Editors Note: As of Monday morning DTE was conducting tree trimming on Opdyke Road.
The intersection of Woodward and Opdyke was closed to through traffic. We spoke to one DTE official on the scene who said the work should be completed in time for Sunday church services but that will not help the Rummage Sale where sale item drop off are now in progress.
Opdyke was open to through traffic however Monday evening..It is not know if that is because DTE completed its task or left early or because of serve storms that moved through the area this afternoon. Equipment and traffic cones left on Opdyke seemed to indicate the latter.
Bargain hunters planning to attend the sale which annually plays to rave reviews for top notch treasure finds should prepare an alternate route (if necessary) game plan for the Wednesday through Friday event. Some suggestions are listed below and neither will take you out of very far out of your way.
Since DTE seems to keep normal business hours you can expect to be able to exit the event on Wednesday and Thursday on Opdyke.
For those those coming North or South on Woodward Avenue the best bet is to take Hickory Grove intersection east. Hickory Grove dead ends at the at Opdyke and the St. Hugo school which is where the Rummage sale is held. If you are coming East or West on Long Lake you may follow the same North South Directions provided for Woodward Avenue or you may take Kensington North which also dead ends at Opdyke.The St. Hugo School will be on your left. across from the Oakland Community College Campus.
While everyone concerned regrets any inconvenience such slight detours may cause, The intrepid will enjoy the benefits of less contested rummage sale rewards. Enjoy !
Monday, June 22, 2015
Saturday, June 20, 2015
On April 11th 1995, twenty years, one month, four weeks, and a day, prior to the June 9th 2015 City Commission's Meeting, City Commission voted to
It was Commissioner Hardy who remembered that fact. She recalled the motion made by Commissioner Varbedian (the second woman to be elected Mayor of the City) and the 3 to 1 vote, the result of an absent Commissioner but couldn't recall the absent commissioner's name (it was Commissioner Nancy Polk the first woman to be elected Mayor of the City.) or her own whereabouts that evening. She guessed it might have been the Planning Commission and that was correct. Hardy was not elected to City Commission until 2003 and in 2007 became the third woman to be elected Mayor of Bloomfield Hills,
Still it was a remarkable feat of memory not equaled by her commission colleagues who joined the commission in years 2010, 2012, and 2013.
It was because of Hardy that the topic even came up at the May City Commission meeting and it was presented in the guise of getting information concerning Smart. It was vehemently opposed by Commissioner McClure who believed Commissioner Hardy's mission was supposed to be one of gathering information from Smart for the commissioners to consider. Nobody said anything about a presentation. In 2012 Sarah McClure became the fourth woman to be Mayor of the City of Bloomfield Hills.
While the two women argued the point with each vowing no desire to live in a City presumably autocratically ruled by the other, the three male commissioners (Coakley, Dul, and Sherr) agreed more or less that it was OK to at least listen to what Smart had to say.
No vote was taken at the May meeting because no decision was to be made.There was some talk of possibly a fall election vote to gauge the will of the people but at that point no one was willing to push one's luck.
There was also mention of sticky circumstances that might arise if the Transit Presenters pushed their luck.
The year previous when ordinance writing and revisions were routinely submitted
to The City Attorney and then returned to the Commission for approving signatures and a date, a routine swimming pool ordinance revision submitted by the building department to the City Attorney caught the commissions eye. When questioned the Building Official said he thought that was how it was supposed to be routed. It was explained that that was not so. In regards to routine pool ordinance revisions City Commission was still in charge. Besides the Attorney costs money.
At a subsequent commission meeting however another regional transit proposing entity came before City Commission with a presentation and semi official looking papers in need of signatures and dates. When The City declined to sign anything at that time, things did get a bit sticky.
Commissioner Coakley said if a recurrence occurred, he believed City Commission
could hold it's ground in the teeth of the storm.
The informal 3-2 consensus was Coakley, Dul, and Hardy for a presentation. McClure and Sherr (retracting OK to listen) opposed.
In the weeks that followed the Popular Press went on a on a man bites dog feeding frenzy (when a dog bites a man that is not news but when a man bites a dog it is news). In papers carrying the Smart Bus and the City stories, the upcoming presentation was headlined on the front page and placed above the the fold.
In the weeks that followed the popular press managed to mangle the significance of 3-2 vote (this time there was vote).
The City did opt out but that was twenty years ago.
The vote was not about joining Smart but whether a vote to consider Smart should go on the fall City Election Ballot.
