REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI

MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 1996 AT 7:30 P.M.

COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

 

ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Edward Kriewall, Assistant City Manager Craig Klaver, City Attorney David Fried, Planning Consultant Brandon Rogers, Finance Director Les Gibson, City Clerk Tonni Bartholomew

PROCLAMATION RE: EAGLE SCOUT AWARD TO ROBERT REICHERT.

Mayor McLallen presented an Eagle Scout Award to Robert Reichert.

RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION TO MICHAEL CULLITY for service as a member of the Construction Board of Appeals.

Mayor McLallen indicated Mr. Cullity could not be present.

RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION TO KATHLEEN MUTCH.

Mayor McLallen presented a Resolution of Appreciation to Kathleen Mutch for her service as a Planning Commissioner.

SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO EVELYN NATZEL FOR 30 YEARS OF SERVICE AND DEDICATION.

Mayor McLallen presented a Special Tribute to Assistant Treasurer Evelyn Natzel for her 30 years of service and dedication.

PROCLAMATION RE: JAYCEE WEEK IN NOVI FROM JANUARY 21 TO 27, 1996.

Mayor McLallen proclaimed the week of January 21 to 27, 1996 as Jaycee Week in Novi and thanked the members of the Novi Jaycees for their hard work and dedication.

SPECIAL TRIBUTE OF BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS "1996 HOME OF THE YEAR" - AUTUMN PARK - JOHN RICHARDS ASSOCIATES.

Mayor McLallen introduced Lou Sabitini, representative of John Richards Homes and presented this Special Tribute for their contribution to the enhancement of the City of Novi.

BEAUTIFICATION REPORT.

Ernie Aruffo, Chairman of the Beautification Committee, requested approval and support of the Council to distribute ballots for the election of a City of Novi Bird and Tree. The consensus of the Council was to support Mr. Aruffoís request.

Mayor McLallen advised Council that Item #2, Approval of License Agreement, Beckenham Subdivision Entry Sign had been withdrawn. Also, Item #16, Approval of Levenworth Detention Basin Conservation/Preservation Easement, had been withdrawn

 

CM-96-01-001: Motion by Crawford, Seconded by Cassis, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

John Zimmer, retired Detective, Novi Police Department, requested Council consider allowing himself and John Johnson to receive the benefits of the MERS B-3 Plan for their retirement. This was the plan that they had originally intended to retire on in 1994, however the union contract was not ratified and they retired on the MERS B-2 Plan. Mr. Zimmer advised the Council that those that retired before him, Dick Faulkner, Bob Starnes, Lee BeGole, were given the window and retired under B-3. The window has now been offered again and a number of police officers are now retiring under the B-3 MERS Plan. He requested consideration to receive the same benefits as other police officers.

 

CM-96-01-002: Motion by Crawford, seconded by Clark, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda Items 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17 and 18, as follows:

1. Approval of Minutes Regular Meetings of October 16, 1995, November 6, 1995 and November 13, 1995.

2. Approval of Budget Amendment Number 96-11 - $500.00 City Clerkís Capital Outlay (data processing).

3. Approval of Traffic control Order 95-96 - Prohibit Left turns from the Elias Bros. Driveway on to Fonda Street. Removed by Councilman Mitzel

4. Approval of Traffic Control Order 95-97 - Truck Route Sign w/arrow pointing north on Novi Road (placed on northbound Novi Road 100 ft. South of Decker road intersection prohibiting trucks from turning onto Decker)

5. Approval of Traffic Control Order 95-98 - Truck Route Sign w/arrow pointing north on Novi Road (placed on northbound Novi road on the north side of Decker road intersection) (continued truck route signage from T95-97).

6. Approval of Traffic Control Order 95-99 - Truck Route Sign (without arrow) alerting southbound trucks of upcoming truck route diverting from Decker to 13 Mile Road

7. Approval of Traffic control Order 95-100 - Truck Route Sign with arrow pointing west on 13 Mile Road diverting southbound trucks on Decker to 13 Mile Road

8. Approval of Traffic Control Order 95-101 - No thru trucks southbound on Decker Road from 13 Mile Road.

9. Approval to purchase ten (10) Remington Model 870 police shotguns from C.M.P. Distributors in the amount of $350.00 each with a total amount of $3,500.00 from account number 101.301.00-741-000.

10. Approval of Resolution, Re: Bank Signatories (Attached to original minutes)

11. Approval of Resolution, Re: Computer Advisory Committee - Setting Charge of Committee. Removed by Councilman Schmid

12. Approval of Detroit Edison Agreement for Municipal Street Lighting - Barclay Estates.

13. Approval of Detroit Edison Agreement for Municipal Street Lighting - Haverhill Farms.

14. Approval of Detroit Edison Agreement for Municipal Street Lighting - Mystic Forest.

15. Approval of Resolution, Re: Fiscal Policies and Procedures Removed by Councilwoman Cassis

16. Approval of Levenworth Detention Basin Conservation/Preservation Easement. Removed by Councilwoman Cassis

17. Approval to seek bids for Street Tree Planting for Bradford, Barclay, Royal Crown, Addington, Walden Woods and Lochmoor Village Subdivisions.

18. Approval of Detroit Edison "Temporary or permanent line relocation or billing agreement" - Main Street Project.

 

CM-96-01-003: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Renaming of the Michigan Jaycee Outstanding Young Government Leader Award to the Tim Pope Memorial Award and to insert the word "most" prior to the words capable, honest, etc. in the second WHEREAS.

 

DISCUSSION

Councilwoman Cassis said it was her understanding, having had the opportunity to talk to a Jaycee, that this particular award will be a model and a benchmark in the future for others who in the Jaycee Organization will be evaluated on the standards that Tim Pope achieved. Therefore, she asked that one amendment be made to this Resolution in the second "WHEREAS" to read as follows with the inserting of the word "most." WHEREAS, Tim Pope began his elected career with the City of Novi on November 13, 1989 and proved to be a most capable, honest, energetic, courteous and trustworthy official.

