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SPECIAL MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo (Absent/Excused), Nagy* and Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig – City Manager
Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-05-01-014 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda.
Voice Vote on CM-05-01-014 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING
Mayor Csordas stated that the purpose of the meeting was for City Council to set short- and long-term goals that it could focus on in the near and long-term future. He said for the members that had not been there before, just a brief overview: City Manager Helwig asked everyone to set a value to set the tone for the meetings. Mayor Csordas stated that he recommended that Council take a look at the values that were set back in the 2000 session. He read them:
1. State what was on your mind and move on.
2. Respect each other’s comments and recommendations.
3. Listen with an open mind.
4. Be honest and true to ourselves.
5. No bad ideas – true brainstorming.
6. Consensus building: Not win or lose – common goals.
7. Recall the interests of those who enable us to be here – the residents.
Mayor Csordas stated that Council may have something to add, but they seemed like pretty good values. He said it sounded like basic common sense, which always made good sense.
Mr. Helwig stated that the City had done that in two segments before since he had been here in 2000, and the goals were revisited in 2002-2003. He knew particularly with three new Council members, they had been eager to get the ball rolling and have input in terms of short-term and long-term direction for the community.
Mr. Helwig said that Mayor Csordas had already guided the group though the first order of business, which was to establish values to guide their discussion today. He said it was such important work, with the potential of long-enduring strategic benefits for the residents and the community in general that it was helpful when a group worked on something that critical to have values that it could refer to and guide discussion. He said it was the honor system; he was delighted that Council had reaffirmed those values.
Mr. Helwig stated that today was different from Council’s normal time in that room, where Council listened to citizens’ comments, deliberated in a very open fashion the business of the community with a fixed agenda and a lot of tough issues and tough choices to make. He said today if Council could come there with the perspective of "this City would live on for hundreds of years" and we were blessed to be a desirable address for businesses, for schools, for commerce. He said now we have a hospital coming to the community; other schools opening up in the community; had seniors who wished to further invest and live out their years in the community.
Mr. Helwig said none of that was a given forever and ever. He asked how did the City preserve that and how did it ensure services supporting the snow removal and deicing, he said they were not waiting for the Road Commission to serve us today; they had experienced, before the City entered the winter maintenance agreement that Council authorized, where the City went 24 hours before it saw any action in the community on some of Novi’s major roads. He said that was a conscious policy decision that could serve the community long-term.
Mr. Helwig stated that Administration asked Council to focus in a short-term manner, the start of the upcoming fiscal year and then 18 months from there, July 1 and then 18 months from there; and then long-term, anything beyond 18 months; it might be a one-time circumstance or it might be ongoing to ensure that the City was doing such and such forever to come.
Mr. Helwig stated that Council didn’t have to think about the how to: think back about the Sandstone litigation. He said that actually when Council had its first goal setting in the fall of 2000, it had already embarked on; so it wasn’t even mentioned, if you noticed in the goals. He said Council had already embarked on it and communicated with the residents about the goals of settling that with no tax increase, no decrease in services, and so forth.
Mr. Helwig stated that the City didn’t have any idea on how it would achieve that; he said many of them had never even met the opposing plaintiffs. He said it could restrict thinking if all of a sudden you became obsessed with how it would be done, because times would change, circumstances would change, there would be new partners, the State might continue to make decisions and no longer provide the City’s second highest revenue source, state-shared revenue, lots could change. So today he asked what it was that Council would like to see accomplished short-term and long-term for the community, not really deliberating the how-to. He said that was really staff follow-up to bring Council options, suggestions, recommendations once the goal consensus had been reached and sleeves could be rolled up to go after those things.
He said it was almost back to the mindset of what brought Council members that they really wanted to see accomplished in the community, not just in the near term but the long term. He said that some of the cities that suffered today couldn’t think beyond the short-term; they couldn’t focus on the long-term issues, like a second water main crossing at I-96, which had been a goal of this community for more than a decade. He said that someone first thought about the importance of that and of committing to, and it had happened this year finally. He said there were other examples like that.
