View Agenda for this Meeting


 MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2000 AT 7:30 PM



Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo – absent/excused, Council Members Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, and Kramer



David Ruyle, Mill Ct. East, stated he was interested in the Planning Commission and had been interviewed six months ago by Council. He did not think it was necessary for him to stay for this interview process but would stay if Council thought it was necessary.

Member Crawford said a Special Meeting agenda could not be changed unless all Members were present and there was unanimous consent.

Mayor Clark asked Ms. Reutter to call Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo and find out if she would object to adding Michael Meyer and David Ruyle to the end of the agenda.

James Korte, Shawood Lake, said this is an opportunity for the Mayor to show why and what he was elected for, which was for a change and clean sweep. He was referring to the Planning Commission. If the Mayor would look at the Ramco-Gershenson property on 12 Mile Road, which is devoid of every tree, he would understand why the change had to happen. All of the three prior planners had to go whether they were the direct cause or just the complacent that allowed this to happen.

Kim Capello said Napier Road had the first coat of asphalt between 8 and 9 Mile Roads on Friday and were ready for the second coat. He asked if there would be any ribbon cutting ceremony for Napier Road?

Mr. Helwig responded this was a developer road and not a project the City sponsored and it had been recommended to him not to have a ceremony.

Sara Gray, 133 Maudlin, said she spoke last week about the Lakeview Bar and Grill and questioned the Certificate of Occupancy and Mr. Morrone responded that a recent check of the records showed that the temporary Certificate of Occupancy that was issued on October 9, 1997 provided for an as built set of drawings. She asked who followed up on these and what happened to their overflow parking since their parking lot was now so small? Ms. Gray had made inquiries and had been told it did not matter what happened to the overflow because it was a police issue. This meant they would park all over everyone else’s property and unless a complaint was made nothing would be done.


RAMESH VERMA - Planning Commission, HCD, ZBA

Mr. Verma has been a citizen of Novi for 27 years. He was involved in the Storm and


Drainage Committee, soccer programs, helped the Parks and Recreation Department and worked on the festivals as a volunteer and became the Board Director. He was a former Captain in the India Army and fought in three wars. In 1972 he came to the United States and worked in the University of Michigan Hospital for 24 years as Director of Design, Construction and Utilities. He retired and Henry Ford Health System asked him to join them as a Corporate Director for Design and Construction. He was consulting with two different companies with his expertise of construction and design. He is a certified speaker on Western Multi-Culturalism, which he started at U of M Hospital. They now give an award in his name and he was the first recipient and every year the champion of the U of M Medical Center received the award. He felt he owed his community his service. He believed he could learn what he needed to know and would be a good member of the team

Member Csordas asked what his committee preference was? Mr. Verma said the Planning Commission was his preference because his background was in Design and Construction.

Member Csordas asked what his other preferences would be? Mr. Verma said Housing and Community Development and then Zoning Board of Appeals. Member Csordas asked if he was familiar with what the responsibilities of the Planning Commission were and had he watched or attended any meetings? Mr. Verma said he had not watched or attended any Planning Commission meetings. Member Csordas asked what his perception of the responsibilities of the Planning Commission were? Mr. Verma said he was free and he would learn and noted there are seminars to attend to understand and learn. Member Csordas asked why he left before his interview during the last interview opportunity? Mr. Verma said he was a very schedule oriented person and the interviews were running late and he had another appointment so he requested his name be withdrawn. Member Csordas asked if he had watched a Council Meeting? Mr. Verma said sometimes the meetings last until 1:30 AM. He asked why Council could not commit to the scheduled time? Member Csordas said Council and the Planning Commission did not run on schedules. City government does not allow for that kind of structure. Mr. Verma said when necessary he would stay late but it should not be every meeting.

Member DeRoche felt Mr.Verma had a wealth of background that was seldom seen in a first time applicant and he would be put to work if not now at some point in the future.

Member Bononi asked what was the most valuable personal contribution he could make to the Planning Commission? Mr. Verma said he wanted to learn more about zoning. He would "walk his talk" and would be out at the site to see what was going to be talked about at the meeting. He would be really sure about what he was doing before saying yes to something.

Member Kramer asked what his chief strengths were? Mr. Verma said he gets the job done.

Member Kramer asked for an example of his team playing? Mr. Verma said if he had not been a team player he would not have been with U of M for 24 years nor would he have been a Captain in the Army leading his forces through three different wars. He worked with his people to make things happen. Member Kramer asked what his approach would be in coming to a decision in a group setting? Mr. Verma said he believed in the democratic way. He would give his opinion but if the whole team felt differently he would go along with it.





Mr. Swope stated he was serving on the Historical Commission, was President of a credit union for 6 years and he understood working with and for people. In this position he would have to find out if their proposal met the criteria that the Zoning Board had put forth and would it serve the City best or not.

Member Kramer asked if he intended to stay on the Historical Commission? Mr. Swope said certainly. Member Kramer asked what he hoped to accomplish on the ZBA? Mr. Swope hoped that the Zoning Boards mission would be to iron out problems that came before them.

