|View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Capello, Council Members Crawford-absent/excused, Gatt, Margolis-absent/excused, Mutch, Staudt
ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, City Manager
Pamela Antil, Assistant City Manager
Kristen Kolb, City Attorney
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-08-02-027 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Staudt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as presented.
INTERVIEWS FOR BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Ronald Boron – Housing and Community Development
Mr. Boron stated he had been involved with a lot of projects in the City, and the Housing and Community Development was interesting this year because they were able to increase their budget to try to head off any short falls they might have. He said their budget was not like whatever money they received they spent, but was a percentage of the overall they received and they spent it down through a department through the County that handled the actual applications for the needs of the lower income families in Novi. He said they sent letters and started an outreach program with the pastors of Novi, because people usually turn to their churches in times of trouble.
Member Staudt asked what the biggest challenge was during his service to this committee. Mr. Boron said it was balancing the monies that came through HUD, through the County, and that eventually ended up in the City through the Housing Development Program. He said it was a percentile of the overall budget that was used to assist low income families within the City. The percentile was based on the previous year’s usages and if it wasn’t spent, it was lost. Mr. Boron said then every two years it reset itself; so they had to anticipate out when they set the percentages. Last year the overall percentage came in around $90,000, and $60,000 was earmarked for projects such as H.A.V.E.N., transportation for the senior citizens, Meadowbrook Commons busses, and a few others that the group had always set aside funds for. Mr. Boron said the amount they could put aside every year for home improvements capped out at $5,000 per household, and was administered through the County. He said it was their job to wisely put that money away and look forward at how to budget again. He knew people were questioning why they took the money away from the Manager’s position at Meadowbrook Commons. He said they didn’t take the money away from her it was just how the budget was shifted anticipating the economy was going downward and they might be called to help more families in need this year and next year. Mr. Boron said that was why he came up with a proposal to cut that and increase their overall expenditures so they could help the low income families. He said they would get an update tomorrow from Ms. Neumaier to see how that whole program shook out. Mr. Boron thought it was giving back and helping those less fortunate in the City. He noted that to reach those people they had to have better communications, and had already talked with the pastors and were talking about going through the homeowner’s associations through Ms. Uglow.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if Habitat for Humanity had come to HCD yet for assistance with their spring house. Mr. Boron said no. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said they had asked him if there was any funding and he directed them to Mr. Auler as their program started in April and they looked for a little funding from the local community. Mr. Boron said theirs came in at the half year and they usually start getting request for proposals in October or November. He said they usually try to keep it at home and the various local charities such as H.A.V.E.N, and Novi Youth Association, and Meadowbrook Commons were where most of those monies went. He said Habitat for Humanity was a nationwide program. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said this was for a home in Novi, and Mr. Boron suggested they contact Ms. Neumaier.
Member Gatt thanked Mr. Boron for coming forward and continuing to volunteer. He said Mr. Boron did great work and very important work for the City.
Member Mutch asked what he saw as the challenges regarding the work that his committee needed to do, and what was the biggest demand in terms of need. Mr. Boron said they needed better feedback from the community such as a hot line, or through the City Manager’s office. He said they needed to get the word out that there was money available to citizens for roofing, siding, heating, etc. He said some times people don’t want to reach out because they don’t want people to know that they’re in financial distress, and that was why they asked the homeowner’s associations to watch some of the homes in their neighborhoods and pass the information on to Ms. Uglow.
Mayor Landry said Mr. Boron was a model citizen. He said every time he turned around Mr. Boron was volunteering. He was always at City functions, always giving a hand and he told people if they wanted to know what opportunities there were, talk with Mr. Boron. Mayor Landry said the HCD Committee did God’s work, they were available but people often didn’t realize this was available in a place like Novi. He encouraged Mr. Boron’s committee to get creative and come to Council with ways Council could assist them in getting the word out.
Laura Casey – Library Board
Ms. Casey said she was present seeking reappointment to the Library Board. She said as a trustee she had served as the secretary and vice-president, chaired the Communications Committee, was a member of the Human Resources Committee and was also a member of the Executive Search Committee that hired Ms. Farkas.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he had been keeping up with what was going on and thought she was doing a great job.
Member Gatt asked what her next step was in the endeavor of building a new library. Ms. Casey said she was looking forward to opening day. She said once the building was constructed there were other issues they needed to work through. She said they needed to be sure they had the appropriate staffing, as building a new collection for the patron needed both looking at books, music, DVD’s and what was available electronically as well.
