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SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, *Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Crawford, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Staudt
ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, City Manager
Pamela Antil, Assistant City Manager
Rob Hayes, City Engineer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-08-01-010 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Staudt; CARRIED
To approve the agenda as presented.
*8:35 Mayor Pro Tem Capello arrived
The purpose of this special meeting is to recap Council brainstormed strategies/goals, discuss any additional strategies/goals of the seven strategic themes, discuss and remove any duplicated or unclear items, rank the broad categories and review the results
1. Ensure public safety services meet the need of the community
(Police, Fire, Emergency Response and Public Works.- following was added:
Additional brainstorming from Council:
a. Explore idea of cadet program for PD – added to police staffing
b. Across all public safety services, perform study of appropriate level of service response and develop plan to meet that level – added to new programs
c. Determine traffic and road improvement needs by study of accident and traffic patterns – added to traffic and road safety
d. Opt in program for reverse 911 for cell phones, faxes.-added to new programs
Also, the item related to renovation of fire station 2 was removed as it’s already in process.
Under the topic of fire and police station - Discussion was held about moving fire station 1 or having it appraised. Also related to Police/Fire building improvements, there was consensus that staff will do that during the budget process. Member Staudt stated he did not want to renovate Station #3.
Police staffing – There is a need for a study first and input from Chief Molloy to explain what is needed and why. Also discussed was the possibility of a cadet or auxiliary program as surrounding communities have such a program and ultimately cadets could fit into the full time staff when there are openings. This would be a younger person aspiring to eventually work full time but no more than 20 hours/week or 1000 hours/yr.
Fire staffing – A study for staffing levels should include the configuration of 3 stations. Some felt it wasn’t good to have the "no additional 24 hour full time firefighters" as a goal. It was an unknown to say the City would never add to staff.
Emergency Preparedness – It would not be necessary to hire a full time civilian emergency management manager as Chief Molloy is responsible for this.
DPW/Delwal location improvements – it was noted an extensive study related to DPW had been done last year. The idea of co-locating the Engineering division with DPW at the Field services complex was already in the study and it’s just a question of when Administration has time to do that.
Traffic and Road safety – maintain current workflow
Public safety training – this is part of normal operations
a. Keep the idea of looking into independent EMS.
b. Removed the new 800 megahertz system.
c. Removed dealing with forfeiture funds
d. Removed new developments have adequate fire/emergency access.
For the strategy of "Across all public safety services, determine through professional study and Council direction, appropriate level of service response and then develop an operational plan to meet the needed level of service", Mr. Pearson explained this would be more about how many people would be needed to perform "x" and then what would follow in terms of bricks/mortar. Discussion was held that the City must determine staffing needs for the next 5-10 years. While there had been a plan, Council hadn’t been able to follow it because of the funding issue.
2. Improve infrastructure – (Roads, Water & Sewer)
Discussion was held regarding major/local roads and proposals to affect them. Major roads are usually County roads. Some felt Beck Road should still be on the radar for setting aside funding and studying the areas. It was suggested to wait for the grant funds to add turn lanes to 10/Beck and see what happens after that improvement. While Beck will eventually need some major improvement, this upcoming year is not the time. Focus would be to work with RCOC and potentially widen 12 Mile from Fountain Walk west to Beck Road. Another idea was that Grand River should be the second highest priority from Grand River to Meadowbrook. A third idea was to undertake with MDOT, RCOC and Wixom a major transportation corridor plan for I-96 from I-275 to Wixom road bounded by 12 Mile on the north and Grand River on the south. Take advantage of major investment and partners like Providence Hospital, Twelve Oaks and Rock Financial to plan road access beautification and widening improvements for traffic safety and economic development. Also important was beautifying rights-of-way on major arterials. Discussion was held regarding the idea of a second water system (aquifer) all due to rising water rates from City of Detroit. Mr. Pearson explained we’re due for an update to our water master plan and the RFP is out now to look at an independent water system. Also alternative sources of water storage will be another component of the water master plan update. Further discussion centered on possible expansion to the Walled Lake/Novi waste water treatment plant.
Bikeways, pathways and sidewalks – now that ITC can contribute the easements as well as the funds they’ve already committed, this should be a priority this year. This will still need staff commitment when the time comes.
