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Clerk Stanley Grot Hosts First Citizens Advisory Meeting

Residents discuss roads, recreation, funds, current board, more during sometimes heated gathering

In keeping with his promise to improve communication with the citizens and the Shelby Township Board of Trustees, newly-appointed clerk Stanley Grot hosted the first Citizens Advisory Committee meeting April 23 at the community center. 

Several residents and a handful of community officials, including Trustee Lisa Manzella, Treasurer Paul Viar, attorney Robert Huth, and 41-A District Court Judge Doug Shepherd, gathered for the two-hour meeting, which was, at times, rather heated as residents aired their concerns on several issues. 

Grot started the meeting by bringing to the table several “provocative” questions, he said. “I think these kind of issues will affect our community, will affect our safety, will affect our way of life,” he said. He reminded residents that topics brought up in the session are not binding, but rather serve as a sounding board for further discussion. 

He asked for the crowd’s opinion - by show of hands - whether or not the township should construct a new 41A District Court building and a new recreation facility. He also questioned a township-sponsored Memorial or Labor Day parade, and if the crowd backs a millage increase of about $10 to $20 a year supporting the Detroit Institute of Arts. 

He also asked whether or not police and fire officials should live in the township, if the Fire Department should consider part-time employees, if property taxes are too high or too low, and other issues, including problems with sidewalks in the township. 

Several residents brought up concerns about the township’s underfunded Police and Fire Pension Fund, especially when Grot mentioned that the township may face bankruptcy within a few years if the problem isn’t corrected. 

Residents also raised concerns about the blight conditions that exist along Auburn Road in the township’s 48317 zip code. Two residents read from handwritten speeches, stating their concerns about the road conditions and the numerous shuttered businesses along the corridor. Viar said $300,000 was recently allocated to repave Auburn. 

The rezoning of 24 Mile and Schoenherr roads from residential to commercial property proved to be another popular topic, with residents raising concerns about how the Board of Trustees and Supervisor Richard Stathakis handled the issue. 

Grot and several residents expressed stated that they believed department heads from the DPW and Parks and Recreation should have attended the meeting. Grot stated that the cost to have the employees in attendance, at about $1,200, was too expensive for the township. Residents thought the employees should attend regardless. A Shelby Township police officer was there to answer questions about the department. 

In addition, residents expressed concerns about the Board of Trustees meetings, stating the sessions are too long and that some feel intimidated to speak.

Although these issues and a few others were not fully resolved at the meeting, it’s Grot’s hope that the session and others serve as a starting point for residents. He added that he hopes a group of citizens representing all areas of the township will organize and take over the committee. Another Citizens Advisory Committee meeting is set for May 22 at Township Hall. 

Matt Guarnieri April 29, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Of course people who have to cut the waste from their departments and pensions will be angry. I think of the Jamie Bara deposition where he admitted attending a few Tiger Baseball while he was signed in as working for Shelby Township, he admitted it was wrong but I bet he was mad he was caught..... of course employees who have been getting away with this behavior for years past are angry at the people who put a stop to it.
Jeffery Berz April 30, 2012 at 01:29 AM
I wouldn't call it a break on a ticket Matt has gotten in the past it's more like getting off on a technicality. I won't mention the charges here as they make me sick. Matt is a bottom feeder and nothing more.
Jeffery Berz April 30, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Matt seems to think he can sway the way people think if he tells enough lies. The problem is that Matt has lied so much that he now believes his own crap. Like I said before you will not find a more upstanding and honest man than Bob Leman. He will restore honesty and faith in Shelby Township government.
Matt Guarnieri April 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Mr. Berz, I wish I knew what technicality you speak of. I am not the type to weasel out of anything, especially a false accusation. I'm more the type to take severe steps to prove his innocence and then shove the proof in the persons face. The weasel blames the process of getting caught and others for pointing out their bad behavior. The honorable man proves his innocence 100% and then never attacks the process just the ineptness of others. If people had done their job properly I would have never been accused. If people had done their jobs properly Mr. Barra and Mrs. Manzella would not be in jail today and Mr. Leman would have been fired, not just let go by non-renewal of a contract. All I ask is for honest people to be in charge... not me, not anyone I would endorse..... But for goodness sake, let's stop making excuses and letting people and politicians off for dishonest and inept behavior.
Matt Guarnieri April 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Should read "Be in Jail" Not "not be in jail"
Jeffery Berz April 30, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Matt, Why have you taken it upon yourself to single out people and attempt to crucify them. This is especially bad when you only tell half of the story. Jamie Barra went to his boss Supervisor Stathakis and told him about the bribe. Stathakis told him to donate some and he took $100 to supposedly donate himself. When all of this comes out in the news Stathakis lies through his teeth and refuses a polygraph test. Who's the cheat, thief and liar now? Stathakis has lost any faith that people ever had in him and he will never regain it.
Matt Guarnieri April 30, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I can not prove any of Barra's story accept he admitted to taking a bribe, admitted to attending sporting events and playing hookie from his job while on the clock for Shelby Township, admitted to being offered a bribe from a second developer. People don't just offer up bribes and cash unless they get signals you're asking for a bribe.... think about it. Mr. Barra contacted the appraiser directly for the property owner who gave him a cash gift. Mr. Barra wrote out the check for this property owner and handed it into the Treasurer's office himself. I won't even go into the appraisal and how wrong that was for taxpayers. Mr. Barra Took a bribe.... how he disposed of it .... He did favors for this money.... what favor could Mr. Stathakis do for Mr. Barra that Mr. Barra would pay him 100.00 for? Look at the known facts in the report, not jumping to any conclusion.... just the known and admitted facts of the police report. You are jumping to conclusion based on assumptions.... I came to conclusion based on statements given and facts collected. There is real corruption in Shelby Twp. But it's the employees and trustee that broke the ethical standards intrusted to them.... or at least all I can prove at this point. And if these two face no real punishment for their actions how can I expect any justice if I do uncover other corruption. To defend Barra is to say " well, some corruption is acceptable, others is not". What standard is that?
Jeffery Berz April 30, 2012 at 05:40 PM
The fact remains that Stathakis wouldn't take a polygraph test. Sounds like someone with something to hide to me.
Jeffery Berz April 30, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Matt are you stoned or drunk? You sure seem to be screwing up your rants lately. In jail? Out of jail? Should be in jail? You sound like you're messed up. Just do me a favor and stay off of the roads in that condition or one of those cops is going to get you and not give you a break.
Matt Guarnieri April 30, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Having been someone accused myself and passing a polygraph and then being subjected to some of your own post Mr. Berz, I would think passing a polygraph test to prove your innocence means nothing to you. Does passing a polygraph have meaning to you in SOME situations but not ALL. Again, two sets of ethics, one for you friends and a totally different standard for others. At least I an consistant and honest Mr. Berz.
Matt Guarnieri April 30, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I'm on my phone Mr. Berz.... and I have some fairly dammaged hands to be texting with...... Still not two faced like others. I stick to my ethics and standards.... friends or enemies.... all the same.
Jeffery Berz April 30, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Be careful or you'll go blind. Also don't forget to wash you hands! :-)
Jeffery Berz April 30, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Matt I guess you have your standards and I have mine. That's what makes the world go around.
Thomas Delise April 30, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Well you know he can't all be there if he thinks $tathakis is honest !!!
