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REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:32 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Bononi, Council Members Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry and Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Clark advised that Thomas Swope could not be present this evening. An application was received by Kim Taylor-Papp for the Library Board and Mayor Clark proposed adding her name at 8:15 PM to replace Mr. Swope.
CM-01-12-323 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-01-12-323 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
Cheryl Weibel, 184 Weldon Rd., Benzie County, MI, was a former employee of Salon Nadwa and a past secretary for the IMF, a massage organization in Michigan that governs massage therapists and was familiar with every city in the State and what their requirements are. She commended the Council for their effort to regulate the practice of massage in the City of Novi.
Ms. Weibel was present to inform the City that she had filed criminal charges against Salon Nadwa with the Police Department and also has a civil suit pending in Circuit Court in Pontiac in front of Judge Potts. She was alleging 26 different counts of illegal activities. The counts include violations of Federal, State, City of Novi laws and public health and safety violations. She brought copies of the pleadings for the Council. She said the cities in Michigan having problems regulating massage are only allowing massage to be available in doctors offices. That seemed to alleviate a lot of the problems.
Ms. Weibelís name and address are on the pleadings entered with the court and she was free to be a witness and had all her proofs and pleadings. She asked Council to contact her if she could be of service.
Mayor Clark asked that copies be given to the City Clerk also.
Mayor Clark commented that residents were interviewing for positions on a board or commission.
Jason Scott Ė Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission
Mr. Scott is a student at Michigan State and has a Bachelors degree in Parks and Recreation. He had interviewed before Council during the summer and worked for the City as the head lifeguard at Lake Shore Park. He learned a lot of things about the Park and noticed ways to improve the general appearance of Noviís parks. There could be better signage to warn residents of hazards in the water, the temperature of the water, etc. He thought there should be a customer service training program for part time summer staff members.
Member Capello asked what his availability would be to attend meetings being he was a student at Michigan State? Mr. Scott said it wasnít a problem as he was only 40 minutes away and he was home a lot and worked for his motherís daycare. Member Capello asked how many courses he had taken in his major in Parks and Recreation? He believed he had 14 courses and needed 3 or 4 more to finish up the Universityís requirement. He would do an internship this summer or next fall and had been looking into places in and out of State. The internship would be 13 to 15 weeks and he would graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Parks and Recreation.
Member Csordas asked if he owned property or paid taxes in the City? He responded he did not. Member Csordas asked what he thought of the lawsuit filed to stop the settlement for Sandstone. He could not comment, as he didnít know much about it. Member Csordas asked why he wanted to be on the Parks and Recreation & Forestry Commission? Mr. Scott commented there were simple changes that perhaps the Parks and Recreation Department didnít see and felt there were improvements that could be done to both the parks and seasonal staff and the full staff that could make communication between both better so the department would function better. Member Csordas asked for examples. Mr. Scott said communication between the full and part time staff. It was difficult to resolve problems when there was no full time staff at the park. Member Csordas asked if this was a prevailing situation in the Parks and Recreation Department? He said it was at that park but he didnít know about other parks. Member Csordas asked what kind of experience it was working for the City? Mr. Scott found it to be a good experience and he had tried to improve the park as much as possible in his position. He thought the maintenance department was not run very well and that better supervision and a better plan would help make the parks more resident friendly.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if Mr. Scott thought the Parks and Recreation Commission should be involved in the day-to-day operations of the Parks and Recreation Department? Mr. Scott felt they should not but should be able to make suggestions. Since it is a volunteer position he felt the professionals should be allowed to do what they do best. She asked, in addition to experience in scouting and as an Eagle Scout, what particular experience with regard to committees, commissions or management team experience would he bring to the position? Mr. Scott said he was the leader of his scout troop at one time and had manager experience in that aspect. They organized a lot of camp outs and for his Eagle project he had to organize a project that benefited the community. He did this in Novi and surrounding areas collecting and distributing sundry items and other items to homeless people. While working at the beach this summer he assumed the responsibilities of the aquatic supervisor in her absence and assisted park staff.
