What are the township's priorities? Well, the non-profits (WA3 and Preservation Bloomfield) got agenda time at the April 9, 2012 board of trustee meeting. Nothing happened but spin for the organization. They'll need to reappear if any money goes their way. Stay tuned, they'll be back. However, what is more important to discuss at a board of trustees meeting? What issue was missing from this agenda and many agendas before this one? Discussion of the Liquor License Policy.
A TOWNSHIP PROPOSAL FOR CHANGING THE LIQUOR LICENSE POLICY was first put on the agenda January 23, 2012. I wrote a blog about this agenda item: Click here for that blog. It is archived under my January blogs...see column to the right. I feel it is important for you to review my comments concerning the liquor license policy in that blog. Please take the time to reread it now before continuing. Apparently some of my readers may have called the township or other concerned taxpayers contacted the township. The minutes of that 1/23/12 meeting show the item was TABLED because "...several calls had been received ....":
What would you expect the next step to be in this issue? Hold the study session on the liquor license policy? Right? Wrong.
Before ANY study session was held, the following took place by our elected officials on March 14:
The Design Review Board that is Leo Savoie, Dan Devine and Jan Roncelli met. This committee meeting, which is open to the public meets at 2 pm in the township hall on Wednesdays. It is not audio/video recorded or archived for the website. Only 18 hour noticing is required. This particular meeting that I will refer to was supposed to meet on March 21.....but the township held it one week EARLIER on March 14. Did you make the meeting or were you looking for the regularly scheduled meeting on March 21? Here is the agenda item that needs a liquor license from that 3/14/12 meeting. I believe this agenda item should FIRST go to the planning commission....not three elected officials who will have the final vote at a board of trustees meeting.
Read this carefully and note all the special conditions that need to be approved/changed to make this project happen. When was the township going to tell you about this project and the needed changes?
RESULTS OF THIS THREE PERSON MEETING:
So the three elected officials make a MOTION at their 2 pm meeting (on a specially scheduled meeting date) to send the Maple Theater liquor issue to the Planning Commission on April 2, 2012. Mind you, the Planning Commission has cancelled every meeting so far in 2012. The township web page listed the March planning commission meeting as cancelled...nothing was posted until late Thursday, March 29 ...YET the township KNEW after their March 14 Design Review Board meeting that there would be a Monday April 2, 2012 planning commission meeting... but waited until March 29 to list the meeting notice and agenda. Friday the offices are closed to ask questions. Did you miss the Planning Commission meeting on April 2? I did. I got lulled into the pattern of planning meetings being cancelled. The last one was Dec. 2011. Didn't think anything needing liquor licenses would be presented because there was no study session called yet. The MINUTES of this meeting were not available on the web before the April 2 planning commission meeting. So how do you know that agenda is coming?
OK. The study session on the liquor license policy that the Board of Trustees said they needed back in January happened on March 15 at 8 AM. Did you wake up in time? This meeting was the day AFTER the Design Review Board where the 3 elected officials made decisions and sent a project with a liquor license need to an April 2 planning meeting....but you won't see the audio/video minutes of these meetings archived because the Board of Directors refuse to tape the meeting....do you know why? To keep you in the dark and approve things without citizen knowledge....in my opinion. These meetings can be easily taped and archived but YOU must contact the township and tell them how important accurate and timely audio/video archived minutes are to the open and transparent system of government. All public meetings should be archived this way.
Here are the printed minutes of the one hour and 40 minute STUDY SESSION meeting on March 15, one day AFTER three of these participants sent a liquor license project to the planning commission on April 2. Are you following all these mystery meetings? An audio/video recording of this meeting would be more revealing. These written minutes are rather short for so long a meeting. Are there comments or important data missing from the minutes? Notice who attended. Another law firm. Who were they representing at this meeting? Our township attorney was present. Different law firm. Hmm...could it be the Maple Theater lawyers? Or for whom?
HOW CONVENIENT: AUDIO RECORDINGS MAY BE DESTROYED..... TIME TO GET THE TOWNSHIP TO RECORD ALL PUBLIC MEETINGS and ARCHIVE THEM
Note: Nothing was determined at this study session: Township attorney, Hampton, will "present a comparison overview to the Board at a future meeting." Wonder when THAT will occur? Is this liquor license policy revision needed before the Maple Theater approvals? Why isn't this presented at a regular board of trustees meeting? Show US the powerpoint. Let us give input on the issues.
More on this liquor license policy change and the businesses requesting liquor licenses in my next blog. Coming soon.