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Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 6:35 PM.

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

ALSO PRESENT: Victor Cassis



CM-01-01-013 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve the agenda as presented.

Vote on CM-01-01-013 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: DeRoche

Member Csordas asked how many people were to be appointed to the Storm Water Management and Watershed Stewardship Committee? Member Bononi said a total of seven.



6:30 MARK MCMANUS – Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Mr. McManus was on the Northville Planning Commission for 10 years and had been President of the Downtown Business Association in Mt. Pleasant while living there. He could work well with a committee but felt that 5 or 7 members were too many. His strengths were his judgement, honesty, fairness and he was a results oriented person. He has a degree from MSU in sociology but his background and experience has been in business and he has started and sold six different businesses.

  • Mr. McManus said he applied because his home was on property that both Miller Creek and Thornton Creek ran through and he had been working extensively with JCK regarding water problems because of development. Asa Smith had also asked him to apply for this position.
  • Mr. McManus is the founder and CEO of New Horizons Training Centers.
  • He believed the City was responsible for the quantity and quality of storm water as it passed through the City to neighboring communities.
  • He thought there were fundamental and simple things that could be changed, i.e., Novi Township borders Miller Creek and they are still on septic systems and he had not seen anyone go through and put a dye testing of the septic systems. Secondly, because of development there are some cities that are sponsoring rain barrels to be put underneath the gutters of each of the homes. The barrels capture the water and let it dissipate slowly into the ground before it hit the streams.
  • He saw unintended consequences that occurred from poor planning. On the south side of Nine Mile Road where Center Street ended is a very large apartment complex. The City at some point approved a large apartment complex on Nine Mile and Center Street yet there was absolutely zero planning for the water flow as it runs through there. He did not think the City should be understaffed for something as critical as our water quality. He also felt there should be competitive bids for engineering.
  • There needed to be comprehensive studies to look at conditions all over the City and action items put in place to make some long-term recommendations.
  • Stream bank technology was changing so rapidly that eroding stream banks could now be repaired.
  • Mr. McManus employed 280 employees in a statewide organization and felt if he could manage them he could manage 7 people on a committee or be a part of a committee. He felt there had to be a plan to start and consensus to get results. There’s a need for compromise but there were some things that could not be compromised.

6:45 DAVID LANDRY-Planning Commission

Mr. Landry stated he was an attorney and practiced municipal law and was very familiar with what was involved in turning down land use requests and zoning matters. It was important that the right decision was made and reasons and rationale was articulated on the record to protect the municipality from liability. Also, it’s important for the applicant and the public to understand why the decision was made as it instilled confidence in the entire system.

  • Mr. Landry was the first president of Addington Park Homeowners Association.
  • His law practice was almost all on the defense side for municipalities and he represented Townships, Villages and Cities in Oakland, Livingston and Washtenaw Counties.
  • Mr. Landry said there would not be a problem with the time commitment of the Planning Commission and committee work.
  • He commended the City for keeping the Master Plan updated. There are a lot of issues with retail versus commercial and these were times when the character of the City would be developed and the tough decisions would be made. He said top-notch developers were needed in the City.
  • Mr. Landry said there was a lot of residential on the Master Plan for development and he thought there was plenty of commercial and retail and that the City needed more manufacturing, light industrial, technology and research. More residential is needed to balance what we have now in the commercial area. One issue the City would be faced with was the rezoning issue, as people wanted to rezone those residential areas into other commercial areas. Regarding density he felt from a planning standpoint they had to decide what kind of mix they wanted and they had to watch out for property values and adjacent uses. If a developer came in with a quality plan it should be considered seriously.
  • Mr. Landry did not think a developer threatening legal action should be given into.
  • Mr. Landry said an example of poor land use planning was the Tim Pope Memorial Structure. It should have been put in Power Park or the aquatic facility property.
  • He did not see any conflict between himself and Secrest Wardell.
  • He did not think any of the City Ordinances were too tough on developers.
  • He was not opposed to preservation easements where the City took a portion of a developers land yet still required them to pay taxes on it even though they could not develop it. The developer had to be concerned not only with their parcel but the overall uses and how it fit into the larger picture.
  • Mr. Landry said a Master Plan was just a plan not a binding contract. It had to be constantly updated and changing a Master Plan was a criticism that could not be avoided because people did not understand that. However, you have to generally abide by the uses of the Master Plan but you are not technically bound by it.
  • He didn’t think the Planning Commission should be constantly sending someone to the ZBA. The Planning Commission had a job to do and it should not be foisted on someone else.
  • Mr. Landry thought there were circumstances where a deviation from the Master Plan might be justified. It might depend on how long someone had been in the community and what type of use they were proposing, such as a school. However, each circumstance should be looked at individually and how it would impact the entire city and the goal you are trying to achieve by the Master Plan. If there was an alternative way that would benefit the City and achieve the ultimate goal then there was an obligation to consider it.

