It was a changing of the guard
of sorts for the City of Dearborn on Monday night.
In what was an evening of new
direction, newcomers Louis Buntin and Gary Bomar
were sworn in as new aldermen, Buntin was elected
the new president of the board, and the aldermen
voted to replace the head of its park project.
And it all took place at a standing-room
only meeting at city hall, where Dearborn residents
take their local government seriously, as evidence
in that 44% of voters cast ballots in Ward 2 last
Buntin was elected unopposed in
Ward 1 last week, while Bomar's write-in campaign
against Gary Reed was successful in Ward 2, with
Bomar pulling 40 votes to 26 for Reed, who was
on the ballot.
Much discussion about the new
park under construction in the city was held.
New aldermen, as well as incumbent alderman Bill
Edwards, expressed concern over the lack of a
site plan that would include an engineer's study.
They also were disappointed that trees and other
vegetation hasn't been properly removed from the
"There is a major loss of
confidence in the community in the way things
have been done on the new park so far," Buntin
Aldermen held a back-and-forth
discussion with former mayor Delba McAuley, who
has served as the city's parks director and has
been in charge of the new project.
McAuley said there is a map of
where things will be placed within the park, but
no engineered site plan.
She said officials with the county
parks and rec department, which has provided grant
money to the city for the park, have told her
no engineer was needed.
"The county has told us they
don't feel an engineer is necessary for this project,"
McAuley told the board.
"We have to follow what the
parks and rec department tells us," she said.
The new park is expected to include
a baseball field, a basketball court, some playground
equipment, a shelter house and possibly some walking
trails, Mayor Josh Linville said.
McAuley explained that trees had
been cleared from the property but vegetation
"debris" remains. The first company
had come through with a bulldozer and pushed off
the trees, which has not completely cleared the
debris underneath, it was explained. She said
the city paid $2,800 to have this done, with the
next lowest bid coming it at around $8,000 or
Another company has since offered
to come in and clean up the remaining debris from
the area at a cost between $3,500 and $5,000.
McAuley defended her decisions
in regard to the park by saying that all decisions
had been run through the board of aldermen for
"I didn't vote on the bids,"
"If you're not happy with
the progress, appoint whoever you want. It hasn't
been a picnic. It has been a heck of a lot of
hours," McAuley added.
"I appreciate that,"
McAuley responded: "No, I
don't think you do. Good luck, I want this park
and ball park to be built," and left the
Buntin said he is representing
the opinions of the people he was elected to serve.
The board eventually voted 3-1
to replace McAuley with Karlton Nash, who will
now take over as a construction manager of sorts
for the new park. Buntin, Bomar and Edwards voted
to replace McAuley with Karlton Nash. Donald Swanstone,
Jr. voted against the motion. Linville, who as
mayor does not vote, indicated a preference to
keep McAuley and initially vetoed the motion,
only to have his veto overturned by the same 3-1
vote. He explained city ordinance requires a two-thirds
majority vote by the board to override a veto
and the 3-1 vote topped the requirement.
Nash said he'd like to develop
a site plan, have an engineering study done, and
a cost-analysis completed.
"I personally think you'll
have to back up," Nash said, adding he would
have preferred to see the board keep the old ball
park operational until the new one is built.
Concerns of proper stormwater
drainage at the site have also been mentioned
by members of the community.
Dearborn youth can play their
summer ball with Camden Point teams if the Dearborn
field is not completed, the mayor said recently.
In other matters:
Linville was sworn in for
a one-year unexpired term after being elected
last week. He had first been named to the mayor's
post seven months ago after McAuley resigned the
Buntin was chosen new president
of the board. The previous president had been
The board decided to hold
a special meeting next Monday, April 18. Items
on the agenda will include a budget workshop,
a proposed sewer project at the Trexmart store,
and other matters.
The possibility of starting
a quarterly newsletter from the city available
to residents was discussed. Such a newsletter
could be mailed or posted at public places such
as the library. Linville said the item will be
discussed further at a future meeting.