Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cass County Judge Agrees That child molestation and cruelty to animals is considered a relatively clean record

Ok Get this. A judge in my county gave a kid a break in a drug case because "Buskirk’s court-appointed attorney, pointed out, too, that his client’s record was relatively clean, except for two juvenile court cases involving child molestation and cruelty to animals
A clean record is considered child molestation and cruelty to animals.

Here is the entire Story:,0,830199.story

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Residents of Dowagiac start petition to get fairness for customers of city ran utilities

Background :
Residents of city ran utilities have no control over utility increases like customers of public utilities has with the Michigan Public Service Commission. City ran utilities can raise their price with a majority vote of their city council. With every raise in price, families of all financial backgrounds are being affected.

From large and small businesses to residential homes, this affects people all over the United States that are held hostage by city ran utilities. Customers of city ran utilities need the same protection as customers of public ran utilities and be afforded some kind of Government oversight.

Today's economy leaves no room for greedy cities to be overcharging Americans for the necessity of electric power.

We, the undersigned, call on the Sharon Tyler and the Michigan Attorney General to take action and put some guidelines on city ran utilities like they do on public utilities like AEP.

The need for these guideline and oversight is important to the survival of all customers of city ran utilities

Go to to sign out petition.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dowagiac Residents Fight Back For Equal Rights

Today we received a call back from the Michigan Attorney General. When we talked them them we explained that as customers of a city ran utility we have no rights as customers that have public utilities.
Public utilities have to go in front of the Michigan Public Service Commission to increase their rates. In Dowagiac if an increase fails they just vote again.
A public utility cannot give out the information that Dowagiac is selling on their webpage.
The Attorney Generals Office along with Sharon Tyler's office both said that they would look into this matter and try to get us the same rights as public utility customers get if we can show a need.
Later today we will have a petition that you can sign and also have petitions you can pick up to get your friends to sign saying that we want the same rights as public utility customers.
We all know that the city will continue to raise our costs with a vote of council and if it fails they will continue to vote until it passes. By signing this petition we may be able to have the state oversee city ran utilities which would take away the city's cash cow.
Remember you don't have to be a city resident to sign or circulate a petition,all you have to do is believe that city ran utilities need some oversight.
Sharon Tyler's office and the Attorney General both stated that they have only received complaints on Dowagiac utilities, they have never received any complaints on Niles.
Here is your chance to make a difference and save money at the same time.
Get involved by signing online or passing a petition around to your friends.
If you want a petition to pass around to your friends you can print it off our webpage later today.

Dowagiac City Council Pushes Morality On Residents

In response to the city employee that said the council has no common sense I ask all of you this question.
The Dowagiac City Council voted to not allow beer sales prior to noon on Sunday in hopes to get people to attend church instead of drinking.
If the council wants to push their morality on residents I have a question for them. If you voted no to allow early Sunday sales why is it that you allow a store to sell bongs and glass pipes for smoking marijuana, allow a store in town to sell x rated books and allow a store in town to sell sex toys?
If you want to set an example for this great "Christian" community why haven't you addressed this important issues?
No common sense is it?

City Employee Admits Dowagiac City Council Has No Common Sense.

This was sent in by one of our readers.

I received a letter today from our friendly code enforcer, Steven Allen. Apparently, I cannot put boxes stacked next to my trash cans. He informed me that none of the trash companies pick up boxes (not true, they do mine.)I asked Mr. Allen " Wouldn't common sense tell you to wait until after pick up day, and if the boxes are ther, then send a letter?" Mr. Allen's response was "Common sense doesn't work". I asked him "Are you for real?", to which he replied "With City Council, common sense doesn't work." Hit the nail on the head with that one, didn't he? I haven't stopped laughing all day!

