Grosse Pointe Woods Residents - Listen Up!

The current mayor, council, and appointed administration are out of ideas! It's time to make some changes before our city is ruined by their incompetent governing!

The current mayor, council, and administration that presides over us is a failure.  It is clear.

Their budget - disastrous.  Their ideas - old, dull, and unsuccessful.

It is their duty as the elected and appointed officials of our city to do whatever necessary to fix whatever crisis may appear to them.  They were met with a sort of budget crisis, if you will.  Before thinking about making cuts, they brazenly came to the people to ask for more money.

They wanted to raise taxes by adding 1.85 mills for the next 10 years - the people said NO.  They wanted to borrow $10 million - the people said NO.

Let me make this clear - I VOTED YES ON BOTH PROPOSALS.  Why?  Because I sincerely feel that if those are the only ideas they can come up with, we might as well jump on board because this administration is clearly too lazy to FIRST look at the budget and make some necessary cuts!  The administration isn’t going to fix the city, obviously - they are too incompetent to do so.  So, since they were passing the responsibility onto the taxpayers, I thought we might as well vote to pass the proposals...  I mean, something has to be done, right?


Well, there’s a lot that could’ve been done before asking the people to pay more taxes.  Just to name a few...

- Cut salaries and benefits to this blundering administration.

- Eliminate the position of City Clerk.

- Postpone less needed expenditures (i.e. new vehicles, new carpeting, new cameras).

- Postpone adding staff.

- And stop the parties that are costing the TAXPAYERS thousands of dollars!


They overlooked all of this, and instead tried to raise our taxes.

The only ideas they came up with to fix our budget and to fix up our city - REJECTED.  What we need to do is make necessary cuts to the budget if we want to be able to fix our roads and keep our services.  It’s time to trim the fat around here!  And all this administration can come up with is to raise our taxes?  It’s ridiculous!

This is a prime example of failed leadership.  These people need to go!  Most of them have been where they are for too dang long!  Their ideas are old.  Their leadership has failed.

Three of the council members and Mr. Mayor-For-Life Novitke are up for reelection in 2013.  We need to show them that we’re not going to put up with their incompetence for any longer.  We need to show them that we want new ideas, and that we’re not going to put up with the status quo any longer.

Look at what the city has turned into under their leadership.  We’ve got roads that resemble those of Detroit.  We’ve seen turmoil and anguish from residents at a failed “town hall” meeting.  We’re seeing mass distrust of our elected and appointed officials.  This has got to stop.

Now that the millage proposal has come and gone, it’s clear that the administration is not working.  In 2013, (yes, I’m already looking ahead to 2013) vote for change, vote for fresh faces, vote against the status quo, and vote to get these incompetent "leaders" out of office.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

