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Friday, October 14, 2011

What happened at the City Commission Meeting of October 11th.

Every Penny  Counts  !
Hats off to Commissioner Micheal McCready who read the fine print and asked the questions  that stopped the bleeding  on close to $100 in finance charges paid by the city to American Express.It seems the city hasn't been paying their  American Express credit card bill on time. The meeting  agenda packets compiled by City Clerk Amy Burton and her staff,  include invoices the  city receives and checks written  by the  city. The trouble is the agenda packets financial reporting  runs many pages and most people fast forward through lists which among  other things include report expenses for car washes, vehicle repairs, office supplies, and Troy Library card reimbursements.The city was billed finance charges for late payments in September  for $24.98 which was reported in October agenda packet. In addition the city was billed  $19.20 for August and  $37.94 for June, Commissioner McCready asked why the bills weren't being paid on time. "We have the money don't we ?" His  question prompted some inter department finger pointing and assurances that some inter departmental  re-routing would take care of tha matter. Let's hope so. Readers are welcome to check for themselves next month. Expenses are listed in alphabetical order and "American Express" comes early. The last line under "American Express" will list finance charges if any. Just think of how many airline miles or deluxe toaster oven points the city forfeited by paying late. Worse in addition to doing his job Commissioner McCready took on a task that any self respecting newspaper reporter should have been doing.

The Library
Doug Koschik, Director for the Baldwin Public Library gave a  detailed  overview of the Balwin Library and what it offers residents of the City of Bloomfield Hills. We linked to the written pdf file copy of this presentation which is on the city web site in our commission meeting preview post of  October 9th. The complete five page text follows this post. Although the pages appear small they may be enlarged to full size by clicking twice on the small page. Mr. Robert Toohey in his letter to city residents published here on Octber 11th referenced and urged City residents to read the entire  Service agreement between Baldwin and the City. The Baldwin people believe that is important as well as they brought copies of the agreement fto the meeeting for all to read . That five page agreement was linked to the our preview post on October 9th  and is provided again in reduced size pages that can be blown up by clicking, in an October 11th post which immediately follows Mr. Toohey's letter.
Why do we reprint ?
What can be found on the City website  or in the case of  Robert Toohey's  letter  an opinion that was mailed  to all City residents ? For your convenience and because the issue  warrants it it. Our surveys show that people read the reprints. Some people may be unaware that a document is on the City website which they visit infrequently. Maybe Mr. Toohey's letter (or others like it, or offering an opposing point of view that is  mailed to a city wide audience) is overlooked or tossed. Maybe the night before the election someone wants to review all  documents or opinions relating to the issue  without tearing through the entire house looking for them.

 A good question.
A woman from Marblehead (Rudgate) asked about a  portion or the agreement between the  Baldwin  Library and the City which  states...

6. The Contracting Community shall indemnify, defend and hold Baldwin, its officers, agents, employees and officials harmless from any and all claims, losses, liabilities,
causes of action, demands, judgments, decrees, proceedings, and expenses, including attorney fees, of any nature (“claims”) arising out of or resulting from the Contracting Community’s participation in this Agreement.

City Attorney William Hampton said it was a basic indemnification cause which he described as standard boiler plate in most contracts these days. While anyone with $150 dollars could sue about almost anything he saw very little risk or exposure for the city which has Government immunity and liability insurance. Hampton added that he saw no legal problems or pit falls for the city in the  contract. 
Survey Says..
What happened would be rather comical if the subject matter wasn’t so serious and fraught with implications. It seems the commission wants to survey public opinion, which on the surface is a noble pursuit. From there it gets complicated and a times a little scary.We will cover this section in a separate post titled, “ The City and the Survey, Round 1.”  Look for it next week. 

Wireless Facility "nee Communications Tower" Round 2
Mayor Zambricki in regards to this issue said Commission  was not approving, and not denying it The commission is willing to take it the next step and get input from the residents. Commissioner Connie Saloum said "it is very important that residents know what is going on" regarding this matter. We will give all the details in a seperate post titled, "The City and the Cell Phone Tower Round  2." Look for it next week.

New Hires. PSD  Chief and The Commission agree on details. Disagree in outcome. 
This too shall covered in detail in an upcoming post

In other matter the Commission will
  • Commit .35 mills of existing revenue to road expenditures.
  • Is considering along with the building department a mock disaster training exercise in the city's most densely populated area, the in back of the Hunt Club area, Kingsley Trail et al..
  • Host a swanky wine and cheese reception for donors of the Tree Initiative Program at the prestigious Village Club. Gold Fish crackers most unlikely.

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