Hurricane Dobies - A Dark Cloud Over Jackson

Derek Dobies outlined his agenda for attracting new jobs and business development to the City of Jackson.

Dobies plan focuses on five main components that he alleges will reinvigorate Jackson's local economy.

We need more jobs in Jackson, and as Mayor I will lead an aggressive effort to attract new business and new job opportunities for our residents," said Dobies. "We need to spur development, attract new talent and ensure that our city policies and programs are encouraging that entrepreneurial spirit in our city."

In reality Dobies is saying he will support the subsidies given to well heeled developers to entice more development of downtown apartments and pubs, hoping to attract potential young professional middle class tenants with no middle class jobs to support themselves. And what is behind this effort? Political endorsements and donations from developers who reap huge profits from subsidies provided on the backs of tax payers. The Dobies agenda is Derek Dobies, not the citizens of Jackson.

Derek wants you to believe that the five facets of his plan will lead to opportunity for all in Jackson. His real obective is climbing the leftist political ladder on the wasted tax dollars of Jackson residents.

Derek Dobies wants to:

  • Enhance neighborhoods by removing blight, fixing our road infrastructure, creating walkable neighborhoods, developing main corridors as entryways into the city, and strategically developing business districts to support walkable access to daily needs.

  • In reality, the massive demolition in mainly minority neighborhoods has deprived lower income families of the opportunity and benefits of home ownership. Instead of using tax dollars to make affordable loans and tax abatement grants to stimulate home ownership, tax dollars, federal and local have been used to raze homes and produce weed filled empty lots which the city now has to use your tax dollars to mow when they get around to it. Dobies is a long time supporter of the Burtch vision of clearing out the low income areas of Jackson to consolidate cleared lands for developers to come in an build high end condominiums which the displaced residents could not afford. The plan is to clear out the residents and properties that don't contribute to the vision of a "new" Jackson.

    Why would a leftist who you would think be on board with protecting the poor and low income elements in our society, throw them under the bus? Simple. The Derek Dobies agenda for his political future requires his alignment with folks who will endorse him because he supports giveaways of tax dollars to enhance their bottom line.

    Dobies has been on the council for 6 years. He has not come up with a program to "fix our roads" in those 6 years. Only Jors has partially lived up to his campaign promise to address deteriorating roads and get the streets swept of debris and litter that clogged up storm drains and undermined the pavement.

    Dobies loves to spout the buzz words heard in cities and towns across this land: "creating walkable neighborhoods, developing main corridors as entryways into the city, and strategically developing business districts to support walkable access to daily needs."

    Talk is cheap Derek. Take you central planning vision and move to some failed place like Cuba. We don't need you telling us where business districts should be developed.

  • Spur development by leveraging downtown assets, moving to form-based code, enhancing the development review process, launching an aggressive marketing campaign, and achieving redevelopment ready community certification via the MEDC.

  • Dobies likes to speak in bureaucrat babble to pull the wool over voters eyes. Leveraging downtown assets? That means giving your tax dollars to developers through grants and tax abatement's. Moving to form-based code?

    Form-Based Codes are the latest evolutionary step in the practice of development and land-use regulation. A growing alternative to conventional zoning laws, Form-Based Codes go beyond land use to address not just the physical form of buildings but also surrounding streets, blocks, and public spaces in order to create, protect, and revitalize sustainable communities.

    More buzz words. Municipal management suffers the same waves of change as the educational system, spurred on by endless armies of PhD's in planning and education who have to think up whole new avenues to pursue to earn their credentials and impose the latest fads on society. Dobies and his kind embrace every new fad that comes along to demonstrate their progressive alignment. Out with the old, in with the new. Never mind the consequences, full speed ahead.

  • Attract talent through creative placemaking, targeted recruitment activities, workforce training and skilled trades opportunities, leveraging partnerships with businesses and educational institutions, and branding Jackson as the energy capital of Michigan.

  • Attract talent to what? A painted chair at the Grand River Farmers Market? Maybe a painted piano or other such world class attractions? Jackson: The Energy Capitol of Michigan? Jackson was an energy capitol when Consumers Energy was heavily invested in nuclear power and hangers on like Gilbert-Commonwealth picked up the scraps from the big boys. CE blew the opportunity and Jackson suffered. You don't hear Jors spouting the same kind of babble as Derek because he has many years of experience in the real world dealing with real problems.

  • Encourage entrepreneurship by matching budding small businesses with angel investors, exploring new venture capital partnerships, and creatively matching great companies with great buildings in Jackson.

  • Those venture capitalists are lining up for a chance to invest in Jackson. I can smell it in the air. Do you take us for fools? You are talking to yourself in a dark closet just to hear yourself speak.

  • Promote smart growth by cutting unnecessary regulations, evaluating purchasing to support “Invest/Buy Local” efforts, and ensure everyone is welcome in our city.