GPW Resident November 09, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Lets start with the City's Charter. Its old and out dated since it doesn't offer residents Government Transparency!!
Bob Frapples November 09, 2012 at 06:57 PM
It's not just about cutting costs, it's also about raising revenue so I wouldn't be surprised to see them start to relax their morals when trying to fill the growing number of vacant business properties around town. We're probably just a few months away from seeing Mack Avenue lined with Check cashing places, dollar stores and hydroponic supply outlets. I hope everyone thinks of their "no blank check" vote when they're driving past the combination barber shop/car wash/used tire store that used to sell chandeliers.
John F Martin November 09, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Agreed. Except, I voted no. If for no other reason their campaign was TERRIBLE. A first year public relations major could have done a better job. I have no problem with higher taxes IF I KNOW THE FUNDS WILL BE MANAGED WELL. It's similar to Mr. Romney's failed bid: if you plan on fixing the economy, you better be able to explain how you're going to do it. . . in specific terms. Here's to 2013!
Colton Michael Dale November 09, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Well said.
Colton Michael Dale November 09, 2012 at 08:08 PM
The raising of revenue must come far after all cuts are made and looked over. If the city is still not doing well, we raise revenue... SLOWLY and CAREFULLY. Not in the matter they tried to do it. This administration's failed leadership hasn't the slightest clue on how run a city.
Chris K November 09, 2012 at 09:03 PM
GPW Resident: There might be a fatal flaw in rewriting the city charter. When GP Shores rewrote theirs because it was old it reset the millage rate to the maximum 20 mills. I don't think that would be the best way to begin to address the fiscal problems the city claims it has especially with the current city council which does not engage its residents in any meaningful way.
christopher November 10, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Colton, I agree that things need to change and things could of been promoted better to give a clearer understanding of the shortfalls. However, you are writting as if the city has done nothing and thats not fair to the employees who HAVE taken pay cuts, furlough days, and are contributing a lot more to their health care. These individuals have been trying to provide the same services while working with less manpower and equipment, also Lets not forget the 19 full time positions eliminated, the pay freezes for the last three years and other then the much needed police vehicles there has not been one vehicle purchased in the last 5yrs. I think you need to take the time and talk to a police officer you run into, talk to the guys on the big leaf machines or lawn mowers in the park. Thats what i do when i want to know the facts. They will tell you how they only have 3 police cars on duty, how the DPW is running with 4 shorter staff members and rotting equipment. These departments have been making cuts for 4 yrs now. The City failed miserably in promoting this Millage and now both employees and citizens are going to feel the squeeze. I agree with where you are going with your blog but i think you need to be informed before you start calling people incompetent and accused of doing nothing.
Popeye November 11, 2012 at 07:06 AM
Well Christopher, I think that we need to take a look at all of the city employees. Perhaps the most disappointing issue concerning this campaign was the lack of integrity to the taxpayer in the financial data that was presented by the City. The City wanted a Headlee Override to the General Fund. Yet they neglected to mention that the millage rate had increased by 33% over the last 5 years. They also did not mention that the Woods General Fund and Total Tax Revenue millage rates are alreader higher than the Park, City, and Farms rates. Also, they attempted to justify the General Fund increase by utilizing an expired park bond, trash and ems savings and savings in the County assessment for the Milk River Drain. These are irrelevant issues to the General Fund. The other Pointe governments appear to be running their organizations more efficiently than the Woods. We need City Officials that are accountable to the Woods taxpayers. I am sure that some of the city employees are working very hard and have legitimate concerns. However, they are victims of the financial mismanagement of the City Council and City Officialls, not the taxpayers. Perhaps the City Council will host a real public meeting for residents to suggest ways to cut the budget. The Woods needs an inclusive government.
Ted November 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Does anyone know how GPW employee compensation compares to it's neighbors in the Pointes? In Metro Detroit? In the state? Also, what is the employee to population ratio, and how does it compare? Understand we've made cuts, but how do we know that's enough, or are there still inefficiencies there to eliminate before we raise taxes?
Joseph Sucher November 11, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I think it might be a good time to take a breather, enjoy the upcoming holidays, reflect on where we are and above all, recheck your facts. For example, and admittedly a small fact. The partial quote “there has not been one vehicle purchased in 5 years." Not true. During my last year on Council (2011) we, on an expedited basis, approved the purchase of multiple police cars just prior to the time FordMoCo discontinued the production of their Police cruiser. Rationale..... Waiting would mean having to purchase the Dodge Charger police model resulting in scrapping and replacing the interior brackets, mounts and other devices used to hold rifles, shotguns, computers, video equipment, radio equipment, exterior emergency lighting etc etc. These replacement vehicles came into service with the new solid dark paint using decal markings on the sides. This replaced the former black and white paint scheme in use for the previous 4 or 5 years. Not a game changer by itself, as I said. However, as plans are made to effect change, decisions MUST be based on solid facts, not the kind of information typically contained in the 20 second sound bites that evolved in recent elections at municipal, State and National levels. Just a thought.
Joseph Sucher November 11, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I agree that transparency does not describe the operation of this City. However I'm not clear on why you propose changing the charter. First, it's not an easy thing to do. Second, what do you feel are the offending provisions which if modified would improve transparency? I think transparency could be and should be improved. However introducing new and/or modifications to existing ordinances would be far less difficult and could achieve your desired outcomes more easily, once specific objectives are determined.
Joseph Sucher November 11, 2012 at 05:19 PM
