The City of Dearborn Heights has been closed for one day a week for years now. Mayor Dan Plaletko did this years ago during the economic downturn. When the Mayor needed to come before the residents of Dearborn Heights and ask them to vote to raise their taxes. There were several things Mayor Dan Paletko told the residents would happen in order to save money. The Mayor said there would be a 10% cut in pay for all department heads and they would be working on Fridays. He went to the union and asked them if they wanted to take the 10% cut or would they like to work one less day a week. They decided for working one less day a week.
What was said to the council was that we are going to close the city down one day a week. Council asked at that time can this be reversed if it doesn’t work out or if the residents don’t like it? To that question, the Mayor said yes of course. When weeks later than Council Chair Baron asked to have the City go back to a five-day work week he was told by the Mayor that this is now part of the union contract and is closed until 2017. This was never supposed to be part of a union contract. There wasn’t supposed to be any overtime and when asked by council members about the over time the Mayor said there isn’t any overtime. I wrote this in 2015,
How about that overtime? Well, the Building Maintenance department overtime numbers for 2014-2015 $82,164.00. The DPW overtime numbers for 2014-2015 $131,144.00. How’s that four-day work week working out for us? Have one of you sitting on that council even ask for documentation from the administration showing how much money the City saved over these past years of having only a four-day work week? I guess a better question would be.. did the administration even keep track of those numbers? Did one of you look and compare overtime numbers for a five-day work week and a four-day work week. Is there even a way in the City to break down those numbers? Have you all forgotten that the Mayor said over and over that there is NO OVERTIME! That was part of the deal you Mr. Mayor made with us residents and the Council I see as always you are holding up your end of the agreement. I thank you so much for again showing all of us what a great man you truly are.
City union workers were supposed to take one day a week off that would have put them at 32 hours a week. They are getting paid for 36 hours a week. We as residents were told that all department heads would be working on Fridays. That didn’t happen the Mayor his assistant and most department heads do not work on Fridays as was told to the taxpayers they would be.
The Headlee Override vote was an important vote. All residents should have voted on it, but they didn’t. As soon as the City got its money every promise made was soon forgotten. Ask your Council members when if ever did they sit with the administration? As they said they were going to.
In the same post, I wrote this,
Ground work laid it was time to go to the residents and ask them for more money. Not an easy thing right? The Headlee Override was the answer to the money problems for the City. Council approved it for the ballot, but the Mayor still needed to sell it to the residents. How did he do that? There’s one steadfast group of voters in the City. Absentee voters made up of mostly seniors. What’s the first group of people the Mayor scared? Well, the seniors of course and the council followed right in line. Well, not all there was that one who didn’t, but for those who know this subject you know who she is. The Mayor and Council told residents the city was going to close the senior centers. Get rid of 50 yes 50 police officers. Then they started talking about the fire department and the cuts made there. If you’re a senior in the City. You’ve just been told that the centers you like so much are going to be shut down. Crime was on the rise then and you are no longer safe. The fire/rescue that you might need if you have an emergency may be cut. In short people, they scared the pants off the largest bloc of voters in the city.
Here are other posts you might like to read about this subject,
There is more and you can find it if you like by doing a search here. Department heads have been given back their 10% the City is still closed one day a week. Overtime is still going on, the Mayor hasn’t shown one report not one sheet of paper showing what all of this has saved the City. Those who took the early outs and stayed working with the City well they are now getting checks for vacation days, sick days, and personal days, they didn’t take. This was afforded to them thanks to the Mayor. Yes even though they retired from the City they were still able to collect their unused days. Thanks, Mr. Mayor way to save us money and gee thanks for using that Headlee Override money with such care. The bottom line don’t be fooled the Mayor hasn’t been a good steward of our Tax Dollars.
If you haven’t watched the study session live Facebook Video please do before you read this.
