REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1999, AT 7:00 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
SWEARING IN CEREMONY
Judge Batchick was present to preside over the swearing in of the new Mayor and Council Members.
He introduced Judge Powers who would be swearing in Richard Clark and Judge Mackenzie who would swear in Michelle Bononi, Louis Csordas and Craig DeRoche.
Judge Powers introduced Senator Bill Bullard and Lee BeGole.
Judge Powers administered the Oath of Office of Mayor of the City of Novi to Richard Clark.
Judge Mackenzie administered the Oath of Office of Council Member to Michelle Bononi, Louis Csordas and Craig DeRoche.
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:19 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Webelo Pack #103:
Webelo I Ė Bison Patrol: John LeGuidace, Jonathon Clements, Kevin James, Luke Walsh, Matt Keinozek & Jimmy Keinozek.
Webelo II -Wolverine Patrol: Aaron Crawford, Victor Varisto, Jason Jzierski & Jeff Schaeffer.
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Council Members Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer and Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Lorenzo, under Matters for Council Action Part 1, added #5 Electronic Informational Sign at Civic Center. Under Mayor and Council Issues add #6 EDC ad and future activities, #7 Quail Ridge inter-county drainage issue, add #8 to cancel the 12 Mile S.A.D. Public Hearing and notify all parties and #9 Planning Commission vacancy advertisement.
Member Lorenzo also requested that the Departmental Reports be moved to follow the approval of the agenda this evening.
Member DeRoche felt that people coming forth for a Public Hearing would expect to be heard first.
Member Lorenzo agreed.
Mayor Clark stated the Departmental Reports would be after the Public Hearing.
Mr. Kriewall stated changes were needed on the Consent Agenda. Item C should read Property Acquisition instead of pending litigation and under Matters for Council Action Part II Add Item #1 Rejection and Re-award Tree Bids.
CM-99-11-300 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-99-11-300 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
1. Presentation of the 1998-99 Audited Financial Statements
This item was deferred until November 22, 1999
1. Community Development Block Grant Funds
Mr. Davis presented the Year 2000 Community Development Block Grant proposed budget.
The Housing and Community Development Advisory Board has met over the last couple of months to review the funding for next year. The funding for this program is worked together with Oakland County and are Federal Funds that come from Washington through Oakland County and then administered locally by the Department of Parks and Recreation.
This year there is $107,413.00 that is allocated for budgetary purposes. There may be adjustments as it goes through the Federal Review Process. They adjust the amount on a percentage basis if there are any differences as it moves through the budget process. However, for budget reasons they work with the $107,413 number.
The Federal Community Development Block Grant Program has gone a long way in providing additional funding support to the City to provide supplemental activities of development, home improvement and assistance to eligible income families and homes within our targeted area.
That targeted area is basically comprised of areas north of the I-96 Expressway. There are some pocket areas but it is based on demographic information as established by the census. There has not been a census recently so the targeted area has been the same for the past five years.
Moving into the Public Hearing as far as the recommendation from the HCD Committee there are four main areas of funding that are being proposed.
1. Public Services Category - With this category there is a limit of 40% of the total funding allocation to the City that they are capped at. Within that it has been broken down into four subsections.
A. Senior Citizens Center Manager Position is being recommended for funding at $13,000.
This is a continuation of funding from previous years. It provides for joint partnership with
Oakland/Livingston Human Services Agency providing for an onsite center manager here at
the Senior Center. That person would provide support services to our special recreation
coordinator and services to our seniors such as health screenings, telephone assurance
B. Senior Citizen Van Program with proposed funding at $20,965.00. This is a continuation of funding from previous years and is used to fund our Senior Citizen Transportation Program. They also get supplemental funding from the General Fund and also from SMART credits.
C. Novi Youth Assistance funding of $4,000.00. It provides funding for camp scholarships and special education counseling services for low income eligible families.
D. H.A.V.E.N. funding of $5,000.00. This is a continuation of funding from previous years and provides specialized services for those who have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Counseling services are provided on a cooperative basis with H.A.V.E.N. and they have expressed their willingness to join with us to provide this service to the City of Novi.
That total limited to 40% of total allocation, is $42,965.00.
2. Recreation Facilities Ė This has a proposed funding of $27,000. This money will not be available until probably June 2000. This will provide facility recreation improvements for purchase of equipment at the North Novi and/or Lake Shore Park areas.
There is work to do as far as master planning and commitments to the North Novi Park and this will provide seed money as they move on to those endeavors.
3. Emergency Rehab Ė This is a program that works with individuals based on income eligibility requirements, are set by the Federal Government in owner occupied dwellings. We can assist them in fixing up their houses, replacing roofs, windows, furnaces, water softeners, etc. At the present time they are working with the Department of Public Services with the S.A.D.ís occurring in the targeted area with the income eligible to make their water connections into the City system. This allocation has been raised by about $15,000 to handle the influx of potential new water connections in that area and provide supplemental funding to continue with the other emergency and minor home repair activities. This is an owner occupied income eligible type of program that is applicable to all areas of the City of Novi.
4. Administration - There is $2,448.00 recommended for funding which is to cover administrative costs such as clerical coverage for meetings and Mr. Davisí administrative time. Basically, it is a token amount considering the amount of time that actually goes into the administration of this program. We try to emphasize putting the dollars back into programs and services to the community.
This all totals $107,113. The process is a Public Hearing tonight and if it needs to go back to the HCD Committee they will do that to modify and, review if necessary, and if not they will bring back to Council a recommendation and approval request at the November 22nd meeting. The County will move forward with their application to the Federal Government jointly with about 50 other communities in Oakland County and they should hear word on their funding in May or June 2000.
Anne Borg, H.A.V.E.N., was present to thank the City of Novi for joining in partnership with H.A.V.E.N. over the past few years and helping our citizens deal with the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. She also asked Council to continue their support and to keep them in their allocation. She said in 1998, July 1, 1997 through June 30, 1998, 245 individuals were served out of the Novi community. Between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 1999 262 individuals were served out of the Novi community. Ms. Borg stated the reason they were able to be there for these Novi citizens was because Council had stood with them in helping to provide these services to the community.
James Korte, Shawood Lake, said H.C.D. is the old H.U.D. funds financial grant that allowed a City to take its tacky areas and bring them up to some level of sophistication. He stated he has fought this through the years. H.C.D. funds will provide water, sewer and has the potential to provide paved streets. Why does the City treat them like second class citizens when the H.C.D. funds are potentially there to bring them up to standard? He said the funds were there to put in two restrooms at North End Park and asked why they were still dealing with port-a-johns.
Bike/Safety Path East Lake and South Lake, Walled Lake Sector Study, the monies were there in the amount of $200,000 plus. Where are they now? We donít have the Bike and Safety Paths. Have they been reallocated?
J.C.K. was the minor bidder, $23,000, when this first went in. So they were paid them $23,000 for engineering and he asked them how much more money is needed before the asphalt is laid? This establishment repeatedly told him nothing. To date they have paid J.C.K. approximately $75,000 and they donít have bike and safety paths.
Water Main, H.C. D. will provide the water main from the main water main to end of City R.O.W. They will do that for appropriate people and will also go from end of lot line to under house. Why wasnít their area bid for the seven people in S.A.D. 151 and 149. Because if H.C.D. funds will pay seven times, if it were $100.00, that would be $700.00 that the general public does not pay. Why wasnít it bid that way because the funds are potentially available? One woman on Shamrock Hill asked for help and this City sent her to Oakland County for a loan that she had to pay back. We had the capacity to help her. She is far under the $33,000 limit for one person.
Mr. Korte said 2026 Austin has been without water for five years and was the home of his 83 year old mother. He asked why she still doesnít have water today? He felt it was administration and asked who on the committee was from the North End. Who had a clue as to what the problems were that they deal with as a low moderate income area that gets the City the source of that funding?
Mayor Clark closed the Public Hearing.
Member Lorenzo asked for a response to Mr. Korteís concerns. She understood that the water had been provided but wanted to know why these funds had not been utilized for those particular items if we have the authority to do so?
Mr. Davis said as far as Mr. Korteís reference to the resident of 2026 Austin it is scheduled for water hook up later this week and he has been notified of that. It has been an issue of getting the contractors to provide estimates so it fulfills our bidding and Charter requirements for purchasing of services. Those came in on Friday and the contractors are prepared to start work this week.
Regarding whether those funds can be utilized for the other issues that Mr. Korte brought up, water service, sewer service, etc. they can absolutely be used. The issue that it comes down to is the total cost of the project that would be involved with doing a water main along a roadway varies upon the size of the district. We have $107,000 available. There are other funding issues there but even if all $107,000 was taken it would probably not be enough to do a full service for water and sewer in a particular area. As such there is the limit of the amount on an annual basis to do larger projects. The H.C.D. Committee as recommended a balanced approach to budgeting to get a bigger bank. This would provide services to residents not only in the targeted North end of the City but also other areas of the City where eligible income individuals might qualify.
Member Lorenzo asked Council and Mr. Davis if the time had come that some of the items that have utilized H.C.D. funds, the senior van, senior manager, should be funded out of the General Fund? Then the other monies could start going into the other programs such as Mr. Korte mentioned. She asked that this idea be pondered as the budget process approaches.
Member DeRoche stated he is on the H.C.D. Committee and lives in the North End and is very aware of what the issues are and aware of the budgeting process. He said all these things are being taken into account as to what can be done on our budget and with the grant. There were certain things he fought for unsuccessfully with this committee. One was an increase in funding for H.A.V.E.N. He wholeheartedly supports using the funds for H.A.V.E.N. It is something our City needs to take some responsibility for. He said if the $5,000 is taken out he wants to see it replaced somewhere else because we can not turn our backs on these things.
Member DeRoche thought additional funding needed to be allocated for the North End and he has fought for it especially for the roads, sewers and infrastructure. This is a grant that is being used for the benefit of the community and it is not written in stone now what we are doing with it so all of your input is welcome.
Mayor Clark said Mr. Davis will be presenting a Resolution at the November 22nd meeting and asked him to advise Council, at that time, that the water hook up at 2026 Austin had been completed. Mr. Davis said absolutely.
Chuck Tindal, 2453 Shawood, was present to congratulate Council and said they had done a very good job in their campaigns and it appeared to him that they had a mandate from the citizens to carry through on what they have promised.
James Korte, said he had waited 14 years to see user friendly smiles on the majority of Council. We have finally stacked the deck in the favor of the residents of Novi. This is not to presume that he would side with them on everything but how nice to know Novi is in the hands of the voters.
Mary Ann Grutza, 45385 W. Nine Mile, representing Paws With a Cause, referred Council to a letter in their packets relative to a traffic signal at Nine Mile and Taft. She lives on the corner and the intersection is on top of a hill. There are also driveways close to the top of the hill and she thought it would be a bad idea to put a traffic signal there. She felt if there was a light there the traffic would be faster and accidents more serious. She also felt the potential for serious accidents was really high because the intersection was half way between Novi and Northville High Schools. She said someone should sit on the corner and watch what goes on at that intersection.
Gary Zak congratulated the Mayor and new Council Members. He was very encouraged that this might make a difference. He has been present several times over 10 years to discuss the traffic situation on South Lake and he couldnít say it had gotten better. It was probably worse but now he felt that people were finally looking at it like Member DeRoche and Mr. Arroyo.
