Sunday, October 17, 2010

More complaints on Coloma Ambulance service from township official

More on the Townships Problems With Coloma Ambulance.

According to the township Coloma Ambulance has been reporting calls that were never made to bring down their response time. On many occasions Coloma Ambulance has reported making calls that the county E-911 had no knowledge of.

One township official has asked why they see Coloma Ambulance traveling on CR 687 so much?

They also question why in the 2 1/2 years and audit has never been done.

They has also suggests that because we are getting free service and are no considering the quality of care we are receiving.

The board has been in violation of the open meeting act on several occasions.

They way board members are chosen are to restrictive.

The board gave Coloma Ambulance a 5 year extension on their contract when the bylaws only allow for a three year extension. The writer of this complaint suggest that their township pull out of the contract with Coloma Ambulance because of deceit.

The board has been asked for minutes From their meetings and none has been received for over a year.

A citizen called and asked about the July19th meeting. When the citizen arrives for the meeting they were told the meeting was canceled even though the meeting was taking place. The writer is correct stating that this is a clear example of violating the open meeting act.

The writer has requested that their township pull out of the agreement so they are not forced to use Coloma Ambulance.

Editors note:
This is what happens when the city of Dowagiac tries to take control of anything. It turns out to be what the writer has called a corrupt system.

If you all remember it was the City of Dowagiac that pushed for this "free" service. It was also the city that decided who would be appointed to this board.

This Ambulance board is just like all of the other boards in the city, corrupt and only the chosen few are appointed.

As the Mayor said he would allow seats to sit empty before he would appoint someone that he doesn't; like.

The idea of boards are to have a cross section of the community so everyone gets represented and not just certain residents.

Lets all hope that when a resident needs an ambulance that they show up with the proper equipment in a timely manner and our ambulance is not out of town doing a transport.

It's hard to attend a meeting and voice your concerns if the meeting are held in secret and residents are turned away even though the meeting is taking place behind closed doors.

We all need to band together next November and vote everyone out of office and take back control of our city.

After reading this do you really want the City of Dowagiac working to merge the Fire Departments? I think not.

Mr. Dodd and Mr. Beaner lets hear your comments on this issue. You always disagee with the Informer, do you still disagree now that this came from an elected official??:???

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Silver Creek files report on sub-standard ambulance care

We just received a report named Errors and Omissions of Coloma-Pride care Ambulance Service For Performance Of It's Contract With C/VBESA

Incidents in 2010 where other Ambulance Services were dispatched by Cass County E-911 because Coloma/Pride did not have any unit available in area.
August3 2010 Middle Crossing Road Life Care dispatched because Coloma was not available.
July 17 Garrett and M-62 Sister Lakes and Life Care dispatched because no Coloma Ambulance available.
July 8 Warren Drive Life Care dispatched
June 21 SLAS responded to a call because Coloma did not have proper equipment for treatment on the scene.
Feb 25 SLAS called because Coloma Ambulance was doing transports.
Jan 14 Slas dispatched to Roth Road in Wayne Township because no Coloma unit available.
More available tomorrow. Well it seems that the contract Coloma Ambulance signed has not been followed. You get what you pay for. It seems that our free ambulance service has not been what we promised.
More from this report to follow tomorrow, one being an 11 minute response time from Coloma Ambulance.
11 Minutes for a respond time is to long for someone having a heart attack or another life threatening injury.
We contacted City Manager Kevin Anderson a member of the board and was told that he just received this report and had no comment.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Did Dowagiac Officials Try To Keep Raw Sewage Leak Into Indian Lake A Secret?

Once again the city of Dowagiac put keeping things a secret above the safety of residents. swimmers and fisherman at Indian Lake.

According to Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson the city called the Dowagiac Daily News 18 hours after the sewage was released into Indian Lake. Which was a Saturday knowing that the Dowagiac Daily News wouldn't print for another two days?

The could and should have contacted the HP and the South Bend Tribune to run a story to inform residents of Indian Lake of the possible health hazards posed to them if them came into contact with RAW SEWAGE.

By the actions of the city there is no way to tell how many people may have come into contact with raw sewage while trying to enjoy their weekend on the lake.

Why it is that the Dowagiac Chamber can send out press releases for every little activity in town and our city officials refused to send out a press release when their is a chance of someone coming into contact with raw sewage?

I wonder if any of the people involved would have went swimming or ate fish that was caught close to where this raw sewage was released?

Both Dowagiac and Indian Lake residents deserve an answer why the city attempted to keep this information a secret. If the city would have contacted the HP or the DDN as soon as this happened, I am sure residents and visitors would have not went into the water close to where this release happened.

Dowagiac residents need to remember that the city put keeping their accident a secret above the health and safety of Indian Lake residents.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Dowagiac Schools Not Telling Parents Correct Information On Registration Paperwork

Well I am sure that most of you have received the enrollment information from Dowagiac schools. I figured that I will point out a LIE in the information you was given.
The information stated that the school can give out "directory" information on your child. It states that "directory" information is nothing more than your students name and grade.
Here is where the school has lied to parents. If you remember a few years ago former Dowagiac City Manager and convicted pedophile William Nelson had what the school said was "directory" information in his desk. The information he had included your children's name, address and phone number and emergency contact information.
This means that the Dowagiac Schools lied when they said the information Mr. Nelson had was directory information, or they are not telling the truth on your paperwork by saying that directory information only contains your child's name and grade.
I wish I could tell you which one was a lie but I can't because the school district refused to investigate why this pedophile had children's information in his desk.
Lets just hope with someone new running the schools that we can expect honesty returned to the administration.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dowagiac Council Turned Down Once Again

At tonight's council meeting Dowagiac residents got a HUGE victory. Tonight the council was voting to increase the water and sewer rates.
The vote increase was shot down on a 3-2 vote. The vote went right down income status of the council. The Dowagiac Informer would like to thank 1st Ward Councilpersons Lori Hunt and Junior Oliver for stopping yet another increase on residents utilities.
Now we wait and see what the city does next to bring in more money from Dowagiac residents.
There was also 2 new comers attending council tonight. Two women from the 1st ward asked the council why streets in the 1st ward have grass growing in the street. This is another clear example of how the city takes care of the wards in Dowagiac that have a higher income level and ignore the 1st ward.
This is a clear example of more residents getting involved in their local Government. Let's keep moving forward and continue getting new people attending meetings.
Another residents spoke on how the city has decided to pick on her for code violations, while ignoring others. We have written many times about the selective enforcement policies of the city and it is good to see residents call the city on this behavior.
More news on the council meeting will be posted later.

Dowagiac Resident Speaks Out Against Treatment from City Officials

At some previous council meetings, Mayor Don Lyons made the statement that he did not know why some people “choose” not to pay their bills on time. That is why, I, Sue Miller, visited council tonight and enlightened him and council on why I was not able to pay my utility bills on time. I never planned to be disabled—I planned to be working for many years. However, now that I am disabled, and my income is very limited, I am one of those who cannot pay my utility bills.

I was a teacher, earning a good living. I never planned to be severely injured trying to prevent a blind student from falling on a slippery gym floor. I never planned having a bomb placed in my yard. I was the victim, so I hadn’t planned on the city attorney suing me on behalf of the city for $800,000. Neither had I planned on the legal fees to defend myself because I was the VICTIM. And, Mr. Mayor, when you are accused of something, you have a chance to defend yourself, to tell your side of the story in the media. I never had that chance. I am just fed up with mistreatment, and I will not take it anymore. No, I didn’t plan any of this, but here I am.

When I told the city my utility bills were out of sight--$400 per month sometimes, they told me I must have an underground sprinkler system. I do not. No one from the city has told me why my bills are so high. I have to pay these bills plus my mortgage. Currently, my house is up for sale as I can no longer afford to live in Dowagiac.

I had to apply for public assistance for the first time in my life. The caseworker said I had to submit a second notice from the city regarding my utilities, which I did. The monthly bill was $310 this time. A city worker came to my home when I was out of town on my way to a doctor’s appointment. My son called and said they were going to shut off our power. I got on the phone and asked them to wait until I could come home to resolve this situation. They said they could not—that they had orders to shut down the power. I canceled my appointment and came home. What had happened is that my regular caseworker gave the case to a new employee who had not taken care of this with the city. I called the caseworker, who called the city—still they said they would charge a reconnect fee of $200. The city would not waive the fee although none of this was my fault that this payment was not made. This is in addition to charges of $310 + $25 + $40. I called the city and I was not offered any payment arrangements. In fact, they informed me that I only had one-half hour before 4 p.m., as after 4 p.m., I would be charged an additional $100 for penalty. The caseworker finally resolved things with the city so I was reconnected.

So, Mr. Mayor, some people “choose” not to pay their bills on time for a variety of reasons—many of us wish we didn’t have to resort to public assistance for anything.

Since the bomb incident in 1994 I feel I have been targeted by this city—my city, I was born and raised here—the city where I pay taxes and the city that is supposed to protect me. Seldom have I had to dial 911, but when I have, often this is ignored. One time, I spoke at the council meeting concerning my 911 calls going unanswered. This particular call was concerning a young boy being kicked and punched in the head until he was unconscious in the middle of the road. He was bleeding, and no one came. After that, councilman Laylin came to my home unannounced and did inform me that he wanted to tell me that it is known around the community that I am crazy. My daughter has been approached by a police officer several times at her place of employment. This officer said that they know who I hang out with and know what cars come and go, and they check license plates. This is when I was dating a Chicago policeman. He also told my daughter that they were watching him. This police friend of mine once went to city hall to get a yard sale permit (I understand I am one of the few in Dowagiac who are required to get such a permit), and they were going to refuse to give him the permit for me because they could not read his signature on the $2 permit, and the reason given was: “someone could take out a yard sale permit in your name and hold the sale in your yard, without you knowing about it.” Now does this make any sense at all? Also, my Chicago police friend was doing me a favor during my illness and went to the cemetery to care for my parents’and brother’s graves when he was approached by a policeman who asked him, “what do you think you are doing here?” So, I really wondered why he would be under such scrutiny for just taking care of some graves.

