What continues is MY version of a REVIEW....or history/opinion of this
particular S.A.D. #407...... not all of what follows was brought up
at the 10-14-13 Board of Trustees meeting. I will be happy to correct any errors... let me know.
PETITION began in 2011 with the RCOC (Road Commission of Oakland
County) following the procedures for road repaving in Oakland County.
It seems that many in Hickory Heights subdivision wishing to have the
roads repaved spent many hours/weeks/months/years relaying to neighbors
about the project being proposed and how the RCOC process works for a
S.A.D. for repaving.
An ISSUE arose by Nov./Dec. of 2012.
Reports seem to differ... but some say the RCOC petition was over/dead
on arrival because there were not enough signatures to proceed with
RCOC. However, the petition gatherers decided to use those SAME
petitions gathered from the RCOC process and take advantage of a newly
created Bloomfield Township S.A.D. repaving process in 2013.... using
those same petitions that were gathered since 2011-2012. That is one issue....using signatures collected with one petition language...only to be submitted to a different entity with different conditions attached... reportedly... with not all signators knowing that was happening.
PETITIONS were signed in 2011-2012 based on what was told to them
about the RCOC process. Many asked: were those people that signed
petitions in 2011-2012 aware that the petition they signed were now
being used in another taxing authority... using a different but similar
process? Were those signatures from people still living at that address? Did the legal owners change since signing? Did the petition signers from 2011-2012 know that the
conditions changed and one of those changes would end up costing them
more/or possibly less money? The main difference of the two S.A.D.
processes for road repaving is how to assess each property and what
percentage is need on the petition. The county assesses road by road,
the township requiring the entire subdivision. The county assessing is
by linear footage for each lot, thus some paying more for large or
corner lots, others on a cul-de-sac much less... the township process
adds everything together and divides by the number of lots in the S.A.D.
TOWNSHIP, via a letter from Leo Savoie in late 2012 to ONLY those
people in the 378 homes that DID NOT sign the 2011-2012 petition for
road repaving, were encouraged to call the petitioners and add their
name so the road repaving process could proceed. Is it right for our
Township Supervisor to interfere in the petition process? Should our
Township Supervisor instead have advised the petition gatherers that a
new petition specifically addressing the Township S.A.D. process with
Township language been circulated and then turned in? Our Township
attorney sat at tonight's meeting.... and didn't address the legality of
a two year old petition with language for another taxing authority
being used for a township process. Why did he not address this issue?
July 1, 2013 or there about, the petitioners felt they finally had the required
signatures/ percentages to proceed with the Township S.A.D. road
repaving process (still using the signatures on petitions from the
failed RCOC attempt). This Township process was now an option that was
not available in 2011-2012. The Township Assessors office...according
to what I heard at this meeting, spent much time doing verification of
signatures, etc. as required. From what I heard, it appears that when
properties had a question about the signatures, the petition gatherers
were able to revisit those properties..... and get signatures from the
missing legal owners/ or the new owners/ or the signatures from homes
held in Trust., etc. and other reasons.
I don't know
how many times and for how long after the fact that names can be added
and/or subtracted from petitions that have been turned in for
certification. Is it the responsibility of the Assessor to certify the
petitions as received?? ...... or is it permissible to return certain
pages with errors to allow the petitioner gatherers to continue to seek
more names/properties and more/correct or needed signatures.... so that
it can finally be certified? What was the state of the petitions on
July 8 at the Board of Trustees meeting? Did the petition certification change before or after the Aug.
12, 2013 Public Hearing? I think those questions and answers are
important. Did the Board of Trustees make certain decisions based on
On July 8, 2013 Board of Trustee meeting posted an
agenda item concerning a possible future S.A.D. Now, the agenda
agenda item was not listed as a Public Hearing, therefore, I am
assuming that no advance notice was put in the newspapers, no letters
were required to be sent to the 378 homes in the petitioned area. I
feel confident in saying that probably that those deeply involved in
collecting signatures knew this issue would be on the 7/8/13 agenda.
The question is: How many of the other 378 homeowners knew that this road repaving issue
was on the agenda?
Now I have personally complained for years
that the Board of Trustees meeting agenda and board packet should be
posted on the Township website well BEFORE the Monday night meeting. The
township posts usually later in the day on Thursdays. WHY? The
township is closed on Friday....Sat.... Sun... and that leaves only
Monday to gather whatever facts/information needed to participate fully
in the agenda item .... for your 3 minutes of comment. That is often not enough time.
Board Packet for July 8, 2013 actually has the Township prepared to do
something different than what is suggested in the agenda posting. The
petitions were not approved or I assume rejected....instead, the township used another legal
method to get to the road repaving project started.
What the Township
did was motioned for a BOARD RESOLUTION.
