View Agenda for this meeting

REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2005 AT 7:00 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy* and Paul

ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig Ė City Manager

Craig Klaver Ė Chief Operating Officer

Clay Pearson Ė Assistant City Manager

Tom Schultz Ė City Attorney

Benny McCusker Ė Public Works Director

Kathy Smith-Roy Ė Finance Director

Barb McBeth Ė Planning Director

Rob Hayes Ė City Engineer

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Member Paul added under Mayor and Council Issues, Item No. 2, Youths Serving on Boards and Commissions, Item No. 3, Youth Council, and Member Nagy added Item No. 4, 50ís Festival Sock Hop.

CM-05-03-071 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.

Voice Vote on CM-05-03-071 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

*Member Nagy arrived at 7:03 p.m.

PRESENTATIONS Ė None

PUBLIC HEARINGS Ė None

REPORTS:

1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE REPORTS Ė None

2. CITY MANAGER REPORTS Ė None

3. DEPARTMENTAL Ė None

4. ATTORNEY

Mr. Schultz stated that last week his office sent out a letter to Barbara McBeth that he knew went in the Thursday packet regarding the Uptown Park development that was before Council in probably early 2004. He stated that it was the property located near the Twelve Oaks Mall, south of Twelve Mile, west of Meadowbrook; he said they had requested it be put on an agenda to talk further about a development agreement. He stated that Member Lorenzo had expressed some expectation that it would be discussed at the closed session; he stated that it did not go into the closed session because that letter was not confidential. He knew that Member Lorenzo wanted to speak about it; he asked about whether Council wanted that conversation now under Attorney Report about what Councilís options were or whether Council wanted to talk about that in closed session, since it was further discussed in the Attorney Report.

Mayor Csordas stated that Council would talk about it in Executive Session, per Member Lorenzoís request.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Dick Stopinski of 233 Burnstadt stated that he had dropped off packets for Council at the Clerkís office today and also had pictures taken this afternoon. He bordered Lakeshore Park and stated that the reason he was there tonight was that the flooding was getting worse. He stated that he had been fighting that, on and off, since June 29, 2004. Mr. Stopinski stated that around February 15th, it started flooding out in the park into his yard and getting really bad. He stated that he reached Mr. Klaver, and Mr. Klaver had some people looking at it. He stated that the water was 9 inches deep in the "ditch" in the park. He stated that he had a shed there with a tractor and snow blower; it was starting to hold water in it, and his shed was going to float away.

Mr. Stopinski stated that the land to the north of him where the drain was at was totally dry. Heíd been there since 1969, and the park had been full of hills and nowhere like it was now. He said that the City had regraded the park; from that point on, his land flooded out. He said the City then came in and dug a trench behind his house running north toward Lakeshore and South Lake Road; it plugged up this year. He stated that the new drain was higher; the photos showed it. Water would not go up hill. He was looking for some sort of relief.

Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Klaver to contact Mr. Stopinski and report at the next Council meeting.

Mr. Klaver stated that he would be glad to.

Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, stated that he had brought in some of the water that was running into Shawood Lake directly. He had complained about the drainage system when it went in because that drainage system had never gone into Shawood Lake prior to that. He didnít have to tell Council how unacceptable it was to drain directly into the lake. He stated that many wanted to put big fences around that, but he strongly suggested that the City get the environment correct before spending a lot of money making it glamorous.

Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Klaver to tag that onto the other request.

CONSENT AGENDA (Approvals/Removals)

CM-05-03-072 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.

Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-072 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,

Nagy, Paul

Nays: None

CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerkís Office)

A. Approve Minutes of:

1. February 28, 2005 Ė Regular Meeting

B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of March 7, 2005 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.

C. Approval to renew Dispatch Contracts with the City of South Lyon and Lyon Township beginning July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006.

D. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 692

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I

1. Consideration of the request from Novi Family Fun Park for an Arcade License with 40 machines to be located at 45799 Grand River, subject to all final inspections.

CM-05-03-073 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the request from Novi Family Fun Park for an Arcade License with 40 machines to be located at 45799 Grand River, subject to all final inspections.

DISCUSSION

Member Lorenzo had two questions for Jeff Wainwright, applicant. She stated that she just wanted on the record that none of the games had a lot of violence in them and that, as explained, a lot of the games were sports oriented.

Mr. Wainwright answered yes and no. He said that some of the games, like the Fun Hunter where the individual was simulating the hunting environment and shooting/hunting prey, when they shot, the prey fell over dead. He stated that there were games where they had martial arts fighting competition game, but those had no blood; the industry had responded to that very well.

