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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Bononi, Council Members Capello/absent excused, Csordas/absent excused, DeRoche/absent excused, Landry and Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-02-06-150 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as presented.
Vote on CM-02-06-151 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Landry, Lorenzo
Andrew Krupansky and Matt Hougan, students of Novi High School, representing Teens Aiding the Cancer Community, were present to invite Council to a benefit dinner. This group is about a year old and is run by teens at Novi High School. They solicit donations and put together backpacks full of toys, worth about $60.00, and give them to kids who have or are affected by cancer. These are given away to children at local area hospitals. They are non-profit and have delivered over 225 backpacks. Once students graduate they will start a group wherever they go to school. They are trying to raise funds to keep the group going and start other chapters.
Matt Hougan explained that the benefit is a brunch to be held at the Wyndham Garden Hotel on August 4th from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM. There will be entertainment, a raffle and the brunch.
Mayor Clark said they should be commended and that Council was well aware of their organization and the outstanding job they had already done in the community.
Michelle Harrison Ė Library Board, Parks, Recreation & Forestry
Ms. Harrison commented she was only interested in Parks, Recreation and Forestry. She is a Novi resident and recently graduated from college with a degree in Public Administration. Sheís interested in civic matters and wants to become involved. Sheís a claims adjuster at Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Member Lorenzo asked why she chose Parks and Recreation? Ms. Harrison said she had been involved with Parks and Recreation since she was a child in various sports. She was interested in giving input and seeing how everything worked. Member Lorenzo asked if she saw any deficiencies or positive things about the program or park system? Ms. Harrison thought the program was strong and the parks and softball fields are well kept. Member Lorenzo asked what her goal was in fitting into this program?
Ms. Harrison didnít necessarily have any goals or any one thing she wanted to accomplish. It is a really good program and she wanted to get insight on how things are working and how the budget process worked.
Member Landry asked if she had any particular feeling about arts versus sports and the role they would have in a municipal parks and recreation program? Ms. Harrison felt the arts definitely had a place in Parks and Recreation. They say people that study music and art do better in school and it was definitely something she would value. Member Landry asked if there was any activity that the Parks and Rec. Department didnít offer she thought should be offered. Ms. Harrison said nothing specific stood out. He asked who she saw as the target market for Parks and Recreation? She thought it was primarily the youth. He asked what her opinion was of the state of the Parks and Recreation facilities? She thought they were great with a variety of parks all over the City and the ice arena.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said Ms. Harrison had commented in her application that "Novi is different from many communities" and Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how it was different? Ms. Harrison said there was a strong sense of community in Novi and she was proud to be from Novi. Itís a great City with clean parks, nice roads, good schools and she thought everyone took pride in Novi. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if she was hoping to gain employment in government since her studies were in public administration and did she think this learning experience would help her in that regard? Ms. Harrison said since graduating she was not 100% sure she wanted to go into public administration and thought law might also be an option.
Mayor Clark asked if she was working regular, normal hours at Blue Cross? Ms. Harrison said there were many scheduling options at Blue Cross such as 7 AM to 3 PM, four days a week, 8 AM to 5 PM, etc. and her work schedule would not cause any problems with attending meetings.
Nipa Shah Ė Library Board
Ms. Shah is a Novi resident and very much involved in the community. She teaches middle school students Junior Achievement as part of the volunteer program that is encouraged by her employer, General Motors Corp. She is an IT Manager and has responsibility for information systems within the marketing organization and had been with GM for twelve years. She had always been involved in mentoring and coaching type activities. She is the co-chair of Career Day at the Novi Middle School. She has two young children, 8 and 13. Ms. Shah is part of the Economic Development Board, however, the board is not active and there had been no meetings held.
Ms. Shah noted she applied for the Library Board because of her interest in educating children and providing literary services to children and adults. She had been teaching, in one way or the other, for the last 18 or 19 years. The Library Board is interesting because they make decisions on what to provide the community and how to generate more literary awareness.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked her, as an IT professional, whether she subscribed to the theory that the projected usage of libraries would decrease in the coming years and that is one of the reasons that we shouldnít invest a lot of the communities capital in libraries? Ms. Shah believed that information systems brought a lot of value in enabling the world by doing things quicker and providing more resources. However, she was a reader and her children are readers and nothing substitutes a good book because thatís where you can visualize. Example, children of her friends who are
between 13 and 15 donít want to see the Harry Potter movie because they loved the book. It gave them the ability to visualize all of the scenes and they donít want to take away from that experience.
She didnít think anything could substitute for having a good library as a community service. Children need to learn how to read and to continue to read to build their vocabulary and become good in their communication skills, which is important no matter what career they chose.