  • As a member of the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce, Dobies has demonstrated strong leadership in economic development by working to eliminate unnecessary........

    Glidden Parker/CP Federal City Square, championed by Dobies for name recognition, has been the catalyst for downtowns rebirth according to a self aggrandizing statement.

    Downtown rebirth? You mean the empty storefronts and downtown business closings? Try and shop for anything downtown. If you want more than a pair of shoes or a hot dog, you are out of luck. Schupbach's and Casler's are hangers on only because of the DIY types and gun toting rural folks who come to Jackson on occasion.

    "Before I ran for City Council, Jackson's economy was struggling. The city was on the brink of emergency financial management, and businesses weren't eager to move downtown," said Dobies. "That's why I've stabilized the city's finances and spent every day in office working hard to bring new energy, new small businesses, and new jobs to Jackson. And that's exactly what Ill continue to do if I'm elected to serve as Jackson's next Mayor.

    Amazing what one inexperienced political hack can accomplish in such a short period. I guess this is what happens when a real carpetbagger comes to town. "I've stabilized the city's finances and spent every day in office working hard to bring new energy, new small businesses, and new jobs to Jackson." Nothing egotistical and narcissistic in that statement. I bet all the other members of council and Burtch should just step aside for the Renaissance Man.

    Dobies growing list of public endorsers includes Shane Stephens and Andrea Ericksen, two millennial business owners in the downtown area.

    "When we were considering downtown Jackson as a place to do business, we reached out to Derek," said Ericksen, who was formerly doing their business out of a borrowed garage in Leoni Township. "Derek not only encouraged us to come downtown, but showed us available properties, and sat down with city administrators to consider incentives that might make a urban food co-op possible in downtown Jackson. Now we're operating a successful business downtown with plans to grow!"

    Not quite. Do to the lack of interest in the products and services offered, the business cited above has closed the first floor organic produce business, moved the curtailed operations to the basement and is trying to rent out the above grade areas to tenants who can pay sufficient rent to pay the mortgage obligations on the downtown building and the Trumble Rd farm. Good job Derek. Leading the lambs to slaughter.

    As a young entrepreneur myself, I know that Derek has what it takes to lead our city to a more prosperous future," said Shane STEPHENS, owner of the new EpIQ Escapes on Wildwood. "His experience and vision will help more startups flourish in Jackson and attract new talent to our city. That not only makes my business successful, it makes our community stronger."

    Almost as bizarre as disc golf.

    Dobies would have you believe that he knows how to fix the roads and how to get it done.

    On Dobies linked page he created he says: The City's roads are in terrible condition. We are petitioning city leaders to take bold action to develop a long-term plan to fix our roads. Sign our petition to fix Jackson roads.

    Oddly enough he is suggesting petitioning himself as a recalled city council member and wannabee mayor.

    Derek has been on the council for 7 years and during those seven years, did nothing to fix our streets. He voted against restoring leaf pickup and storm drain cleaning using the taxes already collected for that purpose. Those funds were diverted to some other Burtch program. He tried to get a new storm water tax passed and that failed. He tried to get a proposal on the ballot to levy a road repair tax but the only targeted streets were those downtown and part of Burtch's turn downtown into a little Ann Arbor.

    Dobies voted to use our sewer/water and street repair funds which had accumulated in accounts over many years and were intended to repair infrastructure throughout the city on the Pat Burtch downtown vision.

    Now Dobies is advocating for adequate funding since he voted to blow the existing funds on the downtown he says we must develop a stable revenue source in Jackson that doesn't require families to shoulder the cost alone.

    As with all Dobies proposals, it is a mixture of lies and double talk babble. Tell us Derek what is the stable revenue source you refer to since you voted repeatedly to grant tax breaks to well heeled developers to enhance their profits at the expense of the taxpayers.

    Dobies says we should require the roads get fixed by well-trained Michigan construction workers. Gee Derek, are you saying that during your seven years on council, the road repairs were being done by unqualified construction workers and you said nothing about it? Was John Dowling aware that these repairs were by unqualified and improperly trained construction workers? You should have brought it to his attention.

    But we all know Derek that it is you who are unqualified to even comment on the quality of the work having never done anything productive in your life.

    Derek says we must include "road dieting"! Is that 2" of paving instead of the required 4"? How about we incorporate green infrastructure into construction to extend the life of our roads. Amazing how this ignoramus thinks throwing all these buzz words together will con people into voting for him.

    No sound proposals. Just double talk from a political opportunist and carpetbagger.

    Take a look at the aging roads in the city. The problem is lack of maintenance, a significant part took place over the last seven years when now recalled Dobies was a councilman.

    These are city, county, state and national problems none of which will be addressed by a carpetbagger searching for fame and a position in higher office.

    Elect a new council majority that will address real problems in the city with sound solutions. No more political babble from Dobies. The 6th Ward sent him packing. Now lets have city wide voters finish the job.