This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

Search This Blog

Monday, May 22, 2017

The last two City Managers. of Broomfield hills for better or worse and the Curse of Interesting Times 2003 the to present day.

The Chinese have a curse which some take as complement which it most certainly is not and that is "May You live in interesting times.

Then again maybe it wan't the times or the curse. Maybe it was the town which confounds the uninitiated. Most notably the local press  which supports itself through advertising revenue or subscription sales. To them the City serves no purpose other than  that could be better served if the the City moved elsewhere. Like Birmingham or Bloomfield Township. 

Admittedly, our City in some respect can be a little slow on the uptake on some matters and as it so happens a City Manager or lack of one was one such curoisity. During a 16 year period 1952 to 1968 in which a newborn would grown from infant to High school Junior old enough, to drive a car, The City of
Bloomfield Hills had but one City Manager.

So who managed the City after he resigned ? Good  question. Probably a crazy patch work of City Commissioners,the city Clerk, the Chief of police and others perhaps called at night on the telephone and asked to help in an executive function to oversee an aspect of the mechanics of the City. 

Truth be told the residents of the City are quite experienced and resourceful. Often more so than their leaders.
 It is important however to remember that the City of Bloomfield Hills is the Junior partner in it's relationship  with the state of Michigan. When the State of Michigan mandates for the sake of going forward that all municipalities have a Planning Commission  and that one of the voting members of that commission, regardless of residence must be the City Manager it is best to have one.

119·2003 Other Business
City Manager Bremer stated that the City's meter Pit rehabilitation project will be continuing into 2004. City Manager Bremer stated that when it is time to rehab the connection at Square Lake and Lahser, the City's most vital section, we will not be able to use our own water system. City Manager Bremer stated that the City will have to rely on Bloomfield Township for water supply during that time. She stated an agreement has been negotiated between both communities and is before the Commission today. City Manager Bremer noted that because the City has such low water rates, any community we contract with would be at an increased cost. City Manager Bremer stated that the agreement with the Township, and the rehabilitation at the Square Lake and Lasher connection should be complete in less than a month's time, to begin once the proper permits are in order.
City Commission -4- December 9, 2003 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


  1. Oakland County Board of Commissioners Releases/2016...
    Oakland County Board of Commissioners . News ... 


Funding for the project has been made available from Oakland County’s new Local Road Improvement Pilot Program. This program provides limited financial assistance to Oakland County cities and villages for repairs and improvements on roadways under their jurisdiction. Local municipalities must match funding from Oakland County and projects should supplement, not replace, existing local road repair efforts. The Oakland County Board of Commissioners allocated up to $1,000,000 in matching funds to launch the program in 2016. Communities are allocated a share of these funds based upon a formula consisting of road miles, population and crash data. The program supplements the long- standing Tri-Party Road Improvement Program, which provides a 1/3 share in matching funds for repairs on local roadways under the control of the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC).
Board Chairman Michael J. Gingell explained the purpose of the pilot program by stating, “The long-term lack of investment from the state and federal governments in local road infrastructure has taken a heavy toll on our roadways. Poor conditions on our roads create an impediment to the economic development of our region and diminish the excellent quality of life our residents expect. While Oakland County government has no statutory responsibility to provide funding for local roads, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and the Board of Commissioners are working together to leverage limited county funds to be a part of an interim solution addressing the most pressing repair and maintenance needs.”
For more information, contact Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Goodman Taub at 248-858-8870 or Oakland County Board of Commissioners-Senior Community Liaison Julia Ruffin at 248-858-1092. 

A short History of The City's Previous City Managers. THE


The City of Bloomfield Hills became a City by writing a Charter and getting it approved in by the State of Michigan in 1932.

The alternative was annexation by the City of Birmingham. 

The Charter called For Government of Five  Elected  City Commissioner who divided the governing tasks among themselves. One might BE Mayor Another  Secretary and City Clerk  a third might be constable or Road commissioner.
The First Mention of a City Manager occurs in the on line CITY COMMISION MINUTES OF occurred in the December of 1953. His name was Elmer Kephart and in the minutes he and the Highway commissioner were to visit Linda Lane and determine what should be done to correct the existing condition there.(Editor's note there may have even an earlier mention of a City Manager in City record keeping 1932 to 1950 but they are kept in bound volumes and may be  read by the interested at City Hall).Little is known about City Manager Kephart aside from the City minutes. Most likely he was a City Resident with authorization to write checks for the City.In 1958 he presented detailed plans for the proposed DPW Building modification. Ten years later he announced that  he would be retiring at  the end of the     Calender year(1968.
 In those day as now the CITY Manager was the highest paid  City Employee with a salary of  a $17500. That number  was the same salary offered to Bo Schembleckler when he hired on as the University of Michigan Football Coach. Of Course Bo had other sources of revenue Like endorsements and revenue from a Replay Show  that our City Manager did not have, Still the $17000 was a respectable figure in those days and then as now made The City Manager the Highest paid city Employee in  town. 
In 1960 it was suggested by an unrecorded individual at a City Commission Meeting  that the City investigate the possibility of hiring a Junior Planner to report to the City.
That suggestion was twenty years ahead of time and perhaps anticipated the hiring of Jay Cravens from the planning department of Cascade (Western Michigan) Planning department.