Councilman Crawford accepted the friendly amendment.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-01-003: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

Mayor McLallen presented Becky Staab with the Resolution for Jaycee approval and advised that another with the word "most" would be forthcoming. Ms. Staab advised Council that Mr. Pope had also been nominated for the Five Outstanding Young Michiganders Award and the Outstanding Young Government Leader Award.

 

CM-96-01-004: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the First Reading and schedule the Second Reading of the Ordinance for January 22, 1996.

CM-96-01-005: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Clark, MOTION AMENDED: To adopt Ordinance 96-18-126 - Amendment - TC-1 Zoning District - Criteria for Retail Commercial Buildings - I Reading

DISCUSSION

Councilman Mitzel asked why the change and how did it initiate and how did it get to this table?

He asked Mr. Rogers to explain what the original requirements of the Town Center Ordinance was before they were changed to 7,500 sq. ft.

Mayor McLallen said it was initiated by the members of the Town Center Committee and had gone through the Planning Commission.

 

Mr. Rogers, Planning Consultant, said that was 10 years ago and a requirement at that time was they would have to have within 1,000 ft. at least 300 dwelling units on a separate parcel by a separate developer. Also, required was 250,000 sq. ft. of office space within 1,000 or 2,000 ft. As it turned out with the Lake Pointe Office building and others, they probably met the office space but they never met the residential. That was taken out of the Ordinance. In the TC and the TC-1 District there are five stories allowed and up until now there could be office and residential on the second floor and commercial on the first floor. Mr. Rogers said the intent of the committee and the staff is to continue to encourage small developments and not have first floor single development of excessive size.

 

Councilman Mitzel said in reading the amendment, it sounds like 7,500 sq. ft. now may become 12,000 sq. ft. per floor.

Mr. Rogers said not to exceed 12,000 sq. ft. on the second floor or 25% of the floor area, whichever is lesser. Mr. Rogers said the single user could be 15,000 but the entire first floor could be made up of several retail business uses but not one of them could exceed $15,000.

Councilman Mitzel said he could not support I Reading of Ordinance 96-18-126 because of large increase of commercial, the large increase, the potential commercial and traffic issues.

 

Councilman Schmid said as far as increased commercial, whether there is 7,500 sq. ft. or 12,000 sq. ft., he wasnít sure it would increase the commercial. He suggested additional review to commercial above the second floor.

Mr. Rogers suggested that this could be an amendment made at the table that night. He thought they could cap that out and limit it to just the second floor. He said there are applicants that would like 12,000 or 15,000 sq. ft. As far as parking, it is a planned commercial center using one standard ratio. He stated that he wanted to be careful that there was a shared parking scenario. Mr. Rogers said he didnít see any variances required for parking.

Mr. Smith said flexibility was needed to be creative and create these unusual and specific type shops and that second floor commercial was needed for these businesses. He said they needed to be able to offer the applicants the opportunity to go on one and two levels.

 

Councilman Clark appreciated the comments of Councilman Mitzel. He said Councilman Schmidís comments were correct in that there was concern in light of the reality of market forces in terms of whatís going on to encourage another look at the ordinance and to recommend some changes that are before us that night. The overall changes will not increase the traffic in the area because whether there is one tenant with 15,000 sq. ft. of retail space on the first floor or three tenants with 5,000 sq. ft. each, there will basically be the same overall result in terms of parking requirements and so forth.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Rogers if parking requirements for TC-1 are based on floor area and not based on the use of the floor area and was that correct.

Mr. Rogers said that was correct and it made no difference whether there was commercial or office on the second floor. Councilman Mitzel then said he would amend the motion.

 

CM-96-01-005.1: AMENDMENT TO MAIN MOTION

Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED: To amend the proposed TC-1 Zoning Ordinance Amendment in Paragraph 2, by striking "any floor above the first floor" and replacing it with "second floor" and adding a Paragraph 5 "no retail commercial space above the second floor."

DISCUSSION ON AMENDMENT

Councilman Schmid assumed that all other TC-1 uses would be allowed. Councilman Mitzel said that was his intent.

Councilman Crawford asked what purpose that would serve? Is there a reason for not having commercial on the third, fourth or fifth floor if it was deemed appropriate? He said the ordinance limits any type of commercial to 25% at a maximum on any of those floors, so then there would be some office or other TC uses. Mr. Rogers said thatís correct. He said commercial is already limited in the ordinance but with the allowance of the 25% at a maximum, it did provide some flexibility if a unique situation arose.

Councilman Mitzel said the intent was to try to keep the ordinance as much as possible to our original philosophy which was to try to have mixed use buildings and not just commercial buildings.

Councilwoman Mutch agreed with what Councilman Mitzel was trying to preserve from the original but thought she agreed with Member Crawford that the flexibility was there if Council kept it because of the percentage and/or square footage limitations. She said she would hate to miss the opportunity to have a restaurant on the fifth floor. She thought it maintained the protection of the original version but at the same time allows for flexibility for those unique circumstances. She said while she supported the concept she would not support the amendment.

Councilwoman Cassis said there were two parts to this. One, that it did open up to provide for a market above the first floor and now it is another increase above the second floor to allow 25% of any floor to contain commercial. She was concerned with what kind of uses there might be and how they would mix with other TC uses. It is a departure, it is an increase beyond just a second floor, which she could support.

Mayor McLallen said our goal for Main Street as a community was to create something unique that could not be duplicated anywhere else. Mayor McLallen said we want a quality, unique development that will not create any greater difficulty with traffic or environmental problems in the community, trying to regulate that is extremely difficult and at some point we just have to have courage of all the players, ourselves, the investment community thatís investing in this project and grant them some flexibility. We have an ordinance and are now amending it, restricting again, and we canít attract what we want if we are constantly massaging it. She said we are going to occasionally have to take a stand and see what happens and go on. She supported maximum flexibility and would not support the amendment.

