Local Government

Published June 14, 2016

HAZEL PARK — The Hazel Park City Council unanimously adopted its budget last month, maintaining what City Manager Ed Klobucher described as “status quo.”

The average taxpayer will see no major change in their city taxes from the current fiscal year. This is based on an average taxable value of $20,785 in 2016, compared to $20,470 in 2015.

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Published June 13, 2016

ROYAL OAK — A bit of nostalgia peppered the annual State of the City Address June 8 as Jim Ellison took the stage for what could be his last State of the City as mayor.

Before Ellison addressed a full crowd inside the Baldwin Theatre in downtown Royal Oak, his son, Bradley Ellison, took the stage for a surprise performance of “Beautiful City” from “Godspell.” He sang and played the keyboard after speaking about his father, offering heartfelt and comical opening remarks.

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Published June 13, 2016

HAZEL PARK — During Memorial Day weekend, the city of Hazel Park unveiled plans for the Hazel Park Family Fitness Park, to be located within Green Acres Park on Woodward Heights.

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Published June 10, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — The future plans of Sterling Heights’ parks and recreational facilities will be in play when residents vote on a millage proposal Nov. 8.

At a June 7 meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council voted 6-1 to approve the proposal’s ballot language. Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Romano was the lone dissenter.

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Published June 9, 2016

METRO DETROIT — The Michigan Senate unanimously passed a bill May 31 that would require that all students in the state receive CPR training before graduation. 

The fate of the CPR in schools bill rests in the hands of the Michigan House. 

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Published June 8, 2016

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Despite opposition from city leaders and some nearby residents and businesses, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has approved the sale of alcoholic beverages at the BP gas station at 19100 Mack Ave., at Moross Road.

At issue isn’t the sale of alcohol — the Farms has other retail establishments where customers can purchase beer, wine and liquor — but rather the location, and the fact that, as a gas station, it will operate around the clock, unlike other nearby stores. 

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Published June 8, 2016

GROSSE POINTE PARK — Following the Michigan Liquor Control Commission’s approval of a liquor license for a BP gas station at Mack Avenue and Moross Road in Grosse Pointe Farms — despite objections by city leaders — Grosse Pointe Park officials are revisiting their own zoning to prevent the same from happening again.

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Published June 8, 2016

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Residents will see a slight increase in their water bills this summer.

For the 2016-17 fiscal year — which starts July 1 — rates will rise from the current level of $11.24 per 100 cubic feet of water used — or $168.60 for the minimum quarterly bill — to $11.92 per 100 cubic feet of water — or $178.80 for the minimum quarterly bill. 

The Shores City Council unanimously approved the new rates during a meeting May 17.

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Published June 8, 2016

WARREN — The Warren City Council has a new secretary this spring.

Councilwoman Kelly Colegio, who held the post often coveted politically for its oversight of the City Council office and its ability to set the meeting agendas, relinquished the role on May 10 and supported a motion to name Councilman Robert Boccomino as the new secretary going forward.

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Published June 8, 2016

CENTER LINE — Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” was published in June 1936. Later that summer, American Jesse Owens ran like the wind to take four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.

Back in Michigan, a little city called Center Line was founded on the outskirts of a rapidly industrializing Detroit.

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Published June 7, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — Residents and city visitors can now get a daily dose of art at every turn, as a new sculpture now graces the south roundabout in front of the Southfield municipal complex, 26000 Evergreen Road.

The 16-foot, orange steel sculpture, Jay Lefkowitz’s “Gratitude,” was donated to the city by resident Skip Davis and installed May 25.

Davis, a graphic designer and art collector, said he and his late wife, Barbara Davis, purchased the sculpture in 1988 during an outdoor art sale at the Southfield Pavilion and placed it in their yard.

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Published June 7, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan recently unveiled a long-term, comprehensive plan designed to connect residents in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties through public transit.

At 10 a.m. May 31 on the campus of Lawrence Technological University, 21000 W. 10 Mile Road, officials from the RTA — a board created by the Michigan Legislature in 2012 to plan for and coordinate public transit in southeast Michigan — revealed the plan in front of a large crowd.

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Published June 7, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — A resolution is in the works on the Madison Heights City Council that would oppose discrimination based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

While the resolution is non-binding and wouldn’t affect legal change, it could be a first step in a dialogue on the topic that could lead to an ordinance protecting minorities against discrimination.

The current draft of the resolution being considered was put forth by City Councilman Robert Corbett.

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Published June 6, 2016

A Sterling Heights state representative is hoping that a set of recently proposed bills in the state House of Representatives that would prevent minors from buying e-cigarettes will eventually become law and not vanish like a vapor.

State Rep. Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights, is the primary sponsor of a three-bill package of proposals, House Bills 5686-5688, introduced May 24. The bills, which have attracted co-sponsors, aim to regulate e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices.

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Published June 6, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — This month and next, Madison Heights Mayor Brian Hartwell and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss will hold lemonade socials at local parks and elementary schools. Residents can enjoy refreshing drinks and share their hopes for the future of the city.

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Published June 1, 2016

GROSSE POINTE CITY/FARMS — Starting with bills that come after July 1, residents in Grosse Pointe City and Farms will see an increase in their water bills.

The Grosse Pointe Farms water plant provides drinking water to both cities, while sewage is processed by the Great Lakes Water Authority — formerly the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

In the City, Finance Director/Treasurer Kimberly Kleinow said the readiness-to-serve charge is going up 6.65 percent, from $9.47 to $10.10.

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Published June 1, 2016

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Although Grosse Pointe City’s property values continue to rise — this year, assessments are up by more than 6 percent, on average — the City itself is only seeing an increase of 0.3 percent in taxable value, which was determined by the state to be the inflation rate.

That means real property tax revenues are only up by $22,920 for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

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Published June 1, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — If you have a stack of unpaid parking tickets, the 46th Judicial District Court is giving residents a chance to get back on track with an amnesty program. 

For the first time, through June 20 the court will waive late fees on eligible traffic tickets and parking violations. The court will also waive late fees and warrant fees on eligible traffic misdemeanors that do not require a court appearance, court officials said.

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Published June 1, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Trying to close a deficit of about $64,000, the Community Development and Inspections Department will charge higher application fees for some permits to better take into account the time spent working on the permit, driving to the building and other overhead costs.

When the proposal was first brought before City Council in January, the department was trying to close the gap by increasing fees on many of the permits it offers residents and builders in the city. 

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Published June 1, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD —  The Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections has determined that Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act by advertising her campaign website on the township’s official Twitter page. 

The department issued a warning letter May 16, resolving the complaint.

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