Mr. Kramer asked what his role on the ZBA would be? Mr. Swope stated it would be to look and see if the presentation to ZBA differed from the presentation they made to the Planning Board and if there are differences to be resolved. Member Kramer asked what chief strengths or skills he had? Mr. Swope replied he had a background of working with people and would not be interviewing if he thought he could not do the job. Mr. Kramer asked if there was anything about the function of the ZBA that he would do differently? Mr. Swope did not know exactly what they were doing now but was sure he would have input. In the final analysis, if it wasn’t in line with the City’s plan he would probably be opposed.

Member Crawford asked if Mr. Swope had seen a ZBA meeting? He had not. Member Crawford assumed he would be available once or twice a month if needed. Mr. Swope said his time was their time. Member Crawford asked if he would be available to attend seminars? Mr. Swope responded he was retired and could attend. Member Crawford asked if someone came with a hardship to the ZBA what would he look for to consider a hardship? Mr. Swope said if the hardship could be resolved and stay within the perimeters of the City’s overall plan then he thought it could be resolved. However, if the overall hardship overstepped the bounds then it would be a tough situation.

Member Bononi asked what he would bring to the table in regard to conflict and problem resolution skills? Mr. Swope replied when in California he had done mediation work for four years and felt he could help resolve problems. Member Bononi asked even though it would have to be resolved within the confines of the hardship question as opposed to his own personal opinion? Mr. Swope thought his own personal opinions would have to be set aside and he would do his best for the people concerned.

Member Csordas asked if he thought the ZBA would be a more rigid or flexible body? Mr. Swope thought it would be a happy medium but it depended on the problem that appeared before it. Member Csordas asked what he meant on his application by the comment "I would like to see the City grow in an orderly manner"? Mr. Swope thought the community was going well and would like to see it grow on an even keel with business and private homes. He thought a balance was needed and that it should not become a bedroom community because that got burdensome. He was open to seeing it grow as a multi faceted situation.

Mayor Clark asked Ms. Reutter if she reached Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo? Ms. Reutter said she had and Member Lorenzo had no problem adding Michael Meyer or anyone else to the end of the agenda.

CM-00-06-181 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To amend the agenda to add Michael Meyer and/or David Ruyle to the agenda.

Vote on CM-00-06-181 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

KEVIN BARTLETT – Parks & Recreation, EDC, HCD

Mr. Bartlett has lived in Novi for over a year and was an attorney based out of Novi but is now a solo practitioner working in Novi specializing in criminal law, small corporation work and collections. He is a USA Triathlon and certified coach who was trained and certified in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center and has competed in triathlons from the sprint distance to the iron man distance. He also, coached soccer for his son’s team this year. Mr. Bartlett has been practicing law for over three years both with a firm and by himself.

Member Kramer asked why he applied for these positions? Mr. Bartlett believed whether living in a large or small city it was his civic duty to put something back into the community. Member Kramer asked what his interest was in EDC and HCD? Mr. Bartlett thought they all related to his background as an attorney and as an athlete. The EDC interested him because of the legal part because he dealt with large and small corporations and the problems that they run in to and the situation the City is in now with tax abatement. He thought his legal training and corporate contacts could help with that commission. Member Kramer asked if he had experience working on a board or commission in a team environment? Mr. Bartlett said he had in different corporations that he had worked in helping them resolve issues they had both with cities and other corporations trying to sue them or collect from them. Mr. Kramer asked what chief skill or attribute he would bring to the City? Mr. Bartlett said negotiations.

Member Crawford asked what he liked and disliked in the Parks and Recreation area? Mr. Bartlett liked the vast avenues and opportunities for the children of this community.

He believed there was a lot of good things that could come out of Novi. For example, the runners coming out of Novi High School, swimmers, soccer, etc. and they have a tremendous opportunity to have their athletic skills increased. Member Crawford asked why he wanted to live in Novi compared to other areas? Mr. Bartlett said schools were the first choice and location was the second. He said Novi is a win win situation especially for younger families.

Member Bononi asked if he served on any of these commissions/committees who would he see as his customer and how would he assure they received the best customer service on behalf of the City of Novi? Mr. Bartlett said there are two different customers. The City itself and the citizens of the City and the third one would be people living outside the City. First, depending on who the relationship was based on, he would look at a customer as the person he was most concerned about. As the commission receiving its duties from the City this City obviously would be the first customer, followed by the people who live in the City, however, they hold the purse strings for the original client. The third client, people, customers or corporations would be the people he would want to draw into the City. He would want to draw into the City the ones who pay their taxes, who build nicer homes and who bring in corporations that would make the City proud. Member Bononi asked how long he served in the Navy and what his rank was when discharged? Mr. Bartlett replied he served 5 ½ years in the E-5 home ported in Italy for 3 ½ years on the flagship. Member Bononi asked if he dealt in real estate law at all? Mr. Bartlett said not at this time and did not see it as a conflict of interest.



Mayor Clark asked if he would have the time to devote to the City? Mr. Bartlett would not volunteer and put forth the effort unless he could actually receive the result.