Member Mutch asked Ms. Casey why Council should reappoint her to the board knowing there were a limited number of seats. Ms. Casey replied that now that she had one full term under her belt she felt she was a very well informed board member and had the passion and drive. She said she really wanted to stay engaged at much of the same level she had been during this term. She said if reappointed, Council could trust that she would remain as active and as pro library as she had been during the last term.
Member Staudt said he served with Ms. Casey on the Library Bond Committee, and asked what role communications played during the next 24 months with the community as they were moving forward. She thought communications would be critical and it was their responsibility to make sure they were getting the word out to the public about what was going on. She said some of the things they had talked about was putting a blog on the web site so frequent updates could be done as construction occurred. There were also opportunities with the Library Newsletter and they were looking at ways to enhance that, also public forums, newspapers, etc.
Mayor Landry said the Library Board was doing a great job and it was one of the most exciting things happening in the City now.
Robert Cutler – Library Board
Mr. Cutler was present for a second reappointment to the Library Board and had been on the board for four years. He said for four years he had been the Facilities Committee Chairman based on his background in design and construction of new hospitals. He said for the last two years he had been president of the board it had been a little stressful but the board members were very compatible and everyone volunteered for one, two and three committees. Then they went through the Director search successfully and the Bond Proposal. He said they disbanded the Facilities Committee in favor of the extended Bond Authority group, and they were very professional and dedicated to keeping a schedule. He said he would like to continue on the board another three years until the building was done.
Member Gatt asked, looking back over the last several years, was there anything he did or the board had done that he wished they hadn’t done or would do differently today. Mr. Cutler wished they had some kind of a design concept four or five years ago so they could have shown the people what they were thinking about. He said in 2000 they talked about an 80,000 sq. ft. building but had no drawings and people told him without drawings they wouldn’t back a bond proposal.
Member Mutch asked why Council should reappoint him to the board knowing there were a limited number of seats. Mr. Cutler thought he had done a good job over the last four years, and that his background in design and construction of hospitals and staffing them would serve this well. He said all the projects he had ever dealt with were successful and usually within budget and thought that qualified him.
Member Staudt asked what advice he would give the next board president since that position was term limited. Mr. Cutler replied he would say they had a very good board to work with and thought they should be involved as much as possible in coming to the Building Authority meetings. He said he would advise the new president to stay as involved as possible with the facility design and spend a lot of time with the Director to keep her involved as she had always kept him involved as to what was going on.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked what the most difficult job the Library Board had other than getting the building constructed. Mr. Cutler replied from what he could see from the Building Authority meetings it was how to square away the front entrance and having the book drop not interfere with the traffic flow. He thought the staff had first "dibs" on the design because they knew better than anyone else. He said now they were going into the next phase of how they could make changes that the public might want, and they were hoping to have a presentation March 5th by the architect to let the public have input on the design.
Mayor Landry thanked Mr. Cutler for his efforts and for offering to continue his service.
David Ghannam – Zoning Board of Appeals
Mr. Ghannam said he applied to the ZBA because he was an attorney and a real estate broker. He said his experience in years of practice had been in the real estate and commercial fields. He thought this would best fit his qualifications and he had also represented clients before City Council’s and boards for zoning type issues. Mr. Ghannam said he wanted to fulfill his duties as a citizen both in Novi and the State to volunteer his time and show his children what they should be doing.
Member Mutch asked what issues he thought most challenged the Zoning Boards of Appeal. Mr. Ghannam said in general it was always the balance between business and industrial desires and needs as well as residential. He said he was a resident of Novi and wanted to see the best, not only for residents, but also wanted to see business expanded, etc. to try to meet their needs. He said it was always a balance to try to make sure that when looking at issues requested by one, how the rest would be affected and trying to weigh those balances following the law and the rules and regulations, etc.
Member Staudt asked, if appointed to the ZBA, would he agree to continue in his role as the alternate on the Board of Review through this year. He said he would love to see him sit through a year of that because it would help Council and would be a great insight for Mr. Ghannam. Mr. Ghannam said he would have no problem doing that. He said he represented clients in Board of Review situations and had also represented clients in the Michigan Tax Tribunal when something was not resolved at the City level. He said as an alternate he went to one of the meetings that tax assessors and Board of Review members attend, and it refreshed his recollection of all the issues involved and some of the things they went through. He thought listening to the residents was a great experience.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if appointed to the ZBA could he still handle an alternate on the Board of Review at the same time, or would he have to give up one to take the other. Mr. Ghannam said he could handle both, but it would be whatever the Council’s desire would be.