Commissioner McClure was totally opposed. Commissioner Scherr said that he was tee totally in agreement with Commissioner McClure.
Commissioner Hardy who made the motion was in favor of putting on the ballot. Commissioner Dul seemed conflicted. Earlier he done a rather good dramatic reading of a letter sent by former Mayor Zambricki stating that the City could not afford such
such a transit system.
Curiously the letter did not appear in the on line agenda package where all residents could read it.Dul would vote yes but with some hesitation.
Coakley who was the deciding vote in hearing the presentation was also the deciding vote in rejecting putting the topic it on the fall ballot
What one can read into that is that this is an election year where politically prompted platitudes trump controversial issues.
Even an affirmative vote by the residents would not "re-opt" the City into to Smart. It would simply set the stage for a City/Smart dialogue.
The 3-2 vote was not saying no to Smart as much as no to now.
Posted by Mark Kapel at 1:59 AM
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Bloomfield Hills City wearing apparel at Lands End with sale prices good through midnight of June 6th.
At the end of the Tuesday June 9th City Commission meeting City Commissioner Sherr announced that Polo shirts and other wearing apparel with the City SEAL were available at the online retailer LANDS' END . He brought a couple of Sample polo shirts and credited City Clerk Amy Burton for establishing the process that makes ordering such gear available.
So we called LANDS' End today and gave the the ordering process a whirl. There however are a few loose ends to be noted.
First of all you can call LANDS' End but the department you need to talk to is LANDS'END BUSINESS OUTFITTERS. If you call the generic LANDS'END you can be transferred quickly to the Business Outfitters Department. Both have 1-800 numbers.
Polo Shirts are the most common apparel for breast pocket affinity symbols and crests like the Ralph Lauren Polo Player, the Izod alligator. The Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece, or the Ritz Carlton's Lionhead.
With LANDS' END the City's Crest can be put on a variety of LANDS' END garments such as light summer jackets or sweatshirts for the fall. Wearing apparel can be purchased in quantities as low as one.
LAND'S END Business Outfitters has a literally thousands of logos on file. Our City's seal number is 0997420. LANDS' END will then describe the seal to you and have you describe it back. If you here 1932 expressed with a gasp of astonishment worthy of something that pre-dates the Acropolis by a century or two you are getting close. For a final confirmation LAND'S END will email you a copy similar to the one above.
We are told The City is no slouch when it comes to detail.The seal has over 17,000 stitches and costs $8.95 plus the cost of the garment.
There is a way to get around that however. Land'S End is a company of guaranteed satisfaction and frequent sales.
Not pleased ? Send it back You will have to pay the return shipping however, A fact that does not bother the my wife, who buys in increments of two with idea that the lesser of two is going back. Once she decides.
Want a sale ? Order before Midnight June 12th and you get the the $8.95 logo for free plus free shipping, You only pay for the garment.
FREE LOGOS + FREE SHIPPINGFree logo embroidery and free shipping reflected at checkout when promo code is entered. Up to $8.50 value on first logo application of each item. Excludes new logo set-up fees. Excludes screen print t-shirts and other promotional products with existing quantity discounts. Applies only to Lands' End labeled apparel, totes, hats and towel purchases from Lands' End Business Outfitters catalog or web site. Free shipping applies to standard shipping to a single address in the contiguous U.S. Ends 6/12/15 at 11:59pm CT.
Not valid on previous orders or at Lands' End, Sears or Kmart retail stores, on Sears.com, LandsEnd.com or Kmart.com, or when combined with any other promotional offer or program discount. This offer has no cash value and is not redeemable for cash.
Shipping takes 10 to 16 days. That may be too late for Father's Day but subsequent sales will follow.
The Lands online catalogue allows you to change colors on their displayed clothes with a click of the mouse.
Posted by Mark Kapel at 11:47 PM
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Posted by Mark Kapel at 1:03 PM
Posted by Mark Kapel at 12:58 PM
The same could be said for flow charts where the top rules and everything flows downward from there. If truth be told a flow Chart hasn't been seen in the City of Bloomfield Hills in three years. Ancient ones now confined to archives but based on the City Charter had the people on top and the City Commissioners as the highest governing body next. As the City grew more levels were added below that of the commission.
Eventually the idea of people on top was dropped.
The City Commission listing which once featured pictures and biographies fell from from first to second from last on the City directory page and gone are the pictures and the bio blurbs.
So with all that in mind, if the need arose, how would a Citizen contact his or her
City Commissioner ?
Well you could use the City web site of course.
