News & Notes - 8/9/23 Sterling Heights Sentry

Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 9, 2023

Photo provided by the city of Sterling Heights

Vanderpool gets achievement award
The  American Society for Public Administration Detroit Metropolitan Chapter recently gave Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool its 2023 Outstanding Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor goes to metro Detroit public service officials who have a proven record of “good governance practices,” city officials said.

“Continuously working toward the greater good during his 37-year career in city management, executing sound fiscal decision making and having public service at his core are why City Manager Vanderpool was chosen as the 2023 Outstanding Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award recipient,” ASPA-Detroit Metropolitan Chapter President Courtney Flynn said in a statement.

Vanderpool has been Sterling Heights’ city manager since 2004.


Beautification Commission seeks award nominees
The Beautification Commission’s annual Beautification Awards is looking for nominees based on properties’ landscaping; annual and perennial flowers; and overall wow factor. Categories will include single-family homes, multifamily complexes, businesses and places of worship.

Send photos of a nominated property’s front view by Aug. 25. Email nominations to, or send them by postal mail to Community Relations, P.O. Box 8009, 40555 Utica Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48311-8009, attn: Beautification Awards.

Winners will be announced and honored in October. Call (586) 446-2489 for more information.


Dodge Park to host concert, screen film
During the Dodge Park Thursday activities on Aug. 10, Kathleen Murray and The Groove Council will perform at 7 p.m. as part of the Music in the Park summer concert series. In addition, there will be a Movie in the Park screening featuring the film “DC League of Super-Pets.”

Dodge Park is located at 40620 Utica Road. Learn more about Dodge Park Thursdays by visiting and clicking on “Events,” or by calling (586) 446-2700.


Police present new comfort dog
During the Aug. 1 Sterling Heights City Council meeting, Sterling Heights police Chief Dale Dwojakowski introduced the public to his department’s new comfort K-9 dog, Toby.

According to the chief, Toby is a cavapoo — a cavalier King Charles spaniel-poodle mix — who is from Kalamazoo and was born in May 2023. The dog will start formal puppy training this month before entering a therapy dog class, Dwojakowski said.

Dwojakowski said that, once Toby is fully trained, he’ll be on hand to provide comfort both to police employees and people such as child abuse victims.


Council passes resolution urging repeal or change to fireworks law
At its July 18 meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature to either repeal the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act of 2011 or to change the law to allow local control on those fireworks’ sale and use.

Council members said the current law forces all communities, including Sterling Heights, to allow the private use of consumer fireworks on particular holidays or surrounding periods, such as Independence Day.

During the discussion, some council members expressed their frustration over hearing lots of fireworks complaints from residents every year while being powerless to change policy.

Officials said they plan to pass on residents’ complaints when the city informs state officials about the adopted resolution.

“Once City Council approves it, we will then send it to the governor and the entire state Legislature,” City Manager Mark Vanderpool said. “So everyone is going to get a copy of this, and we’ll be making a full-court press with our local legislators, too, to make sure that they understand the importance of this.”