A Night with the City Council in Sterling Heights

Last night (7/5), I went to my first City Council meeting in Sterling Heights, a City of which I have been a Resident for 3,110 Days*

It has always bothered me to see people beat the drum on Facebook or Twitter about Politics, and then not see them in the voting booth during anything but a Presidential year. They regurgitate talking points usually from one or two websites and that is the extent of their civil involvement. They will lose a lifelong Friend over a perceived slight on Social Media, but not walk from their Lexus to the voting booth.

My town is your town, Sterling Heights has 129,699 Residents as of the 2010 census, it is diverse, but separated by Ethnicity and Culture in some neighborhoods. The Schools are great, there is not a typical Downtown and the city is a cross of Manufacturing (The Big 3) and Retail, and more chain Retail. We have 31 Parks, a Farmer’s Market, and Sterlingfest! which shuts down a major street and the town just has a party.

In May I decided to run for Precinct Delegate as a #Republican, joined the Chamber of Commerce and made an active choice to become involved locally…as simply Voting wasn’t enough.

I’ve watched the City Council on Public Access TV, and it seemed like what you’d expect…a little bickering, motions passed, etc

As a Conservative, and someone who thinks highly of Mayor Mike Taylor it would be easy to dismiss my observations as bias, I call a Strike a Strike always.

  1. Spending 90 Minutes on Commercial Signs, Residential Signs, Flags and code enforcement is an abject waste of time and an insult to Intellect. The laws of good taste and neighborly discourse would handle any sign issues, if you put a sign on my lawn and I don’t like it. Rizzo will pick it up the next day. Designing guidelines to meet Constitutional muster means that you know you’re on the precipice of infringing Free Speech. If you’re in Government, and you get a sinking feeling in your stomach while writing a proposal…hit Ctrl+A and hit Delete.
  2. There are some very well informed Citizens who do make good points, that need further consideration. The Council would be wise to engage in these discussions further instead of rushing past their concerns.
  3. There is a fine line between being “Involved” and caring about your town, and twisting things to shine the spotlight on yourself, going to the podium with an ax to grind doesn’t move the City or your idea forward.
  4. If you want to accuse anyone of being Sexist, Misogynistic, Crooked or Baby Seal Batter-er have proof, beyond simply stating the word.
  5. If you’re a Candidate, that’s great but this isn’t your debate stage and is also not a platform to grind said Ax…unless it’s pressing and on the Agenda.
  6. This is the first time I’ve seen a Political event where the elected officials actually seem to be giving it their all. No one is perfect, but that was refreshing. (even the #Democrats)
  7. It’s not an audition for #Hamilton, or Prop designer for said Broadway Musical (BTW, do you have Tickets?)
  8. Swearing in 4 new Police Officers is awesome, hearing that 32 have been hired since 2/15 is spectacular.
  9. Investing into the City, Infrastructure and god awful Road Signs is vital to attracting Millennials to Sterling Heights to start their families and it’s working. Drive up and down Van Dyke now, vs. 2 years ago is night and day. It’s amazing.
  10. We did not lose $33 Million on Freedom Hill.
  11. Upgrading Dodge Park is necessary, although the Basketball Court should stay.
  12. No one likes Taxes, No one likes Waste. We all agree, even the crying 2 year old in the lobby agrees.
  13. The Statistics Concilman Doug Skrzyniarz quoted last night about City Rankings are impressive, and accurate. It’s a City of Value.

I look forward to more meetings, and the opportunity to help move the City forward.

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