REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI

THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 1996 - 7:30 PM

NOVI CIVIC CENTER - ACTIVITIES ROOM - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

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

 

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

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Edward F. Kriewall, City Clerk Tonni Bartholomew, Novi Public Library Brenda Evans, Library Board Member Jim Evenhuis, Public Information Director Lou Martin, Planning Consultant Brandon M. Rogers, Planning Commission Chairperson Laura Lorenzo, Planning Commissioner Eda Weddington, Finance Director/Treasurer Les Gibson, Planning Director Jim Wahl, Senior Staff Planner Greg Capote, Staff Planner Steve Cohen, Landscape Architect Linda Lemke, Assistant Treasurer Steve Babinchak

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Mr. Kriewall asked Council if they would move Item 6, General Administration to the bottom of the list because he would prefer that Mrs. Kalinovik be present during the discussion. Mayor McLallen felt that the budget was very straightforward and moved it to Item 9.

 

 

CM-96-04-154: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.

 

Vote on CM-96-04-154: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

Nay: None

 

PURPOSE OF MEETING:

 

1996-97 BUDGET STUDY SESSION

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

 

 

PROPOSED BUDGET REVIEW:

 

1. Library

 

Brenda Evans indicated they have had smaller expenditures and reported that the Fund Balance is at about 10% of the proposed 1996-97 Budget. Jim Evenhuis then discussed the changes for the Personnel Services.

Mr. Evenhuis said the increase of Personnel Services proposed for 1996-97 is from $776,200 to $871,000 and there are three factors involved. One is a 3% staff wage increase of $23,460 out of the $95,390 increase and added they would also like to hire two part-time employees. He said this is going to be the year of the Internet for the Novi Public Library and they plan to establish ten full service work stations at the Library and hire a part-time Internet Librarian to instruct staff and patrons within the next few months. He said the other person would be a ten hour computer systems technician to help keep the computerized system going.

 

Mr. Evenhuis said the remaining $40,000 is for attracting top quality personnel, especially in terms of a Librarian. He reported they have had a turnover this past year of four professional Librarians and over the past couple of years, they have been searching for the reasons why. He said one big reason is money. They have consulted neighboring libraries about salary averages, but they have not yet satisfactorily addressed the problem.

Mr. Evenhuis said they contacted Plante Moran earlier this year and asked if they would work with them on a compensation/pay/equity survey. The survey was completed in late winter and early spring and they came up with the chart that Ms. Evans has. This chart showed that the libraryís pay scale is somewhat behind in almost all of the pay categories. Further, Plante Moran recommended that they enter a three year makeup program to get themselves marketed competitively with the other topnotch Libraries in Oakland and Western Wayne Counties and become a world-class library. He said there are wonderful librarians coming out of the University of Michigan, School of Information and Library Study and also Wayne Stateís Library Program and they are finding that the top graduates go to the libraries that pay the most.

 

Mr. Evenhuis said after the Plante Moran study, they began the makeup program this past year. Further, they have allocated $40,000 to do the main part of the makeup program during 1996-97. He said this will make them competitive with the Librarians and with the Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, and Rochester Hills libraries. He noted that these libraries are rated as the top libraries. Mr. Evenhuis reported that it would make them more competitive as far as getting top quality people on staff to serve Novi in the best way possible.

 

Ms. Brenda Evans said they were pleased to have the framework and believes it will help them maintain their level of service. She explained the ranges are based on telephone surveys and a data survey in cities with population and circulation similar to Noviís.

 

Councilman Schmid said in the first year, there are some considerable raises to some and only three percent to others. He noted the Director had a four percent increase.

 

 

Mayor McLallen asked if this budget is normally funded by its own millage which has not been asked to increase? Ms. Evans said the Mayor was correct.

 

Councilman Schmid pointed out that the capital is down dramatically. Ms. Evans explained the capital outlay is down because they constructed a parking lot last year.

 

Councilman Schmid asked what happens next year when they need capital? Mayor McLallen noted that they have a healthier fund balance than any of the other city departments. Further, their fund balance is still a little above the accepted amount even after these increases.

 

Mr. Evenhuis said even with Internet, the fund balance is still 10%.