Then there is the blight problem. I have had many people say they’d like to nominate me for the annual garden award because I take pride in my yard and flowers. Yet, I am the recipient of blight notices every year since 1994. Why? As an example, I brought to City Hall tonight some of the things I was cited on—so I have witnesses to show how ridiculous this is. Also, they told me I cannot have my trashcan by the road all the time—I don’t—only for garbage pick up. Yet, the church across the street and at least two other neighbors have their trash cans out all the time. They are never cited. I don’t want any special treatment—just fair treatment, like everyone else.

I had to leave the council meeting early, as it was a very stressful thing for me to do to address these concerns with council. I have tried to ignore the harassment and poor treatment for years, but it has gotten to the point that I have nothing more to lose. I have lost everything but my self-respect. I refuse to be treated this way anymore.

As I was leaving tonight, I drove past the Mayor’s Jaguar in the parking lot, and the thought hit me that it must be difficult for someone like him to really understand the concept of why people “choose” not to pay their bills on time. That is a real “disconnect” with many citizens who are struggling in the city of Dowagiac.

I was told that Councilwoman, Lori Hunt, asked that the City look into the allegations I have made and wished to have a report on resolution. I thank Lori Hunt for that. Every councilman should care enough to ask why any citizen would be treated like I have been treated. I am grateful that one of them actually cares enough to ask to have a report.

Sue Miller

P.S. These are just a few of the incidents I have had to endure since 1994. As I compose this right now, I observe the police going past my house five times in the past two hours.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dowagiac Councilman say teens should be working in farms

Thank goodness I wasn't able to attend the council meeting Monday night, because of what was written in the DDN I would have needed to wear waders.

Mr. Lyons said "“If I feel there are no qualified candidates,” the mayor added, “the seat may remain vacant until I feel there is one I can recommend in good faith.”. This means that out of the entire City of Dowagiac Mr. Lyons cannot find 13 people that he thinks is fit to sit on his boards. Can our fine mayor really believe that the residents of Dowagiac is going to believe this? The real reason we have 13 openings on these boards is because the mayor cannot find 13 more "Yes" people to appoint.

It even got better, Mr. Dood contacted experts to find out about youth activities in Dowagiac.Mr Dodd listed the following Calvary Bible Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Dowagiac District Library, St. John’s Lutheran Church and Fitch Camp. Once again Mr. Dodd proved like the rest of the council they just don't understand what youth activities are. The one I do aree with is Calvary Bible Church, they do great things for Dowagiac youth.

As far as Mr. Dodds comment about teens working on a farm just shows how ignorant he is on the youth of today. Teen are still children and need something to do. Does Mr. Dodd really think that a 13 year old child should be working on a farm and not have the chance for structured youth activities?

This proves why voters need to clean house next year and get these councilman that think 13 year old children should be working on farms and a mayor that thinks kids still play kick the can out of office.

Dowagiac will never move forward as long as we have councilman like Mr. Dodd thinking that we live in a community like Little House On The Prarie.

Good Night John Boy,

Howard Hall

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Resident Responds To City Clerks and Councilmans Attacks

On Friday, I had a meeting with Mr. Snow, Mr. Oliver and Assistant City Manager, Rozanne Scherr. The reason for the meeting was to resolve issues in regard to Mr. Oliver's stories to residents claiming I had a criminal record and was abusing children at my former candy store. Mr. Snow became involved in this lie by telling residents, who attended the last council meeting, that I had a criminal background.

I arrived at the meeting and was told to meet Mr. Snow and Mr. Oliver in the meeting room. I asked Kevin Anderson, City Manager, if he would be attending, and he said, "No, this was between the City Clerk and Councilman Oliver and you". I told Mr. Anderson that because Mr. Snow and Mr. Oliver are representatives of the city, I felt that he should attend.

Ms. Scherr agreed to sit in on the meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, the other person, who was at the meeting that Mr. Snow also told a lie about, asked him why he started rumors about them. Mr. Snow said, " I will deal with that later" and REFUSED to even discuss his lies with the other person involved.

After Mr. Snow refused to address the issue of his lies to the other person involved, I asked Mr. Oliver to explain why he would be telling residents that I had a criminal background.

Mr. Oliver said the reason on doing the background check on me was because he knew I do a lot of good things for the community, and he wanted to see where I got my experience from. I told Mr. Oliver that his excuse didn't make any sense. Mr. Oliver then admitted that he attempted to do a criminal background check on me using the internet. During the course of his investigation, he found someone with the same name that had a sealed juvenile record in Las Vegas. I find it odd that if someone had a sealed criminal record that anyone could find it with a Google search.

Mr. Oliver did say that the Howard Hall he found was not me. It was someone with the same name in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Oliver than stated that he was sorry for spreading something that was not true, and he attempted to tell everyone that he told that information to that it was not true.

Next, I had the chance to ask Mr. Snow why he told people at the council meeting that I had a criminal record. Mr. Snow's answer was something close to the following:

"I said what I said but I didn't say what I said but what I said was said because it was said." I asked Mr. Snow what he was saying and he responded with: "I was there and said what I didn't say what I said when I said it and I said what you thought I said when I didn't say it."

I asked Mr. Snow again why he lied to residents who attended the council meeting. Mr. Snow said that "it is done because it was never started." Mr. Snow WALKED OUT OF THE MEETING ROOM at that point.

I have to give Junior Oliver credit for acting like a man and sitting down with us and explaining what he did and why. As far as Mr. Snow, you can see what he said, and it is clear that Mr. Snow acted like a CHILD that was caught stealing candy from a candy store. Mr. Snow doesn't deserve to have the position of City Clerk for the city of Dowagiac. As you can read on the post, I have given Mr. Snow many gifts for his collection of Presidential memorabilia, and I didn't deserve to be treated like this.

This proves that the city of Dowagiac doesn't give a damn about the residents of Dowagiac. They just do as they please knowing that most residents do not care what their elected officials do, or if they do care, they are afraid to oppose them because of what they can do to them. I believe that Mr. Snow needs to make this his last term as City Clerk and should consider making an appointment with his doctor. The way he was rambling with his answers was not the actions of an elected official, but actions of someone who was using very poor judgment and who may be in need of medical care.

I want residents to know just how the city of Dowagiac runs our city and controls our elected officials. I have been a resident of Dowagiac for about 8-9 years and listed below is the punishment given to me by the city of Dowagiac and its elected officials:

I had a police officer tell me that I was banned from downtown Dowagiac and was forced to get a handwritten letter from the Dowagiac City Attorney to be able to go downtown.

Over the years, I was given a multitude of blight letters, even for things that weren't on my property.

I was only allowed to talk to Jim Snow and pedophile, William Nelson, who was the City Manager at the time. Due to this, I had my electric disconnected for a day. Thanks to County Commissioner, John Cureton, a fair and honorable man, we got the electric back on the next day.

Received a traffic ticket while unloading the car at 3:00 a.m. when we were forced to move from the candy store because the building got condemned when the landlord didn't fix the roof. I was parked downtown in front of our new home so that I could carry heavy items from the car and up the stairs. The ticket clearly stated how much the ticket was. Later we got another ticket to replace the one we received, and it went from $19.00 to $75.00. Now the police have changed the instructions on this type of ticket to make it clearer for others.

Was called unfit to serve on any board by Mayor Don Lyons.

The former City Manager, William Nelson, had childrens' school records in his desk. When I filed a complaint with the city requesting them to investigate why MY childrens' records were in the possession of the city manager, the city ignored the complaint and refused to even find out why. A few years later, this same city manager was arrested for attempting to set up a date to have oral sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Why wouldn't the city try to find out why this man had my childrens' school records? He didn't just have my childrens' records, but other childrens' records also. I asked the city again to investigate the records case after Mr. Nelson's arrest, but, once again, they REFUSED.

Dowagiac City Clerk, Jim Snow, filed Voter Fraud charges against me with the Michigan State Police. During the investigation the trooper told me that this was a waste of his time, and the Clerk shouldn't have even filed the charges.

For over a year, the Dowagiac City Council had police officers at the meetings in an attempt to intimidate me so I would stop going to meetings.

When I ran for City Council and lost by thirty votes, I requested a recount by the county of Cass. When I arrived for the recount, the Cass County Clerk informed me that the recount had to be stopped because there were more ballots in the machine than the number of people that voted on Election Day. This was the fault of the Dowagiac City Clerk, Jim Snow. How can someone with so many years of experience allow a voting machine to have more ballots in the machine than the number of people who voted? Was this an accident or is this how the city keeps control of the Council year after year? You decide!

Not long after the recount problem, the Cass County Clerk informed the Dowagiac City Clerk that the City of Dowagiac has been breaking Michigan law by counting their own votes, and the County of Cass follows state law and they now count the votes cast in all City Elections instead of allowing Jim Snow to do so.