He would like to see the Expo Center located somewhere else in Novi that would be more appropriate for that level of traffic. He hoped it would stay in Novi.
He thought the road bond went down because of the pork on it. Particularly the ring road continuation, Crescent Drive because he saw nothing in that for the citizens. He felt it was a developer thing and would generate more traffic problems.
Mr. Zak said there were many residents of South Lake Dr. that did not want the bike path. Mainly, because of the way it is going to be attached to the road it will widen the road and make it seem bigger. He felt this would increase the speeds and passing problems. The problem is not the bike path but the attachment to the road.
Genny Kramer congratulated Mayor and new Council Members and thanked Chuck Tindal for working so hard to save the Christmas Tree Farm and the wooded property around the farm. She said there were thousands of people grateful to him.
Pat Holt offered more congratulations to the Mayor and new Council Members. The results of the election spoke very loudly for change, accountability and trust in our City government. She said the entire City elected Mayor Clark. He brought out the very best in each and every one of them that contributed to the campaign and helped all of these people bring their message to the City. Mayor Clark brought together very diverse people and she felt that he would bring the same skill that he brought to the campaign to the Council table.
Dick Stupenski, another north ender, also offered congratulations to the new Officials. He is the Vice-President of the Novi Lyons and on November 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28th they will be on the streets selling candy canes and asked for everyoneís support.
Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, offered congratulations to all new members of Council and welcomed back the returning members. She was excited about working with a Council instead of being put in an adversarial position. She felt a lot of the residents voted the way they did because they wanted to take back their City and felt that they finally had a chance.
Mr. Nowicki announced that on November 13th the D.P.W. would be hosting their second annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. A number of months ago there were problems with the original contractor and they have been pursuing another contractor and were successful in utilizing the bid that the Resource Recover and Recycling Authority of Southwest Oakland County had secured. The successful bidder was Clean Harbor Environmental Services. They worked to pull together this new program and it will be this Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM.
1. Director of Public Services Report on Illicit Sewer Discharge - Nowicki
Mr. Nowicki came forward to report an unfortunate incident occurring last week with the Water and Sewer Department and reported in the Novi News. There was an account describing the dumping of sanitary sewage, specifically grease, approximately two loads totaling nearly 4 cubic yards of material at the D.P.W. facility. This occurred about October 27 and 28 and was reported in the Novi News.
During that time the Water and Sewer Department responded to a distress call from businesses in the area of a surcharged Sanitary Sewer. That sewer was plugged with grease from, it was assumed, area restaurants. They tried to jet the area utilizing the techniques that are approved which is a high pressure jet that is run through the sewer to try and break up the obstruction and let it flow downstream. They were able to get it removed and unplugged but the material flowed downstream and began collecting in other locations causing further problems and potential back up of sanitary sewage in the businesses and stores in the area.
The crews next vactored material out with a Vactor-Truck that has a high pressure vacuum system on it and removed material from the sewers. That material was deposited on two different days behind the salt storage area at the D.P.W. and the foreman intended to remove the debris at a later date. It is unfortunate, it is contrary to policy, it is not something thatís sanctioned and they are very disturbed it occurred.
Subsequently, the actions that have been taken are to contain the site. Silt fence was placed around the area to prevent erosion, applied an absorbent matting in the area, pooled the liquids and vactored them up and are in the vactor truck for disposal at a later date in an appropriate manner.
Mr. Nowicki said a vactor dumping policy had been formalized and secured a site in Waterford through the Oakland County Drain Commission to dump debris from time to time. He is also working with the City of Wixom to try and utilize their dumping facility at their Waste Water Treatment Plant. The engineers were directed to take tests in the area and the report is in front of Council with a site evaluation. Ben Farnum is present to review the report and provide an update on the analytical results of the testing.
Mr. Nowicki said a record keeping system has been implemented. Each of the operators would be charged with logging all of their sewer cleaning activities, recording and reporting the materials collected, location collected date, disposal method and site.
Mr. Nowicki said it was contrary to their policy for sewage to be removed from a sewer. The debris are maintained within and confined to the system. There are various methods including the treatments of some of the grease debris with enzymes and the jet rotting of the debris which is allowed to flow downstream to be treated where it should be treated.
Mr. Nowicki directed that the Water and Sewer Department are the only personnel authorized to use that piece of equipment, which would prevent any cross contamination of any waterways or streams that would require jetting or vactoring. He also directed that an Operational Environmental Audit be conducted on all Parks and Recreation, D.P.W. and Water and Sewer Operations. An individual from his department would interview each and everyone of the staff of all these departments, assess their activities, look at what debris is generated and the impact of the operation. Then make recommendations on how to conduct their operations in an environmentally appropriate manner.
A survey was conducted in other communities regarding the grease problem and found it was not unique to Novi. They found the problem of grease in many areas around the country and most follow the same basic procedures as Novi. They also treat it with enzymes, vactoring it and jet rotting it.
Mr. Nowicki said they had determined that surcharging in the blockage of sanitary sewers related to grease is something that is not specifically confined to the business districts of the City of Novi. There are many residential areas that they find grease blockages in so consequently the cleaning program is critical and they would be approaching Council during the budget sessions for additional resources to expand the cleaning program.
Mr. Nowicki said they looked into invoicing the various restaurants for the depositing of grease into the sanitary system that results in extra maintenance by the Water and Sewer Department. They found that of all the communities surveyed, no one has a program of that nature. Representatives of the Detroit Water and Sewer Department advised them that a number of years ago there was litigation regarding grease in sanitary sewers. Apparently the Detroit Water and Sewer Department had attempted to collect from various restaurants for extra maintenance associated with their sanitary discharge. The ruling was not in the favor of the Detroit Water and Sewer Department and it appeared that a Judge felt that the grease from restaurants was displaced domestic waste. Grease would be present whether people cooked at home or went to a restaurant.
Mr. Nowicki said the Water and Sewer Department tries their best to maintain their sanitary systems to the best of their abilities. They have a three person crew that is charged with maintaining the water system, sanitary system, making repairs, meter change overs, change outs and monitoring and cleaning the sanitary system. He stated with the resources available they have done the best they could. Unfortunately, in this particular incident there was a failure to communicate and an error in judgement. He hoped that through this incident policies will be implemented and there would be no further incidences of this nature.
Mr. Nowicki introduced Ben Farnum, J.C.K., to explain the reports on environmental samples that were evaluated.
Mr. Farnum confirmed the discharge on October 27th and 28th at the D.P.W. site in Novi. It was believed to be discharge from the Sanitary Waste System. J.C.K. heard about the complaint on Tuesday, November 2nd from Mr. Nowicki. They immediately went to the site and surveyed the situation and discussed with Mr. Nowicki the actions that needed addressing at this point in time.
It was determined that soil samples should be taken from the base of the material where the discharge had taken place in the Flood Plain and in Bishop Creek to determine if any drainage had made it to either of those points.
In the flood plain soil samples were taken for volatiles, semi-volatiles, Michigan metals, PCBs and P.N.A.ís and the same set of samples were taken from the creek to see if anything had leached out. All samples came back either non-detect or below acceptable limits set forth by the State of Michigan for residential clean-up criteria. They sampled the water on top of the area where the actual discharge took place and found high levels of E-coli and total coliform as reported by the Novi News.
They decided to pull samples out of Bishop Creek for E-coli and total coliform to confirm results for that. Those samples came back at a higher level than acceptable but lower than what was at the top of the hill.
Mr. Farnum decided they needed to go off site and pull additional samples. So Mr. Farnum went up Bishop Creek about 400 feet south of I-96 on the west side of Delwal Road and pulled another sample out of the creek and the retention pond between the Wyndom Hotel and the new Marriotte Hotel. A third sample was pulled out of Bishop Creek on the south side of Eleven Mile where Bishop Creek crosses. Those results were all less than the acceptable limits for surface water.
Mr. Farnum thought there might be an error in sampling at the Bishop Creek area and advised Mr. Nowicki that they should go back and take samples again. This was done today in the Bishop Creek area and also just as the Creek enters the D.P.W. site on the east side of Delwal Road. After the samples were collected he found information published by the Michigan Department of Public Health saying that the total coliform counts could also be exaggerated by soils and organic debris which can give the bacteria that is seen in the Total Coliform count. The E-coli bacteria is mostly related to fecal coliform from geese, ducks, and non-mammal feces. E-coli will also pick up some organic matter. Fecal coliforms, which werenít tested would be from warm blooded mammals.
At this time they are waiting on results. If results come back and Bishop Creek tests positive again it would be their belief that it was from organic material and not from the discharge. The area from the discharge at the Creek is probably 100 feet, across the flood plain and it has to learn to go up a hill to get back down into the creek. For 141 gallons to travel 100 feet they didnít believe it would be coming from this source.
Mr. Farnum also talked to Mr. Earl Freese of the Surface Water Quality Division of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and told him about this situation which he had heard about already. He told Mr. Farnum that yes it was illicit dumping. Mr. Farnum told him the numbers that they were looking at, less then 5 cubic yards and approximately 141 gallons of liquid. Mr. Freese said their Department was too busy and this was a relatively small spill and to clean it up and send him a letter when the project is completed.
He also talked with Mr. Benjamin Matthews in the Emergency Response Division and he said there was nothing in his statutes that seemed to be broken and advised him to contact Surface Water Quality Division, which he had already done, and talk to Land and Water Management. He left messages on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for both Todd Loosey and Andrew Harttz of Land and Water Management and they have not returned his call. These people are extremely busy and two Departments have told them it was a relatively small discharge and to clean it up and let them know what was done and what the final results were.
Mr. Farnum said they had recommended the D.P.W. not do any more dumping of any type back there and that an Assault Brine Collection System be designed and constructed around the salt dome facility and have the storm water discharge into a sanitary sewer.
He said the analytical results for the three samples taken today should be back in about 48 hours.
Member Csordas asked what the potential for fines for the City of Novi would be?
Mr. Farnum said there didnít appear to be any fines. The Emergency Response Divisions and the Surface Water Quality Division said the only thing done wrong was illicit discharge or dumping of material. As long as it is realized and could be cleaned up they werenít that concerned about it.
Member DeRoche said what was detected as high and a breakdown of organic material?
Mr. Farnum said it was the total coliform test.
Member DeRoche asked if he was going to do some of those tests next time in some of the other creeks in Novi so he would have a baseline to go from? Is that applicable or relevant? He said it sounded like Mr. Farnum wasnít aware of the correlation until he read about it and that was what his concern was.
Mr. Nowicki said some of those tests were ongoing on now as part of a grant from the Rouge Program Office. Results were coming in now and as soon as they are interpreted they would show how they measure up against this particular incident. These tests are being done throughout three separate sections of the community.
Member Bononi was concerned with minimizing the facts here. The fact is that Novi is a Rouge Community and should be leading by example. She was concerned that Novi was playing clean-up for restaurants that should be cleaning up after themselves. She didnít know what kind of time frame 4 cubic yards of grease represented with regard to collection. How often do they do this and how often does this occur?
