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About Jackson Recall

Derek Dobies is again running to represent the 6th Ward and professes to have done an outstanding job. Lets look at the record:

A little history. Derek came to Jackson perhaps riding the Griffin unicorn before Griffin's defeat in his bid for the reelection to the Michigan house seat which he lost to Earl Poleski. It appears that Derek had no connection to Jackson other than possibly a suggestion from Griffin that this was easy pickings to get his foot in the door of local politics and start his career. It was clear that there were connections. Dobies broad sided a Jackson police car in 2010. The case was adjudicated in early 2011 just after Griffin returned from Lansing.

Even though Derek did substantial damage to the police vehicle by driving drunk, running a red light and hitting it broadside, he was never required to pay for the damages nor charged in the actual accident. One suspects that the return of ex-Mayor Griffin to the Jackson stage bought his protégé Dobies a get out of "jail" free card. The city had the police car repaired with our tax dollars.

Derek says: Three years ago, I ran for City Council because I thought it was time for new, energetic leadership to jumpstart Jackson and help chart a bright future for our city.  Since then, I've been working hard to ensure quality public safety (1) , restore fiscal accountability (2) and ensure open, accountable government (3) Elected by my peers to serve as Vice Mayor (4) , I've not only helped lead our legislative body through numerous policy proposals (5) , but also worked collaboratively to engage the public (6) in making Jackson a great place to live, work, and play.

Derek says that over the course of 2015, he will prioritize the issues to continue to make City Hall work for us. Just like he has done for the last 3 + years.

Dobies Voted To Cancel The Street Sweeping/Storm Sewer Cleaning Leading To Flooding And Deteriorating Roadways In The City. 

JACKSON, MI – October 28, 2013 - More than 30 Jackson residents packed into the mezzanine at Bella Notte Ristorante on Monday, but few were there to have a good time at the bar and restaurant.

Derek Dobies
Derek Dobies fends off angry voters.

In fact, most in attendance were rather upset. "I've lived in Jackson all my life," Larry Finton said at the community meeting hosted by City Councilman Derek Dobies, 6th Ward. "This is the first time I'm sorry that I'm a city of Jackson resident." Finton said the city's decision to stop picking up resident's leaves this fall was a poor one, and a number of residents agreed. Dobies hosted the meeting 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, to discuss the city's leaf drop-off program, which was put into action for the first time Saturday, Oct. 26, and will continue until November. Jackson City Manager Patrick Burtch was also in attendance. City Council members voted 6-1 to establish a leaf drop-off program on Oct. 8 after passing an ordinance prohibiting residents from sweeping their leaves into city streets earlier this year. Residents can be fined $100 for violating the new law.

City officials said the ordinance is necessary to keep city streets safe and clean. It came after an Aug. 2 court decision that cut nearly $1 million in expected revenue this year to pay for leaf pick-up services, among other conveniences such as street sweeping and catch basin cleaning. Dobies himself voted in favor of both cutting the city's leaf pick-up service in August and offering the leaf pick-up program earlier this month. "We're not trying to punish residents, that isn't at all our goal," he said. "The court's decision couldn't have come at a worse time. We had to scramble, and we're doing the best we can to offer alternatives and find solutions."

Burtch said the city will continue to provide some of those services, which are required under the Clean Water Act, but not as often as what was previously provided. "

Clogged Catch Basin
Clogged catch basin floods and undermines pavement.

We still have to clean the catch basins and sweep streets," he said. "We know that. We're simply going to have limited street sweeping and catch basin cleaning in the interim." Burtch said various funds will be used to pay for the limited work this fall including street funds and the general fund. Jackson resident Bill Fall said he doesn't see the reason that leaves from city-owned property such as Ella Sharp Park should be his responsibility. "I live in a dead-end street next to the park," he said. "I'm going to have to clean up the street in front of my house or face a fine? Those are all city leaves." City officials have said that leaves in the street or catch basins are not property owners responsibility, however leaves that fall in a yard are. Brenda Lachapelle echoed Fall's remarks before offering the city some advice. "Use general fund money this fall to continue the service of picking up our leaves," she said. "Then come back next year with a long-term solution." Most residents in attendance agreed they would be willing to pay a fee to have the city continue to pick up their leaves. "The money you took with the storm water utility, you keep it," Finton said. "Just come and pick up my leaves."

