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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Pack #240-Webelos Den 9
Leader: Marcie Smith
Members: Dylan Clarkson, Paul Favorite, Evan Hartland,
Brian McClure, Tyler Smith, Kyle Tecklenburg,
Evan VanBuhler, Tom Wright
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Council Members Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Maryanne Cornelius advised Council Consent Item H wording had been changed. It will now read: Approval of Change Order No. 1; 2001 Neighborhood Paving Program, for the Meadowbrook Road Safety Path Extension Project ($47,965.75) and repairs to the Nine Mile at CSX Railroad crossing ($7,500).
Member DeRoche asked if Matters for Council Action Ė Part II could be rescheduled if not absolutely essential to discuss tonight. Mayor Clark suggested keeping the agenda as is and see what happens.
Mr. Helwig said the Intersection Improvements Traffic Control Device matter were to be completed this construction season.
Mayor Clark said under Presentations, Item 2, Proclamation Ė Novi Doubletree Hotel would be "a" and "b" would be a brief presentation of the governor's proclamation. Add under Mayor and Council Issues Item #1, Election Signs.
CM-01-10-276 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-01-10-276 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
The Novi Theaterís 10 year Anniversary Recognition
Mayor Clark said the Novi Theater was one of the jewels of our community that for all to long went unrecognized for its tremendous benefit it brought to Novi. The theatre brought people together, lifted peopleís spirits, and gave opportunities to forget the cares of everyday life and enter another realm.
A video celebrating 10 years of the Novi Theatre group was shown. To show this group how much they are appreciated, Mayor Clark presented certificates of recognition to: Tim Amrein, Gary Becker, Stacey Becker, Jack Birch, Judy Burch, Lori Burkhardt, Lori Cash, Hugh Crawford, Kathy Crawford, Kristeen Willis Crosser, Dan Davis, Mary Kay Davis, Carolyn DeCoster, Shelly Dzwonkowski, Pam Gagnon, Paula Grisell-Goldstein, Debbie Goodman, Denise Jenkins, Julie Landry, Rita Ledger, Warren Ledger, Sue Lewis, Elaine Malloy, Eric Malloy, Bob McCormick, Kathy McCormick, Kathy McLallen, Alex Mimikos, Katy Monthei, Michael Powers, Jeanne Pylar, LaReta Roder, Sheri Sansom, Peggy Schwarzlose, Sally Sheer, Ted Shively, Greg Sorentino, Val Steiniger, Laurie Thompson, Marianne Tomasik, Marilyn Troshak, Larry Utter, Kathy Vermeulen, Alison Welch, Bill Whikehart, Karrie Wickert, Dick Wickert, Grace Wilfong, Roger Wilfong, Elaine Wroe and Linda Wickert.
Mayor Clark read the proclamation of commendation for the Novi Theater and noted it had added immeasurably to the quality of life through its commitment to the arts. Mayor Clark read a Proclamation of commendation to the sponsors of this successful theatre group. Allied Printing, Blair Bowman, Bean & Bagel, Jack Demmer Ford, JCK & Associates, Panera Bread and Providence Hospital.
Mayor Clark noted one person in particular had the courage, foresight, fortitude, energy, wisdom and commitment to establish the Novi Theater. Mayor Clark presented Linda Wickert with a key to the City of Novi for her outstanding service, dedication and commitment to making the Novi Theatre the success it is today.
Ms. Wickert thanked everyone and stated there have been a lot of people involved in this for ten years. She thanked Marilyn Troshak for supporting the program from the very beginning. This yearís season opened with Hooray for Hollywood, which sold out all four performances and they took the show to the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island. The next production is The Crucible to be followed with The Velveteen Rabbit and Christmas Carol in the new Middle School auditorium. In February they will do the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the musical this year will be the Sound of Music at the Middle School to be followed by the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Snow White and Cinderella will be shown during the summer. They will also have a senior show, Silver Bells and Bows in Concert, which is done at Christmas every year.
a. Doubletree Hotel
Mayor Clark read and presented a Proclamation to Deborah Mancini, Director of Sales and Marketing and Paul Jerpin, General Manager, of Doubletree Hotel in honor of the hotel hosting the Cityís first national conference, American Association of Code Enforcement Officers, with representatives and delegates from 30 different states attending.
Mr. Jerpin said they had the most exceptional group of people and they were looking forward to hosting the next national conference.
b. Governorís Proclamation
Mayor Clark asked Ms. Cornelius to read a Proclamation from the Governor as a special tribute to the City of Novi for hosting the 2001 National Conference of the American Association of Code Enforcement. The Governor commended Novi in continuing its tradition in attracting high quality business and residential opportunities and activities. The hosting of this conference places Novi in a distinct fraternity of cities including Chicago, Phoenix and St. Louis as an attractive convention site. Also presented was a special Executive Declaration, signed by Governor Engler, in observance of October 10th as Code Enforcement Day.
Mayor Clark noted this first National Conference would not have taken place in the City of Novi without the extreme hard work, effort, enthusiasm and commitment of Cindy Uglow. Ms. Uglow thanked the following people who made the National Conference of the American Association of Code Enforcement such a resounding success. There were over 30 states represented in one week at this conference and over 100 Michigan officers were in attendance October 8th through the 12th. She thanked Mayor Clark and Mr. Helwig for their opening remarks at the conference, Clay Pearson for speaking at a luncheon and allowing Neighborhood Services and Code Enforcement the time and energy to continue this endeavor. Linda Wickert was thanked for the Novi Theatre performance and thanked the Parks, Recreation Forestry staff for transporting equipment. Ms. Uglow thanked the Novi High School marching band for playing. Frank McDowell, Florida Association of Code Enforcement stated they would copy Noviís opening ceremony for their State conference. Ms. Uglow also thanked Jeannie Niland, Alan Amolsch, Maureen Underhill, Lynn Norman and Melissa Place for all their help. Police officers were thanked for their presentation of the colors and the DPW Director for trimming and cleaning the ROW grounds and the DoubleTree and itís staff. She was grateful to Blair Bowman for sponsoring the 300 conference bags and the Manager of Twelve Oaks Mall for providing guests with coupons. The City of Novi ranks among Phoenix, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, San Diego and Settle, etc. Ms. Uglow read comments from participants of the conference.
Reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant Funds
Mr. Klaver reported these are Federal funds administered through Oakland County. We have a citizens committee of 5 residents that help supervise this and the reprogramming is their recommendation to Council. There is $53,420 in unexpended funds. The recommendations of the committee are $38,553 to the Old Novi Road Sidewalk Project and $14,867 to the minor home repair program. Mr. Klaver commented there were seven different projects waiting for the home repair program monies. After the committee makes a recommendation a public hearing will be held to gather public input on the reprogramming of these funds.
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, stated walkways in the area were needed and asked that they be included. Regarding the bike and safety path, there was a preliminary meeting and members of his subdivision were told no HCD funds were being spent because there was a grant. They had received misinformation and he asked that information given out be correct.
CITY MANAGER - None
Member Csordas asked Mr. Helwig for a report on Village Oaks Road improvements and specifically why the engineering firm didnít discover the deteriorated foundation before the project started. Also, why the Department of Public Services did not question that and why were residents told that over-watering their lawns was the cause of the road deterioration. He also asked when the final surface would be completed and how wide the road was initially as compared to the new road and that it looked like there were patch extensions from each of the driveways to meet the road. The road originally looked wider than it is now. Mr. Helwig noted he would report on these questions.
DEPARTMENT REPORTS - None
ATTORNEY - None
Toni Nagy, 22647 Cranbrook, present on behalf of Lakewood Park Homes as their president. Ms. Nagy stated the residents of Lakewood Park would like Council to settle the lawsuit.
Jenny Kramer, 245 Pleasant Cove, appreciated the work done trying to settle the lawsuit. She understood the position Council and the City was in but asked if we really wanted to destroy the beautiful North Novi Park with more development? She offered to pay higher taxes if there was no other alternative. She asked Council to look at the property because she felt they would realize that we couldnít afford to lose it.
Catherine Kakaley, 23067 Heatherbrae Way, respected those Council members that wanted to settle the lawsuit. Ms. Kakaley commented on the taxes she has paid over the years and is still paying. She felt, for the nature people, there were enough parks, playgrounds, lakes, schools, etc. We are in the middle of the largest park system in northern Wayne County and southern Oakland County. We have Maybury, Edward Hines, Proud Lake and Kensington. We have hills, tons of trees and forestlands why do we have to pay for it? She thanked those who are logical and donít want taxpayers to pay any more excessive taxes than they already are. We are at war and it is costly not only in terms of the budget but in terms of the blood that would be spilled. The terrorists are already here. So, we are going to pay at the State and Federal level so lets not add another tax to the list for the City of Novi.
Scott Lloyd, 25204 Birchwoods Dr., said he and a friend Matthew Heinowski have just obtained the prestigious Eagle Award in Boy Scouts. To get this award a project had to be created that would help the community in some way. Their project was to create a bird watching platform off of Twelve Mile Road in North Novi Park, which might now be sold. Mr. Heinowskiís project was to create and maintain the trails leading up to the bird platform all around North Novi Park. Not only is this beautiful property but these are huge projects that he and Matthew and other scouts in the past have completed. Being this is the most prestigious award in scouting they would like to take their kids and grand kids out there someday and show them what they did. On behalf of Troop 54 based out of Novi and all Eagle Scouts he asked that the land be kept as it is.
Melinda May, 42931 W. 13 Mile Road, believed the park was vital to the community and that every inch of land had been developed. She was concerned about taking away the one place to go to get away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday traffic and felt there was no where for the wild life to live and hated to see it bulldozed.