However, he would have no problem serving on the ZBA as well as fulfilling his obligations to the Board of Review.
Member Gatt said as a member of the ZBA he would be faced with his neighbors coming before him asking for something that would be difficult to say no to. He asked how he would handle that. Mr. Ghannam replied he would follow the rules of the ZBA and the City ordinances, and look at the request and analyze it. He said it should be done fairly and over the years, having litigated a number of cases, he had learned to argue both sides and to look at both sides. He said he would have no problems facing those issues and if there was a conflict of interest, he would recuse himself.
Mayor Landry thanked Mr. Ghannam for coming forward. He said what was most important was that it was a fair process and that people thought they received a fair shake when coming before the City. Mayor Landry said it was most important to listen and give them an opportunity to be heard, and give them due process.
Rickie Ibe – Zoning Board of Appeals
Mr. Ibe said he was an attorney and was currently on the ZBA as an alternate member. He thought the best thing to do was to allow due process to take its course, allow the people to present their case, listen to what they said, and then decide what was in the best interest of the City. Mr. Ibe said he was a pro business/pro growth kind of person and felt they also had to balance beautification of the City. He noted there could be situations where the neighborhoods begin to look like a business district. So they had to balance all those things. He felt his colleagues were very cordial, professional and he enjoyed working with them and looked forward to filling the vacant full term position. He said as an alternate member, he didn’t have a vote in power except when someone recused himself or a member was unavailable. He wanted the opportunity to have a voting right so that when he made presentations or listened to people who came before the ZBA, he could have a better way of making his voice heard. He thought the ZBA was one of the most important boards in the City. He said people would come before the ZBA with interests in growing their business, and they had to understand that they might have put in a lot of work in growing their business but sometimes they had to let them know that what they were requesting was not in the general interest of the entire City or the businesses around them.
Member Staudt asked what kind of experience he had outside of government and in his life that would help him assist in making decisions that affect his neighbors and friends. How did those life experiences lead him forward in what he would do on ZBA. Mr. Ibe replied as an attorney and litigator he had litigated commercial and non-commercial cases, and understood that from a litigator point of view he had to take a position that best resolved his client’s interest. However, at the same time as a member of the ZBA, they had to look at it from not just from an attorney’s point of view but also from the perspective of a business person. He said someone that comes before the ZBA sought something that would enhance or grow their business, and when they come before the ZBA they have reasons why they want certain things done. Mr. Ibe said as a litigator he looked at both sides of the issues and could not just look at one side. He thought his total experience in life would help him do the best work he could on the ZBA.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello had no questions.
Member Gatt complimented him on his opening statement because the ZBA didn’t get the credit it deserved. He believed it was the most difficult board in the City because they had to tell their neighbor or business person that regardless of all their work, hope, sweat and dreams, their request was denied. He said Mr. Ibe had his full support.
Member Mutch asked as a member of the ZBA were their certain areas the board would benefit from having more training to address some of the issues.
Mr. Ibe felt, with his short time on the ZBA, it would not be fair for him to come to a conclusion as to whether there were areas of short comings of those who had been there before him. He said right now they were walking closely together, but issues had come up in terms of the by laws of the ZBA that they were dealing with. He commented he was impressed by the way it was handled at the last meeting. He said they decided to have another meeting outside of the regular ZBA meeting in order to address these issues. He said if these issues were taken up in a regular ZBA meeting it might not lead to a positive resolution. He said there had been suggestions they take this to Council, and that Council’s input was very important in deciding this as there were two individuals who didn’t have the same opinion of what should be done. Member Mutch said if he was reappointed, and at any time felt more training was needed for him or the board to let Council know. He said Council encouraged their boards to be as professional and educated as possible.
Mayor Landry thought Mr. Ibe clearly had a grasp of the function of the board and he appreciated his willingness to step forward.
Lee Mamola – Construction Board of Appeals
Mr. Mamola said in a month or so he would be approaching his 26th anniversary of service to the City. His service began in 1982 when he was appointed to the Planning Board. He said he had an architectural practice in Novi for over 20 years, and had ever since been involved in a variety of different ways in the City. He served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, Novi Rotary Club and served on committees in between. Mr. Mamola said he was now the Director of Architecture at Hamilton Anderson in Detroit, and was currently involved intimately with probably the largest construction design project outside of the Middle East, and other odd things in between. He said he had taken the lessons learned with his association with the Building Department over the years and applied it to some of these projects.
