Commissioners laud citizen heroes, hold public hearings

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published June 3, 2024


MOUNT CLEMENS — A trio of heroes were given their due at the May 20 Mount Clemens City Commission Meeting as city commissioners and state legislators commemorated three Priority Waste trash collectors.

On April 3, Norberto Altman, Keeyon Beaty Jr. and Gary Whitcher were on a trash collection route when they noticed a house on fire.

“Norberto, along with his colleagues, charged towards the burning residence,” said state Sen. Kevin Hertel, D-St. Clair Shores. “Recognizing the victim’s location, they worked together to open a side window and pull the woman to safety. This decisive action played a vital role in saving a life. The bravery and selflessness displayed by (the trio) are a testament to the extraordinary character that exists within our communities.”

For their efforts, the three were given Citizen Hero Awards from the city of Mount Clemens and a special recognition from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the latter delivered by Hertel and state Rep. Denise Mentzer, D-Mount Clemens.

Barbara Goudelock, the resident rescued, had an emotional, hug-filled reunion with the trio at the meeting.

“These guys, they saved me,” Goudelock said. “That’s all I have to say.”


Budget and brownfield hearings
City commissioners later moved on to a public hearing for the 2024-25 fiscal year budget. Expectations for the budget include a $1.8 million general fund deficit, with $15.1 million in revenue and $16.9 million in expenditures. This deficit is tied to capital projects and expenses including $1 million for the Cherry Street Mall overhaul, $1 million transferred to the local streets fund for road work, and more than $1 million for city vehicle purchases and maintenance. The general fund balance is expected to be reduced from $8.9 million to $7.1 million.

Deficits of approximately $1 million are expected for both the major and local street funds, with projected fund balances being about $1 million for the former and $800,000 for the latter.

The only member of the public to speak during the hearing was resident Ruthie Stevenson, who asked about how much money would be allocated to roadwork. The major streets fund has $1.3 million allocated for reconstructing Hubbard Street and Grand Avenue, while the local streets fund has $2.35 million for work on Fifth Street, Alter Court, Clinton River Drive, High Street, Howard Street, Kibbee Street, Miller Street and Robertson Street.

Stevenson was also the only person to ask a question during the brownfield plan public hearing for the former Victory Inn Motel, which details a tax sharing agreement between the city and the site’s developer. Stevenson was curious as to how the YMCA adjacent to the motel would be affected by the work, to which City Manager Gregg Shipman explained the various bureaucratic steps the developer needs to go through in order to begin the project.