View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2004 AT 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello Ė absent/excused, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, and Paul Ė absent/excused

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

CM-04-02-052 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as presented.

Voice Vote on CM-04-02-052 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None

Mayor Csordas said that the same interview procedure would be followed as at the previous interview session. Council would call each participant to the podium, and the interviewee will have 5 minutes to provide a brief overview of why they would like to be appointed to a board, commission, or whatever they are interviewing for. After those 5 minutes, each City Council member may ask one question of the interviewee.

INTERVIEW SCHEDULE

Carol Bauer, Library Board

Ms. Bauer said she was interviewing to seek reappointment to the Library Board. The Library, members of the community, the Library Board and the Library staff, have been working on a very comprehensive strategic plan for the Library. She was involved in the inception of that plan and worked with it through the past year. She would like to be reappointed so that she could see it put into service, and see how the Board can move forward with some expanded services at the Library and bring it up to date.

Member Nagy thanked Ms. Bauer. After Ms. Bauerís number of years of service, and having watched her many times on cable, she had no questions for the interviewee.

Member Lorenzo said she appreciated all of Ms. Bauerís years of service at the Library. In terms of the makeup of the Board and how it melds together, she asked if the Board should be speaking as one voice, or if it is ok to have differing opinions.

Ms. Bauer replied that the Board has sufficient time to work out whatever is on their agenda. She believed that majority rules. When that majority decision has come, she felt that the Board should support that decision as one.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry thanked Ms. Bauer for years of service and dedication to Novi. He asked what she believed is the single most important challenge facing the Library in the next 3 years.

Ms. Bauer replied that this is a very comprehensive financial package so that they can accomplish the goals that the Strategic Planning Committee has been working on. This will take a great deal of work, and they may need to see some people on the Board with a financial background. The Library should not have to depend upon the voters for money.

Member Gatt said he was fully aware of Ms. Bauerís, and her familyís, years of service to the community. He had no questions for her.

Mayor Csordas said he had also watched and attended some of the Library Board meetings and was very aware of her efforts. He said that these were greatly appreciated, and he had no questions.

Mayor Csordas said he had overlooked mentioning earlier that there were some people who had actually interviewed before, or had submitted their applications but were unable to interview that evening. One was Robert Churella, who submitted an application for the EDC; Mr. John Chambers for the Library Board; Mark Sturing for the Library Board; Pete Hoadley for the EDC; and Art Cervi for the Cable Access Committee. Council had all of their applications in its packets.

Lee Mamola, Construction Board of Appeals

Mr. Mamola said he has served on the Construction Board of Appeals now for 14 months. He was fulfilling another memberís term, so he was up for reappointment. The building codes change every 3 years, and they are coincidentally supposed to change this month. Codes are a bit different than ordinances. They are predominately performance based, and as such leave a bit of room for interpretation from time to time, and a certain amount of discretionary power to the building official in the community. The Construction Board of Appeals is almost a board of last resort to resolve any interpretations, abuse, or new things which may be proposed for construction. He has been in business with his own architectural firm for nearly 20 years now. During that 20 years, he could only remember about 4 cases that his firm had brought before the Construction Board of Appeals for Novi, though many other cases on the agendas for the Planning Commission or the ZBA.

Member Lorenzo asked if there had been any particular cases that Mr. Mamola wanted to bring to Councilís attention, in terms of something unusual or complex.

Mr. Mamola said there were no particular cases. Council should be very proud of the Cityís building officials and the Building Department for its diligence. They try to work things out with petitioners before they come to the Construction Board of Appeals, and when the petitioners do come before the Construction Board of Appeals there is a considerable amount of homework done. He felt that they do not get the recognition that they probably deserve. From a building code point of view, they uphold the code very well.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry thanked Mr. Mamola for his service and for being willing to serve on the Construction Board of Appeals, as the City certainly needs individuals with his experience and expertise. This particular board, he believes, is one of the most little-known and least understood of all. They have a very difficult job, because the Cityís Building Department has an interest in consistently enforcing the building codes; yet, the spirit of the code must be looked at as much as the letter of the code. The Building Departmentís consistent application of the code must be juggled with unique situations. He asked Mr. Mamola how he felt the Board is working, now that he has spent 2 years working on it.