Councilman Schmid said this revision greatly extends the commercial as opposed to limiting it. The intent was to provide some unique uses for the upper floor such as offices, residential, etc. He didnít think the intent was to have 5 story commercial buildings in the Main Street area. He said Member Mitzel had a good idea.

 

VOTE ON AMENDMENT

CM-96-01-005.1: Yeas: Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Schmid

Nays: McLallen, Crawford, Mutch

VOTE ON CM-96-01-005: Yeas: Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, McLallen, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: Crawford

APPROVAL OF MINUTE FORMAT

Mayor McLallen said this was about having our City and personnel operate as economically efficiently as possible. There are 104 sets of minutes sent out to people each month who have requested copies of the minutes. The goal of this discussion is how to direct the future of this City to deal with this incredible stream of paper and information. We must record the decisions of each of our meetings and we have to distribute them and permanently store them.

Councilman Mitzel asked what the minute format was called that was used back in August?

Mrs. Bartholomew said it was the Revised Minute Format of 8/7/95.

 

CM-96-01-006: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED: To adopt the Revised Minute Format for the City Council Minutes subject to meeting all statutory requirements.

DISCUSSION

Councilman Mitzel said it seemed that the Revised Minute Format was the only one of the three provided that met the requirements of the Open Act time frame. He asked Mr. Fried if the minutes had to be transcribed within eight days and if the City Council was obligated to follow the Open Meetings Act?

Mr. Fried said he thought it was eight days and Council was obligated to the Open Meetings Act.

Mr. Fried said the minutes that were approved in the Revised Format did comply. There are certain circumstances where they would have to exceed the outline thatís proposed.

Councilman Mitzel commented to the City Clerk and Administration that almost half of the copies of minutes are in house use and we now have a computer network where the minutes could be viewed electronically through the network. This could eliminate 49 copies of minutes by having the staff view minutes on line.

Councilman Clark supported the Revised Minute Format. The requirements of the Open Meeting Act are being met, two weeks of valuable time would be freed up for personnel to use elsewhere and the number of pieces of paper would be reduced by approximately two thirds. He was not opposed to the number of copies being generated because he was not sure there would be a real savings in time searching for information on the network as opposed to hard copy.

Councilman Schmid said this was not a scientific study. He said the same minutes should have been done in the three different versions and that would tell Council something about what was being saved and not saved. So this study has no basis for reality whatsoever and that includes the two and a half weeks to transcribe it, etc. He felt there wasnít enough information to make a decision. He asked who determined what was put down in the minutes, what was important and what was not?

Mrs. Bartholomew said the person transcribing eliminates a lot of the "he said/she said," things and they would list the points that you were making reference to and that person is pulling that off the tapes and then in reviewing them according to hand notes to see if theyíre the basic points that she pulled off as well.

Councilman Schmid said so the person doing the transcribing made the decision and then the Clerk reviewed them?

Mrs. Bartholomew said correct, they are proofed and tested against the Clerkís notes and recollection and made as complete as possible.

Councilman Schmid said this is not a good test for any of these formats. He would not support this based on the way it was presented.

Councilwoman Mutch felt that the Council ultimately decided what was in the minutes. Every time the minutes are presented to Council for approval there is the opportunity to add, expand, delete, change, clarify, correct or make any necessary changes. She said she was very much in support of the Revised Format because it met the requirements of the law and the needs of this Council.

Councilman Mitzel said the most logical choice to comply with the Open Meetings Act is to adopt the Revised Minute Format. If Council adopted the original minute format what would the Clerkís staff need to comply with the Open Meetings Act?

Mrs. Bartholomew advised that her staff is one computer short now and that is really putting more of a hindrance on it. The additional computer will probably be delivered in a month and a half. That would allow the staff to get close to maintaining the needs of the Open Meetings Act by using two staff members and rotating the particular meetings minutes. However, we are not really at two meetings a month. We are more likely to see four meetings a month and sometimes more. Thereís no way possible to meet it without additional staff and equipment.

Mrs. Bartholomew added with the two meetings per month, there is a great likelihood of being close, but with the additional meetings, it was not possible. Councilman Mitzel said so if they wish to stick with the original minute format and comply with the Open Meetings Act, they were talking additional staff. He said he just wanted to have that clarification and he still supported the revised minute format.

Councilwoman Cassis said she was impressed by the fact that their attorney has called this minimal compliance and that has never been something that the City has aimed at and she had some concerns. She questioned whether outside estimates had been sought as to the costs of transcribing. She said when they employ personnel with a benefit package, she didnít know how those costs might compare to an outside concern that would simply transcribe.

Councilwoman Cassis said secondly, when trying to transcribe and figure out what is important to include, that takes judgement and reading over to decide how to phrase a comment and that takes time, more time than when they were just basically transcribing verbatim.

Councilwoman Cassis said Farmington Hills has a compromise and their approach is not a verbatim format but their minutes do stick pretty close to the flow and the commentary that was made during a Council, Commission or any Board meeting. She said for us, Council receives information from the Planning Commission to review and the discussion presented at the Planning Commission meeting made it very clear as to all the ramifications and nuances of what went into the Planning Commission Ďs recommendation to them and they may not have had that in a much-more watered minimal compliance type of approach.

Councilwoman Cassis said more importantly, she didnít know how any of them could make a clear decision that night unless they take one set of minutes and see the various approaches.

Councilwoman Cassis said she would ask that the Council postpone this discussion until they could have one set of minutes in each format and also perhaps to see if they could get estimates of what it would cost to have this go outside for transcription

Councilwoman Cassis said they need to comply with Open Meetings Act and do it economically and efficiently, but there may be a number of ways to do it and she would just like to postpone until their next regular meeting where they could have this information available to them.

 

CM-96-01-007: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION FAILED: To postpone action on the Minutes until the next regularly meeting to see alternatives.

FURTHER DISCUSSION

Councilman Schmid said he agreed it makes sense to have one set of minutes dictated so one can tell exactly what they were leaving in and taking out. That is the only way he felt anyone could make a reasonable judgement.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if approval of this motion directs the Clerk to prepare three complete sets of minutes for this meeting. Mayor McLallen said the question was in order to meet the spirit of what the motion is asking.

