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Dearborn Turnaround Requires Innovation, New Vision

What I believe is needed to turnaround Dearborn, MI.

Dearborn is at the crossroads – and heading in the wrong direction could spell disaster for our once thriving and prosperous city.

Over the past several years, Dearborn has faced a combination of tax revenue cuts and leadership decisions that are continually diminishing the quality of life and attractiveness to lure new residents and businesses, and we have witnessed a large number of desirable residents moving to other communities they feel are more desirable to live in.

This has to stop, as we cannot continue down this same destructive path and further cut services, cultural amenities, and the fabric of Dearborn that made it such a desirable place to raise a family, start a business, and enjoy life.

We need a solid turnaround plan to grow revenue and utilize our amenities and resources to leverage our future success, which requires innovation and a new vision.

As a 37-year Dearborn resident, I have served Dearborn tirelessly on commissions, committees, task forces, and in volunteer work with the sole objective of giving back to my hometown and helping make Dearborn the best it can be for current and future generations. 

However, I believe there is even more that I can do to help turnaround Dearborn. 

My drive and creativity has resulted in an extensive record of accomplishment creating successful businesses and leading business and community turnarounds.  One key lesson I learned in past leadership and management positions is that the best way to resolve issues is through transparency and accessibility to the people one serves.

My turnaround plan is a complete reversal from the complacency and norm that Dearborn has experienced the past few years, and even though Dearborn City Council is a part-time position, I am prepared to work whatever days and hours needed to make sure Dearborn is heading in the right direction.

My turnaround plan is straightforward and includes meeting regularly with residents, businesses, and organizations to listen and take action addressing their specific needs.  Our residents and businesses are the core of the community, and preserving and enhancing their quality of life and vitality is crucial to Dearborn’s long-term success.

The second part of the plan is identifying funding opportunities to save our small neighborhood pools, reopening Snow Library, funding of the Historical Museum, fixing the Henry Ford Centennial Library fountain, eliminating user-paid parking in west downtown Dearborn, helping our business districts, and more.

I plan to meet with mid to large size business leaders to build closer ties between our city and their businesses, and see what they may be willing to do to provide funding, sponsorships, and other revenue streams to preserve and maintain the many amenities and services that have defined Dearborn and made it such a unique and desirable city.  In addition, I plan to meet with our small businesses in Dearborn to see what they believe the city can do to help their businesses grow and prosper.

The third part of the plan is to further grow the tax base and revenue stream in Dearborn.  I plan to meet with a diverse collection of business owners and companies outside of Dearborn to market, promote, and lure them to relocate or expand in our city.  This effort will fill our empty storefronts, bring in a desirable variety of businesses, and revive our downtown business districts.  The expansion of retail and business growth will increase tourism, bring back customers that shop elsewhere, and serve as a means to grow our population and prosperity.

To achieve the fundamental parts of the turnaround plan won’t be an easy task.  It will require some new leadership that thinks differently, has a passion and love for the city, will never settle for second best, will work tirelessly for its residents and business owners, and leadership that possesses the vision to continually improve and grow Dearborn.

If you are ready for a Dearborn “revolution” and the return of a thriving and prosperous city, I am the type of innovative leader to elect to the City Council and am ready for the challenge to transform our city.  I have the vision, passion, drive, bridge building, and problem solving skills to face this uphill transformation head on.  I cannot think of anything that would make me more proud than to serve the city that raised me, which would enable future generations to share and enjoy the experiences that make us all proud to be from Dearborn.

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Michael D. Albano March 02, 2013 at 08:36 PM
I also forgot to mention that when I was elected to a HOA board of directors, I promised that during my 1st four year term I would not vote to increase monthly assessments/dues, and that I would also not vote for any special assessments. Three other board members that worked well with me as a team, insisted on raising the monthly dues, and despite their insistence I vote with them, I voted against the dues increase. As a result, these 3 board members gave me a public scathing in a meeting, and resigned, blaming it all on me, telling me I was no longer a team player. My answer was that I didn't get on the board to serve the board. I got on the board to serve the homeowners, which I did. And when I gave my word to not vote for any assessment increases, I lived up to it.
Dearborn Taxpayer March 02, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Michael - I take you for your word to oppose additional tax millage requests. Please keep these facts in mind and remind other candidates of them during your campaign: 2003 total City tax millage rate (operating + debt) = 15.29 (per $1,000 of taxable value), 2012 total city tax millage rate = 26.86, an increase of 76%! My home's taxable value declined by 28% during that same time. As a result, I paid 26% more in total city taxes in 2012 than I did in 2003. But in my opinion, city service levels have steadily declined over those 10 years. Dearborn does not have a "revenue" problem as many would like us to believe. In addition, my water/sewer basic service charge and usage rates have doubled between 2003 and 2012, but I don't think my service is any different than it was 10 years ago! These trends must change or I will need to seriously consider moving my family out of Dearborn. Thank you for your willingness to listen and provide your perspective. Good luck with your campaign. We need fresh, new thinking on Dearborn City Council!
Michael D. Albano March 02, 2013 at 11:47 PM
Thanks Dearborn Taxpayer. I have saved your stats above for future reference. Also, I agree with everything you stated in that post. Pam, here is a link the city provided about Homecoming expenses and revenue that puts it in a simple format: http://www.dearbornfreepress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/2011_Homecoming_Report_to_the_Dearborn_Community.pdf Let me know if the link has problems opening, and I'll find another way to post it. This is another link that will answer a lot of your questions, hopefully without having to go through the FOIA process. There are also other links on the page that may help Pam. http://www.cityofdearborn.org/transparency I agree with you Pam on trying to read the city budget, as it is a long, detailed article, and most would have a hard time even beginning to comprehend it. If you need any additional information, contact me here Pam or on mdalbano@yahoo.com and I will look it up for you.
Pam March 03, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Thank you, Michael, I have seen the Homecoming report and bits and pieces of the other.
Tom B March 03, 2013 at 01:33 PM
I don't see the actual expenses from city employees who set up, maintain and tear down and clean up. What about police and fire who are on call? Is there overtime? This alone would account for tens of thousands?????I did not see any of that in the report. Or am I missing something? Thanks

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