Supervisor discusses past and present during State of the Township address

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published July 29, 2019

 Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis presents the State of the Township address to an audience at the Eisenhower High School Performing Arts Center July 19.

Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis presents the State of the Township address to an audience at the Eisenhower High School Performing Arts Center July 19.

Photo provided by Shelby Township

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township held its annual State of the Township address July 19 at the Eisenhower High School Performing Arts Center.

The main speaker was Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis.

“Every year, our State of the Township address gets better and better, but I’m afraid all the other people onstage this morning are far more entertaining than I can be,” said Stathakis.

New this year, during the address, the township showcased local students who were finalists in the township’s first Shelby Spotlight competition. The Shelby Spotlight competition is a musical competition for anyone who is a student or resident or worker or who takes lessons in Shelby Township that was held by the township back in April for a chance to win $500 and a music video. Five contestants performed in front of the audience at the State of the Township.

The audience was able to vote for one contestant during the address to win a cash prize. Also, one family in the audience won a gym membership for registering to attend.

Stathakis mentioned that all of the final contestants were students from Shelby Township.

“There’s not a better place to learn than in Shelby Township,” said Stathakis.

Some main features during the address were dance teams, special videos about the township, guest speakers and the contestants.

During his presentation, Stathakis discussed some things from the last 12 months that have changed, and also some things that have not changed over the years.

“We’re talking about before and after, then and now of the township,” said Stathakis.

He mentioned that in addition to the $5.4 million new district court that was built this year, there will be a new library and recently, in 2017, the new Fire Stations Nos. 4 and 5 were moved and built to benefit the community. A new senior center and activities center is also planned to be built.

Stathakis discussed the history of the township and how it became what it is today.

“Although Shelby Township has undergone many changes, what has not changed is our sense of welcome and community,” he said.

He went on to say why Shelby Township is a better place today.

“One of the reasons we are a better place? Public safety and our Police and Fire departments,” he said.

Stathakis mentioned how there has been a lot of new technology introduced and officers added to the Fire and Police departments. He said that people expect and deserve top-notch public safety services.

“That’s exactly why our current Board of Trustees is embracing and supporting change,” he said.

“By the end of 2020, our community will have $70 million in new roads, $17.3 million in new and improved public safety and court facilities, nearly $5 million in recreation amenities such as the activities center, the new Chief Gene Shepherd Park and splash pad, new and improved hike and bike trails, and a $11.2 million Shelby Township Library,” said Stathakis.

He talked about how the projects have been funded.

“In all, these improvements account for more than $103 million in new and improved facilities and amenities, all paid in cash with no debt, no bonding and no increase in local taxes.”

Stathakis said there was a reason why it took so long to be able to do these big projects.

“We took our time and made sure we got it right,” he said.

He said that the population has increased by about 10% since 2010, and in 2018 alone, approximately 135 new businesses have been introduced into the township. There was also $66 million in new commercial development in 2018.

Joe Youngblood, the parks, recreation, maintenance, nature center and senior center director, shared his thoughts as the director of many of the facilities in the township.

“There’s not a better place to live (and) raise a family. Like I said, the bang for your buck doesn’t get any better than Shelby Township,” said Youngblood.

Robert Shelide, the police chief, also shared his thoughts.

“I think this community is a hidden gem of southeast Michigan.” said Shelide.

At the end of the event, the winner of the Shelby Spotlight competition that the audience had voted for was announced, and the winner was singer Anna Hilliard.

For Stathakis’ final statement during the address, he said that Shelby Township is better than it has ever been and he is ready for the next big thing.

“The state of the township is stronger than ever, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

For more information about the State of the Township address, visit www.shelbytwp.org.

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