Councilwoman Cassis said she didnít have a particular desire for any particular meeting and tonightís meeting would be fine if that would serve the purpose.

Councilwoman Mutch said as just pointed out, they couldnít very well go back to a meeting where the minutes were done in a revised form. She supposed they could go back if the audio tape was still available.

Councilwoman Mutch said she wasnít asking that this be done, but to her that is the logical extension of approval of that motion.

Councilman Crawford said he wasnít going to vote to postpone because there were at least four or five members that thought the revised minutes format contained enough information to give a sense of the meeting and he also believed when the City Attorney said that it met minimum standards, he didnít think he meant it met just the minimum standards because in many cases, it exceeds whatever the minimum standards were.

Councilman Crawford said he believed in one of their study sessions, they had a copy of a set of minutes that probably none of them would have liked as it was very minimum but it probably still met the minimum standards of the Open Meetings Act, so the revised minutes format far exceeds that.

Councilman Crawford felt Councilman Schmid was correct and it may be difficult to compare the three different meetings in the three different formats, but he felt they could compare one to the other and see that there may be three times as many pages, but it takes five times as long to transcribe it, so he felt there were some comparisons that could be made with the information they have here.

Councilman Crawford said at any time a Council Member can say they want certain remarks in the minutes and they can certainly be revised afterwards, but the revised format of the minutes was fine with him.

Councilman Crawford said the question whether they have gone outside for the transcription of the minutes, the answer is yes and it would be another cost. He also felt if they had an outside agency transcribe the minutes, it would probably be even less than personal and less reflective of what happened at the meeting. He said he would not vote to postpone because he felt they could make a decision that night.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-01-007: Yeas: Cassis, Clark, Schmid

Nays: Crawford, McLallen, Mitzel, Mutch

Councilman Schmid felt to have the Council members read the minutes and then go back and add on to them was ludicrous to him. He said the majority of the Council was going to go with the shortened minutes and he would be disappointed but not devastated.

Councilwoman Mutch felt it would be helpful for Council members to do what Councilman Mitzel does, which is to communicate with other members of Council by way of a memo, etc., and in effect, begin to record those points that are important to Council even prior to the discussion, so that those points that are made during the discussion are indeed part of the written record before the minutes are even created which would help to make a complete and accurate record.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-01-006: Yeas: Crawford, Clark, McLallen, Mitzel, Mutch

Nays: Cassis & Schmid

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION, RE: DECLARATION OF TAKING - HUGHLAND MEADOWBROOK PARTNERSHIP AND THE LAND ASSOCIATES OF NOVI - THIRTEEN MILE ROAD IMPROVEMENTS.

Mr. Kapelczak briefly explained this item.

Mayor McLallen asked if the funding for this was State Highway Funding and Mr. Kapelczak said this was 75%-25% with the City of Novi, and 75% was Federal funding and 25% was City of Novi funding and Mayor McLallen asked if the 25% would be paid in three different payments and comes to about $31,000 and Mr. Kapelczak said correct.

Councilman Schmid asked how much was it and Mayor McLallen replied it was three different payments of $19,000, $5,000 and $6,800 for a total of $31,000.

Councilman Schmid asked about the southeast corner and wasnít a house there and Mr. Kapelczak explained that this particular drawing had a hashed mark that entailed a total take but in essence, they only need a small portion.

 

CM-96-01-008: Motion by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED: To approve the adoption of three Resolutions and three Declarations of taking for Thirteen Mile Road Improvements (as attached)

VOTE ON CM-96-01-008: Yeas: Cassis, Clark, Crawford, McLallen, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: Mitzel

CM-96-01-009: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, MOTION CARRIED: To Schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow Regular Meeting.

DISCUSSION

Councilman Clark said in light of the matter that was brought before them by Mr. Zimmer that night, do they want to add that to the session.

Mr. Fried replied if they were going to take that up in the Executive Session, they might have to adjourn this meeting and pass a resolution and have an open meeting in regard to any action they would take.

Councilman Clark said he would move to have that as a discussion item in light of the statement that was made tonight in terms of the time constraints.

Mr. Fried said he gathered from what Mr. Zimmer said that it has to be done by Wednesday. Mr. Kriewall said that was what he indicated. Councilman Mitzel said that was based on a six-month MERS window that they approved last year for current City employees and that would end on January 10th and that was what the Wednesday date was based on. Mr. Fried said so there was no Wednesday criteria date and Councilman Mitzel said other than that six month window for retirement that several people have retired under.

Mr. Fried said so the answer was if Mr. Zimmer doesnít have to meet the "Stipp Window" then the Council could do it at their next meeting, but if he had to meet the Stipp Window, he would suggest the Council adjourn the meeting and have their Executive Session and then come back and continue it at this meeting if the Council intended to take official action on it.

Mayor McLallen then asked Mr. Klaver concerning information that Mr. Zimmer brought up that evening, they were the only 20 year plus employees of the City to have retired and not received this window and were looking for inclusion under what is being referred to as the Stipp Window.

Mr. Klaver said he would have to check into that matter because there was not any provisions that he was immediately aware of to go back and really change the basis for someoneís retirement and they do not meet the parameters of the window in that they retired before the window opened up and he wasnít sure under what provisions they could include them. He said they were both already retired and gone from City employment before the window became available.

Mayor McLallen said this may take a long legal review, and the question was if these people were entitled to be considered under what is referred to as the Stipp Window and Mr. Klaver has indicated probably not. Mayor McLallen then asked if they wanted to consider a new retro-active window for these two gentlemen, would they legally have to find some other avenue to do it.

Mr. Fried suggested if the Council intends to move forward on it, that they do it subject to the legality of it, and if they were going to adopt it allowing them that relief, they do it subject to determining whether it was valid or not and then if it is invalid, they wonít get the benefit of it. Mayor McLallen asked if that discussion would be permissible in this eveningís Executive Session and Mr. Fried said yes.

