Local Government

Published July 6, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — The budget is balanced, but will require the use of $2.47 million from the city’s fund balance. The total fund balance in the general fund is about $24.7 million, or 43 percent of the city’s total general fund expenditures.

During a June 13 meeting, the Farmington Hills City Council approved the budget 6-0; Councilwoman Samantha Steckloff was not in attendance.

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Published July 6, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — The Southfield City Council recently unanimously approved the city’s master plan, which officials say will make the city sustainable for the future.

Council approved the plan 7-0 at its June 20 meeting after City Planner Terry Croad gave a presentation outlining the goals in the plan.

“Tonight is a proud moment for the Planning Department, the Planning Commission and the city of Southfield,” Croad said.

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Published July 6, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The expansion of a local mobile home park was greeted with a resounding “no” from officials and residents.

At the June 27 Clinton Township Board of Trustees meeting, the board voted unanimously to deny an approximate 2.21-acre rezoning request made by Silver Springs mobile home park.

The 5-0 vote did not include Supervisor Bob Cannon and Trustee Joie West, who were absent. Trustee Dean Reynolds acted as chairman of the meeting.

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Published July 6, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Based on a professionally shot photo showcasing the various uniforms worn by the Shelby Township Police Department, a national uniform association named the township the best-dressed department in the 100-officers-or-less category.

Sgt. Jeffrey Bellomo took on the project in February. The photo was shot March 11, and the North-American Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors announced the winners in May.

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Published July 6, 2016

BEVERLY HILLS — The annual Beverly Park cleanup is no more.

On June 21, the Beverly Hills Village Council voted 6-0 to discontinue the annual Beverly Park cleanup day, saying it’s unnecessary because there’s not enough work for the volunteers. Councilman Bob Borgon was absent from the meeting.

“In years past, park cleanup day generated dozens of bags of yard waste and trash,” Assistant Village Manager Ellen Marshall stated in a memo suggesting the motion to discontinue Beverly Park cleanup day.

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Published July 6, 2016

BEVERLY HILLS — The Beverly Hills Village Council approved a code enforcement contract between Beverly Hills and Franklin at its June 21 meeting.

The agreement was approved 6-0 — Councilman Bob Borgon was absent. It states that Beverly Hills will provide code enforcement services “as needed and requested by the village of Franklin,” beginning July 1 of this year and continuing on a yearly basis.

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Published July 5, 2016

WAYNE COUNTY —  As District 1 state Rep. Brian Banks prepares for his re-election campaign, the Harper Woods Democrat is facing several felony charges. 

On June 28, the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed two counts of uttering and publishing, one count of false pretenses and one count of false statements against the 39-year-old elected official related to an application for a loan. 

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Published July 5, 2016

BERKLEY — After Democratic members of Congress took to the Senate floor, literally, in protest for more than 24 hours to call for a vote on gun control legislation, some of those same members were in Berkley to spread the same message.

The panel members included U.S. Reps. Sandy Levin, D-Royal Oak;  Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield; Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn; Dan Kildee, D-Flint; and John Conyers, D-Detroit.

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Published July 5, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Members of the City Commission agreed unanimously June 27 to impose a 180-day moratorium on lot splits in the Vinsetta Boulevard neighborhood while the Planning Commission looks into creating ordinances to protect the neighborhood’s integrity.

If future ordinances are adopted preventing certain lot splits or other changes in residential property, it would apply to future site plan approvals, not site plans already approved.

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Published July 5, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Court officials confirmed June 27 that Mark Grabow, a candidate for Macomb Township supervisor, pleaded no contest to a charge of election law, failure to perform duty.

Under Michigan statute 771.1, Grabow was placed on probation for 90 days, and the charge will be dismissed. The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that the typical penalty for the offense is a $500 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail.

The plea took place at Shelby Township 41-A District Court.

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Published July 5, 2016

Following the retirement of Tim Richnak, Kurt Bovensiep, 36, has been chosen as the new director of the Troy Department of Public Works.

He continues a family legacy.

His father, Rod Bovensiep, worked for the city of Troy for 38 years, first in the Engineering Department. He later joined the Fire Department, earning the rank of lieutenant before he retired.

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Published July 1, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — The city unveiled its latest water bottle filling station at the Heritage Park splash pad June 27 with day campers, city officials and several Panasonic executive employees in attendance.

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Published July 1, 2016

BERKLEY — At the most recent Planning Commission meeting June 28 at Berkley City Hall, residents spoke their minds to the commissioners about the now-withdrawn form-based code.

The room was filled to capacity with people so that many had to wait outside; they watched the meeting from the window and listened to a live stream on their phones.

The contentious meeting had speaker after speaker come to the podium to address the form-based code and an August 2015 amendment to the master plan that allowed the city to try to develop a form-based code.

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Published July 1, 2016

C&G Newspapers

HAZEL PARK/EASTPOINTE — When the cities of Hazel Park and Eastpointe were at risk of losing critical lifesaving services, their city managers came up with a solution: the South Macomb Oakland Regional Services Authority, or SMORSA. Approved by voters in both cities early last year, the authority allowed Hazel Park and Eastpointe to retain fire and ambulance services. 

Now a third city wishes to join the authority: Wayne. But in order to join SMORSA, voters in all three cities must approve the proposal during the election Aug. 2.

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Published July 1, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — On Aug. 2, residents of Madison Heights will decide whether to continue two millages: Proposal R, supporting neighborhood road improvements, and Proposal V, replacing vehicles for public works and emergency responders.

Both are going into their third cycle, dubbed R-3 and V-3, respectively.

Choosing to renew these millages, which expire in 2017, will not increase anyone’s tax bill. Rather, taxes would continue at the same level they are at now: a 10-year, 2-mill levy for Proposal R-3, and a 10-year, 0.25-mill levy for Proposal V-3.

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Published June 29, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Members of the City Commission unanimously approved a contract extension with Plante Moran CRESA to continue vetting the $100 million Royal Oak Civic Center development proposal.

The unanimous June 13 vote extends the engagement agreement at a cost not to exceed $50,000 for capital planning services.

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Published June 29, 2016

CLAWSON — City Council unanimously approved the renewal of two key police mutual aid agreements during its June 21 regular meeting.

City Manager Mark Pollack said the Clawson Police Department’s mutual aid agreement and dispatch and jail services agreement with the city of Troy play integral financial and service roles.

“Both are vital to our operations,” Pollack said.

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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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