Archive for the ‘City Hall’ Category

Dearborn’s Seasonal Services Coming to End for Year

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Dearborn Crest LogoDearborn’s seasonal services are coming to an end for the year.

– Loose leaf collection ends the week of Dec. 2.-7

– Curbside yard waste collection ends the week of Dec. 9-13. It resumes again in March.

– Public Service Days for the year ends Nov. 30, which means residents can now keep vehicles parked in the street on trash collection days

While loose leaf collection is scheduled to end the week of Dec. 2-7, that doesn’t mean residents should rake leaves into the street. Weather permitting, crews will be out doing a final pickup of leaves raked into the street — but only in specific districts.

The final week of loose leaf pickup will be for neighborhoods that recycle on the “A” week schedule. Crews will be by on trash days.

Residents with the “B” week recycling schedule will have one final pickup the week of Nov. 25-Nov. 30. (Note this is Thanksgiving week, and neither leaves nor trash will not be picked up on the holiday.)

Dearborn officials remind residents that not every block in every district can be picked up on one day, and so some properties may have already had their last collection of loose leaves.

At this stage of the year, the best bet for residents is to bag leaves and put them out on the curb on their trash day.

This can be done through the week of Dec. 9-13, when curbside yard waste collection ends for the year. Seasonal collection will start again in March.

Public Service Days end for 2013 on Nov. 30. That means residents will no longer be required to remove their parked vehicles from the street on their trash day, but doing so will make the final weeks of loose leaf and curbside collection of yard waste safer and more efficient. Public Service Days will start again in April.

Residents are reminded that their trash and recycling carts should never be put in the street.

Since winter is coming, it is good to note that parked vehicles must be removed from the street when a snow emergency is declared or they could be ticketed and towed. Police do not issue warning.

 

Voters Pass Dearborn School Bond; Dabaja Elected New Council President

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Dearborn voters approved the Dearborn Public Schools’ $76 million S.M.A.R.T. School bond by a wide margin, 11,525 to 5,239. That means homeowners will continue to pay 5.35 mills. The bond will be used to fund security, modifications, additions to buildings, renovations, technology and transportation in Dearborn Schools.

Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. cruised to an easy win.

The Dearborn City Council will have two new faces, including a new council president.

Susan Dabaja was the top vote getter, beating Tommy Tafelski, the current council president, by a slim margin. Dabaja spent a lot on her campaign and put a lot of effort in going door-to-door and her hard work paid off.

The other new face on the council will be Mike Sareini, the son of former councilwoman Suzanne Sareini, who did not run for office.

The vote totals for the City Council look like this:

Susan A. Dabaja . . . . . . . . 9,398

Thomas Patrick Tafelski. . . . . . 9,366

Mike T. Sareini . . . . . . . . 8,723

Brian C. O’Donnell . . . . . . . 7,929

David W. Bazzy. . . . . . . . . 7,809

Robert Alex Abraham . . . . . . . 7,477

Mark C. Shooshanian . . . . . . . 7,407

 

 

Here are the rest of the results for the others who were unsuccessful in this year’s council race:

 

 

Patrick A Melton . . . . . . . . 7,021

Tarek M. Baydoun . . . . . . . . 6,280

Sharon Dulmage. . . . . . . . . 5,601

Kristyn Taylor. . . . . . . . . 5,315

Jane Ahern . . . . . . . . . . 5,225

Colette Richards . . . . . . . . 4,231

Stephen S. Dobkowski, Jr. . . . . . 3,551

 

Accusations Fly in Dearborn City Council Races

Monday, November 4th, 2013
A new flyer has landed in the mailboxes of many Dearborn residents questioning Council President Tom Tafelski’s ethics.

A new flyer has landed in the mailboxes of many Dearborn residents questioning Council President Tom Tafelski’s ethics.

With just a day to go before this year’s general election, a new flyer has landed in the mailboxes of many Dearborn residents questioning Council President Tom Tafelski’s ethics.

Like the unnamed people behind “Let’s Reclaim Dearborn”, a group that sent out emails saying Councilwoman Nancy Hubbard backed a slate of candidates (only later to remove her endorsement in later mailings because she did not), this latest mailing about Tafelski says it isn’t “authorized by any candidate.”

