by CYNTHIA KMETT
The implication seemed to be that if former city manager Brian Kischnick (now in federal prison) didn’t pay for his driveway and there was no record of a building permit for Mayor Dane Slater’s driveway, perhaps the mayor’s had been free, too.
Turns out to be not true. Even before the driveway was poured, Mayor Slater had checked with City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm to be sure that it wasn’t a conflict of interest to buy a driveway from a city contractor.
When this question came up June 3 at the city council meeting, Councilman David Hamilton indicated he wanted an investigation into both the driveway and who attended Kischnick’s holiday party. (The FBI didn’t even tell Attorney Bluhm who attended the party.)
Before last week’s council meeting the city sent out the following statement:
In April 2016, the Troy City Council approved a two-year extension of its contract with DiLisio Contracting, Inc. of Clinton Township (Contractor) for Concrete Slab Replacement Program for Local and Major Roads. The contractor performed work by private agreement with property owners adjacent to the project, including Mayor Dane Slater. The Contractor, not the Mayor, should have applied for and received a permit before performing the work. The Mayor brought this matter to the City’s attention more than one year ago.
However, City staff subsequently inspected the driveway and found it complies with City codes. Mayor Dane Slater showed the City Manager and City Attorney a copy of the invoice and proof of payment, so the City considers the matter closed.
Now why didn’t the mayor just speak up and say, I’ll show you the check I used to make a payment for the driveway? Perhaps he, and Councilman Dave Henderson, just felt blindsided and felt this as an attempt to damage their reputations.
Both the mayor and the councilman said such questions should have been asked in a more private setting, not in a public meeting.
Councilwoman Ellen Hodorek defended Hamilton and said that they needed to be transparent and that such questions were being asked by the public.
Should the local roads contractor, DeLisio, be paving the streets in your subdivision and you need a new drive, feel free to take advantage of the offer. Dozens of homeowners do every summer and it’s perfectly fine to do so and you’ll probably get a discount since the cement truck is already on your street. Just remember to pay the bill. And, you do not have to pull the building permit as that is the contractor’s job. That means the job will be inspected and you won’t get carbon monoxide poisoning from a new furnace or a leaky new roof. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the permit.
Trails and Pathways to Get Another Look
It’s no secret that many people think bike trails and walking paths through the city would be an excellent idea. They’ve voted for them several times in Recreation Department surveys.
It’s also no secret that the city is now about 97 percent built out and there are no old railroad lines to use for the basis of a trail system, as the Paint Creek system does.
It’s also no secret that when residents are asked if such pathways can go near their home or even neighborhood, the answer is a resounding “No, not in my backyard.”
What is a city to do?
Well, Department of Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep will be looking for new routes to consider this summer, including some around Sylvan Glen Park and the golf course. We’ll see if they bring new answers to a complicated problem.
Remember, the State of Michigan twice turned down grants for proposed routes in the past because they used major mile roads for part of the trail system. So grants to pay for any projects will probably have to be done with city money. The new city budget only put aside $75.000 for trails and pathways in the coming year, so building is definitely not on the agenda just yet.