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A letter to Attorney General Bill Schuette to request an investigation of the Freedom Hill County Park landfill illegal dumping be conducted.

Warren Mayor James  R. Fouts formally requests that the office of the Attorney General’s Office conduct a full investigation of the Freedom Hill County Park landfill illegal dumping.

Dear Attorney General Schuette:
As the Mayor of Warren, Michigan’s third largest city in population, I am writing to request that your office conduct an investigation of the Freedom Hill County Park landfill illegal dumping.
Although the closed landfill is not located in the City of Warren, our city is a member of the South Macomb Disposal Authority (SMDA) that is responsible for the maintenance of this landfill.  Warren’s percentage of this cost is 47 percent with the remainder of the costs going to other Macomb County cities that are SMDA members. The SMDA has spent over $3 million to remediate the landfill to meet M-DEQ requirements.
Warren Mayor James Fouts’ request centers around the decision of Mark Hackel, Macomb County Executive, to allow a contractor to illegally dump road excavation materials at the landfill without any permission to do this from the SMDA or the Michigan DEQ.
At least 200,000 yards of materials have been dumped at the closed landfill in violation of a 2005 consent decree with the M-DEQ that mandated that no action could be initiated at the Freedom Hill landfill without approval of the SMDA and the M-DEQ.
The following are excerpts from a corrective action plan for the landfill as a result of the illegal dumping prepared for the SMDA by Anderson, Eckstein  and Westrick, Inc. and TRC Environmental Corporation on November 30, 2016.  This corrective action was necessary because of the illegal dumping at Freedom Hill approved by County Executive Hackel:
DIRECT  QUOTATION
  • The need for corrective action is due to a separate and unapproved action which is described below.
  • “During the summer and fall of 2016, two berms were constructed on Freedom Hill Landfill; one along the west landfill limits and one along the south and east landfill limits. The construction of these berms has compromised (damaged or removed) a substantial number of the remediation assets and created a number of uncontrolled leachate outbreaks. Therefore, the following describes the necessary corrective actions to restore the assets, stop the leachate outbreaks, and reshape the cap in a manner required by the regulations.”
  • Stop Existing Seeps – At our on-site visit with TRC MDEQ (Greg Barrows) on Thursday, November 17, 2016, approximately12 seeps were identified.
  • High levels of Methane along the West Property Line –  High levels of methane were measured at three monitoring wells along the west property line during the semi-annual monitoring event performed in early November. The first action will be to determine how far the methane has migrated in the soil to the west onto the Bethesda Christian Church property.
  • Gas Vent Disturbance –  During the filling of low spots and construction of the berms, several of the vents were disturbed and the nozzles (for measuring methane levels) and ports (for measuring leachate levels) and ports (for measuring leachate levels) were covered.
  • Grading Issues – The berm that was constructed on the east and south edge of the Freedom Hill landfill is approximately 15 feet high. The berm appears to have a front (north and west side) slope of about a 1   on 3, about a 15 to 20-foot flat top, and a 1   on 2 to 2 Yz back (south and east side) slope. Maintenance maximum slope is 1   on 3.
  • Fill Over Trees and Tree Wells that were planted as part of the remediation plan –  During the construction of the berms, several of the Tree Well Systems were covered or damaged. Also, seeps were occurring at some tree good locations and the wells and trees were excavated and backfilled with certified clean clay to stop the seeps.  Due to the pressure of the berm on the waste below, it is anticipated that approximately 30 to 40 additional Tree Well Systems will be installed.
This action plan was also the direct result of the Mayor’s Facebook post that warned of possible contamination because of the illegal dumping. This illegal dumping by the contractor has been on-going since last summer.  No corrective action was taken until November 21, 2016.  Instead, Mr. Hackel decided to criticize me for my warning.
Clearly, Mr. Hackel and the contractor had not planned or undertaken any corrective action during or after the illegal dumping.
The investigation requested by Warren Mayor James Fouts should address the following questions:
  1. Under what legal authority did Mr. Hackel approve this illegal dumping?
  2. Why was this illegal dumping not reported to the M-DEQ or the SMDA Board?
  3. Is this illegal dumping a violation of state environmental laws or regulations?
  4. What financial arrangement, if any, did Mr. Hackel have with the contractor to use a county facility for illegal dumping?
  5. How many yards were dumped and what were the fees paid to the county by the contractor?
  6. What was the contents of the excavation?
  7. Were there chunks of concrete in the dirt?
  8. How much did the contractor save in landfill and transport costs?
  9. Did the taxpayer-funded road project include costs of transport and landfill disposal costs and shouldn’t there be a refund for those costs because the contractor did not have these costs because of the illegal dumping?
  10. Did the contractor use his personal or corporate jet to transport Mr. Hackel and others to Detroit Tiger – Baltimore Orioles baseball games in Baltimore the weekend of May 12-15 and to the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 2016?
  11. Were there any other contractor-financed jet trips for Mr. Hackel by this contractor (Dan’s Excavating)?
  12. Did Dan’s Excavating contribute to Mr. Hackel’s campaign or hold any fundraisers for other candidates at Mr. Hackel’s request?
  13. If so, is that a conflict of interest, favoritism, or a quid pro quo?
  14. Why was no corrective action taken by Mr. Hackel until after my written concerns about possible Red Run Drain contamination?
  15. Can the county ethics commission investigate impartially since all of the Commission members are appointed by Mr. Hackel?
I   am requesting a full investigation by your office of Mr. Hackel’s illegal actions.
This situation could have resulted in an environmental disaster in our county. It is not enough to excuse Mr. Hackel’s actions by referring to the corrective action plan now underway. Illegal actions by public officials must have consequences to avoid actions like this in the future.
Sincerely,
City of Warren Mayor
James R. Fouts

