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Friday, April 11, 2014

What Does it Take to Make a Great City: Olympia Entertainment and the City Of Detroit Rebuilding the Neighborhoods

By Richard Clement

"The Red Wings Paying it Forward to the City of Detroit - Go Wings"

The Red Wings are giving back to Detroit citizens in the form of General Contractors supporting On The Job apprentice trade program opportunities for people who want professional credentials. Opportunities for certifications and licenses in areas such as plumbing,  carpentry, electricians, are being discussed by project leaders and City officials.

A vital part of rebuilding the city is to train people to do the job. The Olympia Project and Motown Museum project is a long-term investment into Detroit. The goal is to hire %51 Detroit based contractors. This project is anticipated to have many Sub Contractors working on the project under the General Contractor.  Being a bonded sub-contractor is a plus however, if you company is not bonded, a participating General Contractor will purchase insurance for a non-bonded sub contractor.

The main benefit of this arrangement is that once the project is finished, these people can be hired to do other construction jobs in the neighborhoods. Fixing savable property and building new property will be a re-investment into the neighborhoods by the Olympia Group. This arrangement with Olympia Entertainment and the City of Detroit will help to eradicate the blight that is in our City now.

In other job news, there will be an immediate need for Landscapers for the I-94 project.  The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is committed to hiring %51 Detroit based businesses. If you interested and a licensed landscaper, please do not hesitate to apply. The Project is $35,585 per year for two years and, you will need to put %10 down if you’re interested in doing the job.  If your company is not bonded, opportunities will be made for you to get one.

If you need assistance, please contact Christopher T. Jackson at 313 625 7225 ( or call Councilman Cushingberry's office at 313 224-4535

"No Detroiter left behind without a job!"

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Detroit City Council 90 Day Progress Report, On a Mission of Positive Transition.

By  Richard Clement

 "At the end of the First Quarter 
    City Leadership  10 votes
    Nolan Finley           0 votes"
       - Quote from a Lions Fan -

Mayor Duggan and Council
Detroit City Airport hosting a regional Air Carrier and upgrade of the facility within 2 years is on the agenda of the Detroit City Council.  With Federal Aviation Administration support, City Airport will be upgraded with longer runways and a people friendly terminal. Airport property is located in the 3rd District and Councilman Scott Benson's Office will be the point office for project.  With the airport’s strategic location near Downtown Detroit and neighboring suburbs, people who live in Gross Pointe will not have to drive so far to Metropolitan Airport.  City airport will serve the people similar to Midway Airport in Downtown Chicago.

Our Friend George
The Council and the Mayor are making plans with the Obama Administration to make this a reality before he leaves office in 2016.  The recent interest in the Tuskegee Airmen and their heroic efforts in the service to their country will honor their memory so that our children never forget their sacrifice.  This is a project that will more that prove the cohesive working relationship by the council-members. When the elected leadership of the City of Detroit gets their full opportunity to govern as voted upon, you will witness a sea change in policy. On October 1st, the Detroit Police Department will be under control of the Mayor and the Council by law.  Kevin Orr will be flying back to Washington DC and, will only come to visit when the Washington Redskins football team comes to Detroit to play the Lions.

Within 90 days of taking office, the City Council and Mayor have:
1.       Agreed to reopen closed Recreation Centers in Northwest Detroit.
2.       Appointed board members in areas like the Board of Review
3.       Turned on over 500 lights a week
4.       Improved the communication through the use of technology
a.  E-Mail Mayor Duggan
5.       An ongoing upgrade of abysmal computer technology.
a.     Within 12 months the City Mainframe will be decommissioned and system units upgraded.
6.       Made plans for upcoming funding for festivals and activities in 2014
7.       Partnered with international film makers to support the Detroit Voices segment of the Cinetopiea Film Festival in Ann Arbor and Detroit on June 4 through 8th 2014
a.     Contest for young filmmakers in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.    
b.      Film cannot be longer than 30 minutes
c.       Adult prize $5,000  High School Prize $1000
d.      Winners will get their film shown on the big screen at the June 4-8 film festival
                                                              i.      Topics can include Homes for $1, bankruptcy, empty homes, politics, etc.
e.     Submission Deadline is May 1st and if you want more information, please click on this link  High schoolers and young adult filmmakers are encouraged to apply.
                                    i.    Detroit filmmaker Sultan Sharrief who directed 2010 Bilal’s Stand is based in Los Angles, is encouraged by the enthusiasm for filmmaking that Michigan’s film incentives have spurred in local young people. Detroit Voices will be reaching out to local high schools and film collectives to spread the word on the contest.
8.   Lanquage was submitted by Council President Pro Tempore George Cushingberry Jr.  for a City Ordinance requiring municipal regulation of Medical Marijuana Provisioning Centers and Safe Testing Facilities. This City ordinance is a sister law to the State of Michigan House Bills 4271 and 5103 which are awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Sean Davis and Rev. Oscar King
Citizens who live in the districts now have a district manager who is responsible for their needs. These positions are created by law via City Ordinance. Mayor Duggan and Council President Jones have provided the new leadership and dynamic change that residents demanded.   Jobs are coming back to the City because we are looking for a few good men and women to replace the aging workforce. 