Member Landry commended Mr. Scott for his willingness to serve and asked when he expected to graduate from MSU? He replied December 2002. Member Landry asked him where the emphasis should be in providing sports activities or arts activities. He replied that his preference was for sports but would hope both would be provided. Member Landry asked if programs should be proactive or reactive? Reactive meaning responding to residentís requests and pro-active introducing residents to new activities. Mr. Scott felt it was the Cityís obligation to be proactive and put on programs they see trends in that are growing in surrounding communities. If there is enough response to a reactive matter, then the Parks and Recreation Dept. should look into doing what the people want because we are here to serve the people.
Member Lorenzo asked what he saw new in the field of Parks and Recreation? Mr. Scott said he has been looking at communities near Lansing and has been doing a paper on the City of Noviís Park and Recreation Dept. He said there are only 2 basketball courts in the city and suggested the City look into a skate park for residents as well because there is a growth trend there. Member Lorenzo noted this position made recommendations to the full Council and sometimes due to budget limitations, Council might not be able to accommodate the request and could he agree to disagree? He realized there are more important things than Parks & Recreation such as Fire & Police Departments. Member Lorenzo was pleased that he brought his observations from working during the summer.
Member DeRoche asked about his impression of Noviís parks and those that are incomplete and what are his ideas for those? Mr. Scott said as far as North Novi Park and all its property, he noted the mountain bike trails and the field turfs were not the best and needed improvements but there was potential there for good things to happen.
Member DeRoche asked if he had immediate plans to come back to work for the City since he would not graduate until December 2002? He had no plans but would probably not be coming back to work for the City, unless he was an intern for the City because he had to fulfill his requirements for school.
Mayor Clark asked him what one thing would he change after working for Parks and Recreation? Mr. Scott replied a training program about communicating with the residents. The residents deserve a friendly, courteous and knowledgeable staff.
David Paul Ė Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission
Mr. Paul noted he has been a resident of Novi for six years, a volunteer for Parks and Recreation as a coach for five years and a volunteer for the Novi Youth Baseball League and has been acting as the General Director for the past few months. He is currently a member of the Cable Access Committee serving as a volunteer for the City of Novi. He is employed by Agilent Technologies and manages a team of people.
Member DeRoche asked why he was applying? Mr. Paul replied there were opportunities to add value to the Commission and his interest was to work with the director to establish a set of
goals to be filtered down through the organization and implemented. He thought they should look at overall park improvement regarding ongoing maintenance and capital improvements. He would look at funding aspects available throughout the State. Member DeRoche hoped for more money out of the general budget for capital improvements and then for maintenance and
asked what his priorities were? He responded better maintenance was needed for the Community Sports Park and Power Park because they are premier parks. As far as Capital Improvements he thought there was an opportunity with a volunteer within the City to utilize their expertise and resources from a development standpoint and a funding standpoint and looking at different avenues of funding so City funding would only be a portion of the overall funding for improvement. Other opportunities would be from corporate sponsors, advertising, fund raising, etc., involving the community.
Member Lorenzo asked about other opportunities. He suggested better collaboration with Novi Schools regarding field and gym opportunities and overall utilization perspective there. Another opportunity was how to work with and communicate with the Novi Youth Baseball League. For instance there is a U.S.S.A. Baseball Tournament to be held in Power Park and Novi Youth Baseball just found out a few nights ago. So they are scrambling to get teams into that tournament and we are hosting it. Member Lorenzo asked if it was an internal communication problem? He wasnít sure but felt there were opportunities to better communicate within the volunteer organizations in Novi as well as internally. Member Lorenzo asked for his observations of administration and staff of P & R. Mr. Paul commented Wendy Duvall-Angelocci was great to work with and thought there was a good strong team in Parks and Recreation. He also met the new Director Randy Auler to find out his expectations of the Commission. Member Lorenzo asked if he could live with budget limitations and other priorities? He said he could.
