Rochester Hills news briefs, week of June 11

League to host candidate forum

The League of Women Voters Oakland Area will host a forum for candidates in the 45th District state House race on July 18.

The forum will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Rochester Hills City Hall auditorium and is open to the public. The forum will be telecast live, rebroadcast and streamed on Comcast Channel 20, WOW Channel 10 & AT&T Channel 99.

The candidates are incumbent Republican Tom McMillin and Democrats Ted Golden and Douglas Wilson of Rochester Hills and Joanna VanRaaphorst of Rochester.

Gravel road speeds to be discussed

Rochester Hills Councilman Adam Kochenderfer will host a meeting to discuss speed limits on gravel roads on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. in the Hills city hall auditorium.

Kochenderfer is seeking resident input on the current 55 mph speed limit on gravel roads and on recent efforts to return control of gravel road speed limits to local municipalities. Jim Santilli, executive director of the Michigan Traffic Improvement Association, is expected to attend, along with a representative of the Michigan State Police. State Sen. Jim Marleau and state Rep. Tom McMillin have been invited. McMillin’s office confirmed Wednesday that he is planning to attend.

“If you’ve ever tried to go 55 on Dutton, you realize what a terrible idea that is,” Kochenderfer said. “There are pending bills in the legislature that would essentially give control back to the municipalities. … We are doing everything we can to get the word out on these issues.”

Marijuana moratorium extended by Hills

Rochester City Council has extended its moratorium on the use of medical marijuana for another year.

Since Michigan voters approved a ballot proposal in 2008, the city, like other municipalities, has declined to implement regulations governing medical marijuana. Hills Development Director Ed Anzek said Monday that the city has been waiting for the state legislature to provide some guidance.

“We still do not have clear direction as to how to go forward on a local level,” Anzek told city council June 18. “One other thing that’s changed in the past year is … a total reversal of the federal standards of a legal enforcement.”

City Attorney John Staran recommended that the city extend the moratorium. “There are several different cases working their way through the appellate process. There are several bills that are being deliberated in the state legislature,” Staran said. “It’s hard to say which way this is going. We also have an attorney general who has taken a very strong restrictive position in his interpretation of the statute.”

The vote on the extension was 6-1, with Councilman Mark Tisdel dissenting.

Barnett to get 1 % raise

Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett will approve a 1-percent raise in 2013, thanks to a unanimous vote of city council June 18.

The raise, along with a similar increase for department heads (except the treasurer/assessor for equity reasons), was recommended by the city’s human resources technical review committee.

Human Resources Director Pamela Gordon said the raises are in keeping with similar increases negotiated with the city’s union employees. “We want to maintain that parity or equity between our union and nonunion employee groups,” she said.

Barnett’s 2013 salary will be $105,000. City council and boards and commissions will not receive a raise.

Budget approved for police ballot proposal

At the request of the Hills’ Police and Roads Funding Committee, the city will spend up to $25,000 to educate voters on a millage request that will appear on the Aug. 7 ballot.

“This is going to require some education on our part to explain to voters exactly what they are voting on,” said Councilman Mike Webber, who also serves on the committee. “We cannot tell people to vote yes or no, we are merely providing education. … This is something that is important from the committee’s standpoint.

The vote was 6-1, with Councilman Ravi Yalamanchi dissenting.

Museum seeks vintage toys

Calling all toy collectors—the Rochester Hills Museum wants you!

The museum is planning an exhibit at holiday time full of what all children (and the young at heart) love: toys! The museum is looking for people who collect various types of toys who would be willing to loan them for the exhibit.

The exhibit is scheduled to run November, 2012 to January, 2013. If you have items you would like to contribute to the exhibit, contact Danielle Ager, Museum Staff Assistant—Archives, at 248.841.2673 or

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