 

Mr. Kriewall indicated Mr. Klaver could do a comparison, but he would not recommend a comparison against Southfield or Farmington Hills.

 

Mayor McLallen appreciated that offer, but felt they have already done the research. She explained this is a dedicated millage and there is no general funding in their budget. Further, she believes they have done a good job.

 

Councilman Schmid asked why should they have a review? Mayor McLallen said this case is slightly different in that the citizens have said this use gets every penny of this money.

Councilman Schmid said the Library has control of their budget and how to spend.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford stated he doesnít care if Council has any control on how the Library spends their funds. He said Council has always supported the Library and its Administration. Council listens to what the Library is doing, gives their input and then the Library does what they want. Mayor ProTem Crawford doesnít believe Council should have any authority over how the Library should spend. Mayor ProTem Crawford thought Councilís policy in the past was if the Library comes before Council and asks for additional general funds to help supplement their Budget, then Council has the authority to say yes or no. Further, Mayor ProTem Crawford hopes the Library would listen to what Council has to say, but when it gets down to the bottom line, the Library Board and their Administration control their budget, not Council.

 

Councilman Clark agrees Mayor ProTem Crawfordís comments. However, he feels Council does have limited control and thinks their function is to oversee the Library Board and to prevent problems down the road. Councilman Clark has no qualms about updating the Libraryís salaries.

 

Mr. Evenhuis said they appreciate Councilís advice.

Councilwoman Mutch stated if the Plante Moran figures back up what has been presented, they can probably see there has been a salary gap and the Library Board has managed to save the City a lot of money because of salaries and benefits.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said the bottom line is Council does not appoint the Library Board. One reason Novi has a Library governed by a Library Board that hires its own director who in turn hires its own staff is because it takes away from the fluctuations of politics from one year to the next.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said there is no question that the Library is a service and they are answerable to citizens.

 

Mayor McLallen asked for Council consensus.

 

Councilman Mitzel felt it was still up to Library to decide.

 

Councilman Crawford said Council has the survey from Plante Moran and he did not feel it was necessary.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said she had the same feelings. Further, Ms. Evans said in her presentation that they tried to get a comparable based on all things and assumes the Administrative Staff looked for similar size, responsibility and activities.

 

Ms. Evans gave an overview about why they selected Plante Moran.

 

Mayor McLallen said there appears to be a majority consensus to direct Administration to do a survey that will substantiate or make a starting point.

 

Councilman Schmid said he didnít have a lot of problems with the survey, but he did have problems with jumping that high in one year.

 

Mayor McLallen thanked the Library and wished the new people good luck.

 

 

2. Public Information Department

 

Mayor McLallen reported the appropriation requested for $414,834 is less than last yearís request. She further stated the department has a new staff member, Mr. Lou Martin. Mayor McLallen said the department is essentially a one-person department whose primary function is public relations with the citizens, the media and other communities. She further advised that Mr. Martin will serve as the point person and coordinator for many community activities.

 

 

Mr. Martin referred to line item, Operating Supplies, which has a $600 increase. Mr. Martin explained that number represents a publishing software package and the production of brochures, etc. He believes the more in-house control they can have, the more value it would be to the department. He said Cable Productions show an increase of $800 because it reflects a 4% adjustment for inflation.

 

Mr. Martin reported the City Calendar line item reflects a $1,800 increase because of the 1995 postage rate increase. Further, there is a $1,170 increase for Printing and Publishing for the purchase of the atriumís display cases.

 

Mr. Martin said the costs reflected in Other Services and Charges is preventative maintenance for the projector in the Council Room and the $500 cost represents the remounting of the camera in the Council Chamber.

 

Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Martin to comment on Tuition Reimbursement. Mr. Martin replied he did not expect to take time off-site for the next fiscal year, but he planned for time off in the next fiscal year.

 

Mayor McLallen noted the Capital Outlay line item requested the purchase of software to enable the printing of certain matter and asked if the City has a color printer? Mr. Gibson replied there are plans to install one on the network.

 

Councilwoman Cassis complimented Mr. Martin by stating the first year was outstanding and commented about the use of ads. She further stated this Budget reflects a significant decrease.