Mr. Mamola replied that he has served now for a little more than a year. He has observed a very easy transition to feel a part of that Board. All of their meetings are open, public meetings, and they generally meet at a conference table. The discussion tends to flow evenly. There is a good amount of research that everyone must do before coming to the meeting, and everyone has apparently done their homework for almost every case.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if there was anything that Council could do to help the Construction Board of Appeals.

Mr. Mamola replied that with the new code cycle, as Council thinks about budgets in the coming years, there are excellent seminars that may be made available to Board members. He knows that Planning Commissioners and other board and commission members have gone to seminars before. There are a couple of people on the Construction Board of Appeals who are not engineers or architects, and could use access to such seminars.

Member Gatt asked Mr. Mamola that if he had a magic wand, if there was anything about the Construction Board of Appeals that he would change to make the codes better.

Mr. Mamola responded that the Board has seen a number of repetitive cases. A part of the State code that now mandates for menís and womenís rooms, particularly in smaller retail establishments, that when a business wants to come in and perform renovations, they are mandated to get rid of the unisex room that may have existed and install two rooms. The Board has heard cases where a request was made for an equivalency, but this is really a State code matter and there is little that a community can do for this except make its voice known in Lansing.

Mayor Csordas said he "could not imagine anybody more qualified to serve" on the Construction Board of Appeals, and appreciated his time and effort. He asked for Mr. Mamolaís opinion on an ordinance which Council is currently considering, which pertains to similar/dissimilar rear facades.

Mr. Mamola said he was on the Planning Commission at the time the rear faÁade ordinance was started. He believes that architecture should be looked at in totality. A person does not look at a building straight on, but rather at different angles as it is approached over time. He personally believes that the public has to have an overall education and awareness, but that "good taste" cannot truly be legislated.

Member Nagy asked to follow up on the Mayorís question. She asked if he was familiar with the ordinance that was put forward by the Implementation Committee regarding similar/dissimilar rear facades and the number of instances under which it would be employed.

Mr. Mamola replied that he had not read the new ordinances. He had driven up and down roads and was not pleased with what he had seen from an architectural standpoint. However, he felt that legislating this may "open up a whole can of worms." Generally, if the City keeps what has been used and enforced in recent years, this will be a rather easy transition to include it.

Robert Cutler, Library Board

Mr. Cutler said that libraries have always been important to him. In high school, he worked at Columbiaís medical library for 2 years. After he retired, he worked for 6 Ĺ years at the Novi Library, until a year-and-a-half ago. His background is in the aerospace industry as a project engineer and a supervisor. Later, he switched to the medical field, where he was hired for his first job because of his background. His task, set in a big hospital in Rochester, was to setup a budget manual. It turned out that in 1970, those did not exist in hospitals. In 6 months, he learned how a hospital ran, met all of the people, and wound up developing the first hospital budget manual that they knew of in the country. He served as director of management/engineering there and several other hospitals, and also as a consultant. After he retired from a hospital in Flint, he worked as a consultant, but eventually decided to retire. After this, he took the job in the Novi Library. He has a project engineering background, and a management and financial background. He is currently on the Old Orchard Condominium board, where he was president, vice-president, and is now treasurer. Over the years, he has always been involved in various groups, somehow always winding up as the treasurer. With the phase that the Library is entering, where expansion is needed, he feels that he has a good handle on being able to work with the Library Board. He has also worked on the task force that just finished the report.

Mayor Csordas commented that after looking at Mr. Cutlerís resume and after listening to his report, he felt that Mr. Cutler will be qualified "for anything that he will ever bump into."

Mayor Pro Tem Landry thanked Mr. Cutler for stepping forward to serve. He, too, serves on the strategic planning task force for the Library, and it has been his pleasure to serve on the board with Mr. Cutler. With his experience with the Library, with the community for 19 years, and with the strategic planning task force, the Mayor Pro Tem asked Mr. Cutler what he felt was the most significant challenge to the Novi Library in the coming years.

