Eastpointe police hope to establish a designated traffic unit, a drone unit and an improved prisoner lockup area among other goals in 2021.

Eastpointe police hope to establish a designated traffic unit, a drone unit and an improved prisoner lockup area among other goals in 2021.

Photo by Brendan Losinski


Eastpointe, Roseville officials share 2021 ‘New Year’s Resolutions’

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 11, 2021

 The Roseville Public Library staff hopes to be able to reopen many of their services in 2021 and make building updates in the new year.

The Roseville Public Library staff hopes to be able to reopen many of their services in 2021 and make building updates in the new year.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

 The Eastpointe Fire Department is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021 and hopes to make big strides for its centennial.

The Eastpointe Fire Department is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021 and hopes to make big strides for its centennial.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

 The city of Roseville hopes to improve infrastructure and parks and recreation facilities and programs, and to bolster neighborhood revitalization programs in the new year.

The city of Roseville hopes to improve infrastructure and parks and recreation facilities and programs, and to bolster neighborhood revitalization programs in the new year.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — As officials in Eastpointe and Roseville said goodbye to 2020 as eagerly as everyone else, they shared some of their professional New Year’s resolutions for 2021 and discussed what they want to accomplish in the coming year.

 

Eastpointe
City Manager Elke Doom said that among her hopes for the new year is better engagement with the public and local businesses. Many in both communities said that, with hope of COVID-19 lessening, their goals include stronger presences among the public.

“I’d like to offer our employees training opportunities, expand community outreach, and have events resume for the community,” she said in an email. “I’d like to have more personal engagement with employees, community members and leaders in our area. … We have a major 9 Mile Road project underway that with proper planning and design will enhance and improve the business district. We will continue to work with agencies and renovate tax reverted properties into attractive, affordable homes to expand private home ownership.”

Eastpointe Director of Public Safety George Rouhib said he hopes to establish a designated traffic unit, and a drone unit; seek grant funding for a new fire truck; improve the prisoner lock-up area; and help the fire marshal to set up educational classes with business owners and the public.

“(We want to) continue to work hand in hand with our residents,” he wrote in an email. “I would like to work on a strategic plan to decrease the number of traffic violations in the neighborhoods, continue to improve the police and fire buildings in order to be more professional and inviting for our employees and residents and continue to improve employee development and leadership within the ranks.”

He added that if COVID-19 is able to be brought under control in a timely fashion, he hopes to pick up the progress of the community’s neighborhood watch program again.

“Would like to get the neighborhood watch program moving again,” he wrote. “We had to come to a halt because of social distancing and other safety measures. I would like to enhance the program by establishing ride-alongs with our officers and setting up neighborhood patrols. … I would like to see more community involvement including the business community. Schedule educational classes for all and obtain feedback so we can be better at what we do.”

Eastpointe Fire Chief Nick Sage said that 2021 will be a big year for the department.

“We’re celebrating our 100th year in 2021,” he said in an email. “The fire department was established in 1921. We have a long and proud tradition of serving the public well and look forward to the next 100 years. We’ve unveiled a centennial logo and will spend time this year reflecting on the department and many firefighters that have served our community over the years.”

He added that COVID-19 put the plans of many municipal departments on hold in 2020, and he hopes more progress will be made in the coming year.

“COVID-19 has definitely been our focus for much of the last year and will be for the foreseeable future,” he wrote. “It definitely slowed our evaluation process in the ladder truck replacement program. City council will finally have an opportunity to vote on proceeding with the replacement purchase by the end of January. … Our 2021 focus in the community will continue to be on fire prevention, smoke and carbon monoxide usage and safety in our homes and businesses.”

Eastpointe Schools Superintendent Ryan McLeod said the district’s administrators are evaluating how to respond to the changing status quo in the coming months.

“Regardless of how quickly the mitigation (of COVID-19) occurs, the impact of the pandemic is still a high priority,” he wrote in an email. “We know that the learning of our students has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. The national data shows this is the case across the country. Eastpointe Community Schools has established goals to expand after school programs and summer programs to help students recover that lost learning. These programs will be continued into the next school year. Hopefully, these efforts will help us make sure our students are prepared for future learning.”

Despite their apprehension, the district is still looking toward the future.

“We have some major school safety improvements that we are working on for 2021.  These will include improving the security of the entrances of our schools. As the plans get finalized, we will be sharing more information with families,” he wrote. “We have also realized that at least some of our students and families prefer virtual school. We are planning to continue offering a virtual option for families and will be making changes to our in-person instruction based on what we have learned over the last year.”

