=============================== Meeting Notes- 11-03-2018 The election is in three days and we all really need it to be over - especially the candidates who have been working non-stop for months (years). Three candidates were present. Gretchen Driskell, Mara Greaterex, and Jason Maciejewski.
Our very special guest of the day was Adrian Iraola, owner of Chela's Mexican restaurant. And what a true gentleman he is. Establishing the restaurant has been an uphill battle but opening day is near and we have been invited to be his special guests. This is one of those 'you had to be present to win' situations so if you were there you know what to do.
There will be another election soon in the City of Dexter but only 6 people can vote. The resignation of councilman Ray Tell has created a vacancy on the council that will be filled by a vote of the remaining council members. Sixteen individuals have applied for the position. By charter and by rule the Mayor will propose and the council will deliberate. Four votes are needed to confirm the new member. The council has a 60 day operating window from the time of the resignation.
Our final stump speech of the season was given by Gretchen Driskell (D), candidate for the 7th Congressional district.
We learned that there are a couple of more condo projects being proposed for downtown Dexter and this prompted a question about the future of 'affordable' housing opportunities in Dexter. Apparently there has been some discussion with Avalon Housing (a major player in the affordable housing arena in the county) but there are no viable plans on the table at this time.
Ed Francis reminded us of the fear that is building in minority communities following the recent string of terrorist attacks on Jews, African-Americans and those perceived as the 'other'. We have limited power to affect the national scene but we see the Forum as our small step to provide a safe place for locals of all persuasions to come to Listen and Learn.
Dan Smith encouraged us to look ahead a few years and consider the implications of calling a constitutional convention. The current Michigan constitution calls for a vote every 16 (or so) years on whether or not to re-write the document. The last time we did this was in 1963. Dexter Forum Notes -October 06, 2018 ------------------------------------------------------- With the election just 30 days away it was no surprise that we had a very full house. We skipped the agenda building and went right to the stump speeches. An advantage of the Forum is that you get to hear candidates from both parties and folks on both sides of the ballot issues.
Bill Gordon started things off with his reasons to oppose the Voters not Politicians proposal.
Sue Shink (D) followed with the reasons to elect her to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners seat for district 2.
Teri Aiuto (R) promoted her candidacy for State Representative for District 52.
Chris encouraged a yes vote on the Voters not Politicians proposal.
(Stump speeches are very personal and are not paraphrased here. All of the speakers responded to questions from the audience.)
We have not been approached by anyone to speak to the other three ballot proposals so we entertained a few comments on each of them.
Legalizing recreational marijuana. Folks were quite conflicted. Prohibition clearly has little impact on marijuana use but we are worried about attracting young people to the drug through legalization.
The proposal to 'make it easier' to vote seemed like a solution to a problem that does not really exist. Do your own homework on this one.
The fourth proposal involves a renewal of the county parks operating issue.
The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, October 20 at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness Center. In addition to the highly publicized races there is also competition for seats on the Dexter Board of Education. We will have two board candidates on the stump along another candidate for judge. Dexter Forum Notes Sept 15, 2018 Meeting ------------------------------------------------------------- Karl called the Forum to order at 8:30. Co-moderated by Ed Francis this morning. Topics:
There is at least 1 local business with a sign in window saying that you can sign the petition here. Owner is friends with the petition sponsor. Not clear what the petition is or who is sponsoring. Chris Gordon plans to find out.
There is a court date expected very soon with a new judge, hoping that the township’s new zoning regulation further defining and restricting activities associated with agro-tourism in will lead to a ruling in favor of the township. The last judge ruled in favor of Nixon Farm.
Donna shared that there is a bill proposed at the State legislature to expand the State definition of agro-tourism to include things like party barns.
Owner’s son’s wedding is today. Restaurant does not appear to be opening soon, with wedding and Halloween decorations in there now. Look for article in SunTimes News giving more info
Per Doug Fuller, Mast Road re-opening has been delayed due to a State-wide lockout of Engineers on road construction sites called by the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, which represents contracting firms that build roads, bridges, sewers and utility systems. It will remain closed until the lockout is resolved.
Nancy Schewe announced that the League of Women Voters will present What’s on your Ballot? 2018 Michigan Ballot Proposals – Pro and Cons. Oct 11 7pm at the Dexter Library. Open to the public.http://lwvannarbor.org/calendar.html
Caryl Burke announced that the Dexter Area Historical Society and the University of Michigan will host a Public Archaeology Day at Gordon Hall Oct 20 11-2. Visitors can observe 5 active excavations being conducted by UM archaeology students on the grounds, learn about what they are doing, what they are finding, and about Gordon Hall and any artifacts that have been found.
