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Clerk Stanley Grot To Start Soundboard, Ethnic Committee

New clerk vows to add programs; other highlights from Tuesday's Board of Trustees meeting.

During his first official Board of Trustees meeting, newly-appointed Clerk Stanley Grot vowed to add new programs and bring more youth to board meetings. 

Grot would like to start a Citizens Advisory Committee- or soundboard - which would give residents a chance to air their concerns in a less formal environment. 

He believes some citizens may shy away from public comment due to cameras, and “name-calling, yelling or grand-standing,” he said. He would like to organize or host a monthly round-table discussion outside of the regular Trustee meetings. “The agenda will be simple: problems, ideas and solutions,” he said. Grot will provide more information on the committee soon and invited residents to email or call for details. 

In addition, Grot would like to start an Ethnic Committee similar to what he organized as a Sterling Heights Councilman about 20 years ago. “There are many residents from different nationalities that live in Shelby (and) they can provide a wealth of information on their respective community and their traditions and customs,” he said. 

He also proposed an Employee Appreciation Day. In addition, Grot asked the township reach out to area schools and invite young people to the Board meetings through a high school internship program.

“Attending these meetings for a while I noticed there’s no young people in here,” he said. “These young people need to come to a safe place where they can write their essays, they can do their paperwork for school, (and) they can do their interviews with their elected officials.”

Hackel awards Shelby Board of Trustees for cost-savings 

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel acknowledged the Shelby Township Board of Trustees by presenting a plaque to Supervisor Richard Stathakis in honor of the township’s cost-savings through 2011. The township marked their third year of surplus last year, contributing almost $3 million to the general fund through cost-cutting, including the reduction of staff by attrition. In addition, the township fire department is $300,000 in the black. 

Trustees adopt 2012 Recreation Plan 

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees adopted a five-year recreation plan Tuesday night. The plan serves as a guideline for improving recreation within the township and enables the township to be eligible for state and federal grants. In the past, grants funded the building of the Nature Center, allowed for improvements to Mae Stacker park, and more. 

Board approves purchase of new police radios 

The Board also approved the purchase of 32 mobile and 29 portable police radios at a cost of $198,029. Installation will cost $11,984.  The police department will use federal grant money to purchase the necessary upgraded equipment that will be installed in cars and used by individual officers. 

DPW to retire revenue bond early for savings 

The Board of Trustees approved a request from the Department of Public Works to use money from the department’s $44 million reserve to pay off a roughly $9 million revenue bond for a savings of nearly $2 million for the township.  As a result, DPW customers may see a decrease in the cost of their water bills.  

Software upgrades for DPW 

The Board approved DPW’s request for new software licenses from ESRI, Inc. allowing the department to keep better track of the township’s water and sewer needs. The total cost of the software is $15,300. Labor support is another $15,000. Grot voted against the upgrade. 

Board approves promoting, hiring new librarians

The Trustees approved promoting of current librarian and hiring of a new one to work in the Children’s Services area.

