Mayor Hinkley, State of the City Address

Mayor Kevin W. Hinkley extends his personal invitation to all to attend his 2015 State of the City Address scheduled for Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Wixom Community Center beginning at 7:00 p.m.
All interested residents should attend.

It is that time of year when considerations are given to the Annual Budgeting of City Services by the Mayor,Council and the Administration. It is time to begin to understand what the Mayor and Council are proposing in the next annual Budget for expenses and taxes.

Residents need to know and to understand how the Mayor’s and Council’s strategy and Budget details will impact their taxes, their programs and the delivery of city services. Specifically, how will the Mayor’s and Council’s next political actions and legislative recommendations affect the community.

Presently, Mr.Nowicki, City Manager, has also extended an invitation for the residents to comment on the upcoming 2015-16  Budget Preparation and is requesting residents for their comments. Under the memo to Council identified as  “City Happenings,” Mr Nowicki offers the following for residents comments for consideration relative to the Budgeting process that Council will consider in the near future.

With the Mayor’s addressing the State of the City coupled with the request from City Manager, Mr. Nowicki, several recommendations may result in some unique savings or programs for the community.

Great idea, and here is a preview of Mr. Nowicki’s request to residents for consideration. You may have other recommendations as well. Let your ideas be known.

 FISCAL YEAR 2015-16 BUDGET PREPARATION: Annually, City staff prepares a proposed budget for City Council consideration and adoption as required by City Charter. This is to be done no later than the second regular City Council meeting in May. Differing from the past, the City Manager, through the City Happenings and by other means, is reaching out to the City Council, City staff and others to solicit creative and innovative ideas and suggestions regarding possible operational and other cost containment measures and efficiencies for the City to be included in this year’s budget proposal to Council.

Those with possible operational cost containment and efficiency ideas and suggestions should submit them to the City Manager’s Office as soon as possible. The person submitting the idea or suggestion having the greatest positive financial impact will be awarded a dinner for two at Al Maidah Mediterranean Grill. Evaluations will be performed by the auditing/accounting firm of Rehman Robson. Submissions need to include a description of the possible cost reduction measure as well as anticipated savings.

Examples of recent cost reduction/control measures include those listed below. Since initiated in November of 2012, these cost savings are calculated to total $750,000 annually.

1. Elimination of the Assistant City Manager position

 2. Reorganization and outsourcing of Building/Planning/Zoning functions

3. Reorganization and outsourcing of Finance Department functions

4. Elimination of one DPW position through the acquisition of a high production snowplow truck (a.k.a. Wing Plow)

5. Reorganization and downsizing of Community Services/Parks & Recreation

6. Implementation of a modified healthcare plan for employees and retirees as recommended by an employee healthcare committee

7. Refinancing of Downtown Development Authority Bonds

8. With the assistance of the Collective Bargaining Units a Tier-II fringe benefits package for new full-time employees was implemented

Previous to the above, the City expended approximately $2.18 million from its Budget Stabilization Fund for Fiscal Years 2008/09 through 2012/13.

Tony Nowicki
Wixom City Manager

Election 2015, Council Change Needed

Yes, it is early to be thinking about Wixom’s City Council election. Specifically with all the hype about the Presidential election of 2016.

Nevertheless, it is important to give thought to the City’s Election on November 3, 2015.

A Mayor, and three Council positions will be up for election.

Note the City’s Post from our own Ms. Cathy Buck, City Clerk. 2015 City Election – Petitions for candidacy for the 2015 Wixom City Election are available in the Office of the City Clerk at Wixom City Hall, 49045 Pontiac Trail, Wixom, MI. One (1) two-year position for Mayor and three (3) four-year positions for Council Member are up for election. Also, the Library Board has two (2) six-year positions and one (1) partial-term position for Board Member.

For further information, please contact the Wixom City Clerk’s office at (248) 624-4557.

Why should voters pay attention to this 2015 election?

1) Council members are ignoring the City Charter’s requirements which they are sworn to Administer. The Charter is enacted for the benefit of the whole people.

2) Council members refuse to eliminate the fraudulent so-called Department of Public Safety and the Position of Director of Public Safety as neither are authorized by City Charter.

3) Taxpayers are getting their money’s worth in the City Manager’s and the Administrative Staff’s leadership in balancing costs with revenues received; therefore, the backdoor removal of the City Manager is incomprehensible.