*Member Nagy arrived at 9:35 a.m.
Mayor Csordas stated for Member Nagy’s benefit, the values; he said they decided to adopt the values that were set at the previous session. Some of the values had already been established; then what Council would do as far as procedure, would be to go around the table and ask each member to state a short- and long-term goal. Member Lorenzo dropped off her short- and long-term goals yesterday, so with every round Mr. Helwig would state Member Lorenzo’s goals.
Mr. Helwig stated that the staff’s role was to listen and to record as accurately as possible what Council had said. He said then they would be posted on the blue wall behind Council; he said that after all were up, they would see if there should be any consolidation or overlap, and then they would go through a consensus process with some dot voting.
1. Submittal of City Council short-term and long-term goals.
Mayor Csordas asked Mayor Pro Tem Landry for a short- and long-term goal.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that his number one short-term goal was to upgrade the City’s information technology system. He thought it would absolutely benefit every aspect of the City. He said that Parks and Recreation could register people for classes on line; one department could talk to another electronically. He believed the last estimate was $875,000, but apparently Council wasn’t going to be concerned about how to, just what the goal was. He really thought that was something Council could no longer shift to the future; he thought they would just have to find the money.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that his long-term goal was sort of a meld between short- and long-term, that was to absolutely implement the plan to annually add public safety officers. He said at the last goal-setting session, the goal was to set the policy; that had been done; in the last budget, the plan was to add four police officers until 2010 and three fire department personnel to achieve the City’s 1.55 per 1,000 in the police and satisfy the NFPA standard of 38 firefighters by 2009. He thought it was great to have the plan; it now needed to be implemented. He thought every year that was something that should be a constant.
Member Nagy stated that her first short-term goal was to make sure that neighborhood road improvement without another road bond was continued. She agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landry’s first short-term goal; she thought it was really important.
Member Nagy’s long-term goal was to accomplish that without increasing any taxes; she would like to see an inventory of all of the City’s equipment: loaders, sweepers, backhoe, Fire Department equipment, and Parks and Recreation equipment, and to upgrade the equipment necessary for the various departments.
Member Nagy stated that the reason she talked about that in the long-term goal was that she realized the City didn’t have the funds to buy a bunch of equipment every year, but if the City implemented a program over five or six years to upgrade the departments’ equipment.
Member Paul’s first long-term goal would be to add a fire department infrastructure to all facilities that the City currently had, which were four, for female employees to have a dressing area.
Member Paul’s short-term goal would be to complete all the sidewalks to all school properties. She wanted the safety of children to be of utmost importance.
Member Gatt stated that his first short-term goal would, in light of the forfeiture funds that Police Department had accomplished, be to build a pistol range adjacent to the Police Department. He said the police officers in the community did not have a place to practice their skills; when he first started 30 years ago, they had to go to Oakland County in Pontiac and then 10-15 years ago they switched to the Farmington range. He said in each case, it took officers out of the City and took them out of service; in any case, it didn’t afford the trainers in the department the opportunity to provide the training that was required of a modern police officer.
Member Gatt stated that long-term goals had something to do with employees; the City had to do something to hold down the costs of employees, both present and future. He stated that his idea long-term was to get away from the defined benefit pension program and move toward a defined contribution program, obviously starting with the non-union employees, then moving toward directing the City’s Human Resources people toward making that a negotiation item. He wanted to make it clear that it had nothing to do with employees presently employed with the City, but for the future; he didn’t think the City could afford to continue to offer a defined benefit pension plan.
Member Capello for a short-term goal he would like to see repair maintenance and improvement of City Hall, the roadways, sidewalks, streetscapes, entrance to City Hall.
Member Capello stated that as a long-term goal to increase the non-residential tax base, possibly through zoning and ordinance amendments.
Mayor Csordas stated that for a short-term goal, he would like to reinstate continuing education for staff and department managers, i.e., annual conventions and seminars.
Mayor Csordas stated that as a long-term goal, he would like to set a timetable for the improvement of Beck Road from Grand River to Eight Mile.
