The Forum is co-moderated by Karl Fink and John Hansen.
If you wish to be added to the Forum mailing list just send a request toRepHansen@aol.com. or KarlVFink@gmail.com You will get meeting reminders, meeting notes and nothing else.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, January 18,2020 at 8:30 AM The group meets on the first and third Saturdays of the month. ------------------------------------------------------------------ <<< The "Stump" >>> ---- Expect more Stump activity as we approach the elections. ---- ------------------------------------------------------------------ ************************ "It is the year of the big election. There will possibly be three before the big one, but the big one is coming. We will Listen and Learn." ***************************
The Dexter Forum is supported by the Dexter Wellness Coalition as part of the 5 Healthy Towns initiative to "help connect with others in healthy ways". The purpose of the Forum is to create an opportunity for interested women and men to gather to discuss important issues facing our community. All are welcome on a drop-in basis. The group meets on the first and third Saturdays of the month.
The Forum in action- Picture credit to Amy Hydlauff from an Article in "Connected"
-Latest FORUM Notes--
"We make the agenda at the meeting so you never know what's on peoples' minds until you ask." ================================================== Dexter Forum Notes 1-4-20 Even though it was a new year we began with an old topic - the county mental health and public safety millage from 2017. The millage was promoted by our sheriff as a way of dealing with the large number of jail residents with mental health issues but it was configured in a pretty complicated way that allowed some communities to use the funds for other purposes. No governmental unit in the Dexter area got any of the 'special' funds since we all contract with the sheriff's department for police protection so we don't really understand where the approximately ten million dollars actually ended up.
The new redistricting commission that will draw the lines for the 2020 election was required to mail out 250,000 applications to serve on the commission as one of the first steps in the process. Actually anyone can apply but 250,000 folks chosen at random received a personal invitation. With around 8,000,000 eligible voters the odds would be about one in thirty that you might be chosen. We had five winners at the forum. The people who follow through and apply and are not disqualified for any of a number of reasons will then be whittled down to 13. Hopefully one of our five will make it so we can have a front row seat to what is likely to be a very contentious process.
Friend Rex, and everyone who subscribes to the sheriff's department notification service called Nixle, was invited to apply for the citizen's police academy and he wondered what it was all about. In true Forum style we had both an instructor from the academy and a graduate of the program to explain how things work. It is basically an outreach program to help regular folks understand the scope of the sheriff's department and build community good will.
One of the things we do at the Forum is honor our public officials. To have good government we need good people to step up and run for office and we are pleased to have become a bit of a proving ground for candidates so we acknowledge their presence, let them introduce themselves and encourage them to campaign out in the lobby afterwards. When we get closer to the election we will invite them to get up on our stump. Each candidate faces a different set of procedural hurdles. Some need 14 signatures on a nominating petition while some need 1,000 and some can just waive the whole requirement. All need money to get their message out and they all must report all of their contributions. It is a real plus to get to know these folks on a personal basis.
We closed with an emotional good bye from school board president Michael Wendorf who is moving to California. During his 15 years on the school board the district has made clear progress on all fronts and he can leave knowing that he helped make a good school district even better.
================================ December 21, 2019
'Twas four days before Christmas and with proper decorum the citizens they gathered for the last Dexter Forum (of the year).
Now a really clever person with a lot of time on their hands could re-cap the whole year in this manner but that's not me and besides I can't think of anything that rhymes with Pelosi that doesn't sound like an infectious disease.
Lynn Babcock promoted the new Dexter Community choir. It is a fledgling group of 16 SATB singers following in the paths of our famed Dexter Community Orchestra and Band.
It turns out that the fire department was probably doing a routine test of all of the lights and sirens in the fleet and not getting a jump on new year's eve celebrations this morning.
The new pedestrian crossings are working fine, even the one that was run over by a truck before it was fully installed, but human crossing guards are hard to find.
Julie Schumaker let us know that the Dexter Community Fund is doing well with its' $100,000 matching challenge. This group has come a long way in five short years and will serve For Good, For Dexter, For Ever.
Dick Weaver got some push back from folks while ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. There is a concern that the Army does not provide services to LGBTQ folks on an equal basis. This is a big enough concern that the Salvation Army has a big spread on it's web site defending itself against these charges. Check it out if this is a concern to you.
The Presidential primary will be held on March 10, 2020. Anyone can vote absentee now and it is expected that many more will do so. This is an election where you have to request a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or proposition only ballot (there is also a WCC funding issue on the ballot). We talked about the prospect of allowing presidential surrogates to give stump speeches but there were enough groans in the room that we will probably will let that idea slide.
There was a question about the status of the petition drive to force the city council to prevent the construction of the Avalon/Faith in Action housing project on Dan Hoey Road. We had a member of the Board of Canvassers present but he let us know that it was the County Election Commission that has the job of reviewing petition language so we don't know the status at this time.
=================================================== December 07, 2019 We began by recognizing that today was Pearl Harbor Day which for many of us was the defining moment of our young lives.
Thanks were passed along to our city officials for the successful installation of the new pedestrian safety crosswalks that, even though they were designed primarily for the safety of our young people, they also work well for senior citizens out walking their dogs.
Lois from the League of Women Voters, brightly clad in her defenders of democracy shirt, gave a presentation on the upcoming 2020 census. It turns out that the census is the largest peace time undertaking of the federal government and they are currently looking to hire about 500,000 additional staff. The goal of the census is to count every person just once and in the right place. People will be asked to respond to just seven questions about each resident of their household and they can do it by mail, by phone, online or in person.
Abby Briggs, the head of the community players, surveyed the group regarding their desire for upcoming productions. The community players have performed a broad range of musicals and plays along with a vibrant selection of children's productions. We want Hamilton and Abby indicated that the rights to perform will likely be released in about 35 years and we will be first in line.
Now that THE election is less than a year away (there will be three other possible election days first) we acknowledged five declared candidates for office who were present. We were reminded that school and library offices were also on deck. In the case of our district library the trustee positions are appointed not elected.
The terms of three school board members are expiring - Ron Darr, Barbara Read and Michael Wendorf. Michael Wendorf rose but not to declare his candidacy for re-election but to announce his resignation effective January 31, 2020. Michael is moving to California. The board will appoint someone to serve out the remainder of his term within 30 days of his departure. Michael was warmly acknowledged for his years of strong leadership on the board.