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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Monday, June 22, 2015

St Hugo Altar Guild 's 46th Annual Rummage Sale Wednesday through Friday/

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 !

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.

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 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, or, 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.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Planning Commision Meeting 4pm Today June 9th 2015

City Commission Meeting of Today Tuesday June 9th.

In the City of Bloomfield Hills location is everything.

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. 

Once there,  you would, by clicking on a  Box on upper right hand side of the home page that says  I  want To ? then a drop down box would appear  and  you  would  select contact City Staff and  Elected Officials.  
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

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, na├»ve, 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.