Mr. Cutler replied that in the coming year, the Library has a million-dollar grant, and needs to figure out what it can initially do to at least relieve some of the problems that it has. In the 6 Ĺ years that he worked there, he saw the space gradually eaten up by more shelving, with less and less space for students to work at desks. The money needs to be used without wasting it, but needs to hold the Library until additional space for the Library can hopefully be attached to the building.

Member Gatt said that Mr. Cutler had answered his question, which Mayor Pro Tem Landry had already asked. He thanked Mr. Cutler for stepping forward, and said he admired the applicantís tenacity.

Member Nagy said that the question posed by Mayor Pro Tem Landry was the most pertinent that Council was looking to. She asked if she had heard correctly that Mr. Cutler had said the Library has a $1 million grant.

Mr. Cutler replied that this was correct. This is a grant to name the Library after a family. If the Library can raise another $1 million, the family would also match this. Theoretically, the Library could have $3 million in donations. The $1 million can be used for current capital improvements. The task force had to look at what it could do in the next year to relieve some of the Libraryís problems. Having worked there, he was aware of the some of those problems, as he saw them developing over the years.

Member Nagy said she was aware of the problems, but for some reason did not recall the donation, which is great. She thanked Mr. Cutler for his time and efforts.

Member Lorenzo said she, too, appreciated his interest in the Library Board position. She asked Mr. Cutler if, when serving on a board or commission, the board should speak as one voice, or if there is room for differing opinions.

Mr. Cutler said that when a board meets together, it can have differing opinions. Having been on the condominium board for 18 of the 20 years heís lived in Old Orchard, everyone knows that when the vote is taken, the board must speak as one voice. The Library Board must also do this, even if some people vehemently disagree with a decision. If there is a 4-3 vote, the board must talk as one voice.

Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Cutler how he felt the initial $1 million of the donation should be used.

Mr. Cutler replied that a major concern is the lack of space for the staff. They are running out of room for more books. He had listened to National Public Radio that day, and there was an interview with someone who saves old books. The man had pointed out that last year there were 60,000 new titles, which shows that books are still churning out. There is no more space for more computers. There are also problems with the kids programs and the friends programs, as these are overrunning the allotted seating. He said that ideas are needed from outside of the group and from the staff itself, as they always have good ideas.

Linda Krieger, Library Board

Ms. Krieger thanked Council for the opportunity to interview. She has resided in Novi since 1981, and before that in Livonia. She was born in Detroit, and is a first-generation American. Her parents are both from Argentina; her father was born in Buenos Aires, and her mother on a farm in Misones where it is sub-tropical rainforest, just south of the Amazon. In 1986, she received her diploma from Northville High School, and then a B.S.N. from Madonna University in 1990, and M.S.A. with a minor in business in 1997. In 1994, to help with her ability to speak in a large group, she took the Dale Carnegie course. She is bilingual in Spanish, and enjoys working on her personal computer and the internet. She currently works at Providence Hospital as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit, and has done so since 1994. She serves on the Novi Public Library Board of Trustees, and is also a member of the Friends of the Novi Public Library.

Ms. Krieger said she values prudence, honesty, fiscal responsibility, and improving communication of the Library with the City and residents of Novi. The Library Board meetings are now on cable. Her father valued small government and decreased government spending, as does she. The Novi Library Board has accepted $1 million from a longtime Novi resident, Mr. Charles T. Walker and his wife Myrtle, who will donate up to a second $1 million, dollar-for-dollar, if the Novi Library can also raise this. That would bring the total to $3 million. Currently, the Library budget is in the red for the second time. The gift will help. In 2001, voters decided not to accept the ballot proposal for an 80,000 square foot new library. In 2002, almost $20,000 was spent for an epic MRA survey of the Novi residents, and why they did not support the 2001 Library proposal. Information from the residents surveyed stated that they were satisfied with the current library. This survey is available at the Library and the City for anyone interested in reviewing it.