7:00 LINDA KRIEGER - Library Board

Ms. Krieger noted she had been a resident since 1981 and wanted to join the board to help provide the Novi Community with a high standard library that would provide the residents with the latest in library information systems, Internet, books, CD’s, etc. She wanted to work with the library for their long term plans, policymaking, budgeting, etc.


  • Regarding managing a budget Ms. Krieger understood the grants come from the State,

which would be reviewed with the board members and director and it would be decided

what area needed what kind of budget. Information, books and the Internet are budget priorities.

  • She was not sure if they would ever decrease the number of books but there was an increase with the Internet and they would progress to e-mail books that could be downloaded to read at home. She felt books would continue to be the hardcopy that would be their resource.
  • Ms. Krieger felt the library, on its present 7 acres, was centrally located and convenient for residents and visitors.
  • Video rental was good for the library.
  • If her views were not appreciated by the rest of the board then compromise would be made to come to an agreement.
  • Library Internet access allowed a PC at home to access the library Internet site for information. She was not familiar with board policies regarding minor children’s access to pornography on the Internet.
  • She had served on many boards and commissions and had a growing interest in the City and wanted to contribute more.
  • Ms. Krieger was impressed with the Bloomfield Library and wanted to see our Library continue to grow by assessing the needs of the community and surveying the residents.
  • Having served on the Civic Center Task Force she felt that what they were proposing as a new facility would be adequate to meet the needs of the community for at least the foreseeable future.




7:15 JAMES LAWRENCE - Library Board

Mr. Lawrence has lived in Novi since 1996 and felt Novi was fortunate to have a very high quality library service considering the size of the building, which they have outgrown. He felt they were operating at the maximum and felt it was time for increased building size to accommodate the growth in the City.

  • Mr. Lawrence is the research and grants coordinator for the Detroit Public Library and once the grant was awarded he administered the funds, filed the reports and the money spent in the manner it was intended. He serves on the management team for collective bargaining with five unions. He answers all surveys the library received and surveys they conducted he designed and implemented.
  • He felt he would be a good team member and a good fit for the Library Board and already knew some of the members.
  • He would prepare a budget beginning with what was spent the previous year, find out if there was any growth in the revenue sources and plan accordingly. It would be based on the number of hours it was to be open, staff, cost of books, increases, etc. The average price of a book the library buys is $25 or $30 and the cost of magazines goes up every year. The current demand needed to be analyzed. Also, the building costs for maintenance, etc.
  • He felt books were extremely popular and did not foresee a bookless library.
  • He was comfortable with the library staying in their present location.
  • He wanted to see that the library was maintained in a high quality level and felt Novi was fortunate to have an extremely able staff.
  • The latest idea being discussed and debated was the question of filtering for the Internet and what to do about e-books and what were the implications for the future and what it would mean for the permanent reference availability of information in the future.
  • Mr. Lawrence said regarding pornography board members set policy and it would be up to the director to enforce that policy. It would not be proper for the board to direct the clerk in the library on how to do something. There are some filters that filter out that type of material from children and because of the new State Law they are being implemented. However, with adults there are First Amendment issues. His experience had been that it was not the children accessing the material; it was the adults. Prior to the filters, in Detroit, they set up pre-selected sites to guide people to the more useful sites.
  • He hoped the library could be beautiful and functional and that his experience would be useful in guiding towards the functional so as not to end up with a monument to an architect.
  • He had been on a number of boards and committees and had a good sense of how they were supposed to work. He had a lot of experience and a strong financial background and could help with budgeting and analyzing the direction the budget was going.
  • There was opportunity to enhance the library grant getting ability. Grants were especially useful in funding new areas of service. Most grants were in terms of seed money to start a service and not to carry on the service, which then falls on the budget. There was a possibility of getting corporate sponsorships to help furnish a building.



7:30 ERNEST ARUFFO - Board of Review

Mr. Aruffo is a resident of almost 25 years and has worked on many boards, commissions, committees and volunteer work. He is a member of the Board of Review, an honorary member of Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce.