Member Lorenzo’s short-term goal would be no new taxes and to live within the City’s means.
Member Lorenzo’s long-term goal would be to continue to improve the level and delivery of City services to citizens in a cost effective manner.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that another short-term goal, Member Capello had been emphasizing it for a while, would be to investigate the feasibility of the downtown development authority for Novi Grand River, including Main Street; all four quadrants. He believed that Council authorized the City Attorney to advise Council on what that would take, an outline; especially with a new owner of Main Street coming on line. He thought Council should meet with them early on and brainstorm, talk about possibilities, one might be a DDA.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that a long-term goal would be to aggressively pursue a plan for a new library facility. He said the facility was pathetic; it was a 1970’s building. He said the staff and library board worked very hard. He said the City had the Walker grant of $1-million and the challenge grant to raise an additional $-million. He said the City needed to get aggressively involved; it wouldn’t happen if the Council didn’t get involved and pursue a plan.
Member Nagy wanted to implement for a short-term goal, a maintenance program for the Fire Department; of all the departments, it seemed to be lacking in terms of maintenance needs.
Member Nagy wanted to complete improvements for the City parks for a long-term goal.
Member Paul wanted to continue to inform citizens about Neighborhood Services program for a short-term goal. She said that Mr. Helwig and staff had done a good job since he had been with the City, sending letters, etc., to inform residents.
Member Paul wanted to not add any more multiple residential for long-term goals.
Member Gatt stated that one of his short-term goals was to improve the gateway signs at every spot where roads led into the City.
Member Gatt stated that a long-term goal would be to widen Ten Mile Road from Novi Road westward to the City Limits; that was an area that was booming beyond belief and an area of the City that needed road improvements.
Member Capello stated that a short-term goal would be to build a performing arts building with non-tax dollars.
Member Capello stated that for a long-term goal to continue to effectuate the improvements to the City parks.
Mayor Csordas stated a short-term goal would be to develop a plan to control the cost of health benefits and pension liabilities.
Mayor Csordas stated that a long-term goal, which would tie into the short-term goal, would be to reduce the post-retirement unfunded liability. He said that would mean to have the HR department and the City benefit vendors develop a plan.
Member Lorenzo’s short-term goal would be to continue the chip and seal program.
Member Lorenzo’s long-term goal would be to initiate a process to amend the Master Plan in certain areas to reduce overall population and increase tax base with less demand on City services, shifting it from residential to nonresidential.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that Council was getting down to the point where goals overlapped. He had a couple of short term goals, one of those Member Lorenzo had also, with respect to naming rights for the ice arena and some of the Parks and Recreation facilities. He knew the Parks and Recreation Department had been tasked with trying to establish a policy; it was no easy means. He stated that Member Lorenzo indicated that her preference would be for no alcohol, gambling, tobacco; he said that would be included with developing a plan for naming rights.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that another short-term goal was very easy and absolutely cost nothing; his short-term goal would be to embrace the 50’s Festival. He said for some reason the City had a hands-off position with the 50’s Festival; he didn’t know why. He said that Festival brought thousands of people into the community; whether Council liked it or not, people thought the City sponsored it, but it didn’t. He said no City dollars went to the 50’s Festival.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said the committee worked extremely hard; he thought there were so many opportunities to showcase the City at the 50’s Festival. For example, there should be a Parks and Recreation booth at the 50’s Festival; thousands of residents were there with their kids. He said there should be a booth there to register their kids for baseball, soccer, basketball; it would cost nothing, just put a booth up there. Now that the City was getting a new IT system, perhaps Parks and Recreation could have a laptop to register right there.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that when he said embrace the Festival, he asked if the sign ordinance could be relaxed so that merchants could have 50‘s Festival sidewalk sales. He asked why the City couldn’t do things like that. He asked why the City couldn’t relax signs for restaurants to have 50’s Festival week specials for lunch. He thought the City could definitely benefit from that.