The Dowagiac Informer requested to sponsor bed races for this year's Fun Fest. The Dowagiac Chamber ignored that request, so they can, once again, keep total control over the festival.

I could go on, but this gives you an idea of how the city goes after people who may disagree with them. In the past, there have been others who have tried to inform residents about the city, and they have received paperwork about being sued.

For the reasons stated above, this is why it is so important for residents to get involved in their local government. It is time for residents to replace these people who think they are above most of the residents of Dowagiac.

Why does the city of Dowagiac spend so much time and effort attacking me and others, when this energy could be used to fulfill the lie they have been telling residents about how Dowagiac is a great place to live, work and raise a family?

One thing I want readers to ask themselves and write into the post is: Do the actions mentioned above look like a Government which wants to do what is best for residents, or a Government that only cares about itself, and is willing to do ANYTHING to keep it that way.

After the meeting with Mr. Snow and witnessing his unstable behavior in that meeting, I perceive a threat from his actions.

If you look at what the city has done to attack me over the years, what Mr. Snow and Mr. Oliver did to me didn't surprise me at all.

With the lastest actions of City Clerk Snow and Councilman Oliver telling residents I abused children when I owned the candy store, what is next? What causes me great concern is that, over the years, the attacks seem to get worse. Now that the story of me abusing children didn't work, and Mr. Snow's threatening actions towards me in the meeting, I have serious concerns on just how far these actions will go.

Please e-mail in your thoughts to the forum on this story and tell us what you think of the actions of Mr. Snow in the meeting.

In closing, I would like to say one more time that, although I strongly disagree with what Mr. Oliver did by passing on incorrect information to residents, at least he acted like a man and sat down with me and said he was sorry. As far as Mr. Snow, I have lost all respect for him because of his actions in this meeting. He acted like a spoiled child, not an elected official for the city of Dowagiac. The next time you see Mr. Snow ask him why he spread these lies about me. Maybe you will hear him double talk like he did with me.

The entire city needs to band together next year and vote all of these people out of office. Dowagiac is prevented from becoming one of the best small towns in Michigan because of four problems:

It is hard to find good people to run for office. (Now we are beginning to see people step forward)

Not enough people vote. (Hopefully, these recent events will convince people to make their vote count)

In the past, hardly anyone attended Council Meetings. (That is changing)

Irregularities in elections. (Let's hope that the Dowagiac City Clerk, Jim Snow, makes sure that the only votes in the voting machine are actual votes cast by residents, and not ballots that somehow appear in the voting machine.)

Howard Hall

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Look What Happens When A Resident Rally's To Stop An Ordinance In Dowagiac Michigan

Last Thursday I met with City Manager Kevin Anderson to see what could be worked out about the comments made by City Clerk Jim Snow at the council meeting and the comments made by Junior Oliver.

At this meeting I requested a meeting with Kevin Anderson, Jim Snow and Junior Oliver. Mr. Anderson said he would set up a meeting and get back with me. Since that meeting I have called and left messages and sent an e mail to Mr. Anderson to find out when this meeting could take place.

As of today Mr. Anderson has not returned my calls or e mail. Now how hard can it be to set up a meeting? Jim Snow is there everyday and Junior Oliver is at McDonalds everyday so I am sure his has the time to meet.

It seems that the city is going to try to use the same strategy they used when former city manager and pedophile William Nelson had children's school records. Ignore all questions and wait for it to go away.

I can promise Mr. Anderson, Mr. Snow and Mr. Oliver this will not work this time. I will continue to write, call, e mail and write in the Informer until this meeting is set up.

A resident asked me today why this is so important to me. There is more here than residents know and I feel that it is time to explain to all of you why this is important to me.

At the last council meeting City Clerk Jim Snow came up to me and told me to write about my arrest record from Benton Harbor within ear shot of half the people attending the council meeting.

At the same time Junior Oliver was telling residents I had an arrest record in Las Vegas Nevada. This is bad enough considering I work with children and lies like this could cause me to never be able to work with youth ever again.

Now to add even more lies to the story one of the people involved in telling these lies has also told residents that when I had the candy store that I was inappropriate touching children. This goes above and beyond and petty differences between myself and city politics.

How would any of you like to have stories like this going around town about you?

This is why I feel that I deserve to have a meeting with Mr. Snow and Mr. Oliver I believe that both of them owe it to me to explain why they would make accusations like this to a resident. Is it their plan to take away the only way I make a living or was it to try to convince residents that I am a danger to the community?

Both of the people involved in these lies are elected officials and if City Manager Kevin Anderson thinks that I am going to allow the city to stall like they did when my children's school records were in the desk of our former city manager that attempted to meet a 14 year old for sex that are completely wrong.

Mr. Anderson, I am expecting to hear back from the city with a meeting date prior to the council meeting next Monday, if a meeting is not possible please send me a letter on the city letterhead explaining why.

One more thing readers need to understand is I was not the only resident verbally attacked by Mr. Snow with untrue allegations but I cannot speak for that person. I am sure that in the near future the other person will speak out as well.

I hope this explains to residents why I am so upset over the comments by these two elected officials.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Future Of Dowagiac Is In Our Hands

Things are slowly changing in Dowagiac. People are getting more involved in city politics, which is the only way that the city of Dowagiac is going to recover.

Recently, residents got involved because of the city's unfair utility deposit proposal. Your involvement needs to continue. If all of you hadn't shown up at that last council meeting, that utility ordinance WOULD HAVE PASSED!

We have witnessed the behavior of Junior Oliver and Dowagiac City Clerk Jim Snow, and we must conclude that the city doesn't like it when residents question the city's decisions.

The only way to make sure that the council really votes in the best interest of residents, is let them know that citizens are watching. This is done by attending each council meeting. If residents stop attending meetings after the new deposit ordinance is passed, one Tuesday you will read the Informer and find out that the council just passed another ordinance that will be unfair to residents. They've done it before, and they'll do it again.

Making a change in Dowagiac will not be easy, as you can see by the attack on me by the councilman and city clerk, but if residents keep attending meetings, it will make it harder for them to use slanderous comments again.

Elections for 5 council seats are in November 2011. It is very important for residents to keep attending meetings and reading the Informer to keep up to date on the actions of the city between now and the Election.

So far, there are commitments for people to run for Junior Oliver's seat and Jim Dodd's seat. We are still three people short of having someone running for every open seat. Now is the time to start thinking about running next year.

We will sponsor workshops for all candidates, provide an endless supply of volunteers, help design campaign literature, and even help you get campaign funds. With so many seats being open, residents can take back their city council and take back their city in one single election.

If anyone has concerns or questions about running for office, send us an e-mail.

Starting in August/September, we will start sponsoring workshops to get things ready for next year. We promise, if you make the decision to run, you will have as much, if not more, education, information and all the tools needed to run for office as someone running for a seat in state government.

When the Dowagiac City Clerk and Councilman Oliver start telling lies right in the middle of council chambers, it proves that arrogance is out of control, and it's time to replace these people. Some on the council have been in office for so long they forgot what it is like to struggle to pay bills.

If you were on the Dowagiac City Council, would you have even considered a $500 utility deposit?

Let's make 2011 the year that citizens BEGIN the process that requires that the Dowagiac City Council fairly represent the citizens of Dowagiac--and the councilman need to know that it is not enough to be a body sitting in a seat following orders.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dowagiac City Councilman Jim Dodd Wants To Records Meeting In Case Of Lawsuit

Monday night Councilman Jim Dodd asked why the Dowagiac City Council doesn't record council meetings. Mr. Dodd thought it would be a good idea in case someone tried to sue the city.

This by far has to be the most ridiculous idea we have ever heard from a councilman. Mr. Dodd if they recorded the meetings Mr. Snow wouldn't be able to accuse residents of having a criminal history because their would be recorded proof.

This time Mr. Snow allowed his ego to think it was ok to say this in front of about 10 people that could hear his comments.

Mr. Dodd how about spending your time thinking of something that would benefit all residents instead of worrying about covering the council in a lawsuit.

Remember if the council would be honest with residents you wouldn't have to worry about recording meetings.

Mr.Dodd we requested the city a few years ago to allow Comcast to broadcast the meetings through public access and they wouldn't allow that. The sooner you understand that everything is suppose to be a secret the better your chances are of getting another term in office.

Dowagiac City Clerks Outburst Shocks Residents

As all of you know city officials have decided to personally attack me by spreading rumors of me having some kind of criminal record. This was started by Councilman Junior Oliver and then passed on by City Clerk Jim Snow at Monday's council meeting.

This proves that city officials think that they are above the rest of the community and can do as they please. If you remember a few weeks ago Councilman Dodd said if the Informer ever said anything about his family that we would we talking to his attorney.

Isn't it funny that if the Informer says something about a councilman's family they threaten to speak to an attorney but another councilman and the city clerk can pass on incorrect information on a resident that is ok.

When residents elected these two officials did you elect them to represent you and do what is in the best interest of residents or did you elect them to spread lies about residents?

All of us at the Informer are counting on the City Of Dowagiac doing the right thing and sitting down with these two elected officials and explaining to them what the guidelines are for public office.

We are having a meeting next week with City Manager Kevin Anderson, Councilman Junior Oliver and Dowagiac City Clerk Jim Snow. We will let residents know if the city takes a stand against their own or allows two members of the Good Ol Boys club to continue business as usual.

