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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

City Manager Cravens letter to residents, a disappointment, from one who knows better, and is not telling all he knows.

On September 30th, City residents received a letter from City Manager Jay Cravens. For those who don't know who Mr. Cravens is and why it matters this from the City website ....

The City Manager serves as Chief Administrative and Executive Officer of the City of Bloomfield Hills. The City Manager is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of the elected City Commission. The City Manager administers and coordinates various functions of City government as stated in the City Charter and supplemented by policies established by the City Commission

There there are a number of disturbing aspects about Mr. Cravens letter to residents.   There is no stated indication that City Manager Cravens  is writing  on behalf of his employers, the  elected City Commission whose names do not appear on the letter.  The City seal would indicate that it is an official letter most likely paid for by the tax payers. Perhaps  City Manager Cravens, the defacto editor of the  Hills Highlights, the official newsletter of the City has the authority to dip  in the "Correspond with residents fund"  and write when the need is perceived .

If that is the case one might asks if anyone read the letter before it was mailed.  

The letter contains the usual arguments for a single waste hauler and there are 13 bullet points which reference 
presumed benefits of a single waste  hauler for the City. 

None, of which as  have as yet been approved by City Commission. That is because the bullet points that appear  in the letter are short snippets from of a 40 page, three part document  authored by Mr. Cravens and titled  City of Bloomfield Hills The Municipal Solid Waste. Recycle, and Yard Waste, Collection, and Disposal Program.

From the outset,  Cravens and City Commission operated on  the premise that the City would  begin by  pre-selecting a preferred Single Waste Hauler.Then the residents would  choose either  City's  choice  of a single hauler or retaining  the current system of multiple haulers, A  vote in an advisory only election on November 4th Ballot would determine the matter. To that end Mr. Cravens prepared the  three documents for approval at  the August  City Commission  meeting. The first document is the time table of events for the City's selection of a single waste hauler pending outcome of the the election . The second part  concerns instructions for companies who wish to submit Bids (Request for Proposal  or RFP ) to become our City Waste Hauler. The third part is a 28 page listings of services residents will receive and changes both the City  and its residents will be required make under the new system.

The presentation of the forty page document  which for the sake or brevity  we will call Mr. Cravens Trilogy did not see the light of day at the August meeting. After a brief  discussion it was tabled  pending the outcome of the  binding election November 4th election. The  State of Michigan declined to sanction, and has a history of  declining "advisory  only"  votes as waste of tax payer money and resources.

 City Commission then voted to make the election binding on all concerned which the State now  sanctions. Believing that no waste hauling company waste time and money on making a bid until the matter was decided, Mr. Cravens Trilogy was tabled until after the November Election.

Mr. Cravens claims no special genius in writing the  waste hauling trilogy. In some cases he say he just copied  portions he liked from the communities of Rochester Hills and Bloomfield Township.

If you think the issue is just about the number of  companies serving  the City by waste hauling,  you are sadly mistaken
The issue is about a total overhaul of the City's waste hauling system. To understand how exactly this will effect you need to know what  Mr. Cravens has in mind. 

In his letter Mr. Cravens says, (pending the outcome of the election) the actual implement (of the new system ?) will begin in early 2015. If that is true Mr. Craven's Trilogy will be the blueprint. If past is prologue City Commission will approve  the overhaul with   a couple of  minor corrections. Therefore  we believe  you should know the arguments that are made, and what is behind the provided bullet points.

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