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Poll: Should the City and Schools Consolidate Offices?

The city is looking at purchasing new space that would be shared with Dearborn Public Schools administrative offices.

Dearborn's statuesque may no longer be the site of municipal offices, Mayor Jack O'Reilly said last week.

According to the Dearborn Press and Guide, O'Reilly joined Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent Brian Whiston on Jan. 17 for a tour of the old ADP headquarters on Michigan Avenue. And with the property set to go into bank ownership, a deal could be reached soon to make the building–which sits just west of the –the new home of both city and school administrative offices.

With continued consolidation of city departments, plus expansive foyers and hallways, a significant amount of square footage of the current City Hall–while structurally beautiful and carrying historic quality–is vacant space.

And, along with bringing city offices in line with the , and , the move could help the city avoid costly repairs to the current City Hall. DPS, likewise, faces mounting repair costs in coming years.

School offices are currently located in the old Ten Eyck school building on Audette Street.

Some, however, disagree with the plan.

Blogger and City Plan Commissioner Deep Said raised the question "Does Dearborn Really Need a New City Hall?" on his blog, DeepsaidWhat.com.

"Call us nostalgic, but Dearborn’s City Hall building needs to remain the hub of Dearborn," Deep wrote. "The building may need repair but it is simply too important of a symbol to this city to simply leave it to others (like an art community) or, worse yet, raze."

What do you think of this plan? Take our poll and then share your thoughts in the comments section.

City of Dearborn (Editor) January 23, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Voters in the poll - tell us why you said yes or no. Is there too much history and nostalgia in the current building? Or does the city just need to focus on saving money?
Frank Lee January 24, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Another one of Jacks stupid ideas. Pay big money now for a little savings down the road that never materialize. Just like the Montgomery Wards Scam, West Dearborn parking garage scam, and the entire west Dearborn development fiasco, not to mention his stupid idea of building a convention center. When is Dearborn going to wake up, when are people going to realize this buffoon declared personal bankruptcy because his financial ideas stink. Never mind that we will have to spend millions to bring the old administrative buildings up to code either way. If he is so busy trimming payrolls why do we need a new building when the old ones worked fine for over 60 years.
Rich January 24, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I voted Yes BUT what I meant was that, with all the room in City Hall not being utilized, and knowing that the school offices are also very empty, just move the school offices into City Hall. Why in the world would you get rid of such a beautiful structure as we have and then move into a sterile, blah building like ADP? If that did happen, I'm sure that Oakwood would snap up the property (CH), tear it down, and build another Oakwood Facility solidly in 1 of the 2 the 'business' (?) centers in the city. When that happens I think we should just rename the City 'Oakwood'.
laplateau January 24, 2012 at 06:28 PM
What is amazing to me is that the city just asked for, and was granted by the taxpayers, an increase in the millage rates to get them out of the financial bind they hollered about. No sooner than that is passed, O’Reilly is talking about buying another more modern building to move his inefficient butt into. We have a building that has been paid for decades, and huge investments into it over the years. Now, he says, gee, we have a few roof leaks and a foundation problem in one part, we should really move out. Tell me what buildings anywhere in this city have NOT had similar problem. Most people don’t move out of their home when they incur similar problems..they just fix it. But no, O’Reilly wants a new building and saddle the taxpayers with another deficit problem. So typical of government spending!!
laplateau January 24, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Remember the Save Our Services initiative by Guido in the 80"s shortly after he was elected? He said we needed to raise our millage rates to bring in 3 million dollars to prevent the city from having to cut our services (pools, police, fire, Camp Dearborn)? Sound familair? Well, we were duped into voting for it, but just a few months after that passed, Guido announced hew was buying the west Dearborn property on Michigan Ave for the "Super Block" development...and guess what the cost was to be...yep..3 million dollars. Have we been duped again??
marooned in Dbn January 25, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Of course all you were duped again. And will be again and again. Could it be that this mayor wanted this new executive office bldg. before the increase your taxes vote ? Ans..... sure. And why would any sane person agree to have their taxes raised ? "Oh...its for the kids", or, "Oh, we cant give you "services" anymore because of high pay and bennies, and everything is going UP, so we have to do this thing". All the lame excuses. And the city workers mobilised and got out that vote thinking that they won't be layed off because of it. Well, now your patron wants a new executive office bldg. and after all, he cant have his executive office bldg., and you at the same time. Hopefully, you will be "right sized" before too long.
laplateau January 25, 2012 at 04:21 PM
The city got into this financial problem at least partially, but substantially, from the costs involved and bond issuances for the Civic Center that was originally sold to us as a 24 million ballot question for. It was continually increased to over 40 million. Then we had the huge renovations of the police station and courts that NEVER came to the electorate asking for approval. The court areas especially could modestly be described as palatial. Then of course we have the huge expansion of the ice rink that required that we take up a substantial amount of the park’s green space for additional parking that is NEVER fully used. During the most recent discussions about how to get us out of this latest financial mess was a proposal to sell the thing and privatizing the operations. The addition was never required in the first place…it’s never fully utilized as they said it would be. The place rents out to private skating and hockey groups, most of which are not Dearborn based residents. This was plain from their own data before it was built. I still have the study which indicated we needed it badly for our residents, but extrapolating the data, it was plain that it would only serve 1% of the population of the city. It should only have been built if there was a demand sufficient enough for a private concern to build it in the first place….but Guido wanted another monument to himself…and O’Reilly wholeheartedly supported it as the council president.
laplateau January 25, 2012 at 04:23 PM
This all follows the debacles of the west end developments the city wanted to be involved in with buying huge tracts of properties and trying to get private developers involved. Sure didn’t work there either. This whole thing just sticks in my craw that they would even have the gall to make any sort of proposal in this direction after ballyhooing about how we so dearly need a higher tax millage. The schools too are famous for over spending on things far from being necessary for education. I can see them all now just drooling about new digs for their inefficient butts! Don’t get me started.
Frank Lee January 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM
The DISC is revenue neutral, and it is one of the best managed ice skating facilities in the State.
Kathy January 26, 2012 at 01:59 AM
The DISC will soon be making money, probably within the next year when the bond is paid off.Kurt Young and his staff do a great job running the arena and his decades-long relationships with hockey associations and figure skating groups keep tournaments and shows filling the DISC. I've been going there since it opened in 1971 and it's never looked or been run better.
Frank Lee January 26, 2012 at 03:21 AM
The DISC is truly one of the best run ice skating centers in the entire state. Their sheets of ice have extremely high occupancy rates and the quality of service is unmatched. Privatizing this asset would add no value to the city and most assuredly result in the loss of the nationally recognized figure skating program and a huge revenue source.
marooned in Dbn January 26, 2012 at 12:38 PM
53,000,000 for the city gym.
Leslie January 03, 2013 at 05:05 AM
THAT question generated a variety of discussions, didn't it?! Yes, bringing City and School District offices under one roof makes sense. Many people already think that the school district and the city are operated together. It makes a lot of sense to share equipment and resources where possible -- from office machines and computer systems to plows that shovel parking lots (either by staff or subcontractors...whichever is most cost effective). It's just sad that our beautiful, historic city hall is not economical in this day and age. A blah office building does sound more efficient. Based on how well the nonprofit ArtSpace has managed unique, previously underutilized properties in other major cities, it appears that having them develop City Hall into live/work/exhibit space for artists will be a beneficial addition to Dearborn.

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