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
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
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
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.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
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
- 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
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
He did not see any conflict between himself and Secrest Wardell.
He did not think any of the City Ordinances were too tough on
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
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
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
- He felt books were extremely popular and did not foresee a bookless
- 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
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- She felt a successful compromise could be reached between builders,
developers and the needs of the community while still maintaining natural
- 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
- 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
- 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 &
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
- 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
- He would have the time to serve in the capacity of Planning
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
8:30 MICHAEL BARTON - Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
and engineering would be an asset to the community and the committee.
9:00 MELISSA PETTIJOHN – Storm Water Mgmt & Watershed Stewardship
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
- 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
- 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
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
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: ____________________
Date approved: February 6, 2001