By SHERRI KOLADE
DEARBORN — City Plan staff members were given the go-ahead to move into the city’s Legal Department after the City Council approved an ordinance during a May 8 council meeting.
City staff members who work on planning issues will work in the legal department as an effort to save money and create a system of accountability, Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said during the council meeting after a council member asked why city plan workers will not be moved to the economic development department.
“We want to have a separation since there are checks and balances,” O’Reilly said. “Since the economic development department oversees the Zoning Board of Appeals … we felt the legal department would be a better administrator of the Plan Commission because they are more consistent with what the legal ramifications are.”
O’Reilly added the Plan Commission and the ZBA will remain separate, the way it was intended to be.
The City Plan Commission and the city plan employees will work under the auspices of the legal department, city spokesperson Mary Laundroche said. The City Plan Commission will still have monthly meetings and operate as they always have, she said.
Reducing overhead is another goal achieved by moving the plan staff members into the legal department, O’Reilly said.
Another resolution was made by council members, awarding a one-year contract to a Michigan-based landscape company, WH Canon Inc. for $83,730.40 for flower bed planting and maintenance.
Council President Thomas Tafelski said the objective is to maintain costs and start working with neighborhoods and community groups to addopt a flower bed and plants.
“When people come into the city it has a pleasant look to it,” Tafelski said. “If there are organizations out there, groups or families that would like to adopt a flower bed we welcome that and we ask you to call the DPW office to help us out with that.”
Councilman David Bazzy said he agrees it is important to keep the city beautiful while keeping within the city budget but the efforts can also be made through the City Beautiful Commission.
(Sherri Kolade can be reached at [email protected])