Member Landry asked how basketball venues could be increased in the City for children? Mr. Paul stated basketball programs are having a difficult time getting gymnasium use. He thought they needed to assure that they were getting maximum utilization within an age-friendly time for practice. Nine PM was not a good time to have practice for 3rd and 4th graders. They had to look at the overall utilization of existing Novi and school facilities. Then move forward with a utilization study to supplement what is needed. Then if there arenít enough facilities they need to look at private facilities such as churches, etc. to supplement what is needed. Member Landry asked how he saw the interplay of sporting activities and arts to the citizens? Mr. Paul thought Parks and Recreation could have both working together in addition to activities for the seniors.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what the basic function of the Parks and Recreation Commission was? Mr. Paul felt it should provide strategic direction through goal establishment, be the listening ear of the community and attract volunteers and corporate sponsors. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said it was obvious that he had a highly developed communication skill and style and asked how he would bring those qualities to a beleaguered Parks and Recreation Commission? He thought inherently people want to do a good job and because of that common ground should be found where people felt they could make a positive difference and contribution. One of the first ways to do that is to work together as a team to establish what they wanted to accomplish as a commission and have the Director be a part of that. Then that would give the Director a baseline of how to move forward within the community and his organization.
Member Csordas asked his opinion on the lawsuit by Friends of Novi Park? Mr. Paul felt it was a disappointment and somewhat shortsighted.
Member Capello asked if he was more interested in the Cable Access Committee or P & R? Mr. Paul stated he has been a member of the Cable Access Committee for the past year and had a position within in Agilent Technologies focused towards providing services and test
equipment to the cable service provider community and it was an opportunity to learn more about the cable business and provide additional service and value to the community. His real passion is in the Parks and Recreation area but a Parks and Recreation position was not open when he interviewed for the Cable Access Committee. Member Capello asked if there were any alternatives to develop some park area for non-organized sports activities for high school kids? Mr. Paul said absolutely and the Community Sports Park is typically empty on Sunday and there are basketball courts and volleyball courts at Power Park that can be used at any time. Member Capello noted the kids wanted to have the band shell developed so they could go there. Mr. Paul thought a planned activity might have to be discussed with the Planning Commission. Member Capello asked what he thought about joint ownership of parks with surrounding communities? Mr. Paul stated there were many opportunities to partner with other communities. Ideally he would like to see an on-going yearly baseball tournament between the in house All Star leagues of Northville, Novi and South Lyon.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Paul what one thing he would change if he had the power? Mr. Paul responded field improvements, communication, joint work with Novi schools and better communication with Novi citizens. Also, utilize the cable channel or government channel for Information about where you sign up, training videos, player-training videos, etc.
Sarah Gray Ė Housing & Community Development Advisory Committee
Ms. Gray was seeking re-appointment to the HCD.
Member Capello was aware of her hard work on HCD and had no questions.
Member Csordas asked Ms. Gray what achievement she was most proud of on the committee? She felt that they, as an advisory committee, had made more headway this year than they did in the past but still had a long way to go. Historically, the HCD budget has subsidized Parks and Recreation but there are so many more uses it could and should be used for. Ms. Gray felt we havenít made an effort to let people know that the funds are available. As the older part of the city around the lake improves, the area that gives us these funds is shrinking and that is good but it forces older residents who have been here for years to be at risk. In the Sector Study, page 51, Structural Quality, it says "of 639 single-family units 472 or 74% were found to be of standard structural quality, 77 units or 12% were found to be deteriorating and 90 units or 14% were found to be of substandard structural quality." In 1992 this was the baseline and not much has been done since then. She suggested this yearís calendar have a page that described the HCD, its purpose and how to contact them. Member Csordas agreed the HCD money should be appropriated for that use rather than P & R.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what resources Council could give to allow her to make positive changes in the committee? Ms. Gray felt the committee had Councilís support. They needed to find someone to devote more time to discover the needs of the citizens. She suggested the
ordinance officers, police officers and DPW are out in the city and see and observe what is there. Someone is needed who has the tact and the ability to work one on one with citizens to accept what their taxes have paid for not as a handout but an enhancement to their home. Ms. Gray said pride gets in the way sometimes and the older generation doesnít realize that the funds are from tax dollars they have paid into the system for years. She was looking for administration to assign people to do this. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated Ms. Gray is looking for assistance from staff and an outreach program.
