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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Thursday, September 29, 2011

In 40 Days, On 11/8/11 Your Vote Is Requested And It Will Count.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Commission Considers Ways to Maintain Services at Reduced Costs.

According to City Manager Jay Cravens it is only going to get worse. The economy that is with housing values expected to decline another 5% next year. So with the City on a declining fixed income and prices continuing to rise what do you do ? The approach Mayor Zambricki  and the Commissioners have taken is to work harder and learn all you can about  what your cost saving options are. Twice a month meetings are now a the norm and that does not count additional sub committee time. The Mayor likes options delivered in groups of three.  For the roads, it was do nothing (which really wasn't an option), pay for needed repairs out of existing funds, or float a bond.. Commission chose the second option.  For Pubic Safety which is still an on going topic , the Commission' asked for three options for staffing The full report as provided by the Public Safety Department is on the city website and linked here as Public Safety Presentation.  It scrolls downward from the top. Also included  in the PSD report is the suject  of fire engine longevity and the use of motorcycles in the department. As as result of  of the first PSD meeting, the commission voted to put  $50,000 of  windfall money into a rainy day fund for eventual fire engine replacement.

There was no agenda of the meeting September 27th, The single  topic was the increasing insurance costs for current city employees and retirees. Mayor Zambricki's goal of maintaining the same for less may be pie in the sky but there are reasonable work arounds the city and  it's employees and retirees can strive for. City Manager Cravens  mentioned plans that include chiropractic and psychological therapy which  could be eliminated to reduce costs.

Much was made of an agreement in Clawson  a similar sized city that seem to work for all parties.  It was also recognized that every municipality is facing similar problems  of fixed income and rising health  insurance costs. It was also acknowledged  that the City of Bloomfield Hills has been more generous than most. The commission  appointed a committee to meet with all  concerned and bring the matter to the Tuesday October 11 City Commission  meeting.

On a similar note it is the problem of long term  costs of public safety officers on disability. That is being reviewed.

In short the City Commission spent the hours between  5:30 and 7:00 pm  discussing a  concern  few residents  are even aware of. In our city, per the charter, the commission is the boss and we pay five commissioners $5 a month for twelve month, making our total annual city commission  expense $300.00. For that they handle all issues big and small. If there there was a dispute about what soap was best for the City Hall restrooms and the City Manager wasn't comfortable with the idea of resolving it himself, It would come before city commission.  Mayor Zambricki would of course,want three options.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Special City Commission Meeting 5:30pm Today.Will Anyone Be There To See the Magnificent Seven ?

Who knows ? The last commission meeting which featured a prime time 7pm start on
September 13th, aside from people participating the meeting, speakers, honored guests, or the press had a crowd of zero.
City Commission meetings that were once well attended semi social functions to see or be seen, are now sparsely attended or more bluntly not at all attended. Maybe the Socratic method as practiced by our city commission is not understood. You remember Socrates  from Ancient Greece. Who2 says  his "Socratic Method" involved asking probing questions in a give-and-take which would eventually lead to the truth."

Maybe it's time for a rewrite. Keep the method which seems to be working but jazz it up a little. Call  the commission the Magnificent Seven. If that sounds familiar it should. The Magnificent Seven was remake of The Seven Samurai directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1954 Both films share a plot  which is as old as the hills. A Town is threatened and the inhabitants hire gunslingers to save thm.The  moral here is that it's OK to copy as long as you are entertaining. The Seven Samurai is a classic, whose  director also borrowed Shakespeare's Macbeth and put in  Japan under the title Throne of Blood. The Magnificent Seven is one of the most popular Westerns of all times making up for  a lack of originality with a great cast and score. That score was later borrowed by Marlboro cigarettes which  along the way switched genders. In 1924 Marlboro began as a  woman's cigarette and used the slogan "Mild as May." The moral here is if it works do it.

The 2011 City Commission remake of The Magnificent Seven is family friendly. There is no gun play, the bandit outlaws are replaced by the economy as the villain, and this time four women ride with three men.
The cast ? Well it's pretty darn good. Everybody has angle but they all seem to play off each other well and work as one.

There is Mayor  Michael Zambricki serving a record sixth term. He's the tough no nonsense type you don't warm up to at first. Later the method in his madness becomes apparent. Think of Gregory Peck in   12 O'clock High . In the You Tube video GP is trying restore discipline and the fighting spirit to a lax Army Air Corps unit during World War II. The inclusion of said does not mean to imply that there was anything lax about the previous administration of Mayor McCready. This writer believes that administration was one of the City's best. It is included to indicate that Mayor Zambricki is a man on a mission There are answers out there and he will find them. Yes he will. Don't tell him otherwise.Come Heck or high water and by the book they will be found.
There is Commissioner Pat Hardy. Most recently the odd woman out who is now the number two on the team when it comes asking the right question. .At the last meeting she even asked a question that Mayor Zambricki decided was a really good question. By the time he had walked all around the question studying the ramification the Mayor decided , "that was a great question." Zambricki and Hardy are the best inquisitors in the sense of one being inquisitive

Commissioner Michael McCready does not ask as often and when he does it is usually by way of repeating the queried person"s statement  and  relating to something of mutually agreed relevance.. He is also a  member of the City commission big three (all were Mayors) and but questioning is not his thing.. His past in city hall is very different from Mayor Zambricki or Commissioner Hardy. Mayor Zambricki has served on City Commission every year since 1989. This is his sixth term as mayor. Commissioner Hardy has served on commission since 2003 and was Mayor in 2007.Neither has ever lost a City Commission election.Commissioner McCreay ran for office four times and lost every time before running  unopposed in 2007 and thus getting elected. In 2009 he was re-elected with the highest vote total of any candidate in modern times. Before becoming mayor in 2010 he sat on the commissions of Mayors Hardy, Zambricki, and Kellet. In 2011 he was again the top voter getter while running for city commission.One gets the impression that quiet observation and listening are his strong suites.

Commissioner Sarah McClure the youngest commissioner is terms of age had a great rookie year last year. Mayor McCready needed  her  financial skills and made use of them.This year she has doing the Tree Beautification program with City Manager Jay Cravens. One wonders if this something she really wanted to do or if it is the best use of her talents and abilities. She sits between the Mayor and Commissioner McCready. In terms of questions and  commenting she is number three on the team.One a recent  rare occasion when she went  slightly awry, Commissioner McCready stepped right in.  McClure however rarely missteps.

