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Archive for 2013

The City of Saline has partnered with SeeClickFix

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

As you’re driving through your neighborhood, you spot an ugly pothole. Wouldn’t you love to be able to report it as soon as you see it? Now residents will have the ability to do just that! The new mobile app, called SeeClickFix, allows residents to submit requests for non-emergency service via mobile application and web tool. Issues can be reported using a widget on the City Website, City Facebook /cityofsaline, and Twitter @CityofSaline), or with a free phone app (for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices, search for SeeClickFix on Google Play Store, iTunes or Marketplace).

Just a few examples of issues you can report using SeeClickFix include graffiti, potholes, trash in a park, tall grass, or an abandoned vehicle. Requests reported through SeeClickFix can provide location, description and photographic information regarding the problem. The new service is available in different languages and requests can be submitted anonymously. Residents can also report issues to the Department of Public Works at (734)429-5624 and these issues will be added to the SeeClickFix database.

The SeeClickFix app on iPhone

SeeClickFix allows citizens to not only report the non-emergency issues, but to monitor them as well. Once the issue is documented with SeeClickFix, the reporting citizen will receive a notification and tracking number. The request is then automatically forwarded to the appropriate department. Once the issue is addressed, the status will be updated and posted on SeeClickFix. City staff will monitor SeeClickFix during normal business hours.

The new system eliminates the same request being submitted multiple times and allows staff to work more efficiently by filtering requests regarding type, status or department assigned.

SeeClickFix is strictly for non-emergency services; any emergency should still be reported to 911.

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18th Annual Saline Celtic Festival

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

July 12-13 – Come see why Bloomberg Business Week and Money Magazine recognize the Saline Celtic Festival as one of the reasons Saline is a great place to live and the #1 city in Michigan to raise a family.

New this year.
The Michigan Brewers Guild will bring a little more “beer” culture to the cities signature event with craft beers from Bell’s, Arcadia Ales, Ann Arbor Brewing Company and New Holland Brewing Company.

The Mastodon Mayhem Challenge Run organized by the Saline Main Street group  will open the festival with a unique obstacle run. This 3 mile dash thru the park will feature mud pits, wall climbing, tire cross, log carry, sit-up and push-up stations water obstacle and more.

The 18th Annual Saline Celtic Festival kicks off on Thursday, July 11 with a Highland Athletics demonstration downtown at the Summer Music Series.  Friday, July 12th with Pub in the Park starting at 5:30 p.m. Good food, Michigan craft beers, great music and entertainment. The popular Tartan Terrors band will provide the music. There will also be dance and music workshops for participants to enjoy for only $8.00. Additionally, families can come and enjoy a free evening of jousters, merchants, and enjoy a great night! Come hang out and relax with neighbors and friends while strolling through the beautiful Millpond park. Friday will also host the popular Mr. Pretty Legs Kilt competition. Saturday, July 13, is Festival Day! The festivities begin Saturday with the Mastodon Mayhem Obstacle run. Followed by the opening ceremonies with an “inside the park” parade, mass pipe bands, national anthem, dignitaries and more starting at 11am.

And what would the festival be without the Highland Pipe Bands? The bands, individual pipers, and drummers will compete for medals and bragging rights. The color and sounds will lift your heart.The performances begin at 9:00 am with the Scottish and Highland Dance Competition followed throughout the day with Irish Dance Competitions. The always popular Highland Athletes with the caber and sheaf toss will highlight a 7-event competition.  Saturday’s stage entertainment will begin at noon with three stages of live entertainment throughout the day and will feature rock and traditional Celtic music by Solas, Brother and Blackthorn bands. Great activities for families to enjoy on Saturday include Jousting Knights on Horseback, Clans and Societies, Golf chipping, Celtic Survivor, Haggis Hurl, Textile Arts. Shopping, Sheep Dog Demonstrations, The Wee Folk Area, Medieval Reenactments, Tug-of-War and Millie the Millpond Monster.

There will be food and many merchant vendors available at a variety of locations within the park selling authentic Celtic food and great merchandise. There’s something for everyone to enjoy during the Saline Celtic Festival! The Festival runs through 11:00 pm. Tickets will be available at the Celtic Festival Office, Saline City Hall and other local businesses beginning June 1st. Please visit the festival’s website for ticket locations at salineceltic.org. Would you like to attend the Festival for free? Just become a volunteer. For a few hours of work (really more like play) you are given free admission as part of the great party.