DENNIS COLLIGAN – Parks & Recreation

Mr. Colligan was seeking reappointment. When on the Commission as long as he had been he had thought about when it would be the right time to walk away. He thought about it over the past several years but every year there was an aggressive plan and it recharged him. He realized things were not done overnight but they were really getting close in a couple of prime areas of completion and he was completely recharged and ready to get those things done.

Member Csordas asked how many terms he had been on the Parks and Recreation Committee? Mr. Colligan said 9 years and had never served on any other board or commission. Member Csordas asked what his most significant contribution had been? Mr.

Colligan said his experience. He is an educator and had been with the Northville Public Schools for 26 years as teacher, coach, athletic director and now as assistant principle of the high school. It gave him the opportunity to work with young people in many areas and to continually assess the needs of the community. He has been a resident of Novi for 13 years and watched the community grow and tried to match the offerings they could put on the table through the Parks and Rec Department. Also, competing and supplementing what had come to them recently, from the private sector, for leisure activities had been an important thing to monitor. He was a Chair of the survey that went out to the community to see what their needs and priorities were. He thought he had been a stabilizing influence on the commission. It was important to offer and feel the needs of all the individuals in the City and present a program compatible to their needs. Member Csordas asked what he would change if he could? He would wave a magic wand and complete a field overnight. Some of the frustration was the length of time it took from start to finish on certain projects and knowing that City government was kind of handcuffed in some areas. Parks and a couple other areas needed to be completed and he thought Novi was right on the edge of really being as good as there was. Member Csordas asked which park should be finished first? Community Sports Park was his answer.

Member DeRoche asked if he could make the commitment for the full three years? Mr. Colligan said absolutely and felt he had a lot of time to make sure some of these other areas come to completion. He thought the key to the north end property was patience and not to try to turn something overnight.

Member Bononi asked if finance were excluded what two items would he consider most important to aid the Parks and Recreation Commission in functioning optimally? Mr. Colligan said the continuous growth of allowing them to access what was important to the community and working in conjunction with them. Also, continuing to look at the private sector as supplementing what they offered and Parks and Rec supplementing what they offered and not getting into competition with them. Also, continue the strong relationship we have and make a stronger tie with the community school district. Member Bononi asked what his idea would be to have a greater outreach with regard to the Parks and Recreation Commission so that they thoroughly understood what the citizen’s priorities were first before going into long range planning meetings with staff. Mr. Colligan said they had four open houses for the community to talk about the North Park property and they accepted everyone’s comments.


Member Crawford complimented Mr. Colligan on all he had brought to the Parks and Recreation Commission over the years and said he absolutely had his support to continue three more years. A lot of things are coming to fruition and they needed people like him to help it out.

Member Kramer asked as a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission what did he do well? Mr. Colligan said he was a good listener. Member Kramer asked if he would do any thing different in the next three years? Mr. Colligan wanted to continue listening to the people and giving them what they want. Member Kramer asked what he thought about being on cable? Mr. Colligan was opposed to it at first and was still not sure. He would like to get more people to come to the meetings. We are OK with it now. Member Kramer asked what he saw as the resident’s role in the Parks and Recreation Commission? Mr. Colligan said they have to keep talking to the Commission and they need to continue to ask for more input, write letters and attend the meetings. Member Kramer asked for ideas on how to build the citizen connection? Mr. Colligan said they would like to work on marketing the department and what they do, what their purpose is and to get people to understand why they meet every month. Member Kramer asked for ideas on how to parlay the cable cast into more audience and resident participation? Mr. Colligan said to continue to ask people to call them and write to them.

KIM CAPELLO – Planning Commission

Mr. Capello was seeking reappointment and had been on the Commission for seven years. He had served as secretary and was currently Chairman. He felt the Planning Commission and the City had a long way to go. Every year there are new challenges. The new challenges now are the continued growth of Main Street, the Grand River corridor, north end and the Ten Mile Road corridor.

Member Csordas asked why he wanted to be re-appointed to the Planning Commission? Mr. Capello said he had taken on many challenges on the Planning Commission over the last seven years and attended over 90% of the Committee meetings. The Town Center Steering Committee is an exciting committee and he wanted to see it go forward and how it would handle the Ten Mile Road corridor. The Grand River corridor needed something done about rezoning. The NCC Ordinance needed to be reviewed and hopefully just dumped. He was excited about the OST growth and the Light Industrial growth. He applauded the policy for tax abatement because it opened the doors of opportunity for the OST and Light Industrial Districts and he wanted to be a part of that growth.

Member DeRoche thanked Mr. Capello for his service and said he respected his opinions. He asked with the burden of the Planning Commission what was his motivation? Mr. Capello responded he was really interested in where the community was going. Member DeRoche asked, as Chair of the Planning Commission, was there any goals he had or anything he thought he could help the Planning Commission do? Mr. Capello said they had talked a lot about how to get the citizens involved in these decisions. Normally citizens only come out when the decisions affect them or they are against something. Member Mutch spoke before the last Public Hearing and explain to the Haverhill residents how a Public Hearing affected them and what the process was. Member Capello said they should have been doing that and young Member Mutch was the one that figured it out. He felt if the citizens were educated more about the process they were going through they would understand it better and the opposition

might be less directed towards them. He felt what Member Mutch did was an excellent way to educate them through the Public Hearings and that would be one of his goals. Member DeRoche noted that Mr. Capello went to New York last April to attend a National Planning Conference.