Mr. Wainwright stated that from a point of view of violence, he thought the City could be very comfortable that todayís games were much better; he was quite pleased with the products.

Member Lorenzo stated that the winter hours had been scratched out; she asked what the hours other than summer hours were going to be.

Mr. Wainwright answered that the hours had not been scratched out; it was a line on the form that looked like it was scratched out. He stated that the winter hours would be 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Member Lorenzo stated as long as the hours were not during school hours where the children would be encouraged to skip school.

Mr. Wainwright answered that they would not want to do that.

Mayor Csordas stated that there was approval from the Fire and Police Departments, but the Building Department had not approved it and asked Rick Helwig, City Manager, for input.

Mr. Helwig stated that Administration had asked, if Council approved it, that it be subject to all final inspections. He said the Building Department really couldnít review something that was not completed. He stated that there was no reason to think it would be withheld; there was just nothing to review right now.

Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-073 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,

Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,

Csordas

Nays: None

2. Consideration of Zoning Map Amendment 18.637, the request of K4 Architecture to rezone the subject property located in Section 29 at the southwest corner of Ten Mile and Beck Roads, from R-1 (Single-Family Residential) to OS-1 (Office Service). The subject property is approximately 4.0 acres.

DISCUSSION

Member Nagy stated that when she was on the Planning Commission, the rezoning came before them and at that time they turned it down. She stated that she had seen Planning Review notes and Implementation Meeting notes all discussing the issue and coming to the same conclusion.

CM-05-03-074 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To deny the Zoning Map Amendment 18.637, the request of K4 Architecture to rezone the subject property located in Section 29 at the southwest corner of Ten Mile and Beck Roads, from R-1 (Single-Family Residential) to OS-1 (Office Service). The subject property is approximately 4.0 acres.

DISCUSSION

Member Paul stated that she happened to be on the Planning Commission at the same time that it was brought forward, and one of the things that she had asked the City Assessor to look at was were there homes right on the Beck corridor and that corner that were able to be sold at RA or R-1. She stated that on page 46 of the Planning Commission notes, they had it on record that there were 11 homes right on Beck Road; they sold from $379,000 to $560,000. She stated that they also looked at some other new homes that were right on Ten Mile on the west side, Greenwood Oaks, that were well over the $500,000 range. Therefore, she wanted to make it clear that it was possible to put homes on that corner and stay within the Master Plan and stick with the residential corner there and have it be something that was resale value and something that would be positive for the community.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he would also be in support of the motion; he would like to add that it had been that it was not in conformity with the Master Plan, was inconsistent with the residential nature of Ten Mile Road, was not a transitional area at this time, and traffic would drastically increase. He also noted that the commercial to the northwest was struggling; there appeared to be constant vacancies in that commercial area to the northwest. He stated that he would be supporting the motion for all of those reasons.

Member Capello concurred with the comments of the other Commissioners and stated that there was no need for additional office space; the City had office space vacancies at Ten Mile and Taft, office space vacancies at Ten Mile and Meadowbrook and office space vacancies on Grand River between Beck and Taft, so there was no need to take the residential area and put additional office space in there.

Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-074 Yeas: Capello, Gatt. Lorenzo,

Nagy, Paul, Csordas,

Landry

Nays: None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, stated that three weeks ago, he deposited 22 written complaints at the City regarding zoning. He stated that he had been in court once and it had been postponed; he would be back in the court next week, and he hoped he would have an answer to those 22 complaints or he would postpone the court case again.

Mr. Korte stated that if the City could prove to him that Austin still had to have building permits, he would be happy to take out the building permit; at this point, it was clear and obvious to him that Austin didnít need permits.

Mr. Korte stated that he had been cited for having his trashcans in front of his house; he pointed out that he pushed the issue because his neighbor had been doing that for a year. He stated he didnít have a problem doing what the law required. He stated that he had received a letter and his neighbor still hadnít. He asked how that was equal under the law.

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II

3. Approval of report by Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber for Lannyís Road Sanitary Sewer District Study and proceeding with soliciting proposals from prequalified engineering consultants for design of the recommended alternative.

CM-05-03-075 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve report by Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber for Lannyís Road Sanitary Sewer District Study and proceeding with soliciting proposals from prequalified engineering consultants for design of the recommended alternative.

DISCUSSION

Member Nagy asked Mr. Hayes if he recommended the approval of the upfront costs for the pump station.

Mr. Hayes answered that Administration was asking Council to approve the report and to approve it to go forward to solicit proposals from engineering firms to do the design.

Member Nagy asked if the City was setting up a district or a sub district so that it could possibly generate some more tap fees.