Ms. Krieger said that in 2003, $20,000 plus an additional $4,000 was spent on the task force committee. This was created to obtain direction for the Library for the next 5 years. Considering the state of the countryís economic conditions, and that the Library budget is in the red, she was not in support of this additional spending. A Library should operate in the black, not in the red. Laying off staff is also not the answer in a high unemployment, low economic situation. The Library is "program fat" and "fiction video fat." If there is a demand for programs, there are programs available which also have available space in the surrounding schools, parks and recreation, community education, and even churches. If there is a demand for videos, Blockbuster is right down the street. Kinkoís has computers. The Library does not need to duplicate services, especially if this means that the budget will be in the red and taxpayers and residents will be burdened with the demand of these stakeholders. It is the Libraryís job to be aware of the available resources for programs and fiction videos, and direct stakeholders to that. She would like to continue on the Library Board to help care for the Library. The Library is an excellent resource for the community, and she would like to continue to help.

Member Gatt said he was sure that he spoke for his fellow Council members that he was very impressed with her background, zeal, and desire to serve. He asked what one thing she would hope to accomplish if reappointed to the Library Board.

Ms. Krieger replied that the survival of libraries in American communities is very important, and these must continue to exist.

Member Nagy said that Ms. Krieger does a wonderful job. She appreciated many of the things the applicant had mentioned with regard to the Library. Cable casting has been of benefit to the Library Board, as most people donít know what the Library Board does. She had no questions, but said Ms. Krieger had her support.

Member Lorenzo asked Ms. Krieger if she felt the Library Board should speak as one voice, or if there is room for differing opinions.

Ms. Krieger replied that in the meeting itself, people have their own opinions and their vote. In public, once a decision has been made, majority rules. If a person asks an individual what they think, they can probably talk about it, but should then defer to the majority or president of the board to do the speaking for this.

Member Lorenzo said she appreciated Ms. Krieger coming forward for reappointment. Ms. Krieger is probably one of the more interesting candidates for the Library Board, since she is an advocate for the Library but is also an advocate for fiscal prudence.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he continued to applaud Ms. Kriegerís willingness to take an independent stance and stand for her beliefs on the Library and any other subject. He asked Ms. Krieger if she was recently appointed to the Storm Water Management and Watershed Stewardship Committee.

Ms. Krieger said was correct.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Ms. Krieger if she desired to be on both committees.

Ms. Krieger replied that she understood that the Storm Water Committee did not meet every month, so she would be able to do so.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Ms. Krieger what she saw as the most significant challenge facing the Library in the coming year.

Ms. Krieger responded that this was communication with the taxpayers and residents of Novi and their participation with the Board and the Library staff.

Mayor Csordas said he did not realize that the Library was working at a budget deficit. He asked Ms. Krieger what she would do to help erase this deficit.

Ms. Krieger said that it is up to staff and administration to come up with the budget plan and the Board votes to accept it or not. This would be a matter of what can or cannot be done, and Board extracurricular things away from Library-related matters should be cut.

Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Krieger to expand upon this.

Ms. Krieger said that if the Library Board needed to go to a class, this should be done by paying out of the Board membersí own pockets, as opposed to out of the Libraryís budget.

Mark Adler, Cable Access Committee

Mr. Adler noted that he had been watching the meeting on cable access, which was how he knew to get to the meeting early. He had served on the Cable Access Committee for some time, though 1997 was the last time that he had served on that Committee. Much has changed since then. He is pleased with the things that are going on, but feels that there could be much more. He has been through cable access systems around the country and has seen how they operate. An access center has to be a fun place, a place where people enjoy meeting one another. On one side, the center is a hobby; but fiscally and to make it justifiable, it also has to mean something big to the community and the City government. He has seen what has gone on with the Cityís government access channels, and this is really nice. City governments are on these more and more, providing information to citizens. The community access component, however, seems to be slipping through the cracks.

