Beautification Award winners recognized

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published December 3, 2014

HARPER WOODS — Every year, just before the winter weather sets in and covers the well-groomed lawns in the city with a sheet of snow, the Beautification Commission recognizes those who spent the summer making sure that their homes added to the beauty of the neighborhood.

The commission handed out its Beautification Awards to several residents and one business Nov. 17 at the Harper Woods City Council meeting.

Awards were given to Dazimierz and Danuta Cegielski, Regina Currie, Frances Moceri, Phil and Kathleen Herroscheck, Ann Tiseo, Charles and Colleen Coleman, James and Christel Sharkey, Eric and Angela Fieber, and Carolyn McInnes. The only business award went to James Mullins and Michelle Southers of Mercury Retropolis on Harper. 

“They serve as an inspiration to others because they show that pride of ownership,” Mayor Ken Poynter said. “They want to take care of their homes. They want them to look good, and that makes the community look good.”

Poynter said the city continues to fight blight, especially in these tough economic times.

“It’s important that we stay a nice-looking community where people want to live,” he said.

Beautification Commission Chair Mitzi Giles said that the commission chooses some nominees while residents nominate the rest. The commission receives only the nominees’ addresses — not their names. Then, the commission heads off in a van to rate the fronts of the homes. They’re rated on a 1-5 scale.

“You never know who’s going to get it,” Giles said. “We’re up and down every street in this city. We get to see everything.”

As for the criteria, it’s not about flowers, like some might think.

“We’ve picked homes that just have one flower,” Giles said.

They’re looking for well-kept homes and landscapes. Someone might have a ton of flowers, but they have grass coming up in cracks in the sidewalk or weeds growing in their gutters.

The commission looks for landscaping that’s “aesthetically pleasing to the eye.”

“We have houses that are big; we have houses that are really little,” she said.

When asked if any in particular stood out above the rest, Giles said they didn’t.

“We liked them all or we wouldn’t have picked them,” she said.

“These are people that worked really hard on their landscape, and it makes the city look good,” Giles said.

Every year, pictures of the recipients’ homes are placed in the city calendar.

The recipients receive a plaque, and many family members and friends attend the awards ceremony at the council meeting.

“Some of them bring their whole family,” Giles said.