Ms. Smith-Roy, Finance Director, answered that Administration looked at two options because it could not set up a payback district until the pipe was in the ground. One option was to redistrict the entire area and take into account all the different areas and put it as one district, which would be SAD 83 plus this new district, and they looked at just doing this district once it was constructed and found that doing a new district once this was constructed was the better economic situation for the City.

Member Paul stated that when Council had Quail Hollow before it, Singh Development said that they would put in their own pump and would pay for their sewer themselves. In looking at the map, it showed that corridor; she wanted to clarify that the Links of Novi would be developed in approximately a year from now and asked if Novi would recover any of the sewer taps from that area.

Ms. Smith-Roy answered that they would be included in that new payback district.

Member Paul stated that they would be part of that and would benefit from the sewer itself and would pay back into it.

Ms. Smith-Roy stated that there was one small section that might defer south to the Nine Mile sewer, but she didnít want to speak to that specifically because she was not sure of the details. She stated that there was only one small section that might defer south.

Mr. Hayes introduced Sherri Wright of Fishbeck Thompson, the Cityís consultant, to answer questions.

Ms. Wright stated that when the Quail Hollow property was here half went to that area and he gave us the division line of which went into the Lannyís district and which would go into the district to the south.

Member Paul stated that part of Quail Hollow would go into the southern sewer.

Ms. Smith-Roy answered that the majority of Quail Hollow would go into Lannyís sewer.

Member Lorenzo stated that she very much appreciated the study; it was exactly what she was looking for and now had the comfort level to support the project.

Mayor Csordas stated that he wanted to make certain that Council was talking about Alternative A.

Mr. Helwig answered Alternative 1.

Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-075 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,

Paul, Csordas, Landry,

Capello

Nays: None

4. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.193, to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Ordinance 97-18 as amended, for the purpose of adding Section 2523, Unlisted Use Determination to allow the Planning Commission to determine in which, if any, zoning district a unique or unlisted use belongs. FIRST READING

Member Capello stated it was really a rezoning or an extension of the zoning ordinance to allow additional uses; he thought that discretion should lie with the City Council, not with the Planning Commission. He stated that the Planning Commission, as usual, should review the request, make a recommendation and send it to Council, so he stated that he had several text amendments where he would add City Council or replace Planning Commission with City Council.

Member Capello stated that he liked the ordinance and saw the need for the ordinance. Several times in the past he had discussed the uses along Grand River Avenue; there was the Expo Center and a family fun park along Grand River. He stated that he would like to see the ability of having compatible uses to those uses. He stated that the ordinance allowed it for other districts; he stated that he would like to specifically have some language to say that "or any unique use along Grand River Avenue between Novi Road and Beck Road not contemplated by the current ordinance." To expand it a little bit more to give Council the flexibility to look at different uses that wouldnít fit within the zoning districts and classifications along Grand River, even though they might fit in with some other zoning classifications somewhere else in the City but more apt should be placed on Grand River in that particular district.

Member Paul concurred with Member Capello; she believed that Planning Commission should weigh in on the decision and then also bring it back to City Council, but she had a problem with limiting it to one specific area. She would like to make sure that if there was another area that was in need of that ordinance, that Council didnít just fine-tune it to Grand River. She stated that she would like to request that Council leave the street off it and support the other portion of what Member Capello was saying; she would be in support of the ordinance.

Member Capello stated that he didnít say that he wanted to limit it to Grand River; citywide he just wanted to make an additional exception for Grand River Avenue. He stated citywide it would only come into place if there was not a particular zoned district for a particular use. He stated that on Grand River there might be another area that was zoned for particular use but it might be more appropriate on Grand River because of the new types of uses coming along Grand River. He stated that he wasnít trying to limit it; he was trying to expand it.

CM-05-03-076 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.193, to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Ordinance 97-18 as amended, for the purpose of adding Section 2523, Unlisted Use Determination to allow the City Council to determine in which, if any, zoning district a unique or unlisted use belongs. FIRST READING.

DISCUSSION

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he agreed with the comments previously made; he had a question that he would pose to Member Capello so that he fully understood his rationale. He stated that he had no problem looking at Grand River; his question was if he thought it was necessary to include that language; and if so, why Council had to specifically call out Grand River, recognizing that it would apply City-wide.