Mr. Adler said that community access does not have a function for many people, and they do not see it as anything other than a hobby, even though it is and can be much more. What is happening to this community and the three communities in the franchise area is that the access is not being supported as much as it could be. There are many positives, but things that have been going on for the last 20 years, when he was involved, continue to go on. The biggest example, and the biggest thing that he would aim for if he were on the Cable Access Committee, is simply to not only have workshops for people to learn a valuable tool, but to have the workshops followed up so that people can use the knowledge. For the last 10 years, SWOCC was having workshops once a month, with 10 people in each workshop. However, they only have about 30 active volunteers. This means a lot of man-hours are expended without much return. The return is diversity on the air and a variety of programming. He would like to see some kind of follow-through. The mentor program exists but is not pushed, and he feels that it can be pushed and improved. There can be programs to train trainers. People in the City have camcorders, can make their statement and bring this in. However, there is only one editing system in the cable studio, which he would like to see changed. He would like to make it easier for people to edit their programs on their own to put on the air. There could be programs for people to improve their speaking skills. Although SWOCC has been winning awards for the past several years, there is now no money for community access members.

Mr. Adler said that he would like to serve on the Cable Access Committee because it can grow. He has the background and the passion to help it grow.

Member Nagy asked Mr. Adler to briefly describe what the function of the Cable Access Committee is.

Mr. Adler replied that this function is to advise the Southwestern Oakland Cable Commission (SWOCC) on issues of community access and the use of the channel, as well as to educate and enhance the publicís knowledge of the same system.

Member Lorenzo said she had no questions for Mr. Adler, as he is very experienced and passionate about the field. She said she would support his nomination.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that Mr. Adlerís very thorough presentation answered his questions. He knew that Mr. Adler had served on the committee before and had "a ton" of experience in the field.

Member Gatt asked what Council could do to help the Cable Access Committee.

Mr. Adler replied that it would help for Council to keep being involved. The City Council is doing a great job already.

Mayor Csordas said he could vouch for Mr. Adler about the staff at SWOCC. They are extremely talented and hard workers. He asked what Mr. Adlerís top priority would be on the Cable Access Committee.

Mr. Adler replied that, as it always has been, this would be retention Ė keeping the volunteers there. Volunteers frequently are looking for things to do, as after they are trained, staff is often too busy to provide much direction for these volunteers.

Angela Palacios, EDC

Ms. Palacios said she graduated from Aquinas College with a Bachelorís degree in economics and finance. From there, she went to work for Prudential Securities, which is now Wachovia Securities, where she is a financial advisor and certified financial planner. She has been busy building business and getting her C.F.P. license during the past few years, with little time to do much volunteer work, which she had previously done. Her business is now at a point where she has a bit more time available, and would like to become involved in the community. The Economic Development Corporation seems like an area where her skills would be of most value to the City.

Member Lorenzo asked Ms. Palacios what she knew about the Economic Development Corporation.

Ms. Palaciosí reply was "To be honest, not very much." She knows what the description online described, which is bringing business into the City and working on different kinds of incentives programs. She is curious to see what else is involved with the Corporation.

Member Lorenzo asked Ms. Palacios if she had experience on any other boards or commissions.

Ms. Palacios replied that she did not, as she has not sat on any boards or commissions for Novi or any other cities.

Member Lorenzo asked what her goal might be on a committee like this.

Ms. Palacios replied that this was to learn more about cities, how they function, and how businesses function in coordination with cities.

Member Lorenzo noted that a Council member had brought it to Councilís attention that the EDC had not been very active as of late. She hoped that there will be more for the Committee to do in the future. If, for some reason, the EDC does not work out in some way for her, Member Lorenzo asked Ms. Palacios to consider other boards and commissions in the future, as the City can definitely use someone with her energy and passion, as well as her financial background.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Ms. Palacios what types of businesses she would like to attract to the City.

Ms. Palacios said that it would be nice to attract "younger money" to the area. This has made areas like Royal Oak very successful. Fountain Walk is a great idea, but this has been affected by a number of factors like the downturn in the economy.

Member Gatt said that all of his questions had been answered. He thanked Ms. Palacios for coming out to apply.

Member Nagy asked what sorts of businesses Novi has too many of.

Ms. Palacios responded that the City has too much shopping. She was recently at a salon in the Main Street area on a Saturday, and there was nobody there. There is much shopping in the area, which is also a benefit of the area, but has rather saturated the market.

Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Palacios to describe the organization Students Against the Violation of the Environment.