Mr. Klaver also pointed out that they have one other potential problem in that MERS has a restriction of no more than two retirement windows in any one five-year period and he did not believe it has been five years since they offered the original window that they did approximately four years ago, so that is another potential problem if it was their intention to create a new opportunity and that could be a difficulty as well.

Mayor McLallen said she understood the intention was just to commit them to be included in this window and the question that needs to be answered was if that was legal and Mr. Fried added under the Stipp Window.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-01-009: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

CM-96-01-010: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Warrant Number 454 in the total amount of $787,748.63.

DISCUSSION

Councilman Mitzel said the original copy at this end of the table for signatures has #26 scratched off with the word "void" written through it and also has #213 scratched off. Councilman Mitzel said he didnít know whose writing it is and Mr. Gibson indicated that would come out of his department.

Mayor McLallen said the two items in question are Item #26 which is a reimbursement for Parks Supplies in the amount of $90.06 and the other was Item #213, which was zero dollars.

Councilwoman Mutch asked if a park forfeit fee refund was the same as a park program fee refund. Councilman Crawford explained a forfeit fee is usually what is paid by softball teams to ensure they are going to be there and pay the umpire and if they do everything they are suppose to do, they get their forfeit back and it was different than a park program fee refund.

Mayor McLallen said obviously the amount she quoted would be different by $90.06.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-01-010: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

Approval of Beck/West Property Purchase Agreement and Approval of Payment of Purchase Deposit.

Mr. Fried called to the Councilís attention the fact that the formal agreement which he has brought to the Council was a little different than the one they have in their packets only by way of the legal description as there were some errors that have now been corrected.

 

CM-96-01-011: Motion by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the property purchase agreement with the corrected legal description of Beck/West Property and Payment of Deposit as presented and authorize signing by the Mayor and Clerk.

DISCUSSION

Mayor McLallen wanted to confirm that the Payment of Deposit at this time that is being authorized, is merely the $1,000 deposit not the full-price of the property and Mr. Fried said that was correct. Councilman Mitzel said his motion should also include approval of payment of deposit.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-01-011: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Luis Mejia, 41720 Eight Mile, discussed Time Warner Cable. He said the Cable Commission was composed of six members two of which are here, and they are making the decisions for people. He discussed the rate increase and felt the people donít have a say and whatever Time Warner wants they get. He felt competition would bring better services and better prices for the community. He felt neither gentlemen on the Commission has done anything about the competition and they are protecting the monopoly of Time Warner.

Mr. Mejia said that Mr. Kriewall told him personally that Time Warner was going to get the franchise anyway so he is depriving the rest of the citizens of competition. He felt there were many irregularities in this Commission. He said he has been at the meetings and the Commission is going along with everything that Time Warner says. He said that Time Warner just paid 50 million dollars to the head of HBO which is Time Warner, which will be reflected in the payments and he didnít feel they should get the rate increase.

Mr. Mejia asked Mr. Kriewall why he told him that this company was going to get the franchise anyway because that isnít right.

Mr. Kriewall explained in this particular instance, he told him under the current law, unless they find some reason to deny a franchise continuation, they were going to get renewed. That is the way the law is set up and regulated by Federal Government. He said the Council has heard the same comments from their attorneys.

Mr. Kriewall said in terms of competition, he felt the advent of telephone companies getting into cable will provide plenty of competition in the near future. It is a tough Commission in terms of negotiating contracts, extensions and renewals and they were going to extract all they could out of Time Warner even if they have to renew their franchise. They have limitations under the law, in terms of extending franchises. He said he would like things to be different however they are not because of the laws and regulations that deal with cable franchise renewal. He felt Mr. Mejiaís appeal should be to their Federal representatives to change the national laws as they regulate cable.

Mr. Mejia indicated that other cities are bringing in competition so why not Novi. Mr. Kriewall explained they have a non-exclusive franchise for cable TV and anyone can come in here and build a cable system, however, they should know that with the advent of telephone systems getting into the cable service, no one is interested in building cable because it is probably a risky business. Mr. Kriewall indicated this Commission looked at the potential of buying the cable franchise about a year ago and it was felt they might not want to buy this cable company at market value, when the phone companies are getting into the cable business very shortly.

Mr. Kriewall said companies are selling cable franchises because of the potential risk of new technology, the small dishes and the advent of telephone companies getting into the cable business. There are a number of reasons that competition will be limited in terms of cable companies getting into the cable business, however, there will be plenty of competition when the phone companies get into it and it will take care of itself.

Mr. Mejia said something was brought up in September about refunds from Time Warner to the old customers.

Mayor McLallen indicated the City of Novi is currently in renegotiations with the Cable franchise and unfortunately, the entire cable industry at the same time, is going as Mr. Kriewall indicated. He said in this 18 month period that the Cable Commission, known as SWOCC, has been negotiating, there was an instance where some of the charges were pointed out to Time Warner and some of that is being worked out.

Mayor McLallen indicated there is also a letter in this Councilís packet to date and it was on the table this evening. There is a letter dated January 4th from Karen Collins, who is the Executive Director of SWOCC pointing out that there has been a rate increase that has gone out and SWOCC itself is receiving a number of complaints concerning this. The rate increase is not across the board and in some particular service choices, there are actually decreases.

Mayor McLallen closed the Audience Participation.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Councilman Mitzel indicated on December 13, 1995 there was a SEMCOG area-wide Water Quality Board Meeting and in Kathleen Levyís report from the Detroit Water and Sewer Department, she indicated that they were looking at revising their Industrial Pre-Treatment Ordinance. They also have a Water Restriction Ordinance Task Force in place that is looking at standardizing and designing uniform ordinances for all the communities within the system regarding water restrictions for summer use which would have all communities on the same level.

Councilman Mitzel said Ms. Levy also mentioned that the 72" water line is scheduled for completion in July of 1996 and should be providing service in August. They are also looking at designing additional feeds and/or possible above ground water storage in the Wixom/Walled Lake area for the system for pressure problems and also to help supply the Flint area. He said the Board also looked at a proposal to acquire Stoney Island which is off Grosse Ile and the Detroit River.