Councilmember Sheffield
Municipal monitoring of provisioning centers and testing facilities for Medical Marijuana patients will put a quick and fast end to the smash and grab raids being performed by law enforcement resources of the City, County and State.  With an election coming up in August and November, the citizens of Detroit will be able to have a legitimate say in the future of our City.  You must show up with your ballot in 2014 or, let others continue enforce the current climate of operation. City Council is always open to listen to their constituents and, do not hesitate to contact your City Government if you need to because there is and, never will be an attempt to hide City Business from the residents. 

Please do not hesitate to call or communicate with us with your concerns

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Notice of Public Meetings & Hearings in the State of Michigan and City of Detroit

by Richard Clement

Two public meetings that will have an impact on City of Detroit residents will be held in the next few days.  Starting Tuesday, March 11, 2014 in Lansing Michigan written testimony will be taken by the Michigan Senate Government Operations Committee regarding two House Bills  that would:

1.     Allow holders of valid Michigan Medical Marijuana cards to purchase Medical Marijuana products from without penalty of law, as approved by the local municipality

2.      Establish fees for municipalities to license, grade and, regulate Medical Marijuana use through the establishment of Licensed Safe Test Facilities to test for quality of product.

3.      Effectively end all raids by law enforcement on Marijuana Businesses in the State of Michigan.  This would have a dramatic effect on the use of local law enforcement resources to fight a drug war on Pot that has been demonstrated to be an expense that is not worth the cause.
a.     This will assist agencies like the Detroit Police, Wayne County Sheriff and, State Police in the management and redirection of resources.

House Bill HB 4271 (click here for full reading of 4271) will allow Cities, Townships and, Villages to regulate provisioning centers and testing facilities within their jurisdiction.  With the payment of a registration fee to the local government, Medical Marijuana patients can safely purchase their medicine without fear of prosecution under penalty of law.  House Bill 5104 (click here for full reading of 5104) will allow the use of marijuana that is not smoked by eating it in brownies, canabutter grits, cookies, tea.

These bills will allow the City of Detroit to establish a department dedicated to operation and management of Certified Municipal Safe Testing Facilities. These facilities will grade the products that are being sold by provisioning centers for quality and other factors. These bills are one step from a vote by the entire Michigan Senate from a becoming law.  There are some Senators like Republican Rick Jones who have introduced bills to weaken and sabotage the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act of 2008.  One of the most outrageous examples is the requirement that you transport your medicine in the trunk of your car.  This law (PA 460 of 2012) has generated thousands of dollars off the backs of Michigan Medical Marijuana patients under the guise of public safety.  With the help of Democrats, these harmful bills are becoming law leading to a rebirth of a new Jim Crow in Detroit.
Your communication with the Michigan Senate is crucial in protecting citizens from being sent to a prison for profit system that is befitting stock holders instead of the citizens.  Your written testimony will be taken for the official record so let your voice be heard by contacting your State Senator and telling them to vote Yes on HB4271 & HB5104.  This is an election year for the Michigan Senate and House in 2014. 
Contact Information for Michigan Senate:
Committee Clerk
Sen. Randy Richardsville
Sen. Bert Johnson
Sen. Virgil Smith

On Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 7:00pm at the Northwest Activity Center (18100 Meyers Road, Detroit MI 48235) the Detroit City Council will have a Committee of the Whole Meeting in the Ballroom. The activity starts at 6:00pm with City Departments having information and questions about City Business. Your concerns on issues like Belle Isle under State Rule, Lights and, infrastructure can be brought up during the public comment section of the meeting.  You will have 2 minutes to speak to the council of the whole so come prepared to speak by filling out a comment card.We hope that you attend and be a part of Detroit history at the FIRST meeting of your City Council in  District 2.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Meet the NEW City of Detroit City Council in District #2 - March 18th, 2014

 Northwest Activities Center     
 18100 Meyers Rd # 1,
 Detroit, MI 48235
 (313) 578-7500
 Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - @ 7pm EDT
6pm: Meet City Department Officials
 Detroit Water & Sewer, Police, Fire, et al..

7pm: Start of Official City Council Meeting.
  Hosted by Council President Brenda Jones
Review of City Business

Public Comment  (Limits of 3 minutes are strictly enforced by our fine Detroit Police Dept.)
Meeting Adjourned.

City ordinances and Belle Isle as it relates to citizens?
After the Blight, then what happens?
After Orr hits the door in October, then what?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Using Belle Isle for Business, Fun and, Pleasure under State Of Michigan Rules.

By Richard Clement


If you plan to use Belle Isle this year, there are new rules in effect regarding shelter rental and using the park.  If you want to provide commercial service or use that includes the following: money changing hands, exchange of goods or services, creation of good will, growing of a business, or promotion of a good or service, you will have to fill out an Application/Permit to Use State Land (FormPR1138-1).
Providing Commercial Service falls into 4 categories:
1.       Lease
2.       Concession
3.       Commercial Operating Agreement
4.       Use Permit

Under a lease you can have up to a 25 year period of use and grants exclusive use of the parcel of land for a specific purpose. The business must fit the mission of the DNR and the public interest and the Business owner must carry liability insurance.
Example of a Lease:
1.       Marina/Harbor
2.       Boat Access Site
3.       Restaurant
4.       Boat Wash
5.       Ski Hill
A Concession is a business that is requested by the Department of Natural Resources through a bid specification list.  Bids can be sole sourced or put out for competition at the discretion of the department. These business can generate up to $650,000 per year with Firewood, Ice and, Vending operating concessions generating up to $300,000 per year.

Examples of a Concession
1.       Park Store
2.       Mobile Food Service
3.       Bike / Boat Rental
4.       Water Slide
5.       Riding Stable
6.       Farming

Commercial Operating Agreement:
A commercial operating agreement is a document that allows for a business to perform a service on State Land. These businesses can generate at least $200,000 a year and, the fee is based on the impact to the resources like the: Land, staff and, other users.

Examples of COA’s are:

1.       Livery
2.       Marine Boat Repair
3.       Model Airplane Flying
4.       Gilding Service
5.       Whitewater Rafting
6.       Recreational Vehicle Rental

Use Permits are for one-time or re-occurring events. These events can generate between $100,000 & $120,000 per year. Fee is also determined on an Impact Basis to the land, staff and other users.

Use Permit Examples are:
1.       Pedestrian / Bike Race
2.       Triathlon Event
3.       Boat Race
4.       Firs time business ventures or unique options that are limited.

A Special Use Permit is used if you want a shelter for a family reunion for alcohol in a State Park. However, the State has decided to keep the City of Detroit’s reservation system until the end of 2014.  Open alcohol containers are only allowed in the area of your shelter rental through the acquisition of a Special Use Permit.
Violations will be prosecuted in 36th Court by the Wayne County Prosecutors office per Sgt. Arthur Green DNR Area Supervisor of the Law Enforcement Division.
For more information please visit the City of Detroit Recreation Department (click here) Website.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Does it Take to Make a Great City: Investment in Water Maintenance

By Richard C. Clement

Detroit’s Water and Sewage Department Master Plan for Detroit. 

