Monday, December 28, 2009

Dowagiac Mayors Answers To Car Auction Lawsuit Just Adds More Questions

Mayor Don Lyons press release to the Dowagiac Daily News didn’t offer any answers and added more questions.
Mr. Lyons stated that he was to be able to purchase the auto at a fixed price of 1 million dollars. But they already made a commitment to the Duesenburg Museum. Why would a car be up for auction when the decision was already made to sell the car for 1 million dollars?
Mr. Lyons stated that Tim Durham would sell him the car for 1 million if he was the winning bidder. If this was the case why didn’t Mr. Lyons keep bidding as long as it took to win the auction if he knew that he would get the car for 1 million?
After bidding 2.8 million the Mayor stopped bidding. Why? He was promised the for 1 million if he was the winning bidder?
“ Lyons did pay Diamond Auto Sales the agreed-upon price. Why would Mr. Lyons pay the price he agreed to if he didn’t win the auction?
If Mr. Lyons didn’t win the auction why did he pay the agreed-upon price, where did the money come from that he received for the remaining proceeds? What is the remaining proceeds?
Mr. Lyons stated that a representative from the museum knew about the fixed price. The Dowagiac Informer spoke with Jeff Turner Chairman of the Duesenburg Museum and he told us that the museum didn’t have any knowledge of the fixed price prior to the auction.
We agree with Mayor Lyons, the story will be straightened out during the court process.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dowagiac Mayor Sued In Federal Court

After reading the news of the upcoming court case for Mayor Don Lyons it has brought up a few questions.
Everyone needs to remember that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until they are proven guilty.
We are not going to pass any judgment on the auction issue until the case is heard by a jury. However we have some concerns of the company that the mayor keeps. When you decide to make friends and hang out with a person like Tim Durham you have to expect that trouble is not far behind.
From reading more about Mr. Durham he has had the FBI raid his property and he has been accused of running a ponzy scam and it appears that he has a reputation for leaving many people upset in his wake.
The court will decide if any laws were broken at the auction. The question that needs to be answered is, why would a well respected mayor have business dealings with someone with a reputation like Mr. Durham?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dowagiac Michigan Mayor Dowagiac mayor targeted in federal lawsuit

The small town of about 5000 residents are shocked to find out their mayor of 12 years is being sued in Federal Court.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dowagiac City Managers Pay Extremely Higher Than Managers Of Towns 15 Times Its Size

Dowagiac City Managers Pay Extremely Higher Than Managers Of Towns 15 Times Its Size
Over the past month we have received dozens of e-mails with residents concerns over the pay rate of City of Dowagiac employees compared to other cities in Michigan.
Most of the e-mails were directed at Downtown Development Director Vicki Phillipson and Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson.
We have spent most of the week calling city’s all across Michigan requesting the base pay for their City Managers.
Each city we contacted we asked the following questions:
· What is the base rate of pay for your city manager?
· What is the population of your city?
The answers we received we amazing and we want to share them with our readers.
Below is the name of the city, base pay for their city manager and the population of the town

City Name Base Pay Population
· South Haven $87,700 5032
· Lansing $101,650 115,000
· Troy $133,000 81,000
· Kalamazoo $138,717 77,145
· New Buffalo $85,000 2,200
· South Bend* $94,633 107789
· Niles $96,000 12,254
· Battle Creek $105,000 53,000
· Wyoming $88,000 74,000
· Dowagiac $125,000 6,000
*The salary from South Bend Indiana is for the position of Mayor not city manager.
The South Bend City Clerk explained to us that the job duties were the same as a city manager.
We want to thank everyone for their e mails with story ideas, keep them coming in.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dowagiac Officials Break Promise To Residents On Electric Rates

Remember a year or so ago when Dowagiac signed on to this electric contract that was going to save resident money on their electric bill?

Well that didn't work out to well and 7 months ago the City of Dowagiac paid over 3 MILLION dollars to buy out of that contract.

How many people could cause a 3 Million dollar loss for their employer and still have a job?

