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Summary of Monday's council meeting
Citizens complain about rigged bidding, puppy mills, firing of gays (?) and more; routine vehicle purchase on hold as council investigates

February 8, 2017

NOVI, MI - The following is a summary of Monday's Novi City Council meeting.


APPROVAL OF AGENDA: Approved as amended with the removal of Item #3.

PUBLIC HEARING: None

PRESENTATIONS: None

INTERVIEWS FOR ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS

1. Datara Michener – Library Board

CITY MANAGER/STAFF REPORT: None

ATTORNEY REPORT: None

AUDIENCE COMMENTS:

Chuck Lapham, 18412 Blue Heron Drive, said he had an office on Novi Road. He explained that he came to express his opinion on the sign ordinance, even though it was removed from the agenda. He went to the Planning Commission but felt he was too late. He said the changes were unproductive to the advancement of the City. He wants his thoughts considered before Council reviews it because he thought it was a mess.

William McCarthy, Grosse Pointe, said he represents Jorgenson Ford. He was there to speak about Item M. He represented a contractor who bid on the project and he attended the bid opening. He said Varsity Ford submitted a bid, but the amount read at the bid opening was far different than the amount in Item M. He quoted a section of the rules that govern bid submissions about how a bid must be accompanied by a bid bond. He said it was publically stated at the bid opening that the only one who didn't submit a bid bond was Varsity Ford. He asked why they don’t have to play by the rules. He asked if there was collusion between the Purchasing Department and the contractor. He thought it was highly prejudicial and unfair that Varsity be given special treatment. He asked that Council research further before approving tonight.

Amarjit Chawney, 32850 Longbow Ct., Beverly Hills, said he was at the previous meeting and provided a chronological review about his Financial Guarantee that he made in 2002 which hasn’t been refunded yet. After the last meeting, he met with Mr. Schultz to discuss. He said he asked why he waited 14 years to ask for the money back. Mr. Chawney said that wasn't true, that he asked for it in 2004. He said they did return $800 out of $10,800. Since then, he said he was given excuses as to why they wouldn't return the money. He submitted additional documentation to Mr. Schultz. He said he hopes now it would be refunded. His certificate of occupancy was issued December 5, 2006 and it should have been returned at that time to him. He asked that they return his money.

Carolyn Upton, 42806 Brookstone, said she was there because she got on the Beautification Commission in December. She interviewed and when she was asked about her goals, she said they needed more people on the Commission. At the time, they only had 4 members out of a possible 9. Since then, one has resigned, one is a senior who doesn't use email, and they have a lot of upcoming events. When she interviewed, there was a young man who interviewed but didn't get appointed. When she asked about it, she said the response was that the applicant could be a volunteer. She said a volunteer has no voting rights and they run by Roberts Rules. She was confused why someone who was qualified to serve as a volunteer wasn’t appointed, since it is a volunteer position. She said citizen volunteers should be welcomed in the City.

Susan Wheeland, 17851 Airport Road, Fraser, said she was at 12 Oaks looking for a dog ramp at Pet Land and it was heartbreaking. There was a 12 week old Great Dane puppy in a kennel and he is sick and 13 pounds underweight, which amounts to 28% underweight. She filed a complaint at the Police Department and was told one had already been filed. She wanted to know why the dog would be being sold if he was sick. If she had taken that dog home, it would put her dogs at risk as well. She remembered hearing about a Great Dane puppy from Pet Land that had died. She was asking that Council step in to watch over these stores or get rid of them. She said Novi doesn’t want to be known for having this. She wants it to be a humane area, for the people who don't know better, and for the animals. She said we owe it to the future generations; we can do better.

Tyler, a student at Northville High School, was present to talk about the dangers of radon gas which is found at homes and businesses in Novi. Many people know what radon gas is, but the extent of its danger to human health is not commonly known. Radon is the 2nd leading cause of cancer and children are especially vulnerable due to their small lungs and high respiration rates. Radon can be easily tested and mitigated. The EPA recommends all homes be tested for radon. He researched City Ordinances and Codes, but hasn’t found any legislation regarding radon testing. He believes the City should mandate Novi Public Schools be tested for radon. It would ensure the students have a safer and healthy environment to receive an education. If levels are higher than allowed, he felt it was the City’s responsibility to remediate the affected building. July is National Radon Action month; he suggested Novi run an article or ad in ENGAGE! about the dangers of radon.

Pam Sordyl, 8758 Deerwood Rd., Clarkston, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan. She said the last time she spoke it was about Pet Land’s breeders and she provided a lot of information. She said nothing changed. There were over 400 comments on the Channel 7 news story about the Great Dane that died. There were 20 more sick dog complaints in those comments also. Everyone wants to know why the store is still open. She said she has 74 complaints about sick dogs that were sold under the current owner since 2010. She said the store takes families to court and families take the store to court. She said by not providing adequate veterinary care, it is a violation of animal cruelty laws. She asked Council to stop this. She said we need resources assigned to investigate the cases and pass an ordinance to prevent more puppy mill dogs from coming from Novi. It would be great if the Mayor could coordinate a new outlet with the help of Pet Land and 12 Oaks to get homeless dogs from Oakland County Shelter adopted. She looks forward to working with someone on this.