Stumps: We spent a lot of time with spelling and pronunciation today.
Tom Bourque (burk) is running for Judge in District 14a, running against Cedric Simpson incumbent. Covers all of Washtenaw County except Ann Arbor and Ypsi Twp, 6 yr term. Tom lives in Pittsfield Twp.
Jason Maciejewski (ma-chee-es’-kee) is running for County Commissioner District 1 against Rod Anderson. Includes much of Dexter, Chelsea, and a bunch of nearby townships.
Donna Lasinski (pronounced like it looks) is running for her second 2-year term as State Rep for the 52nd district against Teri Aiuto.
========================================================== Dexter Forum Notes Sept 01, 2018 Meeting ------------------------------------------------------------- The new roundabouts were opened briefly last night to facilitate the home opener for the Dexter Dreadnaughts and they not only worked well but they helped break the curse as Dexter defeated the visiting team from Ypsilanti.
We mourned the loss of the Country Market grocery store. It felt better to have two grocery stores that provided alternatives and a bit of competition. It was thought to just be a 'business decision' on the part of the owners. Folks quickly suggested that the space be re-purposed as a senior center or a youth center and that got us into a discussion about how you fund such operations.
Bill Gordon gave us a preview of the Methodist church's new community building and outreach program that will include a program called Upward Basketball (for both boys and girls).
We learned about the concept of 'new urbanism' as it applies to the building under construction in the old K-Mart parking lot in Ann Arbor. The building is built right at the sidewalk to begin the creation of a pedestrian friendly as opposed to a car-centric environment.
Adam Dreher kicked off the campaign season from the Stump as he made his request for our votes to elect him as a Democrat to the Michigan State Senate from district 22. Many of us still think of ourselves as being in the same district with Ann Arbor but we were drawn into the 22nd district with Brighton and Howell during the last redistricting session after the 2010 census. Stump speeches are not summarized.
Someone or something called Emily has peppered election clerks with requests for copies of all ballots from the fall 2016 election. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows such requests and allows reasonable charges for the service but this is a really big request with a shadowy purpose. The best we could deduce was that this is an attempt to prove that Donald Trump did not really win in Michigan and therefore was not legitimately elected president.
We discussed the passing of Senator John McCain and the loss of a person who would listen to all sides and occasionally vote against his own party when he perceived it to be in the greater interest of the nation. It is our humble tribute to his memory that we, the Dexter Forum, continue to meet to Listen and Learn in an atmosphere of respect and mutual concern for our fine community and nation.
-The next meeting of the Dexter Forum will be on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 8:30 AM at the Dexter Wellness Center. Expect a lot more Stump activity as we approach election day. ==============================================
Notes of 8-04-18 Meeting ---------------------------------------------------------------- It's just like Times Square in New York City on New Year's Eve but instead of the glittering ball dropping it will be tacos. 10-9-8-7-?? Just not sure if those are days or weeks.
We had another update on the fire station/city hall project. No solid timeline yet but we expect the taco situation to be resolved first.
New guy Bob McGill raised the bar for us a little by bringing up the policy issue of a universal minimum income. He was aware of an experiment in Canada involving 1,000 families that didn't go very well. Others reported success with similar ideas in Finland. Something to think about.
The infomercials clustered around next weeks celebration of Dexter Daze and the related fundraisers.
Terry Aiuto, the Republican candidate for State Representative in District 52, introduced herself and asked for our take on the important issues in District 52. That took us down the road to the subject of roads - surprise, surprise.
We also got to meet Mara Greatorex who is one of three candidates running for one of the two open seats on the Dexter Community Schools Board of Education. School board races are non-partisan so her name will be on the November ballot.
The big issue on the primary ballot next week is surely the race for governor. We know that we will have a new governor and although we have our favorite in our own party there is always a chance that the other party will prevail. So Karl and I asked each other to explain which candidate we would prefer in the case that our own party lost in the general election. It turns out that Karl and I both value experience and people of moderate temperament. He chose Senator Whitmer and I chose Lt. Gov. Calley. The general mood in the room seemed to be that there were reasonable choices on both sides. ==================================== Notes of 7-21-18 Forum Meeting ---------------------------------------------------------------- It is only 17 days until the primary and interest is high - in tacos. It is hard to say what will be left to talk about after the new Mexican restaurant opens which, by all reports, will be ''soon".
