Local Government

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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Published April 25, 2016

ROSEVILLE/EASTPOINTE — In budgets unveiled at council meetings April 12 and 19, the cities of Roseville and Eastpointe laid out stable 2016-17 budget proposals that should not require delving into the cities’ savings accounts.

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Published April 25, 2016

WARREN — Investments in infrastructure and a commitment to keeping public safety services intact highlighted the proposed budget that Mayor Jim Fouts presented to members of the Warren City Council earlier this month.

Fouts addressed the council in-person just before their regular meeting on April 12, where he laid out his proposed $215 million total spending plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year, an amount that now includes the city’s water budget and just under $105.8 million in general fund expenditures.

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Published April 20, 2016

GROSSE POINTE CITY — As they work on the budget and planning for future expenditures, officials in Grosse Pointe City are examining their priorities to determine what the most important projects, policies and purchases might be for the next two years.

Every two years, after a City Council election, the council prepares goals for the next two years. The mayor serves a two-year term, and the council members serve staggered four-year terms, so a portion of the council is up for election every two years.

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Published April 20, 2016

The Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently looked within its namesake city to find Melanie Davis, its newest president and CEO.

Davis, 45, from Sterling Heights, will take over the job from Wayne Oehmke, 74, from Macomb Township. Oehmke plans to retire from the leadership spot next month.

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Published April 20, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Bob Cannon’s streak of running unopposed as Clinton Township supervisor looks like it may end.

The supervisor since 2000, Cannon — a Republican — is expected to have a challenger who sits only a few feet away from him during Clinton Township Board of Trustees meetings.

Democrat Dean Reynolds, who is in his third term as trustee and has served since 2004, said he planned to file as a candidate for the township supervisor role on April 15.

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Published April 20, 2016

CLAWSON — See a problem? Want to report it? The entire process is as simple as a couple of clicks on a smartphone or a computer.

The city of Clawson rolled out SeeClickFix earlier this month, allowing registered users to directly report nonemergency issues and communicate with department heads via easy-to-use technology.

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Published April 20, 2016

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — A police millage and a safety path and trails network millage will be on the upcoming November general election ballot.

“The police millage is strictly a renewal,” Oakland Township Supervisor Terry Gonser said at the April 12 Board of Trustees meeting. “Safety paths is a reduction.”

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Published April 20, 2016

UTICA — The Utica Public Library has slimmed its hours, staff and services in recent years, and Director Marsha Doege said she plans to submit more reductions in her next budget, including taking a salary cut herself and slashing hours further.

“The 2008 debacle hit the library hard, along with the erosion of mills and loss of personal property taxes — just a whole lot of things that made us struggle,” Doege said. “We’ve been in survival mode, but now it’s to the point where we need to request help from the taxpayers.”

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Published April 19, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — For the first time, city officials and residents met to have a discussion on the city’s standards of curb appeal.

Residents were invited to meet with Mayor Ken Siver, the Southfield City Council and a handful of city officials, who hosted a Code Enforcement Community Dialogue April 14 in the council chambers. 

Siver said the idea for the event came from issues derived from the mayoral election in November.

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Published April 18, 2016

BERKLEY — Near the end of the Berkley City Council’s April 4 meeting, Councilwoman Tina Edgar announced her resignation.

“It is with a multitude of various emotions that I announce the necessity to step down from my position as (a) member of the Berkley City Council,” she said. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the citizens of the city that I have lived in and loved for 17-plus years. I’m sorry to lose the opportunity to collaborate with my five fantastic council members and our illustrious mayor.

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Published April 18, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — The Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved by a 9-4 margin April 14 to give their positions and other county elected officials pay raises beginning at the start of 2017.

The raises are part of the 2017 compensation ordinance and are the first pay increase for county officials in more than a decade.

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Published April 15, 2016

WARREN — For the second time in six weeks, a majority of the Warren City Council has voted to let residents decide whether the mayor should be able to serve five terms in office instead of three.

Despite objections from a small group of protesters gathered outside the entrance to the Warren Community Center’s auditorium, where the council’s meetings are held, council members voted 6-1 on April 12 to put the question on the ballot in August.

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Published April 14, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — Looking to retain his position as Macomb County public works commissioner, Anthony Marrocco officially filed to run for re-election on April 4.

The Democrat’s challengers in the Aug. 2 primary election are Congresswoman Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, and Warren Republican Joseph Hunt.

A lifelong Macomb County resident, Marrocco, 67, has held the elected position for six terms (24 years) after former Commissioner Thomas Welsh’s retirement.

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