Focus on consensus, resources for new projects
Posted on 01/26/2023
City Hall City Council recap of Jan. 23 special meeting

This meeting was held to review goals and objectives for Fiscal Year 2023-2024.

Mayor Brian Turnbull introduced the new city clerk, Mike Smith, to members of Council and noted that Jan. 23 is his first day on the job. Smith has more than 18 years of experience in the public sector, starting in the elections division of Oakland County and most recently, as assistant city manager for Berkley. The largest part of his career was spent in Clawson, as city manager, city clerk and deputy clerk. He is a certified municipal clerk.

Council reviewed priorities for the year. High priorities include aligning new projects with available funding and integrating them into the budget review process. Some will be funded in the new fiscal year and others will be considered based on available funding and timing opportunities.

The city has heeded the Farmers Market Task Force framework plan to secure a new home for the Farmers’ Market, which is hosted by the city and run by the Chamber of Commerce. The first piece starts with land acquisition, with a purchase agreement signed for the property at 7 Mile and Main, and due diligence in process. Other task forces, such as the River Restoration Task Force, and subgroups, such as The Mobility Network, have made great strides in identifying funding opportunities for project goals that have broad support from the city and community. City Council and Interim City Manager Mark Wollenweber thanked the dedicated citizens who have given their time and talent to develop framework plans and continue to advance the goals.

Council plans to work closely with the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to develop a Downtown Strategic Plan. The mayor wants to hold quarterly meetings with merchants and other vested parties as the process evolves. The DDA convened a meeting for that purpose on Jan. 12, which was well attended.

Discussion also touched on the city-owned land on Wing Street and potential future uses. With the post office renewing a lease at its current location at Wing and Cady for three more years to continue solely as a retail entity, a move isn’t imminent. Yet, council members want to be prepared for what could be located there and will hold discussions in the coming months. DDA Director Lori Ward said a grocer is interested in the post office site.

Council has been informed that City Hall is undergoing office changes, with the relocation of offices within the building for greater efficiency and work flow. Finance will be housed at the east side of the building and Fire Department management will have offices at the west side, nearest the Fire Station. DPW staff worked extra hours to reconstruct the City Clerk’s Office so it would meet new election law criteria. “They did a fabulous job,” the mayor said of the DPW work crew (Matt Wyman and Terry Ahola.)

Council communications

Council Member John Carter said he is actively participating in the Beck Road Task Force and is sharing with the group the perspective of Northville residents, including those at Northville Estates, who live closest to Beck Road. The task force last met on Jan. 12 to discuss funding and early phasing plans for the Beck Road expansion. Carter said he wants the task force to hold an informational session in Northville so citizens are better informed about it and can provide input.

Mayor Brian Turnbull thanked members of City Council for attending extra meetings in January and noted some extra meetings will also be held in February. He invited people to attend a Town Hall meeting he is hosting, with elected officials at the state and federal level, at Northville Township on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. (also on Zoom).

There were no public comments.

View the meeting video here.