Member Gatt asked how the economy was affecting the construction industry and as a member of the board, what could be done about it.
Mr. Mamola said they had not been all that active in the past 7 or 8 months, and there were only one or two cases that he could think of. He said their board was dictated by the Building Code and the qualifications of membership were also dictated by the Building Code. He said the Council decided to give the board additional duties with respect to the Design and Construction Standards of the ordinance so they have that over and above compared to other boards and commissions. He said the Building Code allowed for the building official to have certain discretion along the lines of whether something was compliant with the code or not. He said the zoning ordinance did not. He thought there were a few situations in the Design and Construction Standards of the Zoning Ordinance where discretion, with guidelines for that discretion, could be given to certain authorities and that would allow for processes during the construction process to continue without having to wait for a meeting to be gathered to present and hear the case, etc.
Member Mutch said Mr. Mamola had a truly amazing record and had constantly reinvented himself in terms of his ability to contribute to the community. He said his board had a lot of professionals on it and it didn’t lack for experience, knowledge or background. He asked what Mr. Mamola was seeing, in terms of processes, that Council could benefit from and he would appreciate the board sending some of those back to Council or Administration when they meet again. He thought that was valuable input. He asked, regarding the board’s operation and the cases they saw, were there particular areas that he saw coming up over and over again and whether there were ordinance changes that Council should consider or resources that the board would benefit from having. Mr. Mamola said probably the most consistent Design and Construction Standard variance that they saw were the driveway cases. He said the local ordinance requirement was a limitation of 10% slope on driveways. Often what happened was through the construction process there might be an error in staking or someone was off a decimal point and the driveway instead of being 10% was 10.05% slope, and the way it was measured there was some interpretative issues. He said that was an example where he thought the local authority could have some discretion to grant what the board normally tended to acknowledge. He said they had two architects on the board, two other building officials who lived in Novi but were building officials in other communities, and he would like to think that between the four of them they knew the building code reasonably well. He said they were coming into a new code cycle this year and thought a round table discussion among them who know the code and the code reviewers would be helpful. He also felt it would be helpful for those on the board to be given the opportunity to attend a seminar on code updates. Mr. Mamola said it sometimes raises eyebrows at how certain interpretations on plan reviews come through from time to time. He said more often than not the plan reviewer had the accuracy of the code behind them.
Member Staudt had no questions but looked forward to his continued service.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if he said that construction issues under the Zoning Ordinance do not go to the Construction Board of Appeals. Mr. Mamola said no, Construction and Design Standards, parking lot construction or pavement type issues did come before the Construction Board of Appeals if someone couldn’t maintain the proper slope or turning radius, etc. it would come before the Construction Board of Appeals to seek relieve as if they were the ZBA. He said in a building code situation they could not give a true variance from a code requirement but could grant something that was comparable to the code.
Mayor Landry had no questions.
Willy Mena – Library Board
Mr. Mena said he had recently served on the highly successful 2007 Novi School District Bond Committee where he created and developed the technology components for the committee’s web site, which was a major component to the success of that bond election. He also served on the Bond Committee for the Library where he performed a similar function. He noted that during the school year he was devoted to the Novi students, coaches and teachers, and during the fall season he served as a Novi High School Football team statistician and technologist. Mr. Mena stated he spearheaded efforts to bring video streaming to Novi both to the City Council and Novi Schools. He said both of the projects were not only cutting edge applications for both governmental agencies but also enhanced communication between elected boards and community residents. He said he served as a Cub Scout den and pack leader for the past 5 years, and coordinated Pinewood Derby for the past 5 years for both the boys and the Novi Girl Scouts. Mr. Mena said he had been in the technology field and supported a major corporation for 24 years, and his focus had been on client/server development, web site development and account management. He stated he was passionate about many issues in Novi and looked forward to volunteering any way he could.
Member Mutch asked what he would bring to the table as a board member that would set him apart or give Council reason to select him over other candidates. Mr. Mena said he had met and worked with the other two candidates and knew them, and they were very fine candidates. Mr. Mena said he could bring a fresh perspective and thought he would have a skill set that most others didn’t have. He said he had a strong technical skill set. Member Mutch thanked him for pushing the technology envelope with the school district and the City. He said one of the benefits of that was for more of the public to have access to information, meetings and the decision making process of the City. He said those accomplishments alone really speak volumes about the interest he had in the community and the focus he put on community participation.