Member Crawford asked how he felt about the present commission and if they worked well together? Mr. Capello said they had the greatest diversity of opinions and worked extremely well together. Member Mutch brought a lot of young, naïve college stuff to the table, which is exciting, and it wakes us up. Mr. Cassis is new on the commission and brought a lot and Mr. Koneda had really perked up in the last couple years and he appreciated his comments. Mr. Canup has been around for ages and could bring in the ZBA issues and Mr. Watza analyzed things that he should be analyzing, Ms. Piccinini looked at the plans and understood when they try to effectuate it that it would not work. It is a great mix and it is awesome.

Member Kramer asked for an example of how he had worked as a team player? Mr. Capello said when he saw a project was difficult he tried to talk with different commissioners and find a consensus of give and take as to how the project would work. This got some of the negatives out of it, got more of a consensus of the team and the more the team worked together the better the project and the better the team. They try to hash out a lot of this in committee meetings too and with the use of consultants. Member Kramer asked what his chief strengths were and how he used them? Mr. Capello thought they were his ability to bring cohesion to the committee and to get plans approved through a consensus as opposed to a bullying tactic. Member Kramer asked if re-appointed for the next term what would he do differently? He would educate the public on the process and their role in it. Also, he wanted to see an aggressive approach with the attitude taken towards development and developers. He wanted them to see that Novi was not an impossible place to work in. Since he became Chair he had seen that there is a lot of uncertain areas between preliminary and final approval. He thought they could resolve those by having the consultant recommendations and conditions in their letters more definitive so that it was not so subjective to the consultants after preliminary approval was given. When approval was given subject to a condition that condition would be black and white. He thought it would save several months in the process.

Mayor Clark asked if he felt the commission had the correct balance as it was presently constituted in terms of representing the broad spectrum of interests in the community?

Mr. Capello thought it was a great mix. Everyone had a different background and something different to bring to the commission.



Ms. Smith has been a resident for 13 years and had become very interested and concerned about things going on in the City. She worked for Chrysler in Engineering doing a lot of teamwork kinds of things. She organized a committee that planned monthly meetings for 40 people and to do brainstorming.

Member Kramer asked if her basic background was in marketing and management? She said it had been in the past. Member Kramer asked if she had a preference of any of the three committees she applied for? Ms. Smith said no. Member Kramer asked what skills would be relevant to functioning on EDC, HCD or ZBA? Ms. Smith felt she could bring some intelligence, brainstorming and fresh ideas because she came from a different community of

workers. Member Kramer asked how she would approach a decision in a group setting? Ms. Smith would ask for a poll. She had a lot of brainstorming type of sessions at work, took a lot of classes where she had to work with groups and often times she took the leadership role. She is fair and tries to advise and help.

Member Crawford said there were things she liked and didn’t like and asked what they were and how she would effect a change in those items if appointed to a committee? Ms. Smith

liked the shopping and the people and she would like to see Novi deviate a little from high-density housing. She would like to take a good look at traffic patterns and thought there was a big need for changes. Member Crawford asked what she thought her role on EDC would be and how would she effect growth? Ms. Smith said she would like to see restrictions. She watched what was happening on the Novi corridor and did not want to see big business but wanted to see small business and development of residential communities within bounds. Member Kramer asked if on the HCD Committee how would she effect that kind of a change? Ms. Smith said she would still have the same opinion. Member Crawford said the HCD Committee met a few times a year and made recommendations on allocations of funds. How would those allocations effect the growth in those areas you mentioned? Ms. Smith was not familiar with that committee but she would have to weigh the good with the bad and see who needed it most.

Member Bononi was interested in Ms. Smith’s concerns about unbridled growth versus managed growth. What are we trying to accomplish? Ms. Smith said it was very difficult looking around the community and seeing something being built on every vacant piece of property. If that was to the advantage of the community then it was understandable but she would have to weigh the pros and cons of what they were really trying to accomplish. Are we trying to get this huge corporation in here and give them huge tax abatement and then over the years it would negate itself. Or, should the community be kept smaller, quieter and nicer for the residents. She was very pro resident.

MICHAEL WATZA – Planning Commission

Mr. Watza was requesting re-appointment to the Planning Commission of which he had been a member for two years and a resident of Novi for five years. He decided each issue on its merits. He said his firm represented a number of clients, most of the hospitals in Novi and Hometown Building, which is a developer doing business in Novi. If he felt he had a conflict he advised the other members of the commission and excused himself.

Member Csordas said the Planning Commission was a huge commitment and asked why he wanted to do it again? Mr. Watza enjoyed the nature of the people who give their time. Most of them are volunteers and are doing it to try to make something better as opposed to purely pecuniary interests. He enjoyed the ability to have a hand in making good decisions.

