Thoughts for 2020

BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
The year 2019 was good and 2020 looks to be even better, said Clarkston Mayor Eric Haven.
“I feel very good about city accomplishments 2019. I think progress was made on a lot of issues,” Haven said. “I appreciate the leadership of City Manager Jonathan Smith; our contractors, volunteers, committees and commissions. I appreciate the care City Council exhibits in their thoughtful consideration of the issues.”
Clarkston’s 2018-2019 audit showed great budgeting, with a healthy fund balance and good money management, Haven said.
“Examples include borrowing from our own reserves to rebuild city offices and DPW garage,” he said. “Also, good community spirit exemplified by philanthropy and volunteerism continue to make possible increasing amenities and beautification.”
Parking revenues continue to pay for infrastructure enhancements. Additional expansion for safety on Buffalo is in planning stages; and Miller Road resurfacing was completed, he said.
Amenities were added to Depot Park with additional Friends of Depot Park Committee’s “Big Dreams” campaigns, which fulfilled elements of a five-year recreation plan. The DNR awarded Clarkston a $50,000 matching grant for Depot Park after citizens contributed more than the equivalent.
“Our approximate 30, five-year master plan tasks are being well stewarded by the planning commission under Chairman Rich Little,” Haven said.
A study committee was formed to complete work begun in the 1980s, to evaluate and codify structures in Clarkston’s unique, intact, and contiguous historic district.
“The sign committee, under the leadership of Cara Catallo, did a tremendous job of defining system design and scope for signs throughout the city,” Haven said. “Many of these initiatives begun in 2019 will, God willing, be completed in 2020.”
Goals and ideas for 2020 include:
• Complete Village Hall offices and relocate all assets to the site;
• Establish a balanced budget with a “Capital Improvement Plan” (CIP) to prioritize expenditures;
• Complete the two-year goals listed in the five-year Master Plan, posted on the city website, Villageofclarkston.org;
• Invest further in street safety and infrastructure; move to ban semi trucks from Main Street;
• Secure funding for further city beautification like gateway, street and way-finding signs;
• Expand lighting on Main Street, in neighborhoods, and Depot Park;
• Advance research of architectural resources toward completion of the historic district inventory;
• Further develop grant application writing, philanthropy and volunteerism within the village;
• Establish next priorities for Depot Park. Complete installation of ADA pathways & amenities from “Big Dreams” campaign & DNR matching grant; and
• Refurbish and relocate the Thomson Gazebo in Depot Park.
For more information, email havene@villageofclarkston.org or call 248-625-1559.
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One of the biggest focuses for the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce for 2020 will be bringing more publicity and attention to current community events, said Shaun Hayes, executive director.
“I see us as one of the most community-focused chambers in Oakland County and I really want to grow some of these events that have been taking place for years now, like Concerts in the Park, the Annual Food Truck Rally and our new Movies in the Park series,” Hayes said. “And of course, we’ll all be keeping our fingers crossed for good weather at Taste of Clarkston this year!”
The chamber includes nearly 600 business owners, professionals, service organizations, and representatives who live and/or do business in the Clarkston area.
“My first year with the Chamber was fantastic,” Hayes said. “I learned a great deal about not only the organization but the community as a whole, which has certainly been very welcoming to me.”
For info, call 248-625-8055.