Member Landry asked how she saw meeting the library needs of this City at build out; one centralized library or various neighborhood libraries? She found from her experience with the Canton Library system and their expansion and growth that the one library served the needs of the community. She felt that the Canton Public Library was extremely well run and the community sort of gathered there. It brought more community involvement because it is the central library. In Canton she could always find a particular book or tape or know the availability of it at a later date. She thought one big library would probably be the way to go because it served as a coming together ground for people and offered participation in different activities throughout the year. Member Landry said we all like to think that one of the best aspects of Novi is that we are culturally diverse. What role does a library play in a community that has many ethnic people living in it and how did she see the Novi Library meeting those needs? Ms. Shah said Novi is such a diverse community that it doesnít really require any assistance in handling diversity. We offer various activities to various religious and/or communities at different times. The schools are also very diverse and they donít tolerate any segregation of any kind. She didnít think the library needed to worry about diversity. However, if Council wanted to know what could be done to make diversity more of an attraction or focus they could offer books, materials and classes in different languages. The Novi Community Center offers language classes in Spanish and Japanese and Indian cooking classes. These are things that are bringing the community together trying to handle the diversity. She stated she is Indian by birth and lived in India for 21 years but is a U.S. citizen and considers herself both. She doesnít focus on how different she is from other people because it is very apparent in her lifestyle, her accent, etc. and she didnít think people wanted to go to the library for that because those needs are served outside. The libraryís function is to provide educational/fiction reading and other resources and she thought that purpose was served very well.
Member Lorenzo asked if she had any thoughts on why the library ballot proposal failed in November? Ms. Shah did not but personally thought that the community wanted to use resources and wanted to have good libraries, parks and recreations or whatever. Sometimes economic conditions or personal life events motivate people to handle a ballot in one way or another and she felt that was probably the case. If they try again it would probably pass. Novi is an affluent community so she didnít think it was a matter of finances but rather a matter of timing. Member Lorenzo asked what her thoughts were on cable casting the Library Board meetings? Ms. Shah didnít have an opinion on that. Ms. Shah said sheís interested in this committee and would make time when she needed to.
Mayor Clark asked if she was sitting on the Library Board what would she like to see changed or added to the operation of the library? Ms. Shah said in the past she was disappointed that story time for children was offered during the day when working mothers could not be around. She had tried to change that to make it available to working parents and she would try to make things available to people who work during the day. The other thing she liked about some of the other libraries she frequented was the cozy feeling they had and the Novi library doesnít have that.
LuAnne Kozma Ė Parks, Recreation & Forestry
Ms. Kozma noted she would come to the commission with a strong professional and academic background in Parks and Recreation and related fields of museum work and folklore. She has worked with park systems on the City, County, State and National levels in the past. She has been working at Michigan State University Museum and for MSU Extension as a professional folklorist for the past 15 years. Sheís been involved in a variety of things in her work in E. Lansing including festival production, arts grant writing and exhibit work. She showed Council a sample of materials and said a folklorist studies peopleís traditions. She had worked at the National Folk Festival over the past three years where she coordinated the research and presentation of traditional games. She had worked around the State with various communities big and small with occupational groups. One of her major interests is with maritime traditions and she studies occupational maritime groups.
Members Lorenzo and Landry had no questions.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Ms. Kozma, as a part of the Parks and Recreation Commission, what was the greatest accomplishment the Commission had made during her tenure and what was her contribution to it? Ms. Kozma replied her main interest has been in North Novi Park, although she liked to look at the entire park system as a whole. The Community Recreation Plan, which needed to be done every five years, was something she saw as a very pressing need that did not get accomplished before she was on. She worked very hard over the last year to re-write that and work with public comments received when three meetings were held. She did a lot of research on that park and put it all together in the Community Recreation Plan, which the Commission shared with Council last June. Also, pressing for the DNRís grant program because she believed they should apply for that program and that the most pressing need in Novi was not to get a few more neighborhood parks that just a few enjoy and not to make the few parks that we have a little prettier but to buy more community parkland. That had been her goal over the last three years and she felt she had made a lot of progress.
Mayor Clark asked what one thing would she change about the operation of the Parks and Recreation program? Ms. Kozma said it would be the pressing need to have more parkland because she felt it could not wait and was a critical need. Everything else could wait but this could not.