Member Staudt said he had served on the Library Board Campaign Committee and asked what he learned during that time that would assist him as a member of the Library Board. Mr. Mena replied sometimes when working on a committee things tended to work slow, and they were lucky because they had a great group of people. However, there were times when they had to move things along. He didn’t know if there was anything specific that he learned but he just liked to get things done.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said unfortunately the Library Board was the only position that there were more candidates than positions. He asked if there were other positions open on other committees would he be willing to take something else. Mr. Mena said he would consider other opportunities.
Member Gatt said Mr. Mena was a man who liked to get things done, and his service to the schools was very well known. He thought Mr. Mena’s technology background would be very beneficial to that board.
Mayor Landry said Mr. Mena was involved in the schools a great deal and was involved in the City and thanked him for coming out.
Lynne Paul – Beautification Commission – Not present
Celia Todd – Beautification Commission
Ms. Todd said she was present to apply for a second term on the Beautification Commission. She said they had a group of people from teenagers to 87 and every one of them was very vital. She said through the quarterly meetings with the Beautification Commission of Southeast Michigan, she had the privilege to visit other cities and it was remarkable what was going on in those cities. Some had money to work with and some didn’t and they were just as enthusiastic as if they had a million dollars in their budget. Ms. Todd said they were most proud of their Keep Michigan Beautiful Award for the rain garden, which involved a lot of people and not just the Beautification Commission. She said they made quite a splash when it was their turn to do the quarterly meeting in December. She said people were duly impressed with the building and all the decorations and various florists who had their things on display.
Member Staudt said he had the pleasure of working with Ms. Todd for many years in Village Oaks, she knew how he felt about her and he had no questions.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he was very familiar with Ms. Todd and her dedication to the City and said he had no questions.
Member Gatt said she was a beautiful person doing a beautiful job and fully supported her reappointment.
Member Mutch said even when the Beautification Commission was not fully staffed it did a tremendous amount of work, and he couldn’t think of many City events that he attended where he didn’t see some member of the Beautification Commission, most the time working to educate residents on a wide variety of topics. He said the activities and projects she had done were impressive. He asked what she would like to see the Beautification Committee accomplish over the next year or two. Ms. Todd said she would like to introduce rain barrels. She said it was like going back to the old days and the rain barrel water could be used for watering plants and other areas. She said when they were at the leadership breakfast a lot of people were interested in that because they had a picture of one that was at Tollgate, and they were hoping more people would be interested in them. She commented she would like to see a community garden and would like to see children involved. She said she would also like to see more rain gardens. Ms. Todd said she had also thought about composting to be used for gardening. She said she couldn’t give Council a definite plan yet.
Member Mutch encouraged her to bring the same energy and dedication to this as she had for the past several years.
Mayor Landry said he would like to see entryway signs in the City and hopefully if Council could free some money up, they could put some very nice entryway signs on the major roads coming into Novi. He said he would love to see the Beautification Commission have a role in that but that had to start at the Council table. Ms. Todd said if Council started it they would follow.
Southwestern Oakland County Cable Commission - Caren Collins, Executive Director
Caren Collins was present and acknowledged the Novi members of the SWOCC Board, Sheryl Walsh and their newest member Bob Gatt. She thanked Mayor Landry for his past contributions on the board. She said Council had received their annual audit of SWOCC by Plante Moran, their annual report and the annual budget. She said the annual report could be obtained on their web site at SWOCCstudios.com. She pointed out that on page 13 of the annual report there was a run down of Channel 13’s programming. She said the report was for fiscal year 2006-2007 that ended June 30th 2007, and a lot had happened in the last 6 to 8 months. She said on page 11 it was noted that there were 101 programs produced in that fiscal year but if looking back, it was compared to 90 programs in 2004-2005. She said looking ahead they were looking for more programs, not only from the City of Novi, but also for community access. Channel 13 programs continue to grow in numbers and quality. She said new programming included Corporate Review, Faces and Places, Beyond Books, Firehouse #6 and the Briefing Room. She said descriptions of these programs were on cityofnovi.org. Ms. Collins said all Channel 13 programming was also in demand on the City’s web site, and tonight’s Council meeting was streaming live on the City’s website. She said Novi also took advantage of the newly upgraded production van to tape a number of programs such as the State of the City Address. Ms. Collins said currently the PEG (public education and government TV) channels were not available on AT&T. They had been trying to work out the logistics with AT&T and had met six times. She noted this was happening State wide and throughout the Country. She said Clinton Twp had a test of PEG distribution on the AT&T system now and they were one of the few in the Country. She said if you have AT&T at home they could tune to Channel 99 to see what that test looked like at this point. She said there were additional costs with that and they didn’t have the answers they would like to have from AT&T. They were still having discussions regarding the quality and the difficulty in obtaining the PEG channels. There was a revenue chart on page 9 of the annual report, which addressed only the franchise fee revenue from Brighthouse. Since June 2007, the City of Novi had received over $7,000 in franchise and PEG fees from AT&T, which would be in next years annual report. However, in that same time frame the City had lost approximately $12,000 in Brighthouse revenue and they were looking at what was going on with that. Unfortunately, this new State law did not enable them to receive all the answers they would like including the number of subscribers. She said they had no idea how many subscribers there were in the City of Novi.
