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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.

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