View Agenda for this meeting



MONDAY, MAY 10, 1999, AT 6:00 PM



Mayor Pro Tem Crawford called the meeting to order at 6:06 p.m.


ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, absent, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid






1. Personnel Matters


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked Councilwoman Mutch to open the discussion. Member Mutch stated that every summer Parks and Recreation posts and advertises part time summer jobs. One of the positions that are advertised is the position to work under Mr. Ron Valente setting up the rooms for meetings. Member Mutch stated her daughter heard about this position and applied for it. She told her daughter that if she applied for the position, the Charter would require, five affirmative votes from Council to allow her , as a relative of a Council Member to be employed by the City.


Marilyn Troshak from Parks and Recreation said several part time staff has been hired for the summer. However, part time help is recruited year round for the building supervisor position, which Ms. Megan Mutch has applied for. Ms. Troshak said Ms. Mutch would be working in the summer, days off from school, holidays and as needed to be determined by Mr. Valente.


Member Kramer asked how many applicants have applied for the position and what is Ms. Mutch’s status? Ms. Troshak said Mr. Valente had received 10 to 12 applications. The turnover rate is rather high because college students go back to school or move to other employment. Mr. Valente hires as many people as he can because there are a lot of hours to cover. He schedules them throughout the month. He goes through the interview process and the job requirements with every applicant. The part time people are needed after 3:00 p.m. when Mr. Valente has left for the day. They have to satisfy physical requirements as well as eligibility for scheduling.


Member Kramer asked if a motion was needed to permit Ms. Mutch to apply for the job? This would not be an endorsement only permit her to apply for the job and then go through the selection process.


Ms. Troshak stated Council approval to hire Ms. Mutch was needed. She has gone through the application process and Mr. Valente has interviewed her.


Mayor McLallen arrived at 6:10 p.m.


Member Kramer asked if Ms. Troshak reviewed the applications and the desire is to hire Ms. Mutch, and Council approval is required? Ms. Troshak said that was correct.


CM-99-05-113: Moved by Schmid Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To permit the City to offer the position of building supervisor to Megan Mutch




Member Lorenzo stated she had a few issues with the process and with the request itself. The issue with the process is two fold. First, she does not think that either of the issues necessitated a special meeting. Secondly, if this was going to be placed on the agenda she thought it should be placed with more specific language so that members of the public know what Council would be doing this evening. She stated it is a request to make an exception of the City Charter, Section 5.2, Nepotism.


In terms of the issue itself, Member Lorenzo had a concern and it certainly was not a reflection on the Council Member or the relative involved. She had a personal concern about nepotism and through the years speaking to the citizens, she thought they had concerns about it also. She thought that this type of request perpetuated and reinforced a negative feeling against government and what government was doing. She stated that she could not support the request.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford stated that Council has authorized this type of request in the past. Several years ago Jeff Leininger wanted to become a volunteer fireman and Ed Leininger was on Council and Council authorized the request. He believed the Balagna girls used to work in Parks and Recreation and was not sure if that was at the same time John Balagna was on the Planning Commission. He said he did not have a problem with this and did not mean to trivialize it. The issue is minor in nature, it is not like the City Manager hiring a brother to be the Parks and Recreation Director. In his 13 or 14 years of being on Council he has never had a citizen question or express a concern with any type of nepotism in the City.


Member DeRoche said he generally liked the wording of the nepotism section and believed it served a valuable purpose. He thought that Member Lorenzo made a good point. The fact Council is at a special meeting for this issue, and after thinking about it, he thought it was inappropriate and that the timing should be better. He is glad they are reviewing it and did not, in this case, see a problem with a young adult wanting to be hired for a part time job with the City. He thought that there were only a couple Council Members whose children fell into this category. He did not see this as a conflict.


Mayor McLallen said this issue was here because she asked for it to be here. The timing of this meeting is because there is not another meeting for two weeks. She talked with Mr. Valente to verify how many applicants there were, how many positions were open and when they wanted to start filling them. They need these people now because the City is in the busy season for the Civic Center. They had five applicants for this position and two turned out not to be candidates and with three positions to fill. Ms. Mutch was fully aware of the situation and was hesitant to pursue it but the job opening stayed and she is willing to work flextime. It is not a position of authority. Mayor McLallen said that since this meeting was called for another issue it was her choice to add this item rather than wait.


Mayor McLallen asked Council to affirm that Member Mutch should not vote on this issue.


CM-99-05-114: Moved by Mayor ProTem Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: For Member Mutch to abstain on CM-99-05-113


Vote on CM-99-05-114: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Schmid


Vote on CM-99-05-113: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer,


Nays: Lorenzo

Abstain: Mutch


2. To schedule an Executive Session to immediately follow the special meeting for the purpose of Attorney’s Opinion.



CM-99-05-115: Moved by Crawford Seconded by Schmid , MOTION

CARRIED: To schedule an executive session to immediately

follow the special meeting for the purpose of Attorney’s





Member Lorenzo restated her position that she did not believe this necessitated an executive session. Her understanding is that Mr. Pham had a copy of the letter on Thursday, the 29th, and believed it should have been brought forward to the Council at the very least last Monday evening, May 3rd, and added to the agenda and addressed. She is concerned about the special meetings being called and appreciates the Parks and Recreation dilemma but stated her time was valuable also. She felt that in the future, before special meetings are called, the private and personal time of individual and collective Council Members should be considered.