Connie Salloum is the mystery lady who is significantly less loquacious the former President Calvin Coolidge who answered to Silent Cal. She  was appointed to planning commission Mayor McCready. She was appointed to city commission by the present commission which she supports by voting with majority. It is a known fact that she has good ideas and as long time city resident she probably has what most of us have which is definite opinions. It's just that no one has heard them.

The commissioners are flanked by two city employees Lisa Dollan the city, treasurer,
and Jay Cravens City Manager. Neither can vote but both contribute significantly to the discussion. Treasurer Dollan speaks softy so you have to listen closely but it's usually worth the effort. City Manager Cravens is a seasoned City Manager whose  power of observation have saved the city close to six figures.Since the City is the the job of Dollan and Cravens and other cities were their past jobs, they provide valuable input and experience to commissioners who have other "real jobs" or who are retired,

By one nothing. By seven a team well worth watching. The verbal three, Zambricki, Hardy, and McClure.  The quiet two,  McCready and Salloum. The veteran city employees Dollan and Cravens, Catch them in action as early tonight at 5:30.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Michigan Open Meetings Act and You

Of note is the following which appeared in a community blog about an issue to be  discusses at an upcoming community government meeting.

"Before one word is spoken at the public hearing, I believe the Board has already determined the outcome. It will be approved as presented with a list of still "to do" items. I believe that motion is already written on a piece of paper so the motion can be "read" into the public hearing minutes correctly. The only unknown: which Board member will make the predetermined motion?"
 If this does indeed happen and the pre-arrangements can be proven it would violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act. The Act provides three public safeguards. The first is the right attend meetings. The second is the right  to be notified of the time and place of those meetings and to receive minutes of said meetings in a timely manner. The last safeguard is the most complex but perhaps the most important. Essentially  it says you must be allowed to witness the actual decision making process at the meeting. Pre-approved rubber stamping is not an open meeting.The exact wording of the act is...

15.263 Meetings, decisions, and deliberations of public body; requirements; attending or addressing meeting of public body;tape-recording, videotaping, broadcasting, and telecasting proceedings; rules and regulations; exclusion from meeting;exemptions.

 Sec. 3. (1) All meetings of a public body shall be open to the public and shall be held in a place available to the general public. All persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting except as otherwise provided in this act. The right of a person to attend a meeting of a public body includes the right to tape-record, to videotape, to broadcast live on radio, and to telecast live on television the proceedings of a public body at a public meeting. The exercise of this right shall not be dependent upon the prior approval of the public body. However, a public body may establish reasonable rules and regulations in order to minimize disruption.
(2) All decisions of a public body shall be made at a meeting open to the public.
(3) All deliberations of a public body constituting a quorum of its members shall take place at a meeting open to the public
except as provided in this section and sections 7 and 8.
(4) A person shall not be required as a condition of attendance at a meeting of a public body to register or otherwise provide his or her name or other information or otherwise to fulfill a condition precedent to attendance.
(5) A person shall be permitted to address a meeting of a public body under rules established and recorded by the public body. The legislature or a house of the legislature may provide by rule that the right to address may be limited to prescribed times at hearings and committee meetings only.
(6) A person shall not be excluded from a meeting otherwise open to the public except for a breach of the peace actually committed at the meeting.
(7) This act does not apply to the following public bodies only when deliberating the merits of a case:
(a) The worker’s compensation appeal board created under the worker’s disability compensation act of 1969, Act No. 317
of the Public Acts of 1969, as amended, being sections 418.101 to 418.941 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
(b) The employment security board of review created under the Michigan employment security act, Act No. 1 of the Public
Acts of the Extra Session of 1936, as amended, being sections 421.1 to 421.73 of the Michigan Compiled Laws
(c) The state tenure commission created under Act No. 4 of the Public Acts of the Extra Session of 1937, as amended, being
sections 38.71 to 38.191 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, when acting as a board of review from the decision of a controlling
(d) An arbitrator or arbitration panel appointed by the employment relations commission under the authority given the
commission by Act No. 176 of the Public Acts of 1939, as amended, being sections 423.1 to 423.30 of the Michigan Compiled
(e) An arbitration panel selected under chapter 50A of the revised judicature act of 1961, Act No. 236 of the Public Acts of
1961, being sections 600.5040 to 600.5065 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
(f) The Michigan public service commission created under Act No. 3 of the Public Acts of 1939, being sections 460.1 to
460.8 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
(8) This act does not apply to an association of insurers created under the insurance code of 1956, Act No. 218 of the Public Acts of 1956, being sections 500.100 to 500.8302 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or other association or facility formed under Act No. 218 of the Public Acts of 1956 as a nonprofit organization of insurer members.
(9) This act does not apply to a committee of a public body which adopts a non policy making resolution of tribute or memorial which resolution is not adopted at a meeting.
(10) This act does not apply to a meeting which is a social or chance gathering or conference not designed to avoid this act.
(11) This act shall not apply to the Michigan veterans’ trust fund board of trustees or a county or district committee created under Act No. 9 of the Public Acts of the first extra session of 1946, being sections 35.601 to 35.610 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, when the board of trustees or county or district committee is deliberating the merits of an emergent need. A decision of
the board of trustees or county or district committee made under this subsection shall be reconsidered by the board or committee at its next regular or special meeting consistent with the requirements of this act. “Emergent need” means a situation which the board of trustees, by rules promulgated under the administrative procedures act of 1969, Act No. 306 of the Public
Acts of 1969, as amended, being sections 24.201 to 24.328 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, determines requires immediate action.
Violations of items 2 and 3 three are hard to prove. Some things may fall under item 10. What concerned citizens can do is attend meetings and watch the replays on television. The attendance will tell the elected officials that they are on notice.The people are watching. Knowing the rules and rights granted under the Michigan Open Meeting Act or the Freedom of Information Act is a start. The complete  text of both Acts as provided by the State of Michigan can be found in the following linked
 booklet, Michigan Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act.
Eternal Vigilance is the price of liberty—power is ever stealing
from the many to the few…. The hand entrusted with power becomes … the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot: only by unintermitted Agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.
-Wendell Phillips