Kathleen Schultz, 22358 Sunrise, said the residents of Sunrise wrote a letter on September 30, 2001 to Mr. Nowicki requesting stop signs at Sunrise and Mill Road and that something be done to curtail vehicle speeding. She had also written letters regarding this over the past 3 or 4 years. Mr. Nowicki met with residents on October 1st and stated his recommendation and that he would be sending a letter to that effect. Mr. Nowicki responded October 5th, with a letter, recommending against the placement of stop signs. His reasons were based on the Michigan Traffic Manual and stated that the purpose of stop signs was to assign right-of-way at intersections and not to control speed. She asked that consideration be given to the length, width, curvature, number of children playing, school busses and daily traffic volume of the street. She felt that if stop signs were placed the road would become a shorter distance to travel thus making drivers aware that caution must be taken. She thought that because of the curvature of the road the site distance was limited and she asked that the City look at this. She was sure the vehicle count would be close to 500. The speeding issue had been addressed by the Novi Police Department to no avail. She stressed all they were asking was for the City to do their job enforcing the laws. This wasnít just a speeding problem, but a safety concern. Many drivers have driven over front lawns, drag racing occurs often and drivers totally disobey the school busses at Mill Road. Even if 80% of the speeders stopped at a stop sign it would be a gigantic leap over what they have now. She urged Council members to drive down Sunrise and note their concerns.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Helwig to look into it and Member Kramer asked that it be on the agenda under Mayor & Council issues by the second meeting of November.
Chris Janik, 22340 Mill Road, also urged Councilís support for the placement of stop signs at that intersection. With regard to Sandstone, he felt giving up the parkland was not the best thing to do when looking at the choices presented, but between giving up parkland or continuing with the appeal process the best choice was to settle this case. He urged support for the settlement.
Brenda Evans, Director of Novi Public Library, said the library millage would be on the November 6th ballot. The building is approaching 30 years old and wasnít designed for the Novi of today. They are operating on one mil provided in the City Charter, which has now rolled back to 8/10th of a mil. The American Library Associationís standard is at least 1 sq. ft. per capita. Our community is approaching 50,000 people and our library is 23,000 sq. ft. The calls she had received in the past few days had been related to the whole tax environment of Novi and how the Library proposal fit into that picture. The community wanted to know how the Sandstone dispute would be resolved in order to make an informed judgement about the libraryís growth proposal.
Bill Rice, 22872 Ennishore, congratulated the Mayor and Council Members for their courageous and creative solution to this problem and hoped Council would end this mess tonight. He did not want to pay $4,000 or $5,000 over the next 15 years for something that the majority of people in the community didnít use. He urged Council to pass the Resolution and give the land to Sandstone.
Charles Craig, 41872 Chalet, was a former Wixom Council Member and knew how difficult this decision was but felt settlement was the way to go and he would support the decision of the Council.
Andrea Kramer, asked Council to vote to save the parkland because of the number of animals that live there. She walks, skis and mountain bikes in the park and felt the homes of the animals would be destroyed if the land was given away.
Mary Mueller, 45460 Addington Lane, felt there was no great solution. She too felt a great attachment to the park and had brought her children to one particular Maple tree every year in the second week in October to play in the undisturbed leaf piles. She felt lucky to have a spot like this to go to but it also told her that for those trails to be so undisturbed they were not being used. Itís time to face reality and that is that every taxpayer in the City should not be stuck paying for the mistakes of a previous administration. She asked that Council settle the lawsuit.
Ms. Smith, 42434 Park Ridge, student at Novi Middle School, thought the 75 acres should be kept because many students liked the park a lot. Theyíve seen fox run across the trails and hawks grab mice and the part of the park being lost to residents is prime woodland area. The land itself is valuable but the park is priceless.
Terry Gannon, 24741 Glenda, stated he pays to city schools, library and community colleges and would vote for the library millage. He grumbles about his taxes but pays them because they contribute to the quality of life in Novi. This is what got us a mention in the Wall Street Journal as a desirable City. He objected to parceling the park. The park provides rest from the news on CNN and asked Council to find a way to preserve the park because it would be a tragedy to lose it.
Fred Beyea, 23615 Silvery Lane, stated he would like to see the park remain but he is on a fixed income, so to add taxes would be a hardship for him and others. The litigation must be settled. He said off Meadowbrook Road there was a tract of land, full of wild life, behind him where someone was approved to build even though itís a wetland. He noted there could be an option to make a park there rather then subdivision. The developer never built because he couldnít.
Bob Shaw, 40612 Village Oaks, read the following into the record.
"Tonight, we will show by example to those who would destroy our freedoms what democracy, free speech and a free press is all about."
Mayor Richard Clark, October 1, 2001, (draft minutes, page 2)
In the interest of a free press, I prepared a website for the public to learn more about the settlement proposal. The website address is http://home.twmi.rr.com/shawofnovi. There is a wealth of information there.
I also printed for the citizens, and you, the resolution, with commentary, for use tonight. It is a shame the community was not provided this through the City website, or mailed out to interested parties.
At the public hearing on October 1, I spoke strongly against the proposed settlement. Tonight, I return with facts regarding the proposed settlement Ė facts that are essential for you to make an educated decision on behalf of the citizens and taxpayers of Novi. These facts may seem tedious at times, but it is absolutely essential that you understand all the facts.
The resolution before you tonight contains numerous risks and items that need clarification. What I wish to emphasize, however, is that by adopting this resolution, you will be making statements to the Court, as well as the citizens of Novi, that are patently false. I believe the former is called perjury when you do it to the Court, and you can select your own word for when you do it to the public. The statements made on page six of your copy of the resolution, pages six and seven of the material that I have handed out tonight, are not true, and I want to make certain that this information is contained in the public record for all to read and understand, including the Court.
Item 1 states:
"It has been discovered that portions of the 75 Acres and 20 Acres referenced in the Settlement, which are part of the property acquired for park purposes, are contaminated. (That's true) With regard thereto, the City Council makes the following findings:
(a) Based upon the particular contamination, and all of the surrounding circumstances, it is found that such property is not needed, and may not be suitable to retain for park purposes."
This statement is untrue regarding the level of contamination, and untrue regarding the need for this parkland.
Let me explain the facts on the contamination, and the need for remediation, for you and the citizens of Novi, particularly those not here tonight and watching on cable:
It is well documented that the arsenic contamination found in localized regions of the parkland need not be remediated to residential levels, unless residential is built there. The contamination does not make this land unsuitable for parkland.
The levels of arsenic, with three remote spot sample exceptions, are suitable for parkland use. The areas above acceptable levels can be easily remediated by a clay cap, followed by topsoil, thereby maintaining the essence of the integrity of the area, and protecting the public as well.
Does the arsenic really have to be removed at a preliminary cost estimate of $750,000 or higher? No. Removal is needed only if the land is developed as a residential property, or as a school, day care center, or similar facility (designated Commercial I). The standards are based upon exposure. Specifically, the standards are based upon children ages 1 to 6-1/2, playing indoors and outdoors (3-1/2 to 4 hours) at a daycare center, and children 8-12 years old playing for 20 minutes with an assortment of toys (trucks and figures) and digging tools (a trowel and a scoop) in a preconstructed 8íx8í
soil bed containing wet and dry soil. The exposure frequency for dermal contact is 245 days per year for the residential scenario and represents outdoor soil exposure.
Standards for recreational facilities are not fixed, and the owner of the property submits an application for allowing a specific level of arsenic based upon the use of the property. For areas such as this, we could expect infrequent soil-contact play in the specific areas, without the digging of a "sandbox" nature taking place. Certainly not 245 days per year by a child. Park shelters and facilities could be placed away from the areas of highest arsenic, so that the area is primarily only walking and biking trail, or not in the trail system at all. Immediately adjacent to the intersection of 12-Mile Road and the railroad tracks, this is not a loss, and does not render the balance of the parkland unsuitable.
The closest DEQ category to our recreational use would be "Commercial IV", which permits arsenic to 74 ppm, not the 7.6 ppm of residential. As Commercial IV, very little land would need to be remediated. Capping with clay is permitted, then topped with clean soil and then allow the area to return to its natural vegetation. This solution would save most all of the $750,000 or more discussed for arsenic cleanup. This solution is clearly presented to the City in the report by Hydro-Logic dated September 24, 2001, dealing with the site near the railroad, and is found in section 5.0, paragraphs (1) and (2).
At the site near Dixon and 12-1/2 Mile Road, no arsenic level approaches the acceptance criteria of Commercial IV, the highest sample being 34 ppm, well below 74 ppm. No remediation is needed for recreational purposes, unless we build a dirt box there.
The Commercial IV category is based upon exposure of the workers of the land, in our case those who make trails, maintain trails, and cut the grass. This criterion is based upon dermal exposure to the soil 160 days a year, for 21 years, in essence a commercial gardener working the soil every day during the growing season. Our recreational users will have less frequent exposure, and will not be gardening in this area of the park.
Item (b) states that
"Moreover, in view of the fact that, in terms of the City's Master Plan, such land is merely the subject of study and therefore not required for park purposes in the Master Plan, and has not been developed for park purposes, and has not been committed for development of park purposes, Ö"
I read this from the Master Plan, adopted 1999.
"The City has assembled adequate property for City-wide park facilities which must be developed to meet future community recreation needs. Ö The City must actively pursue development of existing facilities."
Note the Master Plan map showing this parkland. It is actually smaller than it once was, according to the Master Plan.
I also would like to show you pictures taken last week at the parkland that is being designated for the settlement. It sure looks like a park. If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it must be. This must be a park. And our city documents show it to be a park. And Council conversations regarding this land have referred to it as a park.
Obviously, now that you have the truth at your disposal, you cannot vote for this resolution, for in doing so, you would be perjuring yourself with the Court and not being honest with the citizens of Novi.
There are numerous other issues regarding this settlement:
Sandstone completely controls our destiny regarding any settlements with our insurance companies, and $20,000,000 is at stake.
We would be handing over mineral rights on nearly 100 acres, potentially worth substantial sums of money to the City.
We place ourselves at risk over road, water and sewer services, as well as potentially substantial additional taxpayer expense to provide them these services. And if we are late, or cause them problems, will we be sued again?
We drive up the ongoing demand for services, as another 2000 to 2500 people move in, with new tax revenues that will be insufficient to cover the added cost.
We will likely lose all DNR grants for parks for the next five to seven years.
We strain the natural resources of the remaining parkland by dropping 2000 to 2500 people right next door.
