Strategic Plan 2009 - 2014

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Strategic Plan Final Report
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Message from the Township Supervisor
Final Report
Financial
Infrastructure
Personnel
Community Expectations

Message from Township Supervisor Leo Savoie

Leo Savoie

Updated February 2014

This year we officially conclude the Issues-Based Strategic Plan that was adopted in March, 2009. Developed as a guide to steer the Township through the recession that slashed revenues and threatened the level of public services, the Plan kept the Board of Trustees, the administration, and every Township employee focused on preserving top quality services in spite of greatly diminished resources.

The Strategic Plan not only envisioned new and creative approaches to critical challenges, it pulled together various departmental plans and goals that have always been integral to the Township’s daily work. If you have read any of its quarterly or semi-annual updates, you saw that it was extremely comprehensive, covering details of the Township’s finances, infrastructure, and personnel as well as the steps we took to meet the community’s expectations. You also saw that at times we altered some tactics in the face of new information or changing circumstances.
 
This dynamic planning process, plus the perseverance required to follow it, successfully maneuvered Bloomfield Township through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Throughout the Plan’s five-year duration, we operated on balanced annual budgets despite a 22% decline in the tax base. Our fund balances are adequate to cover operating expenses and the equity positions in our major funds have actually increased. The exceptionally high levels of public services which are standard for Bloomfield Township were not compromised. We made changes to employee benefits that virtually eliminate future legacy costs. Our employees remain loyal and committed to their professions and to serving you as they continue to increase their skills and knowledge with advanced certifications and degrees.

I encourage you to read the following final report of the Strategic Plan. You will more fully realize the comprehensive nature of good municipal government as well as gain a greater understanding of the challenges that still lie ahead. The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees and all Township employees continue to strive to provide you with the best services possible in the most cost effective ways.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, or any suggestions, please do not hesitate to call me at 248.433.7708 or send an email to lsavoie@bloomfieldtwp.org.

Back To TopFinal Report

Updated February 2014

Bloomfield Township, 2009

Bloomfield Township, historically seen as a desirable and stable place to live and to work, was experiencing the nation’s economic downturn much the same as was every other community in Michigan.

The auto industry was in crisis and the effects of that rippled throughout the region. Many Bloomfield Township residents were taking pay cuts, losing their jobs or even losing their homes. With real estate values plummeting, the Township’s revenue, most of which comes from property taxes, was certain to go into a years-long decline. Experts predicted revenues for public entities would not return to previous levels for decades to come.

Bloomfield Township’s budget forecasts were alarming. The administration predicted that by April 1, 2011 there would be a shortfall of at least $6 million, or about 20% of the Township’s annual operating budget. Since almost 80% of expenses are related to personnel and 80% of all Township personnel are in the public safety departments, the only way to balance the budget would be to deeply cut the number of police officers and firefighters/EMS technicians. The forecasts also called for a slow recovery and because taxable values would be capped due to Proposal A, all eliminated positions were to be considered permanent losses. The public safety of Bloomfield Township residents would be seriously threatened.

Bloomfield Township’s infrastructure – roads, water, sewer, municipal buildings and motor fleet – was aging. Expectations for technological advancement were a part of society’s culture and the Township had to continuously upgrade its staff’s technical expertise and equipment. The Township’s 26 square miles were almost completely built out, leaving little opportunity for new development. The community’s population was aging, with relatively fewer young families. In spite of these challenges residents and business owners, accustomed to top-quality public services, expected public services to continue at the same high level.

There were a few bright spots, however. Because voters had approved a capital improvement bond in 2006, construction was underway for a modernized public works facility, a new senior center and a renovated fire station. Given its continuing history of solid fiscal foresight and management, Bloomfield Township had a healthy reserve fund. Its leadership had already recognized the impending financial crisis and knew it must be addressed in a comprehensive manner. Just as important, Bloomfield Township residents were by and large well-educated and professional people who understood the complexities of the circumstances. They had an unusually high level of trust in their local government and had consistently (although not always) supported millages to maintain public safety and other public services. Additionally, Township employees met and often exceeded standard requirements for their jobs and saw the need to meet the coming challenges.

The Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees recognized that the challenges were exceptionally grave and complex. There would be no simple, painless, or quick fix. To address these challenges, the board charged the leadership staff with developing a five-year plan.

