Mayor Ken Siver speaks to city officials and council members Dec. 15 during a visioning session at the Southfield Public Library. City officials outlined their goals for 2018.

Mayor Ken Siver speaks to city officials and council members Dec. 15 during a visioning session at the Southfield Public Library. City officials outlined their goals for 2018.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


2018 visioning session highlights teamwork

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published December 22, 2017

 City Council President Dan Brightwell speaks at the meeting.

City Council President Dan Brightwell speaks at the meeting.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

SOUTHFIELD — Local officials took some time before the holidays to lay out a few of their goals for the new year. 

At 10 a.m. Dec. 15, the mayor, the city clerk, City Council members and city administrators met at the Southfield Public Library for a Committee of the Whole meeting. 

The goal of the meeting was to hold a visioning session to discuss the council’s  plans and goals for 2018. 

After a brief public comment session, Mayor Ken Siver took the floor. Siver said he wants to focus on two things in 2018: decision making and team building. 

“When we all accept and volunteer to be in the role of an elected official, some of our decisions are very easy and some of them are very, very difficult. Especially if you know people in the community and where they’re coming from and hear their stories, none of us want to disappoint anybody,” Siver said. “But the truth is, on many tough decisions, there is going to be this side and that side of the decision, and all of us are charged with doing what is in the best interest of the community as a whole.”

Over the last few years, the council has vastly improved on teamwork, Siver said. 

“Personally, for me, it has been very refreshing the last two years of what we’ve created together. Those of us that have been on council longer and the staff that had to come to council meetings know that it wasn’t always a pleasant experience. We had a divided council. We had folks that didn’t want to take any direction from anybody else or suggestion. If somebody said it’s up, they’d say it’s down,” he said. “Consequently, we didn’t get as much done as we could have. I don’t think we served the community as well as we could have.”

Council President Dan Brightwell discussed his goal of reintroducing a document drafted in 2005 for the council called the Governance Guides. 

The guides outline a code of conduct for city officials to follow, such as listening before judging and refraining from micromanaging. 

“I want to make sure I’m on a team that when they look back 20 years from now, they can say, ‘They made some damn good decisions,’” Brightwell said. “That’s why, from a management standpoint and a councilman standpoint, I want to drive everything forward to make sure this is the best decision for this particular time and we look at the consequences of every decision.”

Brightwell said he plans to update the guidelines to bring them into 2018. 

Councilman Myron Frasier said he hopes that city officials will carefully consider the guidelines. 

“I think that each one of these is critical to a smooth-running council, having been the council president for several years. I think each council member needs to take these things seriously,” Frasier said. “It’s real important that we talk to each other and with each other and not at each other.”