Local Government

Published February 9, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

That was a frequently repeated phrase spoken by Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn during her State of the Township address Feb. 5 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club.

Dunn gave an approximately 25-minute speech to an audience filled with township and county officials. She discussed the past year of the township, and highlighted several stories that exemplified its success.

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Published February 5, 2016

The future of Lakeside Mall and an upcoming Sterling Enterprise Park were two of the big economic development issues that city officials discussed during a recent strategic planning session.

At a Jan. 26 meeting, Sterling Heights City Council members listened to economic development objectives through presentations by the city’s economic development consultant, Luke Bonner, and City Development Director Denice Gerstenberg.

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Published February 3, 2016

FRASER — At its Jan. 14 meeting, the Fraser City Council unanimously voted to amend the city charter so that a seat will not remain open for more than two meetings or 45 days — which is contingent on the normal meeting schedule.

The agenda item was one of many in what was about a five-hour meeting. When the item finally came up late in the evening, Councilman Michael Lesich made a motion to table the item, but Councilwoman Patrice Schornak opposed.

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Published February 3, 2016

FRASER — City finances will play a major role in Fraser for the next few years.

A recent audit report presentation delivered by three Plante Moran representatives at the city’s Jan. 14 council meeting dictated that a pragmatic approach will be paramount when it comes to the future.

The audit report covered the 2014-15 fiscal year, which annually runs from July 1 to June 30. It covers the city’s presentation of the finances, rather than the economic or financial well-being.

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Published February 3, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — Residents looking for information on possible oil and gas drilling in Southfield showed up in droves for a presentation from state Rep. Jeremy Moss and Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash Jan. 27 at the Southfield Public Library.

A long line of attendees snaked through the library lobby before the 6 p.m. presentation. Of the approximately 500 people that showed up, about half were able to find seats or a spot to stand along the wall in the library’s auditorium.

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Published February 3, 2016

A partnership between the city of Sterling Heights and the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry is poised to be a boon to some local businesses.

Organizers are already laying out the groundwork for the fifth-annual Michigan Week Business Expo and Sterling Edge Awards Luncheon, which will take place May 18 at the Wyndham Garden Sterling Heights hotel, on Van Dyke Avenue.

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Published February 3, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — A group of 25 individuals with ties to Macomb County recently returned from a “people-to-people” excursion to Cuba to find out what life is like there, and how things are changing for the local people.

Through their travels, the group spoke with several professors who are experts in Cuban culture and history. The tour took them to stay in tourist hotels in Havana, and also “casa particulares,” which are privately owned bed-and-breakfasts in smaller towns where hotels cannot be found.

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Published February 3, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Asking for more clarification, City Council tabled a request from the Community Development and Inspection Department to increase rates paid for permits.

CDI Director Chris Rayes said the latest audit by Plante and Moran showed that the department was not being supported by the fees it was charging users. In reviewing the last five years of fees and revenues, it seemed that the Building Department’s permit prices were generating enough income, but the electrical, mechanical, plumbing and refrigeration permits were not.

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Published February 2, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — Warren’s Derek Miller, a former assistant prosecutor elected in 2014 to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives, whose family’s roots run deep in local politics, has left Lansing to become the new Macomb County treasurer.

Miller, 32, appointed on Jan. 29 by a three-member panel of county officials, took the oath of office on Feb.1 and was sworn in by Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano in Mount Clemens.

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Published February 2, 2016

ROCHESTER — With many major city projects complete, including the two new parking decks downtown and the Main Street Makeover, Rochester residents and visitors will be happy to hear that 2016 will be a year devoted to planning, according to city officials.

“We’ve really just completed some major projects, so I want to pat the city on the back for completing the Main Street Makeover. They just did the meter program, and the parking decks as well. Those have been the big ones that the city has just recently accomplished,” City Manager Blaine Wing said.

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Published February 2, 2016

At the request of the Troy City Council, a police service aide and a Michigan Department of Natural Resources representative presented a program at the Jan. 25 council meeting about the coyotes in Troy.