Please share your thoughts on the behavior of these two elected officials on out form.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dowagiac Informer Hacked

Well it seems that someone didn't like us writing about the untrue stories told by City Clerk Jim Snow and Councilman Oliver about Howard Hall arrest record and hacked the Dowagiac Informer and removed all of the forum page.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dowagiac City Clerk attacks resident with incorrect allegations of criminal record

At Monday's Council meeting 30 seconds prior to the start of the council meeting City Clerk James Snow approached me with the following comment. " I have a perfect story for the Dowagiac Informer."
Because Mr. Snow and I have worked together on stories in the past, I thought that he was going to suggest another story about Dowagiac years ago.
Mr. Snow said " maybe you can write a story about your criminal record".
It is my belief that Mr. Snow timed this comment so when he finished his comment the mayor started the meeting before I could question why he would say such a slanderous statement.
Mr. Snow had no facts to base this comment on and did it to do nothing more than to attempt to make me angry prior to the start of the meeting.
It is one thing to make a comment like this one on one but Mr. Snow made this comment so half of the Dowagiac City Hall council chambers could hear his comments.
I can only assume that Mr. Snow took the word of Junior Oliver who has admitted that his statement was not true in today's Dowagiac Daily News.
Mr. Snows action of spreading lies of me having an arrest record in the state of Nevada are the actions of a child,not someone elected as the City Clerk of Dowagiac.
If Mr. Snow thinks that it is ok to tell residents attending a council meeting incorrect information that could cause me to lose employment working with inter-city youth.
I am sure Mr. Snow wouldn't like the Informer to write stories or pass on rumors about him or his family that isn't true.
Mr. Snow needs to remember that what is Goodenough for Mr. Snow is Goodenough for others.
I am asking readers to call Mr. Snow at 782-2195 and ask him why he would try to ruin my ability to work with children because of him telling residents at the council meeting that I have an arrest record in the state of Nevada.
The only question I think I deserve from Mr. Snow is WHY would you do this in front of the residents at the council meeting.
Mr. Snow should at least step up to the plate and be man enough to write an apology like Councilman Oliver did.
This is just the beginning of this story. Next week we have a meeting with Dowagiac City officials, Mr. Snow and Mr Oliver to see where we go from here.
There has also been a story started about a much more severe allegations than a criminal record that we will write more about after the meeting with the city officials.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Dowagiac Area Firefighters Speak Out Over Takeover

lets see where do i start....this merger plan all started back when the so called free ambulance service was brought into play. It is not just the city of dowagiac that is pushing this merger it is also the supervisors of KEELER TWP, and SILVER CREEK TWP. Keeler twp. say that they can not keep operating with out this merger because out of the $60,000.00 budget they have $40,000.00 goes for payroll even though they have not payed Sister lakes fire dept. any money for several years now, unless payment has been made recently, but they run a medical first responder unit that does not make it to the scene before the ambulance, is this not a waste of taxpayer monies? Silver Creek Twp. does not like the fact that they have no control of the Two departments in their twp. because they are independent fire depts. Now the Twps. are having meetings trying to figure out how they can control the monies these depts. get from the taxpayers that is why they want the me
rger. If the taxpayers don't wake up and smell the roses your fire servce will end up just like the so called free ambulance service. Do the taxpayer understand that most of time this free service calls for the local fire department to help with patient lift assist, this takes money away from the fire depts.budgets for wages, fuel, and wear and tear on equipment, ect. Do the taxpayer know the ambulance authority renegotiated the ambulance contract one year early without notifying the taxpayers? Taxpayers need to wake up and stop this before it is to late. For the iso rating Dowagiac can not be a 5 as they call it, you can not get that rating having only one person on station, this does not even meet the requirements of NFPA. Our vol. firemen are dedicated to the people of the twps. not the pay check at the end of the week. One last thing i would like to know when did the taxpayers start working for the twps? I thought the twp officials worked for the taxpayers who put them
in office. DO I HEAR RECALL!!!!! This needs to be STOPPED.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dowagiac taxpayers pays for $300 hotels stays and city claims to be downsizing to save money

As you all know, the city of Dowagiac has been telling residents that they don't have any money. Most recently there was talk of raising the water bills $6 to pay for street repairs. Now we have the council voting on increasing the utility deposit for new renters to $500.

Time and time again, the city says they do not have money for a senior center and youth activities.

We can understand if a city has financial problems that they need to pass the cost on to the residents of their community. At the same time, they need to tighten their belts as well. If there is a shortfall of money, the city of Dowagiac cannot be allowed to pass increases on to residents, and, at the same time, spend our tax dollars in a wasteful way.

Here are a couple examples of how the city spends our tax dollars in a wasteful manner, while telling residents they don't have money to cover losses on utilities or have programs for youth and seniors of Dowagiac.

On April 29th, a city employee went to Ann Arbor, Michigan for some kind of city business. The city paid $216.45 for a hotel at the Ann Arbor Marriott. Again, on April 27th, another city employee went out of town for training and stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge, which, according to Google, is an indoor water park. That cost was $359.43.

How can the city cry "BROKE" when it comes to shortfalls on utility collections, senior activities, road repairs and youth activities, and then put employees up in indoor water parks and the Marriott? Both places, as you know, are the most expensive places to stay. How many of you could afford to stay at these hotels if you went out of town?

When the City Manager approves trips for city employees for training, I am sure that he has to approve where they stay. Mr. Anderson, how can you tell residents that the city is cutting costs, downsizing employees, want to add $6 to utility bills and now want a $500 utility deposit from new renters when you allow employees to stay at the most costly hotels in the country?

We agree that training is important for city employees, but when you approve their travel, how about thinking about whose money you are spending. Put these employees in a Red Roof Inn and save the taxpayers some money.

It is a slap in the face to every taxpayer in Dowagiac, while many are struggling to pay their bills, to put these people in the most expensive hotels possible.
This is a clear example why the city, and some council members, don't think that a $500 increase in the utility deposit is too much money.

To council members: Prior to voting on the utility deposit, remember that most residents could never afford to stay in hotels that cost this much money. Most residents in today's economic crisis, struggle to pay their mortgages, rent and utility bills. A stay at the Marriott isn't even a consideration. It shouldn't be for city employees either.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dowagiac Michigan Trying To Merge Fire Departments

The next meeting to discuss Dowagiac taking over local fire departments will be May 26th at Wayne Township Hall.
We have been told that the reason the city picked the location for the new fire station was because it puts them within 5 miles of some of the outlying fire departments to keep their ISO rating higher.
So far the only departments that are in favor of this merger is the City Of Dowagiac and Keeler.
Against the merger is Indian Lake, Sister Lakes, Pokagon and Wayne Township.
As we have seen the City of Dowagiac is wanting a $500.00 utility deposit and it has been said they don't even try to collect past due accounts.
If this city cannot run their utilities and want to increase the deposit to one of the largest in the state, why we the community want them in charge of fire protection for surrounding areas?
People need to remember that the city is known for keeping things quiet until the decisions are made and it is to late to stop what has already taken place.
Here is the chance to get involved, make sure to attend the meeting in Wayne Township and tell the City of Dowagiac to take care of their own residents and to stay away from already trained and established fire departments.
Now read the press release from the city below and see if you think this is the city’s way of preparing residents for their plan of taking over fire service.

What About Dowagiac Schools Loss Of Students?

One of the things the city is not thinking about is the negative effect on the community if they increase the utility deposits to $500.
If a landlord has new tenants, who want to move in, chances are good that they will not be able to afford first and last months' rent, security deposit and the utility deposit.
The city is requesting a $500,000 grant for more downtown apartments. In their application and press release, they stated that these apartments are needed for low-income people and college students. Does anyone really believe that low-income residents and college students can afford a $500 security deposit?
Last month, the City of Dowagiac had 80 electric shutoffs. If these people are forced to pay between $250-$450 more, plus their past due electric bill, do you think they will pay the bill or move to another community?
Let's say that just 25% of these families decide to move and not pay the increase in their deposit; that would be 20 families moving. If each family had just one child in Dowagiac schools, that would mean that the school would lose 20 students. 20 students at $7000 a student would be a huge loss for Dowagiac Schools, and this is just ONE MONTH
Think about it and call you councilman.

Two Million Dollar Payoff Is Why Dowagiac Michigan Needs $500 Deposit

We have called over ten cities that run their own utilities. None of them go after the landlord for tenants' utility bills. The largest deposit we found was $175.00. To give you an example, the City of Niles charges a deposit of $100.00. If a customer gets disconnected, prior to their service being restored, they have to pay an additional $100.00.
When we asked these cities what they do with customers who move and don't pay their bills, all said they go after collections from the tenant.
The city of Dowagiac has said that it takes too much time to try to track down a tenant, and they would need additional staff to do that. Other utilities say the easiest way to collect is to get a judgment and get their money from state income taxes.
The other way they all cover bills that go unpaid, is they figure it into the cost they charge their utility customers. Dowagiac doesn't have the ability to raise the rate to cover their losses. This is because we are being forced to pay the highest electric rate in the area to pay off the two million dollar mistake made by the city when they bought out the electric contract.
This issue about raising the deposit has NOTHING to do with people leaving and not paying their bills and has everything to do with paying off the two million dollar mistake made by our elected officials. If we weren't paying off the contract, the city could cover their losses, like all other city utilities do--with a small utility increase. But, because of this mistake, the city wants renters to pay for THEIR mistake.
What good will it do for the city to be able to put a lien on foreclosed property when the house may sit vacant for years before they get the money?
The councilmen need to consider the utility contract payoff before voting on this increase. It isn't the renters' fault the city made bad choices, but the renters are being given the bill.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why is Dowagiac Raising Their Utility Deposits to $500.00

We have called over ten cities that run their own utilities. None of them go after the landlord for tenants' utility bills. The largest deposit we found was $175.00. To give you an example, the City of Niles charges a deposit of $100.00. If a customer gets disconnected, prior to their service being restored, they have to pay an additional $100.00.

When we asked these cities what they do with customers who move and don't pay their bills, all said they go after collections from the tenant.

The city of Dowagiac has said that it takes too much time to try to track down a tenant, and they would need additional staff to do that. Other utilities say the easiest way to collect is to get a judgment and get their money from state income taxes.

The other way they all cover bills that go unpaid, is they figure it into the cost they charge their utility customers. Dowagiac doesn't have the ability to raise the rate to cover their losses. This is because we are being forced to pay the highest electric rate in the area to pay off the two million dollar mistake made by the city when they bought out the electric contract.

This issue about raising the deposit has NOTHING to do with people leaving and not paying their bills and has everything to do with paying off the two million dollar mistake made by our elected officials. If we weren't paying off the contract, the city could cover their losses, like all other city utilities do--with a small utility increase. But, because of this mistake, the city wants renters to pay for THEIR mistake.

Another question that needs to be answered, is just how many of these unpaid utility bills are from foreclosed homes and not renters? What good will it do for the city to be able to put a lien on foreclosed property when the house may sit vacant for years before they get the money?

The councilmen need to consider the utility contract payoff before voting on this increase. It isn't the renters' fault the city made bad choices, but the renters are being given the bill.

Howard Hall

Friday, April 30, 2010

Dowagiac Michigan Government Singles Out Low Income Renters

Once again, the hardship of paying first, last, and current rent along with a $500 utility deposit is an overwhelming amount of money for any potential resident to bear. The “reward” of a partial return on deposits after 12 months, and again after 24 months SHOULD exist, rather than punish every new customer with the assumption that they will become delinquent in payments BEFORE that has ever been established as fact.

It would seem reasonable that deposit funds are to be held in trust for return to the customer at the termination of their utility service, or to be used for payment due at the termination of utility service. It would also seem reasonable and financially responsible that these funds would be held in an interest bearing account. As the ordinance is currently written, each new utility customer will contribute $500 to this account for a minimum of 12 months, $400 for a minimum of 24 months, and $300 indefinitely until the termination of their utility service, which could potentially last for several years. Depositing customers without 12 consecutive months of on-time payments will receive no return on their deposit while their initial $500 deposit remains in the account beyond the 12 month time period. The same circumstance will exist for depositing customers without 24 consecutive months of on-time payments leaving $400 in the account for an extended period of time before any return on their deposit is received.

For the City to gain this type of long term benefit from an interest bearing account established with funds being held in trust for utility customers, funds that actually do not belong to the City, does not seem to be fair-minded. The City has the ability to act in good faith by returning interest benefits to utility customers earned on THEIR money rather than use these deposit funds as a resource to generate income for the City’s financial gain. Serious consideration should be given to returning this interest income to those who have truly earned it through their good faith deposits. Distribution of interest monies generated by deposits could be paid annually during the winter months when utility service customers could benefit the most from a reduction in their utility bills.

Justification of the deposit increase by representing that unpaid utilities are easily collectible through the tax obligation of Home Owners and Landlords who do not file waivers with the City, and more difficult and costly to collect from potentially un-locatable utility customers with waivers on file is misleading. Regardless of the collection method used when necessary, there is time, paperwork, and manpower involved. Although initially collection on an existing tax obligation with the recovery of interest, penalties, and collection costs may appear to be guaranteed, that is not always true. In the case of the utility customer with a waiver, their non-payment is also collectable with interest, penalties, and collection costs. In addition, collection options have changed in recent years for creditors allowing them to easily file the paperwork necessary to collect from State Income Tax returns. It is reasonable to assume that individuals expecting a refund WILL file a return that is accessible for garnishment eliminating the necessity of any investment of time in locating these individuals. Many will also be collected from and easily located if only steps are taken in a timely manner rather than delayed for months before proceeding. In EACH case recovery of costs beyond the initial non-payment is possible. To give the impression that one is more costly than the other is simply untrue when costs involved are recoverable.

Without continuing the argument of WHY the potential risk for nonpayment has suddenly increased to necessitate a deposit amount that more than doubles the current deposit, it cannot be denied that the increase IS a substantial financial burden to anyone seeking utility service in this City. Again, with a $500 utility deposit on top of moving and potential rent obligations the financial burden becomes out of reach for many potential residents as well as current residents facing a move. When faced with this knowledge prospective residents will find it very easy to justify moving outside the City limits to avoid the financial burden that will be created here. Current and future residents will be driven out of town to seek housing in a more affordable area. Along with them will go potential income for the City’s businesses, enrollment for our schools, and general support for this Community that it desperately needs. Why not consider a plan to achieve the $500 deposit goal while making its collection less of a burden. For example, the current deposit amount could be increased to $250 with an additional $50 paid each month for the following 5 months. An initial deposit increase is collected to offset the ever growing cost of security to reduce the City’s financial risk. The 6-month payment plan allows the City to collect the full deposit amount proposed in a relatively short period of time, yet allows a situation that prevents at least some utility customers and potential residents from being turned away. In these difficult financial times it is simply impossible for many people including potential students for our local Community College to afford such a large out of pocket expense for a utility deposit.

It may be beneficial to take another look at the proposed Utility Ordinance Amendments before pushing through a plan that doesn’t appear to have taken all aspects of the situation into consideration. This is a significant increase warranting a considerable amount of thought before subjecting residents and this City to the long term consequences a hasty decision will cause. Do everyone involved a favor, take your time and contemplate all of the options BEFORE moving forward rather than AFTER IT IS TOO LATE.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dowagiac Mayor Pro-Tem Loses Control

Tonight's Council meeting was one of the most open meetings I have seen in Dowagiac for many years. The city should be proud for allowing residents to have dialogue at the meeting.

Residents should be proud of Mr. Burling, Ms. Hunt and Mr. Oliver for requesting changes to the electric deposit policy prior to the next meeting.

During the meeting, Mr. Laylin said that it may be possible that if this deposit doesn't pass, the utility rates may have to be doubled to cover costs. This is one of the most inaccurate comments I have ever heard. According to the City, this would only affect about 20 residents, which is a very low estimate. For Mr. Laylin to attempt to scare residents to accept this unfair policy, as it stand now, by saying rates would be doubled, is nothing more than a scare tactic and totally incorrect. Residents deserve to have somebody run the meeting who has correct and accurate information, not someone who makes up figures in the middle of the meeting that are not correct.

The explanation given for this increase was so confusing that a person in attendance had to interrupt Council a couple of times to try to figure out what was being presented.

Here is an odd fact about the new deposit: If you only have electric, your deposit will be $225.00. If you only have water, the deposit is $80.00, but if you have both, the deposit will be $500.00. The numbers just don't add up, of course. It would be better to go in and have the electric put in your name, then go back and have the water put in your name later for a deposit of $80.00. If you could do it this way you could save almost $200.00.

At the end of the meeting, during councilmans' comments, Mr. Dodd asked when the deposits would be returned. He was told they'd be returned when the customer moves and their bill is paid in full. What I can't understand is why the question was even asked. Each councilman is given a Friday packet with all the information needed to vote on each week's agenda items. Why would a councilman ask that question if they read the information in their packet? The answer was clearly stated in their paperwork.

The most disturbing event happened after the meeting when Mr, Laylin asked me if I thought I was being represented well by my councilman. I asked him why did he think that was an issue. Mr. Laylin stated that one of my councilpersons (Lori Hunt) seems to miss a lot of meetings. I told Mr. Laylin that I was well represented tonight by Ms. Hunt. Why would the Acting Mayor ask a resident if they are happy with their councilperson, and say that they seem to miss a lot of meetings?

All of the residents of the first ward should be proud of Ms. Hunt tonight for asking for changes to be made in the utility deposit prior to voting for it.
I feel that it was very unprofessional for a councilman to ask a resident if they feel they are being represented well and bring up the subject of Ms. Hunt missing meetings. Ms. Hunt is taking classes full time and raising a family, and I am sure there are times that she cannot attend.

If Mr. Laylin seems to think that Ms. Hunt is missing too many meetings, that is something that should be discussed between the Council and Ms. Hunt, instead the subject was brought up to a resident and in front of residents that attended the meeting.

Once again thank you to the the councilmembers who took a stand and requested changes in this deposit issue instead of just voting it in at the next meeting. Be sure to thank Ms. Hunt, Mr. Burling and Mr. Oliver.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dowagiac Michigan to have one of the highest utility deposits in the nation

One of our readers had a good idea, if you go to the citys webage for the electric board you will see that the board has the following responsibalities. The Electric Facilities Board is a five-member advisory board to the City Council. The
Board advises Council on matters relating to the operation and maintenance of the electric
utility. If this information is correct this increase should have first went through this board. If you look at the members you will see once again we have a city board that isn't completly filled. Here is another clear example of the city not following the rules by not going through the electric board. I told Councilman Oliver the other day, the city needs to disband all of the city boards. If it was up to the city they would not even have councilpersons.
Make sure to go to our home page and call your councilperson and tell them to VOTE NO on this increase.

Dowagiac City Council to raise utility deposits to $500.00

Did you know we have an Electric Facilities Board? We Have. Also their is still open Vacancy's on the board. How often is this board used? They are appointed to give recommendations to the city. When is the last time you heard anything from them. You haven't. Maybe you need to go to Dowagiac's web site and look the three up and ask them if they recommended this electric rate issue. Or maybe the mayor and city manager and councilman forgot about them..