Member Landry asked her opinion of the split of the tax dollars between capital improvements, people who need furnaces and roofs and or money to this group or that, e.g. battered spouses, etc. He asked if she had thought of a proper split or ad hoc? Ms. Gray responded the government guidelines were up to 50% for service related and that was fine. She had no problem with this yearís budget but did question last year when they were just supposed to rubber stamp it and was pleased that those administrative days are over. There is so much to be done and the funds have been used for other things such as $70,000 for the engineering study of the South Lake and East Lake Drives safety path. As much of the HCD funds that can be used should be.
Member Lorenzo appreciated her priorities and understood her frustration.
Member DeRoche supported her for this committee.
Mayor Clark commented the city is fortunate to have her working on this committee. He agreed there are a lot of needs there that havenít been met and she is on the right track to correct that. The progress is due to her efforts. Ms. Gray stated she has had an excellent co-worker and has thoroughly enjoyed working with the committee.
Kim Taylor-Papp Ė Library Board
Ms. Taylor-Papp noted she has lived in Novi for 5 years. She is a teacher and department chair at Redford Union Schools. She has a MA in curriculum and understood the library needs of students and the community members. She felt she could make a difference.
Member DeRoche asked Ms. Taylor-Papp for her impression on the last bond proposal? She was disappointed that they didnít receive the funds but understood why because as a voter she wasnít very clear on where the money was going other than building the facility. She and some neighbors found it amazing that they would be paying for the bond for pretty much the rest of their lives. She believed the need is there to improve the facility but where the funds go needed to be clearer. Member DeRoche asked what motivated her to want to serve on the board? She responded she looked at what Redford has and itís nothing like what is provided in Novi. She did not think this facility accommodated the residents of Novi.
Member Lorenzo asked if she foresaw the Library Board bringing this issue back to the community and how would they accomplish this successfully. Ms. Taylor-Papp felt it would be brought back to the community but it needed to be clarified so residents knew exactly what the
Library Board wanted as far as a new facility. Ms. Taylor-Papp noted she would bring innovative ideas and suggestions to the board. She was also an accomplished grant writer and possibly could obtain funding. Member Lorenzo asked what she saw as strengths or weaknesses of our library system. She stated itís too small and it is a shame that residents are turned away because they cannot house the number of children for programs they offer.
Member Landry noted the city population is expected to be 80,000 at its build-out and asked if it would be best for one library or several branches throughout the City. Ms. Taylor-Papp replied several branches.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was interested in her grant writing skills and asked if it would have been a positive thing to cultivate corporate funding or look for specific grants that would do specific portions of the library or matching gifts. She asked if she saw that as part of the next library question? Ms. Taylor-Papp stated absolutely. A corporate sponsor assisting a community with their needs was important.
Member Csordas noted her responses were right on target. As a library user, would it be best for the library to expand or begin anew? She stated she wouldnít tear it down and that it would be possible to use it to build branches. Member Csordas asked what specifically would she like to see improved at the library? She stated more technology such as computer access. Member Csordas asked what the access should be? She replied filtered.
Member Capello asked what specifically was wrong with the proposal? She stated it was not clear. Member Capello asked about joint agreements with surrounding communities? Ms. Taylor-Papp stated absolutely.
Mayor Clark asked what was the first thing she would like to see done? Ms. Taylor-Papp stated a survey of the needs of the community.
Brian Smith Ė Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission
Mr. Smith has been a resident for 17 years and has interacted with parks and recreation for the last eight years through his children, coached soccer, built sets for the Novi Theaters and had taken his daughter to Camp Lake Shore for six years. He is very happy with parks and recreation and felt it did a good job meeting the needs of the community. The North Novi Park issue drew him in and he was there because he didnít want to complain without working toward a solution.
