Local Government

Published June 29, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A brightly colored mural full of symbolic images encapsulating Shelby Township will hang in the current Shelby Community Center for now. It is scheduled to move when the township solves its building problems.

The Shelby Community Foundation, a local nonprofit organization specializing in endowment distribution, unveiled the mural at the June 21 Shelby Township Board of Trustees meeting.

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Published June 29, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A new township clerk and deputy clerk were appointed during the Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting June 22.

The vacancies were created by the recent retirement of former Clerk Michael Koehs, and his deputy clerk, Jim Gelios.

Edward Carey, a 14-year veteran of the Macomb Township Clerk’s Office, was appointed by the board to become the new clerk.

“I’m merely going to keep this seat warm for the next clerk who will be elected in the next few months by the people of this township,” Carey said during the meeting.

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Published June 29, 2016

GROSSE POINTE PARK — Voters might have the presidential race first and foremost on their minds when they head to the polls Nov. 8, but in Grosse Pointe Park, they’ll also be facing several questions relating to their own city.

If state officials approve the ballot language, the city will be placing four proposed charter changes on the November ballot. A couple of them are what City Attorney Dennis Levasseur acknowledged are “cleanup efforts” to remove items from the charter that are no longer relevant. 

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Published June 29, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Getting set for the next fiscal year, City Council approved a slew of new purchase orders for the Department of Public Works. 

With 15 items before City Council June 20 on the regular and consent agendas, Department of Public Works Director Bryan Babcock said that this is the annual request for purchasing contracts to keep the department up and running throughout the next year.

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Published June 28, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — It’s hard being popular.

With city parks being used for more and more events, it has become more of a necessity that the city police its overnight parking ban in park parking lots, which is why City Council took on two traffic control ordinance amendments this month.

City Manager Mike Smith said the ordinance change is a result of a “good problem” the city has.

“Blossom Heath Hall and Blossom Heath Park and Wahby Park have become very popular,” he said June 6. 

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Published June 23, 2016

ORCHARD LAKE — The Orchard Lake City Council approved the 2016-17 water and sewer rates with a 6-1 vote June 20. 

The new rates go into effect July 1.

Residents can expect to see a water rate increase of 9.5 percent, or $43.48 per million cubic feet of water used, on their water bill for the fiscal year. 

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Published June 22, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — When looking back on his years working in the Grosse Pointe Woods Public Works Department, Director of Public Services Joseph Ahee Jr. is grateful for all the support he received from others to make the department a success. 

“The mayor and the council have always been supportive of me and my department,” Ahee said. “I thank everyone here at the city and all the residents for their support.”

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Published June 22, 2016

FERNDALE — The Ferndale City Council recently sold three vacant properties — two former homes and another parcel — bringing in $80,000 for the city

At the June 13 council meeting, council agreed to three purchase agreements to sell lots located at 3331 Harris St., 906 Emwill St., and a parcel on Hilton Road near East Marshall.

Mayor Dave Coulter said the city occasionally has acquired properties throughout the years, generally through tax foreclosures, and decided they don’t need them anymore.

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Published June 22, 2016

The Troy City Council, Planning Commission and Downtown Development Authority, along with city staff and lawmakers, recently looked at examples of the current site of City Hall, reimagined.

The city hired Robert Gibbs, an urban planner and president of Gibbs Planning Group, to present options to redevelop the 100-acre Civic Center complex and look at mixed uses on the site. The study costs $200,000.

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Published June 22, 2016

FRASER — A collective exhale of relief could be felt in Fraser City Hall on the night of June 9.

Following several meetings that consisted of number analysis and different views of how the financially strapped city should be run, the Fraser City Council approved its 2016-17 fiscal year budget with a 5-2 vote.

A 1.6-mill increase for taxpayers was integral to keeping general city operations up and running, as Fraser’s current fiscal year is set to conclude June 30.

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Published June 22, 2016

CLAWSON — After no action and a failed motion, members of the Clawson City Council put a stop to ongoing kitchen renovations inside the City Hall community room.

A vote of 3-2 June 7 placed the budgeted second round of renovations on ice, with Mayor Pro Tem Howie Airriess and Councilman Jim Horton voting in favor of continuing the work.

“I was against it from the beginning,” Horton said. “I voted for the budget because I was in the minority.”

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Published June 21, 2016

Legislation that would change the requirement of how cities and villages reimburse the Michigan Department of Transportation for road repairs in their jurisdictions cleared both the state House and Senate and now awaits consideration by Gov. Rick Snyder.

State Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, sponsored Senate Bill 557.

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Published June 20, 2016

UTICA — Following a contentious town hall meeting on the impact of Jimmy John’s Field’s Friday night fireworks, the Utica City Council voted unanimously to allow the weekly displays for four weeks pending further review and a second town hall.

The town hall will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 at Utica City Hall, 7550 Auburn Road.

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Published June 16, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — Before modern surveying techniques, Michiganders’ property was defined by the rocks and trees that surrounded it, according to local historians.

But thanks to the Public Land Survey System, implemented around 1785, property owners have a mathematically designed and based method of measuring land.

City and local officials gathered June 10 to dedicate a “Coasting the Baseline” obelisk, a commemorative marker and art piece signifying Michigan’s role in the implementation of the PLSS.

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Published June 15, 2016

GROSSE POINTE WOODS —  Officials in Grosse Pointe Woods have joined forces with other municipalities across the state to try to recoup monies they feel the state of Michigan owes them.

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Published June 15, 2016

The city of Sterling Heights has appointed a new city attorney to keep an eagle eye on its legal matters.

During a June 7 meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council unanimously voted to appoint Marc Kaszubski to the city attorney position for a term that started June 8, 2016, and lasts until June 30, 2018.

Kaszubski is succeeding Jeff Bahorski in the role; Bahorski was Sterling Heights’ city attorney from 2004 until 2016 and was recently appointed by the city to be its assistant city manager and eventual human resources director.

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Published June 15, 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 Southfield 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 15, 2016

HARPER WOODS — Harper Woods City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk knows water rate increases are a touchy subject.

“Everybody gets upset about water rate increases,” he said. “Nobody likes it.”

Skotarczyk said this year’s 9.9 percent increase for water and sewer rates in Harper Woods, effective June 1 after the City Council’s unanimous approval May 16, benefits the city in the long run by reducing the deficit in its sewer and water fund. 

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Published June 15, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — With a proposed rate actually less than the mills levied on St. Clair Shores homeowners in 2015, City Council adopted the 2016-17 millage rates, water and sewer rates, and budget at its June 6 meeting.

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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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