Member Bononi commended Mr. Watza for continuing his education as a planner. She asked what his most valuable contribution was to the Planning Commission during his tenure and what could he do to improve his performance as a Planning Commissioner? Mr. Watza was most proud of the issue of the Eight Mile/Beck Road shopping center and notwithstanding a fair amount of debate and pressure the Planning Commission did the right thing. It was a close vote and the corner was kept the way it should be and the shopping center was now where it should be.

Member Crawford asked how many times he had to abstain from voting because of a conflict of interest? Mr. Watza said the biggest project was related to Providence Hospital and the land they owned. He said there were probably a half dozen items over two years.

Member Kramer asked what his role was in a team effort? Mr. Watza thought the team effort was in everything they did. There was a spirit of cooperation and he tried to follow and/or lead that. They have had some good votes of large majorities. There is a lot of consensus building, trying to work with those in front of the commission to come up with the best plan for them and the residents. He said every night he was here it was an effort to work as a team and be a team player either as a leader or follower. Member Kramer said they are frequently faced with the needs of an individual and the needs of the community and asked how he worked through that? Mr. Watza said case by case. Every individual applicant was at odds to some extent with the rest of the residents. It was the nature of the beast to weigh the right of the individual versus the group and you make the best decision possible based on all the facts gathered.

Mayor Clark asked if the Planning Commission had the correct balance in terms of the broad spectrum of interest across the community? Mr. Watza said he thought so. We could have a different makeup but in terms of cooperation and trying to work with the people in front of us who have a right to develop he thought they had done a very good job. He did not think they had rolled over for the developer. He did not think there was anyone who would let something go by that did not fit. He thought the Planning Commission needed people who were familiar with the issues. He brought a legal background, others have experience in taking dollars and building something. Member Mutch lacks practical hands on experience but he makes up for it with a tremendous work ethic and was as prepared as anyone on the Planning Commission.

BRENT CANUP – Planning Commission

Mr. Canup said he has lived in Novi for 35 years. Since moving to Novi he had been a part of the community from political and volunteer standpoints. He was on the Zoning Board of Appeals for 14 years and brought experience and knowledge to the Planning Commission.

Member Csordas said the history and observation of change that Mr. Canup brought to the Planning Commission was very good. He asked why he wanted to be re-appointed? Mr. Canup said he would like to continue to contribute his abilities to the further development of Novi. Member Csordas asked what value being an entrepreneur brought to the Planning Commission? Mr. Canup said when running a business he had been everything from a floor sweeper to an estate planning person. His spectrum of experience was more in the construction business and basically how that all came together. He would like to see the City continue on the path it has come. He is proud of the way it has developed.

Member Bononi asked how he could improve his performance as a Planning Commissioner? Mr. Canup thought he had given, over this last term, everything that he had. He would improve with education, seminars, reading articles pertaining to planning so the answer is through education. Member Bononi said if two changes could be made to the Planning Commission that would improve its function what would those changes be? Mr. Canup said personality wise he would not make any changes and he thought they had a cohesive group with a vast array of opinions, experience and knowledge. The decisions might not always be



popular but they are well-thought and well-managed decisions. He felt the board functioned very well and he would make no changes.

Member Kramer asked how he was doing on time? Mr. Canup said he was a busy man but always seemed to find time for the meetings, to do the homework and site visits. Member Kramer asked what was the biggest strength he brought to the function of the Planning Commission? Mr. Canup stated it was his diversity of abilities and knowledge of the construction business. Member Kramer asked if he had any personal goals for the second term? Mr. Canup said the continuance of what they had accomplished and tried to accomplish. Member Kramer asked if Council and the Planning Commission were connected enough body to body or were more touch points needed? Mr. Canup thought they were connected enough.

Mayor Clark asked if the Planning Commission had the correct balance in terms of the broad spectrum of interest across the community? Mr. Canup felt everyone on the commission at present was there to lend their knowledge and abilities and listen to the people and make a decision that would be in the best interest of all the people of the City.

TONI NAGY – Planning Commission

Ms. Nagy said she was a resident of Novi for 12 years and has had a small business since 1997. She is the secretary of the Homeowners Association and an active participant in local events such as the Rouge River clean up. She has worked within the system to improve the area within the association where she lives.

Member Csordas asked if she would be interested in any other boards or commissions? Ms. Nagy said she might serve on EDC but had not thought to apply because the Planning Commission was her interest. Member Csordas asked why? Ms. Nagy said it was interesting because Novi is at a pivotal point and close to the build out and needed to be cautious as to what was done, to rezoning with regard to further lawsuits and she would like to be a part of the process. Member Csordas asked what personal philosophy she would bring? Ms. Nagy said it would be what she just said. The Master Plan can be used as a guide but we have zoning laws and ordinance and she felt they had to be very careful in how they were applied. If what we have was not followed it would lead to lawsuits and that concerned her a lot. Member Csordas asked if the Planning Commission should be a rigid or flexible commission? Ms. Nagy said each project had to be measured within what they were applying for and where and how they wanted to use the land and how that configured into the ordinances.

