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.