Member Nagy agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landry that it was definitely a feasible short-term goal. She stated that some of the short-term goals had actually been accomplished. She said one of her short-term goals would be to take the money from the tree fund and replace ash trees. She thought that affected the value of property for people, so she would like to see the City get really aggressive in removing and replacing.
Member Nagy stated that some of the long-term goals, like reducing density and increasing OST, for her was a short-term goal. She said as a long-term goal, she would still like to see a Farmer’s Market at Fuerst Farm. She thought it would be an ideal location, the City could actually make a profit, and those funds could be utilized to maintain it; she said it might actually get to the point of raising funds so that the Fuerst Farm barn, if it needed improvement, could be improved to utilize it for something, even like a short-term theatre.
Member Paul stated for a short-term goal she would like to have some type of a public hearing to assist Providence as a community to become established; they were currently in a lawsuit and if Council could get a list of signatures during one of its meetings and have it up at our Clerk’s Office so that every person that came into Parks and Recreation and the Clerk’s desk that they would sign the petition so they could have thousands of signatures to say Novi really wanted Providence to be established in this community.
Member Paul said that a long-term goal would be to establish side yard drainage, because that was something that had not been really hit heavily in our community. If you looked around at people’s driveways and roads, the City’s had problems because of the drainage in those areas.
Member Gatt stated that a short-term goal would be to enter into some kind of lease agreement with a major manufacturer that could somehow turn the City’s vehicles over every few years, so no employee would have to drive a car in less than pristine condition. He said some of the City’s undercover cars, unmarked cars, fire department cars and the DPW vehicles needed to be replaced; some even had holes in the floorboards, he’d been told.
Member Gatt stated that another short-term goal would be to enter into some sort of partnership with our neighboring communities’ City Councils and meet on a regular basis to talk about common goals and any differences.
Member Capello stated that he would take long-term goal number eight and expand on it to develop a Grand River Streetscape plan to address lighting from Novi Road westward. He wanted to address that entire Grand River corridor, maybe with an overlay district.
Member Capello stated that as a short-term goal, Council needed to identify the use of the drug forfeiture funds that were coming in and put them to good use that would be with the community for a long period of time, as opposed to spending bits and pieces.
Mayor Csordas stated that a short-term goal would be to develop a strategy for future reductions in state-shared revenue.
Mayor Csordas stated that a long-term goal would be to establish and commit to minimum staffing levels in all departments in order to reduce the need for future reductions in force, which virtually every city in southeastern Michigan was going through right now.
Member Lorenzo’s short-term goal would be to continue to reduce and stabilize cost of retiree and active employee benefits.
Member Lorenzo’s long-term goal would be to continue to implement plan to add equipment and personnel to DPW to improve the level of delivery of service to citizens. (Discussed later to add Member Nagy’s long-term goal of upgrade departments and equipment.)
Member Lorenzo’s short-term goal would be to continue to improve administrative oversight and timely follow up of Council direction.
Member Lorenzo’s short-term goal would be to continue to closely monitor costs and performance of consultants.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that, with the addition of Providence Hospital, it would have a huge effect on the planning in the City; there would be a number of associated businesses that would want to come to the City, which Council wanted, non-residential taxpaying businesses. He stated that a short-term goal would be to take a very critical look at the effect of Providence Hospital on the City’s land use and expected associated businesses, nursing facilities, tertiary medical facilities that would want to locate here. He thought the City should have a plan and not wait for them.
Member Nagy stated that one of her short-term goals was soil erosion control; she wanted better enforcement of soil erosion and sedimentation.
Member Nagy stated that a short-term goal would be to review tax abatement policy; for example, if the City gave a tax abatement for 10 years and the company didn’t fulfill tax abatement commitments, require payment in full.
Mr. Helwig asked if Member Nagy was making that retroactive to the years that they had already received abatement.
Member Nagy answered yes.
Mr. Helwig stated that you didn’t just cancel it but went back; he said that could be done.
Member Nagy stated that with a policy like that Novi could attract more new business, because her concern was for the future with the Headlee Amendment and all the things coming down the road with regard to property tax, she wanted to attract more businesses.