Member DeRoche asked how she would deal with 20 people showing up to call her every name that had been invented and they spin the whole issue into something that it really isn’t and really made her look bad that night? Ms. Nagy said that had happened to her as the President of Lakewood. She would explain the decision and the issue with as much reason as possible.

Member Bononi asked how she would represent her Homeowners Association to improve their local streets and to describe what working within the system was like and how she would improve it to be more user friendly? Ms. Nagy said working within the system was basically getting to know the Council Members, the administrators and who was who within the


administration. She felt it was a gratifying experience because you became aware of the process that the administration and Council had to go through. The Council had its own agenda, budget and goals it tried to meet each year. She said Mr. Nowicki had been exceedingly pleasant, very polite and helpful to her, she had received a great idea from Member DeRoche and she had been fortunate to work with Mr. Helwig. Her only criticism was it was difficult for her, for three years, to find out who she should ask the question of. She wanted to improve that but felt that the new Council and Mr. Helwig had already begun changing that in a positive direction. Ms. Nagy said recently she had occasion to deal with Mr. Nowicki and Mr. Helwig and their responses to any question she had was immediate. It was so different from two or three years ago. Member Bononi asked if appointed what would be her plan for the first couple of months? Ms. Nagy said to be quiet and learn. She did have experience with zoning but was not a planner by vocation. She would like to attend any classes that were available to become knowledgeable.

Member Crawford said Ms. Nagy had been very active representing her Homeowners group and other groups and asked, from a private citizen aspect, how would that affect her ability to do that if she were a Planning Commissioner? She would step down from her role in the Homeowners Association.

Member Kramer asked what her approach would be toward decision making on the Planning Commission? Ms. Nagy said there were nine members on her board and the issues are brought to the table and discussed. They do have disagreements. They also have by-laws so the first thing they do is weigh whatever the request is against the by-laws. If it is not they are turned downed. When there is conflict they discuss it and come up with a consensus. The consensus would be appropriate for the good of the whole. Member Kramer said when a group comes to a consensus but it is not one she supported what was her posture regarding that decision? Ms. Nagy said if it is a majority vote then that is consensus and her opinion is the descending opinion and that is fair. Member Kramer asked what her chief strengths were and how would she use them on the Planning Commission? Ms. Nagy said she worked very well in group settings and was humble enough to know when she did not know something and smart enough to find the answers. She said she is broad minded and fair.

Mayor Clark asked if there would be a problem or conflicts with the late evening hours needed for meetings? Ms. Nagy said being self employed there was some flexibility and it would not be a problem.

SARAH GRAY – Planning Commission

Ms. Gray has lived in the Old Novi area for 22 years. She stated she had been called a critic of the City of Novi and did think it a fair statement. She had seldom come before a board or Council without offering a logical, viable, rational alternative and her goals are the best for the entire City. The next few years growing towards build out were the most critical; trying to get more balance of commercial to balance the tax base, get the OST in the northeast section and the Industrial in the northwest and the best residential in the west.

Member Csordas asked why she wanted to be on the Planning Commission? Ms. Gray said she thought she could bring a balance and another opinion.



Member DeRoche asked if she had served on a board or commission before? Ms. Gray stated she had served on the Citizen Solid Waste Committee and the Shoreline Committee

with Member Crawford and Mayor Clark. Member DeRoche asked how she would handle angry people at a meeting? Ms. Gray stated she had learned to work within the system using the legal tools available.

Member Bononi said the lakes area is a development that has unique problems with regard to drainage and fills and is at build out plus. She asked how she would bring all the information she had gained as a result of her representation of her area to the Planning Commission? Ms. Nagy said the lakes area was a good example of why orderly development is required. It is a prime example of why there are ordinances, minimum lot sizes and things in place now so there isn’t an entire City of 30 or 40 foot lots on unpaved roads with minimal infrastructure. She would like to see the City adopt a massive S.A.D. and bring everything up and put in the roads and water because it would increase the tax base; however she knew that was not going to happen. Then they would feel more like a part of the City. Member Bononi asked if she had thought about sitting on the other side of the table after being an activist for so many years and having other activists facing her? Ms. Gray stated she did not plan to stop her activism and felt her energies could be better channeled if appointed to the Planning Commission. She would continue but it would be for the benefit of the City and not just her own area.

Member Crawford asked if she was interested in any other committees? Ms. Gray said she would be happy to serve on whatever committee Council felt she was suited for. Member Crawford asked if ZBA would be one she would serve on and she said yes. He mentioned ZBA particularly because a lot of ZBA requests are from her part of the City and she was very familiar with those. He asked if she felt she would be limited or stifled in trying to do what she had been doing for so many years? Ms. Gray said she had made a transition from working outside the system to working inside the system and she felt it had been a logical, orderly successful transition. She said there were things that could be said and/or not said when a part of any committee, council or elected position and she was able to maintain that on the committees that she had worked on and would not have a problem on the Planning Commission if appointed.

