Week of 2.20.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Bates Street Society Dinner

The Community House Board of Directors welcomed 200 to the second annual dinner ($200, $250 tickets) honoring significant donors ($25,000 plus). It also saluted community Pillars of Vibrancy who were toasted at a preliminary champagne reception. The 2017 Pillars are: Culture - architect Victor Saroki and publisher of Downtown Publications David Hohendorf; Wellness - Richard Astrein and Beaumont Hospital President Rosanna Morris; Philanthropy - Lois Shaevsky and George Miller; Education - Margaret Matthes. They were eulogized by house CEO/President Bill Seklar and received tribute pins from past pillars before joining the dinner crowd.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

March 2017

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA: Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) may have picked a fight with the wrong person in power when she called out county board chair Mike Gingell and vice chair Mike Spiz , both Republicans, during board swearing-in ceremonies on January 11. "She seemed determined to create dissension," said a fellow commissioner. "She ...more»
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Rochester to recoup costs for special events

02/17/2017 - The cost to hold some events in the city of Rochester may increase for some organizations under changes to the city's special events ordinance approved on Monday, February 13, by Rochester City Council members.

Discussions about amending the ordinance started in November as council members began looking for ways to recoup costs incurred by the city to host special events throughout the year. Asked by council to provide information about the costs, Rochester Police Chief Steven Schettenhelm in December said the city incurred about $178,633 in costs to support special events in 2013 through 2015. Those costs included support from the city's police, fire and public works departments.

Under the current ordinance and fee structure, for-profit organizations must pay 100 percent of actual costs incurred by the city to support an event; non-profit organizations must pay 10 percent of costs incurred by the city that exceeds $1,000; and there is no cost reimbursement for events sponsored by the city, the Downtown Development Authority or the Principal Shopping District.

Council approved a new fee schedule on Monday that will raise the reimbursement costs for non-profit organizations, and cap the city's contribution for city-sponsored events at $40,000 annually.

Under the city's new fee schedule, which will go into effect on January 1, 2018, non-profit organizations will be required to reimburse the city for 75 percent of all costs the city incurs that are over $100.

Among the non-profit organizations expected to be impacted by the change is the Paint Creek Center for the Arts.

Tami Salisbury, executive director for the Center, said in December that the change could have a significant impact on the event. Under the current rate structure, the city incurred a cost of about $18,522 to support the event in 2015, of which the city was reimbursed about $1,752. Under the new rate structure, reimbursement would have been about $13,816. Salisbury said the increase could cause the center to cancel the event in future years, particularly if weather conditions hamper attendance.

Maggie Bobitz, events coordinator for the Rochester Regional Chamber, also in December, asked city council members to consider grandfathering some "signature events" into the proposed fee structure to limit reimbursements by some organizations.

Council in previous discussions had considered including "signature events" in the ordinance, or those that call for substantial support from city departments. The initial intent of the classification was to limit other events scheduled within the city during major events, such as the Arts and Apples, Fire and Ice, Big Bright Light Show and Christmas Parade. However, council in previous discussions rejected the signature event classification in favor of a broader ordinance.

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