Students from Mound Park Elementary School in the City of Warren will be accepting school supplies from Warren Mayor Jim Fouts.

Students from Mound Park Elementary School in the City of Warren will be accepting school supplies from Warren Mayor Jim Fouts 4th Annual Drive for Needy.  The Fourth (4th) Annual School Supplies Drive brings together Warren residents and local businesses to help resupply students at Mound Park Elementary School.

Supplies, such as binders, markers, notebooks, paper, pencils, glue and other classroom items were donated by Warren Businesses, city employees and the Residents of Warren.

“Individuals and businesses from all areas of our city donated a variety of school supplies that the students or the school could not afford,” said Mayor Jim Fouts in a statement.  “These supplies will help to make a better learning environment.”

This is the fourth year the City of Warren has hosted a drive to collect school supplies to help needy students with much needed assistance.

About Mayor Jim Fouts

James “Jim” R. Fouts is an American Elected Official and the incumbent Mayor of the City of, the third largest city in Michigan.

Before being elected Mayor of Warren, Jim Fouts served multiple terms on the city council, where he worked tirelessly to resolve many issues concerning Warren residents.  His dedication and commitment to spearhead multiple efforts to improve the basic services and quality of life for Warren Residents quickly developed his reputation as the “Warren Neighborhood Councilman”.

James R. Fouts was elected Mayor of Warren in November 2007 defeating the challenger, City Clerk Richard Sulaka, receiving 62% of the votes.[1].. The Mayor’s continued service to the City was again rewarded by the residents of Warren who cast 81% in favor of Jim Fouts’ during the 2011 re-election campaign, in which he defeated the challenger, Councilwoman Kathy Vogt.[14], by by a historic margin, receiving 81%[1]  of the votes cast.  This was to be a short term record, as again in November 2015, Mayor Jim Fouts was honored once more for his many achievements and contributions to the City of Warren by winning re-election to his third four-year term by a margin of 84.7 percent to 15.3 percent.   Mayor Jim Fouts is the first Mayor in the History of the city of Warren to receive more than 80% of the votes and has “widespread support across the city[1]” of Warren.

While in office, The Mayor’s accomplishments are many and include a myriad reforms and initiatives that have greatly improved the quality of life in Warren.    His cost saving initiatives saved the city significant expenditures by consolidating and streamlining multiple city departments.  Those initiatives not only streamlined the city’s Budget and fiscal Policy but also improved the efficiency of city operations and were honored with an Award given to the Mayor.

Under Mayor Fouts’ many initiatives, the city implemented a number of programs that connect the community with government and make government more accessible, among them, a weekly program called Fouts Forum, where the Mayor interviews community and business leaders.

Through a coordinated approach spearheaded by the Mayor, such blight sweeps and Police Sweeps, some of which were personally supervised by the Mayor, have produced a steady decrease in both property crimes and violent crimes.

Jim R. Fout’s investment in attracting high-tech industry, along with automotive manufacturers and suppliers has created a sprawling downtown area which has houses a mix of start-up businesses, incubators, and accelerators alongside established industry giants and a multitude of public amenities. The Mayor’s efforts in attracting businesses have brought companies such as General Motors, who have invested $1 billion in a new GM Technical Center, the development of the Chrysler Manufacturing Complex, also known as Dodge City, which has become a major producer of the popular Ram and Dakota models and many other research and manufacturing operations.  These initiatives have also produced new developments, new shopping centers, and supermarkets such as Meijer and Menards.