Mr. Nowicki said the entire sanitary system is cleaned on a quarterly basis. The commercial areas are cleaned more frequently and inspected to the best of their ability. Restaurants are required by B.O.C.A. to have grease traps. They are installed as part of the design and construction of the facilities. The grease in this particular case was generated through dishwashers. They discharge the grease and hot water at temperatures of 160 or 180 degrees which dissolves the grease and carries it into the system. When it reaches the system it begins to congeal when it gets cold and clings to the sides of the pipes. Unfortunately, they are unaware of any way to control that. It is not only restaurants but there are at least a half a dozen subdivisions within the community that the sewers are routinely cleaned because they have grease problems as well.
Member Bononi asked how often these complaints are generated by restaurants because she understood that they have grease traps that they have to maintain? If they are not maintaining their grease traps and some of these problems are being caused by the shirking of their responsibility it is their responsibility to contract to have those grease traps cleaned. She was not interested in seeing taxpayer money spent on anything that is the responsibility of some one else. She also wanted to know what the plan was to see that this did not happen again and what the status of the 4 cubic yards of waste is now?
Mr. Nowicki said the status of the material is that it has been vactored up and is in storage in the truck for proper disposal. It has been collected.
Member Bononi asked if there was an arrangement that if this happened again they would manifest what they ship and someone would accept it?
Mr. Nowicki said they had someone to accept it but it didnít have to be manifested because the nature of what it is. It would get taken to a site in Waterford operated by the Oakland County Drain Commission.
Member Bononi asked if the material would be logged?
Mr. Nowicki said yes, that is an internal policy and they would be logging all material and where it came from so the incidents of system failures could be tracked.
Member Lorenzo was appalled, shocked and embarrassed for the City Council and for the City. She said it is inexcusable. She stated she has talked about maintenance for two years and had pleaded with the Department Heads to come forward with aggressive maintenance plans. Where are they? To say that the funding was not in place is inexcusable. When talking about E-coli and raw sewage we are talking about health, safety and welfare issues. If there are no standard procedures in place and proper disposal and logging then it is up to the Department Heads to come forward and say this has to be done as a City matter of health, safety and welfare for this community.
She asked why this disposed waste has not been brought to the proper facility?
Mr. Nowicki said it has been policy not to remove this material from the sanitary sewer. The policy was to dispose of it by introducing enzymes to the system and allowing them to operate and allow that material to flow down sewer or by using the jet part of the truck to break the material up and allow it to flow downstream.
Member Lorenzo asked if that was a State or County appropriate proper handling of that material?
Mr. Nowicki said yes, it is an appropriate means of disposing of material to keep it in the system where it was generated.
Member Lorenzo said it does end up flowing into the stream.
Mr. Nowicki said no it does not. It flows downstream to the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Member Lorenzo asked why there has not been a record keeping system in place?
Mr. Nowicki said the collection of materials from the sanitary sewers had never been a problem. It is starting to surface now because of the number of restaurants and their activity on the weekends. Again, most of the residential grease and problems can be taken care of with a jet truck and breaking up the material. Most of the time the commercial grease can be handled the same way or through the introduction of enzymes. It really has not been a problem but the last couple of years it had started to pick up.
Member Lorenzo asked why Mr. Nowicki or his employees had not come forward with this information sooner?
Mr. Nowicki said the crews had been able to handle it themselves and all the situations on their own by allowing material to flow downstream to a Treatment Plant. This is the first time that they had to remove it and stockpile it on the site. There was error in judgement and the material should have been maintained on the truck and not dumped it. The Supervisor in charge made a site decision. He felt it was an emergency situation and he had to do something in order to prevent a backup from the commercial businesses and the other facilities in the area and that is what he did.
Member Lorenzo asked how long the employees directly involved in this dumping worked in this capacity?
Mr. Nowicki did not have seniority dates and felt that Mr. Klaver could provide that information.
Member Lorenzo asked if a written procedure was in place?
Mr. Nowicki said it is written now and before it was an oral procedure policy not to remove the material from the sanitary system.
Member Lorenzo asked why it was not a written policy before?
Mr. Nowicki could not answer that and thought it was because the issue never came up.
Member Lorenzo asked at what point do the employees in this capacity receive this oral instruction?
Mr. Nowicki said they would receive it from the Superintendent of the Water and Sewer Department and he would be in charge of training the employees and passing the policies down to them and establishing operational policies for the Department.
Member Lorenzo asked if the Department Head trained and passed on policies to the employees involved in this dumping?
Mr. Nowicki said apparently there wasnít conclusive discussions or oral policy transmitted to the employees that was adequate to prevent an occurrence of this nature.
Member Lorenzo said then it was Mr. Nowickiís opinion that the employees were not adequately trained on the proper procedure.
Mr. Nowicki thought if they were adequately trained, the City would not be faced with this particular incident.
Member Lorenzo asked if he ever checked with the Superintendent to find out if these oral instructions were given out.
Mr. Nowicki said there were numerous discussions regarding this particular issue. He did not query the Superintendent as to whether he specifically passed this information on to the individual employees or not.
Member Lorenzo said as a Department Head he didnít know whether the employees who were actually acting in this capacity had the proper training for the proper handling and disposal of these materials.
Mr. Nowicki said as the Director of Public Services he passed this policy onto the Department Head and that Department Head trains and establishes operational policies for his employees.
Member Lorenzo asked if he followed up on the Superintendent?
Mr. Nowicki said as a matter of policy query he did not.
Member Lorenzo asked if he would do so from here on out?
Mr. Nowicki thought they would have to have signed sheets where employees indicate and certify that they have been trained in particular areas. That is done now for certain types of equipment operation and as it is now each of the employees that operates that particular piece of equipment has signed a statement that he had been given the written policy and is aware of it.
Member Lorenzo said Mr. Nowicki indicated these were only cleaned out on a quarterly basis.
Mr. Nowicki said it is policy to clean the entire system on a quarterly basis.
Member Lorenzo asked if that was storm and sanitary.
Mr. Nowicki said the sanitary sewer. They go through the complete sanitary sewer system per the D.N.R. regulations once a year.
Member Lorenzo wanted Mr. Nowicki to come forward with an aggressive maintenance and inspection plan for the entire system.
Mr. Nowicki said that started last year when they approached Council and received funding for an additional vactor truck. When they get the new truck it will be placed into the system and operate on the sanitary system full time with the appropriate employees and the other piece of equipment would be used exclusively for storm sewer work. That way any cross contamination can be prevented.
Member Lorenzo asked if there had been any improper handling of storm drainage materials? What can be done with catch basin materials?
Mr. Nowicki said they are in the process of reviewing catch basin materials now. It has been deposited on site. He has been in contact with the Department of Environmental Quality and there seemed to be a conflict as to whether this material can be used as filling material or if it is considered contaminated. They are in the process of evaluating it now.
Member Lorenzo said then it had not been evaluated and didnít have a proper procedure previously.
Mr. Nowicki said they are going through that right now.
Member Lorenzo understood that a person came forward with this information and she applauded, congratulated and commended that person. She could understand the reason for anonymity but if they came forward she would ask the Council for a letter of commendation for this person. It is an extremely unfortunate and sad state of affairs when an employee doesnít feel comfortable coming directly to their department head, administration or Council to make them aware of such an issue. Obviously, this is something that as a Council will have to change because the buck stops here.
Member Lorenzo proposed that the environmental audit be done by an independent. She meant no offense to anyone working for this City but thought that the citizens of Novi and all of us are going to have to regain trust in this area. She wanted an independent assessment of this whole situation to see where we have been, where we are and where we need to go.
Member Kramer said there are a number of actions initiated that are all appropriate brought out by the incident. Are you planning on giving us an update and when?
Mr. Nowicki said updates would be forthcoming starting with Mr. Farnumís results when he gets them. Mr. Nowicki will provide information relative to the clean up operation, whatís being done with any of the material that is in that area and copy Council on any reports that are required to be sent to the D.E.Q. as well as any correspondence back from the D.E.Q.
Member Kramer said he would like a verbal update at the next meeting.
Member DeRoche stated a motion needed to be made regarding the independent audit and the amount of money this would take.
CM-99-11-301 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Lorenzo;
Member DeRoche asked Mr. Nowicki for a dollar figure.
Mr. Nowicki stated he didnít have a dollar figure because they were planning to do it internally with a construction coordinator who is a pretty thorough individual. However, environmental agencies or organizations can be contacted to help come up with a work plan and proposal and submit it to Council at the next meeting for funding.
Mayor Clark asked if Council wanted to defer the motion and bring it back on November 22?
It was consensus of Council to defer the motion.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Bononi removed Item K.
Member Lorenzo removed Item L.
CM-99-11-302 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda Items A through J with the removal of Items K and L to be discussed later in the agenda.
Vote on CM-99-11-302 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
Approve the purchase of the Blademaster Skate Sharpener for $9,616.32, pursuant to
agreement with Suburban Hockey.
K. Approval of Telecommunications Agreement between the City of Novi and Norlight Telecommunications, Inc.
L. Approve Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 557
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Mayoral Appointment of a Mayor ProTem
Mayor Clark thanked Council Member Crawford for his past service in the capacity of Mayor Pro Tem and advised that he had appointed Council Member Lorenzo as Mayor Pro Tem for the next two years. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said it would be an honor to serve under Mayor Clark.
2. Request for adoption of City Council Meeting Schedule for the Year 2000
Member DeRoche asked if some of the dates would be flexible for Councilís convenience.
Mayor Clark said if there is a consensus of Council he would be in favor of one or two Saturday sessions beginning at 8 AM with the understanding that the appropriate department heads would be there with their financial data.
CM-99-11-303 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Council meeting schedule for the year 2000 to be revisited in April regarding the Budget Sessions.
Vote on CM-99-11-303 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
3. Request for approval of Pawnbrokerís License for Great Lakes Jewelry, 26103 Novi
Raymond Jenkins, Applicant for and owner of Great Lakes Jewelry, stated he is a G.I.A. Gemologist and he buys and sells high-grade watches. He buys high-ticket items off the street and through other dealers. He needs a pawnbrokerís license to purchase desired items and for the sale of items. He is not opening up a pawnshop; he is opening up an Estate Jewelry Store.
He stated he would not deal in VCRís, TVís, Guns, etc. He would deal only in jewelry.
Member Csordas asked where his business was located? Mr. Jenkins replied it was in the Wonderland Music Plaza.
Member Csordas asked Chief Shaeffer for an overview of Mr. Jenkins and his business.
Chief Shaeffer said an application for a pawnshop license is done under a State Statute. It requires an investigation by the local police department and licensing by the local City. The quality of the applicant and the quality of the applicantís employees are investigated to be sure they are not involved in nor have a history of illicit trade activity. If there was this kind of problem it would cause a disqualification of their application. Chief Shaeffer said this was not the case with Mr. Jenkins. They found absolutely no reason to make a recommendation to Council not to approve the license for this individual.
CM-99-11-304 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Pawnbrokerís License for Great Lakes Jewelry at 26103 Novi Road.
Member Kramer asked if the license was renewed and reviewed annually? Chief Shaeffer said they were empowered under State Statute to make irregular, unannounced inspections of pawnshops throughout the year. If there were major irregularities they would ask Council to take further action on licensing.