Ms. Palacios replied that this was a program that was started on campus at Aquinas College prior to her freshman year there. The organization was an interesting program on campus. They worked with a lot of environmental issues, and got recycling started on campus. The organization had been run by a group of men at the time that she joined, but after a couple of years, the women more or less "took over." The recycling on campus became much more widespread because of the group. She served as president of the organization one year.

Kathleen Mutch, Historical Commission and Library Board

Ms. Mutch noted that she has served on the Historical Commission since 1989, and has served as the chair for the last year or so. She noted that members of Council likely knew her background well, and instead wished to take the time to tell Council what the Historical Commission had done as a group.

Ms. Mutch stated that the Commission has been involved in 5 different areas: events, exhibits and presentation, publications, partnerships, and maintenance and use of Township Hall. In the past year, the Historical Commission continued to sponsor events. One of those, which has been done for about 5 years in conjunction with the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, is to put on a concert as part of the summer concert series. They brought back someone who got a very good response a year ago at an indoor concert at the middle school, and they had this concert at the Civic Center as an outdoor concert. This maintained a slight increase in attendance over the previous yearís concert. The Parks, Recreation and Forestry staff said that this was probably their best-attended event for the season. The performer selected for these concerts has some kind of a link to history or traditional music that makes sense for the Historical Commission to sponsor the concert. This concert was Great Lakes music.

Ms. Mutch continued. The Historical Commissionís big event for this year will be the Fuerst Farm family day. The past year saw easily 3 times the number of people as the year before. Their estimates, based upon a few observations, were that there were about 1,000 people in attendance for the day. There was a tremendous response to everything that they did that day. They also did an exhibit in connection with the concert, which provided historic photographs and maps. The Commission also participates in civic events like Fall for Novi and others. The Historical Commission would like to be invited to the next yearís neighborhood leaderís breakfast.

Ms. Mutch noted that the Historical Commission has been a partner with Preservation Novi and other community groups that brought the Smithsonian exhibit to the Civic Center. The Commission is developing exhibit materials that are on display at the Novi Library right now. The Commission also does presentations at the elementary schools, the senior center, and for community organizations. Publications that the Historical Commission has been working on include a pioneerís history of Novi, and activity book that brings in other documentary information on Novi, and a book about historic buildings in Novi and using those buildings as symbols of events that occurred in the community.

Ms. Mutch said that partnerships are something that the Historical Commission has worked hard on over the past 2 to 3 years. They have partnered with the Friends of the Library, the Library itself, the Historical Society, Preservation Novi, and other groups. They have been able to leverage whatever budget is available with what other organizations are able to do.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that he did not think it was possible for someone to be aware of the Historical Commission and not be aware of Ms. Mutch. He did not have any questions for her. Ms. Mutch "is the Historical Commission" as far as he is concerned, and he was delighted that she was continuing to serve.

Member Gatt thanked Ms. Mutch for coming. He had no questions.

Mayor Csordas asked what Council could do to help "fix up" the barns around Novi.

Ms. Mutch replied that this was an interesting situation. The City Council, at one point in the past, had an appointed task force. There was a 5-year plan. She suggested that because of all of the turnover on Council and administratively, that some Council members may have never seen it. That 5-year plan was produced with input from the schools, the ZBA, Planning Commission, Library Board, and other stakeholders. Council needs to revisit that plan, rather than go back to square one, and determine a commitment that the City can make. She was concerned about items like deterioration from neglect, which can easily happen.

Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Cornelius to have someone in the City find a copy of the 5-year report that Ms. Mutch had mentioned for Council to review.

Ms. Mutch said she would be able to provide a copy of the document for Council.

Ms. Mutch noted that the Historical Commission is only a 5-member commission, but has been short a member for some time. She asked that if anyone has an interest in working with the Historical Commission, to please contact the City Clerk.

Moira Robinson, Library Board, Beautification Commission

Ms. Robinson said she has a bit of a military background. She has had a business in Novi for about 5 years, and a resident of Novi for about 8. She has a child in the Novi School District, who is an eighth-grader. Currently, she sits on the Career Day Committee. She said she felt that it was time for her to try to get involved in her city. If Council were to deem her appropriate for another position, she would definitely consider it.

Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Robinson if she had a preference between the Library Board and the Beautification Commission.