Member Lorenzo did not appreciate the fact that either staff, administration or even individual Council Members should make a decision that effectively creates a situation where Council Members are not apprised of the situation in a timely manner. She felt administrative decisions were being made almost usurping Council and felt that as soon as information came forward it should be brought to City Council. She stated she objected.


Mr. Kriewall responded that they reviewed the process of this information and how it unfolded in the Planning Department. Some issues are not right or ready for Council review. He said they obtain legal opinions that the staff asks for on various matters. Everything cannot be brought to Council that might still be in some stage of administrative development. Upon reviewing this particular instance the issue was handled properly by the department and at the proper time it was brought forward to the Mayor and she brought it to Council.


Member Lorenzo respectfully disagreed. She did not think administration should be making decisions on when information should be brought forth to Council. She stated that it was Council information and she was elected by the citizenry and should have the right to information as it becomes available. Member Lorenzo said she was asserting her right to receive information in a timely fashion.


Mayor McLallen said as Mayor one of the duties is to decide when to call a special meeting and this meeting was called according to protocol. This matter was brought to her attention last Thursday. There are definite time issues here and the information will unfold in Executive Session. When the Council accepted the responsibility of being Council Members, it was realized there were going to be some sacrifices. Mayor McLallen called for the vote.


Member DeRoche stated that Mr. Kriewall has been aware of this since the day it happened and knew about it since April 29th. It rose through the ranks the way it was supposed to and Mr. Kriewall did not deem it necessary to bring it before Council. Mr. Kriewall was informed promptly of it.


Vote on CM-99-05-115: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: Lorenzo


Break from 6:25 p.m. until 7:20 p.m.



Mayor McLallen opened discussion regarding the City’s regulation of Cell Tower on School District property. She stated the City chose not to have the pole on City park property. Subsequently the applicant, A T & T, approached the Novi School Board and asked that the pole be put on the Novi School property. They were supposed to start construction tomorrow until this issue was brought to the city’s attention. At which time a letter was written by the City Attorney saying because the pole is a structure not a building the City rights to landuse do prevail. The question before Council is how to handle this situation.


Member Schmid said that the delay in Council finding out about this issue was unfortunate. Our attorney’s opinion is the school has to meet the City Ordinances.


CM-99-05-116: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED:

That the Site Plan for the AT & T cell pole on school property be taken through the Special Land Use Public Hearing process and further that the site plan be handled administratively. The plan will comply with the ordinance without variance.




Member DeRoche said if the site plan were reviewed administratively it would have to comply with the ordinances and if there were any variances it would need to go through the regular process.


Mayor McLallen stated it was unfortunate that this was brought to City Council’s attention in the manner it was. She commented that when the City Attorney says City Council, the City has jurisdiction over it and it is our responsibility whether or not the City wants to do it or that it causes inconvenience. Council is obligated to follow through and anything less would be City Council not following through with its responsibilities. Hopefully, the School District will understand and work with Council.


Member Mutch mentioned if the attorney or staff needs to be directed to notify the schools that Council expects them to do this. Mr. Kriewall said they know what to do.


Member Mutch commented that the people who live in this community expect Council to conform to standards that the community has established. The Zoning Ordinance is just one of the ways in which Council has done that and they expect to be protected by that. She felt that those people within the Novi School District should hold the School Board to the same standard. Council should be providing the resources of our consulting staff, our planning staff, etc. where the City is able. This would benefit the community in a way where they have the expertise available to them both through the City and the School District. She expects that out of this particular issue Council would find a way that the City and the School District could continue to work together where all have the benefit of the resources available to each of us.


Member Schmid said it should not be assumed there is going to be a public hearing. He assumes, based on what he is aware of, that he will support the pole. The public hearing could be reversed by the City Council.


Member Kramer said it was reasonable to request the School District to go through our ordinance processes. He felt what they had decided on minimizes the delay to the project and honors the City Ordinance requirements and did expedite things reasonably.

He seconded the motion and also supports it.


Member Lorenzo stated she concurred with the other speakers and believes strongly that the City does have an obligation and responsibility to uphold the Zoning Ordinance, the public interest and the public trusts. She will be voting in favor of the motion.


Vote on CM-99-05-116: Yeas: McLallen, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: Crawford


Mayor McLallen stated she did not want this to become the grounds for jurisdictional warfare and hoped this did not turn into something more than a simple monopole.



There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.


___________________________ _____________________________

Kathleen S. McLallen Tonni L. Bartholomew


Transcribed by:



Charlene McLean

Date Approved: June 7, 1999