Op-Ed: We Lack Honest Leadership in the Office of Mayor

By Ravi Yalamanchi, Candidate for Rochester Hills Mayor

Ravi Yalamanchi

Ravi Yalamanchi

Friends –

Recently a negative piece was sent out about me indicating that I voted NO for Police and Fire. The council votes on the entire budget and not specifically on Police and Fire. How would anyone not support their Police and Fire departments? Both departments are essential part of ensuring the quality and safety of our community. I was concerned about the entire budget planning and expenditures and opposed when it was not a responsible budget. For instance:

  1. It took five years to merge city 911 service with county 911. As part of the contract with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department for contracted police services, the city was already paying $300,000 to cover mobile 911 services. In addition, the city was spending $1 million to operate its 911-landline service through the fire department and additional funds for equipment.  We were duplicating the services with exorbitant costs. When an emergency call came through for police through the landline the city’s 911 responded first and then it transferred the call to Oakland County 911 for police response. This contributed to a lag time with duplicate costs. The resistance to merge was huge, and an outside consultant from New Jersey was hired to tell us how ineffective our system was. Although we already knew this, we still wasted city funds.

After the consultant’s report, the city issued a Request for Proposal, even when the answer was clear that Oakland County Sheriff’s Dispatch was the best option since we already had an agreement with them.  When it was all said and done, Oakland County Sheriff’s Department agreed to take on the service for less than $200,000 a year and offered to hire the city’s dispatch personnel. The city wasted at minimum $750,000 per year for five years (not including prior to my time on council).

After the city’s 911 service was merged with the county, the city’s fire fund balance from 2010 started to go up and was showing strong projections into the future. It took over 5 years when the solution was right in front of us.  This, my friends, cost residents time, money, and efficient response times.

  1. Payment to the Walmart developer of over $800,000 inserted in a budget amendment without any discussion or no prior information. I voted NO on it.
  2. Payments to consultants on the water reservoirs project which had no business case.

I voted NO on it.

  1. In 2007 I objected to a tax increase plan just as we were entering a recession.
  2. When funding for local road was zeroed out in 2009 and 2010, even when we had a strong General Fund balance, at that time, over $26 million. I objected to it. I was the one that made a motion (and it passed) in 2013 to increase road funding to $5 million per year for 2014 thru 2016.
  3. Hiring of Lobbyists, Strategic Communication (a firm that is made up of previously elected officials), under the pretext of grant development. City spent over $200,000. I voted NO on it.
  4. I was surprised to learn of a NO bid contract with the trash company. We had an opportunity to go out for bids and seek the best option. Instead a NO bid contract was chosen.
  5. IN 2015 the taxes went up by 7.66% while the claim is always how the administration does not raise taxes

Friends, we need to move forward with a change in leadership that restores trust and integrity in the Mayor’s office.  With me there will be no quid pro quo with contractors, developers, businesses, or oil companies. My focus while on council was always doing the right thing for the residents and doing it based on data and facts. My focus as Mayor will be the same.

Public Service is a noble service and not an entitlement. The office of the Mayor should be restored to its original intent of serving the community. It is a responsibility that needs to be fulfilled with dignity and respect. No one person should become a permanent fixture in an elected office and use that position for personal gain. It is the families of Rochester Hills that make us great.

Sincerely,

Ravi Yalamanchi

Comments

  1. Wow. That Barnett flier was awful. #barnettdesperate

  2. Ravi Vangipuram says

    Negative campaign has no place in political campaign. The Barnett flyer does exactly the opposite of its intent.

  3. Carolyn O'Mahony says

    Thank you for setting the record straight, Ravi.

    There are very good reasons for term limits. Civic relationships and agreements need to be, and to be seen, in the interest of the community rather than particular individuals. Over time the lines between public and personal can get too blurred.

