Leaders share their New Year’s resolutions for Shelby Township, Utica

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 7, 2019


SHELBY TOWNSHIP/UTICA — With the dawn of 2019 last week, local officials are gathering their goals and resolutions for their communities over the next 12 months.

In Utica, the plan is to address safety measures, the city budget, boosting its businesses, digging deeper into redevelopment of the downtown, and filling seats on boards and commissions.

Utica Mayor Thom Dionne’s first resolution is to continue to provide a safe place to live and provide the best possible services for residents.

“I feel that public safety is the first responsibility of a municipality. People rely on government to do those things that they can’t do for themselves. Accordingly, every person has the right to feel safe where they live and raise their family. Above all, we will provide that,” said Dionne.

Dionne’s second resolution is to continue to show a net revenue income for the city’s general fund, as in the past two years.

“It’s important that people understand that their hard-earned tax dollars are not being used frivolously. The people have the right to know how and how much of their money is being spent, and that it is serving the best interest of the public,” Dionne said.

His third resolution is to increase Utica’s commercial presence in the retail market.

“Utica is a bedroom community. We have a very solid commercial presence. It is vital that we continue to maintain relationships and develop new ones when it comes to commercial interests,” he said.

Dionne’s last resolution is to investigate the redevelopment of the downtown district, which includes moving City Hall, the library and the Fire Department to other locations so that the current valuable land can be improved to commercial usage by developers. He also said he looks to make appointments of residents to boards and commissions.

“Utica is completely built out. Growth will come from revitalization and repurposing of our current assets. Utica will no longer subscribe to the ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ routine. We are welcoming new ideas and new visions — a drive towards innovation that will make us competitive with any small city in Macomb or Oakland County. I welcome all of our residents to get involved,” said Dionne.

Rick Stathakis, the Shelby Township supervisor, said there are many projects that will be underway this year.

“Our Board of Trustees and employees have a big year ahead of us in Shelby Township for our residents, as we are building a new 41-A District Court, a new library, a new Police Department addition, a new community relations building and renovating a newly purchased building to become our activities center, all paid for with cash savings, with absolutely no tax increases,” Stathakis said.

He feels that Shelby Township will have a successful new year and plans to make sure these projects go smoothly so that residents can have access to them.

“We have come this far, and now our Board of Trustees is going to ensure that all these important initiatives get finished. Indeed, 2019 will become a historic time for our township,” said Stathakis.