Member Capello stated that the distinction would be, as he read through the ordinance, in order for the ordinance to apply and give the discretion to allow a use that was not otherwise provided for anywhere in the City. He said what he was talking about on Grand River was the City might have that use somewhere else in the City, but Council might want it on Grand River without having to do a whole rezoning for that particular area. He stated that maybe some of the recreational uses that were provided in a light industrial district, perhaps; he thought the City might have some light industrial along Grand River. As an example, if there wasnít light industrial on Grand River, the City had some recreational uses that were provided in light industrial; according to the ordinance, the City couldnít bring it onto Grand River because it was provided elsewhere in the City.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that to make sure he understood, he stated that Member Capelloís suggestion would in effect make it an overlay district with respect to Grand River.

Member Capello stated that in addition to, as it stood now, yes.

Member Lorenzo stated that she couldnít support the previous speakerís comments; she stated that it was an unlisted use determination section. She stated it was not for uses that were already determined, just not allowed someplace. She thought what Member Capello was saying might be useful in another text amendment or in another way of looking at it in another area. She stated that this in particular was an unlisted use determination; she wouldnít want to garble it up with something that really didnít belong in there. She stated what she would like to ask Member Paul was, if included in approving for the First Reading, that included changing the verbiage to allow for a recommendation from the Planning Commission but that the City Council actually determined the special land use area.

Member Paul answered yes, she accepted that.

Member Lorenzo stated that as long as that was the case, she fully supported the motion.

Member Nagy agreed with the previous speaker; she thought the City already had an overlay district on Grand River. She stated that she didnít want to keep compounding it; she thought there was a way that Grand River was developing as it was, and basically this ordinance arose because of the Doggie Day Care Facility that was before the Planning Commission. She wouldnít want to specifically identify Grand River, either. She stated, just to clarify, she would like to make sure that Council indicated in the verbiage in the motion that it went before the Planning Commission but everything was sent to Council and Council got the ultimate say. She stated that she didnít want to specify Grand River; she almost thought it was prejudicial that Council was seeking out an area of the City and giving it some more special consideration; as she already stated, the City already had that overlay district on Grand River anyway.

Mayor Csordas stated that, as he understood, the intent of the motion was to change the language to have that come back to City Council, but it did not include any language specifying Grand River.

Member Capello stated for the First Reading, no.

Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-076 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,

Csordas, Landry,

Capello, Gatt

Nays: None

CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė None

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

1. Tax Tribunal Ė Member Paul

Member Paul stated that she was contacted by someone in the community who was very concerned because they didnít get to see regular records from the Tax Tribunal of things that were brought forward in that court; they asked if Council received quarterly reports and if they could have it at the Library. Member Paul would also like to have it at City Council. She stated that there were different things that were probably already received through Administration; if that could be forwarded along, that would be appreciated.

2. Kids on Boards and Commissions Ė Member Paul

Member Paul stated that she asked the Council to look at this earlier and Council asked her to do a little bit of research. She stated that in doing that, several things had occurred.

Member Paul stated that she called Farmington Hills, Troy, Royal Oak and Birmingham; all four cities in our area that had the Youth Council and youths serving on boards and commissions. She stated that the reason why she put both as separate items, the Youth Council came up repeatedly when she asked the cities what they had and how they came about having the Youth Council. She stated that she would start talking about the youths serving on boards and commissions and then kind of roll into Item No. 3.

Member Paul stated that she also got the blessings from the Novi Schools; she talked to the School Board and presented it to them. She stated that she had talked to John Streit, the President, who concurred and thought it would be an excellent idea; also Carol Elfring and John Balagna. She also spoke with Dr. Lippe and Principal John Lawrence. Member Paul stated that they were all very excited about it. She also talked to Leonard Rezmierski, Superintendent of Northville, since that was also a school district in our community; she also talked to Walled Lake and South Lyon, so she talked to all four school districts, several of the principals; all of them were very much in favor of it.

CM-05-03-077 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; MOTION CARRIED: To direct Administration to prepare a resolution for a Council policy to include the following criteria: that Novi would have sophomores, juniors or seniors in high school; they would have to be Novi residents; they could serve up to one year on the Library Board, Parks and Recreation Commission, the Beautification Commission, the Historical Commission and HCD, allowing for a reappointment if they were interested; they would have to complete an application with a small essay component of why they would like to serve on this board or commission; the application would go to the City Clerk to distribute to City Council, with scheduled interviews.

DISCUSSION

Member Nagy stated that she thought it could be a really good idea; she thought they did the same thing in Northville. She especially liked the fact that the School Board would approve. She thought Member Paul mentioned that they got credit toward their studies for doing certain civic activities. She stated that she thought Council could get a resolution together, as well as the fact that to start off, Council could limit the committees. She didnít think that was contained in Member Paulís motion, but if Council limited it to maybe Parks and Recreation, which was something that the young people participated in, using the parks, the Library Board, the Historical Commission, and the Beautification Commission, and if Council narrowed it down to those boards, it could see how it worked. She stated that also some of the commissions met once a month, so she didnít mean to impose on Member Paulís motion but she did think that it was a good idea if it were limited to a number of commissions.

