**The DEXTER 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.-
-Meeting Dates-*** The next meeting of the Dexter Forum is Oct, 01, 2022 - -8:30 AM** ***Future meeting Dates**** When- Every 2 weeks from 8:30am to 9:30am on Saturday (BUT only 2 Saturdays a month) - Zoom Meetings---- are now Paused
***************************************************** ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- <<< The "Stump">> ---- "Stump Activity" is BACK in full use!!!. ---- - ------------------------------------------------------------------ ************************************** One can check the Forum Notes from previous meetings on the "forum previous notes" pages.. **************************************
Who We Are-
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. The group meets on the first and third Saturdays of the month at the Dexter Wellness Center.
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." ****
========================================================== Season 08, Episode 16 #183, Sept. 17, 2022
It was non-partisan Saturday on the Stump at the Dexter Forum. We had candidates for school board and city council, both of which are non-partisan bodies. That doesn't mean that the candidates don't have a personal party affiliation though.
Karl had the day off. Off his feet too, since he was home recovering from knee surgery. Bill Gordon kept the room balanced.
Attendance was good and questions were many so listening to the candidates was the total focus of the meeting.
And they were:
Sanam Arab- Sanam was appointed to the city council to fill a vacancy and is now running for a full term.
Rhonda Haines - Rhonda is running for a seat on the Dexter Board of Education.
Christy Vander Haagen - Christy is also running for a seat on the Dexter Board of Education.
Zach Michels - Zach is a current city council member running for mayor.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at the Dexter Wellness Center at 8:30 AM. Still lots more candidates to hear from and perhaps some folks with opinions on some of the ballot issues.
=========================================================== Season 08, Episode 15, #182, Sept. 03, 2022
The sprint towards election day has begun and the candidates are out in force and our stump is full. I don't summarize stump speeches and usually just say you have to be present to get the full effect. Well, present you were. We had the largest crowd in the history of the Dexter Forum.
Jennifer Conlin was our first speaker. She is the Democratic candidate for State Representative for the new 48th district which includes Webster Township and points north. She did not have a primary opponent so she has been waiting patiently for her turn on the stump.
Next came Melanie Szawara. She was appointed to the Dexter board of education to fill a vacancy and is now running for election to that seat.
We took a little break in the middle to let councilwoman Sanam Arab shed a little more light on the fire services bond request that will be on the city ballot.
Next came Karl Barr who was one of the two victors in the runoff for District Court 14A Judge.
And finally Dan Alabre who is also seeking election to a school board seat that he currently holds through appointment. School board seats are non-partisan and are for a term of six years (just like the US Senate).
Folks who would like to see all four school board candidates on the same stage should note that the Dexter school district will be holding a candidate forum in the Bates board room on Thursday, September 15 at 7:00 PM.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, September 17 at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness Center. While our event is a crisp 60 minutes we take great joy is seeing people before and after the meeting getting to speak one-on-one with the folks who wish to represent them in all levels of government.
=========================================================== Season 08, Episode 14, #181, August 20, 2022
At the suggestion of Steve Bemis we began our discussion with an affirmation of the integrity of our election system. We had three election inspectors and a challenger in attendance. All talked about the checks and double checks present and the level of care that the inspectors take to 'balance the books'.
We didn't bring out the stump today just to provide a little break between the primary and general election but it will likely be full at the next four sessions. City council candidates Joe Semifero and Sanam Arab were present along with Zach Michels who is a candidate for mayor. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has become a regular and school board candidate Melanie Szawara was with us as well.
And then.....off to the races. City council has placed an issue on the November ballot to fund the construction of improved facilities for the fire department. Let's just say that there is a lot more to be learned about this proposal and, like with stump speeches, it is best to hear the discussions in person. And we did. This is just about the only thing we talked about today.
For those of you who read these notes in the SunTimesNews - the Dexter Forum is a gathering of local folks who like to discuss current events in an atmosphere that is designed to promote learning not confrontation. We meet at the Dexter Wellness Center on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 8:30 to 9:30 AM. We always have several local officials in attendance who know what is going on and during election season we give candidates an opportunity to step up on our stump and tell us why we should vote for them (not why we should not vote for their opponent).
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, September 3, 2022 at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness Center. We know it is a holiday weekend but we just stick to the 1st and 3d Saturdays to avoid confusion.
