Clawson council continues discussion of goals and objectives for 2024-2025

By: Taylor Christensen | Royal Oak Review | Published April 3, 2024

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CLAWSON — The Clawson City Council continued the discussion regarding its 2024-2025 goals and objectives with plenty of critiques and comments at the March 19 council meeting.

Each goal is something that the city wants to accomplish, and the objectives touch on the actions that the city will complete to achieve each goal.

During the discussion, the City Council voted 4-2 to approve the five goals, and objectives from goals three and four. They could not approve the objectives from the other goals because they were going to continue the discussion on them at the next meeting, which occurred after press time.

Since a workshop dedicated to the goals and objectives was established at the Jan. 2 City Council meeting, the council members have talked about this seven times at meetings prior to March 19, according to City Manager Joe Rheker.

The previous workshop and meetings were dedicated to finalizing the goals and objectives, as well as consulting with department heads to “better identify priorities,” as stated by Rheker at the March 5 City Council meeting.

Rheker provided the council with a copy of the draft written up by him, detailing “just about everything that has been previously discussed and previously briefed,” and explanations for changes, according to the draft document.

Prior to March 19, the council had discussed six total goals and objectives. The number was reduced to five in the draft, because the evaluation tool that the council uses to evaluate the city manager “calls for the collective agreement of five goals.”

The sixth goal’s objectives were then absorbed into goals No. 2-5.

Goal five, which once read, “Ensure a Safe and Comfortable Environment for Everyone,” has also been changed to “Improve Infrastructure while creating a safe, comfortable and sustainable environment for all,” as written in the draft document, following the “consensus” to focus more on infrastructure.

Goal one, objective one, as it is stated in the draft, is to “Attract, encourage and retain a mixture of robust businesses and development into the City.”

Council member Susan Moffitt suggested it be reworded to “acknowledge that the majority of the work is done by the DDA,” she said.

Mayor Paula Millan said that this is not a needed change, as the Downtown Development Authority is not the primary entity that will be putting work into this objective.

“It is a cooperative effort between the DDA, local businesses, chamber of commerce, and many other entities, so to call out only one, I don’t think it’s fair,” Millan said.

Moffitt suggested including all the entities.

Millan said that it is not necessary, as the city is a “conduit for all of those organizations; they should be active in each of them and representative for each of them,” she said.

Council member Bruce Anderson agreed with Millan, saying that the DDA does not need to be called out in this objective, as it is an independent entity from the city.

One of the objectives that Rheker suggested be revised was goal five, objective one, which was approved two weeks earlier.

Rheker suggested revision due to the wordy nature of the objective.

The objective is regarding Clawson infrastructure, a goal that is discussed frequently, to address roads, water mains and sewers within the city by 2035.

Council member Matt Binkowski and Moffitt did not agree with the suggestion and were very adamant on keeping this objective the way it was approved.

“I will respectively suggest that the devil is in the details, and that is why I worded this objective and this goal with certain details,” Binkowski said. “I think that the people of Clawson want a very comprehensive plan to get our infrastructure fixed and done in the most efficient manner, and that is why I used the words that I used.”

Millan said that “brevity is sometimes really good for us (City Council).”

“If we have a blanket statement that is all encompassing, is that not better than a specific statement?” she said.

The overall main concern is to create goals that are “reasonable and attainable,” as stated by Rheker.

Moffitt said that she prefers goals that are “quantifiable and achievable,” and voiced that she hopes to see “at least one” that meets those guidelines.

“I will continue to say that we don’t want a bunch of aspirational goals for our city,” she said. “We need tangible, concrete goals of things that we want accomplished and that has been my objection to this list of goals from the beginning.”

The discussion on the goals and objectives was to continue at the next City Council meeting April 2, after press time. Rheker is hoping to finalize the goals and objectives by the April 16 City Council meeting.

The draft of goals and objectives discussed with the changes proposed by Rheker at the March 19 meeting is available to the public at