Lowell Sprague Ė Planning Commission
Mr. Sprague noted he had two daughters in high school and had another child on the way. He is a CPA with an office in Farmington Hills. He received his certificate in North Carolina and eventually moved to California as the CFO for a health system there. The area was a coastal community, Santa Cruz, a mature community of about 75,000 and planning was a very significant issue there. They had three offices, expanded to nine and built a hospital as well. All of those required a lot of coordination with the Planning Commission. It was a very strict planning community with a lot of environmental issues. He continued his career in health care when he came to Novi until about a year ago. He has run an HMO group, physicians groups, a practice management company and most of his background was in the health care arena.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked him how he saw quality of life right now and what he would like to see it be and how a position on the Planning Commission would help him have an impact on that improvement? Mr. Sprague said when he moved from California he picked Novi to live because of
the community and he felt the quality of life was very good here. He wanted to see that it stayed good and didnít become just another Detroit Metro community. Novi is 75 to 80 percent developed
but it is the last 15 or 20 percent that gets tough and how that gets apportioned would be very important to where Novi lands on a permanent basis as far as where it fit into the Detroit Metro community. He thought it was a nice strategic location from Detroit, Lansing and Ann Arbor. Novi is right in the middle and can command a premiere spot and if we do it right we can stay in that spot. As far as his skills went that was what he had done in his CFO positions where he participated in a strategic level of how to develop and grow a business and he thought he could do it with a City as well.
Member Landry said as Novi moves toward its build out of 80,000 people what can be done from a planning standpoint to ensure that we will be able to afford ourselves? Mr. Sprague said they would have to look at what services the City wanted to provide on a long-term basis to the community. Once that was decided then costs could be estimated and then it was a matter of building a tax base and revenue sources that could support it. The development needed to make sure it provided for the necessary revenues. We canít put it on the backs of the residents and property taxes all the time. There has to be the right mix of commercial development and business to support the type of life style we want in the community. Member Landry asked if the aim of the Planning Commission should be micro or macro with respect to how something would fit into the entire City. He thought the first look had to be how it fit into the City and if it didnít fit was there a trade off that could be made to accommodate it. If there isnít then they would need to stick with the plan. If it does fit in the plan then we have to make sure that the primary issues are dealt with. We should not micro manage and tell them how to do the development but we do need to be sure the necessary criteria is met.
Member Lorenzo asked what he thought were some of the areas around Novi that there could have been some improvement in terms of how plans evolved or came to fruition? He said he lived in Westmont Village and didnít know how the roads were approved in there because they are falling apart after five years. Fountain Walk seemed difficult to him in terms of how you get there and the traffic flow within it and didnít seem to fit with the rest of whatís going on in Novi. Also, the traffic flow in the K-Mart location was confusing. Member Lorenzo wanted to make sure he understood how labor intensive the Planning Commission is. Mr. Sprague said he was aware and it was a part of the attraction because anything that would have meaningful participation at this level would take that kind of time and commitment. He was interested in having meaningful participation. She asked if he would be willing to join a class for planning commissioners? He said he would want to attend such a class.
Mayor Clarkís questions had been answered so he had no questions.
Terry Margolis Ė Library Board
Ms. Margolis commented her background was in training and development and for the last ten years she had been running her own training and consulting firm. She just accepted a position as Associate Director of Professional Development Division at Wayne State University. She has an MBA from the University of Michigan. In terms of volunteer and community organizations she has pretty significant background both on National Board, local fund raising efforts, task forces in the City of Southfield and in Novi. She is also a longtime user and supporter of libraries. She felt libraries
were essential to educational and cultural life in a City and she thought they needed to be at the forefront of that in City services. Ms. Margolis felt libraries needed to reach a greater and greater proportion of people in a City and Novi needed to continue to strive for this. Also to coordinate with
other City services so that there is joint sponsorships of cultural activities in the City. She believed the board as a whole provided strategic over sight, set long-term goals and provided fiscal oversight.
They donít take the place of professional staff. They are not professional librarians and the professional staff needed to figure out the whys and wherefores in getting to the goals in coordination with the board. She thought with the non-profit experience she had as a board member and staff member, trainer for non-profit and fundraisers gave her a unique perspective from all those different areas. She looked forward to serving on the Library Board.
Member Lorenzo asked for her thoughts on why the Library proposal failed last November? Ms. Margolis didnít think it was ever integrated into the community consciousness. Why that particular plan was needed was never fully explained to the community. As a long time supporter of the Library she voted for it but was not convinced it was the plan that would work for the City of Novi. There needed to be a lot more background work done to be sure that it was what made sense for our City; what ongoing needs would be met and how would it coordinate with all the other City services. Member Lorenzo asked what she thought of the Library Board being cablecast? Ms. Margolis said she was in favor of it and thought the more information the better. She thought the more things are done in front of people the more they trust things that are not done in front of them.