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Play's the Thing

As expected at the Bloomfield Hills School Board meeting of September 15th, there were words.  For the most part they were the words of soft spoken School Board Superintendent Robert Glass who warned, “A lot is coming down and it will happen very fast. Maybe next week…. (Maybe) Thursday. Superintendent Glass was curious as to how the tax payers would react and he was not the only one.
Moon rising above tree and clouds above The  Doyle Center

A Bloomfield Hills Township Police car with an officer inside was parked outside the Doyle center Thursday before the 7pm meeting. The squad car might have been there for crowd control but there was no crowd. Less than 40 unofficial people were in attendance.  The Police might been prepared to prevent excesses in parking lot proselyting like the ones that required  police intervention the day before at City Hall. There was none of that.  It was too cold and windy.  Inside it was warm and toasty. Refreshments including popcorn with unlimited refills, and a rather good coffee, also with unlimited refills was served.
Crowd Early
Of the forty gathered in twice as many empty seats only 12 chose to speak. And only 2 spoke for Bloomfield 20/20 a citizen’s group, with a forty year involvement in school issues who is trying to recall all seven board members. B20/20’s name is reference a clear vision of academics over building construction or other school diversions.
If anyone had clear vision of what the September school board meeting would be it was the school board Superintendent. He would be the star of the show and he may have written most of it. He was also well versed in the principal of drama which says when a gun appears on stage in the first act it had better go off and loud in the last act.

According to Ingrid Day the School Board President,  many said they wanted to see and hear more of Superintendent Glass.   He therefore was the first on stage and the entire first act. His topic Future Focus/Super indent’s report began as part sermon on the joys of education and   part self-help.  An Achievement triangle was introduced which included rigor, relationships, and responsiveness.   Lacking a pointer, Superintendent Glass struggled with the Achievement Triangle slide but concluded with “You can’t measure yourself by standardized testing alone.” That produced snickers from the audience who thought he was referencing to Andover’s recently announced disappointing Meap scores. The audience was wrong.  That was the Gun.

The Recall or B20/20 was never mentioned by name. There was reference to “the high school thing” and another to “people who go off the deep end.” School office consolidation was moving along nicely and would continue.  A time line of school consolidation between now and 2015 would soon be on the School Board’s website. There would also be Transition Planning page and fall back options called Plan B. A Program Comparison chart between option A and B would also be available. With all of the above provided in the next week or so one could track the consolidation step by step.

Then came the big warning bombshell of the evening. The Governor of the State, of Michigan, Mr. Rick Snyder was mentioned, in passing. As was the State legislature. “A lot is coming down,” Superintendent Glass explained. There was one party and it was completely in control and “they are moving fast. Maybe next week….(maybe) Thursday.”  What Superintendent Glass was talking about was the Choice / Charter school concept that would allow any student to choose any school. While nonresidents attending Bloomfield Hills Schools currently pay a fair tuition, students under the choice/charter concept would not pay as much. Superintendent Glass asked, “What about you the tax payer? Are you willing to let people in who won’t pay full freight?”

If  the Bloomfield Township Library is an example the answer is no.

The second act was the public comments.  Some deplored B20/20.  Some loved the school board. Some deplored the idea of a recall election which could cost the district an estimated $85,000. Many offered a conciliatory note. Brandon Kaufman wearing a green One Bloomfield United tee-shirt said that today many people for many reasons were angry. Maybe B20/20 was angry. He just wished they’d find something better to direct their anger at. People can come together. Quoting a popular newscaster he said one should put your heart in the mind of the person you most disagree with to see if you can find a common ground.
Crowd Late

When the public comment portion was over, most of the public left missing the third act, ACT College Readiness and Meap Cut Scores. The presenter Dr. Ernie Bauer had the audience who remained rolling the aisles about the inanity of trying to judge the future academic success of students in college based on standardized test scores. During a momentary lull in the laughter, one board member, perhaps on cue asked, “Yes but what is the point?” The point was, according to Dr. Bauer of Oakland Schools, you could take figures and graphs like the ones he was showing a decide they show a marked superiority for Charter and Choice schools over public . If you really know what to look for however you will see something quite different. BIG BANG. The Gun had gone off and loud. It was time for a fast curtain, and maybe some more popcorn for the long ride home.
Wherever you  live in the Bloomfield Hills School District, you are most likely a long way from the Doyle Center which is a short stroll from the village of Franklin. A long enough car ride for most meeting attendees to realize that they had just been played. Played at the Play so to speak. A jolly good show but not the expected Board meeting where issues  would be discussed, solutions  suggested, and perhaps votes taken. It was this writer's first visit to a school board meeting and I left. slurping still hot coffee,  popcorn in hand, knowing no more about the seven members up for recall than I did before.
My wife and I once saw  the Phantom of the Opera. We sat by the orchestra pit and after the show we watched the musicians pack up and go. My wife pointed out a keyboard, and said that was for the Phantom when he played . I was more than little taken aback. When the Phantom played the the organ on stage he  was just going through the motions while somebody off stage  played for him ? 
"Do you still believe in Santa Claus, ?" my wife asked.
Many people on both sides of the school board election fervently believe  in their cause and those beliefs are being  reinforced by clever campaigns. Regrettably such fervor interferes with, and sometimes preclude some common sense questions we all should be asking.

I'll have grounds
More relative than this—the play's the thing
Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.
                                        -Shakespeare Hamlet

Friday, September 23, 2011

Public Safety and Things That Make Noise and Go Kaboom in the Night.

With it's hills and valleys, sound in the City of Bloomfield Hills travels oddly.The Clarion bells at St. Hugo's and Christ Church Cranbrook can be heard  through out the city. So can trains  the railroad tracks which parallel Kensington. Only the noise of traffic prevents one standing the corner of Long Lake  and Woodward  from hearing the stadium announcer at Lahser High School doing the play by play.None of the above is loud or disturbing however and residents enjoy a quiet community.

When that quiet  was shattered by a series of  loud  kaboom like explosions, just before dusk on Monday September 12th, it is hard to venture what residents thought they were hearing.The tenth anniversary of 9/11 was the day before and sound in the city travels in strange ways. One resident's explosion  might be an other's gun shots. Few if any would have guessed that a children's birthday party afterglow was the culprit.

