Russ Gibb at Random

A Reader Writes

January 19, 2004


Just a short time ago the Dearborn City Council admitted that it had given too much of its authority to the W.D.D.D.A.-West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority. The council fought hard to retrieve its responsibilities, but to no avail as Burton, Katzman and Guido prevailed.

It should be duly noted that a number of W.D.D.D.A. appointees do not even live in Dearborn, yet make decisions that affect tens of millions of taxpayer's dollars.

The creation of these partisan political entities-Dearborn has 36 authorities, commissions and councils-has served to undermine the legislative branch of our democratic system. And the carefully chosen appointees by the mayor has literally robbed the voter of their right to elect their representative government, and any control over how hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are spent.

The city of Livonia, which has a larger land mass and population than Dearborn, has 20 commissions appointed by the mayor, one commission appointed by the city council and one authority for the development of Plymouth road also appointed by the mayor, for a total of 22 as compared to Dearborn's 36 organizations.

Currently another commission has been crafted and promoted by the mayor, increasing the number to 37 appointed entities in Dearborn. To their credit, councilmen Abraham and Tafelski have made it clear that the new commission must be subservient to the city council in all decisions affecting the city taxpayer and voter.

If the city council fails to maintain and enforce its "responsibilities" as the "democratically elected" legislative branch of our "representative government", it will pave the way for an "undemocratic system" and all the trappings typically associated with a "dictatorial regime."

Joseph Borrajo

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