For more information on the Celtic Festival or to volunteer, contact the Saline Celtic Festival office at 734-944-2810, by e-mail at celticfest@cityofsaline.content-hub.net. Come and enjoy the party!

SATURDAY TICKET PRICES:

• Children under 12 -Free
• Active Military -Free.
• Advance tickets are $10.00.
• Tickets purchased at the gate for adults 18 +: $15.00
• Tickets purchased at the gate for youth ages 13-17: $5.00
• Tickets purchased at the gate after 8:00 p.m.: $5.00

All parking and shuttle rides are free.

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Annual Police Award Ceremony

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The Saline Police Department would like to honor the following officers and civilian for their outstanding efforts going above and beyond the call of duty.

Citizen Citation:
On July 31, 2012, LaMare Hopkins was driving his Chevrolet Suburban east on Michigan Avenue.  He stopped for an accident at US12/Industrial.  Shortly thereafter Mr. Hopkin’s vehicle was struck in the rear by another eastbound vehicle.  LaMare told police he could see through his rear window, the driver of the other vehicle was having some type of medical emergency and appeared to be going into unconsciousness.  LaMare applied his brakes, attempting to keep the striking vehicle behind his.  The vehicle again struck Mr. Hopkin’s vehicle then veered away, driving past LaMare’s vehicle and eventually smashing into Officer Snook’s vehicle which was parked to protect the first accident.  Ofc. Snook’s patrol vehicle was a total loss, fortunately no one was hurt and the unconscious driver was treated for a medical issue and released the next day from the hospital.  Though unsuccessful in his attempt to prevent the vehicle from going around his vehicle, LaMare Hopkins disregard for his own personal safety goes above and beyond what a citizen is expected to do.  For this Lamare Hopkins is receiving the Saline Police Department Citizen Citation.  Congratulations!

Certificate of Merit:
On May 25, 2012, Saline Police responded to a report of a bank robbery at the TCF Bank on Michigan Avenue.  Detective Don Lupi responded to the scene and assumed command of the investigation.  Countless hours of follow-up and investigation led to the arrest of several people involved in this robbery.  Because of the information received it was discovered the suspects were wanted in several area bank robberies and multiple robberies throughout the United States.  Det. Lupi developed a confidential informant and worked at building a good relationship, taking his time and not rushing.  This tactic proved to be very successful with a large amount of valuable information being received.  Det. Lupi knew when to move forward and when to not push for information.  The information received was then validated by other sources and surveillance ensued.  Don made the right choices at the right time which kept information flowing in for this massive investigation.  If not for Detective Lupi’s diligence in this matter this robbery very well could still be unsolved.  For his work and dedication to duty Detective Lupi is receiving the Certificate of Merit.  Congratulations.

Certificate of Merit:
For the last 16 years, Officer David Ringe has been assigned to the DARE officer position.  During this time he has taught well over 6,000 students. In addition to teaching DARE, Dave has also accepted the responsibility of instructing Teaching, Educating and Mentoring (TEAM) and Safety town.   He has taught Safety town for 16 years and TEAM for 4 years.  Several of Dave’s DARE students have become teachers and are employed here in our own Saline School system.  One of his former students is now an officer with the Saline PD.  What a great legacy for Dave and the Saline Police Department. Officer Dave is the driving force behind an annual fundraiser to support the DARE program.  Over the years the fundraisers have raised in excess of $100,000.  Not only has he taught these programs for many years but he does it with such excellence.  I could go on and on, but time will not allow, about Officer Ringe’s efforts to educate and protect our children.  I know Officer Dave is very deserving of and is therefore awarded the Certificate of Merit.  Congratulations!