Member Landry asked what the role of the Library is in the Internet age? She believed nothing would ever supplant books and it is especially important for children. The other role of the Library in the Internet age is the same as it has always been which is to find some way to filter and lead people in the information age. Just because it is on the Internet doesnít mean it is truth and there is no way to filter the accuracy of what is seen on the Internet. The Library has a great role in doing those things that they do best whether in book form, the Internet, etc. He asked her opinion on developing a central library versus satellite libraries? She leaned toward a central library and felt it had its advantages. Thereís a lot of mobility now and the problem with the branch system was the resources were so spread out. It was difficult to quickly access the material needed and it would get to be very cumbersome. If Novi was the size of Detroit, that would be an issue but for Novi it makes more sense to concentrate the resources. Member Landry asked what aspects of the library would she like to see improved? Ms. Margolis said she would like to see it reach out to a larger proportion of the City. Her impression was that there was a small number of people who use the services a great deal and it has so much to offer to people who donít even consider using it. In order to get the City behind a Library people need to know why it is relative.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if she had the ability to do a survey with all the technical expertise at her command and could ask two questions to a random sampling of Novi regarding what they would look for in a library what questions would she ask? She would ask what services a library should provide and who should they provide them to? Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what her thoughts were regarding how much people were willing to pay for a library and if they were willing to pay for it on an indefinite basis? Ms. Margolis thought people had a view of what the library was and what they would be willing to spend for that would be different from this is what a library could offer and this is why it is relevant to you. If it was relevant they would be willing to do it. It is also something that adds to the community value and the value of our homes. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how much credence she would put on using a national standard that per capita would determine how large our library should be or would she be looking at a combination of standards including information provided by citizen input. Ms. Margolis thought per capita would be a huge mistake as each City is different in what it needs from its library. She thought they had to look at what the City itself needs and wants. She thought per capita would be a bad mistake. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how she saw her
professional development skills adding to the strategic planning the library would be doing very soon? Ms. Margolis said she had a good ability to look at the big picture and take it down to strategic steps.
She felt she would be an asset because of her communication skills in terms of marketing things to the community getting their input but also giving them your rational for what you are asking for.
Mayor Clark asked if she thought there was an appropriate balance between the traditional concept of a library and the information technology aspect? Ms. Margolis thought they were in balance but were lacking in many ways.
Marie Enright Ė Parks, Recreation & Forestry
Ms. Enright said she was born and raised in Rochester New York and went to St. Bonaventure University and graduated with a BBA with a major in accounting and a minor in finance. She worked at Touche Ross, married and had two children and moved to Novi about five years ago. She immediately got her children involved in the Parks and Recreation programs and it was a great way for newcomers to get involved in the community. Her children have been involved in various programs and she had a position as Director of the Novi Youth Baseball League and in 2000 they hosted the first day tournament for the seven and eight year olds. She wanted to become involved in the community.
Member Lorenzo asked what she thought the positive areas were and what areas she thought needed improvement? Ms. Enright said there are tremendous resources available and the Parks and Recreation program is incredible. We have a lot of space but there are areas to improve. For example, she hosted the Novi Jaguar tournament and to listen to the people from out of town and out of state commend the facility at Community Sports Park it was a neat moment to be a Novi resident. However, looking at the fields one would have to admit that some of them need improvement and if some of the parks were improved a little they could be utilized better. She would like to see no waiting lists for kids trying to get into the programs and if improvements were made it would open it up for everyone to get involved. Member Lorenzo asked what her goals would be and what she hoped to accomplish? Ms. Enright said she was in a position to hear what a lot of people were saying and would like to channel that information and create programs that met the current and future expectations of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.
Mr. Landry asked how she saw civic parks and recreation program divisions between sports and arts? She thought they were equally important because both brought out such a sense of responsibility and confidence and a sense of community for all involved. She would like to see senior citizens included in both activities. He asked who she thought was the target market? She thought the majority of it was children but there is also a huge senior citizens community and she wanted to make sure they were captured in all the activities as well. He asked if there was a particular activity or area of recreation she thought the Parks and Recreation program should spend more time addressing? Ms. Enright said when the middle school and high school students donít make school teams is there something through Parks and Rec. for them and what can be done to keep them involved in the community? She would like to see this type of program evolve.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if she thought there were enough summer activities within the Parks and Recreation roster that she could find things for her children to do? She believed there was. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what she would think about other more passive recreational opportunities such as nature and habitat studies, woodlands tours, nature appreciation and how did she think that would fit in with Parks, Recreation and Forestry? Ms. Enright thought it would be very
well received. There is a woodland area behind Novi Woods and the students go back there on a yearly basis and they love it. She thought setting up a group or organization that would do tours or studies would be very well received in this community. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said there had not been a lot of specific cultural and social activities in Novi, there have been some that have become traditions, but there are a lot of persons who expressed they would like to see more cultural activities that have a community draw. She asked how she saw those activities with regard to need. Ms. Enright said this community draws from all over the world and there are so many different countries represented in this area and what a neat way to introduce it to other people who are not familiar with it by doing things such as that. At the Novi Woods Fun Fair they would have different rooms set up with each dedicated to a different country. People would wear traditional clothing, food, hobbies, writing, etc. of that country and it was a good way to introduce different people to different cultures and she thought it was something that could definitely be brought to this community. We are such a diverse community we have our resources right here and should tap into them and use them.
Mayor Clarkís questions had been answered.
