These days, the Mayor likes to talk about how the economy has improved in Dearborn Heights. But let’s not forget how we got there. Remember that massive TAX INCREASE (Headlee Override) that the Mayor demanded was necessary to maintain our Police and Fire Departments and keep our senior centers open back in 2011? Here are some of his quotes that should help jog your memory:
“If the millage doesn’t pass, draconian cuts would be required to keep the city solvent in 2012 with further cuts in coming years that would leave the city’s government a shell of what most residents know it as”.
In a memo, the Mayor outlined a scenario if the millage didn’t pass that would: Eliminate the recreation department including, closures of all recreation facilities, parks and senior centers; laying off between 30-50% of public safety employees; closure of one of the city’s two fire stations; outsourcing of all EMS services; 20 percent pay cuts for all general government employees; and a no-overtime policy, even in emergencies.
The Mayor enjoys reminding us of his background as an accountant. Unfortunately, his degree didn’t provide him with the ability to plan for the future, since he was completely unprepared to handle the economic downturn that occurred here. Something that many others on City Council saw coming. Our Mayor did eventually come up with a plan, which was simply to threaten our way of life unless we coughed up the cash. Fast forward to today, and we, the taxpayers, are still paying for his mistakes and lack of foresight.
We need a leader who is an honest broker that will bring transparency and oversight to a City Hall that has run amuck.
I support Lisa Hicks-Clayton for Mayor if you would like to Join Team Lisa you can.
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.
Don’t think there’s anything wrong in Dearborn Heights? Don’t think you need to look at your council members? Ask yourself if they are doing a good job for you? Think Headlee Override. If you’re wondering how taxes got raised in the City. It’s simple the City ran out of money. The Mayor kept submitting his budgets and the majority on council kept passing them. Until the whole thing blew up as if overnight. First the Mayor is giving a state of the City address telling everyone how good the City is. Two weeks later he’s announcing at a council meeting that City doesn’t have money.
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 block of voters in the city.
How did the administration and council make sure the taxpayer would agree? They promised cuts. Meetings to track spending and finding new ways to make cuts. The administration told residents that department heads would take a 10% cut. Department heads had to work Fridays. Oh did I forget they closed the City one day a week as part of the cuts. They told the residents that there would be NO and I say NO overtime. They said that all city employees would be taking a 10% cut. They got rid of some deputy department heads and some employees. A hiring freeze the city offered early outs and many took them. The voters agreed to this and the City got the 3 million a year extra to work with. So looks good right everyone making the sacrifice to keep the City afloat. Of course, the Mayor never took responsibility for anything that happened.
Well, let’s look at who took a 10% cut not the police the number is more like 8%. The Union workers took the 10%. Given one hour a day and made the four-day work week part of their contract. The contract doesn’t open up until 2016. The over time that the Mayor said would never happen it’s never stopped. Department heads that should be working five days a week most do not. Deputy department heads written out of budget. most if not all put back in the budget and position filled. Early outs taken by those employees that qualified to retire. Most are still working for the City. Hiring freeze in the City. That’s gone. There’s been many new hires. Most if not all departments are operating at full staff. The senior centers didn’t close not even for one day. I’m not saying that the City didn’t have a problem. What I am saying is where is the accountability?
Now the Mayor has his money. The Council keeps on approving those budget no matter how much of a stretch they are. I should point out that there is a council member that does work for the residents. Does ask those questions that the administration doesn’t want to hear. Councilwoman Hicks-Clayton. The one who makes sure that we the residents have a voice at the council table. Even if that voice is alone and it is most of the time. 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.
This November there are three seats up on the council. Two of those seats are to re-elect council members Ned Apigian and Lisa Hicks-Clayton. There is one open seat. Who do you want to occupy these seats? Are you going to get out and vote? Are you going to make sure that you have people on the council who are there for you? Are you going to make sure you elect people to that council that can work together? Are you the voter going to remember that you don’t have to just accept things as they are? Are you going to start asking questions to those running for office? Are you going to just sit on the side and let others make the choice for you?