Member Kramer asked if the renewal was brought back before Council annually? Chief Shaeffer said it was.
Member Crawford asked Mr. Watson if a restriction could be put on this business to only jewelry?
Mr. Watson said not under the Statute.
Member Crawford asked if the record would indicate via the minutes that Mr. Jenkins said he would only deal in estate jewelry and if on the inspections something different were found it should be brought to the attention of the Council immediately. Chief Shaeffer said that could be easily done.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if the standard procedure was that each day the proprietor had to give the Police Department an inventory of what they had brought in.
Chief Shaeffer said the requirement was 48 hours under State Laws. They would have to send notification of what they took in and who they received it from.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked Mr. Jenkins if he was familiar with the Pawnbroker Act and all its provisions? Mr. Jenkins said he was.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Jenkins to tell her who his stereotypical customer, purchaser, would be?
Mr. Jenkins said some customers are from divorces and others just need money. He said he pays a little less than a dealer.
Member Bononi asked why he would need a pawnbrokerís license to buy and sell estate jewelry because the Public Act discusses lending money on a valuable item at a pre-determined cost with the intention of selling it back to the owner. So you are not just buying and selling estate jewelry you are pawning estate jewelry at times.
Mr. Jenkins stated he did not have the cash flow to loan money out. He said in the case of someone who wants to redeem his property there is a percentage tacked on and is almost like a loan. He said there is usually no interest in purchasing the piece back and if he is asked to hold the item for repurchase then he will have to look into the loan status.
Member Bononi said then it is a combination of those two things? Mr. Jenkins said it was.
Vote on CM-99-11-304 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
4. Lifetime Fitness Ė Massage License Application Concerns
Mr. Kevin Stegan, Lifetime Fitness, stated he had a couple of questions and problems with the massage licensing system. He said it appeared that they had a system that was designed for weeding out organizations or people that could be suspect. He felt that they have come into the community and demonstrated that they are not that entity. They asked for some flexibility from the Statute, Article 2, Section 20-26. He was proposing #4 through #13 be stricken. He said they were looking at that as very personal issues in terms of their Board of Directors out of Minnesota.
Mr. Stegan said some of their concerns were prior addresses of applicants for ten years. He said it was difficult to pull all the Board of Directors together and get this information, pictures and fingerprints was very intrusive as far as their Board of Directors was concerned. He stated they had provided everything that had been asked for other than those particular personal areas. He said there were several people in their facility that are looking forward to doing massage therapy and several employees that are ready to go to work.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Watson for comment and direction regarding this.
Mr. Watson said they are asking to be absolved of a series of requirements in the Massage Ordinance that pertain to the application process. He stated Mr. Stegan was correct it is an ordinance to separate the wheat from the chaff and permit legitimate operations and preclude illegitimate operations or operations that are going to become problematic as time goes on.
The issue that caused them problems is that they are a corporation. There is a whole series of information that is asked in the application process that pertains to issues of character, moral fitness, background in terms of criminal records and all of that type of information.
The Ordinance provides that if the applicant is a corporation that they are to provide names and resident addresses of each of the Officers, Directors and each shareholder that has more than 10%. Each of those persons are then considered to be an applicant.
There is a reason that is in the Ordinance and that is so that somebody who is an illegitimate operation canít simply go to the corporate form of ownership, create a corporation and entity, use that to make the application.
Mr. Watson said Items 4-13 were referred to by Mr. Jenkins and are as follows.
Item 4 asks for:
The prior address of the applicant for the preceding ten years.
Proof that the applicant is at least 18 years of age.
The applicants height, weight, color of eyes, hair and sex.
Copy of Identification such as a drivers license or social security card.
One portrait photograph, 2" X 2" and if it is a corporation it can be satisfied by a picture of all officers and managing agents within the corporation.
Next Item is:
Business, occupation or employment of the applicant 3 years immediately preceding along with addresses and telephone numbers.
Next Item is:
Massage or similar business license history of the applicant that operated in another City, had license elsewhere and what happened to those particular licenses. Whether they were revoked or suspended at other locations where they had licenses.
Next Item is:
A list of all criminal convictions other than misdemeanor traffic violations, including the dates, nature of the crime and dates convicted.
Next Item is:
A written statement and information as to the applicants character, experience, financial ability to meet obligations in the business undertakings that the license is being taken out for. Also, the source of any borrowed funds.
Lastly, the names, current address and written statements of at least three bonafied permanent residents of the United States that the applicant is of good moral character.
Mr. Watson didnít think a typical applicant, for purposes of compliance with the Ordinance would consider these to be objectionable items. The only question is are they objectionable because this is a corporation? As he indicated there is a reason that it is asked of a corporation so that somebody doesnít pull a slight of hand and get a bad operation in by choosing that form of ownership.
Mr. Watson said there is not a variance provision within the massage regulations. The City Code has a general variance provision. It provides that the City Council can grant a variance from regulatory provisions of the Code when all of the following conditions are satisfied:
1. A literal application of the substantive requirement would result in exceptional practical
difficulty to the applicant.
2. The alternative proposed by the applicant would be adequate for the intended use and
shall not be substantially deviate from the performance that would be obtained by strict enforcement of the standards.
3. That granting of the variance would not be detrimental to public health, safety, welfare not injurious to adjoining or neighboring property nor contrary to the overall purpose and goals of the Chapter or Article that is involved.
Member Kramer agreed with the intent of the Ordinance. He thought it would fulfill the intent of the Ordinance if the hardship was explained and statements of operations were offered from other cities and police departments that Lifetime Fitness operates in that have similar massage services offered.
Mr. Stegan said currently they have 65 therapists and have massage therapy open in the states of Indiana, Ohio, several in Minneapolis/St Paul, Troy, Michigan and the new facility on High Point Blvd. He felt they could come up with something from those cities.
Member Kramer said they have not given any substantiation as an alternative.
Mr. Stegan said the hardship would be to go back to all these people that are board of directors and stockholders and obtain all the information from them. An alternative could be that he would contact the City of Troy and request a full report from them and submit that to Council.
Member Kramer agreed it could be developed along these lines and they would need to decide if one city was sufficient.
Member Bononi had concerns that the tests Mr. Watson has listed were not met by Mr. Steganís presentation. She did not see anything exceptionally difficult about attaining the information from the Board of Directors and Stockholders. It might be a hassle but not exceptionally difficult. If Mr. Stegan did not want to do it then it would be a hardship but it was his.
She said Mr. Stegan had not brought anything forward as an alternative that would sufficiently meet the intent of the Ordinance. Protecting the health, welfare and safety of our community is simply not addressed. She was not convinced that the state of the Ordinance is unacceptable or has an undue hardship. If that is going to be proposed by Mr. Stegan then better arguments are needed.
She was concerned that other applicants had to meet the standards and did and then this particular applicant, because it is a corporation, is placed in a different category. However, with regard to this ordinance, that is simply a cost of doing business. She did not think it would be acceptable to accept the history of your business as exemplary as it may be, from another City. This is our City and we have to make sure the Ordinance is complied with until such time that Mr. Stegan proves to Council otherwise. She stated if there was more arguments she would like to hear them it but at this point she was not convinced.
Member Csordas said regarding Item 2 as far as alternatives, could they go through that process with the local managers and massage therapists.
Mr. Stegan said not as much as here. The Ordinance is a little stiffer here then weíve had in the past in other locations that they had opened.
Member Kramer asked if he would have any objection to having the local manager and the massage therapists go through that process?
He said they had already completed that process through Detective Jelley.
Suzie Binkley, Lifetime Fitness, stated the Police Department has investigated her staff and found them to be above the standard. Currently the standard of educational requirement in this City is 70 hours. Every one of her staff has completed at least 500 hours of training and four out of seven are nationally certified massage therapists. She understood that seedy practices do go on and are loosely veiled under massage therapy. The reason that happens is because there are no educational or licensing requirements by the State of Michigan to practice massage therapy. She said every one of her staff is a professional and their only intent is to relieve the stress of everyday life.
Member Csordas agreed it would be a tremendous hardship to collect data from the owners and officers. He asked Chief Shaeffer to advise Council of the findings and facts of his investigation.
Chief Shaeffer said the staff has been in the office and submitted all the information that was required. They had no problems in the background investigations of any of them. They do meet the standards of the ordinance and the entire matter is resting on the corporate provision. He said the application before Council was not at all the application they would see from one of those less than reputable type of establishments. He stated that was not the case that was before Council.
Member Csordas agreed with Chief Shaeffer and felt these things were fair and reasonable. He asked Mr. Watson if the City would be setting itself up for any type of legal exposure by granting this permit where it wasnít granted for the same reason to some one else that had come before Council?
Mr. Watson said if Council was not satisfied that those three conditions for a variance were really met then he certainly had concerns about Council granting the variance. Another applicant, that really was of concern, doing business in the corporate form could very well make a similar request. That would be when the issue would come up.
Member Csordas asked how many locations they had and if they had massage therapists in each of those locations. Mr. Stegan stated they had eleven facilities and they did have this amenity in all their new prototype locations.
Member DeRoche said anyone who has seen this facility and seen the audited financial statements by Arthur Anderson showing $35 Million in revenues and $37 Million in shareholders equity would see that they are way above standard. Any corporation of this size would find it a significant hardship to gather all this information. He asked if members of his Board of Directors owned their own companies. Mr. Stegan said they do.
Mr. Watson read #2. "The alternative proposed by the applicant will be adequate for the intended use and will not substantially deviate from the performance that would be obtained by strict enforcement of the standards.
Member DeRoche thought they were close on that one with the alternative of them providing audited financial statements. That is not something that every corporation is willing to do and it has been done in good faith. He thought if they were guilty of anything it was a bad proposal and presentation. Their alternative could have provided a lot more answers for us to where it was going to be in the facility and what the rooms would look like to meet some of our other concerns. He felt they were a long way to answering Item 2.
As far as Item 3 he didnít think granting this would be contrary to the health, safety and welfare of this community because they are not engaging in a business that will adversely affect other businesses.
Ms. Binkley said a floor plan was submitted and given to Detective Jelley.
Member Crawford thought the integrity of the Ordinance had to be upheld but there were provisions within the Ordinance that would allow exceptions to be made and not put ourselves in jeopardy of another corporation. He thought there was a practical hardship in this case and felt if an exception were made, speaking to the 3rd provision, it would still meet the intent of the Ordinance and not be detrimental to the community.
The key in the second provision is there has to be some type of alternate proposal. Councilman Kramer suggested letters from other communities and Member Crawford said that would be sufficient to him and meet the intent of the ordinance.
CM-99-11-305 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Csordas; MOTION FAILED:
To grant the Massage License contingent on a positive review from the Chief of Police, City Attorney and the Mayor based on the documents that are provided from Lifetime Fitness.
Member Crawford asked if this would be difficult.
Ms. Binkley said letters of reference were submitted in regard to their company.
Mr. Stegan asked if a revision could be made that if they were to demonstrate this over the next few days, at that point they would be able to have a permit issued for their business?
Mayor Clark said the problem is the next scheduled meeting is November 22nd.
Member Crawford asked if it could be contingent upon a positive review from the City Attorney the Mayor and the Chief of Police.