Lee Mamola Ė Construction Board of Appeals
Mr. Mamola said his history in Novi went back to 1977. He became active in the Novi community in the early eighties and has been involved ever since. He was a Planning Board member and aided in evolving the FaÁade Ordinance, was on the Town Center District Study Committee, Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary Club member since he established his business in Novi in 1986. He is active in serving his profession through various chapters of the Detroit Chapter of American Institute of Architects, Michigan Architectural Foundation and active as an alumnus of the University of Detroit. He said they designed a cultural facility to compliment the other side of Main Street. He never considered this board before but Mr. Morrone suggested he do so. He said something as mundane as building codes really has a lot of activity on relatively new and undefined issues. There have been three national codes and they have come together as one code about a year ago and to complicate that the State decided not to go along with that code and added a few more peculiarities to both the residential and non-residential sides. There are areas of the code now that BOCA does not have a formal opinion on or know how to interpret certain areas and he felt it was important that the position is filled with someone who has a long standing professional history and can bring forward the insights on how someone would go about designing these for particular functions and health, safety and welfare of all users. He saw it as an opportunity to learn more about the new code changes and reverse that learning sequence to friends in the building department, others on the board and perhaps the applicants.
Member Lorenzo had no questions.
Member Landry had no questions.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Mamola, for the sake of those watching, to explain what the Construction Board of Appeals did. Mr. Mamola said the Code has to have some sort of appeals process to it and that comes about through the Construction Board of Appeals. It is a board established by BOCA and the membership is determined in the definition section of BOCA. It is different than the Zoning Board of Appeals where hardship or practical difficulty had to be shown. That canít be done with the Construction Board of Appeals because you have to show equivalency. So if you want to make a building bigger than allowed by code you would have to show some offsetting, more exits, safer building, etc. The board is there to clarify or correct any interpretative
type motions by the City or to maintain the general intent of the code. You canít get a variance from the code as you can a zoning ordinance.
Mayor Clark had no questions.
Georgean Vorwerk Ė Historical Commission, Library Board Ė Contacted staff she was ill and not able to attend.
John Avdoulos Ė Planning Commission
Mr. Avdoulos has been a resident for ten years and married with two children. He had been involved with the American Institute of Architects, Chair of the Public Awareness Committee for the City of Detroit, served on the Church Board and as President of the Parish Council and Travel Soccer Team Manager. Now he felt it was time to participate in the Cityís civic organizations. He felt everyone had a responsibility to serve, participate and share time and talents so the same people were not overtaxed over and over. He thought the City and Planning Commission could benefit from his 20 years of architectural experience as he was well versed in large and small residential, commercial, retail and institutional projects. He had dealt with many planning issues, zoning boards, planning commission boards and understood the in and outs of researching through zoning ordinances to find out if potential clients are in favor with the City Master Plan. It is important that the City maintain its quality of life and keep it growing throughout the years and provide a balance. He felt Novi still required some kind of identity or focal point. Something that when people think of Novi they can picture in their minds what it is rather than the exit off I-96 onto Novi Road to head out to 12 Oaks Mall. Novi is well on its way to where it should be going and he wanted to be a part of keeping it going in a positive direction.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how he thought the City was doing architecturally and how we change or alter our architectural course to improve our standard? Mr. Avdoulos thought on the residential end high quality homes are being provided. Although, he thought most people were looking for the more traditional or transitional home and there was not that large a variety of those, like West Bloomfield there are traditional next to ultra modern. However, that is based on what the people in the area are looking for. He thought commercially and industrially Novi did have some really neat things going on. He liked the Johnson Printing building and the Industrial building that Mr. Mamola did. There is potential along Grand River and Novi Road and we really have to focus on that. Main Street was a good notion but just had not carried forward to develop anything. We have to be careful on our high profile intersections. He was disappointed with the building that Fidelity Investments occupied and felt that would have been a perfect opportunity to create something special. He thought the new Fountain Walk had some interesting things going on and showed a little diversity going beyond the traditional. Providence Hospital is a nice example of whatís happening. Overall he thought they were fine but we donít want to get bottled up and end up with a Telegraph Road that has the same stuff over and over again and no character. She was interested that he believed that the residential housing Novi has was exhibiting a sense of quality. One of the things she was disturbed about was that the same houses seemed to be being built over and over again. He said the style of the house is the same and he thought what they had done was develop a once something works attitude. It is the buyers also and if they demanded something different there would be more diversity. He was not a big fan of the subdivisions and the way they look, as he liked the old neighborhood networks. They tried to do some of that off of Novi Road and Twelve Mile and it looks very nice. She asked what he would think about offering the development community an incentive to build different architectural styles. He thought it would be a positive attribute because it would bring
in a different demographic to the City and be more pleasing to the eye. She felt like houses did have an adverse effect on housing resale if there wasnít a certain mix of architectural style.