Member Gatt acknowledged Caren Collins work. He asked why the difference of $7,000 from AT&T and the City had lost $12,000. She said they didn’t know how that happened. They could assume that Brighthouse had lost subscribers to satellite and AT&T but they didn’t know the exact numbers. She said every time a subscriber of Brighthouse left that company they lost the franchise fee. She said they assumed they were going to AT&T or to dish, which had no franchise fees because they didn’t use the City’s rights of way.
Member Staudt said he loved SWOCC and was also an AT&T customer now and thought AT&T had increased their subscribers, at least in his neighborhood. It seemed as though the penetration was increasing in Village Oaks. He said he would like to see the PEG issue resolved. He had watched the Clinton Township channels and the quality of their signal wasn’t very good but he was intrigued by the fact that he could watch ultimately entire regions of coverage of City governments.
Mayor Landry thanked Ms. Collins for her hard work for Novi and the other SWOCC communities. He said he had served on the committee for two years and when AT&T came in they would ask very simple questions and get no answers. He said so when she said they "didn’t know" it was because AT&T wouldn’t answer the questions. He said it was very frustrating to deal with the new cable legislation and understand what role AT&T was going to take when they wouldn’t answer their questions.
City Manager, Clay Pearson said, regarding Council Chambers, he wanted to reemphasize that one of the budget items Council saw fit to fund, and it was very much appreciated, was an upgrade in the existing Council facility. He said it was where a great deal of the public’s business was done by Council, Planning Commission, ZBA and Library Board, and he thought it was prudent to take care of what they had. He said there was new carpeting, seating, lighting, pictures of board and commission volunteers and the City logo etched on the Chamber doors, which was done by one of the staff members in Public Works. He thanked everyone who was involved.
Mr. Pearson said there would be a joint meeting of the Library Board and the Building Authority on Wednesday, March 5th at 7:00 P.M. in Council Chambers, and the architects would be present to give an update to the community. Mr. Pearson said it would be a public meeting and invited everyone to attend. He commented they would share their work to date and they were three quarters of the way to solidifying the site plan and the interiors. He said they were looking forward to bidding the project in the fall, starting construction over the winter and opening the new library in the fall of 2009. He said the Building Authority had been meeting weekly since November and if there are any questions, the Building Authority had information on their web page and the library had some links and information as well.
Mr. Pearson said Thursday, February 28th in Council Chamber at 6:30 P.M. there would be another installment of the Neighborhood Academy. He said this would be an informational session that was open to the public and was organized by Ms. Uglow of Business and Neighborhood Relations. Mr. Pearson said Mike Csapo from RRRASOC would be present with advice about recycling.
Mr. Pearson commented that tonight was the first time video streaming live on the web was available for the Council meetings and an archive of Council meetings was also available. He said they were also proud to offer live streaming of other boards and commissions. He said this was a follow up of a suggestion that came from Council’s Goal Setting Session, and he was proud of the staff and pleased that in a matter of weeks this could occur.
ATTORNEY - None
Joe Galvin, representing Singh Development, requested Council remove Item I from the consent agenda and return the Master Plan to the Planning Commission to deal with two issues he felt were inconsistencies noted by the Chesapeake Group. He stated that Singh had met with the Chesapeake Group and had participated in the Master Plan studies from the beginning. The plan identified two specific uses for which there was an existing immediate need in the City. The first was active adult housing and the fact that active adults would double in 15 years, and the necessity for various types of uses to provide various sorts of housing for this population segment. The Master Plan, as proposed, didn’t show any land for this use; he stated that their plan showed this use in the southwest quadrant. The Chesapeake Group Study also showed the current need for 96,000 sq. ft. of convenience commercial. Mr. Galvin said they presented a study to Council, which showed the need for 102,000 sq. ft. of convenience commercial in the southwest quadrant. On that basis, they felt there was a clear mistake and hoped the Planning Commission would review it to identify specific parcels in the southwest quadrant to meet the needs the Planning Commission study identified.
