Local Government

Published May 4, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance recently to permit oil and gas wells and oil and gas development activities only as a special use in the industrial zoning district. 

Council voted 7-0 at the April 25 council meeting to approve the ordinance. Previously, the council approved a 180-day moratorium on oil and gas extraction and mining operations in Southfield, which expired April 28.

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Published May 4, 2016

ROYAL OAK — After a hearty discussion and input from property owners in the city’s industrial district, the majority of commissioners voted April 25 to table the final approval of exemptions included in the 2016 Sidewalk Improvement Program.

City officials said they would bring back the subject during the May 23 regular meeting, when a decision would be expected on what additional properties, if any, should be exempt from what was suggested by the City Engineering Department for the 2016 program.

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Published May 4, 2016

ROYAL OAK — City commissioners had a message to convey during their April 25 meeting: The more than $100 million Central Park Development Group proposal including City Hall, the Police Department and a park is not a done deal.

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Published May 4, 2016

In an effort to strike a balance that would allow more homes to be built closer together on parcels in order to preserve green spaces and natural features, the Troy Planning Commission took a look at some developments in Auburn Hills during a special site-visit study session April 26.

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Published May 4, 2016

ROCHESTER — A natural disaster can strike at any time, and the city of Rochester is taking steps to make sure it’s prepared.

Rochester Fire Chief John Cieslik said the city is in the process of updating its emergency response plan, a process that is completed every four years.

Based on the city’s size, he said Rochester plans to use the Oakland County Homeland Security Department as its main emergency response plan, meaning the county would handle response operations if the city declared an emergency.

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Published May 3, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Similar to a Planning Commission meeting in early April, a host of residents spoke out during a Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting April 27 to voice their displeasure over a proposed dog park.

The park would be located along 21 Mile Road, behind Fire Station No. 2.

Township Clerk Michael Koehs joined the residents in voicing opposition to the park by stating that there are other suitable locations within the township for it.

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Published May 3, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — On Monday, May 9, the Madison Heights City Council is expected to vote on the budget for fiscal year 2016-17.

There are no new taxes planned. And while the Great Lakes Water Authority is charging the city more for water, the increase won’t be passed on to taxpayers.

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Published May 3, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights city officials recently touted strides and successes in economic development, but some are asking the city to pursue more data so the city can market itself as an attractive spot to the business community.

At an April 19 City Council meeting, City Development Director Denice Gerstenberg revealed some of the new businesses that are making Sterling Heights their home.

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Published May 2, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — With the current representative term-limited out of office, four newcomers are throwing their hats into the ring to compete for the 18th District of the state House of Representatives. 

The position is currently held by state Rep. Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores. But she is in her third term in office, and Michigan election law limits state legislators to three two-year terms, or six years, in office.

Roberts said her term ends Dec. 31.

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Published April 27, 2016

GROSSE POINTE PARK — The city will start repairing sidewalks in need of work this spring.

Mayor Robert Denner said the Park is getting back into a more proactive approach to sidewalk maintenance now that the economy is improving. As he explained during an April 11 City Council meeting, the “sidewalks are inspected area by area,” and those in need of replacement are marked. 

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Published April 27, 2016

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Grosse Pointe City experienced a slight increase in crime from 2014 to 2015, but the community remains a fairly safe one.

In the recently released annual report for 2015, Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni acknowledged that index crimes — the more serious types of offenses — rose by 3 percent over 2014 levels, from 103 incidents in 2014 to 106 in 2015. 

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Published April 27, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township is starting from the beginning and working its way up.

The township is delving into its sewers, analyzing different needs and concerns in 10 different zones throughout the area. Public Services Director Mary Bednar described it as a 10-year process.

The first zone is Zone 6, which encompasses Clinton River Road to the north, Metropolitan Parkway to the south, Garfield Road to the west, and Groesbeck Highway to the east.

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Published April 27, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — While the money comes from the federal government, local municipalities have final say when deciding who gets their money from the Community Development Block Grant program. 

And when that money is cut but more requests are made, that can place City Council in a difficult situation.

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Published April 27, 2016

After listening to an overview of the proposed $138.3 million 2016-17 budget at an April 22 study session, the Troy City Council agreed by consensus to proceed and consider the budget as submitted.

The proposed 2016-17 budget includes a decrease in the city millage rate, from 10.5 mills to 10.4 mills, and it includes a fund balance of over 27 percent. 

Troy City Assessor Nino Licari said homeowners’ taxes will be reduced, but the actual reduction to the average homeowner was not available at press time.

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Published April 26, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — With only a couple of years left before the Downtown Development Authority’s 20-year tenure is up, officials in Madison Heights are beginning to think about what can be done to give the city something it hasn’t had: a proper downtown.

The benefits of a downtown are clear: People are drawn to business communities that are walkable, dense, varied and vibrant. A downtown can attract visitors; visitors may become residents. And where people go, businesses follow.

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Published April 26, 2016

BERKLEY — Colleen Graveline isn’t entirely new to the city of Berkley.

She’s lived in the city for seven years and has spent time helping out city officials and working on a millage committee.

Now she will be tackling an entirely new venture as a member of the Berkley City Council.

Graveline was appointed to the City Council at the April 18 meeting following the resignation of former member Tina Edgar, who left because she is moving from Berkley to Detroit and, therefore, can’t serve on the council.

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Published April 26, 2016

BERKLEY — The position of Berkley city manager was one that, if it became available, would have caused Matthew Baumgarten to throw his hat into the ring.

Then the job became available.

“I went home, talked to my wife about it, and we both agreed it was the right next move,” Baumgarten said.

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Published April 26, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights Police Capt. John Berg — who has served as interim police chief for several months — was formally approved to become Chief Berg for the long haul at the April 19 Sterling Heights City Council meeting.

In a unanimous vote, the council approved City Manager Mark Vanderpool’s recommendation that Berg be selected from among three top job candidates to replace former Police Chief Michael Reese, who retired from the position in December.

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Published April 25, 2016

C&G Newspapers

WARREN — What looked to be a relatively straightforward race for Macomb County clerk got a lot more interesting at the proverbial eleventh hour.

As the deadline for declared 2016 candidates to withdraw passed at 4 p.m. on April 22, longtime incumbent Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh had officially withdrawn from the race, ending a six-term, 24-year run in the office.

Her decision leaves Warren City Clerk Paul Wojno, District 9 Macomb County Commissioner Fred Miller and Denise Doherty running for county clerk in the Democratic primary on Aug. 2.

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Published April 25, 2016

HAZEL PARK — An activist and aspiring politician from Oak Park is collecting signatures in Hazel Park to petition City Council for a proposal on the ballot this November that would require police officers to wear body cameras recording their actions when dealing with the public. 

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