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Clinton board reviews investments, declines property purchases

By: Dean Vaglia | C&G Newspapers | Published August 24, 2022


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Treasurer Paul Gieleghem gave the Board of Trustees his quarterly report on the township’s investments as of July 30 at its Monday, Aug. 8, meeting.

“We are limited on the investment vehicles we can use,” Gieleghem said. “There’s a state law … which says we have to prioritize safety (and) we have to ensure that there’s liquidity — the dollars have to be there when we need them.” 

Many of the township’s investment vehicles are based on interest rates, which have recently gone up. Clinton Township has over $52.6 million in cash across four bank accounts and over $28 million in four investment funds. The township also has over $39,400 in four certificates of deposit, over $10.8 million across eight treasury bills and over $8.4 million in its fixed income investment portfolio overseen by Robinson Capital Management.

Money included in the report only represents what Gieleghem directly oversees and not money from the public employee health portfolio; police and fire pension portfolio; the Downtown Development Authority; the Building Authority; and senior housing security deposits.


Township declines to purchase property
The board declined to purchase property through the tax reverted property process. Though officials originally planned to buy six properties and wait to see if three other properties did not sell at auction, oral arguments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court case Tawanda Hall, et al v Andrew Meisner (Oakland County Treasurer), et al led to the township attorney recommending the board withhold from purchasing property.

“We conclude that the panel from its demeanor, statements and questions asked seems to have

concerns about issues raised by plaintiffs and may grant plaintiffs their relief requested,” Township Attorney John Dolan said in a letter to the board. “This could include findings that the recent statutory changes in response to the Rafaeli, LLC v Oakland County Supreme Court case on tax reverted properties are invalid on constitutional grounds.”

Dolan expects the court to rule that “the property owner is entitled to any surplus beyond taxes, interest, penalties and expenses of sale,” and believes “the court may go even further and find that any sale occurring must involve a sale at fair market value.” Dolan states this ruling would depart from case law but recommends against purchasing the property given the “substantial uncertainty” of the outcome. The township tends to purchase vacant lots through the tax reverted property process.


Housing commission appointee
Ken Pearl was approved for a nearly five-year term on the township Housing Commission. Pearl — who also serves on the Chippewa Valley Board of Education, the Zoning Board of Appeals and several other township and private committees, as well as being a former trustee — will fill the remainder of Matthew Mills’ term after Mills resigned.

“We are all familiar with his style and skills and know him to be someone who does his research prior to making decisions,” Township Clerk Kim Meltzer said. “He will bring a breadth of experience to the Housing Commission. Mr. Pearl’s strong knowledge of facility management will be of great value to the Housing Commission given the need to maintain the older structures in the neighborhood.”

Pearl’s term ends on Jan. 3, 2027.


Food truck inspection fee waived
The board voted to waive the inspection fees and application for the food truck “Beef Daddy’s,” which will be providing food to the Clinton Township Police Department Aug. 15 and 17. The truck is being chartered by Enertron LLC and will still need to undergo inspection by the Clinton Township Fire Department. The waived fees only extend to feeding police staff, and the operator will need to purchase a license in order to serve non-township events.