 One neighbor breathless from running said that when she called police the dispatcher said they had received over a hundred calls. That may be an exaggeration  but anyone within earshot would have been concerned and "birthday party" was not the first thought that  came to mind. There was even some confusion as to whether the "police" were "there" or "coming " or the if man driving the black SUV was an officer of the law or just the "valet parking person. So this reporter camera in hand went to investigate.
It seems  the neighbor who likes fireworks was at it again (see July 2nd post on the proper etiquette of backyard fireworks). The courtesy of informing the neighbors in advance had been ignored and the
fireworks chosen for the event had no redeeming social value. They did not light up the sky, look  pretty, or do much anything except make noise. If I recall from my junior high "firecracker  in tin can" nomenclature there were firecrackers which were topped by Cherry bombs which were beaten by Silver Salutes which were bested by M 80's which were close kin to dynamite. I guessed the neighbor was  using silver salutes which are usually launched from a closed mortar like device. That's because with silver salutes there are two explosions. One launches the projectile approximately 15 feet in the air where the second louder explosion, the actual "salute"  occurs.

In looking at the pictures and watching the home movie a couple of things become apparent. The first blast occurs in the open (rather than in a mortar tube)  on strange box (presumably metal) not unlike something a mail order umbrella might arrive in. The launching blast (as seen in still photos taken from the movie)  seem to generate in a split second,heat,flame,smoke,and sparks that is not as visible in the movie. The red box where the Silver Salutes were  kept is very close to the launching blast. The grass while not dry is high in the vicinity of the launch. There are no fire extinguishers of even  buckets of water in case of a mishap.

Of course there might be mitigating circumstances.. Perhaps the ice cream melted  because the freezer went on the fritz, necessitating a mad dash to the backyard with what ever was left over from the 4th of July. The neighbors would not however be sympathetic. Not when fire,smoke, and noise  is the outcome. The chance of a mishap might be slight. With the excellent quality control standards of fireworks  manufactured in People's Republic of China factored in  they may be as infinitesimal as  less than a zillion to one. Regardless most home owners in the area would prefer that they be zero. That is why such fireworks are illegal  in the State of Michigan. .

Children's Birthday party's are special. As the saying in the City of Bloomfield Hills goes, "There is class and occasionally there is a lack of class. When in doubt there is always the Cranbrook Science Museum." Like most memorable sayings there is a lot of validity in it.The kids have a memorable day and one the neighbors aren't likely to recall.
Setting fuses. Note proximity of fire works  in red boxes to launcher
   Above launch  explosion
Below seconds later

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blogging,Bloggers,and Communities.

Welcome Marcia Robovitsk who is the  newest blogger in the Oakland Press community blog section, with  Bloomfield TWP. Happenings. In her blog profile she writes "I've lived in Bloomfield Township since 1981 and I am interested in local township government issues ".

Marcia , I started blogging, years ago, in June of 2011 to be exact.I recall finding  a blog  on the Blogs I follow section  of Stephen Frye's (Oakland Press On Line Editor)  profile. It was  Newspaper Death Watch which  said  it was chronicling the decline of newspapers and the rebirth of journalism. While playing around with the word Blogger and the search box  I found Exploding Blogger Myths . It is from 2009 and you can't scroll to it directly. Until now I've never been able to link to it. Playing with the words Exploding, Blogger,and  Myths in combinations  produced the article but it is very finicky. When all else fails whack the computer with the palm of your hand or go away and try again in  a couple of months.
Stephen Frye Editor

Written by paulgillin and posted on May 8, 2009  the article says “Ryan Tate takes issue with the conventional wisdom that blogger can’t be depended upon to cover local government. Tate tells of his experience as a reporter in Oakland, Calif. pounding a local beat. “I often found that blogger were the only other writers in the room at certain city council committee meetings and at certain community events. They tended to be the sort of persistently-involved residents newspapermen often refer to as ‘gadflies’ – deeply, obsessively concerned about issues large and infinitesimal in the communities where they lived,” he writes.
Drop by any meeting of your local town government and you’ll find concerned citizens sitting in the cheap seats, watching intently what’s going on. What motivates these people? Usually, it’s passion for the topics being discussed. Whether it’s an increase in property taxes, a school bond, a new sewer project or a prohibition against walking dogs on the town common, citizens do come out to learn about issues that matter to them.
All of these people are, broadly defined, potential bloggers.
Check out a list of bloggers  in the borough of Brooklyn as noted in the blog rolls on Brooklyn Heights Blog and A Brooklyn Life. These people write about all sorts of things: local arts, events, politics, schools and community organizations. They’re not journalists, but they have a lot to contribute to a public discussion and they observe things at a level of granularity that few newspapers could ever match.
Marcia Robovitsk, Blogger
The above excerpts are where I found the Brooklyn Heights blog which is linked to  this blog. It is also where I found  a raison d'etre for those of us who want to be community bloggers. You mentioned the newspapers you linked to. In many cases they do an excellent job of reporting the news but you as a resident and a blogger will come closer to  uncovering  the soul and spirit of the community. Blog often. The more you write the more they read. Stats on Blogger will tell you that. Take a small camera with you always.  You will have fun. Your efforts will make a difference and be appreciated. I look forward to reading your posts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

27 Days Remain to Obtain 36,862 Signatures in School Board Recall

In the days of Tammany Hall, names for nominating or recall petitions were readily available on tombstones. Today we are different and the task of getting almost 37,000 living signatures in communities where the total population combined numbers approximately 50,000 may seem daunting but Bloomfield 20/20 believes it can be done. Just find 5266 people to take five minutes to sign seven petitions.  People whose busy schedule does not permit seven signatures, seven printed name, and seven addresses may sign less. No one may sign more than seven or sign for a wife or friend. The days of Tammany Hall are over but B20/20 will mail petitions to a wife or friend. That sort resourcefulness plus the efforts of numerous of volunteers circulating petitions and direct mail appeals to past supporters numbering in the thousands makes B20/20 confident. As does their history, approaching 40 years  of involvement in school issues. Founded in 1974 as Concerned Citizens for Education, B20 /20 began as a group opposed the emphasis on building new facilities rather than educating. The name, 20/20, came about to indicate a clear vision for academics first.