There is evidence that there is at lease two or more members of our Council that are desperately trying to maintain the fraudulent Department of Public Safety which does not legally exist! To continue with this fraud is to continue an offensive action against the City and its Charter. Members of Council have a legal obligation to perform their duty. All Council members have taken an oath of office. That Oath of Office requires the performance of that duty to support, follow, defend and demand enforcement of the Charter’s requirements.

It is recognized that the Police Department and the Fire Department are separate entities and have separate budgets. Additionally, Police and Fire Departments coordinate their respective responsibilities through the City Manager.

The City Charter requires that the Police Department have a Chief of Police as the Administrator of the Department, not a Director of Public Safety. Both Police and Fire Departments require a “Chief” for their Administration’s duties answering to the City Manager.

The City Manager’s attempt to remedy the situation is met with strong objections from apparently the Mayor and Councilman, Richard Ziegler, perhaps others. Why is there objection to eliminating a “fraudulent department’ and a “position not authorized by Charter?”

In spite of their Oaths of Office, Council members refuse to bring the Police Department under the leadership of a Police Chief as required by the City Charter.

Mr. Nowicki has brought this issue to the Council, and there is resistance by the council to follow his recommendation.

It is evident that there are issues between members of the council, between the Mayor and the City Manager. These distractions are not political but personal. A distraction is also the hiring of a councilman’s wife in a temporary position within the Police Department. This is a serious question of ethics and has the impression of buying a vote for the present Director of Public Safety; a quid pro quo potential.

In the coming election, it is unknown if the Mayor or any of the present council will be seeking reelection. That withstanding, the present relationship of not following the dictates of the Charter are serious offenses. The hiring of relatives of council to any departments within the administration, gives residents a cause for concern.

Nevertheless, now is time to consider the present issues before the Council and contrast the issues with the gains made by the present City Manager, Mr. Nowicki and his Staff are moving the City in the correct direction.

Changes are required of the Council, not in the City Manager’s Administration.

Now is he time to start paying attention to the Council and their actions, or rather their inactions, that are detrimental to interests of the City.

Should the Mayor and any member of Council choose to run again, ask the question, “Will you enforce the City Charter? If not, why not?”

Voters need to ensure that the elected Council in 2015 truly represents the interests of the community and are not a part of the problem.

Historically, the community has many individuals who could run for these positions. Previously, they have come from the Planning Commission, Historical Society, Library Board, and from residents diligently sitting in the back seats of many Council meetings. They too have come from the leadership of the many subdivisions.

Presently and obviously, the Mayor and Council do understand the dereliction of duty to the Charter upon which they have embarked. If they continue to ignore the City Charter which governs the City, their neglect and their personal internal feuding are not only an injustice to themselves, but also an injustice to the Community.

Voters will recognize that this Mayor and Council are not sailing upon unknown chartered waters; however, if the Mayor and Council cannot upright the ship they are presently sailing, why should voters elect or re-elect them to navigate the unchartered waters in Wixom’s future?

Supreme Court: Supreme Injustice

It’s cold outside, so, what are you reading? I have just read, “The Case Against The Supreme Court”written by Erwin Chemerinsky. My understanding of the Supreme Court’s actions on many cases and the Author’s observations and opinions of the court’s deliberations and their final dispositions rendered are in agreement with Mr Chemerinsky.

In many cases the Court has dispensed injustice and has trampled the Constitution and the Bill of Rights denying the American people the justice they deserved.

I find that the Supreme Court Justices are biased and for too long they are in power positions that continually inflict punishment upon Americans without any course for redress of the oppression inflicted. It is unfortunate for the American people. The Justices are so imbedded in their own ideologies that their tenure continues to disenfranchises the American people.

The present Supreme Court: note that Justices are appointed for life, and are accountable to no-one.

The Robert’s Court

Chief Justice John Roberts, Harvard, Catholic

Justice Antonin Scalia, Harvard, Catholic

Justice Anthony Kennedy, Stanford, Harvard, Catholic

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Harvard, Jewish

Justice Stephen Breyer, Stanford, Harvard Law, Jewish

Justice Elena Kagen, Harvard, Jewish

Justice Stephen Breyer, Stanford, Harvard Law, Jewish,

Justice Clarence Thomas, Yale, Catholic

Justice Samuel Alito, Yale, Catholic

The Justices of the Supreme Court are ideological imbedded, and bring to the Court an inability to follow the principles established within the Constitution. There are several cases that verify this reality that the Justices did not, and have not followed the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

They are instances within cases where the justices’ statements are not relevant to the judicial review of the prevailing case; there were unethically and irrelevant material injected into the substance of the case. Therefore, the cases were flawed and should never have been discussed as relevant.

