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 The Southfield skyline overlooks Evergreen Road last year. Southfield officials recently shared their goals for the upcoming year.

The Southfield skyline overlooks Evergreen Road last year. Southfield officials recently shared their goals for the upcoming year.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Southfield, Lathrup Village leaders share goals for 2020

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published January 15, 2020

 At Lathrup Village City Hall, officials also discussed their 2020 goals.

At Lathrup Village City Hall, officials also discussed their 2020 goals.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

SOUTHFIELD/LATHRUP VILLAGE — Losing weight, trying a new hobby or staying organized are all pretty common New Year’s resolutions, but what about keeping up curb appeal and tackling the opioid epidemic?

While the rest of us work on our personal goals in the new year, municipal leaders have their own hopes for 2020. We asked around to find out what those resolutions are.

Southfield

Mayor Ken Siver

Siver said that, for the new decade, he is concentrating on both personal resolutions and citywide goals.

When it comes to Southfield, Siver said that he will be committed to keeping up appearances in 2020.

“For the city, my resolution is to work harder at being a good steward of our public right of ways. I’m not happy with how some of the medians have looked. Appearances are very important,” Siver said. “Some of them have suffered because we’ve had road construction and they didn’t come back the way I’ve hoped.”

During the warmer months, Siver said, some perennials were mistakenly weed-wacked, and road salt killed some plants along local roadways.

In regard to his personal goals, Siver said he wants to walk more.

“I’m on a mission. I’ve been increasing my daily steps. I spend a lot of time behind a computer and sitting in meetings, so I’m vowing to take more steps every day,” he said.

 

City Administrator Fred Zorn
Why pick just one goal when you can have multiple?

Zorn said his resolution is to keep Southfield the “Center of it All.”

“Obviously, my goal is to just continue to provide a safe and secure community and be the economic development engine for southeastern Michigan,” Zorn said. “Our priority projects are Northland and the Evercentre properties, along with rebuilding our infrastructure, police and fire, the library, and recreation.”

Zorn said he is happy with the goals accomplished in 2019 and is looking forward to the next year of work.

“I spent a lot of time five years ago working on plans for 2020, and now it’s finally here,” he said.

 

Police Chief Elvin Barren
Barren — who took the reins in July as the city’s seventh police chief — said that, at press time, he was working on his goals for 2020.

Mainly, Barren said, he and his department will be focusing on “community harms.”

Barren defined community harms as domestic violence, traffic safety concerns, the opioid epidemic, active shooters and human trafficking.

Working with the Citizens Advisory Board, Barren said, he plans to host a press conference within the next few weeks to outline his goals and get more specific.

“With each of these items, I’m going to address how the department is going to deal with those issues,” he said. “We’ve already started with Narcan training with the Fire Department, active shooter training and the formation of the Traffic Safety Enforcement Unit.”

 

City Librarian Dave Ewick
Ewick said the library team’s goal is to take a deeper look at the community’s desires.

“We’re going to undertake a long-range plan, so our resolution is to use the long-range plan to find out what our community wants and needs, and then try to fulfill those needs,” Ewick said.

Ewick said staff is planning on hosting community conversations with various groups within the city to learn more about what residents want.

From those conversations, Ewick said, a plan will be put in place.

“We will take all that information and say, ‘OK. We need to build a mission statement and a set of goals for the library,’ and then we’ll be tackling that,” he said.

Ewick said residents can look out for community conversations beginning in March.

 

Lathrup Village Mayor Kelly Garrett
Garrett said in an email that she has many goals for the village in 2020.

At the top of her list, Garrett said, the Lathrup Village team plans to keep moving forward with sustainable infrastructure improvements to the city’s water lines, sewer lines and streets.

“(We want to) adopt a comprehensive master plan, including plans for downtown and parks and recreation,” Garrett said in an email.

Garrett said that the city also plans to develop plans for the House in the Woods property and to get the ball rolling on the SeeClickFix app.

 

Recreation Coordinator Chris Clough
For the Lathrup Village Parks and Recreation Department, Clough said the goal is to offer residents some new experiences.

“My goal is to offer more enrichment opportunities for adults and youth through new classes and workshops,” Clough said in an email.

Clough said January will kick off  9-10:30 a.m. Jan. 18 with a Birding 101 class presented by the Detroit Audubon Society.

Instructor Ava Landgraf will host the session, which includes a tutorial on the basics of birding, such as how to use binoculars, how to spot common birds and how to identify birds based on sight and sound. Binoculars will be provided.

Tickets cost $19.99 for residents and $24.99 for nonresidents.

Registration can be made in person at Lathrup Village City Hall, 27500 Southfield Road, or by calling Clough at (248) 557-2600, ext. 224.

Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee and Recreation Director Terry Fields did not return a request for comment by press time.

Lathrup Village City Administrator Sheryl Mitchell deferred comment to Garret. Police Chief Scott McKee did not return a request for comment by press time.