 

Mr. Martin believes the $32,000 cost for a calendar is high and suggested that he could get a better price. He said there are other possibilities such as contracting a local firm to produce them without reducing the quality of the calendar.

 

Councilwoman Cassis expressed concern about the quality of the calender and suggested that they experiment for one year.

 

Mayor McLallen said at this point, the bottom line of the Public Information Budget would be adjusted $2,000 to include Mr. Martinís decision about the Conference and Workshops.

Councilwoman Mutch asked for a brief explanation about Cable productions?

 

Mr. Martin replied they are looking to add to the base of Government and at producing

the City Service Directory brochure internally.

 

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked how much time did the Cable take? Mr. Martin replied it took about 25%. He said they now have two producers, but added it is easy to lose access producers. Further, Mr. Martin believes they currently have a good situation.

 

 

3. Planning Commission

 

Laura Lorenzo, Chairperson for the Planning Commission believes the Committee has prepared a reasonable and responsible Budget. Further, she said they have tried to address issues and challenges so that they can move into the twenty-first century.

 

Eda Weddington, Planning Commissioner, indicated their request addresses an increase of $5,600 for consultant retainers. She reported there has been no increase for Mr. Rogers and Mr. Arroyo in the past five years. She further reported that the consultants will now provide an additional four hours per week Wednesday afternoons. Member Weddington advised that they also appropriated $1,500 for special studies such as updates on the wetland and woodland maps.

 

Mayor McLallen said the request for this department is a slight increase over last year and the bulk of that is support for Consultant Services and Special Studies.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked what did the $27,300 under Communications and Liaisons provide?

 

Mayor McLallen stated that the presentation of the information frustrates Council. Further, Council received this Budget four meetings ago and this represents all the information that they received. The Mayor further believed all the information would be under separate cover. Instead, Council received two more sets of information from this department. Mayor McLallen believes this is outrageous and after last yearís Budget, Council told Administration to keep it simple, clear and on time.

 

Mayor McLallen believes Ms. Weddington provided Council with more information in the last five minutes, than they could learn in the last four days. Further, there was no need for the paper overkill because the Planning Commissioners were quite articulate in what they needed for the money. Mayor McLallen believes the Planning Commissionís presentation of information was a waste of staff time and money.

 

Mayor McLallen said they could cut the Planning Commissionís budget by at least 25% based upon staff time and materials it takes to produce these documents. The Mayor advised this is not the only document like this Council has received from this area of the City and it has to stop.

 

 

In response to Councilwoman Mutch, Ms. Weddington reported the Planning Commission has requested $10,000 for Maps, $4,000 for Newsletters, approximately $5,000 for Cable and $8,000 for Community Education.

 

Councilwoman Cassis asked for an explanation about the 34% increase in the consultantsí retainer. Mr. Wahl replied the total increase was for $28,000. He explained there was a $10,000 adjustment for Mr. Rogersí retainer, $3,600 was appropriated for Mr. Rogers and $3,600 for Mr. Arroyo for additional consulting services on Wednesdays and they requested $10,879 for Mr. Rogersí assistance with the Implementation Committee. Mr. Wahl reported the total request for the Traffic and Planning Consultant is $80,056 to $108,201.

 

Councilman Schmid said last yearís Budget was $228,000. Mr. Gibson explained they funded $156,000 out of the General Fund last year for a couple of additional studies.

 

Councilman Schmid asked for the dollar amount that Mr. Rogers and Mr. Arroyo generate?

 

Mayor McLallen said the question is, what is Mr. Rogersí gross revenue based on his time spent on behalf of the City of Novi?

 

Mr. Rogers replied his work load has increased for the past year to year and a half. He said he works exclusively for Novi and he does not represent any developer in Novi.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if there are any other studies proposed which they do not show? Ms. Weddington replied no.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked about the status of the studies approved last year?

 

Ms. Lorenzo replied they should complete them by the end of the budget year.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked about the implementation of the GIS system? Ms. Weddington replied that there is a plan to implement it and the cost is included in the budget.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if they plan to have a digitized system? Linda Lemke, Landscape Architect replied the cost would have doubled and their figure does not include this cost. Further, they planned to use the system as a reference source for futuring.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said even if they do not want to engage in a futuring process, it is a useful tool for planning decisions.

