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City Commission Wants Faster DTE Emergency Response Times

Highlights from Monday night's City Commission meeting.

The Royal Oak City Commission on Monday approved a resolution to request that state regulators review the emergency response time by DTE Energy, which the commission called "unacceptable."

The commission will ask the Michigan Public Service Commission to study the slow response times of DTE. The commission cited a to which it took nearly two hours for DTE crews to respond. 

"And there was pretty much nothing that our fire suppression people could do," Mayor Pro-Tem Patricia Capello said. "When you have electricity in contact with the house, throwing water on the house doesn’t help."

"I just thought it was completely unacceptable," Commissioner Jim Rasor said.

Capello said DTE officials have defended the incident, saying they are "not an emergency response organization."

The resolution recommends "new service quality and reliability standards" for electrical companies when property is threatened. It also states that it should be unacceptable when "wire down relief requests" aren't attended to within 20 minutes in metropolitan areas.

"It's time to move this forward and get a higher level body looking at it," Capello said.

Commission opposes House Bill 5187

There was discussion at Monday night's meeting about a bill in the state House that would reduce the number of seats on the county commissions and change the way apportionment procedures work. 

Under House Bill 5187,  Oakland County commissioners would be able to redraw their own districts in 2012. The Royal Oak City Commission approved a resolution to oppose this bill. 

“Letting elected officials choose their voters… that could very well negatively impact Royal Oak and other communities throughout the county," Commissioner Kyle DuBuc said.

"This severely dilutes our representation on the county commission," Rasor said. "It dilutes the representation we have …which means we’ll have less of a say in Pontiac."

Capello abstained. "I think the Republicans and Democrats together have ruined this country, I think they have ruined this state," she said. "I am going to abstain as it comes to vote because I am not going to deal with this partisan issue."

Other highlights

  • The City Commission approved a resolution to establish a Royal Oak Commission for the Arts to enourage and promote public art in the city. The commission will be responsible for bringing new arts and cultural activities to the city.
  • is now officially under new management. The commission approved a contract that gives Mazur Market Management full management over the market. Previously, Mazur operated the market as part-time employees of the city. With the new contract, Mazur will manage the market as a private entity. 

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