​Mayor, Council members take oath of office
Posted on 11/23/2023
City Hall Recap of Nov. 20 City Council meeting

Election results – City Clerk Mike Smith reported the results for the city of Northville from the Nov. 7 election. Laura Genitti had 1,226 votes, Barbara Moroski-Browne had 916 votes, Marilyn Price had 907 votes, and Robert Sochacki had 821 votes. Mayor Brian Turnbull received 1,616 votes in that uncontested race. Total ballots cast were 2,053 – a 39 percent turnout, which was the third highest turnout in the state. Council voted to accept the canvass of votes.

Two City Council members and the mayor were sworn into office by District Judge James Plakas. Laura Genitti, local restaurateur, became a new member of City Council while Barbara Moroski-Browne took an oath of office for a second term – each of their terms run through Nov. 10, 2027. Mayor Brian Turnbull took an oath of office for the third time, and will serve through Nov. 10, 2025.

The mayor and Council members thanked outgoing Council member Marilyn Price for her tenure on City Council and for other volunteer leadership roles. Price publicly thanked the city staff and Council, noting she “will miss the people, not the packets” – referring to the large volume of documents and memos that Council members need to review prior to each meeting.

Police Chief Al Maciag presented Frank Cerulla with an Officer of the Year plaque for 2022, a recognition voted on by his fellow police officers. He was also honored with a plaque from Mayor Turnbull and a framed resolution from the State of Michigan, presented by State Rep. Matt Koleszar, and also signed by Rep. Kelly Breen, Sen. Rosemary Bayer, the governor and lieutenant governor. Cerulla will also receive a resolution in the near future from Wayne County Commissioner Terry Marecki.

Financial statements presentation – Finance Director Sandi Wiktorowski introduced the Plante Moran team, who presented on the city’s audited finances. The city of Northville is financially stable with an increasing tax base, low debt, fully funded retiree health care plan, and a high level of funding in the closed pension plan all while continuing to invest in infrastructure and other assets. The overall net position is governmental funds increased from $37.5 million to $40.8 million. Of that amount, $25 million is invested in capital assets. Just under $1.5 million is restricted primarily for future street improvements. Approximately $13 million is committed or assigned for specific purposes. The unassigned fund balance in the General Fund is $2.7 million which represents 30% of expenditures. The goal is to keep this above 30% to be in a position to attain a bond rating upgrade from AA+ to AAA. This would enable the city to obtain a lower interest rate the next time it issues bonds.

Rural Hill bridge replacement – Council approved a proposal from Rowe Professional Services, of Flint, to perform engineering design of the Rural Hill drive bridge at the entrance to the cemetery. MDOT has awarded $849,000 for the project with a local match of 20% ($169,800) for construction in Spring 2025. Rowe, an experienced consultant with the city, was low bidder among four firms, coming in at $53,100. Council also approved a 20% contingency. The bridge was flagged for major repair or replacement during a 2016 engineering inspection. Two grant applications submitted to MDOT after that inspection were not approved. Gaining approval on the third attempt marks a big win for the city, Council members noted.

Citizens Comments
Robert Sochacki, 223 Linden, congratulated the two newly elected City Council members. He noted the community should be proud of how this election was held. As a candidate himself, he said, “I’m proud to have been part of that.” He also dispelled the notion that Northville was a divided community. Referencing the new City Council, he said, “Keep moving us forward.”

Council Members named to boards and commissions – Mayor Turnbull named members of Council to serve as liaison members to the city’s 27 boards and commissions. A complete list will appear on the meeting minutes (posted in the future on the city website). The mayor chose Barbara Moroski-Browne to continue as mayor pro tem, and said the role will be given to other council members in the future so they could gain that experience.

January Council meetings
Due to holidays, Council voted to hold their regular meetings on Monday, Jan. 8 and Thursday, Jan. 18.

Council Communications
Mayor Turnbull encouraged people to give of their time and talent over Thanksgiving and said the Methodist Church on 8 Mile across from Taft Road is hosting a Thanksgiving meal from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23 for those who want to partake of it or assist with it.

Barbara Moroski-Browne thanked all of the residents who came out and voted. She thanked voters for their confidence in her and said it’s an honor to serve the community. She also referenced the traffic improvements being made in the city, including the new all-way stop sign on Cady at Hutton, which was part of the consent agenda.

Council Member Andrew Krenz thanked the city manager and, noted “a good team is so important,” for researching a new health care choice for employees that saves the city $76,000 annually while adding value. He also noted that bidding out the Rural Hill bridge is saving the city approximately $30,000 – with total savings (from both projects) of nearly $100,000, which shows good stewardship.

Council Member John Carter welcomed back Moroski-Browne to her Council seat and extended a warm welcome to newcomer Council Member Genitti. He said he is looking forward to working with this Council. As a cross-country coach, he shared that six third through 8th grade students from Northville recently earned All-American status at cross-country nationals held in Kentucky. He noted that Allen Terrace is having a holiday party for residents on Dec. 13.

View the meeting video here.