 

Councilman Schmid believes futuring should be a City Council function. He has a problem with futuring and thinks that they shouldnít get 10,000 people involved because it isnít their job. Further, it is a waste of the Planning Commission, the Planning Department and Novi citizensí money and time.

 

Mayor McLallen noted there is an increase in the appropriation for the Town Center planning. The Mayor believes the Town Center has reached a stage where they have already decided what should be there and further, there currently are many developments in progress. Mayor McLallen believes Council needs to discuss when they want to turn the function of the Town Center Steering Committee over to the private lenders. However, her question is about what significant project for the Town Center requires a $2,000 increase especially since they didnít use last yearís money.

 

Mr. Wahl replied the increase reflected in this budget is for the conceptual design of the ring road in the southwest quadrant.

 

Councilman Clark said he didnít think they were ready to sunset the Town Center Committee yet because they still need the oversight function. Further, because the developers know the City wants quality, they will work with them.

 

Councilman Crawford isnít convinced about how the studies are going to be implemented and what they are going to do with them once they have them. He asked once the Habitat Study is completed and they have all the data, how is that going to affect their decision or Councilís decision on environmental issues. Further, they have not convinced him about the usefulness of the studies and the several hundred dollars they have cost over the years.

 

Ms. Lorenzo said one purpose of the Habitat Study was to identify the critical habitats and their sensitive areas in the City of Novi.

 

Councilman Crawford asked what decisions have they made differently knowing that? Ms. Lorenzo replied they made one decision about the activity going on at the Tree Farm and added there are other issues that havenít actually made it to the Planning Commission yet. Ms. Lorenzo reported there are two main cores where they havenít seen a lot of development yet. One core is the Tree Farm and another is property in Section 32 in southwest Novi.

 

Councilman Crawford asked if Noviís ordinances permit those kinds of decisions to be made based on those studies? Ms. Lorenzo replied once they have identified the areas into areas which can be broken up, they can enhance the habitat. Further, wildlife and landscaping areas need to be identified and enhanced. She said the second part of the study was to try to begin incorporating those types of things into the ordinance, but added that they were not seeing the full benefit of that study yet.

 

Ms. Weddington said those studies are the building blocks for the Master Plan as well as for making recommendations for changes to the ordinance. She added that they also tried to get extra protections for the animals in Lakewood Preserve and Robin Nest.

 

Councilman Crawford asked about the $8,000 to $9,000 appropriated for updates.

 

Ms. Weddington replied they are proposing to update and certify the boundaries in more detail.

 

Councilman Crawford asked if this was another aerial survey? Ms. Lemke indicated that this was a map that updated classifications and boundaries that changed.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said the studies represent approximately 31%or one-third of the Budget and the consultantsí retainers supplement that. She added there is approximately $15,000 in differentiated studies that are unidentified.

 

Councilman Mitzel said they would authorize studies as they occur.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said she would rather see it as a budget amendment.

 

Mr. Wahl stated because of the way JCKís retainer is structured, he would like their retainer reviewed.

 

Councilman Clark said he would also rather have them shown as budget amendments and just because they are allocated, it doesnít mean they will be spent.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said based on history, they would be comfortable if they have this amount.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if $17,000 is appropriated for design build-out 20/20?

 

Mr. Wahl stated he would like the Master Plan to provide a more in-depth understanding of what is next and provide a proactive view of what development can do.

 

Ms. Lorenzo added that it will provide a visual of the whole picture.

 

Mr. Wahl said it will also express how unbuilt areas might look.

 

Councilman Crawford said that is great, but asked what do they do next year?

 

Mayor McLallen said this would reflect one-third of the budget if they only got the three most useful approved.

Councilwoman Cassis asked what is the bottom line for studies?

 

The Mayor replied it is either a fixed bottom line or they can choose the studies that they need.

 

Councilwoman Mutch added there will be a difference in what they request and what is actually spent.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said they are looking at a 0.5 mill tax increase. Further, they must be very prudent and justify what they are doing.

 

Councilwoman Mutch stated she understands the dilemma and she is supportive of the decrease, but the bottom line is that they should let them work it out.

