Local Government

Published April 11, 2017

Numerous residents who opposed plans for a three- to five-story 140-unit apartment complex prevailed when the The Troy City Council nixed a developer’s request to rezone three residential lots.

After listening to over 50 residents speak at the April 10 City Council meeting, the council voted 4-3 to deny developer Sam Stafa’s conditional rezoning request for three lots —2.57 acres — from one family residential to a Big Beaver form based district for property on the east side of McClure Drive, north off Big Beaver Road, west of Crooks Road.

Read More

Published April 10, 2017

HAZEL PARK — Hazel Park’s civic center complex at Nine Mile and John R roads is arguably the hub of the city, featuring the library and a building comprising City Hall, the Police Department, and 43rd District Court. Motorists and pedestrians may have noticed in recent months that the courthouse and City Hall have a new look, with a revamped exterior and a two-story extension on the building’s west side. What they might not fully appreciate until they go inside, however, is the dramatic functionality improvement these changes represent.

Read More

Published April 7, 2017

The gradual recovery of Sterling Heights real estate is highlighted in recent economic statistics, according to city officials.

During an April 4 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, City Manager Mark Vanderpool cited recent statistics from the Michigan Department of Treasury on taxable property values within the state and Macomb County that rank Sterling Heights highly. He welcomed the news and attributed the rising values to city economic development initiatives, a higher aesthetic standard and proactive programs for maintaining properties.

Read More

Published April 7, 2017

WARREN — With state environmental deadlines bearing down amid the persistent risk of basement flooding and long-lingering questions about a plan to tie Warren into a massive regional drain, city officials have essentially opted to go in a different direction. 

Read More

Published April 5, 2017

FERNDALE — During the election in November 2012, the city of Ferndale suffered from long wait times that caused voters to stand in line for more than two hours.

To fix this and any other problems relating to elections, the city created an election task force to dig into such problems as long wait times. It comprised precinct inspectors, residents, and city officials and staff. It was led by City Clerk Marne McGrath, who gave a wrap-up presentation about the task force at the council’s March 27 meeting.

Read More

Published April 5, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Speaking in front of a crowd of business leaders and township and county government officials inside a movie theatre at Emagine Macomb, Macomb Township Supervisor Janet Dunn gave her annual “State of the Township” address March 31.

While touching on several events that occurred over the past year, Dunn frequently used the phrase “Imagine that” to showcase the township’s successes and growth.

Before talking about events of the past year, Dunn spoke about the theatre and its impact in the township.

Read More

Published April 5, 2017

C&G Newspapers

OAKLAND COUNTY — Whether it’s tweeting, playing “PokemonGo,” watching a movie or just texting, local lawmakers, law enforcement officials and traffic experts are urging residents to stop driving distracted.

On March 31 at the Southfield Police Department, Jim Santilli, CEO of the Transportation Improvement Association, and state Rep. Martin Howrylak, R-Troy, announced a new piece of legislation they said will reduce deaths and injuries related to distracted driving.

Read More

Published April 5, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On March 21, Shelby Township Planner Glenn Wynn said the township’s 2017 master plan is ready to move on to public review and adoption.

The purpose of the five-year master plan is to provide a long-term vision for the community using information such as demographics, housing, transportation, shopping patterns and entertainment trends. It is a flexible blueprint for recommended land use.

The township has been working with LSL Planning for a couple of years to create the master plan, Wynn said.

Read More

Published April 5, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The 10-line House Bill 4011, introduced by Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township, Jan. 11, would keep Michigan on standard time and stop “the advancement of time.”

On March 21, Lucido held a hearing before the House Commerce and Trade Committee with time-change expert Scott Yates to support doing away with the century-old custom of resetting clocks in the spring and fall.

“The bottom line is, I’d like to stay on one time without worrying about changing the clock,” Lucido said. “I see no common sense in it.”

Read More

Published April 5, 2017

DETROIT — A former Grosse Pointe Woods Municipal Court administrator who was facing a 30-day jail sentence for embezzling money from the court has paid back the money and will not serve time.