  4. Scot Beaton says

    Ravi Yalamanchi City Council voting record

    Just to name a few… all in the City Council minutes up at City Hall.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… voted yes to turn Tienken into a five lane highway; in the City Capital Improvement Plan. This cost our City and Road Commission for Oakland County hundreds of thousand of dollars in wasted engineering cost! Advertisement he ran May 4th, 2015 – Community Lifestyles R/RH/OT) said he opposed the expansion of Tienken Rd. He only changed his view of this issue when the residents showed up to protest HIS and the City’s five lane highway plan.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… voted yes to turn Livernois Road south of Avon to South Boulevard into a five lane highway in the City Capital Improvement Plan.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… voted yes to turn Washington road in our historic district into a two and three lane paved highway in the City Capital Improvement Plan. Cost our City $50.000+ in wasted engineering cost! He only changed his view of this issue when the residents showed up to protest.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… voted yes to remove a planned unit development (PUD) property. Property was originally zoned single family residential to FB2 (flexible business zoning) this City zoning allows the construction of commercial, office or apartment complex development. The residents overwhelming wanted the property to revert back to single family residential… Ravi voted against their wishes. Property location Rochester Rd. Eddington Farms Subdivision just north of Bordines Nursery.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… voted yes to rezone single family residential property into mental care zoning, and the destruction of an historic home on South Boulevard.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… voted yes to rezone single family residential property into 250+ unit apartment complex on John R just south of Avon.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… voted yes to study water reservoirs; cost of two studies was apromaxaly $80.000 and done by the same firm! Both studies came out pretty much identical, the conclusion to build two massive tanks in Rochester Hills. Ravi Yalamanchi never once went door to door informing the residents of these massive tanks that were proposed to be built in the side and backyards of residential property! Residential property that backed up to planned city parks! Ravi did not show any negative support for building water tanks until I and three friends went door to door in his Council District and my former Council District on John R road. We started the momentum not Ravi to involved hundreds of residents to show up at meetings to finally convince Ravi and the majority to City Council to kill the project.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… did not support our Fire Department Millage Request … which pass by the informed voters of Rochester Hills by over 71%! I can only guess for political personal future reasons does not care about your public safety and thought promoting “no new tax increase” was a better idea.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… destroyed our land line Dispatch Service, turned it over the County Sheriff… conclusion a very small savings to the City (City now pays the County Sheriff for that service) and it did increase response time! Misleads in his campaign material, leads the voter to believe the outcome of this vote is now we get it for free! (advertisement he ran May 4th, 2015 – Community Lifestyles R/RH/OT)

    Ravi Yalamanchi… supports the continue construction of subsidized public housing in Rochester Hills. The subsidized public housing behind Home Depot on Avon Rd. is continuing nightmare for our Oakland County Sheriff department. (advertisement he ran May 4th, 2015 – Community Lifestyles R/RH/OT)

    Ravi Yalamanchi… supports your City property tax dollars… paying for Public Transportation costs in other Cities … why should we pay to bus residents in Pontiac Michigan around! (advertisement he ran May 4th, 2015 – Community Lifestyles R/RH/OT)

    Ravi Yalamanchi… made the motion and voted yes to increase the Mayor’s car allowance by 40% his last year in office. Guess he was already pre-thinking his personal political future.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… showed zero leadership capabilities was never elected by his peers to President of City Council.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… continues to not understand separation of powers in our City Charter, the Mayor can not extend citizen comments to 4 minutes, only the City Council can make that change.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… claims to support the LGBT community but when he had many opportunities to make a motion to direct our City and it’s City Attorney to draft an ordinance similar to Royal Oak or Ann Arbor MI he sat there and did nothing!

    Ravi Yalamanchi… continues to hide his voting record, and publish misinformation on the streets in Rochester Hills!

    Scot Beaton
    655 Bolinger St. Rochester Hills 48307
    Political Experience former Rochester Hills City Council member 1988 to 1997
    President, Rochester Hills City Council (2 Years)

    P.S. my email my have a few typos, I was dyslexic in my youth; and still have trouble spelling…

  5. Scot Beaton says

    The original City Charter did not have term limits! The compromise was when this issue came up by three Council members … three Council members did not want to change our City Charter to include term limits, I made an amendment to the motion on the floor to add you could run as a write-in candidate every third term, and that passed by a four to three vote; and that was the language that our city attorney drafted to put on the ballot to change our City Charter that at the time did not have term limits!

    Scot Beaton
    Political Experience former Rochester Hills City Council member 1988 to 1997
    President, Rochester Hills City Council (2 Years)

  6. Scot Beaton says

    7. I was surprised to learn of a NO bid contract with the trash company. We had an opportunity to go out for bids and seek the best option. Instead a NO bid contract was chosen.

    Ravi Yalamanchi… was absent from that City Council meeting… so no discussion for him… and no vote from him… what a surprise… difficult to make a comment when you don’t even bother to show up!

    Scot Beaton
    Political Experience former Rochester Hills City Council member 1988 to 1997
    President, Rochester Hills City Council (2 Years)

  7. Judy Justin says

    The conversations about Ravi and by his supporters lack factual evidence. I’m choosing to support Bryan Barnett as the Mayor of Rochester Hills. You only have to look at the results to make this decision. Rochester Hills is on the map because of good leadership of our Mayor and the Council. One of the top 10 places to live in the nation, safest city in Michigan, property values increasing…the list goes on. These FACTS are a reality and can’t be disputed by naysayers. These are awards that have come to our City because of strong leadership and vision.
    I watched many Council meetings when Ravi was on the Council. His vote was almost always, NO, on every matter. He lacks the enthusiam and vision that our City needs. Rochester Hills is an innovative, educated, commumity. Results matter! Write in Bryan Barnett for Mayor on November 3. Let’s keep our City strong and moving forward and the greatest place in Michigan to live, work, and raise your family!

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