Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley speaks on the city’s accomplishments during the 2018 State of the City address at Eastpointe Manor Feb. 22.

Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley speaks on the city’s accomplishments during the 2018 State of the City address at Eastpointe Manor Feb. 22.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Keynote speakers highlight Eastpointe at 2018 State of the City

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 26, 2018

 Eastpointe Community Schools Superintendent Ryan McLeod speaks on the district’s transition from East Detroit Public Schools to Eastpointe Community schools in his address Feb. 22.

Eastpointe Community Schools Superintendent Ryan McLeod speaks on the district’s transition from East Detroit Public Schools to Eastpointe Community schools in his address Feb. 22.

Photo by Deb Jacques

EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe Manor hosted the 2018 State of the City address Feb. 22 to highlight the city’s progress from last year with three keynote speakers and special guest U.S. Rep. Sandy Levin.

Levin’s remarks focused on the change within the Eastpointe community. 

“There’s been significant change. This is a more diverse community than it was 20-30 years ago. Now I think the challenge is to take advantage of that diversity and to continue to build,” said Levin. 

“It’s my privilege to work with you and represent you,” he said. 

Eastpointe Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Ryan McLeod began by addressing the Eastpointe Board of Education for its work when the district had a lawsuit against the state to keep everything local and not let the state take control. 

“They were confident that we had the leadership here locally to reach the goals that were in our strategic plan that had been developed locally with the input of community members and educators,” he said. 

Along with adding programs to the district last year, McLeod highlighted the district’s transition from East Detroit Public Schools to Eastpointe Community Schools. 

“The Board of Education felt the time had come to send a clear, powerful and publicly visible message about our commitment to high-quality education for all Eastpointe area residents and families, while also solidifying our bond as both a district and a community,” said McLeod. 

“While the East Detroit name carries with it proud traditions and fond memories, the new name and brand will carry that legacy forward by reconnecting the district with the community we are so proud to serve,” he added. 

Judge Carl Gerds III, of 38th District Court, took the time in his address to focus on comparing the numbers of the court from 2016 to 2017. 

In 2016, the 38th District Court processed 16,078 new filings, and in 2017, the court filed 15,793, which was about a 2 percent decrease, according to Gerds. 

The filings consist of felonies, misdemeanors, civil infractions, drunken driving and other cases.  

In 2016, 403 felony filings were made. The total went up in 2017 to 425, which was about a 5 percent increase, Gerds said.  

The court saw 3,332 misdemeanors in 2016, and the total went up by about 3 percent with 3,451 filings in 2017. 

In all, 8,800 civil infractions were filed in 2016, and 8,242 were filed in 2017 for a decline of “a little over 6 percent,” according to Gerds.  

Drunken driving went down by 2 percent. In 2016, there were 167 incidents in Eastpointe, and the numbers went down in 2017 to 123, a drop of 25 percent. 

Small claims court saw 258 filings in 2016, and there were 226 filings in 2017 for a 10 percent decline. 

In 2016, there were 1,515 general civil cases filed; in 2017, the court saw a 20 percent jump with 1,831 cases filed.   

As for landlord and tenant cases, Eastpointe saw 1,088 filings in 2016 and 1,109 in 2017.

“It was pretty even as far as what was filed with landlord tenant cases,” said Gerds. 

Gerds also made mention of how much revenue the court generated. 

In 2017, $1.7 million was paid to Eastpointe, over $593,000 to the state of Michigan and $38,000 to Macomb County. 

Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley was the last speaker to highlight the city’s progress. 

Pixley began by stating that the city “put their foot down” about six years ago when the city “had no money,” and she added that the city’s funds were “draining really fast.”

However, Eastpointe made a complete turnaround and came up with the South Macomb Oakland Regional Services Authority — a joint collaborative public financing organization founded by the cities of Eastpointe and Hazel Park to utilize funding options that are available for emergency services. 

“I’m proud to say that today we have added an additional $2.1 million for our cash reserves, raising that total to more than an $11 million fund balance,” she said. 

Pixley mentioned Eastpointe issuing 77 new business licenses, and the Gratiot Cruise celebrating its 20-year anniversary. 

The city also developed new wayfinding signs. 

“Throughout the year, we accomplished something we’ve been trying to do for several years, which was to develop new wayfinding signs,” she said.  

Pixley spoke on the reduced amount of waste, with over 61 percent of residents recycling throughout the city, and how Eastpointe maintained its public safety. 

Lastly, Pixley mentioned the progress that the City Council had made in the process to hire a new city manager. However, later in the day, the finalist notified the city that he was withdrawing from consideration for the position. 

Eastpointe-Roseville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Weishaupt said that the chamber had a successful 2018 State of the City address. 

“The chamber was happy to have a full house present to celebrate the accomplishments that occurred in the community. We were honored to have such a varied audience, from Congressman Levin, the county, other cities, businesses, to our citizens,” Weishaupt stated in an email to the Eastsider Feb. 23.