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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Pro Tem Capello called the meeting to order at 700 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry-absent excused, Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy-absent excused, Paul
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-06-02-035 Moved by Paul, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as presented.
PURPOSE OF MEETING: To interview candidates for appointment to Boards and Commissions
Mayor Pro Tem Capello advised that each candidate would have the opportunity to take 3 or 4 minutes to tell the board anything relative to their qualifications to sit on the board they are applying for. Each Council member will ask the applicant one question.
7:00 Rolland Heaton Ė Beautification Commission
Mr. Heaton said he has been a member of this committee for the last 3 years. He said the members feel that their Chiefs havenít shown the Beautification Commission much attention. If that could be improved all members would appreciate it. He said he is a 50 year resident and active community volunteer. He was recognized on the Novi Walk of Fame, Co-founder of Novi Youth Association and Novi Goodfellows, etc. Mr. Heaton is also a veteran. He would like to continue to make a better life and better city. Member Paul said she met Mr. Heaton when her son was in third grade and had a very nice experience meeting Mr. Heaton long ago. He has been an active member of the community for many, many years. She was happy that he came forward and thanked him for the many years. Member Paul said Mr. Heaton was one of the people, while in the Navy, who decoded the surrender of the Germans. She asked him what the most important thing the Beautification Commission would be doing in the next 2 years. Mr. Heaton answered that last year they planted trees and bushes in the park on Napier Road, and were responsible for beautifying City Hall in the front and back. Mr. Heaton stated he was instrumental in getting Council to recognize the Novi pioneers. Member Margolis thanked him for all his work for the City. She asked what Council could do for the Commission. Mr. Heaton said to try to provide a little more money to the Commission. Member Gatt thanked Mr. Heaton for his involvement and service. Member Gatt asked who was here first, him or Chief BeGole. Mr. Heaton said Lee BeGole came about six months before he did. Member Mutch asked if Council provided the Beautification Commission with some money, how would he like to see it spent. Mr. Heaton said he would appreciate a little more thought on Council actions. Mayor Pro Tem Capello thanked Mr. Heaton for coming and thought that one of Councilís goals was to give the Beautification Commission more work to do in the upcoming year.
7:10 John Enkemann Ė Construction Board of Appeals
Mr. Enkemann said he was present to be reappointed to the Construction Board of Appeals. He has served three terms already and two of those terms as Chairman. In 2002 he was appointed by Governor Engler to the Board of Architects for the State of Michigan. He said from that appointment he was appointed to the Architectural Registration Exam Writing Committee and has served for five years, and is Chairman of the General Structural portion of the nine part exam for the last three. Mr. Enkemann has 28 years with Albert Kahn, and one of their projects is at Grand River and Beck Road, the Providence Park Project. He is presently the Chief Operating Officer for the Company and enjoys working with the Novi Building Department. He said they enjoy working with the code to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. Member Margolis was going to ask based on his experience, what should Council know in order to help them do their work better. Mr. Enkemann noted the Cityís growth and complicated projects and he thought Council would find that there are far more technical issues to deal with on those kind of projects. He felt a skilled group of people who are familiar with all of that on the side of the City is probably the most important thing to do. The building department canít make a determination of a particular issue because then that can be used as precedent on other subsequent projects. He said he has the opportunity and resources to make sure that his case makes sense. He said it is important to have on both sides of the table. Member Gatt asked what Council could do to assist his Board. Mr. Enkemann stated the mix on the panel gives them a very interesting perspective. He said the mix of appointees and the scrutiny of appointees by Council is very good. He said everyone on the panel contributes very well. Member Mutch asked if there were any issues that come before the Board that Council should be aware of. Mr. Enkemann said not particularly. He said theyíve incorporated a couple of bulletins that are issued with the Building permit to warn contractors of specific issues that are in the ordinance that they overlook and end up before his Board. One in particular is the slope of driveways and theyíve warned builders to make sure of measurements in order to have it correct before they begin backfill. Michigan State Code is very comprehensive and it is just a matter of administrating that and the Building Department does a fine job of that. Member Mutch appreciates that their Board takes a proactive approach as it helps cut down on some of those errors. Member Paul asked about a difficult situation on or off the board and how he handled it. Mr. Enkemann responded there was a variance they were seeking for Providence Park, and one of his staff was going to make the presentation and he had to abstain from participating in that. He said that would probably be the stickiest element if there was some relationship that would be there in the same business that he was in. He stated he was very careful not to have that become a conflict. Mayor Pro Tem Capello stated that after the Council/Planning Commission Joint meeting, it appears that there might be several temporary committees set up to talk about different new faÁade materials, height of buildings, etc. He asked if he was interested in sitting on temporary boards and commissions also, please contact the City Clerk in the next couple of weeks..
7:20 Sheryl Khoury Ė Library Board
Ms. Khoury said she was on the Library Board in Plymouth for ten years. While on that Board, she went to the U of M School of Information and earned her degree. She also helped with building the new Library in Plymouth. She thought the Library here needed help, and found since sitting on the Board for a month and attending the Fundraising and Budget meetings that a new library is needed to serve the community properly.
Member Gatt asked what shape the Library is in now and what shape she thought it would be in five years. Ms. Khoury was amazed at the excellent job they do with the amount of space limitation that they have, and she hoped to see a bigger Library in 5 years to better serve the community. Member Mutch asked what services the Library should provide over the next couple of years. Ms. Khoury said she would like to see an expansion of the existing computer services. We need to make sure we have more computer modules to serve customers. Member Paul asked about a difficult situation in her life and how she handled it. Ms. Khoury said 5 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she handled it was to just keep going, and not let it stop her from getting on the Library Board, raising her two children or taking care of her husband.
