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.