Clarkston rolled out some solutions to its parking issue in the second half of 2017, creating new spots and plans, but there was some pushback from residents.
Ships of cardboard set to sail: Plans were being made, cardboard was being collected and duct tape was ready to go as Team RUSH 27 Robotics team was preparing for their annual regatta with boats made out of cardboard and duct tape.
Community support for special needs adults: Club Create Clarkston, a club where adults with special needs create art, received a $500 donation from Knights of Columbus Council 5436.
Focus on parking enforcement as talks continue: As discussions continued on downtown parking, the city was stepping up on enforcing the current rules including 2-hour parking in the Main and Washington streets city parking lot.
Community works together to kick off SCAMP with picnic: For 30 years, volunteers have worked together to raise funds and organize SCAMP for kids with special needs beginning with a picnic at Independence Oaks County Park.
Celebrating red, white and blue at July 4 parade: Downtown Clarkston was All-American on July 4 with thousands of spectators clad in red, white and blue lining the streets from St. Dan’s to Renaissance High School watching the Independence Day parade which featured 94 entries.
More restaurants up for redevelopment on M-15: The new FED restaurant, open for business on Main Street, wasn’t the only M-15 eatery for something new as other restaurants were gearing for renovations.
Christmas baby makes five generations: Independence Township resident Rita Timulak enjoyed a five-generation family reunion at her home as her mother Irene Dalasko, daughter Sandra Timulak, granddaughter Ashley Snyder, and great-granddaughter, 7-month-old Hailie Snyder visited.
Workers busy with summer school construction: Workers were busy tearing up and replacing parking lots and fields at Andersonville, Springfield Plains, Bailey Lake elementaries, and Clarkston High School.
Parking proposals could create 194 more spaces: A multi-part plan could create up to 194 new parking spots in the city, including some in front of Washington Street homes and angled parking on Depot Road.
Old cinema for sale: Owners of the commercial property at 6808 Dixie Highway, including the Clarkston Cinema, put the property up for sale, listing it for $1,259,999.
Summer camp in television studio: Campers learned studio production, editing and effects at Independence Television’s first ever summer camp.
Pedestrian struck on Main Street: A pedestrian was hit by a pickup truck turning left onto Main Street from Washington Street. Pedestrian safety issues in downtown Clarkston was a concern on the busy main route.
Pushback against E. Washington plan: Residents of E. Washington were not impressed with a proposal to “fix” parking on E. Washington by improving the right of way in front of their homes.
Inside/Out program starts: Artwork came to town as the Clarkston Cultural Arts Council and Detroit Institute of Arts installed the Inside/Out exhibits.
Last stand for historic home: Oakland County worked for more than a year and confirmed all efforts exhausted before condemning the almost 150-year-old Bailey house on Sashabaw Road to demolition. For Independence Township resident Sam Moraco, it wasn’t enough as he said there were viable options to save the house.
Five-year plan for schools: As summer drew to a close, Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education President Elizabeth Egan and Vice President Kelli Horst hoped to work out the district’s next five-
year plan during the new school year.
Eclipse projects: Residents gathered outside their homes and businesses to see the partial solar eclipse on Aug. 21.
No Labor Day parade party: After 76 years, Clarkston’s Labor Day parade was cancelled this year, but some residents decided to have one anyway. Emmett, Oliver, Lilah, and Keaton Hill decorated their bikes and paraded along with Mayor Steven Percival for Cory Johnston, Buck and Joan Kopietz, who hosted the party at their Main Street home, and their parents, Chris and Mary Hill.
New map for hunting in the township: Many residents commented about proposed amendments to the township’s hunting boundaries map during a nearly three-hour meeting. The amendments are the first updates to the hunting map since 1982. Due to population density, the update committee decided gun hunting south of I-75 shouldn’t be allowed. A new hunting ordinance proposal removes hunting from densely populated residential areas and school zones.
FOIA’d records also withheld from city council: City Council members struggled to understand why they were kept in the park about 18 records central to a city Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. “I assumed the city manager, the mayor knew and were in agreement to withhold the documents,” said Council member Susan Wylie.
Work to restore church: The original Sashabaw Presbyterian Church, a pre-Civil War registered historic building, was set for restoration through a partnership between the church and Clarkston school’s new construction technology program. The new Sashabaw Presbyterian Church is currently located across the street from the original. Sias-Lee said they hope to use the restored building for community events such as weddings, concerts, recitals, funerals, etc.
School lot adds 140 spots: The city Parking Committee and Clarkston Community Schools were working together to provide about 140 more parking spaces for downtown patrons. The plan included opening up the back parking lot at Renaissance High School to public parking, Fridays and Saturdays. Parking was to be made available in the school’s back lot by Church Street, as well as along the side of the school.
Council votes to limit mayor: Clarkston City Council approved first reading of a revised ordinance to appoint members of the Historic District Commission. According to
the revision, members “shall be nominated by any council member and confirmed by a majority vote of the legislative body serving. A member may be removed from the Historic District Commission pursuant to Section 4.21 of the City Charter.” The revision was approved, 5-1. The effort to revise the Chapter 152 of the city Municipal Code was prompted when Mayor Steven Percival, following current ordinance which says “(HDC) members shall be appointed by the mayor,” appointed members without a vote of the council.
Tamm talk — lawsuit discussion in open city council session: After nearly an hour of discussion in open session with attorney James Tamm, City Council member Sue Wylie learned something. “The lesson I take from this is continuously question all the bills that come in,” Wylie said. “I do not want to see this happen in the future.” Tamm, Michigan Municipal League lawyer who is representing the City of the Village of Clarkston in its lawsuit against resident Susan Bisio, recommended a closed session for the discussion. A motion to go into closed session was defeated, 4-3. State law required three-fourths of the council to approve the motion, five council members.
Newcomer on council: Scott Reynolds joined Clarkston City Council after a successful campaign, earning 191 votes in the Tuesday election. Reynolds ran for council for the first time and received 25.92 percent of the vote. Three seats were up for a vote in the Nov. 7 election. Incumbent Eric Haven received the most votes, with 197 ballots cast for him, 26.73 percent of the total. Incumbent Jason M. Kneisc was returned to City Council with 174 votes, 23.61 percent.
Mayor calls for blue lights, support for fallen deputy: When Deputy Eric Overall lost his life stopping a fugitive from Lapeer, he likely saved lives in Clarkston, said Mayor Steven Percival. Overall, 50, a 22 year veteran of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, was tragically killed in the line of duty on Nov. 23, at M-15 and Seymour Lake Road in Brandon Township, just north of Independence Township. He was assisting the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office in a pursuit that had started in Lapeer County. Christopher Berak, 22, was arraigned on Nov. 25 at the 52-3 District Court on one count of premeditated murder and one count of murder. He was denied bond and jailed in Macomb County.