Issues-Based Strategic Plan, 2009 – 2013

The Township Supervisor appointed a team composed of full-time elected officials and all of the department heads. They convened off-site for two days in September, 2008, with a professional facilitator. The group analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Bloomfield Township’s municipal government and the community as a whole.

Discussion focused on four clusters of concentration which became the four sections of the plan:

  • Financial
  • Infrastructure
  • Personnel
  • Community Expectations

The Township Supervisor assigned each department head to one or two of these clusters along with a full-time elected official and a Trustee. Each subgroup was charged with identifying appropriate objectives and a number of strategies to meet them. These were to be carried out over a five-year period.

The subgroups met regularly over a five-month period. By March, 2009, they had drafted a plan that was presented to the Board of Trustees and unanimously adopted.

Over the next 4-1/2 years, the leadership team met quarterly to thoroughly review each area of concentration and report on progress or setbacks. Quicker monthly reviews were also held. The plan was revised each quarter, distributed to the Board of Trustees and posted on the Township website.

Each subsection was formatted as a chart with columns detailing Objectives, Strategies, Action Plans, Time Frame and Comments. There is a summary overview for each subsection. The completed charts and overviews are attached to this report.

Bloomfield Township, 2013

Today, four and a half years from the time of the plan’s adoption, Bloomfield Township has emerged from the depth of the recession in a strong position and continues to be one of Michigan’s premier places to live and to work.

A number of significant cost-cutting changes were put into place. While Bloomfield Township had already changed its traditional health care plan to a PPO in 1998, a further change was made in 2010 to change it from the PPO to a high-deductible, consumer-driven reimbursement plan that placed a greater obligation on employees. As a result of these changes the Township’s total life and health insurance costs for active and retired employees in the fiscal year 2012-2013 were at the same level as they were in fiscal 2005-2006.

The Township had been ahead of its time when in 2005, it discontinued its defined benefit pension plan and replaced it with a defined contribution plan. This proved to be a model for other communities during the recession as they sought ways to reduce their own legacy costs. By 2013, the changes to health and pension plans have assured that the legacy costs traditionally associated with these benefits will be virtually eliminated in the future.

Ongoing intergovernmental collaborations were strengthened. Some jurisdictional consolidations were put into place while others are continually being pursued. Use of technology in all areas of service grew, increasing efficiencies. Some road, water and sewer projects have been undertaken. The staff was downsized by approximately 10%, almost entirely by attrition. Bloomfield Township employees remain among its strengths, having demonstrated the willingness to cross-train, take on additional responsibilities, and continue professional development.

Even as Bloomfield Township’s leadership began enacting these cost-cutting measures, they knew they couldn’t successfully survive the recession without addressing the severe revenue losses. In November 2009, by a unanimous vote, the Board approved a proposal to go before voters asking for an additional 1.3 operating millage. The 10-year millage would raise $4.4 million in its first year. Voters approved this revenue restoration in February, 2010.

In April, 2011, Standard & Poor’s recognized the Township’s fiscal health by giving it an AAA rating and reaffirming that rating in March, 2013. In September, 2013, Moody’s Investor Service gave the Township an AAA rating and Standard & Poor’s again reaffirmed its AAA rating. These are the highest ratings issued by the firms.

Still, challenges lie ahead. Because Bloomfield Township is completely built out, development – and therefore, property value increases – is limited to the incremental changes that come from improvements rather than new projects. Taxable values have begun to creep up, but they will be capped by Proposal A, meaning it will be at least a decade, if ever, before revenue returns to 2007 levels. Roads and sewer and water lines continue to age. Even the buildings constructed and improved as a part of the capital improvement program, completed in 2010, are beginning to need more maintenance. Additionally, the increased square footage, along with the additional parking lots and safety paths on the civic campus, demand more upkeep. Eighty percent of Township employees belong to unions or other bargaining units and while they have been cooperative throughout the recession, certain constraints will remain in place.

Conclusion

Bloomfield Township continues to be a strong, viable community. Its fund balances are at a level considered adequate for its operating expenditures and its fund equity positions in both the major operating funds and the enterprise fund have increased.

Construction is evident throughout Bloomfield Township; both commercial and residential. A drive up and down Telegraph is enough to convince even the most casual observer that business is improving and Bloomfield Township is the place to be. Homes are showcasing new additions and a multitude of improvements. However, because there is no vacant land remaining for new development, all construction is limited to incremental improvements on existing properties and there will be no opportunity for new growth.