Councilwoman Mutch said when they discussed Committee Assignments, Councilwoman Cassis had said she would consider representing SEMCOG and she wondered if she had made a decision and Councilwoman Cassis said she would pass if someone else was interested and Councilwoman Mutch said she would consider serving.

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

Mayor McLallen referenced her letter to Council noting that the Goal Session similar to the one that they had last year was tentatively scheduled for Monday, January 29th at Tollgate Farms, Conference Room.

 

MANAGERíS REPORT

Mr. Kriewall reported on the Center Ice Proposal and the amendments that the City Attorney has drafted. He noted that the agreement is tentatively approved by Mr. Seyler and will be incorporated to the amended agreement which Council should have by January 22nd. He explained the other reason for the delay was that the Parks & Rec Commission has chosen to do a Community Information Study meeting on January 17th prior to the January 22nd Council meeting, where they will present a reiteration of the proposal that has been developed to date. Anyone interested can attend.

Mr. Kriewall reported the reason the School Property Exchange is not on the Agenda is because Mr. Bugbee has been on vacation and the School Board Attorney wants to meet with their attorney regarding the language. He felt the meeting would be scheduled some time this week or next. He said the School Property Exchange Agreement should be back to Council on the 22nd for approval.

Mr. Kriewall reported that the Municipal Pool Committee has been meeting very actively and studying several options in terms of locations and scope and they fully intend to meet their April 1st deadline set by their charge.

Mr. Kriewall indicated the holiday traffic was heavy for most of the season, but they were quite pleased with it. The only time there was a problem was on December 9th when there was severe weather. He indicated the Mall utilized the Expo Center and Wyndham Office Building for parking for employees. Fortunately the Expo Center activity was light in December and that worked well with the holiday rush in terms of minimizing traffic.

Mr. Kriewall said there was a problem with the Novi Auto Wash and he went up there on Saturday and people were actually spilling out into the northbound traffic lanes. He talked with Mr. Nowicki to work something out. They are going to install some signage at the intersection indicating that parking and standing is prohibited in the area. He said it was a serious traffic hazard and he didnít know if they could control it but they would be working with the Road Commission this week to try to get something implemented very soon.

Mr. Kriewall reported that the opening of Decker Road at 12 1/2 Mile is functioning reasonably well. The major problem is still the back-up between 12 and 12 1/2 Mile on Novi Road. He indicated he also discussed the timing of the project with Mr. Nowicki and it looks like they are going to let that project within the next 60 days and one way or the other that project should be under construction by late spring or early summer with completion this year.

Mr. Kriewall indicated Council received a memo regarding concerns over the existing 36" water main that is underneath the future roadway at that location and they are working with the State Highway Department on some alternative approaches to paralleling that water main should it be damaged with traffic or construction in that area. He should have some recommendations by the next regular Council meeting.

Mr. Kriewall reported that Wixom Road was open for traffic all the way from Ten Mile to Grand River.

Mr. Kriewall they would probably bring back to City Council Committee recommendations, and their draft report on the Taft Road extension at their next regular Council meeting in January for their review.

Mr. Kriewall said that Main Street paving was shut down for winter. The did get the asphalt down to replace the section of Market Street along side of Vicís Markets, so that there were two access drives over the holidays.

 

ATTORNEYíS REPORTS - None.

 

APPROVAL OF TRAFFIC CONTROL ORDER 95-96 - PROHIBIT LEFT TURNS FROM THE ELIAS BROS. DRIVEWAY ON TO FONDA STREET.

Councilman Mitzel indicated he pulled this for the same reason he pulled it the last time he had asked about looking into not prohibiting turns 24 hours a day. Mr. Kriewall said they would bring it back at the next meeting.

 

APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION, RE: COMPUTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE - SETTING CHARGE OF COMMITTEE.

Councilman Schmid said this appears to be a Resolution by Mr. Toth. He pulled this because he was curious as to what prompted it and whether it may or may not be a good idea. He had questions about what is power to conduct, "whatever scientific assessment exhibitions and/or association investigations needed." He said there was no memo as to Administration recommending it or not.

Mr. Gibson explained the cover sheet was his recommendation. The basic reason for it was that there are so many things going on in this City computer-wise and the Committee felt it was important that it all be passed through the Committee, just so it all ties together and all fits, rather than have certain things done and then not fit.

Mr. Gibson said there are many things going on now as far as the scientific research or whatever that reference was, and he felt that was to participate in demonstrations. He said for example right now the Committee is involved in helping the Police Department look at demonstrations of systems that might meet their needs, so he thought that was what that reference was for.

Councilman Schmid indicated the wording in the Resolution was, "Whatever scientific assessment exhibitions and/or association investigations needed to properly appraise each productís proclaimed technical significance and breadth." Councilman Schmid asked if this Committee had a budget for doing business and Mr. Gibson said no they donít spend any money.

Councilman Schmid continued with, "Furthermore, the Computer Advisory Committee shall labor with the Finance Director and Department Heads on the Annual Budget for all proposed computer hardware/software under consideration for lease, purchase, and/or acceptance into the Cityís electronic intelligence and processing systems and shall present appropriate budgetary and financial recommendations to the City Council and City Administration during the Annual Budget Hearings each year."

Councilman Schmid asked if they were going to present to the Council their Budget and Mr. Gibson said they will be in regarding some of the PC needs, but for the most part, it is the committee who will be assisting the using departments. For example, with the Police Department, the Committee will make a recommendation as to the technical merits of a particular system that is being selected.

Councilman Schmid said it probably has some merit. He said it then goes on to say, "Now therefore, be it resolved the City Council and City Administration hereby charges the Computer Advisory Committee with the responsibility of reviewing and providing appropriate intellectual, experienced, and cost-effective recommendations to the City Council and City Administration before any computer hardware and/or software under consideration for lease, purchase and/or acceptance into the Cityís electronic intelligence and processing systems is authorized and funded." He said so everything has to pass through this Committee and Mr. Gibson said yes that was the intent, just to make sure everything fits together.