The mailing calls Tafelski “TaFALSEski” and urges recipients to Google Search Case Case No. 05-71547 and then to call Tafelski at 313-943-2405 (his council office phone) and “tell him not to talk about ethics.”

The mailing appears to be directed at Tafelski’s actions where he called into question the ethics of Dearborn’s legal department.

Tafelski has said he planned to file an ethics complaint against Dearborn City Attorney Debra Walling because he said she engaged in “political activity” while on the clock for the City of Dearborn, which is not permitted by the City Charter.

Just last month, two candidates running for Dearborn City Council accused each other of being ethically unfit to be a public official, pointing to what they say are past misdeeds

Candidate Steve Dobkowski Jr. cited police reports he obtained that show candidate Michael Sareini being involved in three assaults of women in his family, dating back 23 years. Sareini accused Dobkowski of a “political ploy to get attention.”

Clearly, the gloves have come off in this Dearborn election for city council. While it will be interesting to watch, Dearborn residents love their incumbents (and the names of certain families) so don’t look for much change in the council when the results are finally tallied.

 

Is Dearborn Struggling or Thriving?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Is Dearborn struggling or thriving?

Depending on what city council member you speak with (or those running for office) you are bound to get a different answer.

The Wall Street Journal says there are five resources one can use to really find out the truth and whether battered roads and sidewalks and higher taxes and fees point to deeper financial woes or just temporary strain.

The WSJ story is below:

1.  For an overview, check out the American Cities Project by Pew Charitable Trusts, a research nonprofit. They research and report on fiscal, economic and demographic issues for 30 major U.S. cities. Also check out reports and data on local finances published by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. And the National League of Cities publishes research, too.

2.  Moody’s Investors Service is a major credit-rating firm that looks at the finances of thousands of debt-issuers, including cities. In the right corner of the website, click on “Register” to sign up. Once you’ve created an account, search for your city in the bar in the upper left of the website and read the available credit reports.  If you’re unable to find your city or town, it might not be rated be Moody’s. Some research is available only for subscribers.

The reports on “G.O.,” meaning general obligation, bonds are generally the most straightforward if you want to grasp a city’s finances. Read the “Summary Ratings Rationale” and then the “Strengths” and “Challenges” for your city. Moody’s rates bond-deals using a letter-grade scale. Triple-A is the top, followed by the B-category on down. An outlook indicates the likely direction of future ratings. Stable means the rating is likely to stay the same; positive, up; and negative, down.

3.  This website, known as EMMA in the municipal-bond world, is a repository for bond documents cities publish when they sell debt. Enter your city in the “Quick Search” in the upper right corner of the website. (Note: It’s often helpful to type in “City of X,” as this will pull up information about the city and not other local government units.) This search will bring you to a page with a list of securities issued by your city. To get the most recent document, click on the third column “dated date.” Then click again. This should bring up the most recent documents.  Next, click on one of the links in the second column (“Issue Description”) and then click on the tab that says “Official Statement” to access the bond document. Look for the “economic and demographic information” section, which typically has interesting information about your city’s population, major employers and finances. The organization that runs EMMA is developing an easier way to find this information. Click here for a look at their pilot program.

4.  Every year, cities publish a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, known as a CAFR. This massive document provides detailed information about your city’s finances. A simple way to locate the document is to Google your city’s name and the word “CAFR.” You can also look on your city’s finance department website. Or call your city for help locating this key document. Note that cities are often months late publishing the CAFR, so you may not be able to immediately locate the most up-to-date filing.

5.  Go to the U.S. Census Bureau for stats on your city and state. You can get figures on population, median household income and the poverty level. You can browse this data by county or city.

Gloves Come Off in Dearborn City Council Race

Friday, October 25th, 2013

With just over a week until the election, things are getting heated and ugly in the race for Dearborn City Council.

Two candidates for Dearborn City Council are accusing each other of being ethically unfit to be a public official, pointing to what they say are past misdeeds, according to an article in today’s Detroit Free Press.

Candidate Steve Dobkowski Jr. cited police reports he obtained that show candidate Michael Sareini being involved in three assaults of women in his family, dating back 23 years.

Sareini in the Free Press accused Dobkowski of “a political ploy to get attention.”

He also countercharged that Dobkowski had his own past problems, noting that he was removed from the City Charter Commission in 2006 by the City Council after he failed to pay his property taxes for 13 years. By not paying his taxes, Dobkowski was violating the city charter.