Several water and sewer projects have either been recently completed, are underway, or have been identified for near-future construction. Bloomfield Township does not own its roads, but residents of several neighborhoods either have already established Special Assessment Districts (SADs) or are in the process of establishing them to replace roads that have long outlived their useful life. While these improvements are a positive indicator, the problem of aging infrastructure will remain a concern in Bloomfield Township, just as it is across the state.

Bloomfield Township has kept abreast of technological advancements and incorporates them into everyday services. The staff is continually learning new skills and applying them to everyday tasks.

Through a series of mandatory meetings and educational sessions over the past 4-1/2 years, Bloomfield Township’s employees have stayed knowledgeable about the issues the municipality has faced. They accepted responsibility for taking the actions expected of them for the continuity of top-quality services and cost-efficient government. Employees have continued to stretch professionally and have achieved advanced accreditations, certifications, and degrees.

Bloomfield Township’s residents remain confident, overall, in their local government and their local government’s leadership. Most appreciate the good services they receive. Participation steadily grows in Township sponsored events, whether they are activities at the Senior Center, attendance at the Open House, or simply taking part in the semi-annual Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off.

While the future will always present challenges and demand the need for diligence, review and improvement, Bloomfield Township is well-positioned to remain a desirable, even prestigious, community.

Back To TopFinancial

Updated February 2014

This document is available to view in PDF format. Financial Commentary and Objectives Tables

Ray Perkins, Team Captain
Leo Savoie, Dan Devine
Police Chief Gaudard, Fire Chief Piche’, Bill Griffin, Leslie Helwig

The Issues-Based Strategic Plan focused on the development and implementation of strategies that allowed us to maintain top-quality public services while revenues drastically declined, then leveled, then finally slightly increased over the duration of the Plan. The Finance subcommittee submits the following facts about our financial history, describes the projections that were made in 2009 about the impending recession, lists the actions put into place over this time period and summarizes the current financial status of Bloomfield Township.

2009 Status

1. Almost 80% of our total expenses were directly related to employee costs.

2. The remaining 20%, most of which went to utilities, infrastructure needs, insurance, equipment and supplies, were not flexible or discretionary expenses and provided minimal opportunity for cost savings.

3. 78% of our revenue came from property taxes, 7% from state revenue sharing and 15% from other sources.

4. Revenue from the 48th District Court, which accounted for a large percentage of our non-property tax revenue, was offset by the Court’s expenses.

5. Bloomfield Township, over the years, had taken the following steps that led to successful cost containment in several major areas.

a. We were one of the first municipalities to convert all new employees who receive pension benefits to a defined contribution plan as opposed to the old defined benefit plan. The change reduced our pension expenses by over $300,000 per year. The amount of this savings would increase over time as the defined benefit plan phases out.
b. We diversified the pension plan assets portfolio to increase the chance of achieving a higher rate of return on those investments over the long term.
c. In 1998 we converted the employer-provided traditional style health care plan to a PPO, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars by capturing significant discounts from in-network health care providers.
d. We were one of the first municipalities to require employee contributions for health care benefits as a part of the 2005 employee contracts.

2009 Assumptions and Projections for 2009 – 2014

1. 2010 – 2011 tax revenue would decline more than 10% from the prior years.

2. 2011 – 2012 tax revenue would decline an additional 6%.

3. Altogether, tax revenues would decrease by 20% ($6 million) from 2007 – 2011.

4. These revenue reductions would require the permanent elimination of 25 staff positions by April 1, 2010 and another 20 or 25 positions would be permanently eliminated by April, 1, 2011. These position eliminations would total approximately 20% of the workforce. Most of the reductions would come from the Police and Fire/EMS departments, greatly affecting the public safety of Bloomfield Township residents and businesses.

5. The Township’s taxable value would decline by approximately 21% before the market begins a slow recovery in 2011 or 2012. This decline would reduce the major operating fund’s annual property tax revenues by about $6.4 million. Total Township tax revenues would decline by over $8.0 million annually without even taking into account lost CPI increases.

Progress Between 2009 – 2013

1. A 1.3 millage proposal was put before the voters in February, 2010, and approved by amargin of 6%.This raised $4.4 million the first year it was levied and relieved the need to lay off employees, thereby keeping service levels at the same quality they had been.

