Laura Dwyer Schlecte Wants To Be Jackson's Mayor.
Defeated, She Wants Her Old 4th Ward Seat Back. Sore Loser?
- First Elected in November 2011 Seated December 2011
- Laura Schlecte's legal residence in 4th Ward Questioned in
Jackson MI August 24, 2011 - Jackson City Council candidate Laura
Dwyer Schlecte wants Ward 4 voters to know that even though she and her husband own
homes in Jackson and Ann Arbor, she lives in Jackson. “Ninety nine percent of the time
I'm here,” Dwyer Schlecte said. “They can drive past my home and see if my car is
in the parking lot.”
In the comments on an article on mlive.com, a link was posted to a
flyer for an Ella Sharp Museum fund raiser that gave Laura and her husband Bills
address as 116 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. 116 N. Fourth St, Ann Arbor is a commercial
building, not "a home". A commentor also said that is where the
Schlecte's claim their homestead exemption. That exemption was for 75% homestead.
Her Jackson home where she lives carried a 0% homestead exemption. The 75% exemption in
Ann Arbor was worth far more than a 100% exemption in Jackson. The exemptions were
corrected shortly after. Business as usual.
- Larry Shaffer took over as city manager on June 11 with Pat Burtch
as deputy city manager.
- Pat Burtch rented an apartment from Laura Schlecte early on leading
to close cooperation.
- Laura Schlecte, Derek Dobies and Daniel Greer meet with Shaffer and
"motivated" him to vacate the job of city manager with a $64,000 payoff of
taxpayer dollars clearing the way for Pat Burtch to assume that role later in the
- Laura Schlecte nominated Pat Burtch for the city
manager job. He was hired with no advertising nor a search for a better
JACKSON, MI October 23, 2012 - The Jackson City Council has picked
Patrick Burtch to be city manager. With no advance notice to the public, Jackson City
Council members voted 4-2 Tuesday night to approve an employment contract with Burtch,
who had been serving as interim city manager.
Burtch will be paid at an annual rate of $117,300 through July 1 and
will receive a 6.1 percent raise to $124,500 on that date. Former City Manager Larry
Shaffer was paid a $115,000 salary before he left in August after agreeing to a $64,092
severance package that included five months of pay.
Consideration of an employment contract with Burtch to be city manager
was added to the agenda for Tuesday night's meeting shortly after the meeting
City council members added the employment contract to the agenda at the
request of Dwyer Schlecte.
Laura Schlecte, Derek Dobies and Daniel Greer were sued by a local
violation of the Open Meetings Act which requires an open public meeting
where 3 or more elected officials meet to discuss actions related to their positions.
This was not complied with. Attorney later dropped suit for personal reasons. It
appears obvious that they violated the OMA.
- One councilman stated: "My thoughts are that there was probably
a move under way to promote Patrick Burtch," And further he thinks some City
Council members in part nudged Shaffer to leave because they wanted Deputy City Manager
Patrick Burtch to do the job.
- Once Burtch was firmly implanted as city manager, with the support
of Laura Schlecte and others, he ventured forth on his plan to
demolish allegedly blighted homes to reduce the number of
rental units in Jackson with the intent of raising property values. Schlecte has
been instrumental in backing Burtch in his every move.
The local paper reported: JACKSON, MI – Sold as a silver bullet that
would slash crime rates and increase property values, city lawmakers have for years
championed an initiative aimed at eliminating blight in Jackson. Nearly three years and
$3.6 million tax dollars later, more than 280 condemned buildings have disappeared
under the city's home demolition program — with few marketable results.
Like many other properties in Jackson, as
an example, here is information on one of Laura's rental properties that has reaped the
benefit of the Burtch program:
Year Taxable Value
- 2012 $63,100
- 2013 $51,900
- 2014 $39,100
- 2015 $39,725
Seems the Burtch/Schlecte demolition program is working wonders for
Jackson property values.
- When Laura was running for the 4th Ward councilperson, she opposed
the storm water "fee" and said she would help rescind it as did several other
candidates. Once elected she reversed her position, and supported the ordinance. This
action resulted in a lawsuit by the county and several other property owners which the
city eventually lost. A class action followed and the city has had to pay back over
$800,000 in illegally collected taxes. The city then argued, with council support, that
they could impose a tax to pay the judgment. This argument was soundly rejected by the
court. The same thing is now happening with the inspection fee lawsuit. The council has
had a change to direct the city manager to meet with stake holders and resolve
differences without litigation but has chosen to expose the city to more significant
losses than resulted from the storm water lawsuit.