Reasonableness to the question disputed is a responsibility required of the judiciary and there must be an equitable deliberation relative to to the Court’s responses.

Formal opinions delivered must follow the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not an ideological bent. A Constitutional Democracy means that decisions among competing values ought to be weighed by the values and principles abased upon the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Certainly the Courts have made tremendous strides in many areas, but there have been decisions that have been made by the Court that are incomprehensible to any rational individual. The disposition of several issues and the opinions of the Court have plunged many American people into a cesspool of injustice without any hope of restitution, or recourse.

Justice is denied because of their unconscionable and unjustifiable rendering of opinions that further degrades the well-being and welfare of the people guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

Furthermore, the Bill of Rights protects the life, liberty, and prosperity, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship, and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be substituted to vote: they depend on the outcome of no elections.

Here are three examples of cases where the Constitution was not appropriately applied and where the Supreme Court Justices did not represent the people, nor did they follow the Constitution or The Bill of Rights. There are many others.

Three examples of Constitutional injustice follows.

The simple summaries [from Wikipedia]

  • Bush vs Gore

Some of the decision’s critics argued that the Court’s decision was a perversion of the Equal Protection Clause,[66] and contrary to the political question doctrine.[68] On the other hand, Geoffrey R. Stone has expressed sympathy with the Court’s equal protection reasoning, even though Stone was dismayed by what he saw as the sudden and suspect conversion of Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas to that equal protection principle. According to Stone:

No one familiar with the jurisprudence of Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas could possibly have imagined that they would vote to invalidate the Florida recount process on the basis of their own well-developed and oft-invoked approach to the Equal Protection Clause.[69]

Reading the details of the case is indeed complex. The simple answer to this case: The Supreme Court should not have addressed a “Political Question.”

“The Court ordered an end to the counting of votes in Florida based on its interpretation of Florida Election Law.” It is a matter of Supreme Court principles that political questions should be dismissed and not decided by the Federal Courts.

The results of an election of who wins is unknown until all the votes are counted.

  • Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission

The ruling is also often incorrectly characterized as creating the idea that corporations may exercise speech rights, and that “corporations are people.” Both notions are also incorrect.The Supreme Court has recognized that corporations, as associations of people, may exercise many of the rights of natural persons at least since Dartmouth College v. Woodward in 1819, and has recognized that corporations are protected under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment since Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railway was decided in 1886. First Amendment protection for corporate speech has also been recognized since at least Valentine v. Christenson (1942), and in the realm of campaign finance since at least First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti (1978). The question in Citizens United was simply whether the First Amendment protected the rights of corporations to engage in a particular form of corporate speech.[citation needed]

There are few who are not aware of the Supreme Court’s rendered Opinion that gave Corporations unfettered ability to fund election campaigns. And the common misnomer that Corporations are human and have free speech. The Court did another injustice to the American people with the decision rendered.

Money is property not speech. Corporations are born through legal elements; they have no voting rights, but the Court saw to it that money and Corporations do have a powerful voice. There too is no remedy for this injustice and the American people will be pushed into political turmoil until eventually, tragedy will sway the Judiciary to acknowledge the fact that their biases turned money into free speech for Corporations and injustice prevailed on the people.
Shelby County Alabama vs Holder

From Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), is a landmark[1][2] United States Supreme Court case regarding the constitutionality of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: Section 5, which requires certain states and local governments to obtain federal preclearance before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices; and Section 4(b), which contains the coverage formula that determines which jurisdictions are subjected to preclearance based on their histories of discrimination in voting.[3][4]

On June 25, 2013, the Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that Section 4(b) is unconstitutional because the coverage formula is based on data over 40 years old, making it no longer responsive to current needs and therefore an impermissible burden on the constitutional principles of federalism and equal sovereignty of the states.[3][4] The Court did not strike down Section 5, but without Section 4(b), no jurisdiction will be subject to Section 5 preclearance unless Congress enacts a new coverage formula.[5]

Finally, Constitutional Law asks, ‘What is reasonable?”