Mr. Kriewall indicated he met with the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Marino, and their simple concern is that they are riding on so many tracks simultaneously. He said there is the GIS systems with Wayne State University who has all kinds of approaches to data collection and handling, the Police Department wants to do something. They are just concerned that this whole thing may not really work until there is a central coordination point. He felt it was a good use for that committee because they have spent a lot of time and effort developing the technical aspect of this program and if some part of it gets ahead of other parts, they could be in real trouble.

Councilman Schmid said he appreciated Mr. Kriewallís explanation and at no time was he suggesting that the Committee was not a hard-working Committee. He felt it would have been appropriate if there had been a memo that Mr. Kriewall had approached this Committee or at least met with the Committee and recommended this to the City Council.

Councilman Mitzel suggested they postpone this until their next meeting because it looks like it was a total replacement of the current charge/resolution of the Committee, which has terms and other things that they are suppose to do and if they want to add something or clarify something. He felt it should be an amendment to the resolution which currently exists for that Committee and Council doesnít have in front of them.

Councilman Mitzel said his second concern was the "Now, therefore" paragraph seems to give the Committee a clean slate to do whatever and maybe even incur expenses. That is something that will have to be clarified.

Councilman Mitzel said although he agreed with the need for making sure all of their computer infrastructure fits together, he didnít want to create another bureaucratic approval process. He said if the Committee wishes to have things go through them, they should say it can go through them, but they have to act on it within a certain time frame and if they donít act within a certain time frame, then the Department Heads are free to continue their business.

 

CM-96-01-012: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer this matter back to Administration for clarification of those issues and consideration of the current Resolution authorizing the Committee and how that should be amended to accomplish the goals the Committee wishes to have.

DISCUSSION

Councilwoman Mutch said it was just not a concern about the possibility that they were going down a new funding path but things could get bottled up. She felt this was wide-ranging and it says, "before any computer hardware and/or software under consideration...." She said that was a tremendous amount of power to have in the hands of a small group of people. She agreed with Councilman Mitzel to look at the original resolution to see what parts of it they want to amend.

Councilman Clark said he keeps noticing the words, "electronic intelligence" throughout this agreement and that disturbs him greatly. He felt this was an informational gathering system and not an electronic intelligence and if this is going to be reworked, that is one thing he would like to see and also reworked into plain English.

Councilman Clark said it was hard for him to decipher where this is going and what is proposed to do, except that it certainly seems clear that it carves out potentially a great deal of power for a handful of people. He would take out the concept of electronic intelligence and substitute for electronic information and application systems.

Councilman Crawford concurred with all comments made. He appreciated Councilman Schmid flagging this because he had thought it was just a reaffirmation of their present charge, but now that they have discussed it, it is way beyond that. He would expect this to come back as an action item and not a Consent Agenda item since.

Councilman Schmid felt there was considerable concern and he wanted to be sure the committee does not get the impression that they donít appreciate the Committeeís activity and work, but they just needed a little clarification exactly as to what the Committee is entitled and empowered to do.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-01-012: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION RE: FISCAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.

Councilwoman Cassis said the recommended action was to formalize the Cityís Budget policies and procedures as recommended by the Government Finance Officers Association. They have a memo from their Budget Analyst who indicated, in conjunction with their Public Information Director, they were working on a distinguished Budget presentation award application which was sponsored by the Government Finance Officers Association and as part of that application, they need a Budget policy and procedures section.

Councilwoman Cassis spoke with Mr. Kriewall earlier today and it goes beyond just a criteria to allow them to put in an application for an award. She did have some questions and asked if this would meet the financial policy that has been developed and would it meet their needs inn terms of policy, budget forecasting and capital improvement.

Mr. Kriewall said based on that meeting today, there was one sentence that needs to be eliminated. Item #4 on the financial policies, capital improvement policies page, Budget 3, Item #4, "The City will try and insure that prime commercial/industrial acreage is provided with the necessary infrastructure to meet the market demand for this property." He said that doesnít need to be there and it was almost a developmental philosophy that they must have brought along from some other example and he missed it, but it could be stricken.

Councilman Mitzel said he thought originally that he had suggested that Council sometime set aside a study session to discuss their Budget process and their Budget procedures and he didnít know if they ever scheduled it. Was he recalling it correctly and Mayor McLallen said yes. Councilman Mitzel felt that was almost a more appropriate forum to discuss something like this. He believed they need some formalized policy on how they do their Budget process, but he didnít think at this point in time, they could work their way through this.

Councilman Mitzel said he realized part of the reason it is here is because City Administration is trying to apply for some type of award, but he felt there were enough other words right now in their Budget. He felt it would be well worth getting their other work done at this point.

Moved by Mitzel, MOTION DIED FOR LACK OF SUPPORT: To postpone this item to a Budget Study Session at some future date to be rescheduled.

 

DISCUSSION

Mr. Kriewall said if they look at the entire statement aside from the one sentence he missed, it is really a collection of what they do right now. There is nothing new and nothing innovative. He said it is almost like an index to a book, this being the Budget Book and it outlines the policies, strategies, and thoughts that they have always brought to their Budget process. He didnít think there is anything that changes. He said they were going to develop their Budget this year, the same as they have done in the past.

Mr. Kriewall explained what they were trying to do is to provide a better "cookbook" to City Council, something that is more readable, presentable, and workable, that gives better information to make their Budget decisions on. He said that was the charge he has given to Mr. Gibson, the new Budget Analyst, and the new Public Information Director. He indicated over the years, he has collected good examples of Budget presentations from other communities and they were trying to extract the best from all of those documents to give Council a better document.

Mr. Gibson commented that the GFOA is the Finance Officers Association and the award itself is not the important part. He said what they have done is set up certain criteria that they feel every Budget should include and this happens to be part of that criteria, so it is providing us with a checklist and they have some examples of what other communities have done in preparing a Budget document.

