Bike Trail at Lyon Township Library 10 11 2016 pic14 720w497h

Agenda Item One is a proposed study of a Bike Trail south from this point, the Eight Mile and Pontiac Trail terminus of the Oakland County trail system.


Wayne Dockett asked for believable cost accounting for the Van Curler acquisition.  Where were the legal bills?  Township Manager Fink laughed off the question.  Township Manager Fink said there were none.  It was covered by retainer, Fink said.  Fink looked at Township Attorney Bradford Maynes, as if asking for confirmation or daring Maynes to contradict him?

Cost Accounting for Dummies 200w120h


Maynes stared straight ahead.  Maynes stared at the desk.  Maynes said nothing.  Board members Braun, Chick, Engstrom, Otto, and Thomas watched and said nothing.

Dockett called Fink's cost accounting "Bullshit."

"I don't want you to tell me that there's no charge for an attorney to close a job like that. That's Bullshit."

At that, Fink perked up.  In his prissiest voice he scolded Mr. Dockett, a man twice his age:

"It's not appropriate to swear in public."

You may wonder whether I have evidence that this was Fink's prissiest voice.  I do not.  It was definitely one of his prissier utterances to date.  There may be prissier moments in the offing.  If I seem to harp on this very small moment in time, it is because the scolding was a Red Herring, a ploy to distract from the real issue at hand, Fink's inability to be forthcoming about the actual costs-accounting and the Board's acquiescence.

There are elephants in the Boardroom. 

The Township Attorney bills against the monthly retainer.  He can't do this without tracking his time.  Quarter hour precision is typical in legal billing.  SO Burns knows exactly how much of his time, his legal staff's time, and legal costs went into the Van Curler acquisition.  We have seen itemized legal bills in the past; it is available for the asking.  The only reason we don't know is because Fink has deliberately not asked for the itemization.  Dockett called it correctly.

Most unnoticed of all the elephants:  If so unusual, outsized, and one-time a legal cost were actually entirely covered by the Township Attorney's monthly retainer, then the monthly retainer is too high.

Northfield Township Checks to Paul Burns March thru Sept 2016 800w776hComp

What?  Not very helpful?  The Board's Monthly report of Invoices is even less informative.  Here is the same report on Township checks issued to Paul Burns in hiresolution (750KB)  If this looks easier to read than the financial reports from which the information was copied, the reports issued to the Board in the first packet of every month, it is because I burned a couple of hours finding a way to enhance the contrast.  I could not do it using the standard image processing tools.  Interesting, to say the least.

To be continued



Meeting Documents: