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Today I’ve been officially working for you for two years. Depending on the day, it either seems much longer than that, or much shorter. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you. Typical tenure for a City Manager in the US is somewhere between three and five years. In some communities, if…

A different kind of infrastructure

As a City we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about infrastructure. It’s the constant maintenance and the little things that happen incrementally that help make our community so wonderful. But there is a different kind of infrastructure that is at play in our fair city – social infrastructure – the health, wellness…

Sometimes what we think will work, doesn’t

Although government usually doesn’t advertise it, sometimes our solutions aren’t as effective as we hope. A few months ago, City staff recommended some changes to parking orders – which is what makes “no parking” signs and other such traffic control items, possible. One of the requests that the City made was to install additional no…

Don’t flush that!

I first heard the term”fatberg” about a year ago when there was a giant one stuck beneath London (you can read about it here).  This morning, the Detroit Free Press had a more local story about a Michigan-made fatberg in Livonia.  What is a fatberg?  It is as disgusting and horrifying as it sounds. It is…

We all could do more

On Tuesday, September 4, City Council adopted a resolution that recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month. Normally I’m not a big believer in  governments passing resolutions on things that they can’t control. However, in this case, I think we all could do more. As City Manager I am privy to some reports that most people…

Sideways

Last Friday things went sideways. I want to take a minute to say three things sincerely: I’m sorry, thank you and we need your help. It has been a long weekend. The water advisory that was put into place was not something that we take lightly.  We know that it impacts business and your daily…

Luck favors the prepared.

Afternoons like this are deceiving. It’s warm. There’s a breeze blowing. The sky is blue. And there is a flash-flood watch. I like to think that I am not an over-reactor. But I am probably an over-prepare-er. And I want you to be one too. Tonight’s weather forecast looks dicey – especially the late evening….

Low Key – Local Party

We had a wildly successful event last night. It didn’t make the news. Thousands of people didn’t come. It’s not trending on social media. I couldn’t be happier. Last night, thanks to the work of the St. John’s Church, Police, Fire and Parks and Recreation Departments, the first “touch a truck” event was a success….

Why do you do that? – Sidewalk edition

My daughter, who is 15, asks a lot of questions. She always has. Some of the best ones are about the City and so I thought I’d share some of them here. Today’s topic is sidewalks. Why do you only replace small portions of the sidewalk at a time? The City’s goal is to ensure…

When is brush yard waste: a philosophical discussion

It’s brush chipping week this week. The brush chipper is scheduled only the first Monday of each month, April through December.  Sometimes our DPW crew sees random brush and goes to pick it up – because it’s unsightly. But this then creates a vicious cycle where other residents think it’s brush pick up and place…