Mayor James Fouts delivered the annual budget presentation to the Warren Council on Tuesday of this week. During the budget presentation, Mayor Fouts outlined some of the great new accomplishments of his administration.
“Warren has achieved the best industrial assessment status in the metro area, and the city is proud to have the best fire department in the state! “the Mayor reported.
The budget presentation, was however overshadowed by the fact that the media, chose to only do a story about one of the negative, nay-saying, false minister that has been disturbing and interrupting Warren City Council meetings over the past few months. In an unexpected turn of events, one of these outsider ministers followed Mayor Fouts as the Mayor was leaving the Council meeting, and following the Mayor to his car, began making derogatory statements, laced with all kinds of obscene and racially charged comments. Sadly, several TV stations, which were on sight, again chose only to interview this individual and ignored all the great accomplishments that have made the City of Warren number one in the state in many areas.
Interestingly, the media chose to ignore the overwhelming sow of positive support from the audience at the council meeting, and instead honed in on the “false” minister with an agenda.
During the presentation, Mayor Fouts outlined the fact that his administration is embarking on some aggressive efforts when it comes to cleaning up blighted areas like the mobile home parks in Warren.
During his tenure, the Mayor’s revitalization and clean up initiatives have greatly increased the quality of life for the residents of Warren with aggressive city “clean-up” initiatives such as
blight sweeps and police sweeps, addressing nuisance and abatement for businesses and residential dwellings, which have produced a steady decrease in both property crimes and violent crimes. Now, the City of Warren is tackling the problems of mobile home parks and hopes to become the first city in Michigan that is able to clean up and demolish these eye sores and attractive centers for drugs, prostitution, rats, and various forms of blight. Currently mobile homes are governed by the state not the city. This allows some owners to completely disregard the city ordinances regarding blight compliance and that leads to a whole host of blight and crime issues. The state body that regulates and inspects mobile homes is the Manufactured Housing Commission and 5 out of 8 members represent the mobile home industry. That needs to change as it is like having the fox in charge of protecting the hen house.
Mayor Fouts reiterated the fact that the city’s fund balance is outstanding. The Administration’s cost saving initiatives saved the city significant expenditures by consolidating and streamlining multiple city departments and greatly improved the efficiency of city operations. TO further streamline the operations at City Hall, the Mayor’s office has reduced the number of employees from 11 to five, a reduction of 26%, which is saving the City $1.5 million dollars.
Because of the Mayor’s tireless efforts to improve Warren, the City now enjoys a very healthy fund balance and a healthy revenue stream which allows the City of Warren to invest in the City’s infrastructure. Additionality, the City of Warren has refinanced several bonds in the last few years which have saved 12.6 million dollars. The fund balance gives Warren a higher bond rating which in turn allows the City to borrow at a lower rate.
The strong fund balance means we can also investment in capital equipment and big projects like the detention basin which will drastically reduce the chronic issue of flooding. A new detention basin approved by the City Council has immediately saved the City of Warren $30 million by not being part of the OMI pipeline. This was only possible by having a strong fund balance.
The City of Warren now has reserves to be used during emergencies and the City can balance the budget through conservative use of the fund balance rather than raising taxes.
The City of Warren’s public safety commitment is nearly 2/3 of the budget. This has resulted in an outstanding police department and the best fire department in the state. The City of Warren’s fire department has won the top gold award from the American Heart Association for three years in a row. No other city can claim this award in the state.
The City of Warren Police Department is the leader in taking on the heroin epidemic in Warren and especially in Detroit. The City of Warren is also the leader in fighting the onslaught of elder abuse and apprehending the scam artists that go door to door taking advantage our trusting seniors.
The City of Warren is heavily investing in the development of South Warren with initiatives for building two new libraries in the southwest and southeast portions of the city. This investment in the community is being realized through investment in a new Civic Center near 9 mile Rd and Van Dyke whose aim will be to serve the needs of South Warren. A new veterans housing project will continue the development spur in South Warren that will be completed by investments in developing police and fire stations to serve the expanding needs of this growing community.
The City of Warren is currently working with private developers to build an upscale downtown which will include a top-notch hotel and an upscale commercial development project.
These are just a few of many great accomplishments that Warren has achieved and were part of the budget presentation. Yet the media had time only to cover the negative rants of one outsider minister. Makes you wonder about the objectivity of the media?
Have a great Easter and Good Friday.