Member Paul stated that for a short-term goal to add computers to all ordinance enforcement vehicles. She stated that other cities had ordinance enforcement officers that never came into the building except once or twice a month; they literally were in the field and were able to communicate by computer. She didn’t want to add personnel, so that would achieve a goal there.
Member Paul stated that a long-term goal would be to improve the inlet and outlet areas at Meadowbrook Lake to provide streamlined stabilization. She said there two residents who lost six feet of their yards because all of the soil was eroding so much; her concern was that the City was doing a short-term fix for $1-million, and she wanted to do the long-term fix so the City wouldn’t have to pay the $1-million again.
Member Gatt stated that a short-term goal would be to have better transportation for seniors in the City; he said the City needed an employee whose duty it was to coordinate transportation.
Member Gatt’s long-term goal was to build a free-standing senior center on City land. He stated that Meadowbrook Commons was not big enough for everyone who wanted to participate; our own Civic Center didn’t offer the amenities that seniors needed and desired.
Member Capello stated that he wanted to incorporate two of the existing long-term goals; one was to identify and develop community character, including physical character.
Member Capello stated that another existing long-term goal was to continue to focus on improved service to Novi citizens.
Mayor Csordas stated that a short-term goal would be to paint the unpainted barn at the Fuerst Farm and reestablish a reuse of the barns.
Mayor Csordas stated that the next short-term goal would be to consider housing the Novi Chamber of Commerce at the Fuerst Farm.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that a short-term goal would be to adopt a policy to have annual meetings with every board and commission in the City.
Member Nagy stated that the Parks Foundation received a certain amount of money; she thought a short-term goal would be for the City to match funds to complete the irrigation at the Sports Park.
Member Nagy’s long-term goal was to the use the $39-million in the water and sewer fund to implement for use in upgrading equipment and system.
Member Paul stated that a short-term goal would be build a Parks and Recreation maintenance facility to house equipment at Community Sports Park. She said that currently the City had a lot of Parks and Recreation equipment stored at the old fire house on Beck and Eleven Mile; it took them an hour to load the equipment on their vehicles and an hour to get it off at Community Sports Park at the end of the day.
Member Paul stated that a second short-term goal would be to have a Mayor and Council action plan that was a grid list for each Council item brought under Mayor and Council Issues that each Council member could follow and identify the status.
Member Gatt stated that his last short-term goal would be to establish a policy that Administration work closely on a routine basis with Novi’s elected officials in Lansing, Senator Cassis and Speaker DeRoche, as well as Congressman McCotter in Washington, D.C.
Member Capello didn’t have any more short- or long-term goals.
Mayor Csordas stated that he had one more short-term goal to add to winter maintenance, Haggerty Road from Eight Mile Road going north.
Mr. Helwig stated that was Road Commission.
Mayor Csordas stated as a short-term goal, then, to consider capturing Act 51 winter maintenance for that portion; the County would take care of the rest of Haggerty Road.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry didn’t have any additional short- or long-term goals.
Member Nagy stated that a short-term goal would be to aggressively search and apply for every grant possible.
Member Paul stated that a short-term goal would be to add the appropriate costs to the building department fees to cover the costs of the finance department handling the financial guarantees.
Member Paul stated that a short-term goal would be to evaluate the cost of sign permits or signage in other communities.
Mayor Csordas stated that concluded that phase of the session; he asked Mr. Helwig if he wanted to make a statement.
Mr. Helwig stated that he wanted Council to start thinking about what was most important; there were so many dots for short-term and so many dots for long-term. He said when Council came back from break, he would read each to make sure there was an understanding and to see if there were any goals that could be consolidated.
Mayor Csordas recessed the meeting at 10:44 a.m.
Mayor Csordas called the meeting back to order at 11:03 a.m.
Member Paul added one more short-term goal to look at the 13-acrre parcel at Walled Lake that was just Master Planned as parkland, to have that truly designated as City park land, what was known as the Landing, and to also put in the Singh Trail as true park land; she said it was now zoned as park land but she thought Novi had to do paperwork with the state.