Member Paul stated that the boards she was proposing as part of her motion were Library, Parks and Recreation, Beautification, Historical and HCD. She put five different ones down; they didnít meet all that often, approximately once a month and hopefully that would be beneficial.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he had a couple of thoughts; he hadnít had an opportunity to review it because it was just put on their desks tonight. He stated one thought would be to have the committees interview the high school students, letting each committee decide who went, rather than City Council making the decision for everybody. He also suggested that if Council wanted to give the high school students a flavor of what it was like to be on a commission and the commitment, he thought they should serve all year round; he thought that they should serve in the summer. He stated that if they were interested in serving, they should serve; they should be one-year terms.

Member Lorenzo stated that she supported the issue last time it was here; she supported it and appreciated Member Paul doing all the research and bringing it back to Council. She agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landryís idea for a one-year term; she was not sold on whether or not it should be the boards and committees that interviewed. She stated that the only reason was that she would think that the dialog with the City Council would be helpful to the young men and women to get an idea of exactly what it was like to interview before this board, as opposed to the board that they were serving on.

Member Capello stated that the committees were limited and defined, because the broad scope of having youth on every one of the committees and boards would be difficult for the City and difficult for the youth. He stated that one thing Council needed to make sure was the program that they were putting the youths into was something that they could understand and get something out of; it would be unfortunate if they were put in the position and walked away frustrated because they really felt like they had no input or that they just did not understand the processes. He wanted, when it came back from Administration, to have some guidelines so that students were aware of what their participation was and what their role would be. He thought, as that came back to Council, that Council should ask each board and commission if they, in fact, wanted to have a youth on them; he didnít think Council should impose it upon them if they did not want to participate in the youth program.

Member Capello stated that the one board that he questioned was the HCD; he sat on the HCD. He said it was boring; you were pretty much given the information and had three meetings a year; he really didnít see where any youth would get anything out of that particular board or commission.

Member Capello asked if Council was looking at having just one youth or two on each board or commission.

Member Paul stated that in the four cities that she researched, they only had one non-voting member on all four of the boards; what they were really looking at was having the youthsí perspective so it could actually help their decision-making process and they could actually shape what was going on in the boards and commissions. She stated that she would be very agreeable to having more than one member there; it was up to the Council. She stated that at the four cities researched, currently only one person sat. Most of the things had already been forwarded to the Clerk, Maryanne Cornelius, and to Clay Pearson, Assistant City Manager; the resolutions, the ordinances, the applications from all of the four different cities, so it would be easy for Administration to come back to Council in 30 days with the information, since it was all there.

Member Paul stated that it would just be how legal counsel would propose that for our City, but since all of those were done and it had been successful in four other communities, she thought it would be beneficial to probably start with one member and then maybe add a second. She stated that she would also concur that she would like to have the interview process brought back to Council, because Council made the decisions of who went on the boards and commissions. She said she thought it was a great idea if someone wanted to sit in on a meeting, but that was open to the public all the time. She stated that she would like to start with one member and if Council would like to go further and saw a lot of interest, that would be terrific.

Member Capello stated that his only concern was that it was so limited in that in the entire community the City would have four youths that would be able to participate. He stated that in the long run, he would look at having two on each of the committees.

Member Paul stated that after she brought up Item No. 3, it would help him.

Member Gatt thanked Member Paul for her hard work and effort; he looked forward to reading it more. He stated that he was not in favor of it last week, and he was not in favor of it still, only because he thought the youth in the community were inundated with extracurricular activities both in and outside of the school and to dangle that in front of them would be a little bit more than they could handle. Also, he just didnít see the youth coming to the meetings; he didnít see them coming to the City Council meetings; he didnít see them on ZBA and didnít see them on television at the other meetings. He didnít know if the interest was really there, or they would be there during Audience Participation offering their comments. He was afraid he would not be in favor of that, but thanked her.

Mayor Csordas stated that possibly it would be a market-driven type thing anyway; if Council offered it out there and no one came, maybe it would be okay, or it would actually be "it is what it is." He thanked Member Paul for all she had done on it and also appreciated the fact that she had not included all the boards and commissions because he needed to speak frankly that he would not have supported any of the young adults on Planning Commission or ZBA. He was kind of wondering about the Library Board, too, because what he wanted was on those boards that were handling funds, taxpayer dollars, he knew they had a nonvoting capacity there but he wanted to make sure that before anyone got on any of those boards and commissions where they were going to be spending taxpayer dollars, they knew what it was like to pay their taxes; there wouldnít be any young men and women who had done that yet. He stated that there just came a certain maturity when a person started paying taxes; he would never support having young men and women who hadnít had that experience yet working on the very intense Planning Commission/ZBA and maybe the Library Board. He said they would see what the market dictated.