Dowagiac wants $500.00 for utility deposit

I own 5 rentals in town and I will help get signatures on a petition to bring this before the voters. First the rental ordinance, the city thought they could sneak this through and they city fond out that residents wasn't going to allow it. Now this, the city counts on residents not getting involved. 99.9% of the time they don't but when it is something bad they do come out of the woodwork.
Just post it on the webpage when petitions can be picked up and we will show the cit once again, we are not as stupid as they think we are. I also agree when we overturn this deposit, we continue on to a reacall.
We could have recalled the mayor over the rental issue but we backed out. This time no backing out. If you are a renter of own rental property you need to be at the meeting Monday night.
Clean Them All Out

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dowagiac City Council To Increase Utility Deposits to $500.00

Just when you thought you have heard everything, along comes the Dowagiac City Council with with another decision that is going to make it impossible for people to move to Dowagiac.
At the council meeting Monday night the council will be doing a first reading changing the deposit for electric, water and sewer from a little over $200.00 to $500.00.
How many people can afford to pay first and last months rent, security deposit and now $500.00 security deposit for utilities?
The city is going to say that they need this money to recover money lost by people that don't pay their bills. AEP doesn't ask for a deposit this high and I am sure most other utility companies don't either.
Losing money for non payment is part of running a utility company and the city knew the risks when they decided to take over utilities for Dowagiac. It is all part of doing businesses, all businesses run into customers that do not pay their bill. If the city has a customer that refuses to pay take them to court, don't pass on their loss to new utility customers.
Another disturbing issue with this new deposit is the city wants a cop of the renters lease. many leases contain private phone numbers, social security numbers, these are things that the city doe not need to have available to any city employee. I can understand they may need the SS number for the account holder, but many leases have the SS numbers of everyone on the lease.
We already know that paperwork flows around city hall like water under a bridge, remember the school records that pedophile city manager had in his desk? The city never could explain how he got them.
Also at the next meeting they are gong to be voting to apply for more state funds to build more apartments, if they raise the deposit to $500.00 how many people will be able to afford to move into these new apartments.
This is a bad decision for the renter as well as the landlords. If this increase passes how many landlords will have vacant buildings because renters cannot afford the $500.00 deposit.
It is time for residents to take a stand and call their councilman or show up at the meeting Monday night and say enough is enough and put a stop to this increase that is almost TRIPLE of the current deposit rates.
Just remember if you keep quiet and move to another apartment or house the new deposit will be passed on to you. It doesn't; matter if you are a current customer.
It also states that the city will keep the renters deposit until the account is CLOSED, this means that the city will have your $500.00 forever and will earn interest off of your money. Remember a public utility has to pay you interest on your money but the city doesn't have to.
Could this be where the money to fix the streets is coming from?
What about any students that want to move into Dowagiac and not stay in a dorm at SMC? SMC is growing every year and students will start looking for housing in town. College students cannot afford a $500.00 Deposit.
Everyone needs to mark you calendars for the meeting Monday night and tell the Dowagiac City Council that you will not sit back and allow them to almost triple the utility deposits.
Click Here to read the new deposit information.
Howard Hall

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cass County Medical Marijuana user to lose home and car?

I am going to watch this Vanderbutts case really close. Now that Mr. Vanderbutts has been found guilty everyone needs to watch his sentencing. Mr. Vanderbutts was convicted of maintaining a drug house. Mr. Vanderbutts has said the County wants to take his house for his crime.
It wasn't long ago that Funeral Director Dave Groner was convicted of Possession of Meth and maintaining a drug house for meth. The county did not seize any of his property. I am sure we can all agree that Meth is a much more dangerous drug than marihuana. I don't think that the state allows the medical use of meth for any reason.
If the county seizes Mr. Vanderbutts house for marihuana and didn't take Mr. Groner house for three Meth convictions, this proves that something in the justice system in Cass County is just not right.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cass County Medical Marijuana Card Holder Speaks Out

My name is Sylvester Vanderbutts.  I am a resident of Howard Township, Cass County, Michigan.  I began chemotherapy in 2005 for Stage 4 lymphoma cancer.  I began a second chemotherapy treatment for chronic hepatitis C.  I have Type 1 diabetes due to surgeries to remove tumors, and I take insulin shots daily.  I have been diagnosed as having bipolar depression.  I am very ill and also have an ulcer in my stomach.  I have suffered a great deal of stress from the ordeal with the authorities in Cass County.  I will have to go through more chemotherapy in the future.
When I found out that Proposal 1 to legalize medical marijuana passed in the state of Michigan, I began growing my own plants and at the same time notified my physician about what I would like to do in order to counteract the effects of chemotherapy.  The doctor agreed with the treatment and said that he would be glad to sign documentation, but he couldn’t prescribe as there were no prescriptions for it.  Once the Proposal passed, I began using the marijuana treatment.  It alleviated my pain without pain medication.  It also relieved my nausea without further medication.  The medications bothered me.  I don’t take medication well.  It was causing stomach upset and that is why I think I have this ulcer. 
Everything was ok; my plants were growing.  Plants take about four months to grow.  On August 8, 2009 I went to the Medical Marijuana Expo in Detroit, and when I returned home, a neighbor said he saw two strangers in the middle of the night trying to jump my fence. I believe they were looking for marijuana.  It may have been the Michigan SWET team.

They put out a warrant for my electric bill, and at a later date, they had another warrant for a helicopter to hover over my house using infrared. 
I never sold any marijuana to anybody.  I never gave it to anybody.  I was growing it for my use and to be a caregiver for five other patients.   I had 42 plants total, two mothers, 15 clones.  I wasn’t able to provide anyone else with the marijuana because the plants weren’t ready.  I had just enough for my own continuous use.  At that time, that is when the police raided my home.  My card was issued on August 29, 2009 and the police raided my home on September 14, 2009.  I was arrested and placed in the Cass County Jail.  I had to pay a bonds lady $2,500 to get out of jail.  I went back home.  I had to get a ride from the bonds lady because the police confiscated my 1997 S-10 step side pick up.  They also took $2,750 cash from under my bed in my safe, which was my social security money.  They also took all my tax records and my computer, and my cell phone, my checkbooks and all other documentation.  I have not been able to file my taxes because of it.  They are attempting to get my home.  This house has been in my family for over 40 years. 
I feel that they are attempting to try me as a drug dealer, when, in fact, I am a patient using medical marijuana for my illness to alleviate all the pain and nausea.  
After I hired an attorney, this went to District Court to Judge Stacey Rentfrow and she ended up sending this case to Circuit Court in front of Judge Dodge.  I refused to plead guilty as I am not guilty of anything illegal.  They have charged me with 4 felony counts, which would give me 8 years each.  After that, they decided they would just charge me with having too many plants. 
Judge Dodge said that he will not allow the information regarding my medical condition to be used in court, neither will he allow the fact that I have this documentation to be able to use medical marijuana. 
I do not understand why the jury will not be allowed to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
 Next Tuesday I will win, or they will lock me up and throw away the key.  63% of the Michigan voters voted so that people like me could use this Medical Marijuana Act without prosecution, seizure or arrest.   
I did not do anything wrong.  I am a victim of the Cass County Court system.

Why do they have to throw a sick man in jail?  I am only 52, and I do not believe I will live long.  I know I will have to go through 12 more weeks of chemotherapy and suffer tremendously just to live a little longer.  Where did we lose our compassion?  What is wrong with this county?  Why do they have to do this to me?  Why do they have to do this to anyone?  Whatever time I have left, I just want to be left in peace to fight my fight to live each day.  Isn’t that what everyone wants?  No matter how much pain and suffering is involved, we try to survive one more day.
I truly believe the truth will set me free.  This is the truth. 
If anyone wants to help, just come down to the Cass County Courthouse on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 8 a.m. and hold a sign in support of  people like me who are sick, who are not criminals, who use medical marijuana to relieve terrible pain and suffering.
Sylvester Vanderbutts
(Please send in your comments about medical marijuana to our forum.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dowagiac City Council refuses To Follow Rules Once Again

Dowagiac passed a resolution a few years back stating that question put in writing in advance will be answered at the council meeting if the person is present that asked the question.
Well once again the Dowagiac City Council REFUSED to answer questions out in writing in advance. After the meeting we asked Mayor Pro Tem Leon Laylin why the questions were not answered. His response was we answered them in writing, we explained to him the resolution that he voted on and asked again why the questions we not answered. His response was nothing more than raising his hand in the air.
This proves that residents need to come forward and run for office next year. When you have an elected official running a meeting that don't follow the rules and don't care if residents know, it's time to remove some people from office.
When we asked acting City Manager Rozanne Scherr her response was, " Maybe residents didn't; care what the questions and answers were".
The idea of question in writing in advance is so the city has 4 days to find the answers to the questions submitted. It is not the job of the city manager to determine what residents want or need to know.
I cannot understand why the Dowagiac City Council can expect residents to follow the rules and feel that they are above the very rules that they voted on.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dowagiac Mayor Refuses to Ask Council Members For No Votes

IMPEDE: to interfere with or slow the progress of......
This is exactly what happened at the last council meeting.
If you remember a month ago we wrote a story of how the mayor runs the meeting by passing everything that it on the agenda without ever asking if they are any no votes.
Dowagiac was lucky by having our State Rep Sharon Tyler attend the last meeting. Prior to the start of the meeting I talked to Ms. Tyler and told her to watch how the meeting is ran. I promised her that she would never hear the mayor ask if there is any no votes.
Well she got more than a lesson on Dowagiac politics, she had the chance to see a councilman be forced to stop the mayor from passing another increase to city residents.
This made the council and residents of Dowagiac look terrible in front of our State Rep. I am sure when she returned to Lansing she had some stories to tell her friends about the way Don Lyons runs his council meetings.
We hope that Mr. Lyons now understands that just because something is on the agenda that it is possible for people to vote NO and not just assume that everyone will vote YES!
We hope at the next meeting Mr. Lyons will ask council if there are any no votes before trying to pass an agenda item and not embarrass the entire town again in front of our State Rep.
Here is a clear example of Mr. Lyons trying to impede the meeting by not asking for any no votes.
We would like to thank the councilpersons that voted no on yet another needless increase to Dowagiac residents.

