Group that sought to influence ’09 Hills election fined

A group that mailed flyers to voters right before the 2009 Rochester Hills City Council election without registering as a campaign committee has been fined nearly $8,000 by the Michigan Department of State. After a June 7 administrative hearing, Taxpayers for Accountability was found to be in violation of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act. The law requires that anyone who spends more than $500 to influence an election must file paperwork as a campaign committee, including disclosure of … [Read more...]

Cement plant gone, South Street ready for its encore

Things are changing in Rochester’s South Street neighborhood along the Clinton River. It’s been happening for a while, but tucked as it is beneath the south Rochester Road bridge, it’s easy to miss. Zoned industrial, the area was home, until very recently, to an unsightly cement plant. But the neighborhood is cleaning up and trending toward what city officials are calling a “quality of life” area. With an update of the city’s master plan just getting underway, the planning commission will … [Read more...]

Stolen signs found, more go missing

Just when it seemed like the great sign caper had been solved, more campaign signs were stolen this week in Rochester Hills. Last week a number of candidates for Rochester Hills City Council said their signs were stolen or vandalized after being placed on supporters’ lawns. Incumbent Councilman Martin Brennan, who is not a candidate, made a police report after the signs of several candidates were vandalized on his lawn. He was still steamed Monday night, when he brought a sign that had been … [Read more...]

Rochester Hills Bridge Fix Hopeful for Next Year

Take two bridges, just around the corner from each other. Put them smack dab in the center of busy Rochester Hills. Partially close them both due to safety concerns, and what do you get? Angry drivers. Bridges over the Clinton River on Avon and Livernois are down to single lanes in each direction, causing backups and delays. Lane and weight restrictions were imposed by the Road Commission for Oakland County due to serious deterioration of concrete beams.  Shahrokh Mansoori, a physician … [Read more...]

Avondale to Revise Deficit Plan

The Avondale Board of Education has approved a budget for the 2011-12 school year that meets the terms of a state-approved deficit elimination plan. The board approved  the new budget Monday after reaching concession agreements with employee groups, including wage reductions of 1-2 percent plus increases in health-care contributions to at least 20 percent. Superintendent George Heitsch agreed to roll his salary back 3 percent, in addition to the 20-percent health-care contribution. The … [Read more...]

Rochester Schools to Cut Paraeducators

Faced with shrinking revenues and the unclear financial future, Rochester Community Schools is planning to use $11 million from its $28 million fund balance in order to keep classroom programs intact for the coming school year. But the district will reduce an as-yet unspecified number of paraeducators to half time and reorganize the rest as part of its 2011-12 budget. The move is gut-wrenching for the employees, the board of education and the parents of children who rely on paraeducators for … [Read more...]

Rochester Hills Residents Seek Ballot Proposal to Protect Parks

A coalition of Rochester Hills homeowner associations will mount a petition drive aimed at getting a proposal on the November ballot to amend the city charter to protect parks from inappropriate development. The residents formally asked city council Monday to put the measure on the ballot so they wouldn’t have to gather signatures. After several hours of debate, council voted to refer the matter to a committee to work on ballot language. The committee will include three residents, up to three … [Read more...]

New school superintendent prepares to take reins

Frederick Clarke begins his tenure as Rochesterschool superintendent July 1. But he’s been spending the early part of his summer vacation getting ready for the job. Clarke was hired away from Albion Public Schools by unanimous vote of the Rochester Board of Education to replace Dave Pruneau, who is retiring. Clarke and his family have found a place to rent while they put their current house on the market.  Older son Freddy, 15, will be attending Stony Creek High School this fall. Younger son … [Read more...]