=========================================================== Season 08, Episode 13, #180, August 06, 2022 The post primary edition of the Dexter Forum was more wide ranging than usual beginning with the introduction of Alyshia Dyer who is a candidate for sheriff in 2024. Talk about planning ahead! You heard it here first.
We congratulated Karl Barr for earning the right to join Fawn Armstrong on the November run off for district court judge.
And then, of course, off to China. Newcomer Alex Thomas, just back from teaching English in Shanghai, helped answer the question about why Nancy Pelosi went to Taiwan. And we learned about the silicon shield. Part of our interest in Taiwan stems from the fact that they produce lots of microchips for us but it turns out they produce lots of them for the Chinese as well hopefully shielding them from hostile actions by either side.
It's coming down to the wire for the council to put an issue on the November ballot about fire facilities. Fix, build or none of the above. Joe Semifero, a candidate for city council and councilperson Zach Michels, a candidate for mayor helped us understand why this has been an issue for 24 years.
And we talked some more about the proposed roundabout by the A&W. We were not sure exactly what that would accomplish but we all agreed that it would not make the underpass any bigger.
We ended with a little post mortem on the Multigenerational Activity Millage proposal that was defeated. Bad timing. Complex language. New tax at a time of high inflation. This issue was placed on the ballot by the school district and the board of education (a non partisan body) will have two positions on the fall ballot. Four candidates have filed and all four were present today and all four have already asked for a turn on our stump. We will start that process in September.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness Center.
========================================================== Season 08, Episode 12, #179, July 16, 2022 Karl and I sat in our new, more comfortable chairs and we switched sides just to show that we are not locked in to any particular position.
We might consider changing our name from the Dexter Forum to the What is going to happen to the Sloan property discussion group. There are now new owners and new plans being proposed for the Sloan property (south of the city of Dexter on Baker Road). This proposal has a mixture of housing types but still relies on annexation to handle the sewage. Councilman Zach, who is an urban planner in his day job, seemed enthusiastic about the discussion.
Becky Cobler, president of the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce, stood near our stump to encourage passage of the multigenerational activity millage (MAM).
Commander Gordon set us at ease about the fighter jet traffic overhead yesterday. It was the Blue Angels scaring the pants off media types who were getting a thrill ride while the pilots familiarized themselves with local landmarks in preparation for the Thunder over Michigan air show at Willow Run this weekend.
Stephen (not Steve) Ranzini gave his stump speech in favor of his candidacy for Washtenaw County Commission - District 2. This is the seat being vacated by Sue Shink who can't run for two things at the same time.
We get a little break from all of this political stuff since July is one of those five Saturday months. Our next meeting will be on Saturday, August 6, 2022 (after the primary) at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness center.
========================================================== Season 08, Episode 11, #178, July 03, 2022
It is only 30 days until the primary - unless you already voted absentee - so we finished up on stump speeches by folks with primary opponents. You can feel the excitement building amongst the candidates as August 2 approaches.
First up was Kelsy Heck Wood (D) candidate for the 14th District State Senate seat in the newly drawn district that covers much of Jackson and Washtenaw Counties.
In between stump speeches I tried to get myself in trouble by discussing implications of the overturning of Roe v Wade but Karl bailed me out and got us back on track.
Next on the stump was Jason Woolford (R) candidate for the 48th House District in the newly drawn district that covers northern Washtenaw county and up into Livingston County.
While I don't try to summarize stump speeches it is fair to say that we stretched out the Q&A a little bit and got a pretty good picture of where the candidates stand.
Your job as influencers right now is to drum up a little interest in Dexter city and school board races. These are both non-partisan so will not be on the ballot until November but there are terms that are expiring and as far as I can see there are no announced candidates. The deadline for filing is coming up soon. Maybe it will be YOU?
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will on Saturday, July 16th at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness Center. Since July is a 5 Saturday month this will be our last meeting before the primary election.
========================================================== Season 08, Episode 10, #177, June 18, 2022
Sir Paul McCartney turned 80 today which answers the question, "Will you still need me, will you still feed me - when I'm 64?"
And it was judgement day at the Forum. Fawn Armstrong and Stuart Collis were scheduled to be on the Stump and they were and then we added Torchio Feaster on an ad hoc basis and with Karl Barr in attendance (who was on the Stump last time) we had all four candidates for District Court Judge 14-A at the same time.
