This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recognizing, Mayor David Kellet a Citizen in the audience who has done his homework .


In the case of David Kellet (City Commissioner (2004-2010) and City of Bloomfield Hills Mayor (2009-2010)  the word former doesn't apply.
A resident of  Kingsley Trail, He is currently President of his homeowner's neighborhood  association, The Whitehall Civic Association and has in the last three months appeared before the current City Commission three times. 

Like any resident of the City he he is granted three minutes to speak his mind before City Commission. The only stipulation is that he can not  speak on an item appearing on that evenings agenda. The portion of the meeting where  residents may speak is called,   Recognition of Citizens in the Audience. 

On two of the occasions  Kellet spoke about a matter that  concerned his sub division. and that is dead head school buses which cut corners by coming down Kingsley Trail.

Deadhead is an interesting  term  and has has many usages. One being  that of fans of the Grateful Dead rock group. Another  is  airline pilots who fly free (Deadhead) en route to another  assignment.Trucks,buses and similar delivery vehicles deadhead  after having delivered a load, before picking up another.

In terms of picking up or dropping school children  there is no reason for a half dozen or more of empty school buses to parade down  Kingsley Trail every morning usually between the hours of 8:58 and 9:16.  Kellet has done his home work and has tracked as many as nine or ten buses per day.

When he first appeared before City Commission at the commission's inaugural meeting  his presentation prompted little  interest.  That did not surprise Kellet who  in so many words said the ball was in his court. He would document everything and he as his fellow neighborhood association associates would start on petitions. Kellet also visited with Bloomfield Hills School superintendent  Jim Glass and officials in the BHS transportation department and learned their of the story.

It was said that  coming down  Kingsley Trail  cut 3.6 miles off their route. When one interested  observer declared that to be preposterous, Kellet  who had measured the route vouched for it's veracity, but indicated that miles saved was not  the issue. 

The  Deadhead school  busses in question came down Eastways which is fairly busy street. Then before  turning on Long Lake which is a County Road with a 4o MPH speed limit, they turn on Kingsley a residential street with a 25 MPH speed limit. 

The busses bring  noise, clatter, and the pungent smell of diesel fuel in the early morning hours. When the issues of safety (presumably for the empty busses) ws mentioned Kellet explained that  the sight lines of turning right onto  Long Lake from Eastways were among the best in the City. Furthermore the light at Long Lake and Kensington wasn green for Long Lake 75% of the time.

Last but not least  the White Hall homeowners association  was comprised of 111 home owners who deserved their peace, quiet and serenity that realtors promote when they sell the City of Bloomfield Hills.Those home owners gladly pay approximately  180,000 dollars annually to Bloomfield Hills Schools which is arguably  one of the best in the county. All the Whitehall Home owners wanted was a little consideration.

 Kellet also asked  City Road consultant  about  Deadhead buses might be adding to the  wear and tear on the City's roads. Keep in mind that Long Lake is a County road repaired by the county.  The Consultant thought the buses  could be equivocated  to so many car trips per day.
Kellet concluded by asking the Commission for resolution of support that he could take to Superintendent Glass and the BHS School Board. 

Commisioner  McClure said she thought it was a matter City Commissioner could handle administratively and saw no point to bring the City Engineering consultant in on it because that would cost the City money. There was certain lack of reality in such assertions that was broken by the reminder by  Kellet  that  he and his White Hall Home owner association had done all the work, did  research, and assembled the data. All the City Commision had to do was  offer it's support.   In the end Mayor Kellet got his resolution of support by a 5-0 Margin.

Planning Commission Agenda and Agenda Pak for today's meeting.

The Agenda Package  contains all site plans and schematics that will be  used at Today's meeting as well as the published minutes from the March Meeting. It is approximately 20 pages long.

Agenda and Agenda Package for tonight's City Commission meeting.

Editor's Note:Beware being lulled in by the simple short list agenda.  The 145 page agenda  package  is all about complicated  matters with far reaching consequences. Examples include Agenda item #4. The Comcast Cable Franchise agreement  which starts on page 54 and ends on page 64 of the Agenda Package. Agenda items 6 and 7  are long and tedious but don't break new ground. Plante Moran has been the City's auditor for years and  City Commission will consider an a quote from actuarial service from GRS/OPED. Details of said are provided pages 65 to 87.

The big crash boom of conceivably irrevocable change is  the  57 page amendment to the  Road Right of Way Ordinance to be found on pages 88 through 145 which will effect the entire City.  

It is similar to a the single waste hauler  Opus Mr. Cravens wrote last winter. That too was 40 plus pages of minutia. 
So one would guess that Mr. Cravens is again the author. It will be interesting to see how familiar the Commission is with this document and how  quick they are to approve it. It too is long and yes, tedious and it does on occasion ask the Commission to grant the City Manager Special Powers.

The last trap to avoid  is agenda item 11 when the Commission moves into close session to discuss a labor attorney letter. By state law all such personnel discussions occur behind  closed doors.

 In the past these closed door items have usually occur as the last Agenda item. Thus  meeting attendees leave as the commissions go behind closed doors.  

Tonight  per the agenda (always subject to change)  the  commission returns after the closed door session for Agenda item 12 The Commission will discuss other business. Like what ? Will any residents have waited out the closed door session ? Will the Comcast Cameras which document every meeting still be rolling ? Or as the hands of the clock approach the midnight hour will it be time for what one television drama calls Secrets and Lies ?
Probably not.
 It may however  be the most interesting portion of the meeting. We will keep you informed.

Friday, April 3, 2015


You must be a Comcast customer to watch. In The City of Bloomfield Hills  where Comcast is the main service provider that should not be a problem.  

If you do not have cable TV  but do have  Comcast  Internet  and Phone service  you may qualify for some "On demand" viewing privileges on a tablet or other portable device. 

During the Watcha-hon that  "some" means virtually  everything. 

To connect with  Comcast on a portable device   you will need to download the Comcast app on you portable and enter with you Comcast user ID and password.

IF  you choose to watch on a portable device the Comcast app works nationwide. 

This is the third year for Watchathon which starts at midnight  Sunday the 6th of April and ends at midnight the following Sunday. Last year Comcast was generous about not cutting one off at exactly the stroke of midnight conclusion.

Comcast bills Watchathon as  biggest thing on Television and they may be right. For customers of Comcast it a once a year chance to view premium programs at no cost and to catch up on episodes they have  may have missed. It is 168 incredible hours of viewing. For more information you can scroll downward or call Comcast, or push the help button on your portable device, or consult other sources on line. If you choose the latter maker sure you specify Comcast Watchathon 2015.