Welcome - For the near future, we will host VIRTUAL Meetings-
***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 virtual meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 8:30 AM ************* INDEPENDENCE DAY ********** ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ <<< The "Stump">> ---- Expect continued Stump activity as we approach the elections. ---- ------------------------------------------------------------------ ************************************** "It is the year of the big election. There will possibly be three others before the big one, but the big one is coming. We will Listen and Learn." **************************************
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 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." ==================================================== FORUM Notes Independence Day 2020 We celebrated Independence Day by exercising our right to free speech and gathering to discuss issues facing our community and to listen to some of the people who want to represent us.
We hauled out the virtual stump for candidates for Circuit Court Judge and Prosecuting Attorney. Both of these positions are open due to retirements. We gave the candidates each 5 minutes on the stump to tell us why we should vote for them and then we allowed a little time for questions. You have to be 'present' to hear them because I don't think it is wise for me to try to summarize their presentations. Wouldn't be prudent, as President Bush used to say.
Prosecuting Attorney - We heard from Arianne Slay. She is one of three democrats running. The winner of the primary is the likely winner in November. Hugo Mack is scheduled on the stump at our next meeting.
Circuit Court Judge - We heard from Nick Roumel and Tracey Van Den Bergh. This is a non-partisan race where you are asked to vote for one candidate but there will be two winners who advance to the general election in November. Amy Reiser, the third candidate, is scheduled on the stump at our next meeting.
Dick Weaver pointed out that The Encore Theater is trying to stay active by scheduling some outdoor concerts behind their Broad Street property. We all want to help our local businesses survive these difficult times.
Elise Bruderly announced her candidacy for the Dexter Board of Education. Since it is a non-partisan race it will be on the November ballot. There are three positions available.
John Scharff cautioned us about a drawback with voting by mail. When you vote in person in a primary election and you accidentally vote on both the republican and democrat side of the ballot the counting machine rejects your ballot and you get a chance to fix the problem. Your mail ballot is counted on the day of the election and there is no second chance. (The non-partisan and proposal votes are counted).
School board member Barbara Read encouraged folks to contact other members of the board if they have concerns about having closed meetings of board committees that have only advisory powers.
And then, of course, we have bats in the belfry. Real bats. Real belfry. The Dexter Historical Society is housed in an old church where bats are causing significant damage in the belfry. Caryle Burke noted that the bats are charging $10,000 to leave. A $5,000 matching grant has been received but the other $5,000 is currently hiding in your pocket.
We will meet again on Saturday, July 18th at 8:30 AM via Zoom. We will use the same access code but I will send it out again with the meeting reminder the Wednesday before.
Stay safe, John and Karl
================================================== Dexter Forum 6-20-2020. ** First Day of Summer **
We get better at Zoom all the time. We now know that you can participate in the Forum by cell phone while riding on your tractor bailing hay. Can the hot tub be far behind?
Ron Darr joined us mostly to say good bye. Ron is resigning from the Dexter Board of Education after 18 years of service. He received lots of thanks and praise for efforts particularly with the administration of the bond issues that have enabled the construction and maintenance of our fine school facilities.
Speaking of the schools, Board President Julie Schumaker let us know that the district is working on plans for re-opening the schools in the fall. There will be school but the details will probably not be worked out until August and are, of course, highly dependent on the control of the virus.
The trail extension from downtown running south to Creekside school should be done by the end of July.
We met Dom Nelson, the new Executive Director of the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce. Dom is a digital marketing guy who also sells real estate. He wants to get to know you better and will buy you a doughnut at the Dexter Bakery if you show up on Doughnuts with Dom day.
Paul Cousins talked about the city's attempt to help out our local businesses (mostly restaurants) by safely using some street space on a temporary basis.
Commissioner Maciejewski explained that the county is in the process of establishing a commission on ageing to deal with our growing senior population.
Zach Michels noted that there will be three seats open on the city council. The council is non partisan so there is no primary in August. The election will be in November. The filing date is July 21 and at this time there are no candidates.
In one of those 'all government is local' moments we learned that Dexter Township has 18 emergency warning sirens and Webster has 0.
Candidates with competitive primaries are encouraged to volunteer to give their stump speech at either of our next two meetings. We allocate five minutes for the speech and another five minutes for questions that are designed to help understand the candidates position. We ask that you not mention your opponents. We want to know why we should vote for you not why we should not vote for them. Contact John or Karl to get on the schedule.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be via Zoom on Saturday, July 4 at 8:30 AM. Yes, it is Independence Day but we meet in the morning before all the celebrating starts.
================================================== Dexter Forum 6-6-2020 We had a lot to talk about today along with introductions from some more candidates gearing up for the August election.
We started with the good news that our public library is in the process of reopening. Director Paul McCann walked us through the complicated steps needed to insure access and safety. He reminded us that unlike the hardware and grocery stores everything that goes out the door of the library comes back. They will quarantine all returned materials while the scientists figure out how long the virus lasts on surfaces.
Ron and MaryEllen Miller took time out from celebrating their 50th anniversary to encourage all area residents to go on the City website and take the survey about the future of parks in Dexter.
County Treasurer (second grade teacher, camp counselor in training) Catherine McClary is still working from home and assured us that county business is being handled reasonably well. Incoming mail is being quarantined so check processing is slower than usual.
Nancy Schewe gave an emotional report of the vigil in the park last night when a group of 100 or more Dexter citizens knelt for 8 minutes and 26 seconds in memory of George Floyd.
County Commissioner Sue Shink noted that the newly expanded County Road Commission is now the only road commission in the state led by a female majority and one of the few with a female managing director. The commission was expanded from three to five to bring greater diversity of opinion to the commission.
Steve Jensen, the owner of Dexter's newest and onliest pharmacy, was welcomed to the community. He has actually lived in Dexter for 15 years and has owned the pharmacy in Saline but stepped up to fill the gap here in Dexter when we became the only town without a pharmacy. His store is on the smaller side and is more of a drug store than a department store. His specialty is what he calls medicine synchronization where he gets all of your prescriptions lined up so they all renew at the same time.
Julie Schumaker commended the organizers of the 300 car procession (it was not a parade) that gave our graduating seniors some sense of pomp and circumstance. She also noted a planned diversity and inclusion program that was in the planning stages but cut short by the closure of the schools by the virus.
We gave first time visitor and candidate for prosecuting attorney Eli Savit a chance to introduce himself. We have had visits from all three candidates for this position which is open because of the retirement of Brian Mackie.
Diane Ratkovich, candidate for Dexter Township supervisor, was also given a chance to introduce herself and explain her reasons for running.
Paul Cousins noted that the trail expansion from the cemetery to the school property across from the wellness center is coming along nicely. He also said that the city is trying to help our restaurants get back on their feet by allowing expanded outdoor dining space when possible. And....ta-da....there will be a sign erected on the site where the new fire station will be constructed. The actual construction is dependent on a bond issue being successfully passed by city residents sometime in the future.
Regulars at the live version of the Forum will be happy to hear that Al Ruhlig has checked in. He is not a Zoom kind of guy but he wants you all to know that he misses our meetings and that he is recovering well from a leg injury incurred while loading soy beans on the farm.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, June 20 at 8:30 AM via Zoom. The code and password will remain the same for each meeting but I will still send out a reminder on the Wednesday before the meeting.