Member Capello asked what affect it has had to be without a Director of Parks and Recreation? He said someone was needed to handle the day-to-day operations of the department. He felt the Commission should set forth the goals of where they want to go and the Director should manage the troops. Member Capello asked if there were any goals the Commission had over the last year or so? Mr. Smith knew they had been working on the overall plan and was not sure how the Director would impact that except through experience and helping the Commission set those goals. Member Capello asked what would he make a priority undeveloped park land or development of programs? Mr. Smith stated they go hand in hand. It is a shame to see land sitting there like it is in North Novi Park where there are several dead cars in the park, etc. and it wouldnít take a lot of money to fix, as there are a lot of volunteers available. Things that scare him include, band shells, golf courses and amphitheaters, etc. as he felt we shoot too high at times. We need to get rid of the dead
cars and put in paved trails for roller blading, and lower cost things that could be accomplished right away. He would work with other communities in the area and listen to what the community wants.
Member Csordas asked Ms. Cornelius to ask Mr. Helwig to research and see if there are any abandoned vehicles on the property in North Novi Park and have them removed.
Member Csordas asked Mr. Smith if he was the same Brian Smith named on the lawsuit against the City for the settlement? He said he was.
Member Bononi asked what he thought the single greatest challenge was on the parks and recreation Commission now? Mr. Smith said to develop park space. Novi is building out and we are running out of land and there is not a lot available to buy, we are short on neighborhood parks and if the Sandstone settlement goes through we will be short on community parks. We need to act now before we put malls and houses on whatís left.
Member Landry asked if the focus of the parks and recreation program as a whole should be proactive or reactive? Mr. Smith stated reactive because we need to listen to the community. We need to lead the community and get residents involved in caring for their parks such as Friends of the Rouge groups did for the Rouge. Mr. Smith would like to see non-traditional sports such as a mountain bike team, Frisbee golf, etc. We seem to have a good focus on the traditional baseball, basketball, soccer but we need to find something for the kids that donít fit into that mold.
Member Lorenzo said Mr. Smith had stated that he wanted to effect change but asked if he would be frustrated by the fact that the Commission makes recommendations and Council affects the change. Mr. Smith noted he could deal with that. He understood that the Commission couldnít spend money in the budget and would need to convince those who have control of the funds to do what they wanted and if they lost to try again in a different way.
Member DeRoche asked how he, as a resident and user, thought the North Novi Park should be used? Mr. Smith wanted to see it used for passive recreation. He thought it needed picnic tables, a parking lot and sign, paved pathways for handicap access, skateboards, roller blades, and low impact activities. He wouldnít want to see it change much.
Mayor Clark asked what one thing he would like to change on Parks and Recreation in terms of operation and use of parkland? He responded he would like to inventory the resources available throughout the whole system to project what would be needed in the future.
Mav Sangvhi Ė Zoning Board of Appeals
Dr. Sangvhi commented he had been a resident for 26 years and had his practice here. He had witnessed many changes and he liked change and was not afraid of it. He believed this government is the best government and he believed in being a compassionate traditionalist, conservative and in family values. His professional activities allow him to sort out what matters and what doesnít and isnít afraid of making unpleasant decisions. He understands his job is to uphold that which is already legislated by the Council through ordinances. Mr. Sangvhi sought re-appointment to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Member DeRoche appreciated his service on the ZB Appeals and his willingness to serve the community in ZBA and many other volunteer projects.
Member Lorenzo stated he answered her questions in his opening remarks.
Member Landry thanked Dr. Sanghvi for his service and noted that his decisions are to be commended. He is obviously aware of the function of the ZBA. Member Landry asked if he thought the Planning Commission sent too many cases to ZBA for variances? Dr. Sangvhi felt that the ZBA might be able to meet jointly with the Planning Commission and the Council and have a continuous review of the ordinances so that we donít have that kind of thing. He did not think they meant to do it as he thought they did a wonderful job.
Member Landry asked if it would be useful to have an annual joint meeting with the Planning Commission and ZBA for conference and comparison? Dr. Sanghvi responded it would be great as it would improve the communication all around and would remove some of the doubts and cynicism sometimes associated with it.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi commented it was wonderful Dr. Sanghvi understood the difference between variance requests and ordinance quality. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said he espoused that the least government is the best government. If that is so then has he been a tough or soft audience on the ZBA. Dr. Sanghvi considered himself as tough because he had a specified job. We live in a structured society and a structured society brings with it certain responsibilities and constraints. Part of the constraints is part of the ZBA work, which is to maintain the constraints by upholding the ordinance and being governed by them.