Agenda for This Afternoon's Planning Commission Meeting


Agenda for Tonight's City Commission Meeting.

CITY OF BLOOMFIELD HILLS City Commission Agenda May 9, 2017
The regular meeting of the City Commission will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at City Hall 45 E. Long Lake Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304. Phone 248.644.1520
  1. Call to order and Pledge of Allegiance.
  2. Consent Agenda
A. B.
Bills Payable for April 2017 Department Reports:
  1. Finance Director / Treasurer
  2. Public Safety
  3. Engineering
  4. Building
C. Minutes:
  1. City Commission Budget Meeting held April 5, 2017.
  2. City Commission Regular Meeting held April 11, 2017.
  3. City Commission Closed Session held April 11, 2017.
D. Correspondence:
  1. Memo from City Manager Hendrickson: City Goals
  2. Memos from City Manager Hendrickson: Staffing
    1. Police Commissioner
    2. City Clerk
  3. Fair Housing Resolution Oakland County
  1. Recognition of Citizens in the audience.
  2. The commission will adopt a resolution honoring the Bloomfield Hills Garden Club for their years of support to the city’s beautification efforts.
  3. The commission will discuss the rehabilitation of the Oak Knob Drain.
  4. The commission will consider the request of the property owner at 81 Whysall Lane for an appeal from the grading ordinance.

Revised 5/8/17
  1. PUBLIC HEARING: The commission will hear a presentation from Finance Director / Treasurer Keith Francis and consider adoption of the 2017-2018 General Appropriations Act Budget Resolution.
  2. The commission will consider approval of budget amendments for FY 2016-2017.
  3. The commission will consider the adoption of the Local Road Improvement Matching Fund Pilot Program Cost Participation Agreement.
  4. The commission will consider an ordinance to adopt the 2015 Property Maintenance Code.
  5. The commission will hear City Manager comments.
  6. The commission will discuss lead responsibilities.
  7. The commission will consider other business.
  8. The commission will move into closed session to discuss negotiations with the City Labor Attorney.
Respectfully Submitted,
Amy L. Burton City Clerk 


 It began on the Evening of February 22nd and it on ended March 9th with the promotion former Director of  Public Safety of David Hendrickson "Aka the Chief" from Interim City Manager to City Manager.
The beginning in the hunt for a City Manager  meeting was closed to the public to protect the applicants privacy. Some employers  
take dim view of job hunting employees  and some job seeking candidates may not wish to tell all and sundry why they had three jobs in three years.  At least not in until all the chips were on the table. 
As Warren Buffet so aptly put it when you  are in a power game for  a half hour and you haven't figured out  who the patsy is, its you.

Numbers published in the Eagle Newspaper  and presumably obtained from City Hall revealed that 39 applications were  for the vacancy were received and with the help of the Michigan Municipal League that number was reduced to two with David Hendrickson being unanimous choice of the Five City Commissioners.

If one wants to read  further between the lines  Hendrickson was most likely the unanimous choice from the beginning of the selection process. City Manager Hendrickson told the Eagle that he hoped  the commissioners saw his dedication to the City  and his experience at the helm as to what set him from other applicants.
The Commissioners  would have to been blind not to.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Unexploded Bombs from the Cravens Era threaten City Going Forward.

Communications Towers
When he was hired as public Safety director in 2013 he was well versed on the issues  foibles of the City. He knew the City did not want a Cell phone tower but that the need public safety required one. The key of a tower is to communicate through walls with signals 
broadcast on high tower. The need had become immediately apparent with the collapses of the World Trade Center when the police could not warn the fireman of working inside of the dangers of the tower's imminent collapse because their radios wouldn't reach.
So Henderson his and his department tested what they had on every tower City had to offer including Christ Church Cranbrook  which by the additional virtue of being on a hill was the highest point in town. Then they jerry rigged a system which worked for four years   and was not promised to be a permanent fix. Crime however continued to outpace the system. A Homicide in the Township and an attempted break in with shots fired in City made that apparent.
 The Chief made his request then City Manager Cravens virtually on his way out of town called  his contacts from 2011 presentations. Unfortunately Mr. Cravens by perhaps by haste or design left  the door open for commercial interests to piggy back on  existing on towers or build there own claiming a mandate from the FCC. Actually the FCC says you many not object to a communications tower for alleged unproven reasons of heath hazards. It does does require the tower builder to prove that the tower  will do what is claimed. At a recent Commission meeting