Member Paul stated she wanted to share that there were two interested young men residents in the community; one, the parents of two young boys who were interested had emailed her; and two, she didnít know the young man who sat before Council last week, but a phone call came in from a parent saying that he was there with his dad and was very disappointed and discouraged last week by Councilís conversation. She said he came forward to specifically say that he was interested in serving as one of the youth members; he served on the Steering Committee for the High School as one of the youth members; he was one of the few high school students that was on that Steering Committee and brought a different perspective to everyone. She stated that she would like to hear their input and hear the different components of how they saw things and how they thought things could work.

Mayor Csordas stated that he would like to hold it to one student per board and commission.

Member Nagy stated that she didnít want to preclude the Library Board; she understood the Mayorís comments with regard to taxpayers, but there was someone on ZBA who was still in school when he became a ZBA member, so he was not a complete adult working 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and paying taxes and buying a house. She stated that as a matter of fact in scanning those articles, the young people were able to see how complicated the issues were, including financial issues. She stated that as simple as it appeared, it was a great lesson with regard to spending of taxpayer dollars. She would like to see them on the Library Board; she preferred to see two members with four committees. She thought there was an interest, and she could not agree with the comment that if young people were interested, they would be coming to Council. She stated that you could watch Council meetings out of the luxury of your own home.

Voice Vote on CM-05-03-077 Yeas: Six

Nays: One Ė Member Gatt

3. Youth Council Ė Member Paul

Member Paul stated that when she researched that through all the cities, many of the cities had a youth council; it would be called the Novi Youth Council in this situation, and the number was the one that was in question for her. She stated that some cities had 21 members, some had 13, some had 11, and some had 9. She thought to start with 7 and have eighth graders through twelfth graders, Novi residents to serve with a one-year component.

Member Paul stated that in that component, many of the cities had two-year positions, so there would be a senior member helping the new members come forward. She stated that it was more of a discussion item that Council could talk about through the resolution, but she would like to propose that the City had some youth councils who would serve for two years and some that would serve for one year and to start with the eighth grade so there was the middle school perspective.

Member Paul stated that their component was that they were trying to look at family issues and youth issues and serve the City Council with ideas and concerns that they had. She stated that in other cities they had done fundraising activities; they had put in rain gardens in parks so that it would purify the water; they had done Parks and Recreation activities, so they kind of had a hand in the library and in fundraising and also had a component in Parks and Recreation, but they spread it around and reported back to City Council periodically. She stated that most of them reported twice a year; they would have guest speakers: they had the chief of police, chief of fire and talk about concerns and issues of what they had in their home. She stated that the person who worked with that was either the Assistant City Manager or the Community Relations person, so it varied from city to city but was a very positive experience.

Member Paul stated that some of the cities actually had, for example, two or three members from Troy who went to Farmington Hills and two or three members from Farmington Hills who went to Troy; they would share ideas and compare different things that they had done successfully in the city. She stated that most of those councils had been established from four to seven years, depending on the city, so that was something that came forward when she researched the information; they just seemed to go hand in hand.

Member Paul stated that some of the Youth Council members would actually serve in a different capacity, and then they would move from the Youth Council to the Library Board; then they would go back and sometimes serve another year on their Youth Council. She stated that it just depended on their interests, but it seemed like the youth would have an interest. They were people that were interested in the Library or interested in more research; they werenít your athletes, and there was a nitch of kids that they seemed to really serve. Then they would take the civic community back to their youth and school and give them information of what was happening in the community; they saw that it was a very positive experience embracing their community and had a lot more interaction with the youths. She stated that was why she was bringing that forward.

CM-05-03-078 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; NO VOTE TAKEN: To direct Administration to prepare a resolution for a Council policy to include the following criteria: there would be a Novi Youth Council, grades eight through twelve; they would have to be Novi residents; they could serve for one or a two-year term; they would have to complete an application and there would be an essay component involved; they would have an application to the City Clerk and it would be distributed to City Council, and City Council would have scheduled interviews.