And many, many, many more issues as highlighted in my handout.
Now, on to the final issues. This administration has prided itself on being open and honest. The opening quotation states it all Ö "show by example to those who destroy our freedoms what democracy, free speech and a free press are all about."
I am greatly disturbed by the language used in this resolution, 1(b):
"Ö the Council will seek a determination of the Court, in the case to be settled, or in a new case to be filed, as determined by the Council at a later date, that no provision of a constitution, law or Novi City Charter would prohibit the transfer of the 75 Acres or 20 Acres as part of the settlement."
Democracy in action tonight? I hope so, by providing the voters the truth, and by allowing them the choice between dollars and quality of life. You can show us democracy in action tonight. Put this before the voters. Vote No tonight!
Perhaps $20,000 per day interest is why you would vote tonight? This administration has had two years, as about $14,000,000 in interest has accumulated, and it has to be done tonight? A voter referendum in January will
cost perhaps $2,400,000 in added interest. A mere pittance relative to the amounts we are discussing tonight. Let democracy speak.
I do have one reason for you to vote "
yes" and approve this resolution tonight. If you take this action tonight, you do so in an expiring elective term. It is not permitted to file a recall petition against an elected official for acts done during a prior term. It is also not permitted to file for recall within the last six months of someone's term. At least one of you is running unopposed, and three of you are running for re-election. You can protect yourself from the voter's expression of this settlement, just by voting yes tonight. But is that democracy?
I suggest that City administration go back to the drawing board, work a settlement for cash, and bring it before the voters. I hope you vote to go in that direction. Itís our money. It's our land.
Al Morelli, 41660 Sleepy Hollow Dr., stated he surveyed 100 Novi homeowners in different areas and 79 out of 100 people interviewed were in favor of the land swap in order to avoid huge tax increases. They also voiced serious concerns about the daily accrued interest of $20,000 a day. He felt even with a special election the results would be overwhelmingly in favor of a land swap.
Sharon Ewing 45812 Irvine Dr., was upset about the heat Council had taken on this decision. She, and many others, supported Council. Taxes have to be kept down for older people on fixed incomes and how can we sell our homes if no one will come to Novi because of taxes. She thanked Council for their decision.
Diane Clark had previously encouraged putting this idea to a vote but time is of the essence and it would be a costly. Ms. Clark cares for the elderly for a living and goes into their homes. A term used in the medical profession is non-compliance, which means for some reason the patient is not doing what needs to be done for their health. A home care nurse is assigned to find out why these patients are in non-compliance and returning to the hospital every few weeks. Our seniors have lived through depression and WWII with out a lot of money or savings. They are living on social security checks and minor pensions. As we age, medications are more costly and seniors take more medicine. They pay $200 to$700 per month for medication and the non-compliance comes in because they canít afford the medication. Quality of life is the issue. For some reason, everyone has the idea in their head of $200 per year as their cost of the lawsuit over 15 years. Many will be faced with illness and buying costly prescriptions and they wonít be able to afford it. Add twenty years to your age and see where you are and think about how well off you will be financially and what your quality of life will be. She asked that everyone think of all 50,000 citizens, businesses and tax dollars. In the future, as we age, quality of life is a major issue, one she experiences on a daily basis. Seniors have to choose whether to eat or take medication. She urged everyone to think about adding extra tax dollars.
Dick Faulkner, 25890 Clark St., he is a retiree from City of Novi. He spoke as a resident and member of retirees association who met and discussed this issue. When he retired 10 years ago, he paid very little toward Blue Cross but now his co-pay is 4 times as much as it used to be. Tthis is an important issue and he spoke on behalf of the City of Noviís Retirees
Association but also for himself and those people who wanted to raise their hand in support of the action that Council would take. Hopefully, Council will settle this and we can move on.
Ernest Arruffo said he sits on the Board of Review, which talks with people who have a difficult time paying their taxes on their homes. They come forward with their documents to show their income and he is amazed at how little income many people have. It is shocking the number of people coming for reduction or elimination and more and more senior citizens are coming in. The Free Press said, "the responsible thing for that body is to hold your collective nose and vote yes."
Lynda Racey, 24740 Taft Road, spoke about the resolution before Council and felt there were many things about it that put the residents of Novi at risk. It is not to say that we wonít have our taxes raised in the future. DNR money will be lost. She said all the things the resolution left open could raise peoples taxes. Water, sewer and roads that had to be done for Sandstone. Residents had to realize that giving away this land would not end our dealings with Sandstone and Council had to think carefully about that before signing the resolution. She agreed with Mr. Shaw on the arsenic reports and had spoken to Mr. Kitler of the DEQ and he agreed that we are not required to remediate that land if it was going to stay parkland. The comment that was made to get rid of the land because it was worthless was not true because if it stayed parkland in its intermittent use hiking, biking and walking it did not have to be dug up it could stay the way it was. The resolution takes away the due process rights of the citizens and she found that appalling. We have rights of referendum and injunction in our City Charter that would be taken away with a settlement and that doesnít seem right. She didnít think the citizens knew that because not many of them had seen the resolution. They see $237 a year or 75 acres but it is not that simple and she encouraged people to look carefully at the resolution in Mr. Shawís packet or at the library. This is a bad deal anyway you look at it. It is not just the 100 acres of blue ribbon woodlands that has rare trees that would be torn down for condos because it is included in the acreage being given away. This resolution did nothing about getting easements for the City on that or keeping some trails on it; it is all in Sandstoneís favor and we have to be very careful. If this issue is put to the voters they could not give away their due process rights in this resolution. It is taking away any democratic process that these citizens might have to challenge Councilís decision and we are entitled to be able to do that. Ms. Racey invited residents and Council to go out there and look. They put signs up to show what land would be given away.
Bob Wilkins, 23803 Ripple Creek Rd., commented heís a 40 year resident of Novi and would probably have to leave. He sat on the school board for ten years and people came before them when there was going to be a millage issue and he didnít understand and would tell them it was for the betterment of the community. They were saying they just didnít have the extra money. This is a no win situation and very difficult. What took place before this Council is not your responsibility but you are responsible for what you do today. Mr. Wilkins said he could not afford another increase in millage. The stock market had not been kind and that was his pension. We are living on less than we had five years ago and that is common with other retirees. He gave Council credit for realizing that a millage would be a very difficult thing. He thought there were a lot of unanswered questions and Council could not say they didnít realize that a year from now. It is Councilís responsibility to fully understand this and make sure all the Iís or
dotted. What is to prevent Sandstone from acquiring the property and reselling it? Is there anything in the resolution that they must develop it. There are a lot of unanswered questions and they would be what Council would be judged on.
Pat Hobar, Secretary to the Board of Directors at Country Place Condos, commented everyoneís concerned about taxes. She sympathized with the supporters of keeping the park but could also sympathize with residents that had been here many years and did not want a tax increase. This library millage will fail if Council procrastinated and prolonged their decision on this. However you vote make it timely.
Brian Smith, 42434 Park Ridge, spoke in favor of the park. He asked if this settlement was the best deal available or was it the most politically expedient one? He would feel more comfortable with Councilís decision if he had heard any other possibilities and if he could vote on this. We have to decide what kind of City we want our children to live in in the future. Would it be one that gave away all our parkland to minimize taxes or do we aspire to something better. The park is a very important part of Noviís quality of life and a very unique asset. Is it really necessary to give it up to a developer to build a few more condos and strip malls? There has to be a place where kids and adults can explore, see new things, and enjoy the beauty of nature. He hoped Council would decide to keep the park.
Kim Capello, 24406 Nantucket, was concerned the citizens didnít have enough time or facts to come before Council and make public comments. At the last meeting they were assured that their questions would be answered. Friday he received a letter from the City that addressed five or six generic questions with generic answers. Most of the hard questions posed at the last public hearing were not addressed and we need those questions answered. Mr. Shaw addressed the issue regarding whether the City would have to spend the $750,000 to clean up the arsenic if we kept the property as parkland and he thought it was clear we would not have to. Arsenic is not that serious; it is all over the county in all of the areas where there are apple orchards or fruit trees. Most of the water has acceptable levels of arsenic such as Lyon Township. It is not as deadly as people think. If the property were sold or zoned something different then residential the arsenic would most likely not have to be taken out. It could probably be contained under a building or parking lot. This alternative had not been looked at and it would save us $750,000.
Mr. Capello didnít know how any attorney could put a 50/50 or 70/30 or whatever percent chance of winning any type of appeal especially if they donít know who the panel of judges are at the Court of Appeals level. There are several issues raised in that appeal. We need to get 50/50 on any one of several issues and it comes back down to the Circuit Court for trial. If that happened we would not have the same judge again. Even if it does we still need to address the lawsuit and after what has happened over several years we would have to consider settlement anyway. So it is not unrealistic to consider settlement. If we do give up the land the bonds would have to be paid off. What would be the new interest rate to raise the bonds to pay off the portion of the parkland being given away and what would the costs be to raise those bonds? After the lawsuit judgement came down the issue of utilizing the parkland to satisfy the judgement was before us. That was two years ago. He was concerned that last week we were going to utilize the parkland and two weeks later we are going to vote
to give up the parkland; thatís a little premature. If we are predisposed to use the parkland to pay off this judgement there are a lot of different things to be considered. If the developers came before us and said we want to take the property north of Twelve Mile east of the RR tracks and rezone it to multiple family residential we would all shake our heads and wonder why they were in front of us. We have to look at the long term use of this plan. If we are going to use the parkland why not consider a use that is compatible with the Master Plan and surrounding area. He had some question whether or not the value of that land was really between $200,000 and $250,000 or if they had backed into that figure because that is the amount of the judgement therefore the land must be worth that much. The highest going land today is the OST land and he thought it was going between $6 and $7 a sq. ft. If you really want to use the land why not take the time to put a plan together, rezone it to OST, try to sell it and have a plan on how to use that money to pay off the lawsuit? After we pay off the lawsuit, hopefully with monies available, buy additional parkland. If this property is given up he did not think we would ever be able to buy parkland in Novi again. We wonít be able to afford it. However, we could buy parkland in surrounding communities at a reasonable price and have it close enough for our community to use. Those are things that may be we should have considered rather than just giving up the property to try to sell it and maximize the profits so there would be money left. If the property were to be utilized as something different than multiple family residential, such as OST, the future tax burden on the City as residential would be much greater then if it were an industrial use. As residential we are not going to be able to get the personal property taxes that go directly into our budget as we would if it were zoned OST or Light Industrial. We have a great tax advantage if Council is going to decide to get rid of the parkland anyway. Mr. Capello explained the history of Sandstone. All he could see was continuing lawsuits if the property is traded. We are going to continue to have problems with this developer. Partnering up with this developer again is not the smart thing to do.