Member Kramer said being a strong advocate for the lakes area was she prepared to give that up and take on another role? Ms. Nagy said there was new blood in the area and they have asked for her input and her response was to look at it and see what could be accomplished. Member Kramer asked how she worked in a team environment and what her contribution was? Ms. Nagy stated she had done it in the past professionally and personally. Member Kramer asked what her posture would be if there was consensus on something that she did not agree with? Ms. Nagy said as long as the decision of the majority was in compliance with existing City codes, ordinances, laws and philosophies then she would back down. She would try to negotiate but she would back down and support the majority. Member Kramer asked what strengths and skills she would bring to the Planning Commission? Ms. Nagy said her years of intimate knowledge of her specific area, the environmental aspect, her experience with construction work and her 22 years in the City.

Mayor Clark agreed with the comment she made about being able to work within the system and he respected her right as a representative of the north end of the City to come in and point out things that were not right and/or ways things could be done better.

MARK ADLER – Cable Access Committee

Mr. Adler stated he had been involved in cable television for over 20 years. He became involved in television and production while at Wayne State University. He went to Michigan State University where they had the flag ship television public access stations and became very involved while seeking his degree in Telecommunications. He was involved in the political aspects early on with Community Access Television in Lansing and East Lansing and found out what it meant to have a forum for an individual or a group that was not seen on broadcast stations. He graduated in 1978 with a Telecommunications Degree and trained other people and worked with McLean Hunter and became their program director. He built their station, truck, studio and basically started up their community access facility. He has had his own company for 18 years, Video Assist, Inc. and worked with companies all over the country. He had been on the Cable Access Committee for 12 years prior to this application and was interested in what happened in his own community. He was disappointed in what was going on, had no control over it and would like to be more involved.

Member Csordas asked what he was disappointed with? Mr. Adler was disappointed with the total environment and what was happening around the country with cable television; community access in general. He did not think the community could represent itself and grow without the assistance of the cable television franchise and the one Novi has now was not going to move unless we help them move. Member Csordas asked what he could do to make these changes? Mr. Adler would bring his expertise to the table and work with the members and give opinions to help out. His expertise was in production but he also has the administrative background as well and has worked with City officials before and knew both ends.

Member Crawford asked if his involvement with the Tri City Producers Associations would be in conflict with the Cable Access Committee? Mr. Adler said the group was dormant and was one of the reasons he was reapplying. Member Crawford asked as a Cable Access member did he feel it was the role of the committee to bring in competition and how would he facilitate that? Mr. Adler said unfortunately it was not their role. Their role was to advise S.W.O.C.C. However, we have come through this whole thing together and when given information they could be more helpful in that area because of the areas of expertise and background that they have on that committee as a group. Personally, he would ask Time Warner for help with community access. Member Crawford asked how would he suggest they do that? Mr. Adler said Time Warner had to do a number of things. They are making a great deal of money off Novi and their facility and equipment is over 20 years old. He understood the bottom line but it was what they promised, what we requested and what they are committed to. Member Crawford asked how he would foster a community access thing? Mr. Adler said by example, he would get involved, be in the studios, on television, working with the producers and they could see what could happen. There was not enough of what happened outside of this community that came into S.W.O.C.C. and community members don’t know what it could be.

Member Kramer asked what the reference to "actual access" meant on his application? Mr. Adler said they made policy, got their information second hand and it was rare they went into the studios. Member Kramer asked what he meant on his application "against all odds"? Mr. Adler said, example, years ago the cable company was not talking with the committee. We were asking specific questions and they were not answering. It wasn’t until they sent a fax to S.W.O.C.C. instead of a Satellite Company that they discovered they had been completely lying to them when they did speak to them. Member Kramer asked how he saw his role as

part of the team? Mr. Adler said he would be one of eight members and he would give and take direction when needed. Member Kramer asked how the group came to a decision? Mr. Adler said someone would present it, the committee members would express their opinions and then it would be voted on. Member Kramer said Mr. Adler tried an outside approach to evolve and develop more community access. Mr. Adler said he did. The idea for the group was proposed 7 years ago but just sat there so he tried to get it started. Member Kramer asked who the group consisted of? Mr. Adler said community access producers from Farmington, Farmington Hills and Novi and their purpose was to have more updated workshops.

Mayor Clark stated he was impressed with his credentials and astute observations.


Ms. Kocan has been a resident for 13 years and for the last 18 years has worked as a financial administrator for a family owned substance abuse prevention organization. She took zoning and ordinance issues very seriously. She believed she would acclimate well and quickly to the ZBA and would have something to offer and had already developed a relationship with the City.

Mr. Csordas asked what strengths she would bring to the ZBA? Ms. Kocan said knowledge going back years and she had a lot to learn from them. She advised she was drawn to the Planning Commission and saw the ZBA as a stepping stone to get her feet wet. She heard the question whether candidates were flexible or strict. She thought they had to be strict within the ordinance but flexible enough to know that every situation had to be treated differently.

Member Bononi asked what motivated her involvement in the composition of the Noise Ordinance? Ms. Kocan said it went back to the Interlock Development next to Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision. Quality of fairness was very important and this just did not seem fair that something that large should impede or change someone’s quality of life.