Some of the accomplishments Laura claims on her website include:
- Lead the push to make Louis Glick & Washington loop two ways.
Where is the cost benefit analysis for this change? Hard facts Laura, not feel good
comments. Where is the analysis supporting your position?
- Crafted the new City of Jackson Ethics Ordinance
Designed to allow expulsion of members who do not tow the party line. Liberal
Fascism hard at work in Jackson.
- Worked with MDOT to get art on the Cooper St. bridge
Amazing. We would like to see who Laura worked with. Accoring to Paul C. Ajegba,
an engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation University Region,
the I-94 corridor, including the bridges, needs to reflect the identity of the community.
The idea is to maintain one theme along the corridor, which could include more advanced
bridge designs which resemble one another, and other aesthetic features like etches
in the structures or a common color. Laura has been involed according to an MDOT
- Facilitated Placemaking grant funds & projects
The only placemaking grant funds we are aware of are a $1000 donation from the Board of Realtors
to paint artwork on the Mechanic St. overpass and another donation to anoter party to put banners
up and down Mechanic St. Neither project came to fruitition.
- Connected the Health Department and Community Wellness Grant to Loomis Park
This activity was spearheaded by Julie WeisBrod of the Jackosn County Health Department.
Superfical activity for politcial recognition is a halmark of the Schlecte campaign.
- Holds regular Community Conversations with citizens and will continue to do so as Mayor
Laura does indeed hold conversations then does what Burth and the majority coalition dictate.
No to the illegal storm water fees: Laura says Yes. No to the garbage collection ordinance:
Laura says Yes. No to wasting money on parks: Laura says Yes. No to demolitions, spend money on police:
Laura says continue demolitions at the expense of the police department.
- Working on activating the Amtrak station for community use
An unknown plan to spend more non-existant taxpayer dollars to "activate" the station for what?
Spend more money on something no one needs.
- Developed the Artsy Fartsy marketplace and other pop-up events around Jackson
This goes without saying. Who would name something like this Artsy Fartsy?
- Created the Amazing Race to benefit the Fitness Council of Jackson
A serious accomplishment
- Participated in the Walkable Community Coalition including the Mayor's Challenge
Meanwhile the streets are crumbling, the gutters flooded, the catch basins are clogged. But
Laura wants a walkable community. How about a drivable community.
- Member of Cradle-to-Career Council
Easy to volunteer for this and that. What did she contribute?
- Organized the 2015 landlord Conference
Attended by 20 landlords and 30 city employees/politicos for the
sole purpose of advancing Laura's political career.
Notice that none of Laura's efforts recognize or are directed at the hard
realities facing Jackson. Where is the study committee on roads? Where is the study
committee on resolving long term debt service? Where is the committee on resolving
the under funded post employment benefit trusts?
Everything Laura is about is shallow and superficial. No thanks Laura.
Laura Schlecte wants to be our mayor. Her record leaves the
impression that all we would see is more of the same or worse. Continued massive
demolitions to drive out low to moderate income resident, dropping property values in
most areas, concentration of city investments in the downtown core while neglecting the
other areas of the city where the tax dollars come from and lastly, just a mouthpiece
for Pat Burtch and his "agenda".
It appears that Laura has enlisted several members of the community
to ride into office with her to facilitate her agenda.
Melissa Morse, a beneficiary of a lavish rehabilitation loan from the city and Freddy
Dancy another Schlecte supporter are running to assure Laura decisive control of the agenda
to the detriment of the city. It is imperative that these three be defeated in November if
they make it through the primary.
Well the latest news flash: Laura has filed to run for her old seat in the 4th Ward. I guess some folks don't
learn. She suffered a smashing defeat in the mayoral race, beating on Eugene Hurd who was in jail. Schlecte
could not even beat Wilson city wide losing 411 to 506. Schlecte barely took the 4th ward against Wilson.
Hopefully voters are wise to her agenda. You would think after spending almost $9,000 on her run at the mayors
office and losing, she might get a clue.