B20/00’s vision is not however apparent to everyone.  Yesterday at the Bloomfield Hills Township Library, while B20/20 sought signatures, Brandon Kaufman and others from One Bloomfield United, a group that supports the school board urged people not to sign.  He said he had no idea what B20/20 stood for. With a clip board full of items and statements indicating perceived flip flops, he said he believed 20/20 didn’t know either.

October 12th the deadline day for petition signatures, will also be a referendum day for B20/20 which some consider sassy, brassy, and in the case of recalling the entire school board, audacious. On that day every school board member for whom   there is at least 5266 signatures will face a recall election in February.

The recall effort and possible recall election, is the last hurdle in School District’s desire to consolidate Andover and Lahser High School into one school. If the recall fails the School Board will continue with plans for a modest funding millage vote in the fall of 2012 and one school enrollment in 2013.

 B20/20 supporters say voters rejected the “One school” approach last fall when it appeared on the 2010 November ballot, as the result of a Bloomfield Hills School Board decision at a June 2010 meeting.  In June of 2011when the school board voted to accept the recommendation of a Fielding Nair Study to consolidate schools, as Yogi Berra said,  it was “déjà vu all over all over again.”   Listen to recall advocates and they will tell that not only was School Board not listening to the voters, but the study itself cost $863,000.  You will also hear a litany of other school related complaints .They range from elementary school closings which closed the wrong school,  to the assertion that with the average Bloomfield Hills cost per pupil at $22,000, the kids could all be sent to Cranbrook. Recall supporters arrive at the number by dividing the school’s annual budget by the number of pupils. School Board officials have supposedly said there is no way to actually determine that number.

One Bloomfield United questions the numbers and math on some B20/20 assertions. They also say that some the better B/20/20 suggestions have already been adopted by the Board..

The School Board’s next regular meeting is this Thursday September 15th at 7pm at the Doyle Center 7273 Wing Lake Road Bloomfield Hills Michigan 48301.  The Public is invited.  If you are unable to attend the meeting, it will be streamed live over the internet and archived for future or repeat viewing. It is also available in the Bloomfield area on Cable Television.

It is expected that all sides in the recall campaign will be attending in large numbers.. When asked if she would be there, Jennie Greenwell the leader of B20/20 said she would, along with “50,000 of my friends.”

Shirley Irwin Honored By City Commission For Years of Service.

Shirley Irwin, a thirty year resident of the City of Bloomfield Hills and a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals  from 1998 to 2011 passed away on August 28. Mayor Zambricki described her as private person who didn't tell people of her illness and toughed it out  to almost the very end. By profession a school teacher, she was also a member of the Village Club and  Open Hunt Club. She is survived by her husband of almost a half century, Dr. Alexander Irwin, and her daughter, Melissa Hurley. Both were present at the September 13th City Commission  meeting to accept a resolution honoring her service to the city and to deliver one last "motion" from Shirley which she had written before her death. 
"It was with great pleasure that I, Shirley Ann Irwin, served with rational, logical people who gave of their time, of their efforts and of their loving care in the best interests of our City of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Carry on in this tradition."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Command Performace : Public Safety Tells City Commission How They Do Business.

 In the City of Bloomfield Hills, the Public Safety Department which includes, police, fire, and first response medical (paramedical) is the proverbial sacred cow. The residents love it and insist they don't want anything to change. Some things however, like fire engines have to change. That's because they wear out. Public Safety Director, Mr. Richard Matott, also  known as "Chief" cited corrosion as the main culprit  and estimated the average life span of a fire engine as  as twenty years. The City has in it's fleet of fire engines two vehicles which were in put in to service in 1995 (now 16 going on 17 years old)  and another 1997 model. Recently a gasoline tank fell off a City fire engine and the city incurred  a $225 towing charge. The Chief's presentation was one of a series by Public Safety Officers  intended to tell the City Commission, who requested the information , "How we do business and  Why we do it the way we do."

It was the City's Commissions third, departmental  probe  into "What costs what and why it does."  Previously  the Commission had tackled function  of the City Manager and  Road Construction.The topic chosen  is often discussed in multiple meetings with the purpose being for the commission to learn what can be done to improve cost effectiveness. 

Central to City Commission's desire to find  efficient  cost saving solutions, was  the issue of overtime.  Is it more cost effective to pay overtime or hire more people ?  Could overtime costs be reduced by changing the  the length of work shifts  ? Lieutenant Terry McDonnell discussed the pros and cons of a 24 hour, 12, or 8 hour work shifts. Each would also require different staffing levels however  to main efficiency. The 24 hour one would mean  that  court time would not require overtime. Staff would always be available to help out in pinch and there would be time for on the job training. On the downside it's the least popular shift and if overtime is ever required it would be a killer. 12 hours means more time off but a longer than normal work day and court time may require overtime. 8 hours is normal but court could be overtime and rotation of shifts are hard on the body with midnight to 8am being the worst.
Lieutenant Noel Classon spoke about the use of motorcycles in police work and how they might relate to cost savings. The pluses of motor cycles are they navigate through traffic. They can also go off road to break up  that beer party at... uh Cranbrook ? Maintenance is minimum and there are no barriers between the police officer and the public.The drawbacks ? They are more hazardous, seasonal, can't carry prisoners, and does  not have the police computer on board.

Hiring was also  another area of concern. Do you hire part timers to save money and lose them to a full time opportunities  elsewhere or do you hire full time with more upfront cost ? City of Bloomfield Hills safety officers are triple trained to serve as police officers, firemen, and  paramedics. The training is extensive and rigorous. If you are hired, you are hired on probation. During the probationary period you are evaluated weekly. If your performance for a particular week is less than satisfactory you are required to repeat the assignment the following week. If you don't improve your performance you are dismissed. You have already signed waivers that waive all rights to object.It's a standard of excellence rarely found elsewhere and one in keeping with the high expectations of the residents of the city.

Hiring can be a problem. Currently the Public Safety Department is need of a  part time dispatcher.
While the requirements for a dispatcher are less stringent than that of a public safety officer certain skills like the ability to mentally juggle information is  required. "Say for example you get a call from a unit at Hickory Grove and Woodward"  the chief  said before listing the other  job specifications, and then asking where was it that the unit called from. Everybody knew it was Hickory Grove and Woodward. Yes the Chief admitted, but the commissioners who could remember  Hickory Grove and Woodward  were not taking  taking additional incoming calls or required to also know the location of other units. He also mentioned that a recent ad placement produced two good candidates who at the last moment chose to stay in school or pursue other opportunities.