Member Crawford complimented her commitment to the Noise Ordinance. He asked if her persistence and activism would be stifled if she were on the ZBA or another committee? Ms. Kocan replied she has tried to wean herself out of that position but still received calls from developers in Hickory Corporate Park and felt that was wonderful and all developers should be encouraged to contact someone within the subdivisions. She took the information and passed it on and had been trying to get the residents themselves involved. She hoped she could retain her role as a resident as well as ZBA Member.

Member Kramer asked what she thought of the time requirements for ZBA? Ms. Kocan chose ZBA because it was a once a month meeting and she could devote time to the ZBA and have a good family balance. Member Kramer asked what she thought about Members of ZBA making recommendations to the Council in regard to the effectiveness of ordinances and did she think there should be a path back to get ordinances revised? Ms. Kocan hoped there was. The ZBA saw how ordinances impact the individuals and Council and Planning Commission Members thought more of the big picture. She would be comfortable sending ordinances back to the Council for suggestions on how they could be improved.



Mayor Clark said the words that come to mind when thinking about this applicant were focused, dedicated, fair minded, balanced, committed, knowledgeable, professional and courteous. The businessman who purchased the property for Interlock called him and said how impressed he was with the process and how fair he had been treated. He had nothing but positive comments to make with reference to Ms. Kocan. Ms. Kocan was more than qualified to seek any position in this City and Novi would be fortunate to have her service.


Mr. Meyer served 12 years on the School Board in Novi and 4 years on the zoning board out of the 18 years he has been a resident. He resigned the Zoning Board in March 2000 because of an appointment as a contingent member of the Assarian Cancer Center in Novi. It required his attendance on two Tuesday evenings a month for people who are suffering from cancer as part of their spiritual care program. He could not do both on the same evening. He believed this was the time for him to serve on the Planning Commission at a very critical turning point in the history of this City. His son would be going into the Peace Corp this fall and as a result he would be dealing with empty nest syndrome. He would need to be busy and could think of no better way than to serve this City as he had for 16 of those 18 years. The first two years he had been involved in Youth Assistance.

Member Csordas noted his background and commitment to the City was beyond impressive. He thought with his experience, knowledge of the City and his commitment and dedication he would be a valuable member of the Planning Commission. He asked what strengths he would bring to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Meyer said he was a good listener and would bring to the table his conflict management skills that he studied and taught at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. Those skills involve how to truly hear the issues out and seek a collaborative decision-making process rather than a reluctant cooperative decision making process. He would bring logic and analytical reasoning skills that he had been teaching at Schoolcraft College for the last five years in the Law School Admissions Class. These skills would be valuable, as the build out becomes more and more apparent to bring a calming influence in some major decisions that would be facing the City. Member Csordas asked what his perception of build out might be in the year 2020? Mr. Meyer said the City would be built out and the population would be 65,000. A great challenge facing the City now is the senior population, which we are addressing so that the seniors can afford to stay in Novi. The schools would have to be a collaborative cooperation between the City and schools. He hoped that the green space and the wetlands would be valued and value the fact that a balance had to be struck between the Residential, Commercial and Industrial build out.

Member DeRoche asked him about his passion for affordable housing in Novi and how he would address that as a Planning Commissioner? Mr. Meyer said it was definitely a passion of his because young couples have a very challenging time finding affordable housing in this City. He was aware that they did have ordinances and a Master Plan and believed that the question regarding affordable housing was one that almost begged the question. He thought the term affordable had to be redefined.

Member Bononi was out of the Chamber when he explained his resignation from the ZBA and asked that he repeat it, which he did.


Member Crawford asked if he was interested in anything other than the Planning Commission? Mr. Meyer was open to serve anywhere he could.

Member Kramer asked what personal goals he had regarding the Planning Commission? Mr. Meyer wanted to focus in on being a team player seeking to strike a balance between the Commercial, Industrial and Residential development while preserving the green space and the wetlands. He also wanted to be an additional voice of wisdom and compassion. Wisdom being the blend of knowledge and experience that one brings to any situation and compassion being the ability to truly hear out what the other person was saying.

Mayor Clark said he and Mr. Meyer had known each other for 20 years and the same words applied to him that applied to Ms. Kocan which were focused, dedicated, fair minded, balanced, committed, knowledgeable, professional and courteous. We would all be very fortunate to have him serve the City in any capacity.

Mayor Clark noted there were two other applicants tonight. Mr. David Ruyle was present earlier and Council had his application because he had interviewed about six months ago. Also, Charles Staab could not be present tonight and was seeking re-appointment to the Parks and Recreation Commission.


James Korte, Shawood Lake, asked why our consultants are paid and not listened to, why do we have the planners and traffic people that give wrong and inadequate information and why don’t we have a committee that says this is not acceptable. He thought it was time for change and felt there was more than one adequate Planning Commission applicant that would serve the job well.


CM-00-06-182 Moved by Bononi, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To adjourn the meeting at 11:05 PM.

Vote on CM-00-06-182 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo



_______________________________ _________________________________

Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk



Transcribed by: _________________________

Charlene Mc Lean

Date approved: July 10, 2000