Mr. Capello agreed there was not enough details in the resolution. The 75 acres are net usable and when the developer comes back and wants to fill wetlands are we going to let them? Are we going to require them to mitigate, are we going to allow them to take the woodlands down or are we going to have them replace them. All of that is very important in this settlement. If we are not going to let them fill the wetlands and cut down our trees they are going to have to take more of our parkland. Why not let them fill the wetlands, cut down the trees and retain as much of the parkland as we can. Those are details that need to be worked out before a settlement is made. He thought more time was needed.
Todd Gerhardt, 41636 Sleepy Hollow, commented he is a businessman in the City and his taxes are about $25,000 a year and if these taxes go up residents are going to pay more for haircuts, dentist appointment, etc. There are other parks here and in the area. He had talked with Brenda Evans and felt if you had to get down to one or two choices in the year 2000 the library loaned 335,185 materials out. If divided by 365 days in a year the library services 918 people every day of the year. He felt there were a lot less than 918 people that use the park.
Allen Patrick, 42835 Brookstone, commented he lived in the Vistas and many of the people in their neighborhood felt really cheated by the whole process. They were supposed to have a lake with dock and a path and Hughlan didnít deliver. Hughlan was
supposed to put in a landscaped entryway but they didnít. Their association decided they couldnít live with the sub the way it was so they invested their own money to landscape the fronts of their subs. Wetland replacement trees were supposed to occur in their backyards and they didnít see those. Now, four years after he moved in they are talking about putting trees back but it is not the X number of trees of such diameter to replace the wetlands that were destroyed. It is now a couple of sporadic trees placed throughout because now we have bond money. The development fell a part with Hughlan. When listening to this going into Hughlanís control it made his stomach turn to think we are giving this beautiful piece of property to Hughlan who has caused all the problems and has never delivered. He didnít want to pay more taxes but he would be willing to do it to save the park.
Scott Silvers, 24740 Taft Road, thought that if Council signed the resolution tonight it would be a mistake. It took the Mayor and Mr. Helwig eight months to come to this resolution agreement and he asked them to take another eight months, involve the Council, the citizens and get a resolution that allowed the people to be informed about what is really at stake. Donít let Sandstone lawyers push you around; they will do it again and again if you sign this resolution.
Resident, neighbor of Mr. Patrick, was in favor of the park but was sympathetic to the tax issue. His wish was that it be put on the ballot.
LuAnne Kozma, 23837 West Lebost, read the following letter into the record.
Mayor Clark and Members of City Council,
You're saying that this settlement is a "tax free" way to get the Sandstone lawsuit off our backs. You're saving all of us, a huge tax burden. But now, very late in the game, after the public hearing, we finally know--just a few of us know--just what is in the settlement language. We've heard the terms tonight, thanks to citizens who brought them forward during audience participation--not because you've revealed them openly. You've not told us some of these details ever before.
Let's talk money. If you agree to this resolution tonight, what is it really going to cost?
us? Let's try to add up the "tax-free" park giveaway:
First, we have to pay off the "mortgage" on the remaining years' worth of park bonds that bought North Novi Park: Price tag? Probably 3 to $4 million, plus legal expenses and fees for handling the bond sale.
Next, we'll pay for the bogus arsenic clean up. In your letter to citizens you said the cost is unknown, and we'd use the $750,000 from the judgment fund. Maybe more, you said in the hearing. $1 million? $1.5 million? However in the settlement there is no dollar amount. It could be anything!
Since we'll need more parkland, eventually, we'll need to buy some, if we can find any. We'll have to pass another bond issue. Cost? $4 to $9 million.
Replicating park improvements in two separate parks, rather than one bigger park, like bathrooms, maintenance sheds, shelters, parking, utilities, equipment: $1 to 3 million Additional annual cost to staff a second park site, would be $75,000 per year for 15 years, a total of $1.1 million.
Without access to any DNR funds, all park improvements for any city park will be funded completely with local tax dollars over the next five years. Cost? 1.5 million perhaps?
If the insurance money comes in, after Sandstone gets their take, we'll set aside money for buying more parkland. But wait, now the settlement resolution includes a clause that allows the city to use the "Park Development Fund" for paying off the debt created for park properties purchase. We could just pay off what we owe on North Novi Park. So we're not going to be buying new park land, are we?
In this settlement, we promise to fight for that insurance money for two years and begin a lawsuit if necessary, and follow it all the way to the Supreme Court, at Novi's sole cost and expense. Price tag for city attorneys to chase a $10 million dollar award? Let's say 10% or $1 million.
We also promise to pay for adequate sewer capacity so Sandstone can build inside the parkland: Cost:unknown
We'll pay more in city attorney fees each time the city deals with Sandstone while they develop these multiple-family units and the commercial properties along 12 Mile. Price tag? Unknown.
Those Novi residents who live in the Novi School District will need to spend money on new school costs (classroom space) for the approximately 400 kids who will live in this development estimated at 2,500 people. That's 16 classrooms. Price tag? Unknown, but it is well known that residential taxes fail to cover the burden on education. Same goes for other city services for these new residents. Cost? unknown.
We'll pay for Sandstone's wetlands problems, because, we'll still own them. We will pay for an intersection light on Twelve Mile. Price tag:$125,000
There's another park land deal in this settlement. How many people know about this little addition? Sandstone wants to convey 9 acres of their development over on 13 Mile Rd for 2 small parks for the folks living over there. Sandstone is getting out of this responsibility, to provide park to their own residents, while taking the park for our whole community. So, we'll pay for developing and maintaining the two little parks. Price tag
for staff, equipment, and capital improvements: $150,000, plus $10,000 per year for maintenance for 15 years would be $300,000.
And it remains to be seen who will pay for building the ROAD on the right-of-way the city will still own inside Sandstone's settlement acreage. Price tag for a road for
Sandstone? PERHAPS $1,000,000, probably more because of the wetlands that must be bridged. But I don't know, the last one was way more expensive than that.
If you're listening to what I'm telling you, this adds up into the millions. Let's look at an alternate solution:
If Sandstone WON the case today, we'd have to pay $69 million. They haven't won. You're trying to settle, to avoid paying $69 million, and to avoid continuing in court. What if we settle for, say, $30 million? What will this cost us? Let's add it up:
First , 3/4 of a million dollars will be used from Novi's Judgement Trust Fund, which the City set aside for this very purpose. Now, we owe $29.25 million.
We borrow, or issue, 15-year judgment bonds in the amount of $29.25 million. This would mean the owner of a house worth $200,000 with an SEV of $100,000 would pay $115/yr for 15 years. (This is based on your estimate of borrowing $60 million)
What if we reap additional benefits? We could now compete more fairly with other cities for Michigan Department of Natural Resources grants that would bring in, say $1.5 million over the next five years. This would free up local tax dollars that could be spent paying off the judgment bonds.
If we are fortunate enough to receive just $10 million of the possible insurance settlement, that money goes to Novi, not Sandstone. So reduce the amount of the judgment bond by the same amount, cutting what we would owe by a third.
What's the price of this plan? $115/year for 15 years for what you say is an average household in Novi. A fixed amount. That's about $10 per month, and it could be cut considerably by an insurance settlement. What's the price for peace of mind from:
not ever having to deal with Sandstone? and not having to worry about escalating, unknown costs? Priceless.
The Resolution is not a simple settlement to give away park land anymore. This isn't an either/or question: "Shall we lose the park or pay more in taxes?"
No, this settlement pledges all of Novi's residents to open their checkbooks and write some blank checks. This plan opens us up to many new unknown financial risks.
It is clear that there IS no solution that doesn't burden the taxpayers with additional taxes. The truth isn't pretty, but at least we now know what it is.
No doubt, some of you will think that we are only looking out to save the park, and that our opinions are slanted.
On Sept 25, we were motivated to save the park. We were motivated enough to bother looking more closely at the situation. Much closer than most residents were willing or able to do. As we looked closer, the more we found to be untrue. Just look what we found out. With every new story out in the media, with your speeches at the "public hearing," in the second letter to citizens, the City continued their campaign of
misinformation. And now false statements, stated and hidden costs, and some dangerous omissions in the settlement language.
If you only heard what the city would like you to know: "lose the park or raise taxes by $69 million dollars" then the choice seems easy. We give up the park today in mid October, and it seems to everyone our problem is solved. In two weeks, everyone gets safely re-elected, and then all these court-ordered actions take place. Where's the money going to come from to pay for the insurance lawsuit? The sewer capacity? The rest of the unknown costs?
I think the park is just the City administration's and this council's first sacrifice. What's next? Maybe come budget time it will be the new senior citizen housing complex. After all, we're just a "basic services"government. We're not in the housing business. But parks and recreation is just 4% of the entire city budget. And with each new dilemma the city will face, a new group of advocates will be up here saying "but we need
this city service." And they will be told, "but we have to make these cuts because the court ordered us to do all these other things for Sandstone," or "we had no way of predicting the multi-faceted ramifications the settlement would bring" or "we never promised there wouldn't be costs involved in paying for water and sewer, or for the insurance lawsuit. It's all in the settlement language. Didn't you get a chance to see it?"
In the 2001 city calendar, City Manager Richard Helwig states "We are committed daily to earning your trust." This city administration has not earned mine.