Member Landry asked what he thought of the current mix of residential versus commercial, retail and office? Mr. Avdoulos thought that where we have our major retail was in a good location and thought residentially we were pretty set location wise but thought a stronger core of commercial and retail needed to be developed similar to Big Beaver in Troy. Member Landry asked what the Planning Commission could do to make sure that Novi could afford itself in thirty years? He thought they had to look at the commercial and light industrial and see where they would max out on the retail. There had to be enough in our master planning to allow for future growth and not over saturate it right away and look at what activities are going on in the City now, what other cities are doing and then try to forecast what would be required in the future. The Novi Expo Center is a good opportunity where anything that happens there on a weekend just draws people in and if we could take that and build it up to become a secondary venture point away from Detroit because if Detroit is holding something big Novi is only 30 minutes away. To sustain itself for the next 30 years it had to be a well-planned Master Plan with enough steady growth. Member Landry asked where he envisioned opportunities for a focal point? He responded he was under the impression that Grand River and Novi Road was the big intersection and if development could happen along Grand River towards Meadowbrook and then Novi Road toward Ten Mile then you tie in what has been going on with Main Street.
Member Lorenzo asked what he would envision for Grand River east of Main Street? He would envision Grand River as a boulevard. From that area on it would be a nice avenue and a grand entrance into and out of the City. Right now there is not a big welcoming symbol to the City beyond the exit. Something that had a little more formality would suit and benefit the City. She remembered from his last interview that he did not work in Novi and asked if he would continue to do that if he was a Planning Commissioner? He said he was working on projects for the Trinity Health Group doing some hospitals in Pontiac, Ann Arbor and there had been talk of something happening at the Providence Campus. The company he worked for had no reservations about doing work anywhere in the State. He lives in Novi and works in Southfield and in the past year he had curtailed other responsibilities, stepped away from his Presidents role on the church board level and stepped away from Chairman of the Public Awareness Committee so he could make himself available for other opportunities. She asked if he was aware of the time commitment needed for the Planning Commission. He said he was.
Mayor Clark said he had answered all of his questions.
Larry Papp Ė Planning Commission
Mr. Papp has been in Novi for five years and built their first home in the Vistas of Novi and then built a home in the Arden Glen Subdivision. He doesnít like to see the cookie cutter homes such as those in Broadmoor Park. His daughter attends Thornton Creek and his wife is on the Library Board. They really like Novi and want to be a part of it. Heís worked for the Ford Motor Company for 37 years and is a supervisor of their global data center and responsible for three shift operations. It is a worldwide operation and he supports over 750,000 users across the world, 4,000 dealerships and it is the second largest manufacturing data center in North America. He spent ten months in England working on a worldwide engineering releasing system. They asked him to build a command center and did so without any loss of time to the computer system for Ford Motor Company and it turned out to be a $1.2 million project and took 18 months to complete. He also designed a backup command center three miles away in case of an emergency they could be back up and running within ten minutes. He
can run the Ford Command Center from his study at home and monitor what goes on at work at anytime. He is responsible for the Be Deceived Network, which is a business to consumer network, which is at Ford.com websites, Ford credit websites and anything to do with the outside web back to
the Ford Motor Company. The people that run that operation also work for him. He was also responsible for the Disaster Recovery Operation. When he lived in Dearborn he was four years on the Dearborn Police Reserve and also participated in Noviís Lake Police Academy and thought it was an excellent program and he was a soccer coach in Dearborn.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how he saw compliance in the City and how, as a Planning Commissioner, he would be reviewing new ordinances as they come forward and tracking the balance between compliance and implementing new ordinances and how realistic we can be about the combination of those two? Mr. Papp said codes and ordinances were there for a reason and you had to be very careful. They can be changed but they have to be reviewed before they are changed. He has enforced a few of the ordinances himself as far as construction work on Sundays. On Sundays he didnít feel that tractors in a residential area should be moving or backing up with the beep at nine in the morning. He would have to research the ordinances on how to apply them. The City of Novi has a wonderful website to look up ordinances. They should be made to benefit the people doing the building and the people living around there as the buildings going on. We need to respect the people living in this community so that building does not interrupt them in any way. She asked why, when he left the Vistas, he moved again to Novi? He said he liked Novi and the woodlands. She asked how he would rate the quality of live as a resident taking everything into consideration such as traffic, environment, commercial opportunities, transit and where did he think Novi was going with regard to quality of life? Mr. Papp thought there was a good mix right now but too much was being done in the 12 Oaks area where traffic is such a problem. Something needed to be done with Novi Road but he didnít know what. Christmas time is impossible around here. Quality of life is getting better, we are a growing community, thereís a lot of construction going on and we need to serve our community better by giving what the people want. We need to build something that makes people want to live here. People want to live in Northville and Plymouth because of their Main Street and the closeness of homes to downtown.