Valarie Alspaugh February 23, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I really like the theory of the Soundboard idea. But an honest opinion, it will only work if the Board members who are present come to the table willing to answer the questions brought by the community. I think that is where much of the frustration stems from at our Board meetings now. Resident after resident approached the podium with question after question and return to their seats without answers. And just as an added thought.....when a resident asks a question from the podium at a Board meeting, why does the Board members answering or refusal to answer with an explanation count towards the residents five minute time limit. I have wondered why the Board members just don't keep track of the questions asked during the five minutes and then offer answers when that resident is finished with their five minutes, but then I noticed that when that happens at times, the answer can lead to the resident having a few more questions, then the resident is not allowed to add until the next meeting. I hope the Soundboard idea comes to pass and works as well as it possibly could, there are many good suggestions, ideas and questions that could help to validate aspects of many issues the Township faces in the hands of the residents! I hope these ideas from the new Clerk come to be a predictor of the type of public servant he intends to be!! Would be a welcome change to have somebody truly interested in the thoughts and suggestions of the community they serve.
Matt Guarnieri February 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I think a big improvement to the board meetings would be to never show the audience members on camera, such as Eastpointe does. The camera points to the city logo while audience members ask questions and then allows the board to answer. Keeping the audience off camera discourages grandstanding but allows them to be heard and answered.
Jeffery Berz February 24, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Good point Katrina. Just show fools who sit in the audience with signs. To date you're the only one to feel it necessary to play with signs.
Valarie Alspaugh February 24, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Hmmmm. That could be a concept worth some extra thought there Matt. I for one have chosen not to speak at Board meetings because being on camera has a tendency to make me very nervous, and I don't want that nervousness to come across as fear or insecurity.
Sammy V. February 24, 2012 at 01:07 PM
And all this time I thought Ultra-conservative, far-right wing Republicans and ethnic people mixed like water and oil. I like what Stan Grot is doing with this... if only he could convince his fellow conservatives in the other 49 states.
Jeffery Berz February 24, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Matt, You have things categorized wrong again. Val Aspaugh is the decent person. She would probably take exception to being linked to you in any way. What one person maliciously refers to as grandstanding is another persons freedom of speech. Why don't we take another simpleton idea and have no real public meeting at all. The people who want to speak can stand in front of a video camera and address the board the way a criminal is arraigned via video. This is what I thought of when I read the comment about pointing the camera at the city logo. I'll bet that would go over real well at the Shelby Township meetings. How ignorant!
george campbell February 24, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Although I do not agree with the way Grot was appointed Clerk, I do feel he has some good ideas here. Matt refers to Eastpointe and states "allows the board to answer" the only answer Rick has is "thanks for coming down". As far as grandstanding, who shows up at a meeting with a sign? what is this some kinda rally? Pixie the clown from the meeting did less grandstanding than you do.
Valarie Alspaugh February 24, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Yes Mr. Berz, I think I would take exception to being linked to Matt, but let me clarify so that I don't sound disrespectful. It is my feeling that Matt is a very close minded person, and that once he decides that he doesn't like a person, he is willing to skew information in an attempt to sway others opinions of them. I am not like that and do not seek to associate myself with others who are. Yet, I am glad that he has chosen to refer to me as a decent person, as for many months he has made more than one demeaning comment about me. I think my comment may have been a bit misleading, as I have approached to speak at the podium on more than one occasion, but my nervousness is clearly evident. The more I thought about it, the thought of being viewed on television doesn't help, but it is the fact that I am in front of a large group of people that brings about the nervousness, therefore where the camera is pointed would probably not make much difference. So, maybe that isn't a very good idea at all. I too do not agree with the way Mr. Grot was appointed, but that in no way indicates how I feel about the man himself or his ability to do the job he has been appointed to do. It appears that he has a vast amount of experience that could be a benefit to the position, and he is coming to the table with good ideas. I do wish that he had not chosen his acceptance speech to cause further turmoil to the Board.
Jeffery Berz February 25, 2012 at 02:30 AM
I support Bob Leman for Shelby Township Supervisor.
Jeffery Berz February 25, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Before Matt Gunari makes his comment about me not being able to vote in Shelby because I live in Utica read my last post. It doesn't say that I'm going to vote for Bob Leman it says that I SUPPORT Bob Leman for Shelby Township Supervisor. Just wanted to clear this up and save Matt the trouble of twisting it for me.
Jeffery Berz March 12, 2012 at 10:54 PM
At the last Shelby Township board meeting Treasurer Stanley Grot showed everyone examples of grandstanding and how to be a bully. I was not impressed. I will say that Ron Churchill can get very passionate when he speaks but it is still his right to speak. Obviously he said nothing wrong because he wasn't stopped from speaking by the supervisor. I believe that Stanley Grot should keep his big mouth shut when he has nothing good to say about a resident and taxpayer who is speaking his mind all the while conforming with the rules of decorum of the meeting. Acting like a bully to a blind man will get you no where Stanley Grot.
Jeffery Berz March 30, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Shelby Township Stanley Grot is a bully. That is a fact. He has probably always been a bully and probably always will be. Unfortunately he is now the problem of the people of Shelby Township. I blame Supervisor Stathakis and a number of the board members for bringing Grot on board. I hope those that voted for Grot are happy with what they have done. He is a prime example of the kind of politician that everyone hates! Grot is a loud, rude and over bearing bully. He is a real tool!
Philkarr April 14, 2012 at 04:19 PM
If Stanley decides to run for Clerk in the primary who verifies his petition signatures..... Mr. Fairbrother? Mr. Grots appointee seem unqualified. How did he get this job anyway. who does Mr. Fairbrother know?
Jeffery Berz April 14, 2012 at 05:54 PM
IF Stanley decides to run? He's already got his foot in the door like a vacuum salesman ready to make a sale. How much better could his situation be after being appointed to his current position. It makes it much harder for a real candidate who has to actually go out there and run a campaign and work to be elected. When the new Clerk is elected I would like to see Mrs. Arft who has tons of experience reappointed to her old position.

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