Mr. Stegan said he would get a review from the City of Troy and bring it back.
Member Crawford changed his motion from postpone to granting the license based on a positive recommendation from the City Attorney, Chief of Police and the Mayor having reviewed the documents that Mr. Stegan will provide.
Mr. Stegan asked if the City of Troy would suffice and Member Crawford said a couple others would be needed.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo stated she would vote against the motion because of her concern for the integrity of the Ordinance and applying the Ordinance equitably with all applicants. She thought that the Ordinance needed to be changed if letters of recommendation would be sufficient then thatís what the Ordinance needed to say.
Member Bononi did not believe that any hardship had been met. Many people have expressed to her their concern about the fact that every time one of the Ordinances is tested Council folds. She thought it was what was being done tonight. She felt they had not proved hardship, havenít come forward with appropriate alternatives and felt that endorsements from other cities would not cut it. She would not support this motion as she felt it compromised the Ordinance and the advice of legal council.
Mayor Clark would not support the motion. He was concerned about the issues raised by the City Attorney and was concerned with risk management.
Member DeRoche was concerned with exposure.
Mr. Watson said they needed the ability to uphold the ordinance when the next corporation came before Council.
Mr. Watson thought if it is the judgement of the City Council that they want some other method to separate certain types of corporations from other types of corporations that should be referred to the Ordinance Review Committee. Let the Committee come up with standards to separate the wheat from the chaff in some other fashion that some members of Council appear to desire.
Member DeRoche said if that was Mr. Watsonís opinion then he would not support the motion and hoped that it is handled quickly in this case.
Member Csordas asked if it was out of line to vote against something that he seconded? He was advised he could vote against his second.
Member Crawford asked if the three provisions discussed were a part of the Ordinance?
Mr. Watson said they were part of the Ordinance and were general provisions.
Member Crawford said they do provide for exceptions under our Ordinance under the right circumstances. He understood the possible ramifications if this were granted outright without forthcoming information and agreed. He asked if the fact that Council was asking for additional information would fill the intent of the Ordinance.
Mr. Watson was concerned that when the next applicant comes in they will make the same request for a variance from this provision and provide Council with similar information in regard to what or whether there is hardship or an exceptional practical difficulty.
Member Crawford said if we should never address those three issues then why are they in the Ordinance?
Mr. Watson stated he was not saying Council should never address those three issues. There are variance provisions in the Zoning Ordinance and other Ordinances and it was the judgement of Council years ago to add a general variance provision.
Member Crawford said but if those provisions are used it would jeopardize us so your recommendation should be to remove them from the Ordinance.
Mr. Watson said that is not his recommendation. It is that they are applied in such a fashion that Council wonít get in trouble and have difficulty denying a similar applicant who makes a similar case who should be denied.
Member Kramer asked if Mr. Watson was recommending that there may be space within the Ordinance where it should be looked at and adjusted to take this into account. The Ordinance was written more focused at a different scale of operation.
Mr. Watson said yes it would be possible to modify the standards.
Member Kramer asked how quickly could that be addressed?
Mr. Watson said it could be done at the next Ordinance Review Committee meeting, which is usually the third Thursday of the month.
Member Kramer told the applicant that they were in a sensitive field and Council needed to work on the Ordinance a bit more and asked them to bear with Council as they did so. He said they could work together on the wording of the Ordinance that would take care of the instant circumstance and keep the Ordinance in good shape.
Vote on CM-99-11-305 Yeas: None
Nays: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
5. Electronic Sign in front of Civic Center
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo spoke for a resident who was very concerned about the expenditure for an electronic sign and the number of variances that are being requested. This was an item that met with consensus during the budget process. She stated at the budget sessions that if such a sign was pursued it be done within compliance with the ordinances but did not recall this ever coming back to the table regarding the design, the final cost or number of variances needed. Since the judgement has been increased to $53 million, the ice arena deficit and the needed variances, she had questions whether this was an item Council wanted to move forward with at this time.
Member Kramer said the Communications Committee had recommended to the Council that we consider implementation of this budget item. When the Council had consensus, before the judgements etc., it was sent to Administration with the stipulation that it be brought back. It is in the process of being worked on. They are determining what variances are needed or whether the variances requested are acceptable. Nothing is done until it comes before Council again.
Member DeRoche said the consensus was to budget for the sign not to build it. He would like to see it brought back before Council before it went to the Zoning Board of Appeals because it has not gotten Council approval yet.
Mr. Kriewall said it had been pulled from the Z.B.A. because there would only be four members at their next meeting and it wasnít recommended that this be taken before the Z.B.A. It can be before Council on November 22nd.
Member Crawford asked how many variances were needed and if they were significant?
Mr. Kriewall said there were two. One for size and one for setback.
Member Crawford said when it comes back Council needed to know what all the variances were. He thought a different sign might meet the Ordinances. He felt it was a very important communication tool. Council had been told for years that a better system of communication was needed and this would be one effort in doing that.
Mayor Clark stated that the notice for the Public Hearing that was sent out indicated a total of four variances. They are area height and placement, prohibited signs, number of signs allowed and type of sign permitted.
Member Crawford thought it was a public service and wanted to continue with the effort. He said there are variances provided for an Ordinance so it is not going against an Ordinance but working within the Ordinance in a responsible manner.
CM-99-11-306 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To direct Administration that this matter is not to be brought
before the Zoning Board of Appeals until it is first brought
before the Council.
Vote on CM-99-11-306 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
Bob Wilkins, 23803 Ripple Creek Rd., stated the spill was an embarrassment to the City. He stated he was concerned because in the final budget this year Council took $200,000 out of the Sewer Maintenance Budget. When $200,000 is taken out of something, it unofficially puts the word down the line not to do things that spend money and sometimes people then make errors of judgement. Citizens are concerned about where money is coming from in this City. Where is the $340,000 coming from to pay the Ice Arena deficit? Where is the $50,000 for the software purchase that was not budgeted coming from? It is this unease and vagueness of not knowing where responsibly the City is going and how it is doing things. He commended the Council for ultimately and responsibly, because of the Ordinances, turning down the petitioner.
Lisa Blasiola, Jaycees, asked for the support of Council. She advised Council that the Jaycees now had 42 active members in the City and is the #8 top Chapter in the State of Michigan.
She invited anyone interested in the Jaycees to call her at 374-9703.
Brooks Decker, 46130 West Park Drive, addressed Council regarding the relocation of the D.P.W. yard. He thought the new proposed location was unacceptable considering the issues we have just heard regarding the dumping of sewage at the D.P.W. yard and the existing conditions that have been permitted. This location is unacceptable because there are hundreds of acres of sensitive wetlands and the hours of operations and noise would be a disruption to the local residents and unacceptable. He asked for Councilís full consideration when this issue came up for review.
James Korte, Shawood Lake, said he understood that on the 18th and 19th of November Caller I.D. would be installed on the phones at the City. He asked if this was a witch hunt. What is going to happen regarding the D.P.W. yard when that "squealer", how dare he be civic, is found out. What would the City do to him? City Management has not been nice to people who donít play the game of the higher hierachary. We are not so nice to our employees. Why is this being put on the phone system and is it true? Mr. Korte also did not like being asked by a receptionist what the nature of his call was when calling the head of the Planning Department.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
6. Reject and Re-award Street Tree Bids
Mr. Pargoff advised Council that the low bidder informed him he could not unload the trees tomorrow that are being delivered from our supplier. It is critical that he coordinates for the unloading of the trees at the D.P.W. yard. Therefore, he asked that the second low bidder be granted the bid for the tree planting.
Member DeRoche asked if the second low bidder would be there to do the job?
Mr. Pargoff said he called the second low bidder and he said he would be there and to contact him this evening if Council chose not to award him the bid. He said the trees could be unloaded with D.P.W. help but it would be more difficult because they donít have the kind of equipment that the bidder has.
CM-99-11-307 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the recommendation of Mr. Pargoff and re-award to the
second low bidder.
Member Crawford said the trees were supposed to be installed by November 10th?
Mr. Pargoff said they had hoped they would be here during the month of October but dry weather in the growing areas have inhibited the digging of the trees.
Member Crawford asked when the low bidder would be able to unload the trees?
Mr. Pargoff said the low bidder did not think he had to do it.
Member Crawford said so it is not that he canít do it buy tomorrow itís that he is not going to do it period. Mr. Pargoff said thatís right.
Member Crawford asked what the difference in the bids was? Mr. Pargoff said $85.00.
Member Crawford said they will be planted this year. Mr. Pargoff said yes the second low bidder is ready to go to work.
Member Kramer asked if $125.00 per tree is a customary fee and is it reasonable? Mr. Pargoff said it is customary and we have paid more and less. In the spring the bids ranged from $200 to $60 and the bids included planting, staking and mulching.
Voter on CM-11-99-307 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
K. Approval of Telecommunications Agreement between the City of Novi and Norlight Telecommunications, Inc.
Member Bononi had questions about the construction specifications listed in the Agreement.
Mr. Watson suggested if there were questions regarding construction specifications this should be postponed until a representative of the applicant could be present.
Member Bononi wanted to know if the Norlight Corporation is not at present a public utility but a corporation as such. Mr. Watson said that was correct. She asked how this proposal came to the City of Novi? Mr. Watson said they approached the Department of Public Services for a R.O.W. permit to do construction within the R.O.W.
Member Bononi understood that if this fiber optic equipment is installed it would not provide any service of any kind with regard to video programming to the residents of the City.
Mr. Watson said that was correct and the idea is if they are going to provide that sort of programming, they would have to go through the cable television franchising process.
Member Bononi said that the agreement said, "fifteen days prior to the construction Norlight will provide final engineering plans and specs". Her concern with that is if this body approved this agreement then the final specs and engineering plans would not be seen until the applicant was ready to construct these facilities.
Mr. Watson said that is correct.
Member Bononi said the installation note in the agreement says per approved plan. She has great concerns about the specification of overhead installation versus underground installation. She didnít think the agreement made that clear and until they saw construction/engineering drawings they would not know the course of this installation along Nine Mile Road from Haggerty to Napier. She presumed that it would be a northerly/southerly route and not necessarily a totally northerly or totally southerly route with regard to placement.
Mr. Watson stated his understanding was that they were going to use existing poles and existing facilities.
Member Bononi was under that impression at the beginning of the agreement but toward the end of it there is a reference to how many utility poles may be contemplated and a charge for each that would be paid to the City of Novi. Do existing pole providers have to share their space with this organization if they do not choose to do so?
Mr. Watson didnít know.
Member Bononi was concerned with the depth of the placement of this equipment and how it would affect streams and wetlands crossings. Being this was not a public utility, they would not be exempt from that requirement. She was concerned that underground placement would disturb street pavement with regard to driveway intersections with streets. She was also concerned with restoration of property and on Page 5 there was a section which infers that if this organization did not complete restoration to the specification of the City then the City of Novi would then complete that restoration. Also, on Page 5 tree trimming and tree removal is per City approval. She wanted to know what the line marking would consist of on Page 6 and what it would look like. Member Bononi said for allowing this organization to use our R.O.W. we get $1,500 per year. Is that correct.
Mr. Watson said there is also a per foot charge.
