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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Wednesday, July 26, 2017


 We asked Chief Clason for some biographic detailS and he provided the following.....
Chief Noel Clason began his law enforcement career in 1993 as a US Navy Master-at-Arms specializing in corrections and investigations, he served 2 deployments in th
e Persian Gulf while stationed in Yokosuka, Japan on board aircraft carrier USS Independence CV-62 (Served 1991-1995).  Upon honorable discharge from the Military, Clason attended the Oakland Police Academy in 1995 then served as a part time Police Officer for Clarkston Police Department and Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept.  In 1996 Clason accepted a position with Centerline Public Safety immediately attending Macomb Fire Academy.  He was a member of Centerline’s SWAT team (S.O.G.). 
In 1998, Clason accepted a position with City of Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety where he promoted through the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant and most recently the Detective Lieutenant in charge of Investigations.  While serving as a Public Safety Officer for Bloomfield Hills, Clason was also a paid on call firefighter for Centerline Fire, Fenton Township Fire Department and North Oakland Fire Authority.  Clason also served as an instructor with the Oakland Police Academy.
Clason holds a degree in criminal justice.  He is also a 2012 graduate of Michigan State University school of Staff and Command specializing in Police administration.
Clason is a current member of the Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT) which is a multijurisdictional team serving local communities on high profile cases.  This team is comprised of senior area detectives and were recently recognized by the City of Troy for their investigative efforts.

Notable events
Clason was raised in Rochester Hills and graduated from Avondale High School in 1991
Clason was employed in his first job at 13yo with the Bloomfield Hills Country Club as a caddy.
Clason achieved awards and recognition from the Cities of Troy and Bloomfield Hills for response to Ground Zero on 9/11/01 with members of Bloomfield Hills and Troy Fire Department where they worked at ground zero for recovery efforts following the tragic events that unfolded.
Clason, at 44 yoa is the youngest Director of Public Safety in the City of Bloomfield Hills history.

He is married with a 10yo and 12yo.

Monday, July 24, 2017

City of Bloomfield Hills Public Safety Promotions

(From left): Sgt. Daniel Phillips, Lt. Dustin Lockard and Detective Lt. Jeff Gormley (Photo courtesy of Bloomfield Hills Police Department)

(From left): Sgt. Daniel Phillips, Lt. Dustin Lockard and Detective Lt. Jeff Gormley (Photo courtesy of Bloomfield Hills Police Department) 

Three members of the Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety were recently promoted:
• Jeff Gormley, a 19-year veteran of the department, was promoted laterally to from lieutenant to detective lieutenant, and oversees the detective bureau. He recently graduated from Northwestern University Staff and Command, and also holds bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and fire science from Lake Superior State College. Gormley has served on the department’s motor unit and as evidence technician as well as on the county’s hazardous materials team..
• Dustin Lockard joined the department in 2002 as a dispatcher and hired as a public safety officer in 2006. He’s been promoted from sergeant to patrol lieutenant and now commands operations of Patrol Shift 3. He holds a master’s degree in information assurance and bachelor’s degrees in sociology and information technology. He’s IT supervisor for the City of Bloomfield Hills, IT liaison with Oakland County and a volunteer firefighter for Troy.
• Daniel Phillips, an 18-year veteran of the department, has been promoted to sergeant for Platoon 3. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saginaw Valley State University, and formerly worked as an officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections and deputy with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department. He’s a firearms instructor, an Oakland County Tactical Response Team instructor and lead member of the department’s motor unit.

Round ten of City versus roads to return July 25th.

It was the  unexpected  summer storm that blew up  towards the end  of the July  2017 City Commission Meeting. Despite the storm and  and drang it inspired there was something   vaguely familiar about it.

After ten years  all aspects of  Road  review and regret the City  of Bloomfield Hills sounds vaguely familiar.

IT was out going  Mayor MCready  who talked up roads as a way of showing residents their tax dollars at work.

The only problem was the roads the tax payers paid for didn't last and no one seems to know why.

A late as 1977 there was no high speed highway connecting Paris with the German Border, Just a tree lined  two lane road.

Like the Roman roads or for that matter some of the roads in Birmingham  Michigan they may have been built on concrete.

What ours are  built on are built on and why they don't last  remains a frustrating subject of conjecture.

A couple  of years ago at budget meeting,  Then Mayor McClure told commissioner Hardy that she has doubts about the latest HRC road proposal.and maybe  it should  be shopped out for competitive bids. To which  Ms.Hardy said it is a little late for that don't you think ?  Mayor Mclur
e said  it could be changed.

That was a  number of years ago. At the July  Meeting Jamie Burton of the City''s Engineering  Consulting firm Hubbel  Roth and Clark Introduced  a new approach. Re-do all  the roads that needed  doing in one fell sloop with a single contractor. Make your arrangements  now in  what Burton called the January Window of time when contractors  would be desperate for business and prices  would be  low.
Burton was supported by new City Manager  and  Former City Chief  of Public Safety  David Hendrickson.
Sara McClure opposed the all in once scheme saying that it was  beyond the City'budget..Mayor Coakley joined Mclure concerned about the budget bur appeared ti be drafted into the fray.
the complexityof  the matter and the lack of immediate information on hand prompted tabling the matter for a late July work session.
Work sessions are open to the public and usually begin in late afternoon and conclude before the dinner hour.

Friday, July 21, 2017

1967 and the return of Nightmare in Detroit

Hour Magazine and Crain'sDetroit  was  first to remind us in a recent editions that this summer is the Fiftieth anniversary  of  six days (July23 to July29th)  in which 43 people died. That is the tragedy. The good news is there hasn't been anything  even r
 Hour Magazine  did  provided brief summaries of  how  each of the  of  
The well worn  pictured Book has more detail Nightmare in Detroit tells the story of the 43 fatalities  with each getting getting a chapter or more. Each is a tragedy of it's own.
When the significance of the date  became apparent to those  in the news media

That prompted this writers to go from basement to Attic looking for the  book I first found in a discount basket at a gas station somewhere between  San Diego and Los Angeles  As you can see from the jacket the book is well worn and when I at first  couldn't find I  accused my wife of putting out for a white elephant  sale or something. I later apologized when the book turned up a pile of other books and I must admit it was not the first time the book got "lost". My  fascination stemmed from the events and chronology told by two skilled  journalists Van Gordon Sauter who in 1967  covered both the Newark Detroit  riots of that summer. His Co author  Burliegh Hines in 1966 received the best feature  story 1966.
I never planned to stay in Detroit indefinitely but little things like career advances courting and marriage became provided a not so unpleasant permanence. A job at the Michigan Catholic Newspaper at Chicago and Linwood  put me more or less at Ground zero for the 12th street Blind Pig. It was also the stomping grounds for the late great Purple gang of Dry Cleaner War Fame a half century prior.

Currently  Public Broadcasting is featuring a series on revising historic Homes in what is referred to Boston Edison. In their day these homes heavy on sound deadening plaster and filigree were the best Detroit had to offer.

First casualty of July 23rd 1917 was one Krikor  Messerliam

Then  years previous almost to the day The British Commissioner in Constantinople signed  the documents that allowed the twenty year old Armenian to begin the long trek to the  United States.

Those interested the pitfalls   in such arduous  Journey perhaps taken by their ancestor should see the movie America, America, written and Directed Elia Kazan. In 1964 it was nominated for Best
 If he had a fatal fault it was that Krikor was a fighter who never backed down.  He met those that loot his place of  Business with a sword in hand. Family members found his shop  devoid of anything left  of value except an official looking  framed document signed by the high commissioner in Constantinople which began his journey to Detroit

The Last casualty  of July 29th and the last causlties recorded  was Ernest Roquemore . He was killed by a paratrooper. The landlady heard the police arrive with paratroopers she new the difference because her husband was one. It is  alleged  Ernest  ran out of the house with something  in his hand. Someone yelled he's got a gun the paratrooper positioned by the back door fired. His aim was good but Eric had no gun. There was more gun play at the house that ended when the Landlady's Husband alerted by the noise came up from the basement and the demanded the shooting stop. A girl talking on the telephone by a window was wounded.  in the words of a witness the police charged
upstairs first and asking questions later.

Crains focused on the business aspects of the black community in the days before the Freeways. and takes you to a part  Detroit many who lived here all their life never new  existed..

A  Bloomfield Hills resident who has plaques  lining lining the Hallway of his home for emeritus service  to Mayors, Cavanagh through Young. Remembers being in another the Hall when Governor Romney  and the Mayor requested aid in the form of troops waiting on the tarmac at  Selfredge Air Base. The condition was admission that local could not handle the situation. That would be useful to the President in the Election year 1968 when it was presumed  Romney would be a president candidate.
 The Michigan a front page Picture of  soldiers mustering in front of a Catholic  grade  School.

What were your memories of that Summer ?

Sunday, July 9, 2017


  Cell Tower, Eye sore, metallic Ice sculpture  theme park. Call it what you like.
Like  the  the still lingering  up in the air  waste  hauler issue, the City has yet to take control of the tower  issue with it's most important ally its Citizens.

 Construction of an 160 foot  communications tower will commence at an approaching date to be determined.
 With American Tower you never know.
The issue dates from 2010 and the words of then Mayor Zambrick
Who told American Tower, I am not saying no and I am not saying Yes. and I am saying . I am saying  we (the City Commission of 2010) need more information. That was in July 2010  when and when that information was not forthcoming by the  End of 2010. Then City Manager Cravens suggested putting the matter before the planing commission  seek to approve  for the minor details  for City   City Commission approval at a latter date 
That approval came in the fall of 2016, six years later but not from the planning commission but The city commission.  The Approval was unanimous. What happened  in those six years  to change the City Commissions need for more information to a unanimous approval a half decade later ? Nothing and everything.
The City Hired a consultant who said the  the tower  could be build in 80 foot configuration to meet the communications needs of the public safety department  of the City. Those needs came under an official office called Clemis . When the City offered to build a tower for Clemis' needs they were told to talk to American Tower American Tower. And that was when  in the words of one City Commissioner the  the City  realized they were being played.  according to one commissioner realized they were being played.
 The Dynamic going on was  that 
American Tower would build a tower to the moon for free  if they could sell space on to other  communications companies but no pint sized  towers please and with that the issue went on hiatus for another half decade. All the City had to do  is lease them the land on which to build. 
In 2012  our City replaced it's retiring Chief of police  one  David Hendrickson the third  ranking officer in the State's third Largest City. Last Spring  Chief Hendrickson was promoted to City Manager as the highest ranking civilian Employee in the City of Bloomfield Hills. As he Chief seldom asked for anything and when he did the need usually quickly became apparent.  A week after a shots fire home invasion occurred in our City  arrest were  made in less than a week due the membership in the multi community task force Henderson requested at Tuesday prior City Commission Meeting.
For a long time or Public Safety Department lacked an extraction tool called The Jaws of Life. It is used to get people out auto of in the case of accidents.  Some of which involve fire. For a long time the City got by with a saws all  cutting  device   available at hardware stores and big box retailers.  A saws all is at it's  best in cutting drywall and safety glass  but not so good with steel.
So under direction  of Chief Hendrickson   the department took their  non functioning Jaws of life apart found out why it wasn't working and replaced the needed part without  all without asking the City for money.
 The Jaws of Life  demonstration was star attraction at last summer's  Public Safety  Open House last summer.
Long before he came to town   City Manager Hendrickson was well versed on the City  on  the  he would come to manage  to manage.  He knew of the City's  disdain for gun mettle grey poles 80 stories high. So he and department went out and tested  the  then current communications capabilities with those a tower would provide before delivering a verdict. For 2012th  and
 perhaps longer the  public safety department could  make do with the existing equipment but those needs could change. Fair enough.
The problem is not the needs of Public Safety which is documented and determined on the  Roof of Christ Church Cranbrook which is the which is highest point in the City.
The Problem is  that in his hurry to leave town former CityManager Cravens left the door open to  Commercial interests to come in and build towers in the City.
 Those interests  A Municipality  can  not  refuse a communications tower on the  on the grounds of esthetics or unproven heath hazards.  
It has been said  that said that said rulings came after intense  lobbying efforts by commercial interests.
Never the less  the FCC has also said that proposed communications  Tower must  meet  an existing need and  that the Tower  will provide a solution to that need.

In otherword The FCC can't bull doze your house or or turn our community in a grave yard of 16story high poles If there are other alternatives.
At a recent City Commission meeting  The man from American Tower and our new City Attorney  seemed   remember the  

If it is any consolation to those who revel in the City's natural features The Planning  Commission was much more fiesty in the  raw face of Commercialism and some int than City Commission. Maybe it is because the former had to sit through  "  Why you can't say no to a communications  Tower presentation two years prior. You can't say no for  unproven heath  concerns  but  the tower must  demonstratively  fill a need.  
At a  recent City Commission the man from American Tower  and Surprisingly  our new City  Attorney repeatedly  mentioned the part about the City's obligation to the  the communications industry  but forgot the part about the Communications Industry's obligation  to the City.In the current  issue of Hills Highlights Mayor Coakley  boasts the  City has improves has made significant    Improvement  telecommunications in the City  Proving a 160 foot tower for  A&T&T and three smaller  antennas for  Verizon.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Unexplode Bomb Number #1The Waste Hauler Issue is not dead.

Yes we have a contract and so did  British  Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain or so he thought. A contract that  promised peace in our time. He even had it in writing and waved at the news reel film crews reporting  on his return  return from Munich and a fateful meeting with  Herr Hitler.  Six month later world war two  began.

We find from what we read in the newspaper a that it is alleged that in the end Rizzo even  wasn't Rizzo  and it's assets belonged to New Your Holding company. We have also learned  that it is alleged that some former Rizzo  officers may have taken money from the company for their own purposes.
 The CEO of The  GFL  Environment company that  now hauls waste for the City   they would not have bought Rizzo has they known the extent of the  federal  investigation.

Despite it all  GFL the company with Green Trucks has  has done 
reasonably well in a city of  narrow streets , hills, and cut-de-sacs.
Yes there have been complaint calls to City Hall.  They have been in the nature missed pick ups.  On East Valley Road which  dead ends  there is no turn around  and the big  trucks inherited  from Rizzo have to back up all the way to Rathmor.

That being said  it is easy to forget that former City Manager  Craven made promises that were weren't  kept like. a day of pick up ombudsman to make on the spot course correction. In addition  Cravens slammed the door on complaints as soon as the ink was dry on the Rizzo agreement referring  such calls to what was then. Rizzo 

Improvement number one is a direct line to our City Manager  David Hendrickson. 

The Situation in the trash hauling world not exacting stable.  The so far seamless integration of Our City and GFL  is better that expected but  in life there are no guarantees. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Unexploded bombs hinders City going forward in Post Craven Era.

Last Week Residents received  the Spring Issue of the Hills Highlight Spring Edition number  #95  In their mail box. It's the one with self congratulatory sticky note displayed on the cover.   Mayor Coakley calls it a midterm report card and that may be so. On the downside, City Commission was  hit with a number of  job vacancies.

 They included  that of  the former City Manager,  City Treasurer, and  City Building official.  Read the article articles of the new City Manager, City Treasurer and City Building officials  in this edition of the Hills Highlight and get acquainted with the new team.  Regrettably Former City manager Cravens did the City no favors  on his way out of town. In fact the the wheels might have come off  City Commission  they did not assuming all the bombs buried somewhere around have been found.

  In London during Second World War a bomb crashed through massive dome of century's old of ST Paul's.Cathedral and buried  its self thirty feet in the ground compliments of the Luftwaffe and there it lay being  waiting  to be discovered.
removed and defused. 
The Brits who had  many such phenomena  
 called them Uexb's  or Unexploded bombs.
As a rule our  Our City Commission does not go looking for Uexb's which is not always the smartest approach since Uexb's seldom go away on their own. In fact  during the Blitz a British Royal of some  peeridge,  Say OBE took his butler and maid and went around London  doing their  bit by finding and neutralizing Uexbs. Eventually the law of averages caught up with them but not before the three became the stuff of legend.
This publication with very little effort has found three UXebs   that require at the very least an inspection and  perhaps even an  explanation.   Both were lacking in Hills Highlight #95.
So we sally forth on our own. Cherio.

 Unexploded  Bomb 1 . The Waste Hauler Issue is not yet dead.
No one could have imagined the magnitude of the Rizzo  melt down  or how it will or could  effect Bloomfield Hills but it never hurts to ask.  That is what the Township was doing. That is what other communities are doing  Some residents have called City Hall  to complain.  There will always be  complaints that is normal.  What is not normal is the response the callers get is that the City is in contact with GFL. Really? How come the City has not been in contact with it's residents ? Our City has a long history  by story of loyalty to trash hauler's what will that get them?  GLF is the new kid on the block . Will we get what  was promised by Rizzo. Probably not but it does not hurt to ask. The only communication on the matter the residents have double sheet of paper which many rules and regulations of being served by GFL which was inserted in the Hills High. It  was unsigned  by any one from GFL or the City
Which prompts the question often asked in the twilight of Rizzo and that is are we for  GFL or they for us?.