I implore all of you on council, to look hard, and honestly, at the information and concerns we citizens have brought to you tonight based on the specific terms of the settlement. Reconsider your position on this important decision on the Resolution Authorizing Consent Judgement for the Sandstone case. Reject this settlement.
Chuck Tindall, 2453 Shawood, offered Council some questions from fellow residents:
They wondered how this settlement could be considered justice? The original
amount of money and high interest are ridiculous.
Having considered the high interest and large judgement, how could we not win the
Appeal, get a new trial and if found at fault then receive a fair judgement or try for a fair and reasonable settlement.
Why is this being presented to residents as give up parkland or pay with no other
While they could see the need to negotiate in secret keeping secret the fact that
the City was seeking a settlement in this lawsuit, for some, was questionable. Did
the City just wish to limit the citizens right to object and stop this settlement?
If the settlement is the best thing for Novi why didnít Council start negotiations right
a way after taking office almost two years ago and we would be talking a lot less
money or parkland.
On the question of a public vote on this some say that developers run this City. Are
these developers denying us the time to vote? Council had over a year before
entering into negotiations and we canít have 90 to 100 days to discuss and vote on
Mr. Tindall said he was opposed to the settlement and to paying more taxes and felt another way should be tried. The golf course issue ended with a Charter Amendment being brought by citizens taking the decision of the North Novi Parkland use from the Council and giving it to the citizens. Council Members Csordas, DeRoche, Bononi, Lorenzo and Mayor Clark are all on record as supporting that Charter Amendment and he regretted now that it didnít permit any use of the park without voter approval. Turn down the settlement or have a public vote.
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, was in favor of settling the lawsuit but was not in favor of getting rid of anything. He asked Council to be fiscally responsible. Justice is supposed to have an even scale but it wasnít this time. Justice is supposed to be blind but it was bigoted this time. It is not our fault and it is unfair. Fiscally, he didnít know how Council had any choice but to accept the deal. There are 450 acres left; has anyone thought about what we are going to do with that. Are we going to let it sit for another 7 years in its ugly unused condition and its deplorable, dilapidated building. There has been money but people have chosen not to use it. We have mismanaged.
George Krieger, 44920 Bern, had several concerns regarding taxes. He felt we were in a Catch 22 with the Sandstone issue and basically the City Council had done some research and would have to continue to until there was an answer that would get us out of this bind. He thought no additional taxes should be contemplated under any circumstances and any decision would have to be considerate towards the elderly. The legal experts recommend an expeditious settlement but he submitted they set aside all contentiousness and leave the blunder of Sandstone behind.
Mr. Krieger felt the library plans seemed extravagant and conceived by those without cost accountability and requested by those who are oblivious to the payment methods. Who are the unbiased parties representing the tax paying community that reviewed and consented to the use of the justification data to this monument? The first floor would have almost twice the
floor space as they do presently, the scope of services is beyond the mission of a library and the taxpayer obligation to meet the payment. Was an operating budget prepared? Assuming a room for 100 computers, Internet access and software availability, if this were a profitable self sustaining cost center then why hasnít private enterprise picked up on that idea? Public participation at Library Board meetings appears to be non-existent? Is this because the top inter-circle of board members refuses to consider opposing views? He attended a recent meeting and would not return or support the present leadership. Why are homeowner associations not represented at Library Board meetings? The library seems to neglect impartial outside resources. He believed that the Library Board leadership was driven by personal ambition and is insensitive and inconsiderate. They are asking the voters for a total of 2 mils forever. This, while the Sandstone issue remains unresolved and our nation is committed to fighting a long term world war. The proposed library cost and scope of services is totally unacceptable, irresponsible and loaded with wasteful spending. He asked taxpayers to vote with thoughtful consideration after reviewing the facts.
Mr. Krieger directed comments to Member DeRoche and felt that he needed to prove his case to the State. Member DeRoche sent out a letter to "Dear Friends" on September 25th and Mr. Krieger received one as an absentee voter. He felt his letter contained convoluted logic and values, misleading information and deception. He thought it was a personal attack on his knowledge and interests in the Cityís affairs, a show of the utmost contempt to those he was elected to serve and an affront to those he has targeted. Laura Lorenzo serves our best
interests as she promised. She cares for the Cityís money the way his wife cares for his family money. She has earned his trust, confidence and vote. David Landry espoused fiscal prudent approaches and his legal expertise is what our city needs and he would also receive his vote. Both of these people are loyal to the Mayorís vision for our City and are team players with performance records that stand on their own merit. He said Mayor Clark could also count on his vote.
Mr. Krieger asked Council if they understood that Member DeRocheís letter appeared as a violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. Mr. Krieger stated he would pursue this further in Lansing to discover the outcome and thought Council should seek a legal opinion from the City Attorney regarding potential Charter violations in this City.
Mr. Krieger addressed Members Cassis, Kramer and Mr. Capello as he felt they and Member DeRoche were all a part of this letter. He asked the residents to prepare themselves before they go to the precinct and to be sure to vote because it is important and it counts.
Debra Southwick, 41344 Beacon Road, addressed the comments that "no one is at the park". The park is not the mall where we walk four abreast and it is meant to be a place of solitude, respite and enjoyment of nature. There are a lot of people there but the park doesnít get much attention unless Council is addressing something about it. It might be that a settlement is the only way to go but she was not convinced that this settlement is the right settlement. She thought this settlement might raise as many liability issues in the future as it hoped to settle. If they are willing to take $30 million in land would they take $30 million in cash? She didnít think it was clear what we are liable for in the settlement as it reads now. She asked Council to get more details and get more specifics about what we would be liable for and what the City might be putting itself in danger of being liable for in the future.
Andrew Mutch, 24541 Hampton Court, stated he supported the library proposal. He served two years on the Library Board and during that time they initiated the planning process to start looking at what the needs and requirements of a future library to serve a community of 70,000 or 80,000 residents would be. They recognized the most efficient and effective way to serve the taxpayers was not to build an incremental type of structure that would require them to go back every ten years and add on to it. They did intensive study, had a library consultant who looked at the realities of what a library is in a community today and what the needs of that community were. Recommendations were made based on the science and the facts and Council put this on the ballot and he believed that Council felt this was an accurate representation of community needs in the future. He hoped everyone would support the library because it is so necessary for our community and it is reasonable.
Mr. Mutch did not agree with the proposed settlement as written but did respect that the Council and administration had a very difficult decision to make and were trying to evaluate all the facts. Most important to him was that the process used was fair and honest. When he reviewed the resolution he saw neither. There are statements in the settlement resolution that are not factually correct and he didnít believe that the lawyers could change the truth to meet the legal arguments. That is not acceptable. He thought if the Council approved the wording as proposed that we would be making a fraudulent representation to the Courts and then to ask them to use that to approve an agreement would be unconscionable.
Mr. Mutch said there were statements under Item 1, subsection B of the settlement resolution, that are not true. To accept these statements all the Master Planning that the Parks and Recreation Commission had done and the work done on the limited facilities that are there would have to be rejected. Why is this written this way and why is the City making such an effort to make what is clearly a park not a park? He said under Michigan Home Rule City Act, Act 279 of 1909, Section 117.5, prohibited powers. Section 5 stated a "City does not have the power (then to subsection E) to sell a park, cemetery or any part of a park or cemetery except where the park is not required under an official master plan of the City." To read language in the resolution to the contrary is offensive and unacceptable.
Within the settlement language the City first offers to convey the 75 acres to Sandstone. He said he was not a lawyer and didnít know if that constituted a sale or not and maybe our City Attorney could address that issue. Clearly, the transfer of the additional 20 acres entitles an option and a sale. So clearly, under State Law, under prohibitive powers, under actions which no City or village can take that option and sale of that parkland is not permitted. The only way it could be permitted is for this land to be declared not a park, not covered by the Master Plan and not protected. This Council recognizes they canít do that, they donít have that power under State or our planning authority so Council is proposing a settlement that would ask the court to do this. This opens up a great danger because the language in State Law is clear. The State recognizes municipalities could not just bypass this provision of State Law by slicing off a portion of the park. The State recognizes that parkland would be protected against sale by a City. Now we ask a judge to say that area is not a park but how could a judge do that? Would the judge say that none of the land is parkland, which would be the logical progression for this and if none of it is parkland then what is the threat in the future. He hoped and firmly believed that none of this land would be threatened again.
He asked Council before making their decision to look at the language and to make sure that the loopholes that are to Sandstoneís benefit are closed and that Council is not, by the language, to circumvent State Law or prevent citizens to have a voice in this issue. Clearly illustrate the costs involved and donít leave the question marks hanging out there.
Michael Brenner, building a home in Novi, commented he had followed this case and asked that Council remove the albatross from the City of Novi. The people of the City needed to know, financially, where their future lies. The Federal government would now be putting more and more responsibility on the municipalities and he implored Council to insure our security of being able to maintain our homes. If the settlement is going to be done insure that the loopholes are closed and if not insure that the post judgement interest stops and the clock stops running once and for all.
Maryanne Smeltzer stated that if taxes are increased it would have a very devastating effect on Novi. It will not be the place to move into. We are taxed to the hilt now and to add an extra burden would be fiscally irresponsible on Councilís part.
Mayor Clark commented a lot of e-mails and correspondence had been received and would be made a part of the public record.
Mayor Clark commented he respected every citizenís right to either support or not support the action proposed tonight. However, as a practicing attorney I take my profession very, very seriously. When someone says to me "you are perpetrating a fraud" or would go before the
Court and, in essence, perjure yourself you are accusing a person of committing a crime. He said they should chose their words carefully and weigh the consequences of that because he did not take that type of an allegation directed to his reputation of 33 years as a member of an honorable profession lightly. He respected the right of citizens to vehemently disagree with him. Mayor Clark noted he would treat Mr. Shaw with utmost respect but asked that he weigh his words carefully.
