The Dowagiac City Charter is so outdated.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 It is my opinion that as long as they can keep this outdated charter in effect, they can continue to stack these boards with members of their club and keep total control over the residents of Dowagiac.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.