Who is really in Charge of the Dowagiac DDA and Chamber?

Funny thing--every time somebody complains about the Chamber, the City's answer is: "the Chamber is not part of the City of Dowagiac". This statement is not exactly true.

A few years ago, we questioned how the Chamber Director was paid, and the City explained it this way: The City of Dowagiac cuts the entire paycheck for the DDA and Chamber, and the Chamber pays the city back for the Chamber portion of the Director's salary.
When we requested a copy of the paperwork, we found out that the Chamber was well behind in their payments to the City. This means that, at that time, the City was paying for both salaries, along with health care for this part time city employee.

The line between these two jobs is so small, it may not even exist. If the Chamber does something good, the City praises the Director for a job well done. If the Director does something that residents don't like, the City says that was done as the Chamber Director and that they have no control over that.

The City needs to get another DDA Director, or the Chamber needs a different Director. The way it is, this not fair to residents at all. There is no way to hold the Chamber Director or the DDA Director accountable when the city can't decide if it was a Chamber or DDA issue.

A good example of this, is the issue with the former queen. The city said they had no control of the Chamber, yet all letters sent to the queen were on City of Dowagiac stationery.

Why should Vicki Phillipson be the only PART-TIME city employee to get health care from the City? This summer I am sure that the City will hire some part-time employees, who have families, and they will not have ANY health care. If the City has decided to pay the health care for the part-time DDA Director, they should also give health care to every part-time City employee.

I will end this with these questions: If the Chamber and DDA are two separate jobs, why do they share the same letterhead? If they are two different positions, why would the City of Dowagiac allow a private business share the City of Dowagiac letterhead. Who is paying the cost of printing that letterhead?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dowagiac School Forum Is Nothing More Than A Pep Rally

After reading John Eby's thought-provoking article in today's DDN , it brings up a few questions.

Have you ever noticed that whenever the Dowagiac Chamber runs a news story or a TV spot for the city, they ALWAYS have the same store owners talk to the media?

Well, it seems to be the same with the School's forum. Look at the names of those representing the city. It is a "Who's Who" of people who think that Dowagiac is a utopia, and everything is just fine.

Why didn't they select residents who, at the very least, have children in the schools? In order to foster change, you need to have people with different views of the city and schools. It is the same with both the school forum and the chamber. The same people are chosen to represent the citizens' views. It is always people who think everything is perfect in Dowagiac.

This was not really a forum to hear suggestions and concerns of the community. It was more like a pep rally. We need more than a pep rally. We need changes, honesty and representation, and a reality check.

If positive change is to happen in the schools or in the City of Dowagiac, real concerns from real people have to be considered. The views of a hand-picked few who think Dowagiac is a utopia, will not foster change that is needed.

The first step to make positive change, is to first admit you have a problem. We are sure that with the hand-picked group chosen for this forum, the real views of residents never came to the discussion table.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Dowagiac Myor Shocked by No Votes

At tonight's city council meeting history was made in a strange way. When the council voted to increase the permit and parks fees, both first ward councilpersons voted "NO"!!!

If you remember, a few weeks ago, we wrote how the mayor takes a vote at council and he always asks for the "yes" votes but NEVER asks if there are any "no" votes.

Well, tonight it backfired and proved the point we made in a past editorial. When it came time to vote on the permit and park fee increases, the mayor asked for the "yes" votes, and, once again, didn't ask if anyone was against it. He then stated that they both passed until councilman Oliver had to stop the mayor from proceeding forward and passing the resolutions by saying he was against the fee increase. The mayor then asked for any "no" votes, and Lori Hunt and Junior Oliver both voted "no", which made it a tie vote.

According to the Dowagiac City Charter, one of the few jobs the mayor has is to break ties. Well, Mr. Lyons sat there, appeared shocked by the "no" votes, and he didn't do his job and break the tie.
See, Mr. Lyons, this is why Roberts Rules tell you to ask for any "no" votes. Every meeting it appears that you just know that nobody disagrees with you. This time it happened, and you were so shocked that you forgot to break the tie vote.

If anyone sees Mr. Oliver or Ms. Hunt, thank them for doing what is right and for shocking the mayor so bad he forgot to break the tie.

Another congrats to Shelby Willis for speaking to council about her treatment from Vicki Phillipson when she was Ms. Dowagiac. That took a lot of courage for that young woman to stand in front of the council and speak, even though most of the council was reading papers and some didn't even pay attention to what she was saying.
Once again, the city attempted to say they have no control over the chamber. Well we believe they do. Every letter sent out by the chamber has the city logo and DDA on the letterhead.
In the past, when there was an issue with the chamber, the city attempted to pawn it off as "we have no control over that office." We believe they do; after all, the city does pay for the health care of the chamber director.

After seeing "no" votes tonight at council for the first time in many years, there just may be some hope for residents to get an honest and fair council yet.

Howard Hall

Friday, March 19, 2010

This weeks Dowagiac Informer Newsletter

If The City Has a Program That is Good For Residents, Why Do They Change It When Residents Find Out About It?

A few weeks ago JenkinsPC asked the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce to assist them in purchasing a sign for his new business. This incentive was clearly posted on the chambers webpage.

As soon as he requested assistance from the chamber the Greater of Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce they went online and took away the incentive and said it wasn't available for many years.

Why would the chamber have information on their web-page to lure new businesses to town and after they open remove the page from the Internet?

Now recently a resident requested the City Manager to put them on the council agenda. The same thing happened again, here is a link to the web-page the city had about residents being allowed to have an item out on the agenda:

Now here is the new link:

Now why would the City of Dowagiac change two policies as soon as a business or resident decides to use a program offered by the city or Chamber?

We contacted Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson and was told that the web-page is just out dated and they are in the process of updating the page.

It sure seems odd that they are updating the page only when a residents wants to take advantage of a program.

Mr Anderson also told us that the council changed the policy of a resident getting on the agenda many years ago. The resolution that Mr. Anderson was talking about was passed to force residents to put questions in writing 4 days in advance and has nothing to do with getting an item on the agenda.

This story fits right in to the story about the Dowagiac City Charter. If there is something on the books that helps residents, they just remove it at will without a vote of council.

All of this will stay the same until there is a change at city hall.

Residents Beware

Residents beware, there is a person that has been telling residents to stay away from the stores that provide the Dowagiac Informer to their customers.

At this time we do not feel there is a need to provide the name of this of this official but we will in the near future if this behavior continues.

Please continue to visit the businesses that support the Informer to show that Informer readers cannot be bullied.

Why would an official tell residents to shop out of town when Dowagiac has so many businesses struggling to stay in business?

Print Edition

The print edition of the Informer will be out on Saturday, sorry for the inconvenience.

Council Questions

Well it has been a month since we put our questions in writing to council and we still have not heard back.

This falls under the same resolution that Mr. Anderson talked about changing when we addressed a resident getting an item on the agenda.
Why is it that the City of Dowagiac only follows the rules when it benefits them and ignores the rules when it is in the residents favor?

Just Wondering?

The residents of Dowagiac go to the polls every two years to elected councilman that will represent the residents of their wards.

The Dowagiac City Council has made it almost impossible to be able to attend a meeting and have dialog between their elected officials and residents.

You are forced to put any questions in writing in advance to give the city time to get together and come up with an answer that most of the time doesn't even answer the question at all.

Here is what we were wondering about. When a resident puts a question in writing to council why is it that the mayor is the one to answer all questions? As we wrote about in our article about the Dowagiac Charter, the Mayor is nothing more than a figurehead position. The Mayors only job is to run the meeting, break any tie votes and to appoint his friends to city boards.

Why do we even need councilman if the mayor answers all the questions directed at the councilman? Here is a good example, in the past we have put questions in writing for our first ward councilman, after all that is what they are elected to do. When it comes time to answer the questions the councilman just sit there while the mayor answers the questions.

I have two councilpersons, Lori Hunt and Junior Oliver. How can they represent the residents of the first ward when they are not even allowed to answer any questions from their constituents? To make things worse many times when residents put their questions in writing, the councilman don't even know that residents put any questions in until the mayor starts answering them.

Mayor Lyons, please follow the charter and allow the people that residents voted into office answer their own questions. Remember your job is to run the meeting and sit back and hope that just maybe there will be a tie vote and you can break the tie.
Please allow the councilman to do what they were elected to do. I put in two questions this week and requested that my elected officials answer them. Lets wait and see if Mayor Lyons will follow the Dowagiac City Charter and allow the councilman to answer the questions or once again disregard the charter and answer the questions himself.

