Local Government

Published October 10, 2017

FRASER/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — When you talk to individuals who knew and worked with Nancy White, all say the same thing: She cared about the people around her, and she was determined to make Macomb County a better place for everyone.

According to her obituary, White died on Sept. 23 at age 79. She was surrounded by family and friends in the Washington, D.C., area.

A graduate of Morenci High School, she received her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and her master’s degree in counseling and guidance from Wayne State University.

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Published October 10, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — A home first acquired by the city in 2015 for $6,600 was approved for sale by City Council Oct. 2. 

Community Development and Inspection Director Chris Rayes said that, all told — with holding costs, acquisition and improvements to the house — the city ended up spending $98,000 on the house in the 20000 block of Maple while it was in its possession from 2015 to 2017. The city made $42,000 on the sale of the house, which was approved for sale for $150,000.

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Published October 10, 2017

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees held a public hearing about its operating tax millage rate Sept. 11 during a board meeting.

“The maximum authorized rate is 3.7362 (mills),” said Rob Scripture, township assessor. “The township has levied this rate (3.3056 mills) since 1995.”

There were no changes to the levy rate, Scripture said. 

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Published October 10, 2017

A Sterling Heights Planning Commission member has apologized after some residents took offense to a social media post that used imagery of prisoners captured by the Islamic State organization.

Geoff Gariepy is a paid member of the Planning Commission and a member of the local Community Emergency Response Team. In a Sept. 6 post on a public Facebook group page called Sterling Heights Local Politics, he was involved in discussing public speaking practices during city meetings. The thread participants often employed sarcasm and meme-like images.

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Published October 10, 2017

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Now that Grosse Pointe City voters have approved a 23-year bond proposal not to exceed $12.96 million for new public safety and public works facilities, as well as a safer municipal court, leaders are proceeding with plans to get those new projects underway.

But perhaps given that the millage — approved Aug. 8 — passed by less than 100 votes, those plans aren’t without at least some concerns.

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Published October 9, 2017

PLEASANT RIDGE — The city of Pleasant Ridge will be celebrating the reopening of one of its parks after it underwent $1 million in renovations over the past year.

The reopening celebration will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at Gainsboro Park, located between Amherst Road and Maywood Avenue.

The $1 million project was partially paid for through money brought in by the Pleasant Ridge Foundation and the CN Railroad, but mostly was funded by a 0.75-mill passed by residents in 2014.

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Published October 5, 2017

MADISON HEIGHTS — During its meeting Sept. 25, the Madison Heights City Council approved a proposal by City Councilman Robert Corbett to waive the ambulance transport fee for residents. 

Previously, when a resident needed an ambulance, the city would bill the patient’s insurance company for part of the cost, and then the resident would pay the rest themselves.

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Published October 4, 2017

HUNTINGTON WOODS — The Huntington Woods City Commission held the first reading of an ordinance that deals with the city’s site plan reviews of the nearby Detroit Zoo.

According to City Manager Amy Sullivan, the current ordinance reads that all development done at the zoo needs to get a site plan approval from the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission recently was asked to do a site plan review on the expansion of a giraffe exhibit, which they realized is out of the vicinity of residents because it is so far into the interior of the zoo.

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Published October 4, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved hiring an independent auditor to review the township’s competitive bid process, but it wasn’t without speed bumps on the way to approval.

Township Clerk Kristi Pozzi brought up the request to bring in the auditor during the Sept. 13 meeting to review the process after recent concerns over township employees not following the correct procedures. The motion was tabled in order for Pozzi to get a cost and scope analysis from potential auditors.

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Published October 4, 2017

A federal grant program will invest money into boosting the tree canopy in Sterling Heights, according to city officials.

At a Sept. 19 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool explained that a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, or GLRI, grant will award Sterling Heights $100,000 in funding that can be used to plant an estimated 400 trees in the city.

He said the additional tree planting will contribute to fixing the city’s tree canopy after it was attacked by the emerald ash borer several years ago.

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Published October 3, 2017

GROSSE POINTE CITY — If you’ve ever gotten excited about finding a quarter buried in the bottom of your purse or gym bag, you know that unexpected cash is a welcome surprise.

Now, imagine how ecstatic you’d be if you discovered several hundred thousand dollars that had somehow found their way into your life.

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Published October 3, 2017

FRASER — Fraser City Manager Wayne O’Neal referred to the current state of Fraser local government as “uncharted territory.”

Following the removal of former Mayor Joe Nichols and Councilman Matt Hemelberg on Sept. 18 via a special tribunal hearing, the council is looking to pick up the pieces prior to the November election.

The decision ultimately comes down to the now five council members, who are slated to discuss the situation at the council’s next regularly scheduled meeting Oct. 12.

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Published October 3, 2017

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — More than six years after hundreds of Grosse Pointe Farms residents experienced basement sewage backups — with some homes being hit as many as three times in a matter of months — the city has reached a settlement in class action litigation spurred by the backups.

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Published October 3, 2017

FRASER — On Sept. 14, the Fraser City Council discussed a flurry of Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests that have been recently requested regarding city employees.

Fraser City Manager Wayne O’Neal brought the issue forward to the council, saying that members of the public — as well as some council members — are requesting information.

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Published October 3, 2017

CLAWSON — Next month will mark a shake-up on the Clawson City Council, as former Councilwoman Deborah Wooley is the only candidate on the ballot for mayor, and five candidates — only one an incumbent — are running for two council seats.

A forum was held Sept. 28 at Clawson City Hall so the public could learn more about the five candidates for the two council member seats. It was sponsored by the League of Women Voters Oakland Area.

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Published October 2, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — City officials said they are attempting to fix an area of flooding on Halsted Road, south of 14 Mile Road.

The Farmington Hills City Council discussed the issue at a study session Sept. 25, and Kevin McCarthy, superintendent of public works for the city of Farmington Hills, said a solution is in the works. He said the problem spans decades.

“It’s been flooding since the 1940s,” McCarthy said, adding that the city is looking at a design template to correct the problem. 

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Published October 2, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township municipal grounds will be home to a proposed 20,200-square-foot district court building, a 42,000-square-foot Community Center and an 8,000-square-foot Police Department expansion.

The township announced the preliminary layout Sept. 20. Officials say the expansions, additions and improvements are necessary for one of the “fastest-growing communities in metro Detroit.”

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Published October 2, 2017

MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County has been granted permission to file a counter-complaint against County Clerk Karen Spranger that will try to remove her from her position.

The ruling came Sept. 18 from St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kelly, who was assigned the case after each judge at the Macomb County Circuit Court recused themselves.

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Published September 29, 2017

HARPER WOODS — Harper Woods officials gathered together Sept. 15 to officially open the Neighborhood Economic Development Center on Kelly Road.

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Published September 27, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved settling two pending lawsuits against the township in a closed session during the Sept. 13 board meeting.

The first case was a lawsuit filed by Mount Clemens-based contractor Gianna Investments in October 2016 against Macomb Township and Trustee Dino Bucci. The lawsuit alleged Bucci requested a kickback for his help in securing a refund from the township for construction and sewer fees for work that was eventually done by another developer.

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