Signage – remove the one (Eight Mile/Haggerty) associated with Wayne County. General consensus was to move forward with entrance-way signs of which there is $86,000 that is already set aside for this year. Plans are for entrance-way signs, mid-size and then monument style. Discussion was held about the reasoning behind the issue of sponsorship for entrance-way signs where a possible sign could read "City of Novi, home of Providence Hospital". Member Staudt felt that at the very least, signage is critical to identity. Using the Park Foundation as a vehicle would help but they would need additional assistance from city staff. Also mentioned was consistency of street signs as some are on the east side and not on the west side, i.e. (approaching intersections in particular) (this item deleted from goals).
Staffing – It was noted Oakland County is looking at hiring part-time staff to replace retiring full time staff and thought it would be something Novi should look at. Also discussed was the idea of flexible part time staff including using residents. In the rating system, it will be related to full time staff (this entire section was deleted)
Drain system – removed those items related to staff concerns or those that staff can accomplish. Most important was the drain perpetual maintenance interest income to supplement drain revenue funds.
Older/other neighborhoods – last year, $2.5 million in improvements was completed. It was noted we still have money left over form last year and will use it to begin with the roads still needing improvements. The items related to mobile home improvements were removed from the list.
Transportation – discussion was held related to SMART service being restored on 12 Mile and Grand River. Some felt it may be an EDC issue to help with this. There is a need for busing or mass transit in the City of Novi, particularly because of the hospital. ***Council asked for off-week packet information related to this; particularly if the city could get service to specific areas in the City of Novi. Mr. Pearson suggested calling the transportation issue "public transportation".
3. Encourage economic development to maximize City revenue and job growth.
Economic Development Communications – discussion was held related to increasing city’s visibility at Metro airport for signage denoting Novi as a destination community. On-line tools are needed for people to fill out, submit and track applications, permits. It was also noted that communications related to funds being spent on projects should be more visible to the community such as all the neighborhood road improvements.
Specific development/properties – Riverwalk plans would be too costly to pursue. Main Street Triangle Development – office structure and parking deck should begin this year and Administration will oversee this development so this item was removed. Suggestions related to West Oaks and Sheraton Drive were removed. Focus on land use plan north of Grand River, abutting I-96 from Beck Road to Rock Financial to avoid smaller additional retail sites. Also "fill vacant buildings" was deleted along with second sentence of 1.2.2. Focus on marketing and emphasize the Main Street area, Gateway district , Grand River from Taft to Beck Roads, the M-5 corridor, and Fountain Walk area. Monitor enabling legislation for sales tax free zone for convention centers if Cobo Hall receives the same designation. The entire 1.3 EDC was removed as Council has adopted the 2008 Economic Development goals. Staff can be directed to pull together ad hoc groups rather than committees for long term.
Encourage economic development to maximize city revenue and job growth. In relation to credit for or waive fees for expanding/relocating businesses, making it easier for those to do business in the city was important.
Utilize Brownfield development dollars where appropriate. Encouraging economic development was eliminated as it was too general of a goal. Also important was working with any business to develop an employee relocation program.
Staffing and Training – removed.
Shared services and partnerships – becomes "pursue partnership and shared services with businesses, surrounding communities and governmental agencies."
New/Enhanced Services/Programs – eliminated from this category.
4. Develop government structure and staff skills for effective delivery of customer services and communication with community.
City Ordinance, Zoning, Process, etc. Items .9 through .14 were eliminated.
The addition of 1.1.1 to simplify procedures included making subsets 126.96.36.199-188.8.131.52 to provide for administrative discretion in certain areas was changed to 1.2 Simplify procedures. Focus was then under ordinance, zoning, process changes to include reducing regulatory burden on city businesses. The example used was the massage therapist renewal and all the steps needed to review the licenses. It was suggested possibly reducing some of the review steps might reduce the fees.
The parking plan for compact cars was eliminated.
Under Charter Changes – begin the process to review the Charter to make recommendations to take to the voters. ***Council requested in an off week packet, an outline of the steps to take for possible Charter amendments and how much time would it take.
General City Communications – a suggestion was made to investigate live broadcasting Council meetings on the Internet. Explore placing kiosks at city hall, Twelve Oaks mall and Rock Financial for people to see what else is going on in the city- lower priority. Also suggested was to develop a market plan to increase awareness of city services and track progress in resident awareness of services offered across the city.
Eliminated from the list was the Engineering/DPW cable show It was mentioned that it would be a good idea for all departments to produce a cable show related to their department.
Customer service – Any innovation management could use to improve customer service in general would be fine, but the incentive based program was removed. Information desk at Civic Center and at Police department lobby – explore using volunteers/students, etc. Kiosks for self-service e-payments was removed. Some felt that the accountability was still lacking with Building/Community Development.
GIS Technology – eliminated.
Staffing and training – eliminated.