  • Enjoys working with people who are confronted with age, infirmities or need a reduction in their taxes because of their financial difficulty and it is an opportunity to express compassion and understanding.
  • Mr. Aruffo said the Board of Review no longer handled commercial property. They would appear before the tribunal, County and then before the State where they would make a decision and send it back.
  • The tribunal made the decision but the City Assessor would fight for the City.

Members Cassis, Kramer and Mayor Clark paid tribute to Mr. Aruffo acknowledging his commitment, compassion and dedication to Novi and thanked him for his service. Mr. Aruffo had always been sensitive, reasonable, intelligent, understanding and knowledgeable and a real asset to Novi. Mr. Lemmon submitted a letter about Mr. Aruffo regarding his time on the board and how he had contributed greatly and he recommended approval of Mr. Aruffo’s appointment.

7:45 DAVID PAUL - Cable Access Commission

Mr. Paul has been a resident of Novi for five years and was looking forward to serving the City on the Cable Access Commission as well as some of the others.

  • Mr. Paul thought that Time Warner was a little behind most other areas. Other areas had started the deployment of cable modem service, telephone service and digital service. Many companies are already providing that service to consumers.
  • He was associated with Time Warner but did not think it would be a problem.
  • His business primarily provided test equipment and systems.
  • One of his interests was to find out how S.W.O.C.C. and the Cable Access Commission interact with the cable company and what the areas of improvement were.
  • Some of his knowledge was in the infrastructure and what services were available across the country and what types of companies are out there to provide services.
  • He was looking forward to learning from people on the committee from the other cities.
  • He also had a great love for Parks and Recreation and enjoyed coaching the kids and participating in their activities. It would take a lot of experience in how to get things done within the City, which he did not have, and would take expertise in working as a team. He thought there were resources in the Novi School District that were not being used and some activities could be outsourced to school facilities. There could be improvements and additional activities for the children.
  • Mr. Paul thought there was a possibility of opportunities that S.W.O.C.C. and the

communities were not pursuing.

  • He didn’t have a lot of experience regarding programming and it would be a growth opportunity for him. The education he would develop would be a better understanding of public access.
  • Goals were to have good quality service for the community and to gain a better understanding, on a general basis, of our customer’s customer. How the relationships between cable companies and cities and organizations work.
  • Opportunities need to be taken advantage of for City access Channel 13. Instead of running the City Council and Planning Commission meetings only live they could be run two or three times during the week for more availability to the public and more community involvement. Classes could be provided from the local community colleges as a free service. He liked working in the team environment.

8:00 LISA BENNETT - Beautification Commission, Planning Commission

Ms. Bennett has been a resident since 1995

  • Personal strengths – communication skills, passionate beliefs and a strong sense of duty to natural resources and wildlife habitat while trying to find a compromise between natural resources and human population explosion, building and development.
  • Work – Environmetics, which did air filtration products, testing chambers for the auto industry, soundproofing and handled all the Level 4 bio-hazardous material.
  • She felt a successful compromise could be reached between builders, developers and the needs of the community while still maintaining natural resources.
  • No political experience and had never been involved in city government in any way but would be willing to study, research and do whatever it took.
  • Building should not be halted but should be approached with a conscience. There should be a requirement to replace what is destroyed.
  • Beautification Committee – Enjoyed gardening and saw areas in town that needed improvement and was familiar with indigenous plants and wildlife.
  • Wanted to see open spaces, natural prairie lands, development as necessary compromised with old growth trees, plants, flowers and wildlife. Homeowners and businesses should be contributing.
  • Priority of positions applied for: Beautification Commission, Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation.

8:15 KENNETH WILKERSON - Planning Commission, Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed


Mr. Wilkerson has been a resident for four years and was very impressed with the character and the presence of the community. He was a profession surveyor and engineer and had served as officer in various organizations and on many committees. He represented developers in the preparation of site plans, utility plans and storm drainage. He had also done flood plain analysis. He felt with his experience he could assist in making informed and appropriate decisions for the continued growth of the community.

  • He could offer experience, balance and knowledge of what was practical and with his family raised had time to put into the community.
  • He had been a member of a number of committees and Chairman of a couple. Also, worked well with people getting consensus, planning, moving forward, structuring and organizing. At work he managed a department of 15 to 25 people.