Roads. Find a long-term solution to fix our streets. 

Dobies proposed a road funding bond issue to repave 20 miles of streets in 2.5 years to be paid for with a 3 mill Tax levy. Those 20 miles of roads out of the 130 needing repairs undoubtedly reside not in the 6th Ward, but in the downtown core. So the voters were going to be asked to fix a few streets downtown while the majority are left as a rim bending wasteland. Fortunately the majority of the council saw this for the ruse it is, an election year no brainier, and voted no.

Blight. Remove blight and restore sustainable neighborhoods.

Derek supports sustainable neighborhoods, the latest buzzword to hit the streets. This involves tearing down as many homes as possible to drive out low to moderate income individuals from the city in hopes of developers coming in and building Yuppy/Millennial nirvana. The only effect so far is destroying the tax base and reducing the value of the homes that remain. Good job Derek.

Derek's own "home" which he purchased for $39,901 in November 2009 has fallen to an SEV of $10,700 in 2014. That amounts to a 46% loss of value in 6 years. Interestingly he claims:

Principal Residence Exemption
June 1st

Yet his duplex property is not registered as non-owner occupied, listed as a multi family and no other information is available.

Penny-pinch. Promote fiscal responsibility at all levels in city hall.

Derek supported paying $45,000 to a PR firm to keep people informed on the downtown dig process. Notice those informative billboards along highways into Jackson? Think anyone cares? Never mind he also supported spending money on a citywide alert and information system, an open data system that is neither open nor has any data and a website redesign that is more facade than user friendly.

Derek just voted to spend $52,000 on a new PR person to help Burtch sell his agenda. This is the Pat Burtch who was given raises for consolidating his position and taking on other duties. The PR position labeled as Public Information Officer (PIO) ends up being filled by non other the MLive reporter Will Forgrave, commonly known as Will the Shill. Will's first appearance was as a commentor on MLive (PIOWillForgrave) defending Dobies and the city like he did as a reporter. We are paying $52,000 per year for this.

Derek is all smoke and mirrors.

Downtown. Invest in our urban core to attract businesses and residents.

Derek is the epitome of a politician who, without a moral compass, has as his claim to fame is spending other peoples money with no accountability. Derek makes proposal after proposal with no credible backup analysis of cost or benefit. He throws out proposals with no input from the public and then wastes precious time and resources of the council on supporting him and of voters on defeating him.

Derek's latest hollow proposal is the Arts Commission which had its first meeting on June 1st. Burtch left early and Dobies never showed up so no business was taken care of. What they did learn is that the proposed heated enclosure for the "Consumers Mosaic" would cost $360,000, not the $100,000 originally suggested. We are sure the city could dig up another $260,000 for this worthy cause.

In the June 8th 2015 article on the Arts Commission stealth project, devious Dobies displays his political ability to lie and spin. After proposing the Arts Commission as costing the city nothing, the truth comes out. Dobies is a liar and will say anything to push his agenda of self aggrandizing.

Dobies stated: The City of Jackson appropriated $119,000 into the new public art fund with the approval of the FY2015-16 budget on May 26. Those funds can be applied to the project by the Public Arts Commission to satisfy the matching funds necessary for the MCACA and NEA grants.

The scope of the project was recently expanded, Dobies said, to include an art display area and public performance space. The mural will be moved to a new downtown park located at 212 W. Michigan Ave., which is where the old Consumers Energy building was located before the company moved in 2003.

Tell us Derek, who approved "the expansion" and where in this little park is all this stuff going to be located?

Of course Consumers could put it in their new "Anchor Building" and keep it warm themselves. Why does CE want to distance themselves from this beautiful work of art? Because it reflects the drive for nuclear power by CE starting in the 70's. That beautiful mosaic depicts a reactor core and associated components. I am sure if it was a mosaic of a wind turbine or solar panel, CE would embrace its preservation whole heatedly.

Safety. Ensure quality public safety to reduce crime.