Member Bononi said $1,500 per year plus $.20 per aerial foot and $20.00 for each newly installed utility pole. She asked for an estimate of what this added up to from Haggerty to Beck.
Mr. Watson said he did not have an estimate.
Member Bononi said a section refers to the fact that consultant and attorney fees will be paid for per reasonable cost. She asked if Council knew what reasonable was and whether or not they would cover all of those fees?
Mr. Watson said they would certainly cover all those fees.
Member Bononi said on Page 9 it says "the City contemplates it will undertake a study of its authorities and responsibilities in the management of the Public Ways". She asked if this study was underway and did Council ask for that or is it an administrative program?
Mr. Watson said it was not underway.
Member Bononi asked what the plan was to inform residents and interested parties who have concerns or residences on Nine Mile Road of this proposal?
Mr. Watson said there is a provision that requires them to notify any adjacent property owner where they are performing work. Member Bononi asked at what point? Mr. Watson said within days of when the activities are going to take place.
Member Bononi said then this proposal would be approved and the people on nine Mile Rd. would not know about it until a permit was pulled.
Mr. Watson said that is correct.
Member Bononi asked if there was any plan to inform Nine Mile Road residents of the proposal.
Mr. Watson said not other than that.
Member Bononi said in view of all those things and in view of the fact that we donít have the engineering plans and specifications she would make motion.
CM-99-11-308 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To postpone the Telecommunications Agreement with Norlight Tele-communications until any interested persons may view construction plans and specifications and Council would have the opportunity to decide whether this proposal should move forward.
Member DeRoche thought there had been very wise questions raised but did want to say that he knew as a resident would like to see cable and digital services and some of these things others have talked about. He wanted these questions answered but hoped that the City and Administration were encouraged to work with these people so when the Ameritech, A T & Tís and etc. and whoever else we can interest in bringing these technologies to our City in competition with our cable we do it. It will take new lines. We know that our current provider is not going to give them anything to work with.
Vote on CM-99-11-308 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
L. Approve Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 557
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo pulled this Item because of Item #1, Road Bond Informational Map, because she wanted to move that in the future any such expenditures would come before the Council for approval before undertaking any such expense.
CM-99-11-309 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That Claims and Account Warrant #557 be approved with the understanding that in the future such items as the Road Bond
Information Map comes before Council for approval before public
funds are expended.
Vote on CM-99-11-309 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Council Organizational Rules and Order of Business
Mayor Clark stated that Council is required by their own Rules and Orders of Business on the first meeting following the election to review our organization and Rules of Operation.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo had suggestions in terms of proposed changes to this document. On Page 4, under Item #6 Agenda, she proposed that there first be a heading for Departmental Reports. She suggested it be done after letter E, under any special reports or committee reports. Also under E, where there is special reports and committee reports, she wanted the clause "for information only" removed so that the Council would have the ability to make comments and ask questions when special reports or committee reports are given.
She felt letter F should be changed to suggest Departmental Reports, Managers Reports and Attorneys Reports so that they are all done up front. Typically, all of these reports are of community wide interest and the community would benefit most from having these reports done up front earlier in the evening. It would also give them the opportunity if there were questions or comments to participate during audience participation.
Member Crawford asked if these suggestions would go to a committee and was that typically what Council had done in the past? There has been a committee every year to review this. The intent is not to act on these tonight.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said it was her intent to act on these tonight. She stated that her independent opinion was that a committee was not needed.
Member Crawford said this could have ramifications throughout the whole document. He thought Council needed time to think about it. The procedure has been with a committee. There has been a committee of the Mayor and two Council Members who have reviewed these rules every year. At that time suggestions are taken from Council Members. He thought this would be the appropriate way to do this and incorporate Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzoís suggestions in that process.
Mayor Clark said they would take Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzoís suggestions and anyone elseís and have the committee look at them. Member Crawford said but not to act on tonight? Mayor Clark said no.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo stated she would be looking at working as a Committee of the Whole. Her concern was that this would be sent to Committee and never return as one issue within this document, the ethics policy, had done. It was supposed to return in February; it is now November. These items are not so mind boggling that this Council as a whole canít absorb them and decide whether or not they want to do it. If Council wanted to think about these and come back at the next meeting but it would be her expectation that the seven member Council, at that time, would be willing to either say yea or nay on these.
Mayor Clark said a Special Meeting could be arranged if needed. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo agreed.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she would put forth suggestions and everyone could think about them and offer their own suggestions. She asked that by Special Meeting or the next meeting Council would be prepared to act one way or another on all the suggestions.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said on Page 5, under letter S, she wanted to reinstate the third Audience Participation before the meeting is adjourned. Then the adjournment would become letter T.
Moving down to #9, Cable TV Policy, she suggested under letter A that Council consider all Regular, Special and Joint Meetings shall be held in the Council Chamber and will be cable cast, except interview meetings, unless the Council Chamber was unavailable.
Under letter B, Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo would like some language that would say meetings would be cablecast live and rebroadcast at a later date. Mr. Martin informed her that in order to do this Council would have to amend the Cable Resolution.
Member Kramer stated the Communications Committee has a recommendation coming up on what to do about that. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if that would be prepared for the next meeting? Member Kramer said it was contingent on S.W.O.C.C. getting digital replay equipment.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said Mr. Martin is also looking into alternatives and felt he would be able to report back by the next meeting.
On Page 6 under the Standards and Conduct for Officers, Employees and Consultants, which is basically the ethics policy; two ethics opinions were received by the City Attorney. One on August 13, 1999 and September 7, 1999. The August 13th opinion in part stated that it was clear from the State Ethic Law that mere disclosure does not resolve conflicts under the State Statute. The opinion of September 7 in part stated that Attorney General 6005 concluded that the State Ethics Law has general application to municipal public bodies. Combining of those opinions she questioned the City Attorney. According to the State Ethics Law and the Attorney Generals conclusion would it seem that any circumstance in which a municipal public officer merely discloses a potential conflict would be a violation of the State Law.
Mr. Watson said if you agreed with the Attorney Generals conclusion that the State Law applies locally and basically ignore the definition within the Statute, yes thatís the case.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said if the Attorney Generalís conclusion was abided by, any instance where there was merely disclosure would be a violation of the State Law.
Mr. Watson suggested if Council wanted to add that particular provision relating to disclosure and the impact of disclosure, just add it explicitly.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said that was what she would propose Council do. She thought it was very simple, clean and clear. Basically, what that said was it would be an exception that a public officer would be able to vote on, make or participate in making a governmental decision if all of the following occur.
A. The requisite quorum necessary for official action on the governmental decision by the public entity to which the public officer had been elected or appointed is not available because the participation of the public officer and the official action would have otherwise violated certain sections.
B. The public officer is not paid for working more than 25 hours per week for this political subdivision of the State, in this case a municipality.
C. The public officer promptly discloses any personal, contractual, financial, business or employment interest he/she may have in the governmental decision and the disclosure is made part of the public record of the official action of the governmental decision.
It is her suggestion that Council incorporate that section into our Standards of Conduct.
On Page 8, under Debate and Quorum, she suggested changing letter I so that reading from books, reports etc. is only allowed when relevant to the pending question or subject matter.
On Page 10, Audience Participation Rules, Letter F, she suggested that the three minute limitation be increased to five minutes for each individual speaker and to 10 minutes for persons representing an association or group. Also, this could be letter G or I that applicants or their representatives could present their proposals for a period of 15 minutes unless the Chair grants additional time.
Member DeRoche agreed with a lot of what Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said but disagreed with the reading from books, reports etc. He felt it was rude to other Council Members to read. This should be copied and distributed to Council Members. He didnít want to see that rule go away because he thought it would encourage laziness.
Mayor Clark asked if Council wanted to set this for a Special Meeting, the Council of the Whole, for the 22nd at 6:30 PM to precede the Regular Meeting? He said there is an Executive Session for November 15th.
Mr. Kramer asked if there were three things they were trying to put together?
Mayor Clark said that was right.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if Council could handle the pending litigation and the City Managers selection on the 15th and then the Committee of the Whole for the Rules on the 22nd?
Mr. Klaver thought it would be a doable schedule. He said that meeting was scheduled for 6:30 PM so hopefully it would not go to long. He said unfortunately, that would be the last day he would be available for about six weeks and he would very much like to attend that meeting on the 15th. Also, several attorneys are tentatively lined up for that night so he knew everyone was available.
Mayor Clark said so you want to do it on the 22nd.
Mr. Klaver said on the 15th he would like to deal with the Executive Session and the City Managers selection and then on the 22nd would be available for the meeting on the Rules.
Member Crawford said he may not be available on the 15th and hoped Council didnít address too many things on that date. He didnít say anything about the Executive Session because it is difficult to schedule and he didnít want Council to go around it for one person.
He said on Page 12 of Council Rules under Committees of Council, #4 Rules Committee it does say, "The Mayor and two members of Council appointed on a rotation basis to begin their review of the Council Rules immediately following the first meeting following the November Election." Are we totally disregarding this rule; that has been our process and it is in our rules. What is the reason not to continue this? Typically, Council has gathered all the suggestions from Council Members and the Mayor and two Council Members look at all the rules. They then come back with a recommendation to Council and at that point Council is a Committee of the Whole and can either accept, modify, add to or do whatever they want with that recommendation. That is the process that Council has established.
Mayor Clarkís concern was to not let things get away from them because everyone gets busy and the agenda gets full.
Member Crawford said that is precisely why Council had it go to a committee first to try to gather everything and put it in writing. It is very difficult to follow orally the suggestions made tonight. That is why the committee compiles all of that and makes recommendations and then when it is all before Council they can discuss it. He saw no reason not to continue that process.
Mayor Clark said a Rules Committee Meeting could be scheduled for the 22nd.
Mr. Kramer said maybe before the 22nd and then bring it back on the 22nd.
Member Bononi said Council Members serve on a lot of committees. She expressed concern over how the committees operate, how efficient are they, how timely are they and what quality of product do they bring back to the Council as a whole. If Council is talking about a committee that is going to do just that and be speedy in the product that they deliver then that is one thing. However, if this is going to be lost somewhere then she would question how effectively our committees operate. So since she doesnít know who would be serving on this committee or what kind of time limit there would be she would want to know that before she would support sending this to a committee. She didnít see anything wrong with this Council as a whole taking a hard look at itself and how it did business and sitting down together to discuss those things. Member Bononi felt Council could do a lionís share of the work at one sitting. If fine points need to be hammered out then that might be the place to assign committee work.
Member Crawford stated he assumed the Mayor would act in the capacity of a Chairman of that meeting, call it to order and move it along.
CM-99-11-310 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That a Special Meeting be held on November 22nd at 6:30 PM as a
Committee of the Whole to discuss the Rules.
Member Kramer stated he would like the proposals in writing ahead of time.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said Council could ask the City Clerk to prepare that for Council.
Member Crawford asked what time the Committee of the Whole would meet on the 22nd?
Mayor Clark said 6:30 PM.
Member Crawford said that would give Council an hour to hash that out.
Mayor Clark said that doesnít mean, based on our discussions, we would be ready to act later that evening but at least it will have a sense of direction and will be moving along.
Member Crawford said a Committee of the Whole Council would meet from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.
Mayor Clark said that is correct.