  • He would prefer the Planning Commission but would serve on the Storm Water Management and Watershed. He was familiar with this and the design concepts implemented and was aware that in December Wayne County had implemented more stringent Storm Water criteria that would affect a lot of the communities.
  • He had worked on the preparation of updating planning and zoning maps for the City of Allen Park and had been in the area of engineering and surveying for years. There was a lot of pressure on the community from various influences. There are economic and transportation considerations and how that service could be provided to the developments

and not overburden the things we have and how to pay for those improvements.

  • He would have the time to serve in the capacity of Planning Commissioner.
  • The Planning Commission made a lot of sound land use decisions. There are many communities in this area that had not developed and implemented an ordinance for tree protection and Novi is a leader in that area.
  • For the last 15 years he had been with a firm that represented municipalities but had previously represented developers.
  • He was familiar with the newer philosophies and techniques with regard to storm water management such as utilizing native vegetation, detention basins, etc. for quantity more than quality. He had been involved in the design and developments that utilized storm water management plans and had done a number of sites in Plymouth Township when this philosophy was first implemented. He did have a background in determining the quantity and the best use of it and how to manage it.
  • In the present day the only appropriate philosophy was to attempt to maintain the status quo as much as possible as far as the downstream people were concerned. There is too much burden on the streams, creeks and drains to be able to continue to push the water through and create peak floods and problems as it continued downstream.
  • He would be willing to investigate and become more familiar with areas of water quality if he were to become a member of a committee. He had dealt with the Department of Environmental Quality in the past.
  • His responsibility at work was to manage the surveying, however, this would give him the opportunity to develop the other side of his background.
  • He thought Novi had used techniques to develop storm water management in some of the more recent development but early on there were areas where storm water management was not as effectively handled. It was part of the evolution that all cities, etc. went through.
  • Two primary communities in Oakland County his firm represented were Auburn Hills and Orion Township. They also assist Farmington Hills and Farmington. 95% of their work was for the State, County and municipal work.
  • He thought regional offered more to the community in terms of wetland vegetation, the preservation of certain land areas or the redevelopment so that some of the waterfowl, deer and other animals could be kept in the area. It had vision and merit. Balance with on site is reasonable and important because it would ad value and allow the community to use its resources in the best way.
  • He would support a storm water ordinance that favored a zero percent increase in storm water flow over pre-development conditions for any development.
  • He thought Oakland County led in 1974 when they adopted the original ordinance but there was a lot of room for growth and better management under the plans that are now being implemented in Washtenaw and Wayne County.




8:30 MICHAEL BARTON - Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Mr. Barton has lived with his wife and two daughters in Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision for nine years. The middle Rouge runs on the west side of his lot and the retention pond on the south side which was the motivation for his interest in this committee. He had no formal, professional experience in this area of storm water management or that area of law. He had in the past represented municipalities through the Municipal League. He wanted to help develop a comprehensive plan to maintain what we have and develop the best management practices

to maintain the quality of the water and prevent the destruction of the ponds we created to store the water.

  • Meadowbrook Lake needed to be dredged or it would not store water during storms to keep it from flowing quickly through that area and flooding Nine Mile Rd. The State and Federal government are intent on educating the public and this was one reason for this committee.
  • He recognized that Meadowbrook Lake had a job to do and a function to perform and it was important it do that but it was also important that it be a lake and used for recreation.
  • The people at waters edge would be flexible and willing to look at alternatives in regard to how it was maintained.
  • Mr. Barton wanted to see a strong education program come out of the committee for non-point source and single-point source pollution for citizens and people who dump into the lakes.
  • As a lawyer he spent a lot of time interpreting and analyzing statutes and could bring this aspect to the committee and he had good writing skills.
  • He has experience working on committees and had worked as a member of a team handling complex litigation. He had also worked with the neighborhood association and would have the time to devote to the City.

8:45 ASA SMITH – Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Mr. Smith is a long time resident of Novi. He knows where all the streams are and where all the rivers originated and where everything was disposed of. He lives on Walled Lake or the headwaters of the Middle Rouge River and was very concerned about the quality and quantity of the water. Mr. Smith believed he would have input, be a part of development and the putting together of a committee that would be an outstanding source for southeast Michigan to be a prototype for a pilot model for the surrounding communities.