Councilman Schmid said on one hand he felt it made some sense to get some guidelines and on the other hand, having read this, he has a few questions.

Councilman Schmid said it looks like it is putting them in a role that maybe they would want to do or not. He didnít know if they adopt this, that it says we are going to do it. For example, Revenue Policies on the third page Item #4 says, "The City will establish all user charges and fees at a level related to the full cost (operating, direct, indirect and capital) of providing the service." Continued with Item #5, "The City will review fees/charges annually and will design or modify revenue systems to include provisions that automatically allow charges to grow at a rate that keeps pace with the cost of providing the service." He asked if that is what they do today? He didnít think they automatically do that. Mr. Kriewall said no they donít. Councilman Schmid felt Council usually receives some comparables and then they make a decision. Mr. Kriewall said they would still do that. Councilman Schmid felt that this would suggest that they do this automatically.

Councilman Schmid said his point is there are several things in here that need further explanation. He said under Capital Improvements Policies, Item #1, "The City will develop a multi-year plan for capital improvements, update it annually and make all capital improvements in accordance with the plan." He said maybe they can make the improvements or maybe they wonít. Mr. Kriewall indicated they could state, "attempt."

Councilman Schmid then said he didnít support Councilman Mitzelís motion, and in his opinion, he didnít know where it was coming from but it is restrictive in some cases and liberal in other places as to what the City can do and canít do. He asked if it was out of the book and was it normal.

Mr. Gibson replied this was based on the criteria recommended by the GFOA.

Councilman Schmid said that Mr. Kriewall pointed out one item, and he has pointed out another that should be changed. There are probably others and he wasnít sure how to address this issue.

Mr. Kriewall suggested bringing this back to the next meeting and the Council could take another look at what is in there.

Councilman Crawford stated he had some concerns as to what certain lines mean. He referred to one under Operating Budget Policies, the whole statement, but in particular, the last sentence, "No new services will be added without appropriate trade-offs." He asked what does that mean, and does it mean that they do not add anything unless they eliminate something.

Councilman Crawford said he had a problem with under Revenue Policies, Item #5, and then also Item #4 which states, "User charges and fees related to the full cost of providing the services." That probably wouldnít work in some Parks & Rec Programs, for instance, an Easter Egg Hunt and he didnít even know if they do that now, but those kinds of things typically cost more than the revenue brought in. He said if they adopted this, were they going to come back some day and state they better do it this way, when in the past, they had more flexibility. Mr. Kriewall suggested bringing it back after it is reviewed.

Councilman Crawford asked was this to have a policy adopted that would allow you to apply for a type of an award or grant, and is that where it initiated from.

Mr. Gibson explained where it started, but the whole concept of the certification by the Municipal Finance Officers Association, is a healthy experience because what it does is it has certain criteria that it expects every Budget to have in it. This happens to be part of that criteria and it was not the award per se.

Councilman Crawford felt it was something they probably should discuss and adopt eventually but as it relates to whatever this application is they would like to present, is there something a little more generic or general that could be presented that would fulfill the requirements without being as specific as some of the items mentioned. Mr. Gibson said yes, these can be modified.

Councilwoman Mutch felt what would be useful would be to know if this is drawn from recommended policies, not just that they need to have a capital improvements policy and have debt policies. She said they need to have revenue policies, but the things that are actually listed here, are things that are recommended. She felt what would be useful would be to know which one of these do what we currently have in place and which one do we already use.

Councilwoman Mutch then referred to Capital Improvements Policies, Item #5,c: "Projects which duplicate other public and/or private services will not be considered." She said there goes the golf course, there goes the ice arena if they extend it beyond Novi, and she didnít know by what standard the duplication is considered to be duplication.

Councilwoman Mutch referred also to the use of priorities, under #5, a-d, the City will use the following criteria to evaluate the relative merit of each capital project and various items which are listed. It states something will receive priority consideration, etc., which doesnít say anything to her.

Councilwoman Mutch was also concerned about Items #4 and #5 under Revenue Policies. She would be concerned if you establish a policy that says, "The City will establish all user charges and fees at a level related to the full cost of providing the service." She said that might eliminate the ability of any department of the City or any action of Council to provide those services that the community wants and needs and is willing to have subsidized by their taxes. She felt this states there should be a resident fee.

 

CM-96-01-113: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark: MOTION CARRIED: To send this back to Administration to fine tune and then bring back to Council.

DISCUSSION

Councilman Mitzel asked that they consider putting time frames into this policy. The Capital Improvements Policy, which has been discussed quite a bit, has a Capital Improvements plan process in committee in place that prioritizes ranks and is suppose to follow through and they have had chronic problems in the past with getting the work done in time for Budget, and like-wise a time frame in this type of policy. He believed in another 2 1/2 months, the Budget must be presented, late March or early April.

Mayor McLallen indicated she was very pleased this was brought forward and she felt it would make this yearís Budget process much more productive and focused.

 

VOTE ON CM-96-01-013: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

COMMUNICATIONS

Councilman Schmid said there was a memo from Kay Schmid, The County Commissioner, regarding the SMART cut of Municipal Credit Dollars and are they going to do anything about that. Mr. Kriewall replied he felt they should be writing some letters in pursuit of what Ms. Schmid has outlined and they should also get their Lobbyist involved. He will follow through if Council has no objections.

Councilman Schmid said another issue he had was Dave Jayeís letter, Re: City of Detroitís Extra Millions at Expense of Suburbs. Mr. Kriewall said he read that and would work with their Lobbyist on that item also.

Mayor McLallen indicated there was a letter received from Timothy Kosinski regarding Neighborhood Conflicts. She called him to discuss this matter. The City Administration and appropriate departments have responded and Mr. Kosinski is very pleased with the response, but very frustrated by his situation. He still likes the City very much despite his difficult situation.

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business before the City Council, the meeting was recessed at 10:45 P.M.

 

 

_____________________________________ _____________________________________

Mayor City Clerk

 

 

 

Date approved: ________________________