Then you would have to scroll down a very long page. Second to the bottom just above Contract Associates (those who contract with the City to inspect your air conditioner or generator installation to make sure everything is up to City snuff ) are your Elected Officials.
The Elected Officials are unique in the fact that they are the only ones on the entire page that do not provide phone numbers. That may be because they do not wish to take calls at home or their place business . Fair enough, but as every politician knows one can buy a no contract pay as you go Go phone and attach it to its own answering machine in a remote location in your home. That way you can receive and return your calls. An E mail address works for documents but it does not provide the warm fuzzies politicians live for. Even if you can't help the citizen you can at least commiserate and sound good in the processes.
There is also a city web page that says Government which lists the commissioners by name but for contact purposes it suggest you leave a message at City Hall or look up the Commissioners contact information at the bottom of the long page that you reach by clicking on I want to...
Government page useless for contact purposes
Posted by Mark Kapel at 12:10 PM
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
City Commissioner's Hills Highlight rant on Ordinance writing indicative of weak City Commission of declining consequence..
Editors note:In reviewing old issues of the City 's official newsletter the Hills Highlight we came across a disturbing post script in an article written by City Commissioner Stuart Scheer. It concerns the delegation of ordinance writing which in our opinion is the duty of the City Commission. We believe that said delegations has resulted in bypassing CIty Commission for all steps relating ordinances except for the perfunctory final approval. If interested parties in either business or government (both of which Commisioner Scheer speaks of ) can get what they want by going around you , as opposed to through you, you are indeed weak and inconsequential. Below is the postscript. Below that Commissioner's Scheer's comments are reproduced in a larger format in dark blue. Ours are in black.
Page 6 Winter Edition 2015
On a related but different note, I want to address the notion that it is not appropriate for the City Commission to accept proposed ordinances or even legislative ideas from our City’s management or administrative staff.
Here Commisioner Scheer is a little over the top. Most of us would agree that in a free society ideas and suggestions are always welcome in pursuit excellence. Commissioner Scheer indicates that he has been receptive to such input in the from our "City's management or administrative staff." What is interesting here is that Commissioner Scheer has failed to seek any input from many of the 3500 City residents who's interest s he
was elected to represent. Commisioner Scheer then continues with
Such thinking is narrow, naïve, and shows a lack of understanding of how government and business operate.
Perhaps, but so is the linking of Government and Business which do not necessarily have the same goals or the same responsibilities, to either constituents or stock holders. Then Commisioner Scheer writes.
If we, the City Commission, adopt an ordinance, regardless of its source, it is as though we drafted it ourselves.
How exactly ? By telekinesis ?
Apparently not. Commissioner Scheer continues with
All governments look at ordinances and statutes from other jurisdictions and commonly ratify, endorse, accept and adopt all or part of such legislation.
In theory Yes, but the reality practiced by the government of the
City of Bloomfield Hills is rather different.
First of all Commissioner Scheer and the four other elected City commissioners are the Government of the City of Bloomfield Hills. There is supposedly no other or higher authority in the City.
Three years ago it became fashionable for the City Commissioned to dispatch City Clerk, Amy Burton, a non resident employee of our City who is paid a salary to research what other communities do and present the her findings to City Commission.
Occasionally she was aided in these endeavours City Manager Jay Cravens who is a City employee paid a salary. and also a resident of Rochester Hills.
In January of 2014 the intermediate step of going to the commission first was skipped.
Instead Ms.Burton simply rewrote the City's Waste hauling ordinances and submitted them to the office of the City Attorney for approval.
That suprised then Mayor Hardy who asked at a public meeting where the newly proposed ordinances came from. City Attorney Hampton also a non resident whose firm is hired by the City and other cities said that City Clerk Amy Burton had written them.
A year later at the May 2015 City Commission's meting the a forty page Road Right of Way Ordinance which will affect every property in the City was approved . City Manager Cravens said the ordinance was written by City Attorney'office and City Clerk Amy Burton. How familiar the City Commision was with the 40 page document prior to it's passage is not known.
In his Hills Highlight post script of February 2015, Commisioner Scheer concludes with another business analogy
Many businesses encourage and reward their employees who promulgate ideas beneficial to the company. You should reject any opinion that suggests this process is wrong.
Why ? We are dealing with a flawed process which at first ignores the residents and then marginalizes our elected officials. To what end ?
The goal is to benefit the government or company in question, regardless of the source of the benefit, provided it is legally obtained.
Posted by Mark Kapel at 2:10 PM