 

Mayor McLallen advised they will recess for a break.

 

 

4. Community Development

 

James Wahl, Director of Planning and Community Development reported they are requesting one additional person.

 

Mayor McLallen asked what is records retention? Mr. Wahl explained records retention is the microfilming of the existing files.

 

Mayor McLallen asked how many site plans did the department process last year? Mr. Wahl replied, fifty four.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said sometimes potential project representatives, may be encouraging, helpful and all the positive things the City needs in terms of community development. However, when those same people are in a meeting where they are reviewing these things, the perception must be very confusing to the potential builders/developers and that is the reason why they should move into the direction of separating planning and community development functions

 

Councilman Schmid asked what the new person would do? Mr. Wahl explained the department currently does not have the time and resources to interact with the various agencies that perform functions at the County and the State level. Further, they donít have the capabilities to seek out high-tech firms or act as a filter for projects that may be problematic.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if they can assume that this person can show results in six months? Mr. Wahl said they have some assignments that they can work on immediately including making contact with the Cityís existing businesses.

 

 

5. Treasurer

 

Mayor McLallen said the proposed Budget is for $240,164 and although it is an increase, this request also includes an increase in personnel.

 

Steve Babinchak advised other than the additional personnel, he believes most of the fees and services represent what the department is actually experiencing. He said the primary reason for the request for additional personnel is to keep track of the increase in guarantees. He explained any time a developer, a builder or any other person contracts to provide a service, they generally require some form of a guarantee that they will heed the service they are going to provide. If they do not provide the service, they would then use that money to finish whatever the agreement was.

 

Mr. Gibson added part of the problem is that every department has those guarantees.

 

Mr. Babinchak reported the Treasury Department is responsible for depositing, investing and handling every dollar that moves through the City and in doing so, they must have a certain amount of time to do these things correctly. He added they are now at a point where they can no longer function properly with only two people.

 

Mr. Babinchak advised they are doing everything possible decrease the load and they are still in the dark ages. He reported they currently have no computers in the department other than the one he uses, but added they are requesting them. Even with the additional changes and the anticipated growth this year, Mr. Babinchak stated they are simply going to fail to perform their functions properly.

 

Mr. Gibson added Mr. Babinchak is referring to PCís when he is talking about computers.

 

Councilwoman Mutch has heard that some employees donít have computers yet. Some employees have indicated they are on a list and the computers that they purchased were approved in last yearís budget. Mr. Babinchak replied their department was not on the list. He added most of their functions have been on the Data General and the need for PCís has become more necessary.

 

 

6. City Clerk

 

Mayor McLallen reported the City Clerkís budget as presented is requesting $390,958 and is much less than last yearís request. The Clerk is also requesting one new staff person.

 

 

Mrs. Bartholomew explained their department is grossly behind in a lot of the daily tasks. For example, she reported the filing has not been done for about three years and it is currently stacking up because there is no time for it.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew said they have a filing system that at best is horrible because of the lack of staff time. Further, the files have a severe case of duplication and multiple copies. Mrs. Bartholomew added the department is currently violating the fire retention/destruction policy which State law has mandated.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew said she would estimate that it would take one person three years to get the files to where they should be. Further, this estimate does not take into consideration that the department will probably get roughly an additional one hundred pages to file every day. She explained to file the central documents they put them into approximately ten categories, such as a Road File or a Site Plan File. She added they also have to file contracts.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew stated the department has also had a drastic increase in voter registration and the number of people that come to the counter daily. She reported there has been a law change that now mandates that they handle and process every single registration no matter whether it is a new voter or a duplicate registration. She further explained they now have to track each registration by Federal law, where in the past if it was a duplicate they could throw it away. In addition, they have to report all these figures to the State and Federal government which is a major undertaking because the software is about twelve years old and is unable to track this information. Further, it does not perform all the functions that Federal law mandates them to do.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew said that is the reason they have asked for voter registration software and since she has put this request together, the State of Michigan has notified her that Novi qualifies for a voter file computer, a laser printer, software and a direct hook up to the State of Michigan which is similar to the Secretary of Stateís Office. Further, Novi would be on line, which is both good and bad. She explained their office would have to run two concurrent systems for a year, so it is double work. Mrs. Bartholomew has requested that the State use them as a Beta site because Novi is going to have to do it either now or in six months. She explained if they do it now, Novi will be one of the first five and their questions about the new system will be considered as a priority.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew reported that this will decrease, but she isnít certain by how much. She also doesnít know how the qualified voter file is going to be affected. In addition, she advised they will still have to address the software, so she has left the figure as it is because she has no idea what their needs will be.