2. In 2010 we changed from a PPO to a high-deductible, consumer-driven health care reimbursement plan that placed a greater obligation on employees. As a result of the plan changes, health care costs were reduced by approximately $2.3 million over the first two years as compared to the costs prior to the changes. The total effect of the changes will be significant long-term containment to the cost of employee health insurance.

3. Also in 2010, we implemented a mandatory employee health awareness program which, combined with other changes, contributed to the reduction of health care costs.

4. In July, 2011, we negotiated a change in the retiree health care insurance plan that began to reduce health care expenses and will eventually eliminate legacy costs for this benefit.

5. A pay freeze was in effect until April, 2013. This was a five-year freeze for non-union employees and a four-and-a-half year freeze for union employees. These freezes saved approximately $1.5 million over those years as compared to the expense that would have been incurred with the historical 2% and 3% pay increases.

6. Talks with several surrounding communities took place with the goal of consolidating various public services. During this time period, assessing and building inspection contracts have been put into place with the City of Sylvan Lake, thus increasing revenues and retaining staff. This is in addition to the contract with the Birmingham Area Cable Board that has been in place since 2000.

7. EMS began transporting patients to hospitals and collecting transport fees from insurance companies, raising approximately $900,000 in 2010, the first year the change was implemented. Prior to the change the service had been provided by private ambulance companies and the fees went to them.

8. Standard & Poor’s upgraded the Township’s bond rating to AAA in April, 2011, at least in part due to the actions taken as a result of the Township’s strategic plan. The AAA rating was reaffirmed in April, 2013 and again in 2013. In September, 2013, Moody’s also gave the Township a AAA bond rating. These ratings are the highest given by the agencies.

9. Over the course of the Plan, between 20 – 25 positions have been left vacant after an employee’s resignation or retirement. This attrition is equivalent to about 10% of the workforce.

10. Our fund balance totals had been steadily rising between 2002 and 2008. As a consequence, just prior to the large decline in our tax base we had finally achieved fund balances at a level considered adequate for our level of operating expenditures. These balances certainly would have declined below required levels without the actions that were taken.

11. Even though the residential market values in Bloomfield Township have started to increase recently the taxable value on 2013 assessments will be capped at approximately 1.6% due to Proposal A.

12. The 2014 – 2015 budget will be challenging due to a very small revenue increase. However, balanced budgets will likely be achieved with no reductions to services or reserves.

Conclusions

1. We have implemented balanced budgets every year despite a 22% decline in the tax base from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2013.

2. We have increased our fund equity position in both the major operating funds and the enterprise fund through the duration of the Strategic Plan

3. Total property tax revenues for the 2013 -2014 fiscal year remain at the same level as fiscal year 2007 – 2008.

4. Taxable values in 2013 remain 20% below the pre-2007 peak.

5. As a result of the health care changes, the Township’s total life and health insurance costs for active and retired employees in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 remain at the same level as fiscal year 2006.

6. Even as the housing market recovers, taxable value increases will be limited to the rate of inflation because of Proposal A. We will not be able to recover previous revenue losses by market gains alone. Taxable values may not return to pre-2007 levels until 2019 or even later. 

Back To TopInfrastructure

Updated February 2014

This document is available to view in PDF format. Infrastructure Commentary and Objectives Tables

Tom Trice, Team Captain
Leo Savoie, Dan Devine, Brian Kepes
Wayne Domine, Gayle Sadler, Leslie Helwig

The objective of the Strategic Plan subcommittee on “Infrastructure: Physical, Technological, Capital and Energy” was to focus on the physical assets of the Township and recommend ways to preserve and improve them while maximizing their value.

Key Messages

1. Proper maintenance and regular improvements to the physical infrastructure will yield efficiencies and cost-savings over time as well as preserve the quality of life for our residents and businesses. Intact infrastructure provides for reliable public safety, public service and steady property values. In the long run, it costs less to maintain our infrastructure than it costs to continually do emergency repairs, apply sub-standard remedies, or suffer the consequences of infrastructure failure.

2. Bloomfield Township has invested significantly in its facilities and equipment and this investment must be protected. Employees must be able to do their work and provide public services in an efficient and safe environment.

3. Up-to-date technological tools can be a significant aid in providing services quickly and conveniently for our public. They can also be used to reduce some labor-intensive practices, thereby enabling some cost-cutting measures.