Former Court Administrator Julie Ann Moore, 47, was to begin her sentence on March 30 after she pleaded guilty Feb. 23 in 3rd Circuit Court to one count of embezzlement by agent, trustee or employee over $20,000. Judge James Chylinski presided over the case.

As part of her agreement, if Moore paid back the funds by March 30, she would not serve any jail time.

Read More

Published April 5, 2017

MADISON HEIGHTS — The city of Madison Heights has an aging sewer system in which the oldest pipes have been underground since the 1940s. Yet their work never lets up: The 111 miles of sewer line — which range from 8 inches in diameter to 6 feet — serve more than 9,800 homes and nearly 1,400 businesses, pumping about 3 million gallons of water per day.

This workload, combined with their age, raises the question of their condition — and, in turn, the specter of a catastrophic failure.

Read More

Published April 4, 2017

HARPER WOODS — Since July of 2016, residents and municipal employees in Harper Woods have been working to formulate a plan to improve the city. On March 16, that plan was officially unveiled and the process of putting it into action began.

The meeting at which the plan was unveiled took place at the Harper Woods High School auditorium and was led by Tyrone Hinton, who is leading the project.

Read More

Published March 31, 2017

EASTPOINTE — The Eastpointe City Council voted 3-2 for the second reading and adoption of its new chicken ordinance at the March 28 meeting at Eastpointe City Hall.

Council members Cardi DeMonaco Jr., Sarah Lucido and Mayor Pro Tem Michael Klinefelt voted in favor of the ordinance, while Councilman John Marion and Mayor Suzanne Pixley voted against it.

Read More

Published March 31, 2017

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB COUNTY — Two recently fired top deputies in the Macomb County Clerk’s Office have filed a federal whistleblower lawsuit against Clerk Karen Spranger, saying they were released from their jobs after making comments about her job performance.

Jennifer Lord, one of the attorneys for Paul Kardasz and Erin Stahl, argues that once the two were appointed by Spranger in early January, it became clear that the newly elected Republican was less than capable of running the office.

Read More

Published March 30, 2017

C&G Newspapers

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Several city officials and representatives from contracting firm Tetra Tech led a public meeting at the Grosse Pointe Woods Community Center March 29 to inform citizens about the repair and refurbishment work on the Milk River Water System and answer questions from the community.

The Milk River Water System is the biggest means of water drainage for Harper Woods, as well as areas of St. Clair Shores and Grosse Pointe Woods. It has been 20 years since the last major overhaul of the system; according to state mandates, updates and repairs are due.

Read More

Published March 29, 2017

WARREN — In a clear departure from years past and after months of negative attention brought on by lingering controversies, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has pre-recorded his 2017 State of the City address.

Read More

Published March 29, 2017

SOUTHFIELD/LATHRUP VILLAGE — It could have been demolished.

But it wasn’t.

During the annual State of the City address March 20 at Best Western Premier Hotel on Telegraph Road, Southfield Mayor Ken Siver reminded the elected officials and community members in attendance that the room they were sitting in could easily have been imploded if it wasn’t for a recent redevelopment effort.

“This property — we honestly thought it was going to be imploded,” Siver said. “No one is going to come here and save this property.”

Read More

Published March 29, 2017

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — It was last fall when Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Chief David Hendrickson stepped up to fill in as city manager after the resignation of Jay Cravens.

And now he’s officially scratching the “interim” off that city manager title.

Read More

Published March 29, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Concerns over infrastructure and long-term ramifications of approval caused the Macomb Township Planning Commission to recommend denial of  a rezoning request for two pieces of property near the township hall building during a March 21 commission meeting.

Broughton Development LLC petitioned the commission to rezone two parcels located on the southeast corner of the Broughton Road and 25 Mile Road intersection from agriculture to town center.

Read More

Published March 29, 2017

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — New township attorney and Human Resources Director Tom Esordi provided an update on the first two months of his full-time employment during a March 22 Board of Trustees meeting.

Esordi was given the dual-title of HR director and in-house legal counsel in early January. During his speech to the board, Esordi addressed concerns about that title and dual position, stating that several communities, including Ann Arbor, Lansing and the Detroit Water and Sewer Department have or have had similar arrangements.

Read More