Dearborn City Plan Commissioner's Reappointment Denied by Council Vote
Council President Tom Tafelski denied Said Deep from reappointment with a single vote at the shorthanded council meeting after refusing to table the resolution.
Dearborn resident, former journalist and local blogger Said Deep will no longer be a part of the Dearborn City Plan Commission–but it wasn't because of overwhelming disapproval of his reappointment by the Dearborn City Council. Rather, Deep's departure is the result of a single "nay" vote from council president Tom Tafelski and the absences of three councilmembers at Tuesday's council meeting.
The regular meeting started with councilmembers Mark Shooshanian and Brian O'Donnell absent, and Council President Pro-Tem Suzanne Sareini left early, as she was feeling ill.
Tafelski had previously requested a role-call vote on the issue of Deep's reappointment to the commission, which Mayor Jack O'Reilly said—in an interview after the meeting—meant that someone would likely vote against the measure.
The appointment—which would have lasted until June 30, 2015—required the support of four councilmembers, but seeing that only four members were present, O'Reilly requested that the vote be tabled until the next meeting.
Tafelski denied the request and the attending members all voted yes, except for Tafelski, who voted no.
O'Reilly explained the contention regarding Deep's reappointment stems from the opening of the Goodwill retail store in Dearborn.
While discussing the approval of the store's Special Land Use request on the commission, Deep was concurrently blogging about Goodwill and its interactions with the commission on his site, deepsaidwhat.com.
O'Reilly said that he agreed that what Deep had done was "inappropriate," but added that this issue was unprecedented and unfamiliar. He added that he met with Deep, who verbally agreed not to blog about issues at hand in the commission if he were to be reappointed to it.
O'Reilly said he then shared this information of the verbal agreement with the council at Thursday's briefing session and Committee of the Whole meeting. At that time, Tafelski expressed his surprise that the appointment was being considered, and requested the roll-call vote.
"It's unfortunate because I didn't know before I got to this meeting that we had the absences,” O'Reilly said, adding that he believed all other councilmembers were comforatble with the reappointment. “I could have pulled the agenda item before the meeting commenced.”
Sareini had originally supported the resolution to reappoint Deep.
"If all seven (councilmembers) were here, we wouldn't be having this conversation," O'Reilly said.
He added that regardless of who attended Tuesday's meeting, if he had simply known that only four members would be present, he could have removed the resolution from the agenda and waited until a later date.
O'Reilly said he will now look for a way to appeal this decision.
"(Deep has) been attending regularly, he's participated,” O'Reilly said. “I felt he was really committed and his voice is an important voice."