Member Csordas felt the ZBA is sometimes a dumping ground for the Planning Commission and the ZBA does a great job faced with difficult decisions. When the ZBA is as fine tuned as it is now, that experience is very valuable and he supports the group entirely.
Member Capello noted their job is the toughest and they do it well. Member Capello asked what he saw before the ZBA constantly that Council should modify? Dr. Sanghvi stated certain types of appeals kept coming, which most were for minor variations for things such as sunrooms but there was not enough leeway given for this type of addition to the home. If this was planned so that these possibilities do exist then there would not be so many coming to the ZBA.
Mayor Clark joined with others in stating the ZBA does an excellent job and appreciated his hard work and efforts.
Lynne Paul Ė Planning Commission
Ms. Paul described her job prior to coming to Novi as an Oncology nurse. She worked with seven physicians and kept a practice of 60 nurses happy. She compared her job protocol being like the ordinances of the city. She did extensive planning for research grants through the State, large cooperative groups or grant writing for research programs. After moving to
Novi 6 years ago she worked for a developer who was building Phase II and Phase III of Westmont Village. She worked with the developer to have a win-win solution, which was to come before the Planning Commission and Council and before the body of the Phase I subdivision.
Member Capello asked if she served on any other boards or commissions? Ms. Paul had not served on a commission but did work a great deal with Parks and Recreation Commission on the Holidays Around the World and also River Day last June. Member Capello asked about her experience with blueprints? Ms. Paul said she has an Interior Design home based business but did not specifically do blueprints; however she has learned to read site plans while working with the existing site at Westmont Village. Member Capello asked about her familiarity with ordinances? Ms. Paul noted she is familiar with the Master Plan and uplands and wetlands and knew the Commission would make recommendations to Council. Member Capello asked if developers should be given incentives to leave green spaces? Ms. Paul thought green spaces are very important for quality of life and when you donít have them you lose a lot of valuable appeal to your eye. She cited 8 Mile and Haggerty and Fountain Walk as two places that definitely needed additional green space.
Member Capello asked what type of incentives she would suggest? Ms. Paul felt each development must be looked at individually and then work with them. Member Capello asked about smaller lot sizes to create green space? She responded she lives in R-1 and thatís what was done and she favored that for wetlands.
Member Csordas asked what she liked and disagreed with on the Planning Commission? She noted she would like to see Roberts Rules addressed more in the Planning Commission. Also, she would like to see ordinances and the master plan reviewed. The Master Plan could be better served because it is a changing body with different areas that are changing in our community. Ms. Paul cited the church on Ten Mile across from the golf course, which would change the Ten Mile corridor, and she thought it needed to be examined. It needed to focus on Novi Road and Grand River to continue growth properly. She thought Fountain Walk would have been a great spot for OST and thought the Meadowbrook OST was a wonderful development.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how she would bring her managerial skills to the Planning Commission particularly when she was the minority voter. Ms. Paul stated itís necessary to present the case and assist people in understanding her point of view. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what is the single improvement with regard to planning discipline she would like to see? Ms. Paul would like to see a small park put into some of the subdivisions and better architectural plans at the front entrance of subdivisions. Also, continue to gain more OST type of business in the City.
Member Landry asked from a macro standpoint what did she believe was the most significant planning concern for Novi in the next 10 years? She felt it would be the Grand River Corridor and Novi Road area. That is the crossroad and they are stuck in traffic and might not want to come back and micro planning would be to continue building nice structures with visual impact. Ms. Paul did not want to let a blue and yellow building like Fountain Walk happen again.
Member Lorenzo stated her questions had been answered.
Member DeRoche asked if she had strong personal opinions about an educational facility project before the Planning Commission and they said the only way to build this project was at the expense of trees and wetlands on the site how would she decide which was more important? Ms. Paul felt it was necessary to look at it to see if there was already a space for this purpose and if the educational site is imperative, then there must be a way to accomplish it.