The dispute between the two is part of a broader fight between two camps among the 14 City Council candidates vying for seven open seats in the Nov. 5 election.

See the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

Dearborn Will Not Pay Judgement in Court Case

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

The City of Dearborn is not obligated to pay $1.17 million resulting from a former 19th District Court employee’s federal lawsuit against Judge Mark Somers, according to a decision issued Friday by U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson.

In June 2011, a federal court jury awarded $734,361 in compensatory and punitive damages to former 19th District Court employee Julie Hultgren (formerly Pucci) following her suit against then-Chief Judge Mark Somers of the 19th District Court for violation of her rights under the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause. With attorney’s fees and interest, the judgment entered against Judge Somers totaled $1,173,125.30.

The City has always contended that it is not responsible for paying the judgment. The decision on Friday validates the City’s position.

Mayor Jack O’Reilly said the Legal Department worked diligently to protect taxpayers’ dollars in this case.

Judge Lawson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan agreed with the City that the federal court had no jurisdiction to enforce a writ of garnishment served on the City. His decision Friday grants the City’s motion to quash the garnishment.

The City of Dearborn is the funding agent for the 19th District Court, but Judge Somers is a judicial officer of and an employee of the State of Michigan. For this reason, the State Attorney General’s office defended Judge Somers at trial.

In addition, the jury verdict was against Somers in his personal capacity, not in his official capacity as the chief judge of the district court.

Judge Lawson’s opinion notes that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an award of damages against an individual in his personal capacity can only be executed against the individual’s personal assets.

Dearborn Responsible for Maintaining New Train Stop

Monday, August 12th, 2013
Updates on conceptual plans for development of the area surrounding Dearborn's new train station is set for April 8.

Dearborn will be responsible for maintenance costs of the new train station being built on Michigan near Brady. The station is set to open in early 2014.

So Dearborn’s new intermodal passenger rail station, which is getting built at a record pace for its opening in early 2014, will be named after John D. Dingell, Jr., the longest-serving member of Congress.

Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr. says he initiated the honor because of Congressman Dingell’s steadfast support of Dearborn and its residents. He has called Dearborn home for decades.

“He has represented Dearborn since 1964. That’s longer than any other city in his historic career,” said O’Reilly, a good friend of the Congressman.

The Dearborn City Council unanimously approved the mayor’s naming proposal.

For those of you wondering who is paying for this monster construction project, $28.2 million is being funded from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The train station is a key component for significant rail initiatives, including the proposed commuter line between Ann Arbor and Detroit, and the high speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago, currently in the works.

For those of you who have asked, the City of Dearborn will be on the hook for maintaining the property, not Amtrak.

Where those funds will come from is yet to be sorted. The city is hoping it will be able to lease space in the new building for other businesses and that rent and taxes from those tenants will cover the building’s upkeep.

It will be interesting to see how all of this sorts itself out. Nothing is ever for free  .  .  .

Dearborn Police,Target Host National Night Out 8/6

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

National Night OutThe Dearborn Police Department invites all residents to attend National Night Out on crime at the Dearborn Police Department on Aug. 6 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The free event is sponsored by Target Stores and the Dearborn Police Department and marks the 30th year of this national event that is celebrated in nearly every city, town and village in the U.S.

In addition to increasing awareness of crime prevention programs, National Night Out also strengthens neighborhood spirit and community-police partnerships, while sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized, working with police and are fighting back against crime.

“Dearborn is a prime example of a community that works in partnership with its police department and the private sector,” said Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad. “Together these partnerships have made real strides in crime prevention and quality of life issues.”

Haddad is requesting that in support of National Night Out, all Dearborn residents turn on their front porch lights on August 6, 2013 and make an extra effort to look out for your neighbors.

