Friday, February 26, 2010

Dowagiac Informer Writes Response To Dowagiac Mayor

Mr. Lyons,
You stated " I would also note that it’s very difficult to take seriously criticism from someone who’s so poorly informed about city affairs that they don’t understand that there are twelve utility billing cycles during the course of a year".

Mr. Lyons, have you ever stopped to consider that the reason residents are sometimes poorly informed is because the city has a history of not informing residents of what is gong on until they read about it in the Dowagiac Daily News? This leaves residents no other option but to try to figure out things on their own; and, yes, sometimes they make mistakes. Next time you write about once again raising utility bills, explain to residents exactly what is going on. It is this publication's feeling that an attack on a resident's ability to count is very unprofessional coming from the Mayor of Dowagiac.

It appears that YOUR figures may not be correct. You stated that residents' water bills will go up $6.00, what you called a modest amount. According to First Ward Councilman Junior Oliver's Facebook page, he states that his will go up about $12.00- $15.00. It is reasons like this that residents have to try to figure these things out on their own. If the city gave residents the correct information from the beginning, things like this wouldn't happen.

If, Mr. Lyons, you are using this post as a smoke screen, you should have just replied and set the facts straight and not attack the people who post on this website. Why didn't you address the issue of some residents being over charged on the electric bills instead of attacking a resident/voter about a miscalculation on the utility bill increase.

Mr. Lyons, you also stated: "It is even more difficult to take seriously a publication that is so poorly informed, in spite of its name, that it would publish something like this as though it were correct and valid information".

Mr Lyons, The Informer; and, most likely, many residents are disappointed that you don't understand the fact that this was a Dowagiac resident and voter who wrote this on our public forum. This person was trying to figure out what the city was doing. The Dowagiac Informer did not print this as news. It was printed the same as the Dowagiac Daily News prints a letter to the editor. Over the years, since you have been in office, many people have put letters to the editor in the DDN, and, at no time, have you personally attacked the DDN. Your comments just prove that you do not like the Dowagiac Informer printing information, which, it sometimes seems, the City of Dowagiac tries to keep "secret" from the residents of Dowagiac.

Your letter sound like something George W. Bush said: "You are either with us or against us." Mr Lyons, just because you didn't clearly explain to residents all of the facts about the utility increase doesn't justify your attacking residents and voters.

Many residents have valid concerns about this utility increase. You say the city needs the money to repair the streets. If the residents didn't have to pay back MILLIONS of dollars to pay off an electric contract, the city would have had the money to repair the streets.
Maybe if the city would stop buying up property all over town you could take care of the streets without a utility increase. Like the NEWS story we wrote about last week, when the city purchases property you don't even maintain it. Like we stated in the newsletter, the donut shop is falling apart.

My Lyons, respect is something that is earned from residents, not something you can expect just because you are mayor. Start making residents part of the decision-making process of the council, and they will be better informed. Perhaps if this is done, you will not find the need to write such an arrogant letter.

Howard Hall
Dowagiac Informer

Dowagiac Michigan Mayor Attacks Local Paper and residents

In the February 19, 2010 edition of the Informer, there was an article titled, “Web Quote of the Week.” In that article the writer confesses to being confused. From the math that is used to support his/her contention of confusion it’s easy to see why the author is so confused. What the writer overlooked is the fact that there are 12 billing cycles during the course of a year. These billing cycles correspond to the 12 months of the year. The City of Dowagiac has about 2,750 utility customers. 2,750 customers multiplied by $6.00 each and that total multiplied by 12 billing cycles equals $198,000 in annual revenue. I used $200,000 as a round number as none of the underlying numbers are precise given fluctuations in the number of customers and the impact of varying utility usage over the course of a year. However, for purposes of estimating the effect of a $6.00 per month utility increase, I believe that $200,000 is a reasonable approximation. I would also note that it’s very difficult to take seriously criticism from someone who’s so poorly informed about city affairs that they don’t understand that there are twelve utility billing cycles during the course of a year. It is even more difficult to take seriously a publication that is so poorly informed, in spite of its name, that it would publish something like this as though it were correct and valid information.

Donald D. Lyons, Mayor

Note: Please print this without editing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Great Ice Festivial

We had a great time today watching the carvers, they did a great job.

Everyone that planned the festivial did a great job.

With the exception of getting yelled at for taking pictures we had a great day.

