Inside the Livonia city council chamber, it felt like the last day of school before Winter Break. Oh, sure, THEORETICALLY there was work to do. But there were also plenty of hugs and goodbyes to go around.
“Welcome to the 1,815th regular meeting of the Livonia city council,” President Kathleen McIntyre dutifully announced. While I’d like to imagine McIntyre boarded up in her office and forlornly drawing another line on a wall full of tally marks, that works out to roughly 76 years of city council meetings.
“My oldest daughter is now a teenager as of Saturday,” Council Member Scott Bahr (who, oddly enough, looked barely old enough to buy cigarettes) gave a shout-out at the top of the meeting.
“I would like to wish my oldest son a very happy 19th birthday,” Council President McIntyre dittoed. She looked directly into the camera. “He will be celebrating that on January 5th. He was originally due on December 22nd. The fact that he arrived two weeks late pretty much told us how he was gonna go through life–on his own schedule.”
There were a few uncomfortable chuckles.
Spirits were lifted, however, when cheerful Wayne County Commissioner Terry Marecki stopped by to say “hiya” in her thick upper Midwest accent.
“I’m sure you’re gonna enjoy your couple weeks off here with your regular jabs and doing this jab at night!” she exclaimed.
“I wanted to give you an update on 8 Mile Road. It’s been what, six weeks, Tadd [Todd], that they finished it? I want to assure you, it’s going to be done.”
She flashed a reassuring grin and a goofy sign-off. “You can tell your peeps!”
Before the peeps could be told, there was one serious piece of business to do.
“This is a request to purchase a FARO 3-D laser scanner,” Council President McIntyre read. “This comes from the police for 3-D scene mapping. Good evening, chief.”
Livonia’s police chief stood with neatly-combed hair at the podium to explain this expensive purchase. “This is a huge step forward in our ability to map all crime scenes. You may recall the fatal accident that we had not too long ago. To map that scene with our current device took six hours. That scene with this device would take 30 minutes.”
Wow. From six hours to 30 minutes?! Sign me up for a baker’s dozen!
“This is exciting stuff,” Council Vice President Brandon Kritzman murmured in fascination. The council approved the scanner.
As council members prepared to go home to their milk and cookies, there was a surprise comment from former Council Member James C. McCann.
“I didn’t plan on this, but as somebody who sat where you’re sitting, the ability of this council to work together–” he smiled proudly, like he was speaking at a high school convocation.
“Everybody’s always prepared. It is very nice to see a council that’s working this very well together. And I’d recommend to the voters that if they have the chance to reelect every one of you, they should do it.”
Hear hear! Tell your peeps!
Final thoughts: Obviously I haven’t seen all 1,815 Livonia city council meetings, but I would easily rank this one in the top 400.