None of which registered with Mayor Zambricki who said. "The unemployment rate (in the greater metropolitan area ) is 11%. We will find the right person and we will make the hire."

That is the attitude of Mayor Zambricki. It is not "can do" it is "will do" and "do it now." Like Mayor Kellet (2009-2010) and unlike Mayor McCready (2010-2011) Zambricki is an activist mayor. Kellet's passion was the building projects like the Plaza. Zambricki's passion is answers. He believes they are out there and his commission will find them.

In other City Business, the city approved a request of $14,000 for  turn out gear for the Department of Public Safety. Commissioner McClure asked if  competitive bids had been sought, and the Chief said they were  when the sequence of uniform replacements had first been put in motion years ago..The Turn out gear was the last of that  order and with it uniforms wouldn't be an issue for at least six years.

Commissioner McClure's and City Manager Jay Cravens' Woodward Avenue Tree Beautification Project will break ground with first plantings in October. Low Bidder KLM Landscape won the contract. This an on going project so contributions are still being sought. See July 13th Post.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Agenda and Packets for Tonight's City Commission and Planning Commission Meetings.

City Commission Agenda Packet for 7:30 meeting 73 pages

Planning Commission Agenda Packet  for 4pm Meeting 24 pages

Hats off to City Clerk, Amy Burton and her talented staff who had the agenda packets for tonight's meetings on the City website by late afternoon last Friday. A thousand pardons from this publication  for getting them to you so late. Of course we had to read them and offer an  analysis and we
could and will say there seems to be  a whole lot of nothing going on. No cell phone tower, library, or USPS mailboxes at City Hall follow up.  Maybe some of these items will occur in the infamous Agenda Item 13 Commission will consider other business. City Commission has been known to drop bomb shells before running off to a closed session. Such a session will conclude tonight's  meeting but who knows ? The lead in is not ripe for bombshells. Agenda items include an award, tree beautification, Mers for retirement benefits, appointing someone to attend a conference, turn out gear for public safety, Fire codes, Public Safety operational plan,lead responsibilities, Agenda Item 13, employment contracts for non union administration employees, and the  closed session. Heck of a way to sell newspapers.

Even reading the correspondence in the agenda packet was  blah. . A letter from the Superintendent  of Birmingham Public schools (page 54) was a yawner and what you'd expect from a community that has its ducks in a row. Not like Bloomfield Township's  Recall the Board, where currently there is never a dull moment.The Chinese have a curse which says "May you live in interesting times." The Resolution, Complete Streets,  from our neighbor to the south, Berkley (page 52)   is more  interesting as is the Vacant property log (page 38).

Then there are the approved minutes of the most recent commission meetings. If you like some of  us spent the entire month of August vacationing in Southern France or Sunny Italy you will be happy to know that again,with a couple of exceptions, you missed a whole lot of nothing. The minutes of the August 9th meeting (page 56) contain two interesting items. The first is Agenda Item 117-2011  which appears on reduced form to your right.

Click to make full sized. Hit page back to return to post.
As many of you know this is not the sort of thing that makes the local papers in Arles  and  the Paris papers  which are dreadfully expensive  arrive late . So Je ne sais pas but it sure sounds interesting.  Incidentally DPS stands for Department of Public

That brings us to the rather mysterious Commission meeting of August 30th (page 61) which like a summer storm  blew out of nowhere. Upon word of said, perhaps by satellite phone  some of you may have cut short your Adventure Tour of Cambodia which had you hacking through the brush at Angkor Wat before connecting with Air India Flight 1567 Phnom Penh  to Los Angeles connecting with Delta 9906 to Detroit  only to discover you were done in by the  date line and today was really tomorrow. Or maybe today was in fact yesterday and you went to the meeting only to discover no one was there. Regardless of circumstance it safe to say the August 30th meeting was probably not well attended. Interesting enough  none of the items discussed on August 30th have agenda numbers.
There was DPS follow up of sorts which refers to the website the DPS posts on the City site.

Also of note is talk of a residents survey. On August 9th , item  118-2011, Other Business....
And on August 30th

While not on the agenda these items may turn up at tonight's meeting under "other" business or in the case of the residents survey where City Manager Jay Cravens is taking charge, under 'individual lead responsibilities."

Planning Commission meets at 4pm. The packet includes a whole slew of old meeting minutes making their first appearance and new plans to be discussed this afternoon. Fences and Gates, past and future predominate. If you had anything you wanted to say on the new Fences and Gates ordinance the time has come and gone. Read it and weep. From June 14th in Planning Commission Packet item 135-2011 page 6.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today is the 10th Anniversary of 9/11/01

This  morning, it is probable that at many religious services, the Minister or Priest, or Deacon worked 9/11 into the sermon saying how proud we should be of our fellow Americans who behaved, so valiantly, and times heroically on 9/11 and afterward.The Tower evacuations where possible were orderly. In many cases ordinary office workers risked and sometimes lost their lives to save others. The New York Fire Department rushed in to and rushed up seventy stories to save trapped people  and suffered cataclysmic losses when the building collapsed. In the air captive passengers thwarted  the hijackers.

A friend of  ours in New York, (my wife's maid of honor in fact) took the subway to work at Columbia University that morning, She wound up walking home (to Brooklyn) with thousands of other New Yorkers because the trains had stopped running. Under the circumstances no one seemed to mind. "They sent us home early, " she explained when we phoned.
This refrigerator magnet was a gift from the above mentioned friend. It says "I Love New York More Than Ever 09/11/ 01."

This blog is linked to the Brooklyn Heights Blog which appears just below the Oakland Press news box  on the right side of this page. The news box contains details on local memorials to 9/11.
The Brooklyn Heights Blog also contains memories of residents who were witnesses to and had direct access to the tragic events of that day either by the  river promenade or the Brooklyn Bridge. A picture of the Bridge and the Towers before 9/11 are directly above the  a collection of memories, Remembering 9/11/01 .There are no horrific pictures to scare children or adults. Just words. I was  particularly  impressed by one memory simply called  Me. The first part  of Me appears in the middle  of  the other memories. There is an additional  Me  post script at the end of  all the memories. Me begins with the observation, "Laziness saved my dad that day," and it ends with "I shall never ever forget."