On the subject of transparency, here is a new and very positive effort by our Department of Public Safety. Perhaps a sign of change. Anyway, I was fortunate enough to attend the initial Grosse Pointe Woods Citizens Police Academy. Over six consecutive Thursday evenings, seven of us were treated to informative presentations on the organization and activities of our Department Public of Safety staff. Under the leadership of Public Safety Director Andrew Pazuchowski, and the outstanding presenations made by Lt. John Kosanke, Sgts. Keith Waszak, David Gardzella, Raymond Yankowski, Detectives Dan Koerber, Anthony Chalut, Kevin Bonk, Fire Inspector Joseph Provost and PSO James Thompson we learned of the services provided, also information on Traffic Enforcement, Dispatch operations, Youth officer functions, Fire operations and safety, Crime prevention and First aid/CPR. We took a hands on tour of a police car and it's equipment and one of the Fire trucks, the pumper. We were also treated to a demonstration by Grosse Pointe City Sgt. Michael Almeranti and his canine partner Rollie Director Pazuchowski "Paz" is planning on repeating the academy and hopes for greater participation by residents in the future. I highly recommend this as do each and every one of this year's "graduates" You might talk to the Director about this next time you see him.
christopher November 12, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Mr.Sucher, if you look back at what i wrote you will see i clearly mentioned the police vehicles. I agree with Popeye that the City officials need to be more accountable and more efficient. As i took my breather and reflected and rechecked my facts as you asked Mr.Sucher I must admit that i'm dumbfounded on a few things and perhaps you can help? As head of the finance committee, did you not forsee this (shortfall, housing market drop) coming? Why does it seem you, Waldmeir, and Howle bailed just as soon as this started happening? why did all three of you consistantly vote and approve the exact same things you claimed in your anti-millage campaign that was corrupt, tax payer waste etc....? why didnt you three donate your wages back at the time if you felt so strongly, why did you approve the volunteers dinner every year?This situation didnt happen over night, as a matter of fact it started 4 years ago while all three of you were still on council. I'm just curious if you heed any responsibilty at all in this mess? Maybe you three were smart enough to see the writting on the wall and bailed out so you wouldnt have to face the fire? This holiday season maybe you three really need to reflect and ponder the mess you all helped start.
Diane Smith November 12, 2012 at 05:41 PM
H A P P Y H O L I D A Y S C H R I S T O P H E R!
Chris K November 12, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Christopher: You make your point over and over and over about Waldmiier, Howle and Sucher but weren't Bryant, Granger and Novitke also involved? Over the holidays should residents consider whether it is necessary to mount a recall of these three? I am kind of sick of hearing about what the ones who left did or did not do. It just is not worth rehashing any longer Please, give it a rest already and I would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.
christopher November 12, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Chris K, absolutely, i definetly think it's time for new young blood in this council and i certainly blame the other three as well. I am just MIFFED at how things got to where they are and nobody did anything for the last 5 years. I just dont think they deserve some free pass as if they did nothing wrong and point fingers to the the three remaining. They are on here getting high praise for pointing out things they let happen as well. The community should be angry with them and our council and demand to know why things are they way they are now! I have a vested interest in this as a home owner and i'm praying that i didnt make a huge mistake by buying a nice home here to raise a family and now my services are going to get cut. I know it's a snobbish thing to say, but i was glad that Grosse Pte Woods was not affordable for just any "average Joe". It is a pride thing to say you have done well and live in a Grosse Pointe.........( i just want it to stay that way). Happy Holidays to you as well and to Diane and everyone else. I'm sorry that i am passionate and let things get the better of me and drive people crazy. I just dont like dirty politics and the weasles who hide.
Arthur B. November 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
The Mayors of the Woods and Park often close the council meeting with a not very funny joke about how fast and short the meeting has been. Woods citizens should go watch a council meeting in the Farms or Shores to see how a council can actually conduct real discussions and decisions in front of an audience of voters. Woods should get rid of the Committee of the Whole where the council meets in the little conference room and pre-bakes the decisions away from the public and press. You cannot ask voters to trust city hall while the council sits silent without discussion month after month, taking pride in a twenty minute meeting.
Quinn Smith November 13, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Want to raise revenue? Annex the 1-3 blocks of Harper Woods up to I-94 between Allard and Vernier.
Chris K November 14, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Woods residents only need to tune to channel 12 on Comcast to see the Shores council meetings and see real exchanges of ideas. A newly elected Woods council person last year indicated he was going to advocate for televised meetings. Still waiting for that to happen, I think he has drunk too many glasses of the council water to make good on his pledge.
Colton Michael Dale November 14, 2012 at 02:44 AM
I have been to a number of city council meetings over the last few months, and I couldn't agree more with what you've just said. I think I might have to head on down to a Farms or Shores City Council meeting to see for myself what a real Council looks like.
GPW Resident November 14, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Mr S. I would like to refer to an article from the C&G News. http://www.candgnews.com/news/residents-decide-fate-two-millage-proposals This is the statement that concerned me. City officials argue that they cannot do anything more specific than say it is going in the general fund. “Our charter doesn’t call for that,” Fincham said. “We have to follow the charter language.” It's obvious the problem is the Charter Language allowing them to hide transparency. I can't validate this statement. I could not find the Charter on the City Website or Archive Library.
paul November 14, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Never dump more money into a failing city until all needed changes are made.It has already been shown that they are not capable of changing in any way so why reward them with more money to spend?They show zero interest in building a strong business district or community.If they did we would be growing rather than shrinking.If this were a failing company the only resort would be new leadership across the board.Just filling buildings is not building a city.Leadership should be learning how Rochester got a brand new downtown and not asking for money.Why give someone a no limit American Express if they have no skills how to budget and understand debt?There is so much potential here and nothing being done at all.Time is running out though and if we continue down this path of old ideas time will run out.Then everyone will suffer.It has been said that the captain of a sinking ship must toss everything overboard that is not absolutely crucial to the survival of those aboard.If residents and business owners don't demand significant change things will only continue to fail.Why in the world would anyone want to be around for more than two terms anyway?Thanks to Patch for not being part of the BUBBA system and allowing the truth to be told.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »