City Council Update, March 18, 2024

City Council Update, March 18, 2024

At Monday's meeting, the City Manager announced his resignation. Council approved HVAC projects for the Library and Public Safety, approved Art Bash and Street Art Fest, but denied an office at the former Vitrine location.


The City Manager announced his resignation. He will continue serving until mid-April and will be available during the transition to a new City Manager. An interim manager will be hired while the search for a permanent replacement is ongoing, which may take 3 to 4 months. You can read more details on the city website. I wish Matt well in his future endeavors. 

Council passed a proclamation of appreciation for former mayor Maybelle Fraser, who passed away recently. She was a dedicated servant to the city and its history, serving on City Council and as the city's first female mayor. There is currently an exhibit about her at the Historical Museum. 

The Tree Board presented its annual report and the Communications Director gave a preview of the city's new website, which is coming soon. 

Berkley Art Bash (June 8) and the Berkley Street Art Fest (July 13) received approval to hold their events. 

Council approved a contract for HVAC replacement at the Library and Public Safety, funded by federal and state grants. There is a separate maintenance contract to be paid for over the next five years. Several people voiced concerns about the project, but I looked carefully into the issues that were raised and was comfortable moving forward. 

Council heard a Special Land Use request for converting the old Vitrine store into an office. Council denied the request due to the desire to increase, or at least keep the status quo, of retail locations in our downtown areas. 

Drew Childers was appointed as an alternate for the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Council adopted a resolution to encourage State action on revenue sharing. This is an issue impacting all cities, towns, and villages. In the early 2000's, the state started cutting back revenue they shared back to communities. Over the years, this continued disinvestment in local places has worsened the financial difficulty for many cities. The resolution was not one asking to raise taxes, but simply to reallocate money closer to home where it can have a bigger impact on people's day-to-day lives. 



Dennis Hennen receiving the MML's Ambassador award.

In some personal news, I was awarded the Michigan Municipal League's Ambassador Award. This was in recognition of my work in education, outreach, and advocacy in and for the City. It is the highest award granted by the MML's Elected Officials Academy. I am only one of 16 people in the state to receive this award since its inception in 1997. You can read more about it here


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The meeting packet.



Nicolette the Cat behind a monitor


Cosette the Cat in a suitcase