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Quick Hits: Relay for Life, Gateway Signage, Facebook Policy

Township Board approves permit for Relay for Life West Bloomfield after implementing 'quiet hours' to quell resident's concerns.

Highlights from the meeting Monday night included:

Relay for Life permit approved with conditions

The board unanimously voted to allow Relay for Life West Bloomfield an outdoor gathering permit for the annual, two-day American Cancer Society benefit at  after the application was  about the township's recently amended noise ordinance.

Several conditions were made to the permit to allow for "quiet hours" — without speaker-assisted music — between 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, and 8 a.m. Sunday, June 3.

Township Clerk Catherine Shaughnessy read from a letter by resident Larry Kohlenberg in support of the resident, Steve Balan, who brought the matter before the township board March 5 and had faced criticism in the comments of a story in the West Bloomfield Beacon afterward.

"I've known Steve Balan for over 35 years as a close friend and he is an individual of the highest character," Kohlenberg wrote. "The board simply was doing its own due diligence in awarding the permit. I applaud your attention to detail and I know you appreciated the need for clarification that Steve brought to your attention and in no way was this a reflection on his feelings for the Relay for Life and the wonderful cause that it supports."

Board approves gateway signage program

The board approved by 6-1 vote the implementation of a community development department program which would allow businesses located in West Bloomfield to sponsor "gateway" signage at key intersections in town.

Trustee Larry Brown had raised concerns of the content which those sponsors make their business and voted against the motion after the board struck down language which would have given the township some authority to refuse potential sponsors under certain conditions.

"I’ve talked with some people who have suggested these entry signs, (they) said to me, 'I’m appalled to think that I would drive in to my town that says, Welcome to West Bloomfield and don’t forget to eat at XYZ restaurant,'" Brown said. "I just would like to reserve the respect of how our community was built. It’s a bedroom community."

Supervisor responds to Facebook complaint

Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste responded to the complaint of resident Sheryl Mitchell, that she was in violation of the township's for its website and affiliated social media by calling it "election mudslinging."

On March 15, Mitchell had mailed the township's elected officials a screen capture of a Facebook page created by Ureste and Trustee Steve Kaplan with the username, "West Bloomfield." In the accompanying letter, Mitchell posits that an elected official's use of the name, West Bloomfield, was in violation of the township's policy.

The name has since been changed to "Preferred Local Candidates."

"I’ve had my Facebook manager change the name and this was three days before this item was posted on the public agenda, so that just tells me that this is more election mudslinging,” Ureste said. “It didn’t even violate the policy."

Ronelle Grier March 27, 2012 at 06:16 PM
The supervisor's and Mr. Kaplan's Facebook page was an improper use of the township name, but instead of acknowledging this, she twisted the facts, likening her use of the township name to a business such as West Bloomfield Lock and Key. This is absurd. Her page was titled "West Bloomfield." Any reader would think it was sanctioned by the township instead of being the political ad that it was. We need a supervisor who is above such behavior - that's why I'm voting for Jonathan Warshay in the August 7 primary.

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