  • The observations made are that Justices perception of reasonableness, which is a product of the Judge’s life Experience and views; therefore, they make ‘Value Choices”

  • Justice should be praised or blamed and ridiculed for their choices reflecting the absence of applied principles dictated as principles within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights when improperly applied in their Disposition Opinions.

  • Freedom and Equality, the Constitutions greatest aspiration, fail the American people because of the ideological bent of those Justices who ideological bent is apparent and injustice apportioned as legal precedent and improperly applied through abhorrent litigation.

I recommend reading “The Case Against The Supreme Court” written by Erwin Chemerinsky.

My next reading, “Theodore Rex” by Edmond Morris. What’s yours?

Stay Warm.

City Manager and Staff: Great Performance!

The Council and taxpayers should be dancing in the streets as Mr. Nowicki and his staff have done an excellent job with reducing the City’s budget while maintaining essential services!

The City Manager and Staff have worked together and made tremendous strides in transitioning the City from a previous debt-ridden operating Administration having excessive department staffing and has stopped the continuation of an unaffordable status-quo staffing. 

The Administration has transitioned into a streamlined efficient and effective staffing that has gained control of expenditures and brought expenses in line consistent with revenues received.

Under the administrative management of Mr Nowicki (with the support of Council), City service departments have streamlined internal department efficiencies.

The City Manager and his Staff have done all the heavy-lifting: Council has given Mr. Nowicki most of the support he has needed as it should be.

However, the Council tends to micro-manage. Overview and legislation are functions of Council; adding costs and staff that the CM has not requested is not their duty.

It is under these circumstances that there are hints that Mayor Hinkley and Council members are reviewing the City Manager’s performance. There is displeasure discussed outside the purview of the public and not at the Council’s table.

What is going on?

There are Council members expressing dissatisfaction of the City Manager. Those specific reasons have yet to be voiced publicly; Council members are having discussions vie e-mails, phone-calls, etc., nothing is said at the council table. The “why” for dissatisfaction is yet to be openly disclosed.

Some Council members are apparently discussing the proposed strategy for dismissal of the City Manager without due cause. Why?

If this strategy is true, it needs to stop now. The City Manager and his staff deserve our gratitude, not an irresponsible action against Mr. Nowicki.

That some members of Council may have personal vendettas systemic from the previous Adminstration may be the reason formulated to instigate the Council’s dismal action against Mr. Nowicki. (old birds of the feather do flock together)

It is recognized that the success of the CM is not always measured in terms of balancing revenues with expenses and maintaining service provided at reduced costs through structured renegotiation. But it is a great reason to have an excellent and ethical City Manager in Mr. Nowicki. He is an attribute not a liability.

Mr. Nowicki has done an exceptional job by managing difficult staffing issues and consolidating operations management activities; none of these objectives were accomplished without tremendous forethought and planning. (should we add anxiety)

But Mr. Nowicki took on the responsibility and accountability of the City Manager’s job. His Ethics in staffing, financial management, and business operations led him to the correct conclusions in transitioning his staff for optimum delivery of service for the community.

The value of the City Manager’s administrative competence and the Council’s cooperation were instrumental in the success of moving the community forward.

Let us understand that we are in a difficult situation, and Mr. Nowicki is on the correct path. Council should let him continue with his success and work on issues worthy of their attention. For example,   demanding that the Administration of the Police Department meet the requirements of the City Charter.

After all, Council members are sworn into office to follow the City Charter, and there is an obligation of duty to comply.

Citizens need to pay attention to this council’s actions and remember this activity in the next election.

 

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

          MERRY CHRISTMAS

From my family to you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

There is a considerable amount of torment and anxiety in the country at this time but let us remember the reason for the season and be thankful for family, friends and neighbors.

Thanks too for all those who work as Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS Servers, Doctors, Nurses and to all those volunteers and support groups that do so much for so many during these and their difficult times.

Little things mean a lot; so do what you can, when you can, and  where you can. Please do not forgot those who have served in the Armed services and remember those who have given all to protect the freedoms that we enjoy in our daily lives.

Thanks to all those volunteers here in Wixom who do so much to serve and care for this Community With Character; a community that is a place where peace and tranquility prevail.

If you are traveling, travel safe; the coming year will be a better place here in Wixom because of your interests, your concern, and your safe return.

Best Wishes to all.