Member Landry asked what he thought of the current mix and what he wanted to see in the future?
Mr. Papp wanted to see more development in the Grand River/Novi Road area but the traffic had to be dealt with in order to do that. He liked the idea of a boulevard. He thought the mix was quite good but some of the industrial needed to be cleaned up and made more presentable. Member Landry asked what we could do as planners to insure a sufficient tax base to afford ourselves in the future? He said they had to have a mixture of industrial, commercial and residential and residential was far underway.
Member Lorenzo and Mayor Clark had no questions.
Sarah Gray Ė Zoning Board of Appeals
Ms. Gray noted she was currently an alternate on the ZBA and was interested in being a full time member.
Member Lorenzo asked what she found satisfying about this position? Ms. Gray said she liked the investigation of each site, seeing what was going on in surrounding areas, etc. She was very comfortable with this job, liked the challenge, interpretations, being able to have a say and working for
a better Novi. Member Lorenzo asked if the assignment of the City attorney helped the board? Ms. Gray thought it had helped and she appreciated his availability and thought it was necessary.
Member Landry had no questions.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi and Mayor Clark had no questions.
Marcos Garcia Ė Construction Board of Appeals
Mr. Garcia has been a citizen of Novi for three and a half years and wanted to get involved in some of the matters of the City and enjoyed living here and found Novi an outstanding area to be apart of. Most of his background had been in construction but his education had been through the corrections field. He worked for the State of Michigan doing State corrections for 6 Ĺ years. Since moving to Novi he had served several different occupations. He worked in the printing field for a while but had always done construction. Heís done a lot of reconstructions and had applied and received a State Residential Builders License. He went into business for himself on a part time basis and worked as a sub contractor at the Island Lakes development here in Novi. He decided recently to go back into business for himself restoring houses. He owns property in the Irish Hills and would like to sell his farmhouse put more of his assets here in Novi.
Member Lorenzo asked if he was familiar with the BOCA Codes and the reconstituting of them? Mr. Garcia was not familiar with the BOCA Codes and had not done a lot of research with those codes and did not have knowledge of specifics. Most of his construction had been with residential and some commercial work. She asked if he had ever had to go before a Construction Board of Appeals for a variance? He said he had not. His expertise was in framing, demolition and finish carpentry.
Member Landry did not have any questions.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Garcia to tell them about some of the residential restoration that he had done and how restoration differs from other construction activities? Mr. Garcia said he had taken on projects with some historic homes and restored them to the original architectural design to stay within the era that the house was built. Also, he had completely restored homes to current architectural codes and he enjoyed doing woodwork and seeing historic things brought back to their own era. He said that was a hobby as well as a business. He likes architectural designs from the early 1900ís as well as some of the design from the Victorian era. He was fond of the old craftsmanship from that era.
Mayor Clark asked if he was doing finished carpentry at Island Lakes? Mr. Garcia said he was working with a contractor that did a lot of the outside finish work, trim and siding. Most of his work has been in the condominiums and the villas that are going around the lake.
Marianne DiGiusto ĖHousing & Community Development
Ms. DiGiusto explained that she had withdrawn her request to sit on the Planning Commission because she was working on personal and professional goals and thought there would be a conflict at this time but would look forward to applying in the future. She had been in Novi for almost six years and had come from St. Clair Shores and enjoyed the high quality of living and housing in Novi and was impressed with the school system. She has a Bachelors degree in accounting and a Masters degree in taxation from Wayne State University and had been an accountant for 17 years and a tax
accountant for five years. She has worked for the Federal government, for non-profit, private industry and now works for Fanuc Robotics in Rochester Hills in the corporate tax department. She has served as a board member and treasurer of her homeowners association. She had been the treasurer for the Activities Council for the Federal Reserve Bank and the treasurer for the Detroit Robbery Reward program. She now wants to serve in the Novi community.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked how she thought her knowledge of financial matters and Federal experience could lend to administrating this money since the rules are Federal? Ms. DiGiusto said each case had to be looked at individually because if there were too many rules and procedures some needs might be overlooked. There needed to be balance between setting policies as opposed to looking at each individual on a case-by-case basis. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said as the years go by and the numbers of persons who are able to receive funding based on income, needs and limitations the amount of money coming to our City would probably be reduced and that would require more creative ideas of utilizing the funds. She asked what ideas she had to use those funds creatively or how would she approach those usages. Ms. DiGiusto said they needed to look at the various other services offered in the City and determine needs on a case-by-case basis. She
understood they would probably be on the lower end as far as needs go but we still have citizens in the community who need these funds. She thought the biggest thing was communication and reaching out to the community through various means such as web sites or the Internet. Also, informing people who work in the community of the funds that are available and maybe they might come across citizens that need these funds.