 

 

Mrs. Bartholomew stated if there is a number one priority in the department, Business Registrations would be it. She explained they process more than fifteen hundred Business Registrations manually and until her arrival, they actually typed them on a typewriter. Mrs. Bartholomew explained they could free up a staff person by automating that function for approximately $3,500. Further, she believes there is a drastic need for improving this function because the current system only allows them to look up businesses by their names. Mrs. Bartholomew feels this could be a public service and would provide shared information among the other departments who are also involved in the process.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew reported she also requested a fire resistant filing cabinet for records retention because the City has only one copy of its history. She further stated if they succumb to any kind of disaster, they will destroy the history and they cannot rebuild it.

Mrs. Bartholomew estimated that there are approximately 45,000 pieces of paper that need microfilming and that is a figure that will remain constant. She advised although the bulk would go away, there would still be an annual amount that they would have to budget for. She said she has researched laser-fiche, which is record retention on a CD- ROM, however, it is not approved as a permanent source of back up.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew said she does not intend to destroy their hard copies. She advised the laser-fiche would only serve as a back up copy. She said if they decided to microfilm the documents they could destroy the hard copies, but she doesnít see that they would want to do that. Mrs. Bartholomew recommends the laser-fiche because it is less expensive and it is compatible with the computer network. Although Mrs. Bartholomew does not anticipate it for this year, she feels compelled to let Council know about the need because it is something they can plan for.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew said because so many different things are happening within the department, like the number of elections, that she and her staff are reacting right now.

 

 

Mrs. Bartholomew said there is some concern about the number of committee meetings and suggested that perhaps they can streamline them by recording them instead of having a person there. Although she admits it is probably only a small portion, they are paying high dollars for staff overtime for attending meetings. Mrs. Bartholomew sited the Computer Committee as an example. She explained the minutes for this committee are approximately thirty behind because they want detailed minutes. Mrs. Bartholomew told her staff to provide them with an overview because that is all they can do at this time. She added if they need more information, they can add it later. Further, because they are a committee, they are required to produce minutes, but she didnít feel they needed to be extensive.

 

 

Councilwoman Mutch said Ordinance provides for a Secretary for the Historical Commission. She reported she took minutes as the secretary for six years and would just record the highlights of the meeting. She suggested that they discuss this with Mr. Klaver and if they have to do it, they will be careful in what they record. Further, she didnít think they would need a lot. The main question is what format should the minutes take? She reported that none of the Historical Commission members wanted to be the secretary and as a result, they were forced to take turns which meant each member followed a different format.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew reported the department types the minutes which a provided in draft form by the Historical Commission. As a result, this format saves the department three hours of overtime. Mrs. Bartholomew believes if something similar could be done with the other committees, then they could eliminate the staff person from attending the meeting and there would be a great savings in overtime costs. She said it is getting to the point where her staff does not want to attend these meetings.

 

Councilman Crawford asked if there is a standard format for all committees to follow for meeting agendas and minutes?

 

Mrs. Bartholomew replied she supplied a format for the Historical Commission. She further gave them the list of members so they can verify who made the motion and how they voted. There is also a spot where they write in the motion, the name of the item and the date of the meeting.

 

Councilman Crawford felt they could provide a generic form for all the committees.

 

Councilwoman Mutch believes if a committee or commission has a need to have a staff person attending the meeting, then perhaps there should be a way to budget for that.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew said the only problem committee is the Computer Committee.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew noted her department would also see an increase in Supplies in accordance with Public Act 261 which mandates that all of their funds be destroyed and that they purchase all new, which was a large cost to the City.