On 9/11/ 01  I worked a combo radio station in Southfield Michigan. I sold advertising and, my presence wasn't always required at the office. Except on Tuesdays  when there was a mandatory weekly sales meeting which began at 8am sharp and was usually quite lengthy.. For whatever the reason there was very little to say on the  morning of  Tuesday,September 11th 2001 and the meeting ended  moments  before 9/11 began. The conference room emptied just in time to hear someone say  that a plane had collided with the World Trade Center. That had happened before in the 1940's when a large military plane collided with Empire State building. Then came word that a second plane had hit the towers. Perhaps an observation plane or something. The news did however prompt many us to wander into the newsroom where a battery of television sets was broadcasting. The replay of the second plane flying directly into the tower  was the first  indication that something unreal was indeed taking place. One viewer  surmised  terrorism and there was the ominous word that other planes we missing. My boss said something like" Holy Moly! Wait until this hits Los Angeles!"  which at 9 am our time was just waking up.  I have  often thought of his words  since then. I think he meant the news but he could have meant more terrorist activity. Who knows was planned and the FAA in perhaps a life saving move grounded all aircraft. I called my wife who works were the televisions  are always turned on and she already knew. I called my father who just came in from fetching the paper. He was little irked at my insistence  that he turn on the television  immediately.Shortly before eleven am when people were still gathered  around  television or radios,  the big boss who ran both stations issued a directive. It said that, with the exception of people who were needed  for broadcast or news, due to the extraordinary and tragic events unfolding people could go home if  they wanted. Business as usual would resume at 8am on September 12th,

The Big boss has gone onto be the General Manger of a Detroit area Television  station. He has appeared frequently on television during the last week promoting special "Remembering 9/11" programming the station broadcast.  His television promos began by asking where were you on 9/11 ? The  Big Boss and I were at the same place at the same time on 9/11. Small world.

At church, this morning the exit hymn was, God Bless America. A newspaper The Michigan Catholic featured a  banner which said "Remembering 9/11 pages 8,10.18" . A rather impressive column however appeared on page 6. It was written by  Father Peter J. Daly, a columnist for Catholic News Services. He said that after 9/11  he hoped things would be different and for awhile they were .  Initially the world was full of sympathy for America and respect for the heroism Americans showed that day. America had  became united in grief and now had  a common purpose. Public meetings began meeting with pledge of allegiance. American flags flew everywhere.People started attending church services in great numbers. On Capitol Hill partisan divisions ended and anti terrorist legislation passed. Some "almost without reflection". But it didn't last. Today that sense of national unity is long gone."We seem to be divided over ordinary things, writes Father Daly"Church attendance is back to normal. We have surrendered some of our privacy and civil liberties. We support our military but our veterans suffer. They suffer trauma of war. Some can not find jobs.Some are homeless and some commit suicide.

Computers have a program which allows you to revert  to an earlier time if your computer is acting oddly  and you don't know why. Apple calls it Time Machine. Microsoft calls it System Restore but it used to be called Go Back. On what date did we start back sliding ? On what date did we start  forgetting what we learned on 9/11 ? What date should we go back to when everyone without condition was intesely proud to be American ? What do you think ?

Friday, September 9, 2011

rainy day at endicott lake

High Tide at Endicott Lake
My wife has been to Endicott Lake. As with all things Bloomfield Hills, she looked a house there once. The Realtor Lady she was with. said there used to be a farm there. As far as my wife was concerned the lake was good for washing cows and sheep but that was about it. No swimming. "Swampy little thing, " she said.  I said she hadn't seen it recently.Now it looked like a raging river ready for kayaking or white water rafting.I suppose if you lived there you would see it change all year round  which would be pretty exciting. The wife also supposed and asked how I got to Endicott Lake which  by tone she implied might have been the surface of the moon. I said I went to Manresa to see if I could find the cell tower they tried to make look like a pine tree. In the minute and a half I had allocated for the task, I couldn't. Manreasa is a place of prayer and  very nice Your supposed to sign it at the office. I didn't and of course felt guilty about subjecting them to the fossil fuel fumes of the idly curious. Anyway when you exit you have to go right on Quarton . So I did. Then I went right on another street and came to Chesterfield. "Chesterfield takes you to Endicott Lake ?"  The wife said slightly surprised, indicating that it had it had been a long time since she had been to the moon. I said it did sort of. There was a one lane bridge that runs right over the roaring rapids. It was raining cats and  dogs and I saw a lady walking  her dog. She was wearing bright colors. Yellow and orange. Excellent dog walking colors on a colorless  monsoon of a day. The hat looked like a Paddington Bear hat. Practical for wet weather or exploring darkest Peru. The wife supposed but did not look up from what  she was reading.

Cell Phone Tower, USPS boxes at City Hall, Yet to be decided by City Commission.

July 26, 2011 The special meeting of the City Commission was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Mayor Zambricki,

 Commission Present:  Mayor Pro Tem Sarah H. McClure
 Commissioner Patricia Hardy
 Commissioner Michael McCready
 Commission Absent: Commissioner Connie Salloum
 Staff Present: City Manager Jay Cravens City
Clerk Amy Burton
 Finance Director/Treasurer Lisa Dolan
 Detective Lieutenant Terry McDonnell

 No residents with  the exception of this writer attended this meeting but two items were mentioned that will probably be on the agenda of future meetings, possibly next Tuesday's September 13th meeting. Official minutes are in blue. This writer's or other observations are in black.

American Tower Proposal 
 Ms. Patricia Coates, with Oakland County CLEMIS program spoke to the commission on the history of the communication signal in the city and the benefit the proposed tower would provide to the Public Safety Department.

 Detective Terry McDonnell, with the DPS, presented information on the need for improved communication capabilities for the Public Safety Department.

 Mr. Wally Haley, representative of American Tower, expressed the difficulty in working with DTE to locate on their existing towers. Mr. Haley noted the proposed tower is 140 ft. which is approximately 20 feet taller than the existing DTE lines on Kensington.

 Commissioner McCready suggested the applicant investigate opportunities to install a tower on the neighboring country club properties.

 Mayor Zambricki suggested the applicant return to a subsequent meeting with more information, especially pictures of the proposed tower and the view from surrounding properties.