Member Crawford asked if he was making the proper assumption that the Rules Committee would meet before that to bring something to that Committee of the Whole?
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said if that can be accomplished great.
Member Crawford said thatís our rules and it should be accomplished.
Mayor Clark said the Rules Committee would have to schedule a meeting before the 22nd for discussion.
Vote on 99-11-310 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
2. Committee Appointments
APPOINTED OFFICIALS EVALUATION & COMPENSATION
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if Council had decided to do this as a Committee of the Whole?
Mayor Clark said Council could proceed as the Committee of the Whole if that was agreeable with everyone. Council agreed.
Mayor Clark said Member Crawford had served in that capacity in the past and asked if he would like to continue. Member Crawford said he would.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Mayor Clark said two Council Members were needed and in the past it was Council Members Kramer and Lorenzo.
Member Kramer said he would continue and Member Lorenzo said she would be willing to share the seat with someone.
Member Csordas stated he had sat on the committee for three years with the Planning Commission and would like to be involved.
Mayor Clark said Council Members on this committee would be Members Kramer and Csordas.
COMMUNITY CLUBS BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Council Member Crawford had served in the past and stated he would like to continue.
COMMUNICATIONS AD HOC COMMITTEE
Member Kramer is on that committee and would like to continue. Member Csordas said he would like to sit on the committee also.
CONSULTANTS REVIEW COMMITTEE
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo and Member Kramer volunteered for this Committee.
Member DeRoche said he would like to continue his work on this committee. He asked Mr. Klaver if there was a rotation?
Mr. Klaver said there is a regular system for this committee. The senior person comes off, which would be Member DeRoche, and then the most senior Council Member who had not previously served would be appointed. In this case it would be Council Member Kramer but there are two current members being lost so that leaves a third slot open for which there isnít any procedure.
Member Kramer said if Member DeRoche wanted to continue there would be at least one person on the committee that is a current member. Member DeRoche said he wanted to continue.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo suggested that the Committee start meeting earlier. She thought Consultant Review should be insync with the budget. As the budget is being approved in May Council should know who the consultants are for the year and what it is going to cost.
Member DeRoche said he would make the recommendation and thought that Mr. Kriewall would be the senior member. He said it was his recommendation and he would stick to it and thought it should start in December even if it is just a layout of when people would be called in. It was recommended in the memo Council received in the last final report.
FUERST PROPERTY TASK FORCE
Mayor Clark volunteered for this committee.
FUTURING STEERING COMMITTEE
Mayor Clark said this committee was defunct.
HCD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Member DeRoche volunteered to continue his service to this Committee.
ORDINANCE REVIEW COMMITTEE
Member Bononi, Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo, and Mayor Clark volunteered and Member Crawford continued as the alternate. Member Lorenzo requested that the time be changed to 6 PM to better allow for public participation. It was agreed to change the time to 6 PM.
Mayor Clark stated this required the Mayor and two Council Members. He asked Member Kramer and Member Crawford if they were willing to remain volunteers. Member Kramer said he would if no one else would but would like to make it available to someone else. Member Csordas volunteered.
Member Csordas asked who the three were? Member Crawford said they were Clark, Csordas and Kramer.
Member Clark said one member plus an alternate was needed. Member DeRoche said he could move from alternate to attend the meetings regularly and Member Crawford stated he would be the alternate.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FINANCIAL REVIEW COMMITTEE
Mayor Clark said one member was needed and in the past it was Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo stated she would remain on the committee.
TOWN CENTER STEERING COMMITTEE
Mayor Clark said past members were Schmid, Mutch and Lorenzo.
Member Crawford suggested that the Mayor should be on this committee.
Mayor Clark agreed and volunteered.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said the meetings are typically on Council Meeting nights and it was difficult for her to make it at 5:30 or 6 PM when there is a whole Council agenda ahead of her. If the rest of the Council wished to continue that then she would remove herself from that committee. She would rather alternate Mondays or she canít attend the meetings.
Members Bononi and Csordas also volunteered.
3. City Manager Recruitment Process Ė Set date for Special Meeting
Mr. Klaver said if Council thought they could work through both topics on the 15th that would be his personal preference.
Mayor Clark agreed and said those meetings would be the Executive Session and the City Manager Recruitment on the 15th. Mr. Klaver said noting that Member Crawford indicated he could not attend.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if the meeting would be in Council Chambers and cable cast?
Mayor Clark said obviously, the Executive Session wouldnít be.
Mr. Klaver said the other sessions were held in the activities room.
Mayor Clark asked if there was any reason why it canít be in Council Chambers?
Mayor Clark said it was up to Southwest Oakland Cable as to whether they will come in and broadcast; is that correct.
Mr. Klaver said our staff takes care of that.
Mayor Clark suggested it be done in the Council Chambers which is the public meeting place to conduct the peoples business. The decisions that Council ultimately makes are going to affect every resident in the City and they should be part of the process and well informed every step of the way.
Member Crawford said it was not Council policy and saw no useful purpose to have that type of meeting in this facility. This is not most conductive to free flow of ideas and spreading papers out and talking back and forth. It is rather difficult to do that. The activities room can be set up as a square table and it makes it easy to do a study session and thatís what this is. No major decisions are going to be made. It is a public meeting, it is noticed and it is open to the public. Member Crawford recommended that Council continue to use the activities room.
Mayor Clark was concerned that since that was the only Item on the agenda there should be room to spread out and wanted the meeting cable cast.
Mr. Kramer said it is conducive to a less formal, roll up your sleeves, work things out kind of atmosphere. The white board is there for Council use, the counter can be used and Member Kramer felt it was more productive for a study/work session. Council Chambers is a good forum for decision making and debating.
Mayor Clark felt Council should at least try it once.
CM-99-11-311 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:
That on November 15th both the Executive Session for the discussion of pending litigation and a Special Meeting for the City Manager Recruitment Process to immediately follow the Executive Session be held in Council Chambers and cable cast.
Member Kramer asked if the dress would be informal.
Mayor Clark said however one wanted to appear was fine.
Vote on CM-99-11-311 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche,
4. Mayor Office Hours Ė Clark
Mayor Clark advised that he would be available to talk with citizens about their concerns, to listen to them express their views and bring whatever concerns them to the attention of the Mayor. This information would be shared with the Council. The office hours are 9 AM until 12 PM every Saturday in the Mayorís Office next to the Council Chambers. This would be weekly except on rare occasions when he would be on vacation with his family.
5. Response Time from Department Heads and other City Officials Ė Clark
Mayor Clark said there is a need for a policy to be put into place regarding citizens who come before Council with a specific question or concern that the citizen should get a response. If a response canít be given at the meeting then the citizen should expect a response from the appropriate department within 72 hours. The response should be in writing and should also be provided to the Mayor and Council Members. This would provide a gauge to measure performance. Mayor Clark didnít think it would become a burden and thought most requests could be answered at the meeting by department heads or Council and if not, in writing within 72 hours.
CM-99-11-312 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To require the appropriate departments to respond to citizens concerns if they come before Council, to respond in writing within three business days and also to direct the City Manager to follow up with the idea of a Business Reply Card if a citizen seeks answers directly from a department.
Member Kramer stated it was meritorious and he would support it but it was additionally important to let the audience participant know how their question would be answered. He knew it was policy and it was in Council rules that it is not made a dialogue period because of the time involved. However, when someone raises questions he thought it would be appropriate to indicate what Department and who would respond to their question.
Mayor Clark thought that could be done at the meeting. If Council finds that the question could not be addressed and information had to get back to the citizen, Council could determine from the members of the Administration present that evening who would be the appropriate department to respond. Then the citizen could be told who would respond to their question.
Member Kramer felt it was important to verbalize that and decide who would respond.
Member Crawford asked if this was only for responses to Audience Participation or other questions brought up?
Mayor Clark said he was directing this to Council meetings but would not be opposed if Member Crawford was suggesting a Departmental wide policy in the various departments of the City. For example, if someone comes in requesting information they could be provided with a performance card. They came in on Monday and asked for information from a particular department and they can fill out the postcard and send it back indicating whether their concern or question was answered and the appropriate department got back with them in the appropriate time.
Member Crawford said 72 hours is fine but it could involve a holiday and a weekend. He asked if the Mayor would mean 72 hours or three business days?
Mayor Clark said yes, it could be three business days.
Member Csordas thought the business reply card would be a good idea and each department should have them. It could be given right to the person asking for the response and it would be pre-posted so there could be comments on who they contacted, what their issue was and how they were treated as a customer of the City. That card should then go back to the department heads and copied to the City Council for an on going evaluation of customer service.
Mayor Clark said that was a good suggestion and asked Mr. Kriewall if he had any problem putting something together on that in terms of the departments.
Mr. Kriewall said he did not and would have something in a couple of weeks.
Member Crawford had seen these cards in other cities and they sat on the counters. He thought he saw them several years ago in Canton Township.
Mayor Clark asked Member DeRoche if he wanted to amend the motion to include giving direction to Mr. Kriewall to follow up on the format to be employed if someone comes directly to a department and report back to Council by the next meeting.
Member DeRoche said he would accept that as an amendment to the motion.
Vote on CM-99-11-312 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
6. E.D.C. ad and future E.D.C. activities
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo added this item. She said there was an issue before the election that the E.D.C. decided to run an ad asking voters to vote in favor of the Road Bond. Obviously, there were some legal issues and questions and questions of whether they violated their Articles of Incorporation. Aside from the legal questions and the possible violation of their Articles what troubled her most was that a group of City individuals would apparently think it was appropriate to place an ad of that nature. When an ad of this nature is placed it is typically done to influence the outcome of an election issue and that troubled her. Also, it is her understanding from Mr. Capote that the Thursday that the Novi News ran the committee did have a meeting and Mr. Capote did inform the members of the committee that there might be an issue with the placement of that ad. Apparently, no member of the committee directed Mr. Capote to immediately in the morning contact the City Manager or the City Attorney. It is apparent that this committee is unaware of its parameters and jurisdiction and she suggested that their immediate activities should revolve around either establishing or re-evaluating an appropriate work plan. This plan would be forwarded to City Council with a report from their staff liaison concurring that this is an appropriate work plan for them to follow so that there would be no future activities that would be outside the parameters of their jurisdiction. Obviously, anything a board or commission does is a reflection on this Council and administration and was embarrassing for Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo.
CM-99-11-313 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That E.D.C. sit down, establish a work plan and have their liaison
Mr. Capote present it to Council.
Member Kramer said the previous Council had created a practice of meeting once a year with each body and more than once with the Planning Commission. E.D.C. has been trying to re-invent itself and define its mission and it needed to do that. Perhaps the best context to do that is for this new Council to start on the next series of reviews. It would be a good opportunity to have a discussion with them.
Mayor Clark said we would want to do that as quickly as possible without overloading our plate. He thought in this particular instance time was of the essence because proposals will be coming back after the first of the year relative to Road Bonding etc. If thatís the case the parameters of authority and appropriate conduct should be clearly defined.
Member Bononi thought from time to time it would be necessary for Council to meet with other groups. However, Council has profession people in this environment that are quite capable of acting as liaison. Perhaps just a little refresher about each of those liaisons seeing to it that each member of each commission and board understood the parameters and goes over the areas of responsibilities that they have. She felt that should be sufficient. She did not feel it was necessary to meet with every board and commission and their liaisons should be given that charge.