DISCUSSION

Mayor Csordas stated that he would not support that motion because he had an idea; he thought that it was a great idea for the kids to learn what it was all about as far as being on City Council. He stated that he didnít think they should be appointed by City Council; he thought they should have an election. He thought they should run for that. He thought that City Council should announce that there was this opportunity, that there were positions for six City Council people that would represent the Youth Council and one position open for Mayor. He thought they should hold an election. He thought a Youth Council was a great idea, but if Council was going to do it, letís go all the way: let them run their own campaigns; let them run for maybe two years on City Council and one year as Mayor; let them set up their own form of government and City Council could twice a year meet with them; they could always send reports to Council. He stated that he would hope that Council would like the idea of having them experience the whole enchilada.

Member Paul stated that she would consider that. She stated that from age fifth grade up they have school elections; they did have to lobby, make their own buttons, campaign signs, so she would like to have a little more information from him about how he proposed the election. She asked if it would be in schools, because there were four school districts: Walled Lake, South Lyon, Novi and Northville. She knew there were some Northville residents who had contacted her already. She stated that she was just throwing it out there; it was a starting ground. She liked his idea, and maybe in that group they would run for Mayor.

Mayor Csordas stated that rather than at large, which it was currently in the City of Novi, it could be by district; so you would have someone from each school district, all high schoolers. He really wanted to see them go through an election; he really didnít think he could support anything other than an election to see them experience all of that. There could be eight people and maybe the top vote-getter would be the Mayor for the year; it was something that Council would clearly have to work out.

Member Paul stated that she was probably in support of probably having a Mayor voted in out of that group and having it set up in districts. She just thought it would be very difficult to actually have people come forward and do that component; she thought the Novi Youth Council was a great idea and she thought that in that Council, whoever came forward, they ran a campaign of who should be Mayor. She thought Council had a good start; Council could tweak it to however they wanted with the voting, but to start this council, she thought was a really great idea for the youth.

Mayor Csordas stated that it was a good idea to start with, but he wanted to see elections.

Member Lorenzo stated that she thought the Mayorís plan was very ambitious; perhaps too ambitious, that would be her concern. She stated that it was new in the City of Novi; she thought to get their feet wet, maybe serving on the Youth Council, maybe electing a Youth Board president would be a start for a campaign, but she was not sure how many members of the community would be encouraged to come forward if Council said they had to run a campaign. She was concerned that it would be too ambitious to actually be discouraging people from coming forward if Council said a person would have to actually run for an election to even get the position. She thought if Council said they got the positions and then amongst themselves they had to run to become the Youth Board president might be doable. She stated that in doing that, they would all learn what it took to do that. She supported Member Paulís idea, with Mayor Csordasí proviso in there with a Youth Board president election.

Member Nagy stated that the suggestion made by the Mayor was very interesting; the only concern that she would have would be if it was on school time or interfere with school activities or functions. She stated that Member Paul had been exceedingly creative in trying to involve the young people in City government and what it was like. She remembered on Channel 13 that the Electoral Commission that was trying to involve the young people in terms of voting; she thought it carried the whole idea forward about being involved with your government and knowing what was going on.

Member Nagy stated that she liked Mayor Csordasí idea but wanted to start first by getting the Youth Council going, let them elect a president and see how it went from there.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that last week Member Paul brought up the idea of having youth members on committees, which he thought was a good idea. He stated that the thought was to have a youth member experience it, a nonvoting member; he could support that. He stated that tonight for the first time Council was seeing the Youth Council.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he didnít know anything about a Youth Council. He stated that at his place tonight at 6:45 p.m., he saw what was the fruit of a whole lot of work by Member Paul; he commended her for it. He stated that it might be wonderful, but right now he didnít think he had enough information. He stated that he could see himself supporting a well drafted proposal, but without having read it, he didnít know what he was supporting tonight.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that at this point he would like to postpone it or have a chance to review it, because maybe he just didnít understand what the motion was. He asked if the motion was to have the Administration come back to Council with bylaws on a Youth Council that City Council discussed; he stated that it was something that he could certainly see himself supporting, but somehow Council went from having youths on committees to creating a Youth Council in seven days.

Member Lorenzo stated that she would second the postponement.

CM-05-03-079 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone the motion to create a Youth Council.

DISCUSSION

Member Capello stated that he would concur with that, the reason being that as he heard the motion, it did not set forth any goals or any purpose of the Youth Council. He stated all it did was instruct Administration to come back to Council with a resolution to adopt a Youth Council and that individuals would either be on Council for one or two years and that the Youth Council would maybe have 21 people. He stated that he would like to give Member Paul an opportunity to put some more information together for Council and tell them exactly what her understanding was of what role the Youth Council would play with the City.

