Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier speaks with  Lt. Mike Moore, left, and Deputy Chief Mike Frazier, both of  the Royal Oak Police Department, during the State of the City address at the Royal Oak Farmers Market Aug. 15.

Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier speaks with Lt. Mike Moore, left, and Deputy Chief Mike Frazier, both of the Royal Oak Police Department, during the State of the City address at the Royal Oak Farmers Market Aug. 15.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Royal Oak mayor touts city’s vibrancy in address

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published August 27, 2019

 Fournier delivers his State of the City address.

Fournier delivers his State of the City address.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

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ROYAL OAK — On Aug. 15, a crowd of approximately 60 people, mostly city workers, gathered at the Royal Oak Farmers Market for Mayor Michael Fournier’s third annual State of the City address, hosted by the Royal Oak Rotary Club.

“Sound policies, commitment to best practices, financial discipline and long-term focus have put Royal Oak on a strong course for the future,” Fournier said. “Together, we have achieved so much, and others are paying attention.”

Royal Oak Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids said Market Manager Shelly Mazur opened the event prior to the mayor’s approximately 40-minute remarks, and announced that the market had filed paperwork earlier that day to secure the location’s historical designation.

“That was exciting,” Davids said. “We’ve never had it at the market before.”

Fournier focused on the city’s commitment to making Royal Oak a place where people are proud to live, work, play and invest. He highlighted the city’s ranking among a number of “best of” lists, including Top 100 Places to Live, Best Downtown Shopping District, 10 Best Detroit Suburbs to Raise a Family, Top 20 Neighborhoods for Millennials in Metro Detroit and 25 Safest Cities in Michigan.

He said the Royal Oak Police Department reported a 17% overall drop in crime over the past year, and the Royal Oak Fire Department responded to more than 6,000 alarms in the past year.

In the past year, he said, the city planted more than 600 trees, improved 8 miles of neighborhood roads and issued 590 permits for residential roads. Of the residential permits issued in Oakland County, he said, 30% were for projects in Royal Oak.

He touted the city’s AA+ bond rating and $15.5 million fund balance, as well as the city’s implementation of more online services over the past year, resulting in an increase in requests for birth certificates, dog licenses and residential park passes.

The civic center project, including a Henry Ford medical building, a new City Hall, a new Police Department, a downtown park and a recently opened 11 Mile Road parking structure, remains on budget, he said, and staff is expected to move into the new buildings in 2020.

Fournier said the city will spend approximately $8 million on Normandy Oaks Park and the new downtown park, set to be completed in 2021, which are both being guided by resident input, and neighborhood parks will continue to be a priority.

In green initiatives, he said, the city earned more than $300,000 in grants centered on sustainability, including bicycle safety and green stormwater infrastructure for Normandy Oaks Park, and launched a sustainability plan to catalog its existing efforts and research future initiatives.

He said the city is also working on installing more green infrastructure and implementing an updated stormwater utility, which would bill property owners based on their amount of stormwater runoff.

The city, Fournier said, has partnered with AARP and has joined the World Health Organization Age-Friendly Communities Program to address the needs of the city’s residents who are 65 and older.

He added that this summer, the Royal Oak Public Library set a record for its summer reading program with 1,701 registrants.

The city also has begun the process of adopting new and amended ordinances to reflect the majority vote of Royal Oak residents on the legalization of adult-use marijuana, he said.

“We are blessed with a vibrant and active community that strives to be the best version of itself,” Fournier said.

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.

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