Letter of Commendation             Evidence room
I have had the opportunity over the last 39 years to observe several evidence rooms.  When I started at my previous agency the evidence room was a disaster.  The job of auditing and cleaning the evidence room was bigger than the department could handle.  I had to bring in an outside person to start the process of cleaning up and perform an inventory of the evidence room.  This took hours upon hours of time to complete, needless to say this cost a great deal of money to correct.  I have the privilege of teaching in the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police New Chiefs School about department audits which includes auditing the evidence room.  I have heard horror stories about the conditions and processes of other police department’s evidence rooms.  The Saline Police Department evidence room on the other hand is so professionally and properly managed that all I could say is “Wow”.  Every piece of evidence is in its right place and even more importantly accounted for.  Each and every year the officers in charge of the evidence room conduct a complete audit.  Again “wow” I could not ask for more.  Our evidence officers, Ofc. Chris Boulter and Ofc. Dennis Gruschow have been in charge of the evidence room for many years and more than deserve this letter of commendation job well done.  Congratulations.

Letter of Commendation             Firearms range
The very first day on the range with the Saline Police Department firearms instructors was a very impressive day for me.  Having fired thousands of rounds over the course of my career I found myself in awe on just how professionally the range was handled.  This was the first time for me to have instructors who ensured everyone was not only wearing ear and eye protection but also went one step further to ensure the safety of our police officers by requiring everyone to wear a protective vest.  In addition to the safety aspect, which all by itself deserves mentioning, the type and style of firearms training our officers receive is second to none.  Officers are required to shoot in a mixture of courses in a wide variety of weather and lighting conditions.  Real life-type conditions are recreated to put our officers under stress which can affect your ability to shoot.  A recent range example:  our officers were required to simulate being in a fight, punching a punching bag for several minutes then firing their handguns at targets no bigger than a small balloon, talk about difficult.  It is with great pleasure I present a letter of commendation to Sgt. James Basso and Ofc. Andy Hartwig.

Chief Larry Hrinik
Saline Police Department
100 North Harris
Saline, Michigan  48176
734.429.7911
lhrinik@cityofsaline.content-hub.net

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The Mayor’s State of the City Address

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

STATE OF THE CITY

JANUARY 7, 2013 – MAYOR BRIAN MARL

Good evening City Council, City Manager Campbell, Clerk Hill, distinguished guests and my fellow citizens.

It is an honor to be here this evening. I’m humbled by this opportunity to lead the city that I’ve called home my entire life, and a community that I love.

Let me begin tonight by acknowledging and thanking my immediate predecessor. I stand today in the shadow of Saline’s longest-serving mayor, and the city’s first female mayor. She is truly

a trail-blazer who has dedicated much of her life to serving the citizens of Saline, and our community has benefited in tangible ways from her service. I’d like to take a moment to thank her, and acknowledge outgoing Mayor, and now State Representative, Gretchen Driskell, for her years of service and dedication. We wish her well in her new role representing the 52nd House District in Lansing.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank former City Attorney Allan Grossman for his more than 50 years of exemplary service to our city. Speaking for the entire City Council, we are truly indebted to him for all he has done for our community. We wish Allan and his family the very best of luck in all their future endeavors.

We live in an exceptional community, and the City of Saline is strong. The hard work done by community leaders up to this point has positioned our city well. However, we are also at a fork in the road: across our state, and nationally, the role of municipal government is evolving, and in some cases fundamentally changing.

Our cause is too important, and time is too precious, to waste any moment. I plan to partner with my Council colleagues, city staff and community stakeholders to develop forward-thinking, proactive solutions for our city’s future. Together we must act boldly to face the challenges Saline faces. We cannot pass our problems off onto our successors, or to the next generation – we must lead. These decisions will certainly not be easy, and they may not always be popular, but they are absolutely necessary. Short-term or one-time fixes and gimmicks are not leadership, and the path of least resistance is always downhill. Together we must act decisively to do what is best for our community.

Primary to our effort is reaffirming our support and commitment to public safety. Residents and business owners cite our quality public safety programs as one of our city’s biggest strengths, and with good reason. Without safety and security, other important aspects of a community suffer – things like economic growth, and sense of community.

As a city, we must work hard to empower public safety staff, to ensure that policies and procedures are appropriate and up to date. Poor policies or inadequate resources will not be tolerated – they can hamstring front-line employees in their ability to do their job effectively, and city leaders must work to ensure proper safeguards are in place to support their important work.

 

Economic development is another component integral to Saline’s short-term and long-term success. While we remain supportive of our larger businesses currently occupying our industrial park, I believe as a community we must focus on nurturing new and growing small businesses and entrepreneurial projects. Saline is already a center for creativity and innovation, and I know my Council colleagues share my enthusiasm for working hard to help cultivate residents’ good ideas.

For businesses of all sizes, city government will take an active role in fostering more and better communication between private and public sectors. To this end, the city will moderate forums and host events for businesses to share ideas and solutions, encouraging discussions among businesses and with city leadership and staff. In the coming months, a priority of Council will be a systematic and thorough review of all regulations, so that policies are not unnecessary or overly burdensome to businesses seeking growth and expansion.

The city recently received a strategic business plan for attracting and retaining businesses, prepared by Ann Arbor SPARK. We must work to realize the goals and objectives outlined in that plan, and that is only possible through collaboration: City leaders and staff must work with our economic development boards, and must build on existing partnerships with SPARK, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Small Business and Technical Development Center, the Saline Main Street Program, and our local Chamber of Commerce.

Not as captivating, but extremely important, is ensuring that Saline’s infrastructure is well supported and maintained. We must work together, and quickly, to develop a plan for a reliable funding stream to maintain our infrastructure, including not only our streets and sewer systems, but also our city’s sidewalks. Focusing on walkability, and developing more non-motorized pathways to connect key areas within our city, will make Saline an even more family-friendly community.

In developing the city budget for this year and in planning for the future, we must achieve a balance between adequately funding our most-needed and vital programs and services, while ensuring that we spend responsibly and wisely. City government should never ask for more of people’s hard-earned dollars than absolutely necessary. The economic downturn has hit families and businesses hard, and it has also taken a toll on our fund balance. Council and stakeholders must work collaboratively and actively in the coming years to grow our fund balance to protect our residents and secure our city’s future.

In the upcoming budget cycle, rest assured that every option is on the table. Every line item will be scrutinized and reviewed for potential cost-savings, reforms and restructuring. I will do everything in my power to ensure that the process is open, and I look forward to honest discussions with my Council colleagues, city staff, residents and other stakeholders about ideas to move our city forward.

In order to function effectively, government must be open and accessible to the people it serves. In the coming months and years, I would like our city to use technology and social media even more effectively to communicate interactively on residents’ concerns, questions and suggestions. Our website already has a wealth of information available, and I want to make sure it is as user-friendly and informative as our citizens demand and deserve. In recent years, Council has talked about convening town hall and public meetings to discuss issues and better inform citizens, and I am committed to helping to make that happen. We have also discussed convening issue-specific task forces, utilizing Council members, city staff and also private citizens, whose perspectives will lend a fresh, different voice that will enrich and improve our city’s work.

I’m sure everyone here will agree that one of Saline’s greatest assets is our people. As mayor, a central goal of mine is empowering our citizens to participate in their community. Any time an individual is willing to give his or her time to make our city better, I am committed to helping them become involved in some tangible way. That involvement could take countless forms, from volunteering on a city board or commission, serving on a homeowner’s association, participating in a service club or working on a governing board of a church community.

In recent years, our community received the high honor of being acknowledged by CNN Money Magazine and Bloomberg News as an ideal place to live and to raise children. We earned this recognition in part because of good governance, but also because of our strong school system, and because of our people. I’m proud to be part of a community of good people, who when they see a need are willing to step in and fill that void, and improve the world around them. One of my heroes, President John F. Kennedy famously paraphrased biblical text when he said “To whom much is given, much is expected.” For my whole life, the people of Saline have shown me how to live up to that sentiment.

I am humbled, and grateful for the opportunity to be here with you tonight, and I look forward to working together to do what is best for our community. I’m proud to stand with my dedicated and talented colleagues on City Council, David Rhoads, Linda TerHaar, Dean Girbach, Jim Peters, Jim Roth, and Lee Bourgoin, and I want to thank them for their service.

This is a difficult time to serve in government, particularly municipal government, because people’s ideas and expectations are fluid and changing. The paradigm shift may be a challenge, but it is also an opportunity to think creatively to find new solutions to old problems. I believe that through bold, decisive leadership, we can confront our challenges head-on, and emerge stronger.

Yes, I still believe that Saline’s best days are still ahead of us.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless Saline.

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