The Mayor’s revitalization and clean up initiatives have greatly increased the quality of life for the residents of Warren. His continued efforts in revitalizing the Warren community with his aggressive city “clean-up”  have addressing nuisance and abatement for businesses and residential dwellings and garnered the attention of the national media impressed with such efforts.  His unique approaches to solving issues, have resulted in a first of its kind, public-private partnership that has set a comprehensive road important plan in motion.

The Mayor also garnered national attention with his first of its kind ethics ordinance and a “Buy American” campaign.

Prior to his election to Public Office, Jim Fouts dedicated himself to public service by teaching, among other subjects, political science and government, and psychology to students attending the Warren Consolidated Schools District.

Some of the personal sacrifices made by Mayor Jim include giving up his city issued car, gas mileage and pension and does not take vacations.  Mayor Fouts has an open door policy in the office but will often take calls from Warren residents during off hours as well as on the weekends.

One of Mayor Jim Fouts personal heroes is the Former President Harry. S. Truman, a man greatly admired by the Mayor for his honesty and work ethic.  You will often find on the mayors desk Harry Truman’s motto, “The Buck Stops Here”.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts

James “Jim” R. Fouts is an American Elected Official and the incumbent Mayor of the City of, the third largest city in Michigan.

Before being elected Mayor of Warren, Jim Fouts served multiple terms on the city council, where he worked tirelessly to resolve many issues concerning Warren residents.  His dedication and commitment to spearhead multiple efforts to improve the basic services and quality of life for Warren Residents quickly developed his reputation as the “Warren Neighborhood Councilman”.

James R. Fouts was elected Mayor of Warren in November 2007 defeating the challenger, City Clerk Richard Sulaka, receiving 62% of the votes.[1].. The Mayor’s continued service to the City was again rewarded by the residents of Warren who cast 81% in favor of Jim Fouts’ during the 2011 re-election campaign, in which he defeated the challenger, Councilwoman Kathy Vogt.[14], by by a historic margin, receiving 81%[1]  of the votes cast.  This was to be a short term record, as again in November 2015, Mayor Jim Fouts was honored once more for his many achievements and contributions to the City of Warren by winning re-election to his third four-year term by a margin of 84.7 percent to 15.3 percent.   Mayor Jim Fouts is the first Mayor in the History of the city of Warren to receive more than 80% of the votes and has “widespread support across the city[1]” of Warren.

While in office, The Mayor’s accomplishments are many and include a myriad reforms and initiatives that have greatly improved the quality of life in Warren.    His cost saving initiatives saved the city significant expenditures by consolidating and streamlining multiple city departments.  Those initiatives not only streamlined the city’s Budget and fiscal Policy but also improved the efficiency of city operations and were honored with an Award given to the Mayor.

Under Mayor Fouts’ many initiatives, the city implemented a number of programs that connect the community with government and make government more accessible, among them, a weekly program called Fouts Forum, where the Mayor interviews community and business leaders.

Through a coordinated approach spearheaded by the Mayor, such blight sweeps and Police Sweeps, some of which were personally supervised by the Mayor, have produced a steady decrease in both property crimes and violent crimes.

Jim R. Fout’s investment in attracting high-tech industry, along with automotive manufacturers and suppliers has created a sprawling downtown area which has houses a mix of start-up businesses, incubators, and accelerators alongside established industry giants and a multitude of public amenities. The Mayor’s efforts in attracting businesses have brought companies such as General Motors, who have invested $1 billion in a new GM Technical Center, the development of the Chrysler Manufacturing Complex, also known as Dodge City, which has become a major producer of the popular Ram and Dakota models and many other research and manufacturing operations.  These initiatives have also produced new developments, new shopping centers, and supermarkets such as Meijer and Menards.

The Mayor’s revitalization and clean up initiatives have greatly increased the quality of life for the residents of Warren. His continued efforts in revitalizing the Warren community with his aggressive city “clean-up”  have addressing nuisance and abatement for businesses and residential dwellings and garnered the attention of the national media impressed with such efforts.  His unique approaches to solving issues, have resulted in a first of its kind, public-private partnership that has set a comprehensive road important plan in motion.

The Mayor also garnered national attention with his first of its kind ethics ordinance and a “Buy American” campaign.

Prior to his election to Public Office, Jim Fouts dedicated himself to public service by teaching, among other subjects, political science and government, and psychology to students attending the Warren Consolidated Schools District.

Some of the personal sacrifices made by Mayor Jim include giving up his city issued car, gas mileage and pension and does not take vacations.  Mayor Fouts has an open door policy in the office but will often take calls from Warren residents during off hours as well as on the weekends.

One of Mayor Jim Fouts personal heroes is the Former President Harry. S. Truman, a man greatly admired by the Mayor for his honesty and work ethic.  You will often find on the mayors desk Harry Truman’s motto, “The Buck Stops Here”.