More Lies BY City Officials In Dowagiac Michigan

I called Kevin Anderson and asked why the information was out back up and was told it was never taken down, which is incorrect.
At that time he said that Dearborn Heights provides the same information to its residents. We figured that because the towns mentioned at council were wrong we would give Dearborn a call.
We were told that they only put current billing on the Internet and do not show disconnects and late notices. Once again if you would like to call to find out that once again we were give incorrect information here is the number for Dearborn Heights. 313-791-3400.
Mr. Anderson said that the reason he feels this information is important to give out is it shows that the city is being transparent and not hiding anything.
Funny isn't it, they can be transparent with our personal information but when it comes to the city being transparent with their information it is a secret.
This is nothing more than the city trying to back peddle their way out of lies.
What are your thoughts?

Dowagiac Michigan Removes Search Tool that Freely Gave Away Residents Personal Information

The City of Dowagiac removed an invasive utility look up off their webpage. This tool allowed anyone to type in a residents name and see their payment history. This included billing, any late notices, past due amounts and even disconnects.

At Monday's Dowagiac City Council meeting City Manager Kevin Anderson listed three towns that use the same software. When we contacted them they told the Informer that they do not use the software to allow the public to review residents bills.

We hope that the city removed the software because they were giving out personal information about residents and not because they got caught lying to residents.

If history has anything to do with it, they removed the software because they got caught one again lying to residents.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dowagiac Council Didn't Know That Personal Information Was Being Given Out On City Webpage

Great council meeting tonight. I found out that none of the councilmen knew that personal information was be given out on the city's webpage. Mr. Anderson attempted to mislead council by saying that other city's are doing the same thing.
What Mr. Anderson failed to tell council was the other city's are only giving out usage and not personal payment information. Once again Mr. Anderson only told part of the truth to make it appear that it was ok to give out this information.
Council is going to discuss the issue in two weeks at 8:00 pm.
When council voted for online bill payment they were not aware they we also allow this personal information to be given out. This was a lone decision made by City Manager Kevin Anderson.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dowagiac Michigan Puts Money Before Residents Privacy

I have no idea why the city just added an online payment search to their webpage. Yes, you can go online and type in the name of any utility customer in the city and get their account details, electric usage and payment history for the price of a dollar.

What public service is the city providing by allowing anyone to look into your payment history and account information online for a dollar?

What liability is the city going to have, for example, when someone's ex-husband is looking for his ex-wife, and he can go online and pay a dollar to obtain her address? What if a person had a Personal Protection Order issued, only to have their safety jeopardized because of the city's policy of releasing a victim's residential information? What is the city's response going to be if someone gets injured as a result of making this information public? What liability will they have?

This is clearly an invasion of privacy so the city can make a dollar each time somebody spies on their neighbor.

The city utility ordinance says that to have utilities in your name, you have to live at the address. If that is the rule for residents, why do some elected officials have electric in their names at other property in town, which according to the Cass County webpage, they don't own?

I can understand landlords wanting this information for their rentals, but they obtain this with the permission of the renter.

I am asking citizens to write in their opinion as to what public service the city is offering by allowing anyone in the world to pay a dollar to see residents' account information and payment history.

Please come forward and run for office this year. We all need to put a stop to ill-conceived, destructive city practices like this.

Howard Hall

Dowagiac Michigan Finds Another Way to Get Money Out Of Residents

WOW are people complaining around town about the city secretly forcing resident to pay a 3% surcharge to use a debit or credit card to pay your utility bills. Just when you think they have used every way to squeeze a dime out of residents, they find another way.
When was the last time you went out to eat and paid with your debit card an was told we have to add an additional charge?
We contacted over 15 credit card processing companies and was told by many that it is against their contract with companies for them to charge an additional charge to customers that use a credit or debit card, but not in Dowagiac.
What makes it worse is that they added the charge without informing residents of the surcharge.
The city is telling angry customers that it was in the DDN and the response from residents is they don't read the DDN. They are then told that it will be included in next months bills. Well isn't that nice, you add a surcharge and inform residents a month later.
Out of all the companies we contacted NONE of them charge a 3% fee, the fees ranged from 1.5-2%, if the city is charging 3% that means they didn't shop around for the best deal or they are paying a lower percent and adding a little to it so they can make a few bucks.
After all why would they shop around for a better deal, they don't have to pay the fee we do.
Write in and tell us when the last time you used your debit or credit card and was charged a fee to use it.
Add this to you list or reasons to vote in November.