Local Government

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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Published June 13, 2016

ROYAL OAK — A bit of nostalgia peppered the annual State of the City Address June 8 as Jim Ellison took the stage for what could be his last State of the City as mayor.

Before Ellison addressed a full crowd inside the Baldwin Theatre in downtown Royal Oak, his son, Bradley Ellison, took the stage for a surprise performance of “Beautiful City” from “Godspell.” He sang and played the keyboard after speaking about his father, offering heartfelt and comical opening remarks.

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Published June 13, 2016

HAZEL PARK — During Memorial Day weekend, the city of Hazel Park unveiled plans for the Hazel Park Family Fitness Park, to be located within Green Acres Park on Woodward Heights.

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Published June 10, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — The future plans of Sterling Heights’ parks and recreational facilities will be in play when residents vote on a millage proposal Nov. 8.

At a June 7 meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council voted 6-1 to approve the proposal’s ballot language. Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Romano was the lone dissenter.

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Published June 9, 2016

METRO DETROIT — The Michigan Senate unanimously passed a bill May 31 that would require that all students in the state receive CPR training before graduation. 

The fate of the CPR in schools bill rests in the hands of the Michigan House. 

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Published June 8, 2016

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Despite opposition from city leaders and some nearby residents and businesses, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has approved the sale of alcoholic beverages at the BP gas station at 19100 Mack Ave., at Moross Road.

At issue isn’t the sale of alcohol — the Farms has other retail establishments where customers can purchase beer, wine and liquor — but rather the location, and the fact that, as a gas station, it will operate around the clock, unlike other nearby stores. 

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Published June 8, 2016

GROSSE POINTE PARK — Following the Michigan Liquor Control Commission’s approval of a liquor license for a BP gas station at Mack Avenue and Moross Road in Grosse Pointe Farms — despite objections by city leaders — Grosse Pointe Park officials are revisiting their own zoning to prevent the same from happening again.

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Published June 8, 2016

GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Residents will see a slight increase in their water bills this summer.

For the 2016-17 fiscal year — which starts July 1 — rates will rise from the current level of $11.24 per 100 cubic feet of water used — or $168.60 for the minimum quarterly bill — to $11.92 per 100 cubic feet of water — or $178.80 for the minimum quarterly bill. 

The Shores City Council unanimously approved the new rates during a meeting May 17.

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Published June 8, 2016

WARREN — The Warren City Council has a new secretary this spring.

Councilwoman Kelly Colegio, who held the post often coveted politically for its oversight of the City Council office and its ability to set the meeting agendas, relinquished the role on May 10 and supported a motion to name Councilman Robert Boccomino as the new secretary going forward.

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Published June 8, 2016

CENTER LINE — Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” was published in June 1936. Later that summer, American Jesse Owens ran like the wind to take four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.

Back in Michigan, a little city called Center Line was founded on the outskirts of a rapidly industrializing Detroit.

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