Troy Mayor Pro Tem Ed Pennington said that a coyote attacked his neighbor’s dog.

“It’s a problem we’ve never had before,” Pennington said. 

“This has been a topic in the city,” Mayor Dane Slater said.

Troy Police service aide Steve Vaillancourt estimates that there are 40-50 coyotes in Troy.

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Published February 2, 2016

Councilman Sam Aiuto resigned from his position on the Roseville City Council Jan. 26, citing work-related issues that keep him from devoting more time to city business.

“Every meeting when it’s time for our comments and it’s my turn, I end it with, ‘Take care of each other.’ Tonight I’m taking care of Sam,” Aiuto said. “I am resigning my seat on City Council. My work life is keeping me very busy and I can’t take on something if I’m not going to give it 100 percent.”

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Published February 1, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Jack Salter may be a Republican, but the founder of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties said last week that he supports Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison in his plan to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for state representative.

Salter said he would always vote for Ellison because of the qualities he stands for, regardless of political party affiliation.

“And Jim has integrity in spades,” Salter said.

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Published January 27, 2016

MACOMB COUNTY — John Fleming, 27, of Fraser, has dropped out of contention for a Michigan House of Representatives seat in District 31.

In a “very difficult” decision that was made Jan. 16, Fleming said he’s decided to pursue a career opportunity at a law firm. He passed the bar exam last year.

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Published January 27, 2016

Sterling Heights and Clinton Township recently agreed to borrow each other’s fire vehicles in times of emergency.

At a Jan. 19 meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council unanimously voted to adopt an interlocal agreement for reciprocal lending of municipal fire apparatus.

During the meeting, Fire Chief Chris Martin said the agreement will allow the sharing of fire apparatus in an emergency situation. Martin called the plan a no-brainer, adding that the SHFD could potentially face a vehicle shortage situation, and he wants to be prepared.

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Published January 27, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — Like most municipalities across the state of Michigan, the city of Madison Heights has its share of unfunded liability — costs that it must pay for past, present and future retirees receiving pension, health care and other benefits.

At present, this is estimated to total nearly $104 million. These costs continue to grow due to a variety of factors, including revised “mortality tables” reflecting ever-increasing life expectancy.

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Published January 27, 2016

EASTPOINTE — The Eastpointe City Council has received proposed new logos for the city, and the overwhelming response from residents and officials has been that the existing one needs only minor changes.

According to City Manager Steve Duchane, the project to look into a new logo came through the city’s redevelopment-ready designation from the state and was not financed by the city itself. The city started taking input last fall, and the council discussed preliminary proposals at its regular meeting Jan. 19.

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Published January 27, 2016

The Sterling Heights City Council refused to be silent about a recently passed law that city officials say restricts how and when municipalities may present information about local ballot issues.

At a Jan. 19 meeting, the council voted to adopt a resolution that urges the state to repeal a portion of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which Gov. Rick Snyder signed as Senate Bill 571 Jan. 6.

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Published January 27, 2016

The Troy City Council took a long look between the stacks at the Troy Public Library Jan. 12 during a special study session.

“The purpose of the tour was to show the council what we have done and what building issues need to be done this year,” said Assistant Library Director Phillip Kwik.

Mayor Dane Slater said the best use of the Troy Civic Center, which includes the library, will be a topic the council, the Planning Commission, the Downtown Development Authority and city leaders will discuss at an upcoming retreat at the end of February.

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Published January 27, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Members of the City Commission unanimously approved earlier this month an agreement with an independent firm to analyze forthcoming plans for a new City Hall complex.

Plante Moran Cresa will vet details when a new complex is proposed by a partnership between the Surnow Company and the Boji Group — a partnership granted the exclusive opportunity to research and pitch a redevelopment plan for a new City Hall complex at the existing complex’s downtown location. The commission approved up to $30,000 Jan. 11 for the Plante Moran Cresa analysis.

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