Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dowagiac Informer reaches 10,000 hits in 6 months

We want to thank you for all of your support. We have had well over 10,000 hits on our web-page in just 27 weeks.
This just proves that Dowagiac resident are coming to the Informer for their local news.
We have some great plans in the works for the next 26 weeks so make sure not to miss any newsletters.

Dowagiac Michigan Chamber Of Commerce helps 100 home owners???

According to the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce the city has funds available housing assistance grants and money available for new businesses to purchase outdoor signage for their new business.
If you are interested in applying for these funds contact Vickie Phillipson at 269-782-0000
According to the chamber web-page they have assisted in the rehabilitation and remodeling of more than 100 older homes in Dowagiac.
One hundred homes, does anybody know any of the 100 homes that the city assisted remodeling?

Dowagiac Michigan parking Fines Unfair

At the last council meeting we asked council how visitors were to know about the parking ban downtown.
City Manager Kevin Anderson stated that the city has signs at the entrance to town.
Well here is another twist to the story. The tickets issued by the Dowagiac Police state the following fines:
Within 48 hours the ticket is $9.00
Within 7 days the ticket is $13.00
Thereafter the ticket is $17.00
Seems fair for a parking ticket even though visitors have no way of knowing about the law due to the fact there is no signs posted where the tickets are issued.
Here is the way they take advantage of residents and visitors that do not know about the law.
As stated above the ticket states the fine is $17.00 anytime after the 7 days. What the ticket fails to tell you is that thereafter doesn’t really mean thereafter.
If the ticket isn’t paid within so many days the ticket is reissued and the cost is $65.00
So not only do you ticketed for parking in a area that has no sign the $17.00 fine thereafter is not actually true.
This sure seem like a way to deter visitors by giving them a ticket without any sign posted and then turn around and quadruple the cost of the ticket that contradicts the fine on the original ticket.

Friday, January 15, 2010

One Down and Eight To Go On Dowagiac Board Appointments

One Down and Eight To Go
One month ago when the council met to appoint our new councilman the council said that all of the people interviewed showed an interest in serving on a board. Council also stated that everyone that was interviewed seem to have the quilifications to serve.
Monday the mayor chose one of the nine to be seated on a board, lets see if any of the remaining eight are chosen.
Out of all of the people that interviewed for council Mr. Benedix is the only remaining one that already was serving on a board.
This leaves eight residents with no ties to the city at all, let see if any of the remaining eight will be chosen to break the cycle.

Dowagiac Mayor Forgets The Year Of The Car He Is Being Sued For

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is Dowagiac Schools Making the Right Cuts?

With Schools across the country making tough decisions on where to make cuts, we figured we would let residents know how Dowagiac compares to other schools in Michigan.
We originally was going to compare Superintendents pay for the different schools in Michigan. We had to change our story because Dowagiac was the only school out of the 12 we contacted that refused to give us the salary of the superintendant without filling out FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) paperwork.
So we decided to compare school districts superintendents. Here is what we found:
Niles Public Schools has 1 superintendent and no Assistant Superintendent
Coloma Public Schools has 1 superintendent and NO Assistant Superintendents.
Bridgman Schools has 1 Superintendent and NO Assistant Superintendent
Decatur Schools has 1 Superintendent and NO Assistant Superintendent.
Benton Harbor has 1 Superintendent and NO Assistant Superintendent.
Flint Schools has 1 Superintendent and NO Assistant Superintendent
Hartford Schools has 1 Superintendent and NO Assistant Superintendent
Dowagiac Schools has 1 Superintendent and TWO Assistant Superintendents
Many schools have a hard choice ahead of where to make cuts in their budget due to state funding cuts.
The Dowagiac Informer has a hard time understanding why all of the other schools we contacted run their district with 1 Superintendent and Dowagiac has three.
The information on the number of Superintendents in Dowagiac Schools came in an e mail from the Admin Office.
Keep an eye on Next weeks Informer when we will compare the salaries of the Superintendents after we fill out the paperwork requested from the Dowagiac Union Schools.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cass County Michigan Receives GFOA Award


Cassopolis, Michigan – The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the County of Cass by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.
An Award of Financial Reporting Achievement has been awarded to Administrator/Controller Terry L. Proctor who is designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning CAFR.
“I would like to give credit to CPA Becky Moore, Treasurer Linda Irwin and the County staff for this award,” said Terry Proctor. “These dedicated employees work hard to make this report accurate and I’m glad that their efforts have been recognized.”
The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.
The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 16,000 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dowagiac Mayor

Here is a page sent to us by one of our readers.

Dowagiac Mayor Continues Good Ole Boys Club

The Good Ole Boys Club is alive and well in Dowagiac. For those of you who wondered if it really existed, read on:

At tonight's council meeting, the Mayor appointed new members to the Russom Field Board. As all of you know, I was very interested in this seat due to my 25 years' experience working with youth. I have a degree in Recreation, and I have the needed qualifications to be a valuable member of that Board.

Tonight, the Mayor appointed City Manager Kevin Anderson, Councilwoman Lori Hunt and City Council Candidate Jim Benedix. This board will decide what activities and programs will be instituted at Russom Field.

Here are some questions residents should ask their elected officials:

Why would the mayor appoint one city employee, one councilperson and someone who is vice -president of the Dowagiac Dogwood Festival?

Why couldn't the Mayor find someone who doesn't have close ties to the city?

I want to make it clear that, although I am disappointed in not getting this seat, it would appear that, once again, the Mayor has proven he only appoints people to boards who are already involved in the city.

Another concern is, by appointing people without any recreation and planning experience, the Mayor is guaranteed to get whatever he desires. If Mr. Lyons really had the best interest of residents and area youth at heart, he would have appointed people with extensive experience working with youth. Qualified people would also have experience in the area of making long-term plans for a recreation area.

Mr. Lyons appointed each of these board members to open-ended terms. This means that these members are like Supreme Court Judges. They are in office until they die or decide to step down. In my opinion, this is a matter of control--why else fill this entire board with people who already have ties to the city?

I can't wait to see the plans this board suggests for this property. Without anyone with experience, I think it will be unlikely that our youth will get good programs. This is from a Mayor who was quoted in the DDN, saying he thought kids still play "Kick The Can".

The only hope we have is that the Silver Creek half of this board will take a stand to make sure the property is used in the correct way for the correct purposes. I certainly wish them well, as I believe it will be an uphill battle.