Derek supported spending general fund and federal dollars on parks such as Austin Blair and the downtown CE park rather than retaining/hiring more patrolman. Derek is now proposing an inspection program to catch human traffickers and sex slave owners who run or frequent topless bars and massage parlors in Jackson. Even though there is no credible evidence of these activities here, Derek wants this to become an issue in his self righteous campaign for reelection.

In his last campaign Derek touted his giving back his salary to the city and to non-profits.

Dobies said that he hopes that the nearly $4,000 given back to the city each year will help go towards three of the main issues he is seeking to address while on council: repairing deteriorating roads, dealing with the vacant housing crisis, or working to ensure quality community safety with adequate police and fire services. He plans to seek community input into which local nonprofit's will receive the other half of the donated salary.

“City Council should be open and transparent,” said Dobies. “That's why Ill seek input into where the money should go and show on my website exactly where every dollar actually ends up. This election is about priorities, and my number one priority is doing everything I can to create a positive future for Jackson. Not only does every dollar matter, but every person matters as well. That's what I hope this pledge shows.”

Dobies published his give back efforts on his website. Take note of the contribution to the F.O.P. to perhaps buy their endorsement?

Dobies cannot be faulted for donating his salary back to worthwhile causes. That meager salary has little impact on his overall income then including $84,000 per year from John Dingell as a district representative. But then, when you are always thinking of your next campaign, this is a small investment of "surplus" funds. And what a little donation can buy: Dobies gave a recent example to that creative practice. As part of his donations back to the city, he bought a new park bench for $928 for Ella Sharp Park. But, instead of just installing the bench, Dobies donated the bench and a small dedication plaque as an auction item in for AWARE’s Lights, Camera, Auction fund raiser last October. Think that dedication plaque referenced Dobies?

JACKSON MI. -- After purchasing the bench, Dobies donated it as an AWARE auction item last October. Gerdau Steel was the highest bidder on the memorial bench – contributing $700 to the Jackson shelter for abused women.

Sort of like how he does everything. Spent $928 and other peoples time and money for a $700 donation. Perhaps a little research would have provided some insight but then again, this was about publicity for Dobies and that is priceless.

An interesting comment accompanied that story on MLive: There are plenty of news worthy stories out there. Most of them requires more effort than sitting behind a computer screen and waiting for press releases and public announcements. These quick responses show how attached modern reporters are to their computers. Dobies just knows how to create buzz for his brand and he is becoming the classic politician in recognition. He is getting his name associated with several non-profits and constant association with other politicians and political donors. In next few years, I am expecting him to make an announcement for Mayor or another office that has a voting base that is very liberal.

However, with regard to Dobies donations, an FOIA requesting documentation showing what Dobies contributed back to the city was responded to by the city saying no such documentation responsive to the request exists. Another hollow promise from Dobies? Who knows.

Dobies received the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police in his previous campaign (2011): "Last week, the Jackson Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 70 endorsed Derek Dobies for Jackson City Council. The F.O.P. Lodge 70 is comprised of Jackson County law enforcement officers, including both active and retired Jackson city police officers."

“Our members appreciate Derek's willingness to put Jackson's future first by giving back his salary,” said Shane LaPorte, current Treasurer of F.O.P. Lodge 70. “Its the kind of leadership we need in these tough times.”

Derek's kind of leadership was obvious with this result: Members of the Jackson City Council will each receive $7,850 this year, while the fire department recently lost 18 of its 34 positions and the police department lost 15 of its 52. The budget for fiscal year 2011-12 cut the fire departments spending by 28.5 percent while the police department took a 8.6 percent cut.

These cuts took place before Dobies was on board but many of his cohorts were. Dobies has had ample opportunity to vote against wasteful spending and support the police officers of Jackson. Instead he votes for parks, a non-working open data portal and rehabilitation of homes as apparent political favors.

So according to a recent handout from Dobies, he has again received the endorsement of the F.O.P. even though Shane is no longer a police officer. We are sure Shane still has strong ties to the F.O.P. notwithstanding his recent hiring by the city as a building inspector without ever submitting an application nor a resume for a position that was not advertised as required by city hiring policies.

