Local Government

Published May 18, 2016

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods City Council voted 6-0 at its April 18 meeting to approve the continuation of a special assessment to fund the Police and Fire departments.

The special assessment district was levied at 18.5 mills for 2016, a 3.5-mill increase from 2015. Ten of the 18.5 mills will fund police; the remaining 8.5 mills will fund fire. A total of $3,336,503 is expected to be generated from the assessment, a $200,000 increase from 2015.

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Published May 18, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — West Bloomfield residents will decide the fate of the Parks and Recreation Commission’s millage renewal in the Aug. 2 election. 

If the millage is renewed, West Bloomfield will be authorized to continue levying up to 0.3892 mill for a 10-year period, from 2018 to 2027. For a household with a taxable value of $100,000, it would cost the homeowner $38.92 per year. 

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Published May 18, 2016

CLAWSON — The city’s new prosecution team has been busy during its honeymoon phase, revising many municipal ordinances with the goal of easier local enforcement.

Clawson City Council members unanimously adopted the group of ordinance revisions during their May 3 meeting.

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Published May 18, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — Mowing, weeding and landscaping may just be items on your honey-do list, but city officials say maintaining your yard over the summer is your duty as a resident.

Code Enforcement Manager Maria Calhoun said there are a few main issues the Code Enforcement Department runs into each summer.
“The prevalent issues code enforcement runs into are tall weeds, swimming pool maintenance and dead trees,” Calhoun said.

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Published May 18, 2016

UTICA — The Utica Fire Department recently signed on with the new Macomb County division of a disaster relief mutual aid system, although Fire Chief Kevin Wilseck said the department had joined the system with an Oakland County division six or seven years ago.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, or MABAS, is a system designed to streamline fire services across Michigan for daily mutual aid and large-scale emergencies, such as major fires, train derailments, tornadoes, wildfires, domestic or foreign terrorism, or other events that may overwhelm local resources.

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Published May 18, 2016

UTICA — On May 10, the Utica City Council unanimously voted to allocate $1,500 toward legal action that the nonprofit group Taxpayers for Michigan Constitutional Government plans to take against the state of Michigan.

The newly formed movement claims that the state shortchanged local municipalities “by miscounting under the Headlee Amendment the money that constitutes revenue sharing,” Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan said.

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Published May 18, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — A Richmond City Council veteran and 1988 graduate of Chippewa Valley High School will be running in this August’s primary election for the 33rd District seat in the state House of Representatives.

Jeff Yaroch, a Republican, has been a member of Richmond’s City Council since 1999, and he decided to run for the state House seat after colleagues advised him to give Lansing a try.

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Published May 17, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Township Clerk Michael Koehs announced during the May 11 Board of Trustees meeting that he will retire from his post June 3.

Koehs recently announced that he would not seek re-election this fall, ending a 14-year run as clerk.

Although there was speculation by board members, including Supervisor Janet Dunn, that Koehs was stepping down due to health reasons, Koehs said that health had no impact on his decision to retire.

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Published May 17, 2016

After more than four decades of participation in the Community Development Block Grant program, Sterling Heights’ reported plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year shows another slight increase in federal aid that can be used to assist community agencies, building projects and more.

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Published May 17, 2016

UTICA — On May 10, the Utica City Council unanimously approved a motion by Mayor Jacqueline Noonan to allow consumer-grade fireworks shows at Jimmy John’s Field on June 3 and 10, and to review the other 15 requested dates for fireworks shows at its next meeting June 14.

Noonan and several members of the City Council voiced concerns about the noise and light produced by the fireworks. Noonan said the city will hold a public town hall preceding the June 14 meeting to gain input on its final decision.

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Published May 16, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Members of the City Commission were expected to approve Monday night a location change for an upcoming town hall meeting regarding the proposed $100 million Central Park development.

Commissioners were expected to meet after the Review’s press time and change the venue for a May 24 special meeting from Royal Oak Middle School to the Churchill Community Education Center, located at 707 Girard Ave. The change would be due to a scheduling conflict with the school site.

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Published May 16, 2016

BERKLEY — The Berkley Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting planning meetings to talk with the community about what to do with Oxford Park.

The department will host two sessions, one from 9 to 11 a.m. and one from  6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at the Berkley Community Center, 2400 Robina Ave., to gather ideas on what the community would like to see done with the park, which is located east of Merchants Park on Cambridge between Oakshire and Bacon.

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Published May 16, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — With the summer heat just around the corner, Sterling Heights city officials are reminding low-income residents that they might be able to qualify for water bill payment assistance.

During a May 4 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Treasurer Jennifer Varney gave a brief presentation about the Water Residential Assistance Program that is available for some communities in the region.

Varney said WRAP was created and funded through the regional Great Lakes Water Authority, which officially became operational in January.

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Published May 12, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — The budget for the new fiscal year met with unanimous approval at the Madison Heights City Council meeting May 9.

There weren’t any notable changes from the budget previewed at council’s workshop in April. To recap, that means no new taxes. It also means that while the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is charging the city more for water, the increase won’t be passed on to taxpayers.

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Published May 11, 2016

PARK — The rapidly escalating cost of retiree health care and pensions means that city leaders could be seeking a Headlee override or special millage approval from voters to cover those costs.

City Manager Dale Krajniak said the price of retiree health care and pensions has risen by about $900,000 over the last decade — an expense the city has managed to cover so far by cutting staffing, selling city-owned property and reducing expenses.

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Published May 11, 2016

OAKLAND COUNTY — The “economic renaissance” in Oakland County will continue to get better at a moderate, but still healthy and sustainable, rate of growth into year seven of the economic recovery, according to University of Michigan economists. 

Job growth in Oakland County is expected to increase 2 percent each year for the next three years, skewed toward jobs on the higher end of the pay scale — with annual wages of $75,000 or more accounting for 35 percent of the increase. 

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Published May 11, 2016

vmitchell@candgnews.com
CLAWSON — The Clawson Downtown Development Authority seeks citizen input on what they find to be the most meaningful places and spaces in town.

Input will be gathered in the form of an online survey where participants may snap photos of specific buildings or spaces with their smartphones or log on to the website from a tablet or PC to comment on what specifically makes Clawson unique.

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Published May 11, 2016

OAKLAND COUNTY — Three people have filed to run for the Oakland County executive seat — including longtime Republican incumbent L. Brooks Patterson, who is seeking his seventh term.

The two Democrats running for their party’s slot in the August primary are former state Rep. Vicki Barnett and Mark Danowski, of Davisburg.

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Published May 11, 2016

FRASER — It’s almost crunch time when it comes to the next fiscal year budget in Fraser.

Recent budgetary workshops have accompanied discussion among city officials regarding how the city should move forward in a fiscally responsible way.

City Manager Rich Haberman gave a preview of what city council should look forward to when deliberating issues affecting not only the budget of the next fiscal year, but also years to come.

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Published May 11, 2016

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB COUNTY — Voters will decide whether or not the Macomb County Veterans Service Department will see increased funding following a millage proposal vote this August.

On May 5, the Macomb County Board of Commissioners approved unanimously the language that will appear on the ballot for the Aug. 2 primary election day vote.

“I’m pleased, because now we can offer more services starting next year, or at least move forward to expanding,” said Laura Rios, director of the Veterans Services Department.

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