 

Councilwoman Cassis said she was amazed at what was still being done by hand.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew said the State Law addresses paper totally different and the way it controls them is amazing. Mrs. Bartholomew reported she has to write to the State to ask for permission to destroy documents. Councilwoman Cassis asked if they could have the documents stored on disks? Mrs. Bartholomew replied depending on what it is, it is required to be on a hard copy or microfilm because those are the two allowed sources.

Mayor McLallen said the Budget is for $390,000 as presented and the Clerk has indicated that it may decrease. She then asked if there was any way to hire specially trained temporary part-time women to do the filling tasks or the business registrations to get them in order so that when the tasks are done, their services would no longer be necessary.

 

Mrs. Bartholomew replied yes and no. For the most part, she believes it would be no because the volume will never decrease enough for the person to be let go permanently. When Mrs. Bartholomew says it will take three years to get the files in order, that is not taking into consideration that every day they are accumulating more so that number will be constantly increasing. In addition, the numbers of voters are possibly going to increase until the City builds out, so she believes it is going to be absorbed with other things for the next ten years at which time, they will hit their peak. She didnít think it was fair to hire someone now only to say that person wouldnít be needed in three years.

 

Mayor McLallen asked Council to review the evaluation process for the City Clerk Review and Salary so they could discuss it within the next two weeks.

 

 

7. Finance

 

Mr. Gibson indicated they had discussed this at the first meeting.

 

 

8. City Attorney

 

Mayor McLallen said the City Attorney is requesting an increase of 10%.

 

Councilman Schmid asked what is the retainer? Councilman Mitzel replied it is one hundred dollars per hour.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if the $182,000 appropriation includes assessing?

 

Mr. Kriewall replied that the figure includes the retainer and litigation, but not assessing.

 

 

9. General Administration

 

Mayor McLallen advised the $146,453 request is a decrease from last year.

 

Ed Kriewall, said they did away with merit increases and the performance adjustment and the $42,000 to $25,000 only includes adjustments across the board.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked what the total percentage is over the base salary? Mr. Kriewall replied it is very low and he can provide the number.

 

Councilwoman Mutch discussed the Appreciation Dinner and is concerned about how to handle the costs.

 

Councilman Schmid asked for an explanation about the Office Equipment line item. Mr. Gibson said that number includes a fax and four telephones.

 

 

FUTURING

 

Councilwoman Cassis said this idea is not hers, but dates back to the early 90's. She added the Planning Department saw a need to see where the City is going sometime in 1985. Councilwoman Cassis said some people are fearful of the process and that it will rock the status quo so that it will never be the same again. She believes that is not true and would invite everyone to participate so that they couldnít say they didnít know.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if there is a consensus from Council to go back to the citizens and reaffirm what is being done or what needs to be changed? She said the individual process could be selected later and asked if they should leave it in the budget?

 

Councilman Clark replied that he doesnít have a problem with the amount budgeted. He added if it goes to the citizens, it should not be a vehicle for a community-wide wish list.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford is not sure if he favors a grand scale study.

 

Councilwoman Mutch said Mr. Barlow presented the following information on Futuring:

 

  • Gives a complete look at the City as it evolved and then provide a long range broad comprehensive study.
  • It is most important to involve the community in a manner that they are not currently involved.
  • People of value will perform different tasks and provide projected needs. They will not just list why, how, or what goal, but will provide a strategy and expectations.
  • Everyone will respect the process and the effort, which will build a sense of community.
  • The process will connect a lot of wonderful people.

 

Councilman Schmid agrees the futuring process should be established by Council and the Planning Commission, but disagrees that people want to get connected. Further, the process cost $100,000 in Farmington Hills and they havenít done anything with it. He added the amount of wish lists are ridiculous and it would also require a lot of the staff, administration, and police departmentís time.

 

 

Mayor McLallen reported there is not a Council consensus and that perhaps they need to think about this matter further. She also believes it does have merit and if it builds a sense of ownership of community by the citizens, then it is worth every penny spent.

 

As a point of information, Mayor McLallen noted that Phil Morosco is moving out of state and will no longer serve as the General Manager for Twelve Oaks Mall.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:35 P.M..

 

 

 

 

Mayor City Clerk

 

 

Transcribed by: Sharon Hendrian

Assisted by: Barbara Holmes

 

Date Approved: November 4, 1996