Cheryl Porter
On February 20th, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department’s (DSWD/ ) Retail Steering Committee presented an update on their Master Plan at New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church.   DSWD serves 3.6 million people in the City of Detroit and 129 communities in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. This is a 2 year project that will direct recommendations on the 20 year plan for capital improvements and associated costs. The plan will help provide guidance in the areas of water rates, maintenance and a conceptual design for identified priority improvements for the first 5 years. Water rates are determined by a formula calculating the median income of the city/township it serves times %2. 

Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Porter gave a 45 minute presentation on the plan that included progress on:

1.       Signing 12 out of 17 consent agreements with the various Unions
2.       Describing the differential between the fixed assets and the maintenance costs
3.       Making a plan on maintaining the integrity of the  infrastructure

DSWD Master Plan
The department is responsible for maintenance and replacement of aging water mains.  The material used to upgrade the water system must be of a durable nature and designed to last more than 20-30 years.  Different compounds made from natural products that are combined with concrete to make it last longer must be considered because the water system is a vital part of the quality of life for everyone. 

Managing the water through metering and leak detection will play a crucial role in sustaining revenue and paying for system.  With the new technology, DSWD will be able to determine if a property is using water at an abnormal rate such as, someone having a leaking toilet or pipe in their home and giving reports on water usage at a daily rate.  This technology would help a home or property owner to manage their water use so much that you will be able to determine the cost of getting a plumber to fix a leak to save long term cost to the consumer.  As it stands now, the water system was losing money up until 2011 when the rates were increased. There was a small profit for 2011 until the projected maintenance costs of 2012 through 2014 were included.


Edna Bell
SERCH Consultants
The responsibility of managing the water is determined by a seven member board.  Currently there is no plan to have an elected water board similar to the district/at large model in the City of Detroit. There would be legitimate reasons to have an elected water board because they would be more accountable to the people. This would be much better than a Federal Court managing the water system because an elected board will lead to better transparency,  prompt disclosure of technical data and,  discussion of project ideas and recommendations with an emphasis on group problem solving to promote levels of trust between the public and DSWD.

Charlie Fleetham
Project Innovations Inc.
The actions above will create better Customer Service for DSWD and their customers. For the residents of Detroit, this is crucial information that will help our community grow and prosper. To help Detroit prosper we recommend that you get involved with your government by participating in the decision making process with, your writings on paper, email and, by your presence at steering committee meetings.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Apology and explanation of Detroit Fire Department post.

by Richard Clement

Closed Firehouse at Livernois and Curtis
District #2
I do apologize to the Men and Women of Detroit Fire if you were offended by the statement Bed and Breakfast, especially the widows.  This is a misunderstanding between the intent of the message and what it should have implied that being a Firefighter is a good job with a lot of dangerous and hard work.  Some of the firehouses that I worked in doing computer hardware and software upgrades, the kitchens had bbq fire pits and gas grills installed.  I had the chance to observe a few Firefighters cooking sitr-fry one day at a firehouse and, it looked so good and smelled even better.  They were pretty nice to me also but I could not stay for dinner.  We want our firefighters to be well fed, well paid and, safe when they go to work. If the facilities need an upgrade, then make a list and it will be addressed.   Mr. Cushingberry never wrote any of the messages so don’t hate on him. Therefore I would  be more than honored take up all of the offers that some of you made to Councilman Cushingberry to ride a rig, put on some gear and,  go up the ladder on the fire engine. I will be leading an investigation of DFD facilities for the councilman. Starting with the firehouses in District 2, I will be going to see what is REALLY going on in DFD as an investigator. If additional hardware is needed then, your concerns will be addressed.

We will be adding additional media content creators on the Facebook page for Mr. Cushingberry. This includes more media personnel and unpaid interns in journalism. Mr. Cushingberry has no intentions on resigning over a traffic ticket or, resigning period.  After thinking about it over the weekend, I am not quitting either. It is time to get up and walk it off. In 30 days the council has accomplished a lot. Board positions have been filled, corporation counsel has been appointed and the streetlights are coming on.  This does not sound like a dysfunctional group of councilmembers. When all these facts come to light, Nolan Finley is still wrong and Richard Clement was right.  Given my new position, others will have to speak up and out for me a little more advocating the causes that I was speaking out for in Lansing and Detroit.

Sincerely, Richard Clement – Legislative Aide to Councilman George Cushingberry Jr. - Good Stuff on the Internet