Online Townhall With Mayor Don Lyons

we have been informed that Mr. Lyons will attend a townhall with Dowagiac Informer readers, so keep sending in your questions to

we will meet with Mr. Lyons Monday night at council and set the date. Stay tuned for more information next week.

As far as any other councilpersons attending a meeting, we hav no idea due to the fact that the city has refused to answer the questions we put in writing two weeks ago.

Join Us Wednesday Night at 7:30

Joine us Wednesday night at 7:30 in our chat romm to discuss the city raising out water bills to pay for the road repairs in town.

This is a chance to bmake your voice heard and let the city know that you are tired of having rate increases to pay for their money management problems.

Why should residents have to pay more money on their water wills when not long ago the city spent MILLIONS to buy our an electric contract.

Every resident has to live within a budget and so should the city.

make you voice heard by attending our online meeting Wednesday night.

More Money For Dowagiac?

It looks like the city of Dowagiac may not see a cut in revenue from the State of Michigan. It looks like thay may even get an increase.

Maybe the city could use this increase to fix the roads in Dowagiac instead of raising the residents water bills.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dowagiac Informer Shows Dowagiac Government Not Following City Charter

The Dowagiac City Charter is so outdated. It is my belief that the city keeps it that way so they can continue to do as they please without any input from residents.

Over the years, when questioned about more than one person on a city board, the city has said it is ok because the charter only names the 5 original boards.

How could the charter address boards that were started after the writing of the charter? Common sense would tell you that if there were more boards in Dowagiac at the time the charter was made, those boards would have also been added.

The city doesn't think that way. It is my opinion that as long as they can keep this outdated charter in effect, they can continue to stack these boards with members of their club and keep total control over the residents of Dowagiac.

Why is it that the mayor cannot find people to fill the vacant seats on the boards? Could it be because he has run out of "club members" to appoint? There is no reason to have any open seats on a single board in the city.

The charter says the parks and recreation board offers programs. The reason the city has stopped having programs is not because of money problems. I think it is because the city does not want Dowagiac youth anywhere near or around downtown. As I see it, in the eyes of Mayor Don Lyons, children are not worth taking the time to offer programs for their benefit.

In the past, Mr. Lyons has always used the word "entertain" when it comes to youth programs. This is a perfect example of someone who has no clue of how important it is to provide programs for youth. If you remember a few years ago, he thought kids still played "kick the can".

This is a good example of why Dowagiac residents need to clean house in the next Election. Our city is being represented by a council that is too old to understand the needs of the community and still thinks we are the same town we were in the 1960's.

The best example is the item in the charter about the electric plant. It is crystal clear that nothing should have been done with that plant without a vote of the residents of Dowagiac, but the mayor and council appear not to care about the charter and just make up the rules as they go.

If your grass is too long, you get a letter from the city. If you have blight in your yard, you get a letter also. But when it comes to the rules voted on by residents to keep their government under control, they seem to think that they are above the rules and do as they please.

Residents are starting to take notice of the out-of-control government in Dowagiac, which is evident in our online poll. We can only hope that the council can see the slow change and start following the rules. If not, maybe a recall in May is just what the residents need in order to take back control of their city.

Local Publication Questions Dowagiac Michigan City Charter

March 5th
Dowagiac City Charter
The Dowagiac City Charter was voted on by residents November 3rd 1964 by the residents of Dowagiac and made effected April 12th 1965.
We are going to give you a brief history of the Dowagiac City Charter and let you decide if the City of Dowagiac is following the rules set by the voters of Dowagiac.
Amendments: section 1.1
This charter may be amended at any time in the manner provided by law. Should two or more amendments adopted at the same Election have conflicting provisions, the amendment receiving the largest vote shall prevail.
I am no attorney but this makes it sound that any changes made to this charter needs to be voted on my the residents of Dowagiac.
Keep this in in mind as you are reading the rest of this article and you decide if the charter if being followed.

Penalties for violations of Charter: Section 1.9
Any person found guilty of any violations of this charter may be punished by a fine which, in addition to court costs, shall not exceed $500.00 , of imprisonment for not more than 90 days.
If this rule was enforced we wouldn't need the increase in the water bill to pay for road repairs.

Permitted and other powers: Section 2.2
To provide for the public welfare by: Regulating trade and amusements which are detrimental to the safety, health, morals, or welfare of its inhabitants.
The city council regulating trade? Does this mean that the council has a say on what businesses can operate in Dowagiac?
We would like to know what the council uses as a guideline for regulating the morals of the City of Dowagiac.

To establish and reasonably control streets, alleys and public places Section 3 (V)
Compelling all persons to keep the sidewalk which are in the area of streets immediately to the premises owned, or occupied by them, free from snow, ice, dirt….
Although is was nice for the city to change this section without a vote of the people and offer snow plowing of the sidewalks, to change it back should only be made by a vote of the people.

The Mayor: section 5.2
Shall preside at the meeting of the council and shall have a voice in its proceedings, but no vote, except in the case of a tie, and no veto power.
Does anyone remember a tie vote from the council?

Elected Officers Section 4.1
The following people shall be elected in the City of Dowagiac, one mayor, one Supervisor at large, one clerk, one treasurer, six councilman, to justices of the peace, three supervisors, being one from each ward, and three constables being one from each ward.
According to the charter the charter cannot be changed without a vote of the people. What happened to the supervisor and the justices of the peace positions? How did the city change this part of the charter without a vote of the people?

The Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tempore Section 5.2 ©
He shall preside at meetings of the council and shall have a voice in its proceedings, but no vote, except in case of a tie, and no veto power..
The Mayor of Dowagiac is a figure head position and has no power to do anything at the city except as outlined above.

Rules Section 5.7
On all votes, the yes and no votes vote of each member shall be recorded by roll call and published in the regular proceedings.
In all the years I have attended meetings I have heard the mayor ask all in favor of a vote but never heard him ask if anyone is opposed.

Investigations Section 5.10
The council or any person or committee authorized by it shall have power to inquire into the conduct of any department, office, or officer of the city.
I requested them to honor this part of the charter when pedophile William Nelson had children's school records in his possession once again the charter was not followed.

Compensation Section 5.4
Each member of the council shall be compensated in the amount of one-hundred dollars annually, except the Mayor who shall receive three hundred dollars annually.
This amount raised by a vote of the people on 11/8/66 just 6 months after the charter was written. Seems like it was all about the money even then.
Why is it that when it came to getting a pay increase the city followed the charter and went before the voters, but when they decide not to follow the charter they have failed to bring it before voters?

Quorum Section 5.6
Four members of the council shall be a quorum for the transaction of business and the vote of four members shall be required for any official action of the council.
This section has been ignored by the council a few times. Could it be because they knew how the missing councilman would have voted in advance?

Supervisors Section 5.29
The supervisors of the City of Dowagiac shall have the same powers and duties as the supervisors in the townships.
Who are the supervisors of Dowagiac and what are their duties? If the city did away with this position why wasn’t it approved by the voters?

Publication of Ordinances Section 6.5
The council shall make available at the office of the Clerk not less than fifty copies of the full text of any ordinance which is published by digest for FREE distribution to the public.
Ever wonder what is really in the electric ordinance? Stop by the city clerk and get your free copy

Administrative Officers Section 7.2
The administrative officers of the city shall be a City Manager, a Clerk, a Treasurer, an Assessor, a City Attorney, a Police Chief, a Health Officer, and all heads of departments.
How did the city once again change the charter and do away with the Police Chief, Fire Chief and Health Officer without a vote of the residents?

Citizenship Participation Section 13.1
To afford citizenship participation in the affairs of the city government for the purpose of determining community needs and means of meeting such needs through the government of the city, the following citizen boards shall be continued or established under this section.
Airport Board, Library Board, Cemetery Board, Parks and recreation Board, Electric Facilities Board
(B) No person shall serve on more than one board or committee.
(C) Each such board shall hold at least one meeting in each calendar quarter.
The charter is so old that it only addresses the 5 original boards which allows the city to not follow the charter rules for all the other boards that have been formed since the charter was voted in.
Many of the city boards have the same person serving on more than one board. Is this so the city can control the decisions of all the city boards? You decide.
The city has many boards that meet as needed even though the charter says quarterly

Parks and recreation Section 13.5
The city manager shall be responsible for the proper functioning of the department.
The city manager shall be responsible for the care and maintenance of the city’s parks and shall be responsible for the recreational facilities and programs of the city.
The city charter clearly states that the city is responsible for recreation programs for city residents.
Many years ago the city did offer many recreation activates from a wading pool to organized programs for youth.
The city has stated in the past that the funding ran out to offer any programs. According to the charter it is the responsibility of the city to provide funding for these programs.
Does anyone remember voting to take away the youth programs from city residents?

Disposal of the Municipal electric Plant: Section 13.10
No action shall be taken to sell, exchange, lease or in any way dispose of the municipal electric public utility or any property, easement, equipment, privilege, or asset needed to continue the operation of such utility, unless the proposition to do so is approved by three members of the board and, in addition thereto, four members of the council, and further, by a three-fifths vote of the electors of the city voting at a regular election or at a special election called for that purpose.
Here is a very clear example of the city doing whatever it wants no matter what is set forth in the city charter.
The section above clearly states that the city couldn't dispose of using the plant or sell it for scrap without bringing it before the voters.
Anybody remember voting to stop using the electric plant or vote to sell the plant for scrap?

Online Poll
Would you support a recall of Dowagiac elected officials?
Yes 78% 85 votes
No 22% 24 votes