Why would the F.O.P. support this loser? Marty Griffin is the president of the local F.O.P chapter, another political opportunist who it appears, bought the endorsement with a contribution.

Derek Dobies: A Big Time Spender On A Little Local Election. What is his real agenda?

Dobies has again started a first class election in his ward. He came by our house handing out little leaflets asking for our votes. He sent out a very expensive bulk mailed flyer with full color graphics and we are not even to the primary where this electioneering will make no difference.

Last election cycle, the newcomer Dobies contributed $5,000 to his own campaign. This election cycle he starts off with a contribution to himself of $10,000.

One has got to wonder what Dobies is up to with personal contributions totally over $15,000 in the last to election cycles for councilman.

Behind the curtain we find all sorts of connections. Dobies is an aspiring politician using resources developed in his career with Griffin and Dingell. The most interesting connection is NGP VAN as referenced on the above contribution sheet.

$10,000 is much more than anyone has ever spent on any city election campaign as far as we can tell. Other interesting connections involve Stacy Harrison, the beneficiary of the only park built where a demolished home once stood at the corner of Blackstone and Mason St.

Stacy Harrison is a contributor to the Dobies campaign and amazingly enough, on the contribution documentation is listed as the owner or something of BTS Consulting in Ferndale Michigan. A visit to the BTS Consulting site reveals that Danielle Dancey, Dobies finance is employed there.

On another note, the rumor on the street is that Jason Smith dropped out of the mayoral race at the instigation of Dobies and his "connections" with the promise of a run for Poleski's coming vacant seat in the Michigan house with democratic party support. Julie Alexander is loving it.

Derek Dobies Campaign Manager AFL-CIO

2015 AFL-CIO Biennial Convention
So we know where the resolution came from: HB 4052 Gives More Power to Lansing Politicians, Special Interests LANSING – Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber issued the following statement today on House Bill 4052, which advanced to the floor of the Michigan Senate following a vote in the Competitiveness Committee.

“This is blatant power grab by Lansing Republicans, plain and simple,” said Bieber. “House Bill 4052 will take away local control of schools, and make it harder to ensure local jobs go to local workers. While Republicans say they want smaller government, this bill actually takes power away from our local communities, and hands it over to politicians and special interests in Lansing. It’s time for our leaders to focus on making our economy work for all of us, and not just the folks at the top.”

The Republican-dominated committee also rejected a common sense amendment by Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) that would have preserved the right for citizens to pass local ballot measures that protect working families.

House Bill 4052 is sponsored by Rep. Earl Poleski (R-Jackson). Earlier this month, the Jackson and Ann Arbor City Councils passed resolutions opposing the bill. “Cities like Jackson need the freedom and flexibility to adopt policies that create good jobs for local workers that pay fair wages,” said Jason Smith, Mayor of the City of Jackson. “Unfortunately, this bill guts local control, and makes it harder for local communities to pass ordinances that protect working families and small businesses. The Legislature should reject this shortsighted bill, and if it reaches his desk, Governor Snyder should veto it to protect local control.”

What this socialist mouthpiece sitting in the mayors seat really said was: "A hallmark of democracy is for a local municipality to dictate the wants and needs of its constituents".

Jason Smith seeking support for his run for Poleski's seat? Dobies, a union operative pushing the union agenda in council resolutions? Dobies and Griffin endorsed by the U.A.W Region 1-D in Grandf Rapids? Can't get any local support so Dobies goes to his union supporters in Grand Rapids?

The technocratic conceit has always been that their judgment should supplant the will of the public. Their methods, they assure themselves, are always justified because the end is noble and the opposition is never arguing in good faith. If they were, the technocrat insists, there would be no opposition in the first place.

This kind of thinking vindicates so many otherwise indefensible ends, including subterfuge and much worse. The technocrats among us today justify the lie because they believe the end is virtuous. And perhaps it is. But what they do not understand is that no end is justified by any and every means. In fact, a virtuous project can be made forever toxic if its proponents adopt dishonest tactics in order to achieve it.

Is this what we want on our council? The influence of the leftist union agenda? A resounding NO!!! Say NO to Griffin and Dobies!

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