LaVerne Reinke Ė Zoning Board of Appeals
Mr. Reinke is currently the Chairman of ZBA and has been a resident of Novi for 28 years. He is seeking re-appointment to the ZBA.
Member DeRoche stated he appreciated Mr. Reinkeís service on the ZBA and respected his objective perspective and fairness.
Member Lorenzo appreciated the fact that Mr. Reinke wanted to continue. She asked if he had any experiences or observations to present to Council? Mr. Reinke felt the current board was one of the best they have ever had. The biggest task to work with is lot size because they cause variances and he would like to see residents be able to do what they want but the ordinances do matter.
Member Landry stated his questions had been answered.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated regarding his comment on variances on lot size he might be interested to know that there were those who were interested in the big-foot ordinance to give the ZBA some relief. She said it seemed frequently one of the reasons along with a hardship definition given for an approval is that neighbors are not complaining. She asked if that was a sufficient reason to grant a variance? Mr. Reinke thought it was something that should be taken into consideration but the motion should be defined more to the ordinance requirements.
Member Csordas asked how long he had served the ZBA? Mr. Reinke stated 15 years.
Mr. Reinke had Member Csordasí support.
Member Capello appreciated the work he had done and noted Mr. Reinke had his support.
Mayor Clark stated he agreed that the ZBA is one of the toughest boards to sit on since they cannot act contrary to the ordinances they were sworn to uphold.
Mark Sturing Ė Library Board
Mr. Sturing commented he is a 14 year resident, married with two children and employed as general counsel for the Beztak Company. Mr. Sturing wants to be on the Library Board to assist with challenges the Library faces with space limitations and the work they do within the confines of those challenges.
Member DeRoche asked if the election motivated him to become involved? Mr. Sturing didnít feel the election was a specific influence but being on the Board would assist in getting the needs of the residents satisfied. Member DeRoche asked if a bigger facility was
needed or would the existing facility suffice? Mr. Sturing didnít have preconceived notions on how to do that and thought there were some space limitations currently with square footage on a per resident basis. The residents need to be educated about the needs and current expectations. Member DeRoche stated the employees were exemplary but asked if he had noticed any deficiencies in service that he would want to bring to the attention of the Board? Mr. Sturing said there is a deficiency caused by limited space, not by staff.
Member Lorenzo asked if he had any opinions as to why the proposal was unsuccessful and what would he bring to the board as an alternative approach? Mr. Sturing didnít have a specific opinion as to why the proposal was unsuccessful. It had been suggested that there were a number of school bond issues already presented this year and perhaps there were too many. He noted this local election didnít have a turnout like a National or State wide election and thought another election with a larger turnout might have been different because more people would have voted. Member Lorenzo asked what he would bring to the Board? He would bring his experience related to real estate and finance in the building area whether it is to a new building, renovations, equipment repair, etc.
Member Landry asked, at build out, would the library need one central library or several branches? Mr. Sturing stated a central library because having a central library could reduce the administrative costs. He understood the advantages to having branch libraries closer to the neighborhoods but you also have extreme duplication of maintenance services, etc and the cost to operate those would be significant.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked about corporate funding or grants and their role in the Library system? Mr. Sturing thought that would be on a limited basis and not the primary source.
Member Csordas thanked Mr. Sturing for his hard work and great job on the Novi Senior complex. He asked if he would support the expansion of the library or tear it down? Mr. Sturing stated remodels are difficult to make into state-of-the-art. He would not eliminate that as a possibility but he would lean toward a new facility as being less costly, more efficient and more state of the art.
Member Capello stated he would like to see the Library come back and he would like to see Mr. Sturingís expertise on that.
Mayor Clark appreciated his past service to the city.
Mayor Clark noted two other applications were submitted, Sue Flanagan for Beautification Commission and Pamela Superfisky for reappointment to the Election Commission but couldnít attend.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 9:53 PM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: _________________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: December 17, 2001