We heard a comment that arsenic is not a serious problem. Mayor Clark said he read an article today "Toxic Torts as a Growth Industry for Lawyers and Lawyers who latch on to something such as a site with contaminants". They run ads in the newspaper saying "if you have walked on the land, if you think you're sick or if you have a problem it might be caused because you were on that land at some time. Call us at this number." The judgements that prevail in these class action lawsuits make the judgement that this City is facing now as serious as it is. Those judgements make these numbers look like pocket change. Speaking for himself he stated he would not pass on to any future Council that burden. Arsenic is a serious problem. In many fields what the government used to say was an acceptable level of exposure are no longer acceptable and the litigation has ensued as a result of that.
Before Council is a resolution to resolve this litigation and it is done by a Consent Judgement. That Consent Judgement has to be agreed to by the parties and approved by the Court and if there is concern in the future you go back to Court and the only way it changes is if the two parties agree among themselves. There is no easy solution. Those of us elected two years ago knew coming in that this problem was hanging over the City but cared enough to deal with it head on. He cared for this City as did each Council Member as much as each and every resident did but the seven sitting at the Council Table have a responsibility to all 50,000 people of Novi and donít take it lightly.
Someone said there was a vote on the golf course and a vote on the pool and they are right. When those votes took place we were not looking at a $70 million judgement and interest running at $20,000 a day either. These problems do not go away but they do have to be dealt with responsibly and no one at the Council Table is happy with the position they find themselves in tonight.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Ms. Cornelius advised Council of new wording for Item H as follows: Approval of change Order No. 1; 2001 Neighborhood paving program, for the Meadowbrook Road Safety Path Extension Project ($47,965.75) and repairs to the Nine Mile at CSX Railroad Crossing ($7,500)
CM-01-10-277 Moved by seconded by; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-277 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
Approve Minutes of:
September 27, 2001, Special Meeting
October 1, 2001, Regular Meeting
Introduction of resolution vacating a portion of Owenton and setting a Public Hearing for November 13, 2001.
Approve Massage License for Salon Agapeí, 43155 Main Street, Suite 310.
Award bid for Fall 2001 Street Tree Planting to Panoramic Landscaping, the low bidder, in the amount of $74,150.
Approval of resolution to waive recapture of Community Development Block Grant funds for program year 1999.
Approval of resolution authorizing the reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant funds for Program Years 1999 and 2000.
Adoption of Traffic Control Orders 01-16, 01-17, 01-18 and 01-19.
Approval of change Order No. 1; 2001 Neighborhood paving program, for the Meadowbrook Road Safety Path Extension Project ($47,965.75) and repairs to the Nine Mile at CSX Railroad Crossing ($7,500)
Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 608
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Adoption of Resolution Authorizing Consent Judgment in Oakland County
Circuit Court Case No. 95-501532-CK, Entitled Sandstone Associates Limited
Partnership v City of Novi, et al, subject to specified conditions.
Mayor Clark stated this resolution authorized the Council on behalf of the City of Novi to finalize terms of a proposed settlement.
CM-01-10-278 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt Resolution Authorizing Consent
Judgement in Oakland County Circuit Court Case No. 95-
501532-CK, Entitled Sandstone Associates Limited Partnership
v City of Novi, et al, subject to specified conditions.
Member DeRoche wanted it to be made clear that for those in the audience that spoke to the details that Council, attorneys and the administration take those very seriously and they would be pinned down to the most minute details before actually entering into a settlement. Mayor Clark said he too would be looking at every paragraph, every T, every I and every comma.
Member Kramer requested that the draft resolution be discussed in a work session before putting it on the agenda for a decision so the details could be discussed as a Council. We have had negotiating teams talking for eight months to get to this point where both parties equally dislike but might accept the terms of the resolution that is being put together. We now have a framework on the table and we currently support it and so do they and to change it would mean falling back to the legal system that we are waiting on. It has been on the Court of Appeals docket for over a year. A panel has not been appointed and could be favorable or unfavorable. If we fall out of having a framework resolution we will fall back on the legal system and two things happen there. The judgement is monetary only and we would have to negotiate over a court appointed amount of money that will escalate over time. Anything we do is time and the 12%
interest never stops until this is settled. We have an opportunity to put this behind us and he believes this is acceptable and worthwhile to put this behind us. He thought they would need to answer more questions also. The most important thing is to agree as a Council that we have the framework to move ahead and that it is our intention to bring this to a fruitful resolution and he would support it.
Mayor Clark commented that when Mr. Fisher has the proposed final language they would all receive a copy of the proposed Consent Judgement and after reviewing it they would be happy to answer any questions.
Member Kramer proposed either a Special Session or an Executive Session be scheduled so Council could work out and understand the document.
Mayor Clark suggested waiting until something is finalized and then seeing if we are close and if a meeting is needed.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-278 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
2. Adoption of Resolution to prescribe steps for the Establishment of a
Conservation Easement on the Entirety of the North Novi Park which is not
allocated for the settlement of the Sandstone litigation.
CM-01-10-279 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt resolution to prescribe steps for
the Establishment of a Conservation Easement on the Entirety
of the North Novi Park which is not allocated for the settlement
of the Sandstone litigation.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-279 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo
3. Adoption of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 01-18.169 (Expo Overlay
District), an ordinance to add Article 10A to Ordinance No. 97-18, the City of
Novi Zoning Ordinance; to add the designation for the Exo "Exposition
Overlay" District to the Schedule of Regulations contained within Section
2400 of said ordinance; to amend footnote (h) to the Schedule of Regulations
contained within Section 2400 of said ordinance, relating to off-street
parking; to amend subsection 2507.3 of said ordinance relating to off-street
loading and unloading; to amend subparts 2509.6a and 2509.8b of said
ordinance, relating to berming and landscaping; and to amend subsection
2519 of said ordinance, relating to performance standards, for the purpose of
creating the Exo "Exposition Overlay" Zoning District, which is intended to
encourage the development of an exposition, conference, and convention
center, and supporting uses, in an appropriate area of the city - 2nd Reading
Member DeRoche commented there was specific language in the drafts relating to professional standards evaluating the efficiency of the traffic in and out of an Expo Center. It is not in these documents tonight. Mr. Arroyo said there was already a policy in the Zoning Ordinance and the Site Plan and Development Manual that set forth the requirements of traffic impact studies. It follows a model established by MDOT and adopted through a statewide committee. Any review of traffic impact information that
would be submitted as part of a proposal would be submitted and reviewed according to those standards that are already in place.
Member DeRoche asked what standards would evaluate the traffic and lighting and traffic lights in front of the Expo. Mr. Arroyo said those standards are already in place. There are very good lighting and traffic review standards in the ordinance that would be applied to this district as well as any other district. Member DeRoche asked if that was his recollection that they were removed because they were addressed elsewhere. Mr. Arroyo said yes.
Mr. Fisher said the language was reworked but it pertains to some degree where there is a subjective decision. There are certain vehicular access decisions made that are relatively objective, example those on pages 3 and 4. It does go into where you have the subjective it is in accordance with the traffic study submitted by the applicant and approved by the City. Member DeRoche asked if that was contrary to other evaluations given to traffic? Mr. Fisher said not that he is aware of because we are covered in all the areas where we have Design Standards there is either a warrant for a particular improvement or there isnít a warrant. This is a subjective standard so we have added the notion that a traffic study is required and the decision is based on the traffic study.
Mr. Arroyo said they use the information in the traffic study to determine if the warrants are met that are found in other parts of the ordinances. So this would insure that study would be done no matter what development occurs there and it could be used to compare with other City standards to see if certain improvements are warranted.
Blair Bowman thought that Mr. Fisher pointed out that it is a subjective standard none the less. There already are requirements for submission of a traffic study, that levels of service would be analyzed, improvements would be suggested and recommended. As this reads it simply states that if a body, at a future date, were to find that there were unreasonable impacts that would be the decision. Not one based upon any standards or decided by a traffic study, even though one has to be submitted and it is based on the conclusions and results of a traffic study being examined by professionals. It still says that future body can determine if there are unreasonable impacts and at that point it becomes a subjective decision and can be reason for denial of the project. All they are suggesting is that the draft that was originally submitted was a draft that came out of the Planning Commission, which added the phrase "such a decision would be based upon applying professional standards".
CM-01-10-280 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To adopt Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 01-18.169 (Expo Overlay District), an ordinance to add Article 10A to Ordinance No. 97-18, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance; to add the designation for the Exo "Exposition Overlay" District to the
Schedule of Regulations contained within Section 2400 of said ordinance; to amend footnote (h) to the Schedule of Regulations contained within Section 2400 of said ordinance, relating to off-street parking; to amend subsection 2507.3 of said ordinance relating to off-street loading and unloading; to
amend subparts 2509.6a and 2509.8b of said ordinance, relating to berming and landscaping; and to amend subsection
2519 of said ordinance, relating to performance standards, for
the purpose of creating the Exo "Exposition Overlay" Zoning
District, which is intended to encourage the development of an exposition, conference, and convention center, and supporting uses, in an appropriate area of the city - 2nd Reading & Adoption Ė with the removal of the first new sentence on page 4 from Section 1003A, Item #1.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo commented this is a very important issue and the question is not whether we want the relocation of the Expo Center but do we want a quality project that would stand the test of time and that the community would be proud of. She thought it was premature at this time. The ancillary uses are overly broad. We donít know what those uses would be or how many of them there would be and we donít know how they would compete with our downtown retail commercial districts. She was not satisfied with the minimum, if any, standards that would encourage and insure a quality project from the standpoint of architecture and appropriate screening. She could not see from the document, in terms of the lack of standards, what this project would look like from the roadways. Would it look like a sea of parking, would there be enough landscaping amenities to hide the parking since there would be no landscaping within the internal structure of the parking lot? This is our only shot at what the project would look like in the end. If the applicant complied with all of the standards in this proposed document then Council would most likely have to approve whatever the applicant came forward with regardless of what the uses were, how they competed or what quality or lack of there was to a project. She was not sure this document insured or encouraged a quality project and was not satisfied with this method of going about it.