Mr. Helwig stated that it might be a little tedious but Council was about to put dots up there; there were way more goals than would emerge, both short- and long-term. He said he would walk through them a second time to make sure that what they said was captured, that there was a clear understanding of what Council was voting on and where Council could consolidate to reduce the number, that was possible at that time, too.
1. Upgrade City’s Information Technology
2. Continue with neighborhood road improvements without another road bond
3. Add sidewalks to all school property
4. Firearms range through use of forfeiture funds
5. Repair, maintain City Hall and streetscapes (combine 5+11)
6. Reinstate continuing education for staff and managers, for example, seminars and conferences
7. No new taxes; live within our means
8. Investigate feasibility of Downtown Development Authority for Main Street/Grand River Avenue – All four quadrants
9. Implement maintenance program for Fire Department
10. Continue to inform citizens of our Neighborhood Services programs (+22 LT)
11. Improve entry signs and gateways to Novi (Combined with ST 3)
12. Build City’s own performing arts building, non-tax sources
13. Develop plan to control health benefits and pension liability
14. Continue chip and seal program
15. Plan for naming rights, be it the ice arena and other Parks, Recreation & Forestry areas
16. Embrace the 50’s Festival
17. Use Tree Fund money to replace ash trees
18. Public Hearing to support Providence Hospital
19. Upgrade City fleet of vehicles; explore lease agreement
20. Elected officials meet with neighboring communities
21. Identify uses for drug forfeiture money; comprehensive plan for significant uses
22. Develop strategy to deal with future reduction in state-shared revenue
23. Continue to implement personnel/equipment plan for Department of Pubic Works and Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department (Combine +2 LT)
24. Continue to improve Administrative oversight and timely follow up of Council direction
25. Continue to closely monitor costs and performance of consultants
26. Critical look at impact of Providence Hospital on land use; plan how to deal with businesses that will be attracted
27. Better enforcement of soil erosion and sedimentation control
28. If company does not fulfill tax abatement commitments, require payment in full and also review the abatement policy
29. Add computers to all Code Enforcement vehicles
30. Better transportation for seniors; add a coordinator
31. Paint the unpainted barns at Fuerst Farm and convert to some type of public use
32. Consider housing Novi Chamber at the Fuerst Home
33. City Council adopt a policy for annual meetings with city commissions and boards
34. Complete field irrigation at the Sports Park Complex
35. Build Parks, Recreation & Forestry maintenance building at the Sports Park
36. Have Mayor and Council action plan for follow up of Council issues
37. Have policy that administrative staff work regularly with state and federal elected representatives
38. Consider adding portion of Haggerty Road north of Eight Mile to top of hill to winter maintenance agreement
39. Search and apply for every grant possible
40. Support Finance Department and administration of financial guarantees through Building Department fees
41. Evaluate sign permit costs along with other communities
42. Designate the Landing and the Singh Trail as park land
1. Implement the annual plan to add police and fire personnel
2. No additional taxes – upgrade operating department’s equipment
3. Add Fire Department female facilities
4. Move to defined contribution pension program for new City employees
5. Increase non-residential tax base, for example, through zoning and ordinance amendments
6. Set timetable for Beck Road improvement Eight Mile to Grand River
7. Continue to improve development and delivery of City services in cost effective manner
8. Aggressively a plan for a new library
9. Complete improvements for City parks
10. Do not add any more multiple-family other than allowed by existing zoning
11. Widen Ten Mile Road from Novi Road westward to the City limits (Napier)
12+9. Plan to accomplish improvements to our parks
13. Post-retirement benefits; reduce unfunded liability
14. Process to amend Master Plan; shift from residential to nonresidential to reduce impact on City services
15. Farmers Market at Fuerst Farm
16. Establish side yard drainage improvements
17. Develop streetscape for Grand River Avenue; use of an overlay district
18. Establish and commit to minimum staffing levels in all departments to reduce need for future reductions in force
19. Improve inlet and outlet of Meadowbrook Lake
20. Build freestanding senior center on City land
21. Identify and develop community character, including physical characteristics
22. Continue to focus on improvement – service to Novi citizens
23. Water and Sewer Funds used to enhance our systems and equipment
At 11:23 a.m., Council began placing value dots on short-term goals.