Many issues to discuss surrounding this so much exposed during this study session. A half piece of paper was the catalyst for the explosive exchanges. As I’m sure you saw and heard. No one willing to do any of the work first and foremost the Mayor who absolutely refuses to have anything to do with this form the clerk want’s filled out. It was brought to our attention that the City Clerk refuses to go to department head meetings every Monday saying that the agenda is already finished by that time. The Mayor saying that the council secretary can attend and have the forms filled out at that time. What is the real story here? Since elected to office the Clerk decided not to go to the department head meetings saying nothing happens there.
Council Chair who said he thinks the form will be helpful for their meetings and likes it. The Mayor say’s ‘good then you fill it out’ The Mayor who told Council Chair he should have contacted his office first before putting this on the agenda. No sorry, Mr. Mayor they don’t need to get your approval of what and what will not go on the Council agenda. just in case you missed it Council Chair told the Mayor ‘I did call you and you didn’t return my call.’ Great leadership right? No, not so much. The clerk said that the administration is dysfunctional that nothing will ever get done until they work together. The Mayor wasn’t having any of that I guess he doesn’t want to work in harmony. The clerk can require this form to be filled out, but no one can make the Mayor do it.
The City Clerk said over and over that the council secretary is swamped and overworked and that was the reason he was doing this. For those of you who don’t know the secretary for the council works in the Clerks office, she is council secretary as well and is responsible for putting the agendas together. The council secretary is supposed to be doing most of her work for the council, but councilwoman Horvath pointed out at the end of the meeting that this isn’t the case anymore. I just want everyone to understand I’m not against what the Clerk is proposing I agree it’s not his job to run around getting the right information for these agenda items. I all so think the total lack of coöperation from the Mayor’s office is disturbing and I’ll tell you why.
One of the most heated exchanges last night was between the Clerk and Councilman Berry. The Clerk as you saw showed a folder of unsigned or missing signatures for contracts. To that, Councilman Berry said how long have those been sitting like that? Clerk ‘I don’t know’ Berry, ‘Why don’t you know it’s your job to know’ Yes it’s true the City Clerk is the keeper of the records. What happened next was well you saw the Clerk pointed at Councilman Berry. Then Councilman Berry said don’t point your finger at me and I will take that finger and put it some place. Well, you saw what happened ugly, to say the least. Councilman Berry insisted on an answer why are you not doing your job? That brings me to this after the heated exchange the Clerk was able to say that these are just copies that the Mayor has all of these and knows very well what is missing. Now, how many times does the Clerk need to ask for this when signatures for certain members of the administration are needed on these contracts isn’t that the job of the Mayor to make sure they are signed?
Next, I would ask if the signatures are not on the contracts how are they being implemented? Are there laws being violated? Are the contracts even ligament if the council instructed via a vote to have the Mayor and whoever else sign the contract? If I don’t sign a contract then that contract isn’t valid my signature isn’t there. How would a vendor be able to collect money from me if I didn’t sign the contract giving them the right to collect that money? What ordinances or contracts are in that file? How many vendors is the City doing business with now with contracts that are unsigned? This folk is a total breakdown in leadership it’s a total breakdown in the management of our City. This is a JOKE! For how long has this been going on? According to the Clerk six years. As you saw Councilman Abdallah said what we are talking about here is a half a piece of paper that the Clerk is asking to have filled out. The Mayor say’s that is an undue burden for him and his staff. Is it also Double Dipping Dan an undue burden to sign a contract? Is the ordinance that benefited yourself and allowed you to double dip not get signed? I bet that was signed the next day.
Are there any unsigned ordinances in that pile the City Clerk showed at the study session? Have there been tickets given to residents based on those unsigned ordinances? If a resident received a ticket on an unsigned ordinance what legal recourse if any do they have? You see Mr. Mayor while you are having a pissing contest with the City Clerk because you don’t like him your actions have consequences and open the door for someone like myself to ask these questions.