Member DeRoche said he thought the liaisons present had learned a valuable lesson with caution. He hoped the message was clear that Council did not want City Boards, Commissions or Administration engaging in political decisions for the City. There are seven people that have that charge and regardless of how mundane it is or how much support it is perceived to have it needed to come before this Council.
Member Crawford asked if the motion was that the E.D.C. establish a work plan and have Mr. Capote present it to Council?
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said that was correct. Member Crawford thought it was a good idea for all boards and commissions.
Mayor Clark asked if, as it was restated, met with the approval of the maker of the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said it did.
Vote on CM-99-11-313 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
7. Quail Ridge Inter-County Drainage Issue
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo added this item. This is a long-standing matter of at least 3-3 1/2 years. She said it involved an inter-county drain that runs under Eight Mile around Meadowbrook Road. She had documentation from concerned citizens of Northville Township. Mr. Nowicki informed her that apparently an engineer from J.C.K. had requested a meeting with the Oakland County Drain Commissionerís Office regarding this issue. She also talked with the Drain Commissionerís Office. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo thought, previous to any further discussion on this issue, that Council should be fully apprised to the situation and should formulate direction and policy and then have representatives express that. These would be public informational inter-county drainage meetings where the appropriate people in Northville Township, Oakland County Drain Commissionerís Office, Wayne County Representative and the Department of Agriculture Representative meet to discuss these issues.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo was requesting that Mr. Nowicki be asked to postpone any meeting with Oakland County and come forward with all the information regarding this issue to Council so a position can be formulated.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Nowicki if that was possible. Mr. Nowicki asked to bring the information back for the December 6, 1999 Council meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo believed there was a Northville Township engineering report that she thought Council should have a copy of.
Member Crawford asked what the intent was of the meeting Mr. Nowicki had? If it was just to gather information he didnít think it had to be postponed.
Mr. Nowicki said the Inter-County Drain that was petitioned for by Northville Township and Wayne County is a Chapter 21 Drain. Normally they are Chapter 20 Drains that are familiar. He was not familiar with Chapter 21 Drain. It was his understanding that it required a number of Public Hearings with the Chairman of the County Board of Commissioners and other individuals. So this meeting was to learn more about the Chapter 21 Drain and to share that information with Oakland County Drain Commission Officials and see how things are going, information needed and what each entity could do.
Member Crawford asked why would the meeting be postponed if youíre gathering information, etc. to bring back to Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said her concern was that this would be a private meeting.
Member Crawford said of course it is a private meeting; it is a meeting between a Department Head and a County person. He thought the public could go to it but it would not be a meeting thatís in Council Chambers and televised. How many contacts do staff and County Officials and State Officials have between each other all the time? That is the kind of meeting this is. It wouldnít be a Public Hearing or decision making meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said according to Mr. Korth at the County Offices, every meeting is a public meeting unless theyíre in session with their legal counsel on a private matter. They could certainly attend it in Pontiac. This is a Northville Township issue and the Northville Township Officials and the citizens involved in this issue were not notified. This was a private meeting between the City of Novi and Oakland County and she thought it was inappropriate. In terms of where Council stands, Council doesnít know where they stand. This new Council doesnít even know the extent of the situation and have not formed an opinion on this to give direction to Mr. Nowicki to let Oakland County know where this Council stands. It is premature.
Mr. Kriewall was not familiar, exactly, with what this meeting was about but did believe when there is a drainage issue between two counties that our own position might have to be fostered with regard to the drain. He didnít know if the world should be invited to the table if it is to the benefit to Oakland County and Novi to develop the strategy here. He was not totally familiar with the engineering problems with the drain but he understood that the developer might have not constructed the drain in accordance with plans and specifications approved by Northville Township. Northville Township is expecting Novi to participate in some of the corrective measures. He said as City Manager and a taxpayer he was concerned in terms of meeting publicly until a strategy is put together.
Mayor Clark asked if Mr. Kriewallís position was consistent with Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzoís.
Mr. Kriewall said it was but there might be a strategy that had to develop involving Oakland County and Novi versus Wayne County. He thought they had to get to the point where they knew what they were talking about from an engineering standpoint.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo reiterated what Member DeRoche had stated earlier regarding policy and direction coming from Council.
Mr. Kriewall thought a meeting had to be held with Oakland County first and the contents brought back to Council before any particular direction is taken.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo disagreed and stated Council had to understand what the issues were before that.
Mayor Clark said Mr. Nowicki would be going to the meeting, it would be an informational meeting. He would not foster or put forth a position on behalf of the City of Novi but it would allow him to obtain information to see what the position of the County or other parties would be. He would not make a commitment on behalf of the City because he would not be authorized to do that.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said the meeting should be held in a place that would be convenient for interested parties such as the City offices or Northville Township offices.
Mr. Nowicki said the engineers did invite Oakland County to the City of Novi and they were unable to attend and requested that the meeting be in Pontiac at their offices.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said it would be her request if Council wanted Mr. Nowicki to have the meeting that it is held in City of Novi offices or in Northville Township so that all of the parties could participate.
CM-99-11-314 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
To hold the meeting with the Oakland County Drain Commission at
the Novi Civic Center or Northville Township Hall.
Member Kramer said the issue had not come to Council yet. There are no facts and he would not tell the administration how to do their job and thought part of their job was to get information from the County and they should do that. He stated he would not constrain them and would not support the motion.
Member Bononi felt the issue was far greater than the comment that Member Kramer made. People are telling Council that they want to be included and have information. There is no difficulty in arranging those meetings here so these people can receive information if they want it. The problem is that this Council didnít know anything about this. She thought that with regard to a decision that the Council wanted to make sure they have the information first from staff.
Member DeRoche asked Mr. Nowicki if he was going to the County for convenience to get the meeting facilitated. Mr. Nowicki said correct. Member DeRoche asked if the concern was that it would take longer to get them here?
Mr. Nowicki said they had been trying and the engineers had been trying to coordinate this meeting for months.
Member DeRoche felt it was ridiculous because they were public servants too. He said he considered Oakland County to be his house just as much as he considered this building to be his house as far as being a citizen went. He had no problem with Mr. Nowicki going to the County to meet with them. However, he wanted Mr. Nowicki to get up there soon and let Council Members and the newspapers know why he was going and advise Oakland County that a conference room would be needed because people from Novi were coming. Member DeRoche offered to go up with Mr. Nowicki.
Mayor Clark said the first option was to see if there were any other available dates and thought it would be a good idea for them to come to Novi once in awhile. He asked Mr. Nowicki to suggest to Oakland County that the new Mayor was extending them a formal invitation and would like to see them here at the City of Novi if possible so residents of Novi and Northville could attend.
Mr. Nowicki said the meeting was scheduled for tomorrow November 9th.
Mayor Clark said he was offering an alternative suggestion depending on what happens with the vote on the motion.
Member Crawford asked if this was such a big problem, why would Council want to delay it any further. Pontiac is a half an hour from here and very accessible.
Mayor Clark said the problem was not so much the distance or inconvenience but that our residents and Northville residents were not aware of it.
Member Crawford said the City Manager suggested that maybe Wayne County and Northville did not need to be a part of this meeting if there is information or strategy that involved Novi and Oakland County. He thought the Mayorís suggestion as far as the future was a good one.
Mr. Kriewall said some of the Inter-County drains are contested regarding whoever decides how the special assessment might turn out or who would pay for it. He felt the City needed to be in tune with Oakland County on this issue. There might be a situation where Wayne County tells Oakland County that they have all the acreage that is tributary to this particular drain and want Oakland County to pay for two thirds of it and it is 90% their fault. Council has to be careful how they proceed.
Vote on CM-99-11- 314 Yeas: Bononi, Lorenzo, Clark
Nays: Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
Member DeRoche said his vote was because he didnít accept Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzoís motion. He wanted general consensus to try to facilitate Mayor Clarkís invitation to the Oakland County Drain Commissionerís and get a resolution that is in the best interest of the City. He would offer his consensus to that.
Mayor Clark said this has been around for a long time and if there was no meeting November 9th the world wouldnít come to an end. If they canít come done here and we canít go there something will be worked out.
Member Crawford said it is a scheduled meeting and Mr. Nowicki is on their agenda for November 9th at 9 AM. Member Crawford said it sounded like an important meeting and ought to be held. He thought the Mayorís suggestion was an excellent suggestion for follow up meetings but not for tomorrowís meeting. He felt the meeting should go on as scheduled, find out what needed to be found out and as the City Manager suggested this could end up being an Oakland County/Wayne County situation.
CM-99-11-315 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche;
That the Mayor send a letter to be directed to Oakland County
suggesting the meeting in question be held at the Novi Civic Center.
Mayor Clark stated if the motion failed the only alternative was that Mr. Nowicki go to the meeting, obtain what information he could, make absolutely no commitments on behalf of the City of Novi and report back to Council.
Vote on CM-99-11-315 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, DeRoche, Lorenzo
Nays: Crawford, Csordas, Kramer
8. Public Hearing for Twelve Mile Road S.A.D.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo brought this up previous to the election because she felt it was premature to schedule the public hearing. Mr. Kriewall said if the Road Bond failed the Public Hearing could be cancelled and she wanted to cancel it and notify the other parties. If they would like to come forward with another S.A.D. to finance this on their own they can do that.
CM-99-11-316 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
To cancel the Public Hearing scheduled for November 22, 1999 for
the Twelve Mile Road S.A.D.
Mr. Kriewall said it is theoretical but City Council or at the volition of Ramco-Gershenson they might show up on the 22nd and say they would pay for the whole thing so he thought the Public Hearing should be held.
Mayor Clark asked if they knew the outcome of the election?
Mr. Kriewall said they did and wanted to meet with him to discuss some proposals that they might have. He felt Council should go ahead with the Public Hearing.
Mayor Clark said Council wouldnít have to take any action on that.
Member Bononi questioned the manner in which the Public Hearing was advertised.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if it was a resolution stating that Council was participating.
Mr. Kriewall said it was just a Public Hearing.
Mayor Clark looked for direction from Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo regarding her motion. She stated no action.
9. Planning Commission Vacancy
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said Mrs. Bartholomew suggested that sometimes the Planning Commission advertisements get lost with the other Boards and Commissions that were being advertised. She suggested Council might consider a separate advertisement for the Planning Commission vacancy.
Mrs. Bartholomew said a vote on the last motion was needed.
Vote on CM-99-11-316 Yeas: Bononi
Nays: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
DISCUSSION ON ITEM #9
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said it would cost an additional $47.00 for a separate ad according to Mrs. Bartholomew.
CM-99-11-317 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That a separate advertisement would be placed for Planning Commission vacancies.
Vote on CM-09-11-317 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
Mr. Kriewall invited the new members of City Council to meet with any and all Department Heads at their convenience. He said a half day or day long schedule could be arranged or they could make their own arrangements by contacting the various Department Heads.
ATTORNEYíS REPORTS - None
There being no other business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:26 AM.
Richard J. Clark Tonni L. Bartholomew
Transcribed by: ___________________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: December 6, 1999