2. Consensus Discussion
Mr. Helwig stated that the task, which would be ratified by formal resolution at a future Council meeting, so there would be an opportunity to revisit Council’s thoughts which it was about to make, so it was called tentative in terms of: 1) It was desirable to have a manageable number of goals so that the Council had a focus and really went after achieving the goals, rather than spreading too thin.
Mayor Csordas asked if five or less would be manageable; was there a number in mind.
Mr. Helwig answered that now they worked from Council’s direction as to where the natural breaks were in terms of votes; Administration had drawn some lines for Council consideration. Mr. Helwig stated that historically in the two times they had done that, had a large number of goals; probably too many, but when you went back and looked, that was life in Novi. He said there were a lot of things to get done, and he was very proud of the fact that they had reported in on completing most of those goals. He said depending upon how challenging the goals were, the amount of resources that were needed, it might take a longer period of time, a longer dedication at the expense of other goals. He said that some cities, maybe the more mature cities that had been around 100 years or so, strived to have fewer goals; they were maybe zeroing in on getting an airport.
Short-Term Goals Vote Results
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he was just looking in the proposed cluster to be dropped; he didn’t have any problem with that.
Member Nagy stated that she wouldn’t mind dropping #20 for a short-term goal, which she assumed would be for a year; the only reason for saying that, was if Council initiated the meeting with the boards and commissions, let’s start with our own first. She said that a lot of communities that she had talked to did not want to get into doing that.
Member Paul asked when Council dropped them, if they would still be listed if they weren’t putting them on the priority list.
Mr. Helwig answered that they would still be listed; it was still valuable, but now as a body, the top priorities were there that Council wished staff to proceed to work on. Mr. Helwig stated that if they believed in priority setting and making difficult choices, today would be successful if Administration had some sense of the overriding direction that Council would like it to take in the next 18 months. The remainder of the goals would not be ignored, but they would not be top priority.
Member Paul and Member Nagy both stated they were fine with that, as long as they weren’t dropping goals.
Member Gatt stated he was fine with that.
Member Capello stated that the lower priority items could be brought up at a Council meeting and discuss them at any time; they needed to do that.
Mr. Helwig stated Administration was meeting with all the departments the first three days next week to go over what it had heard today and to start to incorporate it in the budget process.
Member Capello and Mayor Csordas stated they were fine with it also; there was a consensus.
Mr. Helwig stated that it would come back to Council in the form of a resolution; the goals would be written out and that was when Council would take formal action.
Long-Term Vote Results
Mr. Helwig stated that there were eight long-term goals; Administration’s suggestion was, there was a natural drop-off from 11 to 9, that they be listed under others under long-term. He said you were less likely to achieve long-term when there were more of them; the natural inclination was to focus on the near-term. The list reaffirmed the order that Council arrived at them, but that those would be the top three priority clusters for consideration.
Mayor Csordas, Members Nagy, Paul agreed with that.
Member Capello stated that the only thing he might want to consider moving goal #6 in with the long-term goals. He said it got 9 votes, but Council needed to address that issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he would support that.
Member Nagy stated that she would support that.
Member Paul stated that she understood and Council needed to do it, but she really liked focusing on the five goals under the number two priority; that was why she would not support that.
Member Gatt would support that.
Member Capello stated that #6 was not his, but with the interchange getting done, with Providence Hospital getting done, Council needed to address that.
Mayor Csordas stated that he supported that, too.
Mr. Helwig stated that would be a 4th cluster.
Mayor Csordas stated that the rest were "others".
Mr. Helwig stated that was all and more than was asked of Council today.
Member Nagy stated what was really good was that they were basically all on the same page.
Mayor Csordas thanked everyone for coming out on a tough, snowy day.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 12:05 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Sue Troutman
Date approved: February 7, 2005