Member Landry asked how she thought the committee could better advertise the availability of dollars and get maximum participation from people who are less than willing to step forward and admit that they need these funds? She said one way is the Novi cable station and web site. She felt there was not enough information on the City web site. Some people who need funds might not have a computer. There are different communities in the City she thought might be good candidates and perhaps they could be reached with fliers, etc.
Member Lorenzo and Mayor Clark had no questions.
Charles Kopeika Ė Parks, Recreation & Forestry
Mr. Kopeika stated he was a native of Chicago and a Ford Motor Company employee. He has been with Fordís for 20 years. He has an Industrial Engineering degree from Western Illinois University and when he finished school he went to work for John Deere Tractor Works and relocated to Iowa. He decided to change careers and moved over to marketing and sales and went to Ford Motor Co. This gave him the opportunity to see quite a bit of the United States. He started his career in Nebraska, then to Wisconsin and came to Novi in 1991. He chose Novi because of the school system and a lot of the things the City had to offer. After two years he was transferred again and went to San Francisco California and had a chance to live in Danville California, which is a nice bedroom community in the East Bay. He really got involved with the homeowners association and saw what a small community of 20,000 could do. He left San Francisco and went to Mexico City Mexico for four years on assignment for the Ford Motor Co. When they came back they returned to Novi. They have two children, loves Novi and working for Fordís. He is constantly telling people looking for homes about Novi. His career of travel is over and he plans to be in Novi for a while. He is a big user of the Community Sports Park and had been involved with Parks and Rec as a volunteer soccer coach for two years and a baseball coach last year and now he would like to participate more from a civic standpoint. He thought there was room to grow in the parks and rec area in Novi. Mr. Kopeika stated he had a lot of experience with both bottom line profit and loss responsibility in his activities at Ford. While in marketing sales he actually ran a small unit, which was fully burdened within the company, which meant he had to generate revenue to meet budget, pay bills and generate new product ideas. He thought the program was decent in Novi, the facilities were good but he had seen better and thought things could be improved. He felt Novi could make headway in marketing what they had to offer. There is a lot of word of mouth, we have a great pamphlet and people are
willing to do more in the City. He wondered why there was no community pool. He felt he had a lot to offer the City of Novi and he wanted to give a little because he liked living here.
Member Lorenzo said the private sector could offer a community pool much more effectively and efficiently than a municipality could. She asked him where we could use improvements? Mr. Kopeika said he had used the Community Sports Park the most and didnít think the facilities were world class, parking is an issue and it isnít up to par with competitive Cities.
Member Landry said it wasnít simply a pool that was proposed it was an entire aquatic center, which was defeated at the polls. If it had been just a pool he thought the results might have been different. He asked Mr. Kopeika, as a marketing person, with a City at 50,000 or 80,000 at build out who did he see as the target market to be served by a civic parks and recreation program? Mr. Kopeika said one of the draws to Novi for him was the school system. He thought Novi was known as a bedroom community and he thought there was another sub sector to the community of older retirees, empty nesters and also people that are considered not to have as high an income and he didnít know if those people were reached at all. He saw this beautiful pamphlet of soccer, baseball, trips to Cedar Point but he knew there was a certain sub sector in Novi that we donít have anything for. So the target today is probably correct for the large percentage but we collect taxes from everyone so we ought to have a complete package. Novi is more than just the 35-year-old age group with two children. There is a lot more need than that. Mr. Landry asked if he had any particular goals, desires
or programs that he would like to see implemented or investigated as a recreation to Novi residents that are not being offered now? He said nothing other than his pool idea but he was intrigued by the addition of Forestry to Parks and Recreation as far as beautification of the streets and thought there was room for improvement there also and he did have some ideas on that.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said on his application he stated he was looking for a Parks and Recreation Department that offered a variety of Parks and Recreational facilities and asked him if he had any other examples of Parks and Recreational facilities he would like to see? He said when he filled that out he wasnít aware of the skate park. He said when his kids got to high school if they were not in the high school organized sports there wasnít much to offer them. He didnít know what was available yet in undeveloped land in Novi but he knew there was a lot of discussion about North Park and other things. When he said variety he meant other things such as smaller neighborhood parks where residents could go and relax without having to be organized. He had not seen a lot of these in Novi. If there is available land that the City owns that could be put into more of a park like setting without tennis courts and organized activities, and maybe just park benches and an area to picnic. She said then you are looking for passive recreation as well and he said yes.
Mayor Clark agreed with the discussion and had no further questions.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:45 PM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Mary Ann Cabadas, Executive Secretary
Transcribed by: ______________________
Date approved: June 17, 2002
Butch Wingfield is interested in reappointment to Parks, Recreation & Forestry but out of town.
Mark Sturing is interested in appointment to the Library Board but has a scheduling conflict; he interviewed previously for the Library Board on 12/10/01.