It’s a New Year and I’m ready how about you? Are you all ready to work to get a new Mayor elected to our City? Are you ready after all these years of being ignored to put someone in office that cares for all of Dearborn Heights? Aren’t we all ready to put out of office an administration that has done little to nothing to help our City properly? I know I’m. I know I’ve had all I can take of a Mayor that ignored a whole are of our City for a decade. I know I’ve had enough of this Mayor who only cares about the elderly of this City come election time. A Mayor who turned his back on them when it mattered the most. Just ask some of our elderly how they feel when they have to take out their trash can every week. Ask them if the Mayor met with them to see about making sure they could get a smaller trash can? He didn’t, but be sure he will be asking for their vote come election day.
Ask those who live on the south end when was the last time the Mayor didn’t belittle them, insult them, or just ignore them? He hasn’t. The Mayor of Dearborn Heights has spent all his years in office doing everything he can to forget about those residents on the South side. Oh, be sure he is going to holler from the rooftops his great accomplishment of those homes bought with grant funds. To be sure this was a wonderful thing and yes those residents don’t have to suffer flooding again. I say the Mayor was left with little choice in the matter and after years of these residents suffering he did what he should have years ago. Now it’s election season and the Mayor will do what he does best mention this or that or put into effect one thing or another. He will start acting like he cares and I hope this time you’re not going to be fooled into believing that he gives a damn about any of us? He doesn’t.
Oh, the Mayor will be pushing to outsource your 911 dispatch to Dearborn becoming the salesman that we’ve all come accustomed to. You know the one that only comes out when he desperately needs to sell us something that isn’t really in our best interest. That salesman that will get you to go along with something even though you know it’s not good for our City. Remember the Headlee Override sales job. He did a great job on that scared residents into believing if we didn’t pass it we wouldn’t have our first responders anymore. Guess what? He got his Headlee and he’s still set to move our 911 dispatch to Dearborn. The City isn’t a partner in this we are the customer a customer without a backup plan if this fails. The final numbers aren’t in yet and a contract hasn’t come from the City of Dearborn, but it’s coming. Oh and I’m sure he has his ‘Yes Votes’ all lined up on the City Council. I’m sure the 1,000 people who signed that petition who voiced they didn’t want this are not even a consideration for this Mayor and his ‘Yes Votes’ What they don’t understand these are 1,000 residents who are paying attention to what happens. These are residents that vote. These are 1,000 out of on average the 6,000 that go to the polls and vote.
Yes, our Mayor is a great salesman and he has all the ‘yes’ people he needs on the City Council. Yet come election day what is going to happen? Are we residents going to fall for this sales job again? It’s already started the announcement of a new website for the City. Yep as if we haven’t heard this before around the last election. We didn’t get it then and the Mayor hasn’t budgeted for a new website now. The contract with the City of Dearborn’s IT department doesn’t include a New Website so who is he kidding? Us that’s who. This is the same Mayor who made sure that the four-day work week was part of the employee contracts. Now those contracts are opened up and being negotiated. Oh, but wait; he’s given back the 10% to most if not all of his department heads and they still only work four days a week. All indications are the City when negotiations are over and done will not go back to a five-day work week. That, however, can change rumors are just that rumors after all and I’m not in the room.
We do deserve better then this dear resident and this year we will have it. When the time comes are you going to be ready? Are you going to make sure you do everything you can to get a new Mayor? Are all of us ready to pick up the heavy load of election season? Are we going to put in the time it will take to make sure we get what we deserve? It’s not going to be easy. It will take time, energy and yes money. Are we going to get out to the polls? Are all of us going to make sure we get our family and friends to the polls? Are we going to walk our neighborhoods, knock on those doors, make those calls, and use our social media to get the word out? I’m ready, are you? When the time comes all of us are going to have to do our part the alternative is keeping Double Dipping Dan as our Mayor and I know from what I hear this for many isn’t an option that they want to consider. If it’s not an option for you then get ready it’s 2017 and it’s an election year.