To see all of the pictures from the festival go to

Final Judging

We will have picture of the final judging up on our webpage as soon as they are announced.

Judging starts at 3:00

Great Times

All of the visitors we have spoke to is haveing a great time. The ice cream eating contest is starting right now and the kids are having a great time.

The only complaint we have heard from dozens of visitors is the conditions of the sidewalks are the gazebo.

Dowagiac Informer WARNED!!!

As we were taking pictures of the ice festival, we figured it would be nice to take a picture of Dowagiac Chamber Director hard at work making sure that festivial goers was having a great time.

About 10 minutes later we were approached by a gentleman that was with Ms. Phillipson warning us not to post the pictures and to be very careful on what we do.

And people wonder why Dowagiac has the reputationit has in surrounding areas.

Check our webpage later today for pictures of the ice festival.

We wonder if the same warnings were given to the South Bend tribune?

What a great way to welcome visitors.

Welcome to Dowagiac!!

Dowagiac Elected Officials

We have been downtown since 6:00am and have yet to see an elected offical.

We hope that our elected officials show some pride in their community and stop down to our festival.

Keep Clicking

We have had over 274 hits on the blog. Keep clicking.

Make sure to click on next page to see all of the posts.

Be Careful

Be careful walking by the Gazebo the sidewalk is a sheet of ice and we have seen countless visitors falling.

Corner of Front and Commercial Street

It a shame that festival planners picked the corner of Front and Commercial Streets for the biggest carvings.

When the TV and newspapers take pictures of the ice all they see in the background is vacant storefronts

Wood Carvers

Make sure to stop in Round Oak and wacth the wood carvers

Visitors Comments

The Casto family from South Bend said that they stopped by to take a look on the way to South Haven's Ice Festival.

They said that they were having a good time, but questioned the lack of public bathrooms for their children.

Things Are Heating Up

Town is starting to get a little busy and kids are lined up to make their smores. You still have plenty of time to stop downtown, most of the carvers have not even started yet.

Cookies Cookies Cookies

After buying some Girl Scout cookies we found out that the girls are raising money to take a train trip to New York.

Stop by and show your support buy purchasing some cookies.

Iconik Clothing

Make sure to stop in and see Dowagiac's newest stor Iconic Clothing located at 140 S Front Street.

Today is their opening day and WOW what a beautiful store. Most of their clothing is original designs made by the owner.

The Owners Jessica and Brian also do computer designed screen printing.

If you stop in today they even have someone available to do charictures.

Smores and Girl Scout Cookies

The children are making smores and the girl Scouts are selling cookies.

Help send a girl to camp by buying some cookies.

One Hour FREE Internet

Stop by JenkinsPC for a hot cup of coffee and one hour of FREE internet usage during the ice festival.

Sign up to win some great prizes from the Chamber

Make to vist businesses that are members of the chamber to sign up for some fantastic gifts


The Dowagiac Fire Department is setting up their campfire for kids to make smores.

Free Coffee and Hot Chocolate

Free coffee and Hot Chocolate at Dowagiac's newest store Hope's Door Thrift Store
Located 132 S Front Street.
Keep your eys open for their flyer and you can get 50% off

Wait unil later to attend

If you are planning in attend the festival wait until early afternoon to attend.

If you come into town now you will not see any carving and freeze.

new Shoppers Sighted

We just saw 4 new shoppers appear downtown.

The crews from the ice company are doing a great job of moving the ice around town.

Two more carvers have starting carving their ice.

South Haven 3 Day Ice Festival

Make sure that when you are done looking at the ice here in Dowagiac, take a drive to South Havens Ice Festival.

Some small michigan magazine has voted South Havens Ice Festival one of the top 3 small town ice festivals in the state.

Soda Fountain

Make sure to stop down this afternoon and check out the huge soda fountain that is in the process of being carved.
A few of the carvers are starting to carve the ice. We asked one carver why he was starting so early and was told "because it is so cold. LOL

Ice Ice everywhere but not a shopper to be seen

Although all the parking spots are full we have only seen about 6 shoppers taking advantage of the early morning shopping hours.

We even went by one store and they we sitting back and relaxing will a hot cup of coffee.

Dowagiac Ice Festival In Full Swing.

We have be up and watching the ice festival workers getting everything ready since early this morning.

Chamber Direstor Vickie Phillipson has be working hard putting up the tincel and posts around the blocks of ice.