Chuck Tindall, 2453 Shawood, stated he wanted to let Council know he would be placing his name on the ballot for the office of State Representative for the 38th District.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS AND APPROVALS (See items A-K)
Mayor Pro Tem Capello stated he didn’t want to pull Item I from the Consent Agenda. He asked if Item C took affect immediately with the ability to file a written appeal for non-residential property. Mr. Lemmon, City Assessor, said they had been accepting letter appeals for a long time. However, they were trying to get in line with what the statute indicated, which was in order for a resident to file a letter of appeal there had to be a City Council resolution and motion that would allow that to be done. He said non-resident taxpayers had always been allowed to file letters of appeal, and it seemed unfair that resident taxpayers could not. This would put them in conformance with the statute and would allow resident taxpayers to file their protests, which was something that had been accepted all along.
CM-08-02-028 Moved by Capello, seconded by Staudt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-08-02-028 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Mutch, Staudt, Landry
Absent: Crawford, Margolis
A Approve Minutes of:
B. Approval to exchange one (1) 1984 Pierce Pumper Truck to Oakland Community College in exchange for an equal amount ($5,000) of training to be provided to the City of Novi Fire Department.
C. Approval to Allow Property Valuation Protest to the Board of Review by Written Petition.
D. Approval of Resolution authorizing participation in the Road Commission for Oakland County's 2008 Tri-Party Program for Road Improvements dedicating Novi's 2008 allotment of Tri-Party funds to the Novi Road Link project between Ten Mile Road and Grand River Avenue.
E. Approval to award an engineering contract for engineering services for the Water Distribution Study and Master Plan project to Stantec Consulting Michigan, Inc. for the not-to-exceed fee of $33,500.
F. Approval to award an engineering contract for design engineering services for the Orchard Hill Place Reconstruction project to Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc., for a not-to-exceed design fee of $35,038.
G. Approval to award bid to Integrated Design Solutions, the lowest qualified bidder, in the amount of $15,800 for Engineering and Design Services for Novi Civic Center Parking Lot and Pedestrian Lighting.
H. Approval to award contract for Architectural/Engineering Services to CDPA Architects for the Critical Needs Project at the Novi Police Department for a not to exceed amount of $46,224.
I. Adoption of a Resolution Authorizing Distribution of Proposed City of Novi Master Plan for Land Use Amendments for distribution to neighboring communities, Oakland County, railroads and public utilities for a 40-day review and comment period.
J. Approval of Traffic Control Oder 08-01 for the installation of a Yield Sign on westbound Copland Lane at Sullivan Lane.
K. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 763
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Approval of Resolution Authorizing $16,000,000 2008 Unlimited Tax General Obligation Library Bonds
CM-08-02-29 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Resolution Authorizing $16,000,000 2008 Unlimited Tax General Obligation Library Bonds.
Member Mutch said he had been asked questions about the numbers that were included for the schedule for the bonds and the interest rate associated with that was the starting number in terms of the evaluation. He said his understanding was that the valuation provided for 2008 was what the City assessors came up with as what the City would be using for budget purposes. He asked if that was accurate.
Mr. Pearson said what they used for budget purposes was a little conservative and would probably come up a little. He said they took the 2007 taxable value and put it in for 2008. Member Mutch said the note included showing no growth expected in the tax base would be for 2008-2009. Mr. Pearson said yes, but he wouldn’t characterize it as expected because it was just the conservative estimate. Member Mutch said from there forward the 2.5% would be used, and Mr. Pearson agreed. Member Mutch commented that as people looked at the numbers they needed to understand that the average millage for these bonds reflected the fact that the economic activity of the State and the City had slowed down. The numbers were not as small as was discussed previously but he thought they were still in the range of a reasonable amount of millage for the size of the bond being proposed.
Roll call vote on CM-08-02-029 Yeas: Gatt, Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Capello
Absent: Crawford, Margolis
2. Resolution of Economic Development Corporation Reorganization and Ad Hoc Committee Creation
Mr. Pearson said Council had asked Administration, as part of the EDC goals, to look at the charge for the EDC and to make recommendations for formulating Ad Hoc committees to perform the bulk of the citizen public participation in EDC work. He said Mr. Topouzian had followed up on that and had a resolution for Council’s consideration. He saw this as a good step to publicly put out what the Council saw as the role of EDC, and for creating some Ad Hoc Committees.