Click here to refresh your memory on this broken promise.

How many years will we have to pay a higher electric rate to pay down this mistake by our city officials?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cass County Elected Officials Dropping Like Flies

Is it something in the water in Cass County Michigan.

Within the last weeks two Dowagiac Councilman have resigned and now you can add Cass County Administrator Terry L. Proctor.

If this pattern continues, maybe Cass County residents will have a chance at open government that will listen to residents concerns.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good News For Dowagiac Schools Funding

Governor Granholm rescinds $127 pro-rata per-pupil cut

The Governor rescinded her $127 per pupil pro-rata cut on Thursday, December 10, 2009 - the same day state officials begin the process of writing checks to the state's 580 plus school districts. Due to an unexpected $100 million-plus leftover from Fiscal Year 2009, the cut will not be made in the December monthly check sent to schools and may not be made at all.

For the December payment, which is scheduled to be made Dec. 21, all public schools will only see the $165-per-pupil cut. The $51.5 million cut to the state's 39 20j schools also will be made.

The governor has not ruled out reinstating the additional $127 cut if state revenues fall. That won't be determined until after the state's January revenue estimating conference when the Governor could restore the entire $127-per-pupil amount or reduce it by an unknown amount.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

City Of Dowagiac Appoints Full-Time City Employees To Hear Electric Complaints

Got A Problem With You Electric Bill?
If you have a problem with your electric bill and the customer service personal at the window cannot help, there is a place to go for help.
The city of Dowagiac now has a committee that you can have your complaint heard. How fair is it to have the City Manager, City Clerk and DPS Manager to hear residents complaints about the City Ran Utility? Wouldn't it seem that the city would appoint non-employees to hear complaints?
To get in contact with the committee call 269-782-2195 and ask for the Dowagiac City Managers office.

New Dowagiac Councilman Unable to Answer Questions

In response to your questions regarding my ideas as a member of the city council, I will be happy to respond at the appropriate time. Currently I am spending much of my day researching all aspects of my new appointment, and as in starting a new job, when I have my facts in order, only then would be the correct time to respond. If you are looking for nothing more than "an answer" to satisfy your schedule, what I would provide you would be a top layer of fill in the blanks.
James Dodd

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Dowagiac Councilman To Offer Townhall Meetings

Dowagiac's newest Councilman Junior Oliver to offer townhall meetings to 1st ward residents.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dowagiac Informer Editors Car Vandalized

Freedom of speech is a powerful thing that our country was based on.
When freedom of speech is used in a productive way, such as informing people of things that are going on that will effect their way of life it is a positive action.
Many people do not like it when people are informed, many like to keep people in the dark, it is easier to have things "their" own way.
When I started the informer it was so I could assist readers to be more informed of their surroundings. Any time people are more informed they can make better decisions on issues that effect them and their families.
Well it appears that some people do not like my opinions or me informing residents of issues both local, state and on national issues.
To the people responsible for breaking out the windows in my car Friday night, all I can say is, I hope it made you feel better.
My family and I don't have the money or the status in the community as many others do, however if it upsets you to the point of vandalizing my car, I hope this made you feel better.
I have no idea where the money will come from to repair the damage you did but I can promise you this, the Informer will continue informing residents and your actions will not stop us from printing the news.
I hope hope you fell better now.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Dowagiac Councilman Answers Questions From The Dowagiac Informer

New Dowagiac Councilman Responds To Questions From The Dowagiac Informer

1) What is one of your top priorities for your ward over the next two years?
Help to bring jobs to the city, make sure residents concerns are heard and acted upon, having a cleaner and safer ward to live in.

2) As the new councilman for your ward what will you do to get input from residents?
I intend to set up meeting to find out the concerns, meet and talk on the streets or if invited talk in their homes.

3) What do you feel is your number one accomplishment is in life?
Do good to my fellow man, so that I may be remembered as to have accomplished good for my friends and neighbors.

4) Do you have any ideas that you are going to bring before council to help bring jobs back to Dowagiac?
I intend to keep doing research on companies to come here. I am asking the council's support in bringing green jobs to our community, these are the jobs of today and for the near future.