With regard to the language she was not satisfied with just saying "it is the intent to have the EXO Overlay District encompass more than 55 contiguous acres or to have more than one Expo Overlay until the population exceeds 100,000." We donít know what our ultimate population would be. This Council has asked from time to time to change zoning districts and if we keep changing our zoning and Master Plan we could easily go up to 100,000 or better. Would that mean that once that happened we could consider another Exposition Center or overlay district on top of OST? She was not satisfied with that language being the limitation of not seeing this all over OST property. This has been a very long and intense meeting and she did not think this important decision should be made at this hour. She asked that this issue be postponed.
Member Kramer thought a lot of time and resources had been invested into this document and it was time for action. This rewrite did respond to his concerns, it reduced the generalities, tightened and defined the ancillary uses and he thought they
had an adequate definition of constraints that would give us one Expo Center. This ordinance would set quality standards and would not impact the underlying OST. The concerns that were tabled have been addressed. He would support the motion.
Member Bononi did not find this document a quality-guaranteeing ordinance for the City of Novi. This ordinance will work for this applicant but her concern was the amount of leeway and allowance with regard to how this particular project might develop.
Her concerns were the number of uses and the language regarding museums, theatres, recreational facilities, space for school and civic affairs, warehousing, etc. When this is finished we are talking about many uses that are not compatible and the City didnít need or want them.
On page 2, top of page, we have underlined, "The need to have sufficient population for the use, in no event is it the intent to have the EXO Overlay District encompass more than 55 contiguous acres". She asked Mr. Fisher if we had a PUD or a PD Overlay would it be able to address this circumstance. If it would why approve an overlay and risk another one and would this address expansion of this site?
Mr. Fisher said a PUD or PD could address this, however, a PUD is very discretionary in its terms. The Planning Commission was attempting to minimize the amount of discretion but maintain or continue with sufficient standards to make sure that the development met certain quality levels. The motion exemplified that.
Expansion is addressed in the sense that there is a limitation. One Expo District cannot be established within two miles of another. On Page 3, paragraph 3D, "An expansion of an existing district shall be deemed to be the establishment of a new district." So, once a district is established between 45 and 55 acres acquiring adjacent property cannot expand it.
Member Bononi said 1001A, Principle Uses Permitted, second paragraph, refers to "all uses permitted in the OST Planned Office Service Technology District Sections 2301a and 2302a. She found in 2302a there are not uses in there it is a condition section. So she thought this was an error.
She asked from the standpoint of the underlying zone being OST if things donít work our the way the applicant wants can we be talking about an absolute mix of any OST uses being combined into this proposal?
Mr. Fisher said the applicant would be entitled to OST uses but they would still be subject to the regulation under this ordinance unless the Overlay was taken off. She asked what happened to the planning compatibility issues from one use to another use? Mr. Fisher said to the extent that you have this full array of uses those uses would be permissible by the property owner as a matter of right under OST. Member Bononi asked why they would want to do that? Mr. Fisher said it was a policy decision and it could be done in the OST zone also except you have these additional uses that are permissible here. Member Bononi said if the economics of this doesnít work this applicant has the ability to put anything he wants in OST and OS.
Mr. Fisher said there are various limitations worked out as part of the last amendment process. There are conditions for outdoor recreation use and then the financial use retail, sale of products, services and restaurants are limited on Page 6.
She said taking those into consideration everything else that is permitted in those zones are permitted main uses and permitted accessory uses as well. Mr. Fisher said yes.
Member Bononi did not agree that the building height of 9 stories was appropriate for the City. She did not agree that, on page 5, this particular overlay should have any sort of allowances that go below the screening unless the applicant could prove a hardship. She was particularly opposed to the degradation of the architectural design standards. As far as the compliance to the faÁade standards she barely saw anything in the Planning Commission that isnít given a waiver anymore.
Page 6, #8, Outside Storage - outside storage should be limited to the area as is currently expressed in the existing Expo Ordinance and we talk about absolutely requiring screening from parking lots and public rights-of-way as in the current Expo Ordinance.
#9, Conditions for Outdoor Recreation Uses refer to reasonable conditions and she did not know what reasonable was or who would interpret what it was. Mr. Fisher said it would be the City Council subject to challenge. She said there was no defined standard and she had a problem with that.
#11 Refers to the City becoming part of the enforcement compliance of covenants and restrictions. She asked how the City would become involved in this on private property in other circumstances and why would they want to do that? Mr. Fisher said one example would be in the area of drainage. If you have a covenant restriction that compels certain drainage improvements to be maintained so that there is not an adverse impact on adjoining properties there is an interest in the City to make sure that maintenance is done. She asked if he was talking about a private drainage system? He said absolutely. Member Bononi said the City would be involved in overseeing this? Mr. Fisher stated it would depend on how the covenants were written. He envisioned it as the City having an opportunity but not an obligation to become involved. She thought that should be made crystal clear.
Member Bononi addressed what the overlay language would do to our existing standards. She believed it degraded zoning standards with regard to setbacks, landscaping, screening and berming requirements. She believed it totally degraded architectural requirements, the design concept of the architectural design that is included and she did not believe it was worthy of the City of Novi. It looked like a downgrade because it is a downgrade. She said that because from the standpoint of an Expo Center she would not want to approve a convention center that did not succeed. It is an important investment and we agree that this will be a much better location.
She was talking about the kind of Expo Centers she visited that are elegant in its use and statement and has as permitted uses uses that are relative to a convention center. She talked about accessory uses that are of a high nature such as high-end gift shops, flower shops, and personal service shops for grooming and health care, all of which are
often supported by convention goers. She was not talking about batting cages, water parks, outdoor recreation facilities, putt putt golf and everything else that would fit into this description.
She was also concerned that there were no special land use requirements with regard to outdoor nighttime activities and thought there should be in this ordinance. A positive thing she saw was the applicant was seeking to preserve wooded area in place of parking and landscaping, which is a very positive thing. Some of the storm water runoff would be captured as a result of that, hopefully. However, when talking about pollution and runoff that would exit this sea of pavement she was grateful that there was a small area that would soak some of this water in. The rest of it would be a direct dump into the rouge river unless gas and oil separators and some other water quality treatments are required in the site plan stage. As a taxpayer she would say thatís wonderful that we are going to have a sea of blacktop that is going to effect a quick exit from the applicantís site. But when all this polluted runoff runs off this site everyone pays for it from the standpoint of water quality. The fact that we are seeing this parking lot with no green space within it is a big disappointment and a degradation of our standards. If this is our one shot and if the Council is not of the opinion that we should be looking at each of these things individually from the standpoint of amendment and enhancement then she would not support this. She did not believe this would give the City the quality product it deserved and she had reservations if it would give the applicant a quality product in order to make it a success.
Mr. Fisher was trying to reconcile Member DeRocheís point and the petitionerís concern and the desire would be to take out this entire sentence "that as a condition to granting approval the City Council shall find that no unreasonable impact could result from the project". Because of the many uses he was concerned about taking that text out entirely.
Member DeRoche asked if he had wording for an objective standard to insert into the sentence?
Mr. Fisher was considering "a condition to granting approval the City Council shall receive a report of a licensed traffic engineer specifying that no unreasonable traffic impacts would result. Member DeRoche accepted that wording.
Mr. Bowman said they would absolutely abide by the process, as they understand it, already contained in the site plan process and just taking out the reference to "the finding of unreasonable impact made by the body". Mr. Fisher said so it is just receiving a report of the traffic engineer for that affect? Mr. Bowman said absolutely.
Mr. Arroyo suggested, regarding the same sentence, instead of using the term "licensed traffic engineer" refer to a "transportation professional meeting the qualifications in the Cityís site plan and development manual" because those are already in place. Mr. Fisher understood the concept and requested that language from Mr. Arroyo.
Mayor Clark asked the petitioner if he was amenable to that? Mr. Bowman said he was.
Member Bononi would like it made clear that the City was not responsible for becoming involved in the disposition of the covenants and restrictions because it talks about such language as "being mutually agreeable" and she understood that was our option.
Mr. Fisher said it is at the election of the City. She asked that the document reflect that.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-280 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Mr. Bowman said he didnít know whether the motion in the process that just took place included the prepared information that Mr. Evancoe had provided Council last time as far as the natural features and screening option. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said they would have to bring it back at the next meeting for reconsideration.
Member DeRoche thought the screening was addressed in the First Reading and asked if something different was done?
Mr. Evancoe said the language regarding landscaping was optional language that was requested by the petitioner and was not part of the draft that the Planning Commission forwarded to Council. So, it was additional language. Member DeRoche said he specifically added three things in his motion at the First Reading and that was not one of them. Mr. Evancoe said this is optional language that Council could include if they desired.
Mayor Clark said it would have to come back as a separate item at the next meeting.
Member Csordas thought he asked for that to be added.
Member Kramer commented having approved the EXO ordinance that includes a 9-story building he requested that the Planning Department look at the ordinances where the other applications of 9 stories are indicated. He thought there was another at the OSC location and one in the conference center. All other locations in the City where 9 stories are permitted should be examined and recommendations made to Council whether that should be kept, revised or dropped.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Helwig for the information requested to be made available by the second meeting in November. Mr. Helwig said it would be available.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
Consideration of Planning Commission Appointments
Mayor Clark recommended Gwen Markham for Karin Piccinini.
CM-01-10-281 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
To approve the appointment of Gwen Markham to the
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-281 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi
Nays: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Bononi
Mayor Clark recommended Tim Shroyer for Andrew Mutch.
CM-01-10-282 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
To approve the appointment of Tim Shroyer to the Planning
Member Kramer commented these appeared to be the same proposals presented before. He voted against them previously and wanted to state his rational for continuing to vote against them. Thirty percent of the Planning Commission turned over in the last year and 30% of the Planning Commission has less than one-year experience. We have a new administration in the Planning Department and new staff has been added. The background of the existing members include a person of youth who is active in the City, a person with business background who has demonstrated leadership character and a person from industry with a history of positive contribution to the City and Parks and Recreation. It takes a while to understand the ordinance requirements to do quality planning work. So, he could not support the appointments.
Mayor Clark indicated that Gwen Markham was a former Planning Commissioner in Novi so she does have experience. Mr. Shroyer was a Planning Commissioner in the State of Ohio and was also well versed.
