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Millage Renewal, Increase Approved for West Bloomfield Ballot

Township board OKs the proposals to restore money that the Parks and Recreation Commission lost out on in bad economy.

The on Wednesday night unanimously approved ballot language to put a millage renewal and increase on the Aug. 7 ballot.

The general operating millage rate for the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission, currently set at 0.2435 per $1,000 of taxable value on taxable property in the township and due to expire in 2013, would continue for 10 years if approved by voters in August, while an increase of 0.35 per $1,000 would be set for 12 years beginning in 2014.

It is estimated the combined proposals, if approved by voters, would authorize the township to collect just less than $1.85 million in the first year of the increase.

"This increase ... is a restoration of monies lost from the 2008 recession. What this will do is return money to Parks and Rec for them to continue to provide services that they are currently providing. If this is not passed, they will have to cut back on the services they provide," said board Trustee Howard Rosenberg, a liaison to the commission.

"This is the same type of millage proposal that this board put forth to the (in 2011)."

Other highlights included from Monday's meeting include:

  • Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste and Trustee Steven Kaplan voted against going into closed session to protest what they deemed Open Meetings Act violations stemming from closed session meeting minutes from the May 14 township board meeting. Township attorney Gary Dovre said he respectfully disagreed, that Township Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy had met obligations by state statutes, and the board apparently went into closed session without the two nay voters.
  • Plans to build a at the current location of a and restaurant at the northwest corner of Maple and Orchard Lake roads hit a severe snag due to excess contamination later discovered at the site, according to developer Doraid Markus. The board delayed action in his proposal to reconsider it. A new plan presented by Markus includes a brownfield redevelopment authority and a variance on the previously approved stormwater detention plan, due to costs.
Jonathan Warshay May 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM
In their attack on Clerk Shaughnessy, the Supervisor and Mr. Kaplan twisted a the meaning of a Court of Appeals decision that had nothing to do with the way Ms. Shaughnessy keeps the minutes. Ms. Shaughnessy has been following the practice of her predecessors, and the Township Attorney has said that her practice is perfectly legal. The Supervisor and Mr. Kaplan should address proper issues rather than manufacturing issues. I will put the people of West Bloomfield first in my administration. This election is about serving the people. That is what I will do as your next Township Supervisor.
Ronelle Grier May 24, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Supervisor Ureste and Trustee Kaplan are masters at twisting the truth. She keeps saying the Benevolent Fund is using "general funds" to pay the water bills of those who have fallen on hard times. THIS MONEY WAS ALREADY EARMARKED FOR THE TRUSTEES' STIPENDS! IF IT HAD NOT GONE TO THE HARDSHIP FUND, IT WOULD HAVE GONE TO TRUSTEE BROWN. For that matter, the supervisor's salary comes from the general fund, and she is spending her time suing her own township, maligning other board members, and campaigning for re-election. Talk about a misuse of general funds!
MIchelle May 24, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Cathy Shaunessey is no angel. She is a controlling leader. I have watched many township board meetings and in several of them she talked down to the attorneys, publically scolded township employees, and was quilty of blocking Trustee Weingartens efforts to obtain budget information from her department in a collaborative manner. She will only support a new Supervisor that is soft and willing to stay out of her way. It sounds like she has found that person. The voters should say no to all incumbents and their desire to stack the township board with puppets.
Jonathan Warshay May 24, 2012 at 05:50 PM
You don't know me, Michelle, so you cannot honestly say that. I have always been my own person. By the way, you failed to mention that Michelle has her "Gang of Six" running. That surely seems like an attempt to stack the board.
Ronelle Grier May 24, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Michelle, have you ever had a conversation with Jonathan Warshay? Have you checked his record from when he served on the City Council in Ferndale? He is not a softie or a puppet. Warshay decided to run on his own, after observing the situation here and deciding he could make order out of the chaos. The board did not put him up to it. They did not even know him at the time. Next time, please check your facts before posting false information in public forums.