The complete proposal is available on our July 26th post that can be found by on the left hand side of the page  just below this post. Just click on the arrow pointing sidways to July. The Arrow will then turn downward and all the posts for that month will appear.

We said then and we say now....

We think City of Bloomfield Hills residents should know 
what is being considered for their neighborhood.

At the July 26th  meeting a full presentation was not given because City Manager Jay Craven said told the  American Tower and County people the commission would be very busy with other matters like roads which wound up taking an hour and twenty minutes (See August 8th post). The department of public safety did give a slide show presentation which indicated the whole city was a dead zone. The lady from the county  studies had shown that City of Bloomfield Hills was the Bermuda Triangle of cell phone calls (analogy is the writer's) and the epicenter (writer's word) is right  at Long Lake and Woodward. The American Tower Man talked about existing towers at DPW public safety area and how the Tower proposed by the City would need to be 140 feet making it the tallest structure in town. Commissioner Sarah McClure, said  140 feet was as high has a 14 story building and said she couldn't get over it. That was the correct response for someone who was elected on her adherence to  the Master Plan's desire to maintain the city's natural features. Read on and you see that Commisioner McClure got over it rather quickly. Former Mayor McCready( also a Master Plan Fan ) had no such qualms, and did most of the talking about how the tower could be disguised or hidden on a golf course.  The most intelligent question on the topic came from Commissioner Hardy who asked the Public Safety speaker, if they had a problem why wait till now to bring it. The answer was that public safety heard that American Tower would be making a presentation so they decided to join in on it. Which prompts the age old ,"what came first question." Was it the problem or American Tower? Mayor Zambricki ended the topic with a request for more information to be provided  and discussed at a later date.

Two days later on July 28th  Mr. Cravens, speaking like an expert told Downtown Birmingham Bloomfield  Magazine that the problem was that we are in bowl and that the Tower "would alleviate the problem."
How so and how much wasn't asked or offered. Then a number of unidentified  "they" references enter the conversation. At first it is easy to follow, They  means City Commission as in Mr. Craven's assertion that they are open minded about the proposal from American Tower. Then the they changes to mean  American Tower as in "they are showing us three different locations. Then  it seems as though Mr. Cravens was talking  to someone  else in another conversation. Downtown Birmingham Bloomfield quotes the City Manager as saying," Last  I heard they were talking to Bloomfield Hills Country Club, but I don't know where they are with them. We haven't heard a thing  from them in a few weeks." Odd isn't it ?  After the  final they  comes  two thems which begs the question who dem ?  Since Mr. Cravens and City Commission met with Cell tower people  two days prior at the city commission  meeting it isn't either of them. It has to be the Bloomfield Hills Country Club. Perhaps there is a possibility we have overlooked. Maybe someone  stuck their head in the door to ask about a wedding and the reporter thought Mr. Cravens, when answering the visitor,was still talking about the cell phone tower. Maybe the interview was conducted over the phone and Mr. Cravens pushed the call waiting buttons in the wrong sequence terminating the incoming call while unknowingly continuing to talk to the reporter. Then again maybe we just don't want to to think the unthinkable .
Can it possibly be that someone or someones was tacky enough to approach the Bloomfield Hills Country Club about finding a spot for  a 14 story steel pole made to look like a pine tree. Mr. Cravens as a non resident is excused as are  our visitors They don't realize that in the City of Bloomfield Hills some things just aren't done and some things are sacrosanct. The Bloomfield Hills Country Club perhaps justifiably incensed was under no obligation to stay in touch. It's hardly on what one would call public safety land. The Country Club hasn't been bought by a chain has it ?

In the same article Commissioner Sarah McClure, in regards to the cell tower  said "we are still at the information gathering stage." She said she wants to work with the County to facilitate better communications. Well how about working with the residents and communicating  with  us in on the  options you will be considering. Residents who do not read this blog or Downtown  Birmingham Bloomfield have no idea what is going on. If  Mr Cravens was indeed talkling about the matter at hand, locations for the tower were being considered weeks before  the July 26th City Commision meeting which because of an unusual 5:30 pm  start was virtually unattended. See photo top of page. The on line article in Downtown Birmingham Bloomfield said the matter would be a topic of discussion at the August 9th City Commision  meeting. That was not the case. That meeting is currently available on video on the city's website. The actual written meetings minutes are withheld until the commssion approves them at the following meeting. That means that residents who missed the meeting are or who can't access the video via high speed internet, or don't have the time to watch it, don't know what happened at the last meeting until after the next meeting. We suggest the City, like the Baldwin Library publish "unapproved" minutes as soon  as possible after a meeting so residents at least have some idea what transpired. The when the minutes are officially approved they can replaced the "unapproved" ones.

 USPS Drop Boxes  at 300 Long Lake Taubman Center
Mail Boxes at 300 Long Lake Taubman Center. Driving  towards Kensington last turn right before the under pass. Driving toward Woodward first left after you go through the under pass. Either way boxes are on first left when you enter parking lot. Both flap and snorkel/car drop box shown. Only  pick up 3pm Monday through Friday. Easy to remember 300 Long Lake 3pm pick up. Always plenty of parking. Never a crowd,

USPS Mail Boxes Boxes at City Hall ?
 City Manager Cravens explained the United States Post Office approached the City to inquire if City Hall could be a possible location for a USPS mail drop box, due to the recent closure of the Long Lake Road location. Mr. Cravens provided two different styles of possible drop boxes. Commissioner McCready stated he is opposed to a mailbox at City Hall because the parking lot was not designed to handle the additional traffic flow. The commission agreed if any box was to be placed at City Hall, it should be the smaller, more traditional mail box.

Commissioner Hardy wants to try  a drop bx at City Hall. Mr Cravens joined Commissioner McCready  to opposing for esentially the same reasons.Mr . Cravens said South Boulevard  and Opdyke was not that far.Far enough to cost the city a $1,000 per year  not counting gasoline or car wear and tear.
The last clerical hire advertised for,  offered $16 an hour DOQ. Let's say mail drop is left to someone with limited qualifications who earns $8 an hour, Say trip to South Boulevard takes fifteen minutes each way. That's $4  a day times five times fifty or $1000. Commissioner McClure said she read somewhere that USPS might open post offices in retail stores. Maybe Mr. Jonna might be interested. Last but not least Mr. Cravens did very good job of researching all the boxes and presenting all the on site city hall possibilities.