Local Government

Published May 23, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — The design for the new Chesterfield fire station seemed to be a win on all sides when it was presented to the City Commission May 9.

Fire Chief John Connaughton said the station will meet the functionality needs of a modern fire department, and the commission was pleased to see that the new building will meet those needs with an aesthetic that meets the city’s standards.

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Published May 23, 2016

BIRMINGHAM — By the time you read this story, Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt will have cleaned out his desk and taken his photos off the walls in preparation for his departure Friday, May 27.

But the 42-year department veteran is hardly headed straight for the golf course. He’s heading down the road to Beier Howlett, in Bloomfield Hills, to use that J.D. from Wayne State University he earned during his tenure with the BPD.

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Published May 23, 2016

STERLING HEIGHTS — It wasn’t an explosive announcement, but city officials said they are once again getting ready to enforce the laws and rules pertaining to consumer fireworks.

At a May 17 City Council meeting, Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool reminded residents about the basics of the city’s and the state’s consumer fireworks regulations. Consumer fireworks, unlike novelty items such as sparklers, are known for leaving the ground during use.

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Published May 23, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — At a council meeting earlier this month, Madison Heights City Councilman David Soltis made an addition to the agenda: a presentation on child poverty in the city of Madison Heights.

During a speech he gave May 9, Soltis said it’s an issue that no one wants to talk about out of a misplaced sense of shame, but it’s one that has daily consequences for the children who happen to live in households where their family struggles to make ends meet.

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Published May 20, 2016

FRASER — After three long budget-related meetings in a span of less than one week, results stayed consistent on the voting front to approve a new 2016-17 fiscal year budget for the city of Fraser.

A 4-3 vote on May 12 was accompanied by the same result on May 16 — which was a special meeting called by administrators to attempt to approve the budget on a last-minute basis.

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Published May 19, 2016

GROSSE POINTE PARK — The good news is that housing values are on the rise in Grosse Pointe Park. The bad news from the city’s perspective is that, hamstrung by the Headlee Amendment and Proposal A, the city can’t likewise recover financially.

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Published May 18, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — It’s an electronic world, and we’re all living in it.

In response to concerns regarding record handling, the township’s Board of Trustees unanimously decided in April to adopt a “Destruction of Information” policy. The goal is to maintain data integrity.

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Published May 18, 2016

The Troy City Council approved the $138.3 million 2016-2017 budget 6-0 at an April 22 study session, with no changes from what was initially proposed.

Councilman Jim Campbell was absent from the meeting.

“The staff has done a great job,” said Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick.

The 2016-2017 budget includes a decrease in the city millage rate from 10.5 mills to 10.4 mills, and it includes an unassigned fund balance of over 27 percent. The average homeowner will see a savings of $7.51.

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Published May 18, 2016

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods City Council voted 6-0 at its April 18 meeting to approve the continuation of a special assessment to fund the Police and Fire departments.

The special assessment district was levied at 18.5 mills for 2016, a 3.5-mill increase from 2015. Ten of the 18.5 mills will fund police; the remaining 8.5 mills will fund fire. A total of $3,336,503 is expected to be generated from the assessment, a $200,000 increase from 2015.

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Published May 18, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — West Bloomfield residents will decide the fate of the Parks and Recreation Commission’s millage renewal in the Aug. 2 election. 

If the millage is renewed, West Bloomfield will be authorized to continue levying up to 0.3892 mill for a 10-year period, from 2018 to 2027. For a household with a taxable value of $100,000, it would cost the homeowner $38.92 per year. 

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Published May 18, 2016

CLAWSON — The city’s new prosecution team has been busy during its honeymoon phase, revising many municipal ordinances with the goal of easier local enforcement.

Clawson City Council members unanimously adopted the group of ordinance revisions during their May 3 meeting.

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Published May 18, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — Mowing, weeding and landscaping may just be items on your honey-do list, but city officials say maintaining your yard over the summer is your duty as a resident.

Code Enforcement Manager Maria Calhoun said there are a few main issues the Code Enforcement Department runs into each summer.
“The prevalent issues code enforcement runs into are tall weeds, swimming pool maintenance and dead trees,” Calhoun said.

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Published May 18, 2016

UTICA — The Utica Fire Department recently signed on with the new Macomb County division of a disaster relief mutual aid system, although Fire Chief Kevin Wilseck said the department had joined the system with an Oakland County division six or seven years ago.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, or MABAS, is a system designed to streamline fire services across Michigan for daily mutual aid and large-scale emergencies, such as major fires, train derailments, tornadoes, wildfires, domestic or foreign terrorism, or other events that may overwhelm local resources.

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Published May 18, 2016

UTICA — On May 10, the Utica City Council unanimously voted to allocate $1,500 toward legal action that the nonprofit group Taxpayers for Michigan Constitutional Government plans to take against the state of Michigan.

The newly formed movement claims that the state shortchanged local municipalities “by miscounting under the Headlee Amendment the money that constitutes revenue sharing,” Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan said.

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Published May 18, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — A Richmond City Council veteran and 1988 graduate of Chippewa Valley High School will be running in this August’s primary election for the 33rd District seat in the state House of Representatives.

Jeff Yaroch, a Republican, has been a member of Richmond’s City Council since 1999, and he decided to run for the state House seat after colleagues advised him to give Lansing a try.

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Published May 17, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Township Clerk Michael Koehs announced during the May 11 Board of Trustees meeting that he will retire from his post June 3.

Koehs recently announced that he would not seek re-election this fall, ending a 14-year run as clerk.

Although there was speculation by board members, including Supervisor Janet Dunn, that Koehs was stepping down due to health reasons, Koehs said that health had no impact on his decision to retire.

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Published May 17, 2016

After more than four decades of participation in the Community Development Block Grant program, Sterling Heights’ reported plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year shows another slight increase in federal aid that can be used to assist community agencies, building projects and more.

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Published May 17, 2016

UTICA — On May 10, the Utica City Council unanimously approved a motion by Mayor Jacqueline Noonan to allow consumer-grade fireworks shows at Jimmy John’s Field on June 3 and 10, and to review the other 15 requested dates for fireworks shows at its next meeting June 14.

Noonan and several members of the City Council voiced concerns about the noise and light produced by the fireworks. Noonan said the city will hold a public town hall preceding the June 14 meeting to gain input on its final decision.

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Published May 16, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Members of the City Commission were expected to approve Monday night a location change for an upcoming town hall meeting regarding the proposed $100 million Central Park development.

Commissioners were expected to meet after the Review’s press time and change the venue for a May 24 special meeting from Royal Oak Middle School to the Churchill Community Education Center, located at 707 Girard Ave. The change would be due to a scheduling conflict with the school site.

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Published May 16, 2016

BERKLEY — The Berkley Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting planning meetings to talk with the community about what to do with Oxford Park.

The department will host two sessions, one from 9 to 11 a.m. and one from  6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at the Berkley Community Center, 2400 Robina Ave., to gather ideas on what the community would like to see done with the park, which is located east of Merchants Park on Cambridge between Oakshire and Bacon.

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