Member DeRoche said he didnít understand why they were going through this during this meeting, at this hour with such important issues in front of the City. He remembered going through this on the last meeting of the last Council and being frustrated about talking about Planning Commission appointments and voting against one of our current Planning Commission appointments at that meeting. He did not see a benefit in revisiting this two years later. To this specific appointment he thought Andrew Mutch was someone who should be welcomed into this community as a refreshing voice. He did not agree with Mr. Mutch on the issues and Mr. Mutch didnít think the way Member DeRoche thought but was someone who put an incredibly refreshing view on things. He has a way of getting to issues that really matter and is an independent voice and a young person that should be welcomed in the community. Turning someone out when they are really hitting their stride and making positive contributions was not something he wanted to do.
Member Bononi said, as a professional planner who had served Councilís and Planning Commissions in addition to being a Council Member, no place that she had ever served as a planner, was there an ownership connotation on the Planning Commission like we seem to have. When she was appointed to the Planning Commission she read the enabling legislation that creates Planning Commissions in our State. There is nothing in that enabling act that goes to looking at someone who served on a Planning Commission for 15 years or whatever. That is not what Planning Commission representation is suppose to be about and it had not been a part of her planning experience in any State she worked in. The idea being that people who come to the Planning Commission are interested in serving and you do not have to be an
expert to do good planning. What you do have to be is someone who is willing to do the work and she would like to see that demonstrated consistently not only from the novices on the Planning Commission and the Council but by all of us with regard to the work we are doing. She would like to see experienced Planning Commissioners that understand basic Roberts Rules of Order. She would like to tune into a Planning Commission meeting and hear more than "well what time do you want to get out of here you have 15 minutes to discuss the subject." If this is experience then each person has a right to their own point of view but the question must be asked whether or not that is serving our community. She didnít believe they were. Thinking that, one, two, three or even all of the members of any board or commission have a vested right to be where they are. It all depends on the job that they are doing. In this State, the Commission was set up so people in this community could be part of this Planning Commission and not that several people could serve forever. That is not what the public act said.
Member Csordas commented that he didnít remember Mr. Shroyer from previous discussions and asked that Council be given refresher paperwork to review the next time.
Member Cassis concurred with Member Csordas. He would have liked to be able to go through their applications again, see who they are and if they were still willing to serve. One gentleman on Mayor Clarkís list had a very serious ailment and sugar condition and Member Cassis didnít know if he would be able to serve. There is only three weeks until the next Council and maybe they would all agree with the Mayor. He thought it was prudent to wait.
Member Cassis asked if they were talking about term limits? Mayor Clark has expressed that he wants new, fresh people and he felt that was a contradiction because Ms. Markham had been on before and would not be new. If we are putting limits on people there are a few people here that may be shouldnít succeed themselves if there are term limits. Itís not term limits, itís not who the people are it is changing one force in this community to another force. Are we still intent to split this community again? Letís work together and include all segments and all political and social views of this community. One regime cannot have the exclusiveness of knowing it all. He is looking for more harmony, togetherness, more keeping this community together and less polarization, less acrimony and inclusiveness in the genuine sense. He thought the Mayor knew where he was coming from the he knew where the Mayor was coming from and November 6th would determine it. Why are we hiding; there should be no hiding about this. Member Cassis said he has run so far as an independent person trying to coalesce with people, trying to bring ideas together, having a harmonious community and a harmonious Council. He said that is his platform and that is what he is running on. Member Cassis said Mayor Clark knows what he and I have discussed about these appointments. Member Cassis asked for compromise and Mayor Clark doesnít want any compromise. He wants either his way or the highway. This is not the way to do coalition, get together and work in harmony and bring inclusiveness to this community. This is the spirit I am going forward with. There was no background material and he didnít know what was coming up and he wasnít sure it shouldnít be brought together before voting on it. He asked Mr. Fisher if it was Freedom of Information or what?
Mr. Fisher said it satisfied Freedom of Information but he wasnít sure if there was a Council rule that required background information on this.
Member Cassis asked how they could put matters for Council action when you didnít know what the matter was? He said he didnít know these people, if they were still available, if their views changed, etc.
Mayor Clark commented he respected Member Cassisí right to make comments, however this had nothing to do with politics. He was here to serve the public and he respected everyoneís right to disagree on each and every issue that came before Council. Just as he respected everyoneís right to agree or disagree with the action taken to adopt a resolution to bring the Sandstone nightmare to a close.
He remembered the time Member Cassis made the argument that people with experience were needed on the Planning Commission. Mayor Clark said when he moved for Member Cassisí appointment he wasnít concerned about his experience. He had not been a Planning Commissioner but he knew full well that Member Cassis would give that position his best efforts. Mayor Clark said he had talked to these nominees and they were alive and well. Mr. Ruyle did have a serious illness but he did also. We have an honest disagreement. All of us who have, at times, felt there isnít enough information on an issue have not been shy about calling the City Manager, Mr. Klaver or the Clerkís office to request additional information. If it is Councilís wish to approve or disapprove names brought forward that is their right and he would respect everyoneís right to do so. However, the Mayor has the right and the obligation, under the City Charter, to bring names forward.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-282 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi
Nays: DeRoche, Kramer, Cassis, Csordas
Mayor Clark recommended David Ruyle and Phil Koneda.
CM-01-10-283 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
To approve the appointment of David Ruyle and Phil Koneda.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-283 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi
Nays: Kramer, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche
Award of bid for intersection improvements at 10 Mile/Cranbrooke, 10 Mile/Meadowbrook and 10 Mile/Wixom signalization to low bidder, Cadillac Asphalt Paving in the amount of $640,488.00.
CM-01-10-284 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To award bid for intersection improvements at 10 mile/Cranbrooke, 10 Mile/Meadowbrook and 10 Mile/Wixom signalization to low bidder,
Cadillac Asphalt Paving in the amount of $640,488.00.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-284 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas,
Approval of RCOC Traffic Control Device agreement - 10 Mile at Cranbrooke and Bashian Dr.
CM-01-10-285 Moved by Kramer, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Road Commission Oakland County Traffic Control Device Agreement Ė 10 Mile at Cranbrooke and Bashian Dr.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-285 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Award of bid for Special Assessment projects 11 Mile Water and Sewer and Sierra Water and Sewer to JCK and for Birchwoods Subdivision Ė Delmont Drive water main SAD, low bidder, Orchard Hiltz and McCliment
CM-01-10-286 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To award bid for Special Assessment projects 11 Mile Water and
Sewer and Sierra Water and Sewer to JCK and for Birchwoods
Subdivision Ė Delmont Drive water main SAD, low bidder, Orchard
Hiltz and McCliment.
Roll call vote on CM-01-10-286 Yeas: Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche,
Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Election Signs Ė Mayor Clark
Mayor Clark commented there was a memo in Council packets from the Chief of Police talking about the disappearance and defacement of election signs and he had personally witnessed two candidatesí signs, Members Kramer and Cassisí defaced. Those who think it is funny to steal a sign first of all your stealing property, it is a misdemeanor and you can be prosecuted. Second, when you steal someoneís sign you are stealing their right of free speech and whether I agree with them or not I will defend vigorously their right to express themselves. So, a word of caution, if you are thinking of defacing or stealing signs this is not a game. Right now we are engaged in a struggle for our very liberties and freedom of speech is first and foremost among those freedoms. If you are caught defacing or stealing signs and it is brought to our attention you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Every candidate is entitled to express their views and those signs are political speech guaranteed by both the Federal and State constitutions. When you trample on those rights you do so at great risk because no one at this table will take that lightly.
Cathy Crawford, Beck Road, said it must be election time in Novi. The Mayor has taken a beating and is still ticking and took it like a true gentleman. Mr. DeRoche, shame on you we are so disappointed in your little machinations for political power in this City. The rest of these are directed to the other four men on Council. She predicted a week or so ago that the vote would be 4-3 when it was anything to do with a development brought on by some business people. Again, she was proved right when it came to some of the issues. She was appreciative of the results of the last election; we
wanted new people, Mr. Cassis. We voted in a new regime because that is what we want here, a new regime. We have a new City Manager who is doing a terrific job and new lawyers who are very good. She appreciated the questioning of the developers
that come in here. How can anyone be on the Planning Commission and learn anything if you never let them on. If you canít get experience at it how can you ever be there? If we only appoint the experienced people then we would have the same old regime. Some of you are not going to be happy until there is a Planning Commission that thinks like you, that promotes business and every development like that to the disagreement of the people of the City. We donít want that. We want them to represent the citizens first, the government second and developments third. She said some of the Council Members had a different expression for the different kind of people who come before them. When citizens come up some of you frown, look down, look at someone else but when one of your buddies from the business world comes forward you joke, you smile and you laugh but not when the citizens come up. That was one of the reasons she came to the meeting you donít get the feeling from television that you get the here of the camaraderie and who your buds are and who your going to vote for. You wonít be happy until we go back to the past and let developments run Novi. A lot of us thought that for a long time and we were beginning to think that wasnít true but she was afraid they were wrong. Politics are a dirty business and some of you are getting right into it very well. However, this is City government and these are neighbors, friends and people we respect that you are trying to keep down or get rid of and we donít appreciate things being said about them either.
James Korte, Shawood Lake, applauded the Mayor for bringing planning out at this time. What he has asked you is to work with him and to work together. Planning is a mayoral appointment, that is the name of the game and four of you flunked the test. Mr. Korte said Mr. Cassis you want him to work with you but he is the Mayor. He comes first and you are supposed to look like youíre assisting the Mayor. Mr. Kramerís literature says more resident involvement. It proves anything can be printed and he flunked the test big time.
1. Letter from Marilyn & Bill Rice, Re: Sandstone settlement.
2. Letter from Phyllis & Don Post, Re: Sandstone settlement.
3. Letter from Marilyn Hannon, Re: Sandstone settlement.
4. Letter from Verna Kulbaba, Re: Sandstone settlement
5. Letter from John Foley, Re: Sandstone settlement
6. Letter from Kent Teeters, Re: Sandstone settlement
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ________________________
Date approved: November 13, 2001