  • Mr. Smith felt that as citizens of the community, they have an objective goal to take care of the water as it passed through the community. We owe the citizens the best management possible to protect their property.
  • He would make sure that the City did their job to control the water and make sure the quality and quantity was held back, clarified and discharged at the proper rates as it passed through different communities.
  • He did not like to say that Walled Lake was a regional retention basin.
  • He felt there had to be a liaison between the City and Walled Lake until confident of the water quality and a discharge quantity rate into that area of the lake. He felt there was room for improvement in Novi.



  • Mr. Smith thought the City was doing a fine job as land use decision makers and plan reviewers in regard to the standards of water quality required for development proposals.
  • It would depend on the site location as to whether he would support a zero percent increase in storm water flow of predevelopment conditions.
  • He would support a storm water ordinance that required first flush design standards for 100 year storm events, which would come through education provided by who ever supplied the information so that facts could be gathered to fulfill the goal.
  • Mr. Smith felt his strengths were that he knew the material, communicated well, resolved

problems reasonably with professional skill. He felt his background in construction work

and engineering would be an asset to the community and the committee.

9:00 MELISSA PETTIJOHN – Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Ms. Pettijohn has lived in the Novi/Northville area for five years. Prior to that she lived in Livingston County on Cordley Lake and was involved in water issues there. She was the President of the Cordley Lakes Branch of the Lakes and Streams Associations. She has a degree in Biochemistry and a Masters in Hazard Waste Management. She was also a member of the Hamburg Environmental Review Board. She belonged to the League of Women Voters in Livingston County and they wrote a grant to the Kellogg Foundation of Ground Water Education in Michigan for $6,000 and used it to involve the high school students to produce a video on water protection issues which was distributed to the community.

  • Ms. Pettijohn thought the run off was proportional to the surface covered so the density issue could be helped by building up, digging down, terracing and using materials that absorb water better. Development and density of a project would be one thing and the footprint would be another important impact. The biggest issue of storm water management was the more that is covered up the less the water can be absorbed into the ground.
  • She would support first flush as explained by Member Bononi.
  • Ms. Pettijohn was looking forward to the intellectual challenge of being out there and studying the issues and thought she would bring an analytical perspective and tended to look at things as cause and effect.
  • Growth and development are important but the water issues should not be compromised to let growth and development happen.

9:15 RICHARD BOND - Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Mr. Bond noted he has been a resident of Novi for seven years and a taxpayer for nine years. He believed that it was important for people to serve in some voluntary position for a limited time. He had been active in various committees throughout his life. He is a professional automotive engineer but many issues are the same such as analyzing problems and having concerns regarding pollution and the environment.

  • Mr. Bond said there are regulations and ordinances in place but the biggest deficiency he saw was in the area of enforcement. People building subdivisions should put fabric over the storm drains to keep dirt and debris from going down because they are the

first to go in. He thought the building inspector could look at this when they inspect


  • Ordinances have to be fair and cannot be written so restrictively that only one design or person can fulfill that ordinance. The ordinance had to state what it was trying to prevent and be open to different ways of doing it.
  • To control storm water run off, he felt it had to be retained and treated on site to provide a much better solution to the problem rather than trying to pump everything to a retention basin.
  • He didn’t want to say that a lake was a retention basin and it probably was not designed for that.
  • Mr. Bond felt there was room for improvement in water quantity in terms of flooding.

9:30 SUSAN THOMPSON - Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship Committee

Ms. Thompson has been a resident for three years and previously had lived in Westland directly on the Middle Rouge. She had worked for the County of Wayne for 10 years where the bulk of her career had been the Rouge project. She is a field worker and did a lot of the water sampling and quality monitoring programs as well as public education and working with various communities by providing training programs. These training programs were part of the State’s General Storm Water Permit.

  • Member Bononi noted that Ms. Thompson had taught a class that she had attended and was an expert in this field.
  • Ms. Thompson was concerned that all Oakland County cities were out of compliance because Oakland County is the regulatory agency that permits the septic systems. There needed to be collaboration between everyone because water did not stop at a political border. It is a wide encompassing issue and the counties should be taking lead roles very similar to Wayne County.
  • She felt that builders needed to be more careful with run off soil erosion and how it would impact downstream.
  • She hoped that this committee would help Novi to be the forerunner of Oakland County Communities on the forefront of addressing this issue in a progressive manner.



There being no further business before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 PM.




__________________________________ ____________________________

Richard J. Clark, Mayor Nancy Reutter, Deputy Clerk


Transcribed by: ____________________

Charlene McLean

Date approved: February 6, 2001