In Brief: City OKs 'Do Not Knock,' Gran Fondo Decision on Hold

Commission handles short agenda in Monday night meeting.

The Royal Oak City Commission worked past 11 p.m. to get through its agenda at Monday night’s regular meeting.

Commissioners support new ordinance that addresses bikes on downtown sidewalks 

On first reading, commissioners voted to support a new streets and sidewalk ordinance that prohibits riding bicycles on downtown sidewalks.

The new ordinance addresses complaints received from pedestrians reporting "near-misses" with cyclists by assessing fines of up to $100 for riding a bicycle on a downtown sidewalk. Cyclists are to walk their bikes in the Central Business District.

The spirit of the ordinance is meant to educate the public and not to punish cyclists, said Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Capello. On second reading, commissioners hope to address signage, pavement markings or other educational materials to increase awareness of the rules and fines.

"I think signs will solve 90 percent of the problem," said City Manager Don Johnson.

City OKs 'Do Not Knock' Registry

By a 4-3 vote, commissioners approved a new peddling ordinance, which requires any person attempting to sell goods or services door-to-door in Royal Oak to obtain a peddler's license and carry a 'Do Not Knock' registry.

Residents will be able to have their addresses placed on registry by filling out a request form from the City Clerk.

Commissioner Kyle DuBuc called the ordinance an "empty promise," as any number of people, including politicians, activists and persons representing religious organizations or charities, may still knock on doors. The ordinance only prohibits peddlers.

Mayor Pro Tem admitted the ordinance may be a placebo. "Still, it will give some residents peace of mind," she said.

No action taken on Gran Fondo

While most expressed enthusiasm for a June 30 professional bike race down Woodward Avenue from Detroit to Pontiac and back, commissioners were less excited about the community bike ride piece of the Gran Fondo or 'Big Ride' proposed by the Woodward Avenue Action Association (WA3).

City Manager Don Johnson and Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue outlined their safety concerns regarding the event.

"We see this as a very high risk/low reward event,” said Johnson.  “We think Royal Oak has little to gain from a successful event and much to lose should an accident occur, which the likelihood of an accident occurring is relatively high and the potential for any bicycle-motor vehicle accident to be deadly is very high.”

Commissioners and the mayor want more time to mull over safety and financial concerns.

"I'm supportive of the event contingent on my police chief supporting it," said Mayor Jim Ellison, who is a member of the WA3 board.

Ellison suggested to holdover the decision until O'Donohue has had a chance to meet with other police chiefs on Dec. 10.

"I think you would rather have us wait on a decision, than pass a no decision tonight," Ellison told event organizers Heather Carmona and Dale Hughes.


Gran Fondo: 'Big Ride' or Big Headache for Royal Oak?

Lynn H December 04, 2012 at 12:29 PM
How do we get on the Do Not Knock Registry???
Judy Davids (Editor) December 04, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Thank you Pasternak for helping out Lynn! And, you are right. I will post more information on how to get on the registry when the forms are available in a week and a half.
Lynn Vander Meer December 04, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Girls Scouts/Brownies selling cookies too? How about the scouts who collect shoes or bottle deposits? Can they leave their flyers?
Patty December 04, 2012 at 03:11 PM
How sad that no action was taken on the Gran Fondo...What a great event to bring all these communities together. What great exposure for downtown business. Hopefully RO can see the positive this race can bring to their community. We need a cycling event like this!
Brad Ather III December 04, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Why should we have to put any stickers on our homes to keep people away?(They're ugly and I'd rather not) It's absurd. If I didn't request your presence, don't come on my property. That goes for anybody, girl scouts, boy scouts, jehovah witnesses, etc. I will seek out your presence if I am so inclined. It's as bad as getting calls and having to put my number on the do not call registry. Why do we allow people to bug us with this junk?
Reddest Wing December 04, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Do Not Knock Registry?! Ohhhh....like that Do Not Call Registry that works like a charm? Fabulous.
David Clifton December 04, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Patty - I was at the meeting last night. No action last night was better than if they had voted. City Manager Don Johnson had prepared and presented a proposal of opposition to the Gran Fondo event. From the discussion I heard, I believe that if the Commission had voted last night, the result would have been a vote in support of Johnson's proposal - which would mean the CC did NOT support the Gran Fondo. It should be back on the agenda on 12/17. Come on out to the meeting and speak during the public comment part of the agenda to voice your support.
Rick Karlowski December 04, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I agree with you Pasternak - my junk calls where virtually eliminated after I registered, and those that still called don't call again when I ask for their and their company's name so they can be fined for violating the law.
Jan Smith December 04, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Do Not Call is not well-enforced. Complaints may be filed at any time, but no action is taken until a sufficient number of complaints about a company/individual are filed. Homeowners are wise to keep their doors closed to uninvited strangers. If their message is important, they will shout it.
Ape Zilla December 05, 2012 at 03:24 PM
David Clifton: Is the issue cost based, or purely safety?
R. Pardo December 05, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Whatever happened to the "special investigation" authorized by the city commission regarding the alledged Rasor parking scandal and Arts/Beats/Eats? It was supposed to be readdressed in October by the commission. I've heard they've received the outside counsel's report several weeks ago. The problem now is that the hotel developer is scheduled to appear before the planning commission on 12/11/12. Rasor sits on the planning commission. Even though, Rasor's parking plan was aborted before ABE, he clearly is conflicted on this proposal because he was engaged in a business dealing with the hotel developer. Also, what if the investigation reveals that the developer engaged in some sort of sleezy deal with an elected official. Wouldn't the city want to address that prior to allowing the developer present his plans to the planning commission? Can you say "cover up"? Will Rasor recuse himself, or conveniently be absent for the 12/11/12 planning commission meeting?
Mark Itall December 05, 2012 at 11:17 PM
City Attorney Gillam issued an opinion a while back that Rasor can participate in any issue in front of the PC involving the Fresard property.
Jeanne December 06, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Mark, I remember it differently. Mr. Gillam stated at a meeting the Mr. Rasor, did indeed have a conflict. Is this opinion that you speak of a public document? Otherwise, how do you know the content of a confidential opinion?
Jeanne December 06, 2012 at 12:26 AM
My memory was correct. I went back and looked at the video of the special meeting called on 08/24/12 of the city commission. It's on the third video just after the 14 minute mark . http://www.ci.royal-oak.mi.us/portal/meetings/city-commission/2012/08/24/city-commission-meeting City attorney Gillam opined that Rasor should recuse himself if this hotel developer appeared before the planning commission. Are you claiming that Gillam has done a 180?
Mark Itall December 06, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Yes, he did a 180 after Rasor emailed him for an opinion. I have been shown the response. Don't agree with it, but I am not the City Attorney.
Jeanne December 06, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Thank you Mark. Very Interesting.
Fran December 06, 2012 at 06:06 PM
If this is true, it stinks! No matter what, Rasor should recuse himself. With ethics, even if there is the appearance of conflict most people would recuse themselves. This certainly looks like a cover up by the entire city commission since they chose not to make the results of the special invesigation public prior to the hotel proposal going in front of the planning commission. So much for transparency from the Royal Oak city commission.


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