Suzanne Todd, the director of the Eastpointe Memorial Library, said 2020 has forced the library to become more innovative and flexible. She wants to continue that trend in 2021.

“Covid-19 has changed how we do business at the library, inspiring us to provide innovative ways to continue safely serving our patrons,” she wrote in an email. “To address these changing times, we added curbside service and virtual programming, which we expect to keep long after the pandemic is over. We will continue to add new programs in 2021, such as a monthly virtual game night using Zoom and gaming software that begins in January. This software allows us to customize three popular games, Spin the Wheel, Know your Trivia, and Library Feud. Finally, as we move through 2021, our focus remains on our patrons and how we can assist them during these challenging times and beyond.”

 

Roseville
City Manager Scott Adkins said he would like to see a return to more resident involvement in local projects and programs; participation in volunteer activities; citizen engagement in boards, committees and commissions; and enhancing support to local businesses and organizations.

“We look forward to returning a focus to making improvements in our community, for example infrastructure such as roads and utilities as well as improvements to Parks and Recreation facilities and programs, a restoration of community and neighborhood revitalization programs, and proactive development, redevelopment and visual enhancements to our business corridors,” he said in an email. “We also look forward to cooperative efforts with the Roseville and Fraser School Districts, neighboring communities and County and State partners to make Roseville stronger and better for our residents, businesses and visitors.”

He added that much of 2021’s progress is dependent on how quickly the COVID-19 situation can be brought under control.

“We remain hopeful that vaccinations will be successful in lowering the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19 by mid-year and we can begin to return to some sense of normal within the community,” he wrote. “Much of our priority still remains on providing quality and safe service to our residents, however we continue to evaluate new, innovative and effective ways to deliver services in light of what we have faced and what we likely still face ahead.”

Roseville Police Chief Ryan Monroe said goals for 2021 include helping the community by supporting COVID-19 rebuilding efforts.

“(Our priorities are to) continue to increase our community outreach efforts with our citizens, return to normalcy, our citizens and officers being able to enjoy our community and all that it offers, (helping) small businesses reopening and new development,” he said.

Roseville Fire Chief Brian Kanigowski said that despite personal protective equipment shortages and changes in county EMS protocol, his department has continued to keep fire safety and education as a priority in 2020 and said in an email that he will continue those measures in the new year.

“The goals of the 2021 pandemic response will remain the same: treat the sick and injured, remain educated on the virus, and prepare for what could come next,” he wrote. “The job of the Roseville Fire Department is to continue protecting the citizens and reassuring them that we are continuously monitoring this pandemic. We have learned a lot during this unprecedented event, so please know that we are here watching over the city. We just ask that our citizens do their part and follow the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines that include mask wearing, limited social gatherings and by following your doctor’s guidance on vaccinations.”

Roseville Superintendent Mark Blaszkowski said the first priority for 2021 is maintaining the health of staff and students. He added that mental health, after the difficulties of 2020, has to be included in this. Additionally, he wrote in an email that he wants to continue the progress the district has made in recent years.

“I would like to work with the (school) board in developing our district strategic plan, setting goals for our district in collaboration with all our stakeholders. It was my plan to start this in the fall this past year, but COVID put that on hold as we had other emergency planning to do,” he said in an email. “I want to increase the sharing of all the positive things achieved by our students. We have some amazing students! Also, I’d like to continue the collaboration with the city and find ways we can work together to better our community.”

Roseville Library Director Jacalynn Harvey said her primary goal for the next year is completing a strategic plan for the library with professionals, which would create a map for the library’s future. She said she also wants to focus on filling staff vacancies and ensuring patrons can return to the library soon and safely.

“My immediate goals are to fill the five open positions that we currently have with good employees and open the library as soon as the governor deems it safe for staff and library patrons,” she wrote in an email. “I miss our patrons and I would like service to get back to normal, or as close as possible, as soon as it is safe to do so. Although we are offering many services, we have much more to offer when the doors are open.”

Lastly, Tony Lipinski, the executive director of the Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe, which administers services to both cities, wants to look into ways to bring back public programs in a safe way and find new sources of revenue in 2021.

“We are hopeful that the vaccine and the public’s willingness to mask-up, distance and take precautions have slowed the spread of this virus enough for us to provide our regular schedule programs and events for our residents, with continued safety measures in place.  Our priority is to keep our residents and staff safe, while providing an outlet for families to help them get through the pandemic,” Lipinski said in an email. “One (other) goal is to seek out grants to assist both Eastpointe and Roseville with projects in their parks, as well as looking at additional facilities that can be added to the Recreation Authority Center for the benefit of our residents.”

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