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West Bloomfield Board Cites Cost Concern in Opposition to House Bill

Township Board of Trustees resolution stands against creation of Michigan Indigent Defense Commission.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday at Town Hall. Receive daily news dedicated to West Bloomfield on Patch. View the proceedings by tuning in to Civic Center TV or watch the live stream online. View the complete agenda on Patch.

Concern for costs in opposition to House bill

The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees will consider Monday night whether or not the procedure for providing legal representation at 48th District Court should be changed.

House Bill 5804, which passed 71-36 on Nov. 8, creates a commission to establish statewide standards and accountability measures for court-appointed attorneys, who are essentially hired by the township and others at the court to represent those charged with felony or misdemeanor crimes in which jail is a possible sentence.

A resolution against the bill is part of the board meeting agenda's consent agenda. In it, the township takes issue with mandates to comply with the new Michigan Indigent Defense Commission, with a possibility of being withheld state funds if not in compliance.

"District Court judges are vigilant in appointing highly qualified attorneys to ensure that indigents receive quality representation," reads the resolution.

"The proposed legislation should be modified to exclude misdemeanor cases .... if the State creates or imposes increased standards for indigent misdemeanor cases, especially when the District Court is functioning properly, the costs should be absorbed by the State."

To read the attachments concerning this agenda item:

Redevelopment at former auto dealership?

The township has been approached about the redevelopment of the former Audette Cadillac dealership on Orchard Lake Road for a health club use, wrote senior planner Sara Roediger in a staff report.

In an Oct. 5 letter, construction management company Atwell, LLC requested of the board to allow it to put the health club on the first floor of the site. 

To read the attachments concerning this agenda item:

Other highlights of Monday's agenda

  • The board will hold a public hearing to consider establishing a special assessment district to pay for the costs of a private road paving at Lone Pine Villas. The project's estimated cost is $301,540.
  • The board will also hold a public hearing for its 2013 budget.

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