Aside from a little speculation about big developments on Baker Road near Jackson and some end of the school year comments from the president of the school board we basically devolved into a round table discussion on the function of our court systems. How could we not with so many lawyers in the room.
A couple of notes for former Forum attendees who are not quite ready to return to in-person sessions: the wellness center is a pretty new building with a modern air handling system. Some attendees are still masking. The sign on the door says masks are optional in accordance with local health department guidelines for fitness facilities.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness Center. We will have more candidates on the stump (no more judges).
* about Stump protocols* People find us. We make no attempt to go out and recruit candidates. We may not hear from every candidate for every office. We give the candidate five minutes to tell us why we should vote for them not why we should not vote for their opponent. We then allow five minutes for questions from the audience that are meant to help us understand the candidate better not to embarrass them with 'gotcha' questions. *
========================================================== Season 08, Episode 09, #176, June 04, 2022 School superintendent Chris Timmis joined us fresh from handing out diplomas to the largest ever graduating class at Dexter High School but less for celebrating and more to provide some reassurance that the Dexter schools are doing everything reasonably possible to keep kids safe. He noted that during his superintending career he has had to send out 20 letters of reassurance to parents after school shootings around the country. Pediatricians and social workers in the group all voiced concerns about the mental health of kids who have all now grown up in an era of mass shootings at schools (and churches and hospitals and concerts and grocery stores).
And then it was stump time. This is our own little special feature where we invite candidates (who have primary opponents) who have found us to step up (3/4") and give us their stump speech. The speeches are not summarized here to avoid 'misunderstandings' and to give you all a reason to attend in person.
Today we heard from: Sue Shink (D) candidate for State Senate District 14 Karl Barr (NP) candidate for District Court 14-A Carrie Rheingans (D) candidate for State Representative District 47
We ended with a little discussion about gathering signatures on petitions to run for office. For some offices like school board and state rep you can just pay a filing fee of $100 and you don't have to gather any signatures. For City council the required number is 15 (as best we can remember) and for governor it has to be 15,000. To change or make a new state law the number is more like 350,000.
========================================================== Season 08, Episode 08, #175 May 21,2022
It was a dark and stormy morning ...... but you came anyway. It is only nine weeks until the primary election (closer than you think if you vote absentee) so we met some more candidates. We will start having stump speeches at the next meeting.
And they were Jason Woodford (R) candidate for State Representative in the 48th District which includes Webster Township and points north. Jason is a pastor and a proud marine.
And our third candidate for district court judge, Stuart Collis an attorney in private practice.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell joined us for the first time in person along with Carrie Rheingans, candidate in the 47th District, and Jason Maciejewski our current County commissioner who is also seeking re-election and for the first time in a while we didn't just dump the whole agenda on his back.
The Multigenerational Activity Millage, that is the official name of the ballot issue that we will see in August. It is a comprehensive attempt to meet the needs of a community that has no official recreation programs and no structural method of funding programs for seniors. There will be an informational session sponsored by the school district on June 7 at 7:00PM on Zoom. https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkd-GvrTkiEt0tLDdySC3C-L84Rl-A2sD6
It is an honor to have a sitting member of congress, candidate or not, amongst us so we gave Mrs. Dingell a chance to give us a Washington 'perspective' and it was obvious from the first couple of words that the weight of world hung heavy on her shoulders from Ukraine to Buffalo to Sturgis, Michigan, home of our biggest baby food manufacturer. These are personal, emotional moments not easily conveyed in these notes.
Just to lighten things up a bit we decided to help our judge candidates understand how people decide to vote for non-partisan candidates who we don't usually know very well. For this exercise we called on Forum regular Ben True solely because of his last name (and his general good humor). For him meeting the candidates in person at the Forum has been very useful. Beyond that he confessed to a certain randomness when it comes to judges and university regents. Cough, cough.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness Center. The Stump will be activated for folks with primary opponents.
*about Stump protocols* People find us. We make no attempt to go out and recruit candidates. We may not hear from every candidate for every office. We give the candidate five minutes to tell us why we should vote for them not why we should not vote for their opponent. We then allow five minutes for questions from the audience that are meant to help us understand the candidate better not to embarrass them with 'gotcha' questions.To unsubscribe from this list please go to https://www.simplelists.com/confirm/?u=pc7UuZ8YL3Jx6avRAXRbncFLbAuIB8lK
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