4. Conserving energy and fuel and increasing their efficiencies are not only socially responsible practices; they can lead to considerable cost savings as well.

History and 2009 Status:
Public Works and Engineering & Environmental Services

1. Township-owned property consists of nine buildings (Township Hall, 48th District Court, Public Works, Cable Building, Senior Center, and four Fire Stations) which are equal to approximately $50 million in facilities assets. A $26 million capital improvement program was underway, as approved by voters in 2006, to build a new Senior Center, a new Public Services building, renovate the Central Fire Station and the Westview Fire Station, and make general improvements to the civic campus.

2. A replacement plan for the Township fleet was in place.

3. A maintenance and replacement plan for all Township-owned buildings and facilities was being developed.

4. PubWorks software was recently implemented to track all equipment, facilities, labor, materials, and projects. This allowed for improved tracking and budgeting.

5. A Long-term Capital Improvement Plan to fund water and sewer infrastructure repair and replacement was in place.

6. The MDEQ had mandated a Short-term Corrective Action Plan for sanitary sewer rehabilitation which included an Operational Program for the following annual schedule of preventative maintenance:

a. Clean approximately 40,000 feet (or 8 miles) of sewer pipe.
b. Inspect 8,000 feet of sewer pipe annually via our sewer televising equipment.
c. Inspect each sewer manhole every five years, approximately 1000 manholes per year.

7. Bloomfield Township connected to the City of Detroit water system in 1963 to improve water quality and system reliability. Since then, the Township-owned infrastructure has increased by 65%.

8. Bloomfield Township partnered with the Oakland County Drain Commissioner’s Office, City of Birmingham and the City of Bloomfield Hills in the construction of the Bloomfield Village CSO Retention Basin in 1997 to abate pollution from entering into local waterways.

9. Asset Maintenance:

a. 67 miles of safety path
b. 237 miles of road; public roads make up 213 miles and private roads total 24 miles
c. 257 vehicles in our fleet; estimated value is approximately $14 million.
d. 300 miles of water main and 220 miles of sanitary sewer
e. 6,000 underground structures (manholes)
f. 2,700 fire hydrants
g. 2,300 water system valves
h. Nine sewage pump stations
i. One million gallon drinking water storage reservoir
j. Ten pressure regulating valves on the water system
k. 16,000 water meters
l. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system used to monitor our water system

Summary: Public Works and Engineering and Environmental Services

1. The Capital Improvement Program was completed in 2010.

2. The maintenance and replacement plan for all township-owned buildings and facilities has been developed.

3. An energy audit for most of the Township-owned buildings was completed and energy-saving steps are being implemented.

4. The Safety Path program continues to expand, following the program’s master plan.

5. In 2011, the Township became a customer of the South Oakland County Water Authority (SOCWA), thereby reducing the cost of water. Efforts are underway to become a member of SOCWA, which would further help reduce the cost.

6. In 2012, the Township and the City of Bloomfield Hills entered into an agreement that will allow the Township to connect to SOCWA as part of the agreement. The agreement also provides for a new pressure district within a portion of the two communities for which the Township will operate.

7. Several subdivisions have established Special Assessment Districts (SADs) for the replacement of their roads and several more in that process.

8. Bloomfield Village is circulating a petition to replace its roads in 2015. Water connection replacements will be completed before any road construction begins.

History and 2009 Status: Information Technology

1. Township data and voice network connected all Township buildings. A total of 10 buildings were supported: Township Hall, Public Services, Public Services Annex, Senior Center, Central Fire Station, Cable Studio, Animal Shelter, and the Maple Road, Franklin Road and the Westview Road Fire Stations.

2. A maintenance schedule and replacement plan for Township computers, servers and network devices was in place.

3. Inventories of equipment and software for tracking and budgeting purposes were monitored.

4. A Geographic Information System (GIS) to support asset tracking, decision making and mapping capabilities had been developed in 1999. Since then, more than 1,000 mapping projects had been completed with the majority of Township departments using GIS in daily tasks.

5. The first network server environment was implemented February 1999. Prior to that there were only a small number of stand-alone systems with limited connectivity. By 2012 Township employees had a robust and reliable network that allowed them to effectively connect with the data, applications and services they need.

6. With a continuing expansion of services and information available on the Township’s website, citizens were able to access the information they need at any hour. Additions included Clearzoning, Minutes on Demand and Video on Demand.

