Farms seeks Board of Review alternates

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 16, 2013

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The city is looking for residents, preferably with some knowledge or background in housing — such as architects, real estate professionals or builders — to serve as alternates on its Board of Review.

Although City Manager Shane Reeside said the city advertised a need for committee members — including the Board of Review — on its website, the only applicants were the current members, all of whom have served for a number of years. City Controller/Treasurer John Lamerato said that according to the city’s charter, Board of Review members need to be appointed in January, so the City Council unanimously approved reappointing the current members at its Jan. 7 meeting.

The members would typically be appointed for three-year terms, but because officials wanted the board to have staggered terms, the council approved naming George Smale to a term expiring in February 2014, Thomas Youngblood to a term expiring in February 2015 and Catherine Champion to a term expiring in February 2016.

This way, Lamerato told the council, “Each year, you’ll look at one person for another three-year term.”

The terms of the three members now on the board were slated to expire in January, he said. There are three incumbent alternates, as well, who would be called upon as needed, Lamerato said.

City Council member Louis Theros was concerned that the city wasn’t soliciting volunteers for committees, and suggested that the council consider looking at committee appointments annually.

“We have to be better with this,” he said. “There are people in the community who want to volunteer, and we have to let them know (about opportunities to do that).”

While Theros was disappointed there weren’t any newcomers to the board, Reeside said the members they have are “a very capable group. They’re all very knowledgeable.” Champion was first appointed in 2003, while Youngblood was appointed in 2006 and Smale was appointed in 2010.

The Board of Review consists of resident taxpayers, and its job is to consider appeals of property tax assessments.

Because the Board of Review is scheduled to meet March 12, 19 and 26, people interested in serving as an alternate this year would need to submit their letter of interest and résumé by Jan. 31 so that the council could approve those appointments at its Feb. 4 meeting, Reeside said.

Applications should be sent to Reeside and the City Council at Farms City Hall, 90 Kerby Road, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236. Applications can also be dropped off. For more information, visit or call (313) 885-6600.