Today (10-21-2015), the Joint Development Council (JDC) met at Pontiac City Hall. Too bad Pontiac City Mayor, Deirdre Waterman first went to the Bloomfield Township Hall. That delayed the start of the meeting by 22 minutes. By the way, she also totally missed the JDC meeting in September, showing up AFTER the meeting adjourned. That meeting was about the same issue as today's meeting. Apparently she and Supervisor Savoie did meet on Sept. 23, 2015 after the adjourned meeting and they discussed.... what?? ... too bad not part of the official minutes. Hmmmm.
Pontiac is represented by their Mayor, Ms. Waterman; and Bloomfield Township is represented by their Supervisor, Mr. Leo Savoie. The third member of the JDC is Mr. Dennis Cowen. He is the "NEUTRAL" member and the chairperson of the JDC. REDICO is the current developer.
From the September 23, 2015 meeting of the JDC, the minutes state that
Supervisor Savoie.. "would like time to allow Attorney, Bill Hampton to
review the Development Agreement as it pertains to this issue." This issue being: IS colorful graphics on mesh construction screening considered a sign according to the 425 Joint Development Agreement? Asking for a "review" because Hampton previously made a ruling for the Township and the JDC that it IS a SIGN.
While Supervisor Savoie said at the JDC meeting he wanted Bill
Hampton's "review", Mr. Savoie never asked or approached Mr. Hampton for
an update or comment on his previous rulings on this very same issue. Hampton's previous ruling was: it WAS considered a SIGN. If that ruling stands, the 3 JDC members should/must vote NO... not permitted.
Meanwhile, the "neutral member", Dennis Cowen, apparently was "invited" to the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees meeting on October 12, 2015 to talk about the project and the upcoming VOTE of the JDC about a request from REDICO to put up ... wind screening with colorful graphics on the fence on the Telegraph side of the property.
Mr. Cowen, chairperson of the JDC, and an attorney, told the Bloomfield Board of Trustees how HE didn't think it was a sign. Cowen didn't ask about Township Attorney Hampton's written opinion (Hampton was conveniently not present at this meeting and his substitute sat silent). The comments Cowen made were not neutral... he was definitely expressing HIS opinion as to the issue and the development in general.... and he stated he was.." urging the Board members to favorably consider this request". Clearly, Supervisor Savoie also let the Board of Trustees know HE didn't think it was a sign and that he (Savoie) didn't agree with with the previously written attorney opinion.
At that same meeting (Oct. 12, 2015) Treasurer, Dan Devine (who is also an attorney and was a member of the JDC in prior years) gave the history of this exact same issue. He explained Township Attorney Hampton's written opinion and what happened in past years. Trustees Barnett (also an attorney) and Kepes both made what I consider snarky remarks toward Mr. Devine. The Joint Development Agreement is to be adhered to for any issue concerning this land. Mr. Devine was trying to make that point.
WHERE WAS BILL HAMPTON.... the Township Attorney?? Why didn't Savoie at least ASK for an update?
Is it because Savoie didn't care? Was he was going to vote for the screening no matter what? Taking this issue to the Board looks like Savoie was just convincing 5 other people from the township to say... go ahead... forget our attorney's previous opinion. If there is any future "blame" ...Savoie can possibly say it isn't all his fault.
SO..... ABOUT THIS MORNING'S MEETING OF THE JDC (Oct. 21, 2015)
First: Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
Next item: the request from REDICO for the graphic and colorful screening.
First to speak was Savoie who announced to the group that the Bl. Trustees gave him by a 6-1 vote, permission to vote in the affirmative to allow the colorful graphics on the windscreen.
Then the three members of the Joint Development Council again simply announced HOW they would vote:
Savoie announced that he would vote YES.
Ms. Waterman announced she would be voting YES. (Wonder how she came to that conclusion?)
Mr. Cowen announced he would vote YES.
Instead of having a DISCUSSION, they announced their intended vote.
Then someone made a motion to approve.
The AUDIENCE... asked for public comment on the issue.
Mr. Cowen DENIED any public comment at this time and took the vote.
There was NO discussion. No one even mentioned the previous (Attorney Hampton's) written opinion that said it was a sign and went against the Joint Development Agreement.
The developer representative from REDICO sat silent. He has no vote.... and he knew the outcome.
Vote Taken: 3 YES... unanimously approved.
THEN... after the vote: 4 people spoke during public comment:
Marcia Robovitsky (me)
All four wanted the 3 JDC members to follow the AGREEMENT.
This issue was denied in the past by the JDC... why is it allowed now?
Basically, the reasoning was :
... all three council members agreed on what they wanted to do... and because they have given the unanimous " Yes " vote.....REDICO got approval to proceed with the graphic wind screening by this JDC.
BUT... did the the JDC members go against the 425 Joint Development Agreement? A unanimous vote violating the AGREEMENT language... is 3 people making the wrong decision.
So, on Telegraph Road, north of Square Lake.... driving by, your attention will be diverted from watching the road to wondering what the "colorful graphics on mesh construction fencing" means.
OH, it must be .... a SIGN.... that something will start happening soon.... or whenever.... at that site.
Demolition would be a good start.
WELL, what is the next item the three JDC members will agree to do...? and will it comply with the JOINT DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT? Do you think they will ask for an attorney opinion if they are not sure? And if so, which attorney? Or.... will they just vote UNANIMOUSLY .. and let it happen?
Here is a question I have for those reading this blog:
Does anyone know... or can tell me where I can find who are the INVESTORS of the "corporate shell company" who bought the foreclosure rights from Wells Fargo ... that those foreclosure rights are now owned by REDICO ? Please leave a COMMENT with the information. Thanks.
That company is: Bloomfield Village Investor Holdings WHO ARE THE INVESTORS?
below from: http://www.freep.com/story/money/business/michigan/2014/10/21/bloomfield-park-foreclosure-rights-new-owner/17646669/
"In filings last week in Oakland County Circuit Court, mortgage holder
Wells Fargo identified the new owner of foreclosure rights as Bloomfield
Village Investor Holdings, a corporate shell company. Precisely who
that entity is, and its plans for the property, were not immediately
clear on Monday."