MIchelle May 24, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Thanks and yes I have. Fact: West Bloomfield is not Ferndale and he had a good group of leaders around him that he followed. Fact: Yes, he moved to West Bloomfield to live with his girlfriend. Does he own a home here and for how long? Fact: I have talked with him at a Township board meeting. He was unimpressive speaking about general matters and seemed uncomfortable. Fact: Of course his campaign pitch would be that things are in chaos. Ureste had the same campaign pitch 4 years ago and we all know how that turned out. Ureste was a pawn of Kaplan and voters will find out that the other trustees are so desperate to get oust Ureste and Kaplan that they would have supported Bart Simpson over Ureste for Supervisor. Why exchange one puppet for another? How about a write in candidate for Supervisor, anyone interested?
MIchelle May 24, 2012 at 08:35 PM
My response to Ronelle Grier may not post because she has worked for the Patch. She asked and I answered. If I have misinformation then she should correct it but I don't think her source is any more credible than mind considering her ties with Warshay (what is it ?).
Ronelle Grier May 24, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Just to clarify, I am helping the Warshay campaign and therefore no longer cover township government or election news for the Patch (or The Oakland Press or other media). I do think you have some misinformation, but I don't want to get into an online sparring match. If you are concerned about the future of West Bloomfield and the efficacy of a prospective candidate, I encourage you to contact Warshay at warshay4wb@gmail.com, and he will be happy to address your various concerns and discuss his position on the issues. WB is not Ferndale, but that does not diminish his administrative and municipal experience. If you want to contact me, my email is ronelleg@aol.com.
MIchelle May 24, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Thanks for verifying my facts by not correcting misinformation. It will not be easy to pull the wool over the voters eyes this time.
Capshun May 25, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Its clear Ronelle is a shill for Warshay, who appears to be another carpetbagging politician, already discredited for his handling of the stealth public safety millage election set with a "School Election". These inexperienced, unqualified, immature officials need to go. See http://comtjamway.blogspot.com/ for the truth about these people.
Ronelle Grier May 25, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Michelle, please do not assume that I was verifying your facts by not refuting them in a public forum. I invited you to contact me for further discussion; you did not. Were there other good leaders on the council in Ferndale? Yes, but that says nothing about Warshay's abilities. You clearly have your mind made up so why waste time asking questions you really don't want answered. You refer to your statements as "fact," which says you have closed your mind to information that might prove you wrong. I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish. If you want four more years of what you've been getting, then continue to malign a good candidate who just might be able to make a difference. He made a huge difference in downtown Ferndale and saved the community $25K on their new community center. He's a lawyer with an MBA in Finance. He gave time to Legal Aid helping people with no other resources. And Capshun, the public safety millage was not a "stealth" election. The ballot information was available for anyone who wished to be informed, just like in any other election. The school board election had nothing to do with it. And the blog you mentioned has nothing to do with Warshay. It is mainly about Ureste and the promises she made but did not keep.
MIchelle May 25, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Does he own a home here and for how long has he owned it? You are reporter so what are the facts. The fact that I met Warshay and was unimpressed with him is my personal opinion so that's a fact. Warshay criticized/mailgned Michelle Economu Ureste for bringing fast food businesses to West Bloomfield but she could not have done so without the support of the planning commission/ zoning board and the approval of the Township Baord (kaplan is only one vote). I am open to finding out the answer to whether he owns a home in Wes Bbloomfield and for how long. Is he planning to bring streetside food trailers to West Bloomfield to compete with the storefront businesses in West Bloomfield. This is not Ferndale and I don't want it to become Ferndale. Nice city but different goals. I'll vote for Ureste before I vote for Warshay. Report news. Does he own a home here and for how long?