Share services – eliminated.
New/Enhanced programs –eliminated.
Improving citizen volunteer recruitment and training and recognition for boards, commissions, and elections was added under general city communications.
5. Be a community that values natural areas and natural features
Council consensus was to keep this as a broad goal since the national citizen’s survey included residents thoughts on this being important.
Keep 1.1.1 including exploring possibility of acquiring easement.
1.1.2 - investigate incentives for preservation of natural resources, update optional development incentives and review current woodland ordinance. Everything else was eliminated under this heading.
Forestry was moved to Parks & Recreation
Green Policies, Alternative Energy and LEED Standards – removed items10 and 16 as they related to hybrid vehicles.
6. Maintain a fiscally responsible government
Health Care Retirement fund/union negotiations. Settle outstanding COAM contracts – eliminated.
Fund GASB gap – eliminated Also eliminated was 1.1.1 maintaining a tough stance.
Expand flexible spending accounts – eliminated.
Establish a health care committee of employees - eliminated.
Discussion was held about retiree health care COLA. There was a one time payment of $1,000 in 2006 and the retirees plan to request this of Council . Administration needs to know if they need to put those funds in. An item was added to explore the possibility of adding a one time COLA payment for retirees. Periodic payments can be considered.
Educate employees on the importance of benefit cost sharing – eliminated. Mayor Landry noted when discussing the idea of employee health care, he will always be looking to reduce the health care costs and provide quality health care at a reasonable rate. Added was exploring the possibility of a wellness program.
Discussion centered on the Parks and Recreation programs using city facilities and the policy that Council needs to set in relation to this to direct the ways that the City of Novi would recover costs for use of all City facilities. The idea now is that even with a community group, the city at the very least needs to cover costs. So under that heading of being fiscally responsible, business licenses, permit, fees, applications, then Parks and Recreation include fees related to that department. The heading of "Cost Recovery" (for use of city facilities) is now a subset of maintaining a fiscally responsible government. Under cost recovery, users of city facilities, including Parks and Recreation, under Council policy, are charged a standardized fee reflecting actual costs. 1.2.2 was added to license, permit, inspection, application and user fees are to be standardized reflecting actual costs pursuant to a policy adopted by City Council.
Shared services – was made into a new title - "aggressively partner with the school system to use their facilities".
Budget, Finance and Purchasing - changed the word "commit" to "explore" matching funds and remove "dollar for dollar".
Create capital improvements budget was eliminated.
Implement a plan to cut the budget in order to prepare for the coming lower SEV’s was deleted. The fiscal analysis was much more useful than a two year budget plan so 2 year budget plan was eliminated.
Eliminated was 1.4.2 through 1.4.19. Also discussed was the possibility of investigating a policy to allow alcohol use at city facilities. This would include everything from sports to wedding events held at the Civic Center. If necessary, Administration could bring this forward to Council.
Consider placing a dedicated park millage on the ballot was eliminated.
Staffing and training -eliminated
New/enhanced programs - eliminated
7. Enhance park, recreational and cultural services
Fuerst Farm – a new topic was "develop a plan for the Fuerst farm property and begin implementation".
Discussion was held regarding acquiring property to develop a signature park that includes a community recreation center. The range would be 15-20 mills, similar to the Library. Also discussed was that there was no better time to discuss and investigate purchasing land. There are other communities that have a signature park and that brought a lot of business income to the community. Currently, there are other businesses building near there as it becomes a focal point. Charter limitations would exist if the city purchased property and including anything with a banquet facility. Residents might question if spending these funds are the best way to spend the money on "X". Any proposal would have to address those long term needs and also look at existing facilities doing as much as we can to address the current needs such as soccer fields and playground structure. The remainder of the goals could be focused on 1.1 Fuerst Farm and 1.2. explore acquiring property and develop a signature park that includes a community recreation center, Theater/Performing Arts, Senior, Community Center (s) and/or active recreation and natural areas. 1.3 will now become "Explore valuation of the landings property." This might involve exploring the title policy.
Shared Services - discussions with the schools was already taking place along with speaking with other communities so the topic was eliminated.
Recreation Services/Programs – eliminated.
Recreation Communications – eliminated.
Library reference was removed but Mr. Pearson noted that with 4 key staff members on the Building authority, it would take time and energy throughout this year and was something for Council to keep in mind when giving new assignments.
Forestry - eliminated.
One other thing mentioned was to remove the building from Powers Park. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan expires in 2008 and will be updated by September 2008.
There being no further business before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
David B. Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Date approved: February 4, 2008