This year’s event will be held in Dearborn Police Department’s east parking lot, 16099 Michigan Ave., and will include:

• FREE hot dogs, drinks and ice cream

• A Bounce House for the children

• Free throw basketball contests with prizes

• Dearborn Fire Department’s newest Fire Truck and Rescue

In addition, the Dearborn Police Department will have crime prevention material, Neighborhood Watch information; take home Child Identification Kits and NIXLE information available at the event. Dearborn police will also display:

o Police Patrol vehicles (including the new Ford Police Interceptor, both the sedan and SUV)

o Bomb Squad

o SWAT Team

o K9 Unit

o Armored Personnel Carrier

o Mobil Command Post

Additional law enforcement agencies will also be on site, including:

o Michigan Department of Natural Resources (including a pickup truck and zodiac static display)

o Detroit Police Special Response Team

o U. S. Secret Service

o Michigan State Police Motorcycle Units

o Wayne County Down River Dive Team (including Truck and Trailer Static Display)

o Oakwood Hospital Security Police

o Fairlane Town Center Security

o University Of Michigan Police

o Helicopter landing

o U.S. Army

National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, is a neighborhood crime and drug prevention event that occurs annually on the first Tuesday in August every year. Last year’s national campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,000 communities from all 50 states. This year’s event in Dearborn is sponsored by Target stores located in Dearborn and Allen Park.

This event is in line with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano’s  “If you See Something, Say Something” campaign. Chief Haddad participated in the development of this campaign and he has implemented it throughout the City of Dearborn promoting community involvement in combating crime.

Dearborn’s Outdoor Pool Season Begins May 25

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Dearborn’s outdoor pool season begins May 25 with the opening of Dunworth and Ford Woods Pools.

Dearborn’s outdoor pool season begins May 25 with the opening of Dunworth and Ford Woods Pools.

Dearborn’s outdoor pool season begins May 25 with the opening of Dunworth and Ford Woods Pools.

Both pools will be open weekdays from 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 12-6 p.m. through June 13.

Ford Woods will feature open swimming June 14 from 4-7 p.m.

Dunworth Pool will host the USS Swim Meet June 14-16, and consequently, will not offer opening swimming on these three days. Beginning June 17, Dunworth will feature open swimming weekdays and holidays from 1-8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12-8 p.m.

Ford Woods, along with Dearborn’s other four outdoor pools—Crowley, Lapeer, Summer Stephens and Ten Eyck—will offer open swimming daily from 1-6 p.m. beginning June 15.

This schedule is subject to change. Some pools or portions of pools may close earlier. Check with the specific pool for more information concerning its schedule of operation.

All swimmers must either pay a daily admission fee or purchase a seasonal pool tag.

The daily admission fee is $8 for Dearborn residents (proof of residency is required) and $12 for non-residents at Dunworth and $6 for residents and $9 for non-residents at the other pools.

Pool tags, good for admission to any of the six outdoor pools during the 2013 summer pool season, are available for purchase at the service desk of the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center weekdays from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Seven types of tags are available:

– Infants (under age two) are free.

– Preschool, $15. Parents must present a copy of the child’s birth certificate and proof of residency.

– Youth (ages 17 and under), $35. Must present school-issued ID card.

– Adult (ages 18-59), $45. Must present proof of residency.

– Senior Citizen (ages 60 and over), $35. Must present proof of residency.

– Family (both parents and all children under the age of 18), $100. Proof of residency for parents and birth certificate(s) for children are required.

– Non-resident, $80.

Pool tags must be sewn on the swim suits prior to admittance.

Pool tags are good for admittance to the outdoor pools only; not the indoor pools at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.

For further information, call 943-2328.

District Court in Dearborn Offers Amnesty Program

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Those with unpaid parking or traffic tickets within the city of Dearborn can settle old debts without additional collection costs as part of a one-time amnesty program being offered by the 19th District Court.

The program, which kicked off Wednesday, ends Friday, June 14. The court is offering the amnesty program as a way to clear up a backlog of files. Once free from the backlog, the court will be moving more aggressively to enforce and collect all unpaid tickets, including all penalties and late fees.

Included in the program are:

• All payable parking and traffic civil infraction tickets issued by the Dearborn Police Department, Michigan State Police and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, within the City of Dearborn.

• Individuals for whom arrest warrants have been issued for failure to appear in court on their civil infraction will have their arrest warrant lifted. These individuals may come to court without fear of being arrested for their voluntary appearance.

• The 19th District Court Judges have authorized that for this period of amnesty the ticket will be reduced to the original fine and a $45.00 suspension fee if applicable. Upon full payment, the court will notify the Secretary of State to lift the suspension.

• No Payment Plans. The court says all payments must be cash, certified check, money order or credit card.