Member Margolis said she had heard Ms. Khouryís original interview and knows her qualifications and had no questions. She thanked Ms. Khoury for her interest in serving.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked who she believed was the head person responsible for the fundraising for the new library. Ms. Khoury said it is the man in charge on the head Friends Board, and she didnít get a chance to meet him and his wife because he was out of town during the meeting she attended.
7:30 Palma Fouratt Ė Library Board
Ms. Fouratt stated she has lived in Novi for four years, and in Michigan for seven years. She has over 20 years of financial management experience. She is currently an active parent volunteer at Deerfield Elementary and Novi Middle School. She would like to serve the community, and thought her financial and management background could best be used on the Library Board. She wanted to be a part of building a strong center for the community with activities for all ages, whether it is the present library or a new one. She thought there was consensus that a new library was needed, and she agreed. However, a new library wouldnít solve the problem of programs to assist the entire community. Being on the Library Board, she thought she could help build a new library and enhance some of the programs. She said she didnít have an agenda or platform, but she does have children who do not want to go to the library because there is nothing for them there. She felt the library focused on 5 year olds and younger or senior citizens. She wants to help build a stronger community library. Member Mutch asked what are the services that the Library provides, or could provide that you would like to see emphasized over the next 3 to 5 years. Ms. Fouratt thought the library could offer services for young adults. She thought taking a survey of media teachers at the schools to see what they think students might need would help. We use our teen volunteers for the summer, but donít have anything to give back to them. Member Paul appreciated her quest to serve the pre-teen community. She asked if there was an experience in her life or work that was difficult how did she handle it. Ms. Fouratt said the due diligence she has done, the buying and selling and presenting of different budgets to financial organizations, or board members of large corporations, any one of those circumstances were difficult. However, if you know what you want to present and you back up your details anything can be accomplished. Member Margolis stated the Library Board is really the only board or commission that is actually the governing body for the organization that they are the board of. Other boards and commissions are more of an advisory situation. Member Margolis asked what would she bring to the board that would be of benefit? Ms. Fouratt replied she looked at the board as being a business, and that matched her background in management, time management, budgets, formulating and presentation, is what she would bring looking at the Library Board as a
business. Member Gatt asked how do you answer the critic that says we donít need a bigger library, we have computers, internet, etc. Ms. Fouratt said the library is a resource. The internet doesnítí give you everything you need to know, you need to open the books and experience different authors and different views. Reading is essential to our learning. She wouldnít know about the Ming dynasty without going to the Library. The library has an enormous amount of views, and if we donít enhance that we are going to be living in a very square society when we donít have broad views of what is going on in the world. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he was looking for some who could be a catalyst in fund raising efforts. He asked which person or position, currently, is responsible to be the team leader for the fund raising for the new library? Ms. Fouratt felt it would be the head of the Board. She said like any organization the President is the spear header and even with delegation it should be done by the President.
Mark Sturing Ė Building Authority
Mr. Sturing was reapplying to sit on the Building Authority and he comes from a legal background. That helps to qualify him to sit on this board. Member Paul asked about a difficult situation and how it was handled. Mr. Sturing responded the thing to do when there is one is to sit back and reflect on it for a while. In his capacity, sometimes something such as the buyer or closer not showing up is a problem. Itís best to wait and gather all the facts before responding. Member Margolis noted that Mark quietly puts in thousands of hours in service to Novi. Member Gatt has no questions and he has his complete support. Member Mutch asked what role the Building Authority had in the next 5 years with regard to municipal buildings and lack of revenue sources. Mr. Sturing stated itís a board that waits until they are called when there is a project delivered to them to work on. It might be something that comes their way from City Council to look at it with regard to financing. He didnít seek them out. Member Mutch asked of the projects that have been discussed, what did he see would come forward for the Building Authority. Mr. Sturing stated it could be the Library if Plante & Moran were to suggest it. That is a strong possibility. Mayor Pro Tem Capello thanked him for volunteering.
Jeff Bowdell Ė Construction Board of Appeals
Mr. Bowdell stated he is a building official in Commerce Township and director of building and zoning. He did mostly commercial remodeling which is what the board deals with. He resides in the City and has a thorough knowledge of the code and what the Board does. Sometimes there are tough decisions. Member Mutch asked if there were any issues in the construction field that Council should be proactive about addressing. Mr. Bowdell noted he was on the State construction code at one time. The code is a national document that the State adopts to fit their laws. Itís important to stay in touch with the building department. As an example of Code changes, the Friday before the conference started, he had mail delivered to his home regarding the way to vote on the proposed changes. They didnít include all the information in the updates that theirs was the only product. Some people have told him that there will be sprinklers inside homes in the future. The insurance industry is against that. Most individuals are very well trained and Don Saven does a good job of staying abreast of the Code and changes. He mentioned the Energy Code and that we donít have one right now. Builders say itís overload. Compromise is best. Member Paul asked about how he
would handle a difficult situation. Mr. Bowdell stated he handles it head on. Member Margolis stated she was impressed with his background. Having the diversity of talents was important on this board. Member Gatt stated he answered all his questions and he has his support. Mayor Pro Tem Capello noted it was nice to have someone on the board that sits on the edge of our community.
Moira Robinson, Chairman of Beautification Commission stopped in to do a little advertising for the Commission and would like to fill those seats on the board with some doers. She asked Council if they would like to attend their meeting in March. There is the demonstration rain garden they were asked to facilitate and they would like to show a video and there is a student commissioner that is putting together a 3 D presentation. They meet the second Monday of the month and they will meet at 2:15 in order to accommodate the studentsí schedules.
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
___________________________ Date approved: February 21, 2006
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean