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Thursday, August 27, 2015

City of Troy Boomers & Shakers Master Plan Forum

On 8/17/15, the City of Troy held a Boomers and Shakers Master Plan Forum at the Troy Community Center. Thanks to an article in the Troy Times (click here to view/print), I learned that Troy city leaders wanted to hear from "seniors, empty nesters and baby boomers" about what’s important to them as they update the Troy Master Plan. Since I fall in the baby boomer category, I decided to attend the forum.

The City's website stated, "the purpose of this forum is to engage with empty nesters, baby boomers and seniors to learn what their concerns are when it comes to issues such as housing, transportation, walkability, safety and security, recreation and cultural activities." Click here to read more on the City's website.

City Economic & Community Development Director Mark Miller sent me (thank you Mark!) an electronic copy of the slides that were displayed during the forum. Click here view/print the slides.

Also, I've posted below a few photos I took during the presentations.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Representative Howrylak's Nonpartisan, Unicameral Legislature Proposal

My State Representative, Martin Howrylak (R-Troy), has introduced House Joint Resolution Y. Even though it has little chance of passing, I'm liking what I read about it on Representative Howrylak's official web page.

This joint resolution proposes to amend Michigan’s Constitution to:
  1. Establish a non-partisan, unicameral (one-house) legislature. 
  2. Alter term limits so that State Legislators could serve a maximum of four terms (a 16 year limit).
Unfortunately, because the State Legislature prefers the current 2-house set-up, they are unlikely to send this proposal to the voters.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Leaving Troy on Amtrak - Part 2

This is Part 2 of my 7/20/15 post on a recent visit to the new Troy Transit Center.

When arriving at the Troy Transit Center, we encountered a problem. My 7/12/15 Twitter post below says it all...

When I returned home, I sent the email below to Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick...

Can you look into the access to the Troy Transit Center? We arrived there this morning so that my son could take a train to Ann Arbor. We arrived at 10:20 AM and could not enter the building even though the signage says that it opens at 10:15. After a few minutes other passengers arrived and grew concerned about not being able to enter the building for the 10:49 train.

Fortunately, one of the other passengers called the Troy Police and they were able to unlock the front door remotely.

After I mentioned this to my wife, she said that our niece had a similar experience but it was in reverse. She arrived early in the morning on the train from Chicago and couldn't gain access to the building. Fortunately the conductor was able to open the door for her.

Not sure if this is an Amtrak issue or a City of Troy issue.

Thank you,
Here was Brian's timely response...

Thanks for your email and bringing this recurring problem to our attention. I am copying Police Chief Mayer and  for their evaluation and response.

Brian M. Kischnick | City Manager
City Engineer Vandette provided the response below...

Apparently Amtrak changed their schedule for Sundays only, but did not notify us. They added back a 10:49am train on Sundays, but on weekdays and Saturdays this train has been gone since early June. As soon as I get information on how long this will last I will let Troy PD know and the door schedule will be revised. I am working with Amtrak and PD to address this train schedule and door schedule change issue in a more efficient manner.

The other question about the inbound train from Chicago and the conductor opening the door, inbound trains are often late, especially the 12:59 am train, all conductors have swipe cards for this reason so they can open the doors. Doors close automatically at 2am, but I've heard of trains not arriving until 4am. We don't want to leave the station open that late on a daily basis, so all the conductors have swipe cards to use when needed.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Steven Vandette, P.E. | City Engineer
Thank you gentlemen for the quick and informative responses!