Andrew Sarpolis, 27980 Trail Wood Court, Farmington Hills, said he came back to talk about a few issues of concern. First is the puppy mill issue. He said when he filed for Council, within a couple months, the store owners of some of those stores started sending him material about how great they are. He said Ms. Sordyl has done a great job of sending out other photos. He said there is a great discrepancy between what the businesses show versus what Ms. Sordyl shows. He said Council has been aware of this issue for years and he is questioning why Council hasn’t investigated. He said no one cares about the politics; people just want to see the issue resolved. He said he hasn’t seen any action or that it is being taken seriously. He said he was previously on the Beautification Commission and he understood a qualified person applied and wondered why he didn't get appointed. He asked why there wasn’t a LGBTQ ordinance; why can people be fired at any time just for being gay.

Colleen Crossey, 22279 Brockshire, spoke about the sign ordinance. She said she ran for office in 2016 and she sent Council an email regarding the sign ordinance. She said she received a response from a Council Member, which she read verbatim. She has concerns about the tone of that email. She said she wonders if whenever they have concerns from other community members, if they look into it and make changes. She pointed out the previous speakers, and said the Council has growth. She thanked them for reconsidering the review of the sign ordinance.

CONSENT AGENDA: Item M was removed. All other items approved as presented.

A. Approve Minutes of: 1. January 23, 2017 – Regular meeting

B. Acceptance of Wetland Preservation Easement and Woodland Preservation Easement from Mirage Development, LLC for wetland and woodland preservation areas as part of the Montebello Estates project site, JSP 15-76, located north of Nine Mile Road and west of Novi Road in Section 27 of the City.

C. Approval to award VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Virtual Storage Area Network (vSAN) Project to Dell Technologies in the amount of $79,592.75 using a competitively bid contract through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC).

D. Approval of re-appointment of City Manager and Community Development Director to the Building Authority, with terms expiring on March 1, 2019 and March 1, 2020, respectively.

E. Approval of Resolution appointing Patrick Sullivan to serve as the Administrative Hearing Officer as required by Section 20-37 of the City Code of Ordinances, pertaining to the revocation or suspension of massage business licenses.

F. Approval of resolution recognizing the Novi Co Op Preschool as a nonprofit organization operating in the City of Novi for the purpose of obtaining a charitable gaming license from the State of Michigan.

G. Approval of the final payment to Highway Maintenance & Construction Company for the 2016 Chip Seal Program in the amount of $12,128.98, plus interest earned on retainage.

H. Acceptance of a Perimeter Easement from Secure Development Properties, LLC for a perimeter area and a specific berm area as part of the SP 03-57 Paradise Park site, located south of Grand River Avenue and west of Taft Road in Section 16 of the City.

I. Approval of a Storm Drainage Facility Maintenance Easement Agreement from Secure Development Properties, LLC for the Paradise Park (a.k.a. Novi Family Fun Park) property located at 45799 Grand River Avenue (parcel 22-16-451-046).

J. Approval of recommendation from the Consultant Review Committee to award a contract for Civil Engineering Private Development Field Services to Spalding DeDecker & Associates, Inc. through December 18, 2017 and adoption of associated fees and charges effective immediately.

K. Acceptance of subdivision streets in The Reserve of Island Lake (Island Lake Phases 7A and 7B) and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting Acorn Trail, Overlook Trail and Mallard Trail as public adding 0.55 miles of roadway to the City's street system.

L. Approval of Traffic Control Orders 17-05 through 17-13 for Acorn Trail, Overlook Trail, and Mallard Trail located in The Reserve of Island Lake (Island Lake Phases 7A and 7B); Wixom Road at Acorn Trail/Drakes Bay Drive; and Drakes Bay Drive.

M. Approval to award the lowest bid of $97,227.00 to Varsity Ford for the purchase of the chassis and the up-fits to be done by Knapheide. REMOVED

N. Acceptance of a sidewalk easement from Pinnacle-Valencia South, LLC, as part of the Valencia Estates South development located south of Ten Mile Road and west of Beck Road (Parcel 50-22-29-226-046).

O. Acceptance of a warranty deed from Pinnacle-Valencia South, LLC for the dedication of 27 additional feet of proposed right-of-way for a total of 60 foot half-width master planned right-of-way along the west side of Beck Road south of Ten Mile Road as part of the Valencia Estates South subdivision development.

P. Approval of a Storm Drainage Facility Maintenance Easement Agreement from Pinnacle–Valencia South, LLC for the Valencia South development located at the southwest corner of Beck and Ten Mile Roads (parcel 22-29-226-019).

Q. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 981

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION

1. Approval of the recommendation from the Consultant Review Committee to enter into a contract with OHM Advisors for consulting services to establish a Corridor Improvement Authority. APPROVED

2. Consideration to adopt Ordinance No. 17-110.05, amending Chapter 17, Article II, “Historical Commission,” Section 17-17, “Composition,” of the City of Novi Code, in order to add two additional voting members to the Commission, for a total of seven members, and to remove certain non-voting members. FIRST READING APPROVED

3. Consideration of adoption of Ordinance No. 17-188, an ordinance to amend the City of Novi Code of Ordinances, at Chapter 28, “Signs,” in order to comprehensively revise regulations relating to purpose and intent; permitting process; permanent and temporary signs; off-premises signs; definitions; appeals; and other provisions of the ordinance. FIRST READING APPROVED

4. Approval of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.280 to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance at Article 4, “Use Standards,” Section 4.86 “Uses Not Otherwise Included Within a Specific District,” and Article 2, “Definitions,” Section 2.2 - Definitions, in order to recognize and provide for implementation of State and Federal legislation regarding wireless communication equipment and facilities. FIRST READING REMOVED

5. Approval of resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2017-2. APPROVED AUDIENCE COMMENTS: None

COMMITTEE REPORTS: None

MAYOR & COUNCIL ISSUES: None