7. Strategic planning, implementation and management of technology assets

a. Data/voice network and devices

Hardware 2008 2012 Comments
PC/Laptops 205 309 Increased technology adoption throughout all departments, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) equipment, Electronic Poll Books for elections added 2010 through grant funding
Printers/Scanners 103 143 Increased technology adoption
Servers 14 20 Increased due to storage for digital video for sewer televising, police in-car video and fire training, test server environment and network security/filtering
Wireless Network - yes Implemented both a private and public wireless network to accommodate Township needs and public access in specific areas within the Township campus

b. Phone system and wireless phone/device support
c. 911 Computer Aided Dispatch Center technology support
d. Public safety and local government radio systems
e. Technology in 250+ vehicles in Township fleet

i. Police: Mobile data computer, radio, in-car video system, E-ticket printers, radar
ii. Fire: Radio, mobile computers in EMS transport vehicles, tablets for inspectors
iii. Public Works: Radios and some mobile computing devices

f. Township security system including building alarm, access control and video surveillance
g. Audio/visual technology equipment

Conclusion: Information Technology

The number and type of devices supported, the software needs and the network demands all steadily increased throughout the duration of this plan. At the same time, the number of Information Technology staff members remained the same. Managing the technology assets and resources in a rapidly changing technology environment requires a dedicated and agile Information Technology staff. Meeting the wide range of technology needs of the diverse departments requires prioritization, coordination and good working relationships to provide the best outcomes for the Township as a whole.

Investments in technology continue to improve employee efficiencies and overall level of service. Employee training remains an integral part of maintaining a competent work force. Renewing a focus on employees’ skills will help keep Bloomfield Township in a strong position to continue to provide an exceptional level of service.

Back To TopPersonnel Development and Deployment

Updated February 2014

This document is available to view in PDF format. Personnel Commentary and Objectives Tables

Patti Voelker , Team Captain
Leo Savoie, Neal Barnett, Jan Roncelli
Police Chief Gaudard, Fire Chief Piche’, Tom Trice, Gayle Sadler, Leslie Helwig

Recognizing that the forecast of sharply declining revenues could potentially compromise the effectiveness of Bloomfield Township’s workforce, this subcommittee was formed to assure that the high standards of all public services would be maintained. This subcommittee was asked to develop a plan that would encourage a versatile workforce in which individuals were proficient at a wide range of duties within departments as well as duties that crossed departmental lines. Employees were trained and empowered to assume responsibilities up to the level of their full potential. Professional development – advanced degrees, certifications and accreditations – were still valued.

Key Messages

1. Bloomfield Township is a desirable place to live and work because of, in part, the high level of service provided by Bloomfield Township employees.

2. The effort to maintain this high level of service will require Bloomfield Township to develop and deploy its employees in creative, effective and efficient ways.

3. Bloomfield Township’s Trustees, administration and citizens value highly skilled and responsive employees and strive to attract and retain them.

4. Over the years, the Township has steadily worked to keep the number of employees as low as possible.

5. At the same time, demand for services has increased. In the Police and Fire Departments, the number of complaints and incidents has risen. In other departments, the variety of services has expanded either because of rising community expectations or state and federal mandates.

6. The Township has structurally reorganized when changes in personnel or in the requirement for new or expanded services made this necessary and more efficient. Two examples are the creation of the Engineering & Environmental Services Department and the reorganization of the Water Department and Road Department into a Department of Public Works.

History and Current Status

1. Overall, Bloomfield Township’s employee level has decreased by approximately 10% over the past four years:

Year Employees
2008 265
2010 241
2013 246

2. Since 2000, Township services have expanded significantly to include a professional Planning Division, a Senior Services Center and Information Technology support.

3. Departments have expanded the range of services offered to the community, either because of community expectations or because of state and federal mandates. Some examples (following list cites examples and is not all inclusive):

a. Senior Services – Adult Day Service, home delivered meals, tax preparation assistance, fitness and adult enrichment classes, support groups, driver safety, CPR training, vaccinations, medical transportation, etc.;

b. Planning Building & Ordinance – Master Plan Update oversight, site plans, lot splits and rezoning reviews, ordinance development, development project oversight, International Construction Code updates, etc.;

c. IT – GIS mapping, expansion and maintenance of computer network, emergency service mobile technology, 911 dispatch technology, public safety radio system, cell tower management, etc.;

d. Clerk’s Office – Passports, ordinance codification, historical minutes, solicitor identification;

e. Engineering & Environmental – Safety Paths, Gypsy Moth spraying, West Nile Virus containment, replacement and maintenance programs for water, sewer and roads, wetland mapping and permits, woodlands management, road median landscape beautification, environmental public awareness campaign and activities such as E-waste, paper shredding, pharmaceutical recycling, sewer pollution abatement, water quality reliability program;

f. DPW – maintenance of increased number of miles of water & sewer lines, roads, cross connection inspections;

g. Cable/Community Relations – quarterly newsletter, website, special events, special projects, additional programming because of BACB contract.

4. The number of public safety employees has decreased since 1988 in spite of steadily increasing need for response:

Sworn Police Officers

Year Employees Incidents
1988 71 18,263
2009 68 19,871
2013 67 18,849

Uniformed Firefighters

Year Employees Medical Runs Fire Runs Total
1989 76 1358 995 2353
2009 59 2088 1281 3369
2012 62 2540 1514 4054

Summary

1. In spite of the reduced workforce and multi-year pay-freeze, employees deliver a much wider range of services and continue to meet increasing demands.

2. Employees continue their professional development.

3. While attrition left as many as 10% of positions unfilled over this period, remaining employees take on additional responsibilities. Some employees are cross-trained and assigned to work in two different departments as needed. 

Back To TopExpectations of Residents and Employees

Updated February 2014

This document is available to view in PDF format. Expectations Commentary and Objectives Tables

Police Chief Gaudard, Team Captain
Leo Savoie, David Buckley, Corinne Khederian
Fire Chief Piche’, Patti Voelker, Christine Tvaroha, Leslie Helwig

Key Messages to Employees and Residents

1. Bloomfield Township is a desirable place to live and to work.

2. The residents of Bloomfield Township and the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees value highly skilled and highly motivated employees.

3. The Board of Trustees and the administration had anticipated tough times and had already put measures in place to prepare for declining revenues. We developed and presented this plan to meet current and future challenges.

4. The Township budget has revenues and debt retirement millages that had been voted upon and are restricted to specific purposes. For example, at the time this plan was initiated, the Capital Improvement Program was underway. It was funded by a millage that had been approved in 2006 for that purpose, and that purpose alone. The money in that fund could not be transferred to supplement the Township’s General Fund.

Resident Profile: Facts and Assumptions

1. Bloomfield Township demographic data show residents to have above average education and incomes.

2. They value living in a safe and attractive community and historically have been willing to pay appropriate taxes to support excellent public services.

3. Residents hold high expectations. They assume there will be quick and effective responses to criminal, fire and medical emergencies. They insist on timely snow removal, good road maintenance and well-maintained water and sewer lines. They expect professional planning capabilities, knowledgeable building inspections, and strict code enforcement. They participate in efficient elections and assume there will be accurate records, fair assessments and tax collections. They appreciate good communication from their local government and require responsiveness from all government officials, both elected and appointed.

Employee Profile: Facts and Assumptions

1. Bloomfield Township has exceptionally high standards in hiring and training employees. This results in a highly skilled, dedicated workforce, valued by the Township Board, administration and the community’s citizens.

2. Employees, in one way or another, would be the first to be affected by declining revenues. Some departments were already short-staffed at the time of the Plan’s adoption and would remain so for the duration of the Plan. Employees would be expected to carry out the same responsibilities with fewer resources available to them.

3. Bloomfield Township compensates its employees fairly. Wages and salaries are comparable to other local governments, as are the benefit packages.

Community and Employee Expectations: Summary

1. Good communication with both the community and the employees was essential for the Strategic Plan’s success.

a. For residents, the Township produced television programs, published extra newsletters, intensified the Township website and met with residents at meetings of the United Homeowners Association.

b. For employees, the Township required attendance at all-employee special meetings and at departmental and divisional meetings. These meetings were used to explain the effects of the recession on the Township budget, the changes in the health care plan, the necessity of pay freezes and the necessity of cross-training and cross-departmental assignments.

2. Residents expressed their support for Township services by approving an additional millage in February, 2010, in order to restore lost revenue.

3. Employees continued to deliver the same level and range of public services they always had. In many cases, services were expanded and improved. They continued to pursue advanced education, certifications and accreditations.

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