Clawson 2024-2025 goals and objectives approved at April 2 City Council meeting

By: Taylor Christensen | Royal Oak Review | Published April 5, 2024

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CLAWSON — The Clawson fiscal year 2024-2025 goals and objectives were approved in a 3-2 vote at the City Council meeting April 2.

The goals and objectives were discussed at length throughout eight meetings, and the council decided to approve all five goals and the objectives attached to those goals. 

Goal one is to “Deepen sense of place and community identity,” goal two is “Foster an engaged, informed community,” goal three is “Cultivate organizational excellence,” goal four is “provide efficient, resilient government,” and goal five is “improve infrastructure while creating a safe, comfortable and sustainable environment for all.”

Each goal has eight to 10 objectives that serve as the steppingstones of how the goal will be accomplished. 

The discussion at the April 2 meeting put to rest the disagreements on wording for goal one objective one, goal two objectives one and six, and goal five objective one. 

In goal one objective one, City Manager Joe Rheker added wording to show the collaboration between the City Council, the Clawson Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority and other business-centric entities to attract and retain businesses and development.

The objective was originally to “Attract, encourage and retain a mixture of robust businesses and development into the city.”

This change was proposed by Council member Susan Moffitt at the previous meeting, where she asked for “some type of reference to collaboration with the DDA,” according to Rheker. 

Council member Matthew Binkowski did not agree with this addition.

“Chamber of commerce is not a city organization in any way, shape or form,” he said. “They are a private entity, they are a business lobbying group, although we do rent them space in our City Hall, there is no reason why we should have them in our goals at all.”

Rheker disagreed with Binkowski, saying that the chamber of commerce does a “good job advocating for the business community and the city at large.”

Mayor Paula Millan said that this addition is not an issue and that it shows the collaboration City Council has with different entities. 

“It’s just saying we are going to look outside of our internal walls to ensure that those other entities that make us a success are a part of the process,” she said. 

The changes made to goal two objectives one and six were small, and discussed briefly. 

Goal two objective one was changed to add “and responsive,” to the goal. It now reads: “Ensure effective, meaningful, and responsive communication with the community.”

Goal two objective six now has a date to review and improve the city of Clawson website: by June 30, 2024. Originally, the objective did not have a date attached. 

Goal five objective one is in regard to addressing the roads, sewers and water mains in the city.

The updated objective reads as follows, “Prepare a fiscally responsible, comprehensive, and coordinated plan within calendar year 2024 to address roads, sewers, and watermains within the city, such that the road system is brought up to a fair and better average and identified water and sewer concerns are fixed or prioritized for remediation/funding by 2035.”

The changes made by Rheker were to shorten the length of the objective, as well as give it more of a “realistic” outcome. 

“I think this addresses the fact that we’re addressing the road system by instead of you saying that you wanted all of them, all roads, at a fair or better condition, which I think is not realistic, I do believe that we can get the average of our road system to a fair or better level,” Rheker said.

The original proposed objective had a definition of what “coordinated” means in regard to fixing the roads, sewers and water mains. Binkowski did not want that to be taken out. 

“The word coordinated means that the plan should address water mains and sewer sections simultaneously when roads are repaired in the event that said water mains and sewer sections are underneath said roads,” he said. 

“To me this is an important part of the goal that we do things in a smart manner, that we coordinate our water and sewer repairs with the roadway above them,” Binkowski said. 

Binkowski continued to be adamant on keeping the verbiage he proposed in the objective, saying that without it, the repairs might not be done simultaneously. 

Millan decided to stop the discussion after it started to get heated between Binkowski and Rheker. 

“I am just going to be a mom for a minute, instead of whatever I am supposed to be sitting here; you (Binkowski) are not going to change your mind, and you (Rheker) are not going to change your mind,” Millan said. “There is stuff not worth talking about anymore.”

Council member Bruce Anderson believes that with hiring good people to do this work, this plan should not pose a problem.

“I have confidence that they’re pretty smart in their business and that the general gist of Mr. Rheker’s statement is sufficient,” Anderson said.

The meeting ended with the City Council approving the 2024-2025 goals and objectives as presented at the April 2 update in a 3-2 vote. Binkowski and Moffitt did not approve.