Ronelle Grier May 25, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Michelle, I already told you I no longer work as a reporter on these issues. I gave you the candidate's contact information. I do know he has no intention of turning WB into Ferndale; he has stated that on the record. He supports small local businesses. He has spoken on the record about preserving the natural beauty of this community. He has never advocated streetside food trailers in this community; I have no idea where you got these ideas. I'm not sure why you're so concerned about what property he owns, but please contact him to discuss those personal issues. And, as I've said before, if you want a continuation of the current administration, then you are free to vote accordingly. You are entitled to your opinions, as everyone is, but opinion is just that. It may or may not be factual. If you were unimpressed, then perhaps you are looking for another bully to run the township instead of someone who can get the job done without the drama.
Louise Cantor May 25, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Johnathan Warshay is certainly not Mr. Transparency. Does he own a home in West Bloomfield and for how long? You aren't working as a reporter but you are working to get him elected and may be sharing the same address. Hidden agendas are bad news for West Bloomfield.
Louise Cantor May 25, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Mr. Rath. Does this new candidate to West Bloomfield politics own a home in West Bloomfield and how long has he owned the property. Warshay and Grier are quick to point out facts about other candidates but don't want to be completely transparent about candidate Warshay. Can you run a fact check?
Timothy Rath (Editor) May 25, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Louise: I'm happy to find out that and more about the candidate and will report it on Patch, well in advance of the Aug. 7 primary.
Louise Cantor May 25, 2012 at 07:49 PM
THanks Mr. Rath. The exchange between Ronelle and Michelle seemed ridiculous. The question was very basic.. Do you know what the deadline is for this year's school board election?
MIchelle May 25, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Thanks Louise. Warshay sounds like he invested alot in Ferndale so why did he come to West Bloomfield and not purchase a home when so many homes are in foreclosure and very inexpensive.
Timothy Rath (Editor) May 25, 2012 at 08:30 PM
You're referring to the deadline for candidates to file petitions to the county in order to run on the school board? That's August 14. Let me know if my assumption is incorrect and I'll try to find what you need.
Bilbo Baggins May 25, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Michelle and Louise no doubt are supporters of the current supervisor. Their comments are part of her negative campaign against her opponents and should be taken with a grain of salt. Their attacks are only to divert the public from the real issues. Let the supervisor do her own dirty work. (By the way, property ownership has not been a requirement to vote for more than 150 years.) And their so-called issues really have nothing to do with the fact that the current supervisor is the root of the problems at town hall, with her lawsuit being only part of it. Meanwhile, Capshun sounds like someone from the Flaisher campaign. I would not be surprised if that blog he mentioned is written by Flaisher himself, so Capshun has no credibility either. Flaisher should do his own talking.
MIchelle May 26, 2012 at 07:00 AM
Great comment Mr. Baggins because it is clear that Jonathan Warshay does not own a home In West Bloomfield. I wouldn't have characterized him as a carpet bagger ... an opportunist or someome trying to exploit the in fighting amongst the current township leaders, but as the saying goes, if that shoe fits ... The deal breaker for me is the time and energy that he spent as a councilman in Ferndale. He will bring some of that to West Bloomfield. I say no to Warshay on changing West Bloomfield to Ferndale. I have already given my assessment of the current board members under the story, "Township Residents speak out against "Robo Call".
Mark Scott May 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM
The schools are like Southfield schools now. Can we not turn the Township into Fernadale. No Warshay.
Bilbo Baggins May 26, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Keep up the smokescreen, Michelle and Mark. Your hope is for the public to ignore the real issue: that the current supervisor has not done her duty. Anyone knows West Bloomfield and Ferndale are completely different, except perhaps you. The only thing I heard Warshay say is that he will make our town hall responsible to the people, as he did in Ferndale. And as for the schools, what does that have to do with anything? The schools are separate. But you keep throwing mud in the false hope that some might stick. The people can see through your charade.
MIchelle May 26, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Johnathan Warshay started the negative campaigning long before the robo calls. He wanted to sling mud at Ureste by insulting two new local business owners. He should stick to the issues instead of his smokescreen insults about burger joints.

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