DEARBORN — As a longtime resident and father of five, Richard AlAziz is hoping to bring his skills to the table and become one of nine members elected to the Charter Revision Commission.
AlAziz and his wife, Zena, have lived in Dearborn for about 26 years and all five of their children graduated through the Dearborn Public School System and are now in college.
An attorney, AlAziz decided to leave his position with Wayne County in 2016 to open his own practice with his partner.
When I am elected to the Charter Commission, I will be an ear for the residents to voice their concerns about the function of our government in Dearborn and I will then be a voice for the people when meeting and working diligently with the other commissioners. — Richard AlAziz
With his children now in college, AlAziz said he is looking to divert his energy and use his knowledge and experience on the Charter Commission.
“My hope is that I can bring my knowledge and skills to the table to assist with revising the Dearborn Charter to be a document that incorporates better government transparency and a living document that will stand the test of time to benefit the residents of Dearborn,” he said. “As a former assistant corporation counsel for Wayne County, and specifically handling the legal affairs for the Wayne County Department of Public Service, I have unique knowledge of the inner workings of government and how to effectively draft language that will capture the intent of the commission. I want to help provide a better, more transparent, fair government for the people of Dearborn through the revision of the charter.”
AlAziz said that some of the main issues affecting the charter are the sections that do not offer enough checks and balances between the legislative and executive branches of Dearborn government.
“We need a government and government officials that are held accountable to the public for their actions and/or inactions,” he said. “In fact, in Section 3 of the charter, the mayor appoints the entirety of an ethics board. Such language in the charter does not offer any checks or balances, transparency or accountability for the mayor’s office. The charter should provide a framework for our government officials to work in the best interest of the people of Dearborn.”
AlAziz said his goals are simple.
“When I am elected to the Charter Commission, I will be an ear for the residents to voice their concerns about the function of our government in Dearborn and I will then be a voice for the people when meeting and working diligently with the other commissioners,” he said. “I will work to revise the charter to be in line with current state and federal laws and make every attempt to draft language that will help the charter be a long-lasting document that will not require constant revision. I will make every attempt to have language in the charter that causes our government to treat people fairly and equally, and ensure that our government officials and their agents conduct their duties ethically, fairly and transparently.”