Local Government

Published March 3, 2016

CITY — As was the case with bids for roadwork this year, Grosse Pointe City officials learned that water main replacement along Fisher Road is going to cost much more than initially believed.

Sharp increases in the costs of concrete and trucking, combined with higher labor costs due to a shortage of skilled workers in the region, led to a low bid that came in 21.3 percent over budget, explained City Engineer Stephen Pangori, of Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., during a Feb. 22 City Council meeting.

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Published March 3, 2016

CITY — Despite a voter-approved millage that has increased funding for needed road repairs, Grosse Pointe City officials are facing a challenging 2016 construction season, thanks to bids that far exceeded estimates.

During a Feb. 22 City Council meeting, City Engineer Stephen Pangori, of Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., said the City had gotten four bids by the Feb. 9 deadline for this year’s planned road repair project, but even the lowest bidder was well above the budgeted amount.

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Published March 2, 2016

FRASER — Heavy discussions have taken place in Fraser regarding city budgets, accounting firms and the future of the city’s financial state.

A January presentation by accounting firm Plante Moran was followed by a February audit presentation by Abraham and Gaffney. Many numbers in different funds were relayed to the public and the City Council.

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Published March 2, 2016

ROCHESTER HILLS — According to local officials in Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township, the outlook is positive for homeowners, residents, students and business.

“We are ranked the 16th highest for property values (in the nation) that have risen significantly,” Rochester Mayor Cathy Daldin said at the Rochester Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Outlook event Feb. 25 at Oakland University. City homeowners have seen a 40 percent average increase in home values in the past five years, she said.

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Published February 26, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS/HAZEL PARK — A who’s who of community figures from Hazel Park and Madison Heights trudged through sleet and slush for an early morning celebration of both cities’ progress during the annual State of the Cities address Feb. 24.

Organized by the Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event took place at the Hazel Park Recreation Center. The mayor of each city gave a speech on their city’s recent accomplishments, accompanied by video, while department heads, school officials and more enjoyed breakfast.

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Published February 24, 2016

EASTPOINTE — The annual State of the City address on Feb. 17 focused on positive news and events that took place in Eastpointe and East Detroit Public Schools during the past year, though the speakers noted upcoming challenges.

Mayor Suzanne Pixley said 2015 proved to be an important year for Eastpointe, and noted that at this time last year, officials were hoping voters would approve what she called one of the most important votes in the city’s history: a public safety millage through the South Macomb Oakland Regional Services Authority.

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Published February 24, 2016

BERKLEY — The Berkley City Council officially adopted a new parks and recreation five-year master plan during the February council meeting, putting in place a plan that calls for upgrades at several parks and helps the city secure funding.

Parks and Recreation Director Theresa McArleton and Carlisle/Wortman Associates’ Chris Nordstrom presented the final plan to council Feb. 1, and the plan was adopted unanimously. The work on the plan began in the fall of 2015 and included members of city administration and the community giving input.

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Published February 24, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Feb. 16, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a two-year extension of Police Chief Robert Shelide’s contract.

The extension takes his contract through Jan. 11, 2021. His contract previously was set to expire Jan. 11, 2019.

Shelide’s contract includes a $10,000 salary increase to $116,590.

Shelide has led the Police Department for 13 months, since Jan. 19, 2015. He retired from the Southfield Police Department at the rank of deputy chief after 21 years.

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Published February 23, 2016

Although the price of concrete has dropped slightly from last year, the city still has not reinstated the sidewalk replacement program that it put on hold in 2015.

Considering a bid from Italia Construction at the Feb. 16 meeting, City Council was told that prices were not back to their 2014 levels of $3 a square foot for 4-inch concrete and $3.60 a square foot for 6-inch concrete, but that they had come down slightly from highs of $5.44 and $5.80, respectively.

The new bid was for $3.99 a square foot for 4-inch concrete and $4.44 for 6-inch concrete.

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Published February 19, 2016

A decision last fall to open up the bidding process for Sterling Heights’ waste hauling contract brought back some potentially cheaper rates, but a narrow City Council majority voted to reject the contract bids so it could explore further service options.

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Published February 17, 2016

BERKLEY — The Berkley City Council unanimously approved the rezoning of a lot of land on Harvard Road, just west of Coolidge Highway, from single-family residential to planned unit development during a first reading of the change Feb. 1.

The second and final reading is scheduled to take place during the March 24 council meeting.

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Published February 17, 2016

BERKLEY — It’s been more than four months since Jane Bais-DiSessa resigned from her position as Berkley city manager to become deputy mayor in Pontiac. This week, the City Council is hoping to get a clearer picture of who will succeed her.

The city entered into an agreement with the Michigan Municipal League in October of last year to help with the search. The council also appointed a subcommittee made up of council members Dan Terbrack, Steve Baker and Jack Blanchard to help in the search.

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Published February 17, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — In recent months, Southfield city officials have been under fire from representatives of the city’s labor unions, who say the city is denying them wage increases.

According to Cory Rowton, union president of the Technical, Professional and Officeworkers Association of Michigan, employees in the union have gone without a wage increase for eight years.

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Published February 17, 2016

FERNDALE — The Ferndale City Council denied the renewal of the operating license for Motorama Motel, located at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Eight Mile Road, after Police Chief Timothy Collins recommended the denial.

Motorama management applied for the license renewal in December, and as part of the hotel or motel license process, Collins was tasked with investigating the establishment.

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Published February 16, 2016

ROSEVILLE — Voters headed to the polls March 8 will have the chance to choose their preferred candidates in the Republican and Democratic parties’ presidential primaries, but Roseville residents also have a millage renewal to consider.

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Published February 15, 2016

C&G Newspapers

OAKLAND COUNTY — Those who frequent Interstate 75 can expect some relief from rush hour traffic this year, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced during his 2016 State of the County address.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will begin working on widening I-75 this summer in an effort to ease congestion and improve commerce, Patterson said in front of an estimated 600 people at the Auburn Hills Marriott Feb. 10.

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Published February 10, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Members of the Grosse Pointe Woods City Council took time out from the Feb. 1 City Council meeting to pay tribute to retired City Administrator Alfred “Skip” Fincham.

During the meeting, the council members presented the longtime city employee with a proclamation to recognize him for his years of city service in Grosse Pointe Woods, as well as other communities. Mayor Pro Tem Arthur Bryant was absent. 

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Published February 9, 2016

EASTPOINTE — The City Council during its regular meeting Feb. 2 asked design company Poggemeyer to return to the drawing board and come up with new city logo designs.

The City Council decided that none of the design company’s current proposals fit what council members want to see in a new logo, as the proposals involved little more than tweaks to the existing one. None of the proposals took into consideration the comments from public meetings, Councilman Cardi DeMonaco said.

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Published February 9, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — The Farmington Public Schools Board of Education voted 7-0 to receive requests for proposals from privatized transportation and custodial service companies Jan. 26.

The decision to potentially privatize could impact roughly 1,300 union members, many of whom live in the district and have children who attend community schools, said Lori Tunick, executive director for the Farmington Michigan Education Association, which oversees transportation and custodial service unions in FPS.

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Published February 9, 2016

In order to conform to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the city of Sterling Heights should take steps to amend its sign ordinance, according to the city’s legal counsel.

During a Jan. 26 special meeting on strategic planning, city officials discussed a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, and its ripple effects on municipal law.

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