QUESTION becomes, who knew about this July 8 meeting and decision....
who.... had the chance to read the agenda/ board packet/ and eventually
the minutes from the July 8 meeting.... who spent time to view either on
the computer or on TV the archived audio/video of this meeting? This
July 8 meeting was NOT a public hearing requiring notification. Who
knew the township was not going to accept/reject the petitions, but go for a
Is the RESOLUTION .... which I doubt was read aloud
at the meeting on JULY 8...( I need to review the audio/video archived
meeting) actually "on the record" on the audio/ video archived
Did the 378 homeowners know of this provision in the resolution? Those AGAINST this road repaving project had a way to protest/ stop the process.
IF YES, that this resolution was read aloud at the meeting, then the township did have this language available within days
for anyone to view on their computer or on Cable 15 TV. IF YES,
this resolution and the information on how to object....should/could
have been read by the people/ homeowners of the 378 lots.
How many township residents read or watch the meeting minutes/videos? Not many. Was the resolution language even on the archived audio/video?
township knows that most people in the township don't pay attention to township business. So, how much effort/information did the Township
leadership provide to the 378 homeowners to be well informed of their
rights? I believe the township WANTS this project to succeed. Therefore, why would they want to let the ones trying to stop this project know of a legal way to stop it?
QUESTION: Did the 378...all....have the KNOWLEDGE that there was an opportunity to PROTEST and STOP the project?
the 378 homeowners know that ... more than 20% of total frontage of
this subdivision could file written objection with the Board either at or before the hearing scheduled on Aug. 12, 2013?
according to the Township, they sent notices to the 378 homes of the
upcoming Aug. 12, 2013 PUBLIC HEARING..... and if one read all the way
through the notice....and I'm not sure that THIS notice is what was sent
to the 378.... the last 2 paragraphs did say:
the "letter" notifying of the Aug. 12, 2013 Public Hearing....didn't say ....was what is the LEGAL language from the Resolution... shown
above in E: MCL 41.723 (1)(b) and (3)
The letter did not also state the fact that the township leadership also put on the
agenda for Aug. 12, 2013.... two more items related to S.A.D. #407. See Agenda items #3 and #4.
I suggest... the Public Hearing .... is just another case for the public to THINK their concerns are being heard.... but in reality .... this is just another case of predetermined outcomes at
the township board table. My opinion.
TWO COMMENTS MADE NEAR THE END OF THE MEETING BOTHERED ME:
Dan Devine, Treasurer, had asked the Assessor if the petitions had the
required signatures and lineal footage at the time of the AUG. 12, 2013 meeting?
The Assessor, who was at tonight's meeting, answered , yes.
told the audience that because the township approved this issue by
RESOLUTION... the petitions were not needed, but as a "political comfort
level".... he was happy to hear that 51 % of the subdivision were in
favor of repaving. Therefore, he was basically telling the audience that he would not be motioning nor voting to rescind the previous decisions as to S.A.D. #407.
As a lawyer, he did not address the issue of
whether those petitions he seemed so comfortable to hear were signed by only one half of the subdivision....were legal as most of the signatures were from
2011-2012 for a different taxing authority petition... and he accepted the Assessor's answer that
just said the signatures went with the properties... again.... not being concerned as to WHAT the petition actually had as legal language.
Corinne Khederian, an appointed trustee, later to be voted as
trustee..... all trustees being unopposed in the last election ... no
Republicans or Democratic competition.... and she regularly votes the
same as the group...
She expressed disappointment at the
"accusations" by some people in the audience. Does she listen or
understand issues? Did she, as a trustee, ask to make sure all the legal
rights are explained to the 378 homeowners in a letter BEFORE the Aug. 12 Public
Hearing? Does she know all the differences between the RCOC and the Township S.A.D. processes/ guarantees/warranty/ Senior rights? Does she know that the township has now changed the cost as 1% over the bond price vs the previous mentioned 4%? Has the RCOC changed their cost for bonds at a fixed 6%? Why won't the Trustees actually GIVE INFORMATION at public hearings that actually HELP the homeowners? Why doesn't she or any of the others ASK an
intelligent question? ie: Mr. Hampton, as our attorney, is it legal
for a petition to be used for 2 different taxing authorities?
The petition gatherers said they did nothing
wrong.... they explained the petition carefully.... I believe
them....only they presented the RCOC version of the S.A.D. process during the years 2011-2012 when they collected signatures. But these petitions didn't go to the RCOC. Some in the audience pointed this fact out. Township S.A.D. costs/etc/process is DIFFERENT.
Therefore...are those signatures on the 2011-2012 petitions VALID for the newly created Township process? I say ...no. The opposition group to the road paving were basically asking for the petition process to be redone. The Board basically said that wasn't needed.... because they used the third option for paving subdivisions..... they can just make it happen.... via a Resolution. Sounds like government.... can't get the people to do it.... make the decision for them. Will the next RESOLUTION come to YOUR SUBDIVISION?
is the TOWNSHIP..... that permits seemingly irregular...perhaps
illegal.... activities to occur.... especially when the issue is
something the township wants to happen. My opinion.
I don't think agenda items 6/ Payroll and Vouchers or item 7/ Public
Comment even happened at the meeting..... need to watch the 10-14-13
Board of Trustees video.