Member Mutch commented the language on page 3, item c, discussed the issue of the I-96 Corridor Study Group. He read the language "this group shall be established at a future date to investigate potential Economic development and redevelopment tools that would assist in enhancing the beautification of the I-96 Corridor from Farmington Hills to Wixom." Member Mutch said that would be great, however, his focus for the I-96 Corridor Study had always been the infrastructure that needed to be done in terms of Twelve Mile Road, finishing up Grand River between Haggerty and Novi Roads, and any other improvements needed in the intersections and interchanges in that area. He said the beautification language didn’t speak to that. He commented he would be satisfied if the language said "assist in upgrading the infrastructure and enhancing the beautification of the I-96 Corridor", making it clear that the purpose of the study group was to focus on infrastructure as well as entryway signage and interchange landscaping. He thought both elements needed to be included and the priority, from his viewpoint, was the infrastructure that would support the businesses that would generate the revenue to do the other things they wanted to do.
CM-08-02-030 Moved by Mutch, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNINAMINOUSLY:
To approve the resolution for establishing an Ad Hoc Economic
Development Business Assistance and Business Recognition Procedures with the additional language on page 3 item c, to add "assist in upgrading the infrastructure and enhancing the beautification of the I-96 Corridor."
Member Staudt said this was an issue that he and Mr. Pearson dealt with about two years ago. He said he liked the addition Member Mutch made and would like to see a little bit more teeth long term. However, he understood that this was really to fund a study, and he understood that beautification and infrastructure led to additional economic development in that corridor. He thought that was their intention early on but didn’t want to have too many teeth taken out of this study group because it was a group, in association with MDOT and other organizations, which could really benefit this corridor. He said he was interested in seeing this done and done prior to December 31, 2008, which was the recommended time period to come back with recommendations from the economic development area. He thought the BAT team had done a great job and the Business Recognition Program was a good area. Member Staudt said he would like to see Council encourage the existing EDC members to look at where they could fit into some of these things, as there were some really dedicated people there. He looked forward to this moving forward and thought they had made the right move with the EDC as an organization to sunset as the bond sunsets.
Mayor Landry echoed the comments of the previous speaker.
Roll call vote on CM-08-02-030 Yeas: Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Absent: Crawford, Margolis
AUDIENCE COMMENT - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II - None
Member Mutch said the Ordinance Review Committee met to discuss the Massage Therapist Licenses and Business License as well as the financial guarantees as Council requested. He said they had made progress on both items and thought both were heading in the direction that Council had asked. He said the financial guarantees would probably see language first, and then the Massage Businesses and Therapists would follow. He commented they would address the concerns that Council expressed as well as concerns that the business owners brought forward.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. City Council attendance interest for Alliance for Innovation Conference scheduled for June 4-6, 2008 in Greenville, South Carolina – Mayor Landry
Mr. Pearson said this was an idea they wanted to offer for consideration. He said they’ve had very productive attendance at this conference in the past. He said he had attended a couple of them and the Parks staff attended one last year. Mr. Pearson said the Alliance for Innovation was successor to the Innovation Group and represented forward thinking local governments, and was very integrated in terms of all City services. He said the program was presented by cities that had something to share and it was very good. Mr. Pearson said he suggested they pull back on another membership that was budgeted for the year because they wouldn’t see as much payback from it. He asked if one or two Council members would be interested in attending this session, which would be held June 4th through the 6th. He said a couple staff members were going, and he thought there was a lot of benefit to seeing things first hand from some of the field visits.
Member Staudt said he might be interested.
Member Mutch said the Council had a line item in the budget for conferences. Mr. Pearson said there was money budgeted and available. He said there was about $3,500 budgeted for the National League of Cities and thought they could trade that off and not need any additional money. Member Mutch asked if the $3,500 was in Council’s category, and Mr. Pearson thought it was. Member Mutch said when Mr. Pearson first presented this he was interested, but the concern he had was some of the budget numbers they saw for the year coming forward, and he was getting nervous about how it would shake out. He said none of these kinds of items were make or break issues but historically Council’s focus was on getting staff to conferences versus sending Council members to conferences. Member Mutch said he was still interested and he would look at it but he couldn’t commit to it right now.
Mayor Landry suggested any Council member who was interested contact Mr. Pearson within the next four weeks.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
AUDIENCE COMMENT - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
________________________________ Date approved: March 3, 2008
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean