Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 28, 2011 Southfield City Council News Brief

Note: My tape recorder fell out of my backpack just prior to me leaving for last night's Southfield, Michigan city council meeting. So I am doing this slightly differently than how I normally do it.

The meeting started with a representation of National League of Cities Diversity Award. The award had previously been presented to the city council at last week's committee of the whole meeting. Also presented was the community service award for Southfield's Field Zone Youth Center.

The Mayor also presented a joint resolution for welcome Home Vietnam Veterans day which will be March 30

Next the council gave members of the community an opportunity to speak. Pamela Gerald, who has spoken at many meetings about similar issues, discussed ways she feels the city is wasting money. She would also speak in later portions of the meeting during public hearings.

After Gerald spoke, three woman separately came to the podium to support the proposed millage. Gloria Kennedy, one of the three women, saying, "It is imperative this millage be passed... I would like everyone here and watching on cable to join me and my association in voting yes."

Yolanda Haynes, another one of the three said, "I don't have the skills of Chuck Norris or Wonder Woman so I rely on the police"

During discussion of the consent agenda, Councilman Sidney Lantz questioned which part of the budget police vests were being paid with. He was not opposed to the purchase of new police vests but wanted to know why the money wasn't coming out of a different part of the budget.

Councilman Donald Fracassi was strongly opposed to the rezoning of an area to allow a McDonald's to be built there. Very close to the proposed McDonald's lies a residential complex. Fracassi was concerned that the noise and light of a drive-through would be discomforting to the residents. Councilwoman Taylor and an architect who had worked on the plan said that they had spoken with residents of the complex and it seemed as if they had few issues with it and is some cases were in support of the plan.

During the rezoning public hearing Gerald, spoke on abatements and Brownfield credits though a representative from McDonald's and the City council said that the company was receiving neither.

Ultimately the rezoning as well as a motion relating to the demolition of what currently lies where the McDonalds will be constructed passed.

The Council, in a close vote, also passed 180 day moratorium on Wind Turbines. Councilman Ken Siver expressed concern that a moratorium might send the message that the city does not want green technology. Councilman Fracassi was concerned that it seemed unfair that recently a car dealership was allowed to build wind turbines when another company roughly a year prior was not. The city attorney's office urged city council to accept this moratorium because while they are planning an alternative energy ordinance currently there are few ways for the city to regulate turbines.

Also towards the end of the meeting Councilman Lantz said that Councilman Siver's position as Deputy Superintendent for the Southfield Public School district was a conflict of interest.

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