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.

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