5) What can you do to get residents more involved in council meetings?
I think keeping them truly informed is the key to more involvement. If they don't know till after the fact how can they be involved?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Michigan House Votes To Ban Text Messaging While Driving

The Michigan House of Representatives today voted on a key public safety measure to ban texting while driving, announced state Reps. Matt Lori and John Proos.

"Distracted driving is a hazard on our roads," said Proos, R-St. Joseph. "We are a society on the go - always cramming in as much activity as possible. Unfortunately, this mentality has put us in great danger on the road, where our sole focus must be our personal safety and the safety of others."

The legislation makes text messaging while driving a secondary offense, meaning that a driver could only be ticketed if he or she had already been pulled over for another infraction, such as speeding or failing to wear a seatbelt. The ban allows exemptions for drivers reporting traffic accidents, medical emergencies and criminal activity.

"Texting while driving is extremely dangerous and should be illegal," said state Rep. Matt Lori, of Constantine. "Frankly, I don't think the bill we passed goes far enough - lawmakers should have made it a primary offense, but I'll take what I can get."

Lori served as sheriff for 20 years before being elected state representative.

Twenty-nine states have passed laws to regulate cell phone use while driving, while six states, the District of Columbia, and some local governments have enacted outright bans of cell phone use while driving. Legislation has been introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 3535) and the U.S. Senate (S. 1536) that would reduce by 25 percent the federal transportation funds distributed to states that do not pass a state text messaging ban.

91 percent of Americans think that driving while texting is as dangerous as drunk driving, according to a 2007 Harris Interactive poll. Young people in particular are at danger, as 66 percent of drivers age 18 to 24 admit to sending text messages while driving.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dowagiac's Annual Council Strategic Planning Session

Let’s all mark our calendars for Saturday, January 30, 2010 for the annual City Council Retreat.
The Billieville Conference Center at the Ed Lowe Foundation has been reserved for the day so that Council can focus on upcoming issues and approaches as to how we may be able to address the long-term needs for the City of Dowagiac.
In the past this meeting has been open to the public. Any residents interested in seeing what council is working on for the future of Dowagiac should attend.

Dowagiac and Silver Creek Russom Field Board

The new Russom Field board will consist of 5 members that will work together to decide on future projects at Russom Field.
We have been told that Silver Creek Township has already been meeting to discuss projects and Dowagiac has yet to appoint anyone to the board.
Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson told us that the City of Dowagiac will “start working hot and heavy after the first of the year to appoint their members to the board“
This will be an exciting opportunity for board members to make a positive change for Silver Creek and Dowagiac residents.
One of the projects already being talked about is a bike trail from Silver Creek to Dowagiac. This would be a project that would not only be a safe place for families to take a long ride but would also bring in Chicago visitors from Sister Lakes.

Dowagiac New Councilman Junior Oliver has Global Trading and Consultating Business

Much to the surprise of Dowagiac residents our newest Councilman has a lot of interests and employment in Global trading and as a consulant.

Clicks on the link below to find out more.

Entire State of Michigan going smoke free?

In May, Michigan moved one step closer to joining the 37 other states that have gone smoke-free. On a 73 to 31 vote, lawmakers approved a plan to ban smoking in most public places.

House bill 4377 prohibits smoking in most public indoor places and places of employment. Violators of the smoking ban face a $100 fine for the first violation and a $500 fine for subsequent violations.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dowagiac Couple Hit By Car In Benton Harbor

Beverly and Donald Krause were hit by a car and seriously injured while visiting the Mendal Center at Lake Michigan College by a 26 year old driver.

The driver was traveling 25 MPH over the speed limit.

The driver was arrested and the Krause's are in serious condition.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dowagiac City Council To Appoint New Councilman

The committee to select the two new councilman to the Dowagiac City Council has recommended Jim Dodd and Junior Oliver.
If approved by the Dowagiac City Council on December 7th the new councilman will take their seats immediately.
For more information go to