Matt Guarnieri May 01, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Mr. Delise, I trust no one, but we need to be consistent, either all unethical behavior is punishable by firing or none of it is. We need to begin wherever the most prevalent and provable unethical behavior exist. By allowing some select employees or special trustees to get away with unethical behavior you are saying it's fine to act unethically with taxpayers funds and responsibility unless you have a personal stake in the circumstance. This is the beginning of “special interest politics”. Today, I feel, that by special interest ignoring some unethical behavior that is written and reported and just concentrating on what I cannot prove you are going to allow ALL unethical behavior to be acceptable unless it only harms you, the special interest. Now if by chance Flynn, Viar or Stathakis do happen to commit a provable unethical action I have to treat it the same as the current provable unethical behavior by a different trustee and former clerk. It’s the only way I can justifiably say I am not “special interest” reporting or commenting.
Jeffery Berz May 01, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I AGREE WITH MATT! Stathakis needs to be fired! The sooner the better.
Jeffery Berz May 01, 2012 at 02:52 PM
That's just the way he operates Tom. Twisting what others say to make them look bad. Fortunately most people know not to believe what Matt says.
Matt Guarnieri May 01, 2012 at 04:06 PM
You're "special interest" Mr. Delise, you pick and choose how YOU want justice served, you let your friends off the hook to be crooks but attack those that have done nothing wrong for your own gain. This is YOU Mr. Delise. Prove me wrong. Show me all corruption is on your radar..... But this won't serve you personally so I doubt you would ever be THAT fair and equal.
Matt Guarnieri May 01, 2012 at 04:38 PM
There is nothing to twist Mr. Berz. I am showing the other side of what you are claiming. It's called "debating the facts". If what you say were facts and provable, beyond a doubt, I would be quiet. What you do is pick and choose what you want to believe and summarily put real facts off as meaningless. You live in a fantasy land where the truth is meaningless. "You can't handle the truth" as they say, it would make your mind explode so you personally attack the person saying the truth to you. Haven't you personally attacked me here? Dismissed what I say instead of coming up with facts? These are the tools a puppet, a marionette if you choose, someone who attacks the person spewing facts instead of debating. As soon as you bring up anything personally about me I know I am winning. Just like the “dirty truck” talk of Mrs. Manzella, instead of saying, the facts are wrong, you would just like to discredit the person showing the world the truth and thus try to cover up the truth. I’m not going anywhere and I hope the corrupt and inept people keep it up or even win an election…. I mean, my signs and websites have a 10 year life span and contract, what good would they be if there is no one to use them for? The harder you attack, the more I know I’m doing the right thing. The more power you give me. As long as you say worse personal things about others than I, I cannot be blocked or quieted.
Jeffery Berz May 01, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I guess the same can be said for you Matt. Just read what you have written then look in the mirror. As for your last comment to Tom Delise what the hell are you talking about? &%#@(&
Norman Dziadzio May 01, 2012 at 08:58 PM
I have for the last two(2) Agendas to be posted on the Shelby Township site and have been unable to get the Agendas on line. What is going on?
Jeffery Berz May 02, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Forgive me Mr. Dziadzio for saying this and I'm not personally attacking you but I was told that you were a large part of why citizens speaking time was reduced from 10 minutes to 5 minutes. You used to get up there and give long drawn out speeches and commentaries. This information came from someone close to a current board member.
MP Smith May 02, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Norman, you know what I think? I think its deliberate. Less people showing up means Grott can get another 'that-a-boy' for an early ending meeting. He bragged about it 2 weeks ago you know.
Matt Guarnieri May 03, 2012 at 11:35 PM
What does this mean Mr. Berz? I seem to beat you at every subject and you give up. Must be hard to think up lies on the fly. If you just spoke the truth as I do you wouldn't be so frustrated. I wish I had someone of minimal intelligence and maturity to debate with, but you are a clown and Like clowns.
Cheryl Arft May 04, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Norm, Maybe you should ask the new Deputy....that's his job, and you're paying a lot of money for him. Did you call Stan about it? What was his response?
Truthful Enquirer May 04, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Please re-compose the past sentence. Mr. Delise, into something recognizable so we can follow your train of thought
Truthful Enquirer May 04, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Matt, once I again I suggest that you not argue with a simeon the like of Mr. Berz or Delise. You're wasting your time.
Matt Guarnieri May 05, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Mr. Delise, I love when you cry and spout tears because you can't manage to keep your hand raised at the appropriate times to be called to speak at the podium during Shelby Township business meetings. I have the video clip.... It's really funny.
Thomas Delise May 05, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Show me the tears. I pay taxes & I do not appreciate intentionally ignored ! So I told him what I thought.No crying towel needed here.
Matt Guarnieri May 05, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Mr. Dziadzio, maybe I can help. The last Agenda downloads at 33 MB of information, this would take a little time with a slower internet connection. I am able to reduce the size myself to under 10MB to save them. I usually download them the day they are available.... if you have an issue, ask Marina (the editor here at Patch) to contact me. I can upload a reduced pdf to the Patch or send it to you. I don't think this is a Clerk issue, I think it's a computer issue on your end since I seem to be able to download, even to my smart phone, without an problem.

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