This is my account of today's event:
YOUMANS JAMILA vs. BLOOMFIELD TWP
July 12, 2018
Reading by Judge DANIEL P. O'BRIEN into the record: was to begin at 1:30 pm at the Oakland County Circuit Courthouse, but apparently began earlier around 12:30 pm. The reading continued until approximately 4: 17 pm. with just one small break.
Gregory D. Hanley, Attorney for the Plaintiff was present in the courtroom along with Jamila Youmans (also class action suit) in the audience. Others in attendance: Bill McMaster, (TaxpayersUnitedMI.org ), a vocal voice at township meetings about water and sewer issues and how the township was/was not dealing with issues; David Thomas, former candidate in Nov. 2016 election for Supervisor (lost by less than 500 votes to current Supervisor Leo Savoie) and the lead person with a petition for a forensic audit of the water and sewer department that was quickly ignored by the township leadership; and me, Marcia Robovitsky, self appointed watchdog of Bloomfield Township issues and the author of the many articles in this blog and archived blogs some concerning water and sewer issues.
A surprise visitor sitting quietly during the almost 4 hours of reading into the record turned out to be none other than the Judge's mother. This was a very complicated and difficult case, and she has every right to be proud of the detail and attention and legal standards that her son, Judge D.P. O'Brien gave to this case.
Also in the Courtroom were the attorneys for Bloomfield Township:
William P. Hampton, retired from Secrest Wardle, now independent $100,000/year contracted attorney for the township; and Mark S. Roberts, Secrest Wardle law firm. For a few hours, current Treasurer Brian Kepes was in attendance, but left early.
So, you want me to get to the point? WHAT HAPPENED?
Well, I'll just tell you this:
Bill Hampton and Mark Roberts left the courtroom quickly.
From what I heard and understood, (and I arrived late because of the earlier start than scheduled) - Bloomfield Township took a BIG HIT..... the Plaintiff prevailed to some degree in many of the various issues the Judge ruled on. Can you say millions? The parties still need to return to the court. I believe the judge is giving the township time to "reflect" and to settle with the plaintiff attorney some more case-related sections as to appropriate damages.
The Township's lack of transparency and methodology among other damning comments were scattered throughout the 4 hour reading. The Township and how they managed this department, how the budget was shown , rate formulas, fees, etc. and the way some employees perhaps kept information from being transparent were basically the reasons they lost ( that's how I understood the 4 hours). I will write more when the transcript is available and publicly correct in my next blog any mis-spoken/ printed information here today, if any.
Whatever the cost, I am ordering a transcript of this decision. All township residents should read this decision !
All Bloomfield Township residents should heed one of the many comments made by the judge: my paraphrasing: the courts can't decide everything....but the CITIZENS should go the the BALLOT BOX when election time comes. Each citizen should know about each candidate and how he/she will run the municipality and then vote your preference.
The 2016 Bloomfield Township election was decided at the PRIMARY in August 2, 2016. There were no Democratic candidates in November. There were CHOICES for the first time for ALL seven of the Bloomfield Township positions. Only 2 candidates that I supported won. However, the voting was VERY close (scroll down in link for local results). Unfortunately, those two (Buckley and Walsh) are constantly outvoted on many issues by the other five. Change needs to happen in Bloomfield Township. Next chance: August Primary in 2020.
Please, pay attention to ALL elections.
Fair warning: August 7, 2018....... there are some Bloomfield Township ballot issues on the PRIMARY BALLOT. READ! Public Transportation and Safety Path Millage
Proposal Language for the August 7, 2018 Primary Election
and of course, CHOOSING the candidates you want to represent YOU in Michigan in the NOVEMBER 2018 election. Candidates that do NOT win in August will NOT have their name on the November ballot. Choose wisely. Here is a link for Bloomfield Township residents to see THEIR sample ballot for THEIR specific precinct. Not all ballots are the same as Bloomfield Township has different boundary lines for some district representatives.
P.O. Box 489
Bloomfield Township, MI 48303-0489
Supervisor: Leo Savoie email@example.com
Attorneys for the Plaintiff:
Kickham Hanley PLLC
32121 Woodward Avenue
Royal Oak, Michigan 48073
Main: (248) 544-1500