Member Gatt stated that he would support the Youth Council once the bugs were ironed out; he thought it was a fascinating idea, much more so than having the youths on the Cityís different boards and commissions. To accommodate the Mayorís request for an election, he might just throw out that if Council was indeed partners with the various school boards in our district, perhaps they would agree to elections in their schools.

Member Paul stated that she wanted to concur that the number of people she looked for a discussion on, and she was sharing that she thought the number 7, an odd number would be a good number, and she thought that 9, 11, 13 would be a little bit much. She stated that when she talked to the lady in Farmington Hills, she stated that was just the case, that they had Farmington and Farmington Hills that came together and at one point they had 23 members and dropped it down to 21, so there were a lot of numbers. She thought that 7 was a magic number in this component; if Council wanted to add more or go down to 5 in the future, that would be fine.

Member Paul stated that all of that was supposed to be in the packet this past week; for whatever reason, it didnít make it in the packet but all of the Youth Council and everything was in there, so Council would have a lot of information they could read. She stated that there was even more that she received in the mail today. She stated that the reason why she brought that forward was that the goals and the resolutions and the objectives of this group were all in the articles, and she thought it would be an excellent idea for the youths to serve and give their ideas. She stated that she would support the motion to postpone, since Council hadnít had a chance to indulge themselves in all the information. She stated that Council could look at maybe the mayoral election for the Youth Council or president.

Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-079 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas,

Landry, Capello, Gatt,

Lorenzo

Nays: None

4. 50ís Festival Sock Hop Ė Member Nagy

Member Nagy stated that she and Member Capello attended the 50ís Festival; it was really a good turn out, much better than last year. She stated that it was even more creative than last year because there were a lot of prizes given to children and there was more attendance. She wanted to thank Lori Kapelzcak and everyone involved; it turned out very well. She stated that the kids were absolutely adorable in their 50ís costumes.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Frank Brennan, 23876 Heartwood, Echo Valley, stated that he missed Item No. 2; he understood that Council voted it down. He was there to thank Council.

Paul Sherbeck, Simmons Orchard Subdivision, stated that the question of how low taxes in Novi were was answered in the Chamber; Novi had the second, third or sixth lowest tax rates in Oakland County. However, the elected officials had been answering the wrong question; rather than how low Noviís taxes, it should be how can Novi further lower its taxes. Mr. Sherbeck stated that the recently approved document establishing short-term and long-term goals was a roadmap for increased taxes and spending in the City of Novi. He stated that the burden of that spending would be on the backs of the current and future citizens and would increase in years to come as Novi matured and began to age; witness the older Detroit suburbs that were in a financial mess. In addition to increased spending of taxpayersí money for equipment, police, firefighters, all prudent and arguably necessary, the Mayor and the Council would have the City expand its involvement in areas of human endeavor that government had no business being in. Examples included housing and transportation, entertainment and retail commerce. Mr. Sherbeck stated that single business tax credits, tax increment financing and economic development grants presented a particularly pernicious burden because they gave the illusion of free money. He stated that localities across Michigan were using those and other mirrors to play a game of find the hidden tax increase. He called on the Mayor and the Council to reject the use of the mirrors that benefit only the anointed and the politically connected and instead focus on reducing taxes for all citizens of Novi.

Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, stated that in regard to Twelve Mile and Novi Road, the greater cemetery area, he was at Planning when they gave a negative on the rezoning to Council; he was there when Council turned down the rezoning. Mr. Korte asked if the City could take down the proposed zoning change signs.

Mayor Csordas asked Administration to follow up on that.

Geri Doolin of 23918 Heartwood and she, too, would like to thank Council for maintaining the integrity of the Master Plan and turning down the amendment, 18.637.

Mitchell Ober, 21739 Rathlone Drive, spoke regarding Item 2 on Ten Mile and Beck. He stated that in reading the flyer, he noticed that something he had suggested about a year ago appeared to have happened, that there was an email list server for the agendas for the City Council, where a person could sign up and have an agenda mailed. Mr. Ober thought that was a great idea; he was glad it was implemented. He hadnít heard about it until now; he would encourage everybody to put the word out that it was available because it would help keep the public informed and get more people involved.

Mayor Csordas stated that he did not realize that had happened; he knew that the agenda was on the website, but he did not know there was that.

Clerk Cornelius stated that there had always been the availability of anybody to subscribe to the agendas; she stated that previous to email, people had to pay for a subscription to have them mailed to them. Ms. Cornelius stated that now if anybody contacted the City, they could be added to the list to be emailed.

 

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 8:18 p.m. to go into Executive Session.

 

______________________________ _________________________

Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk

 

______________________________

Transcribed by Sue Troutman

Date approved: March 21, 2005