Ms. Robinson replied that she did not have a preference.

Member Gatt asked Ms. Robinson what she felt was the main problem that the Library Board may be facing in the future.

Ms. Robinson replied that she could not.

Member Nagy thanked Ms. Robinson for coming forward, noting that she had served on the Lakewood board of directors for a very short time and that she was familiar with her. She had no questions.

Member Lorenzo asked Ms. Robinson if she would be interested in the Beautification Commission.

Ms. Robinson responded that this was correct.

Member Lorenzo said the Beautification Commission tries to beautify the City with things like flowers, and it holds an annual perennial exchange. In addition, the Commission has been involved in protecting and preserving wildflowers in some of the construction sites before the bulldozers come. That Commission would be more than happy to have her join them. She said she would be very supportive of Ms. Robinsonís nomination to the Beautification Commission if she would be willing to do this.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that all of the Council members got started in being active in Novi exactly the same way that Ms. Robinson did. They attended a meeting somewhere and somebody mentioned that volunteers were needed. He applauded her for stepping forward, and said that all of the reasons she had stated for doing so were all of the right reasons. He asked her how one would serve 10 years of active duty in both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army.

Ms. Robinson replied that this was a "very interesting" question. Originally, she enlisted in the Air Force, was stationed in Arizona and did various personnel, administrative type positions. Then, she "met a guy" who lived in Michigan, and she wanted to transfer here. There was a unit needing personnel in the Army, so she transferred.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry remarked that he did not know it was possible to do that.

Ms. Robinson noted that the transfer was a bit complicated, but it is possible.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry thanked Ms. Robinson for stepping forward and for her willingness to serve.

Mayor Csordas noted that Ms. Robinson was very well spoken and that she had an excellent presentation. He did not have any questions, but was very happy that she would consider either of the two groups, or anything that might come up, depending on what happens.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Mark Appel, Novi, said he would like to interview for the Historical Commission.

Mayor Csordas commented that he knew the procedure was "way out of order", but would allow Mr. Appel to apply "because of his guts."

Mr. Appel said he moved to Novi from South Lyon about a year ago. Since he moved here to Novi with his family, the history of Novi has definitely interested him. He would like to become a part of the Historical Commission and learn more about it.

Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Appel to give his full name and address to the City Clerk after the interview, because he wanted to go buy a book on the history of Novi and send it to him. Mayor Csordasí comment was, "youíve got a lot of guts, kid."

Mayor Csordas asked Ms. Cornelius if there are any age restrictions on boards or commissions.

Ms. Cornelius replied that in order to be a board or commission member, a person would need to be a registered voter, so they would need to be 18.

Mayor Csordas said he wanted Mr. Appel to understand this, but remarked that he would like everyone on Council to ask Mr. Appel a question anyways.

Member Nagy said it was "delightful" that Mr. Appel came forward, and it was great that at his young age he was already thinking about such things in life, and that he was willing to give his time. Although the age requirement for being a board or commission member is 18, she was sure that the Historical Commission could find a way to make him an unofficial member.

Mr. Appel replied that this would please him and would be fine.

Member Lorenzo thanked Mr. Appel for coming in, and remarked that his interest showed his maturity. The City can really use his help, and she felt the Historical Commission would be happy to have him as an ex-officio member.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that he had sat in his Council chair and watched people "shake in their boots" at the podium while speaking, but that Mr. Appel was very "calm, cool, and collected." He asked Mr. Appel how old he was.

Mr. Appel replied that he was 13.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry remarked that Council should remember the young manís name, because he was confident that everyone would hear more about his name in the future. He asked that, with all of the emphasis being given in todayís landscape to technology and science, why learning about history should concern people, and why the City should even have a Historical Commission.

Mr. Appel said it would be "pretty cool to learn where everything came from, and where everything began."

Member Gatt commented that Mr. Appel was an exceptional young man at his age to be in front of Council.

Mayor Csordas thanked Mr. Appel for his time, as it was "a real treat" to interview him.

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 8:37 p.m.

 

 

____________________________ ___________________________

Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk

 

____________________________

Transcribed by Steve King

 

Date approved: February 23, 2004