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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.

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