It is festival time and we heard about The Plein Air Painting Festival, St. Joe's Family Festival, and the Ann Arbor Blues Festival. The Voters not Politicians group will be holding information meetings as well.
We learned that Rod Green has been appointed to the Washtenaw County Road Commission. He is also on the ballot running for a seat on the County Commission - District 2 (D). He will have to choose one or the other if he wins the county commission seat since the two seats are incompatible.
Donna Lasinski brought us up to date on the efforts of the Regional Transit Authority. The RTA is composed of representatives from Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties. The group has been attempting to craft a regional mass transit proposal that will appeal to voters more than the most recent proposal that failed. Bottom line here is that there will not be another proposal on the ballot this year.
Rod Anderson, the right hand man of the Chelsea Forum, talked a little about the Chelsea Forum and announced their change of time and meeting place. They will now meet at 9:00 AM at the Chelsea Senior Center.
We then bent the rules a little and put Rod up on the stump. Rod is running as a Republican for the first district seat on the county commission. He does not have a primary but he was here and we had some time available so he made his pitch for a conservative voice on the commission.
There were a total of four candidates present at our meeting. Rod Anderson - County Commission District 1 (R), Donna Lasinski - State Representative District 52 (D), Jason Maciejewski - County Commission District 1 (D), and Cedric Simpson - Judge District 14A (NP). =========================== -- Notes of 7-7-18 Forum Meeting
It was one of the most beautiful days of the year and we had to struggle a bit to fill up our agenda. Locally we have lots of construction - roads, schools, condominiums - but a general lack of things to get all excited about. But we tried anyway....
Observers reported that our long awaited Mexican restaurant appears fully furnished and ready to go. I learned the term 'come soon' while visiting Jamaica years ago. It means not now but not never either. So tacos 'come soon'.
Kent Martinez-Kratz gave his stump speech. Kent is running for re-election to his position as commissioner of county district one. He is opposed in the Democrat primary by Jason Maciejewski. The winner will run against Republican Rod Anderson in November.
We have long been following the issue of the taxability of the Wellness Center (our host). The Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear the recent appeal which means that the Wellness Center will not have to pay property taxes but there seems to be a window of further appeal so I guess it is not over yet.
In the infomercial department we were reminded that the City will be holding another public meeting regarding the redevelopment of the DAPCO/Broad Street property. The developers will be presenting their proposed plan based on the input from previous meetings. The meeting will be on Tuesday, July 10 at 5:30 PM at the Dexter District Library.
We are all putting up with the closure of Baker Road while the roundabouts are being constructed. For some it is an inconvenience but for first time attender Larry Stalker it is a real challenge - he lives between the two roundabouts so he can't come or go without police permission. (Larry did say that the road commission folks have gone out of their way to make him happy.)
------------------------------------------------------ --Notes of June 16, 2018--
Our first topic was the proposed changes to the social studies curriculum standards being proposed at the state level. At first blush this appears to be an attempt to marginalize certain groups - African Americans, LGBTQ folks - by limiting reference to their historic struggles. The discussion centered on what gets put in the history books and what gets left out and who decides. Texas seems to play an outsize role here as textbook publishers pay attention to their requirements so they don't have to publish a different text for each state. I recall someone once said that history is written by the victors. Perhaps that is what we are seeing here.
Susan Shenk took her turn on the stump. Susan is one of three Democrats seeking to represent district two (which includes Webster Township) on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. This is an open seat since Michelle Deatrick, the current occupant is running for the state senate. Stump speeches, as you know by now, are not summarized.
We gave a sitting ovation to the Washtenaw County Road Commission for the beautiful and timely reconstruction of Dexter-Ann Arbor Road.
Paul McCann, our esteemed librarian, gave us a rundown on the summer programs for kids and adults at the Dexter District Library. Our library is a source of community pride and for good reason.
Next we learned a little about spoofing - not the kind we do in social gatherings but the kind that Evil Telemarketers do to us. The ET's have found a way to have a local number show up on our caller ID's to trick us into answering when the call is really coming from an overseas boiler room. This unleashed a chorus of general grumbling about robo calls of all sorts. We don't take positions at the Forum - We Listen and Learn - so our non-position on this subject is that we want it to stop.
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