective facility to hold your
smaller functions to large events. From local meetings to multi-day
international sporting events, Canfield Arena has the capability to
meet your events needs.
Via: Powerpoint Presentation

After losing a year’s worth of rent and now having this facility condemned what’s the next step for the Mayor? How long will this building sit empty? How much will it cost the City to make the necessary repairs?