November 2020 Plymouth Pulse

November Plymouth Pulse




Election Day November 3



Before you know it, our televisions and mailboxes will be awash with holiday sale information instead of the multitude of political advertisements we’ve been enduring for the past few months. 

The Plymouth City Clerk’s office has been processed thousands of absent voter applications and ballots, while also preparing the site, staff and equipment for in-person voting. 

The City has 8,308 registered voters, and as of Monday morning, November 2, we have received 4,061 absentee ballots.

For more information about voting, please see our website at https://plymouthmi.gov/government/departments/city_clerk/elections or the State of Michigan Secretary of State's website at https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/Voter/Index

Frequently Asked Questions for In-Person Voting

What precinct am I in?

The City of Plymouth precinct map is on our website.

Where do I vote?

All City of Plymouth precincts vote at the Plymouth Cultural Center, 525 Farmer.

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all elections.

What time can I expect lines to be the shortest?

Typically, lines are shortest in the middle of the day.

Are voters required to wear a face mask to cast their vote in person at their precinct polling location?

Voters are encouraged but not required to wear a face covering while at a polling place for the purposes of voting in an election.

What is the Voter ID requirement?

When you go to the polls to cast a ballot, you will be asked to produce photo identification. The requirements are the result of a 1996 law determined to be enforceable by the Michigan Supreme Court in 2007.

The following types of photo ID are acceptable:

  • Michigan driver's license or state-issued ID card
  • Driver's license or personal identification card issued by another state
  • Federal or state government-issued photo identification
  • U.S. passport
  • Military ID with photo
  • Student identification with photo from a high school or accredited institution of higher learning
  • Tribal identification card with photo

The ID does not need your address. If you do not have photo ID or do not bring it with you to the polls, you may still vote. Simply sign an affidavit stating that you are not in possession of photo identification. Your ballot is included with all others and is counted on Election Day.

Must I vote the entire ballot?

You are not required to vote the entire ballot. You may pick and choose the races or ballot questions for which you want to vote. Skipping sections of the ballot does not invalidate your ballot.

Can I vote a "split" ticket?

You can "split" your ticket when voting in the November general election.  A voter participating in a November general election who wishes to cast a "split" ticket can vote for individual candidates of his or her choice under any party. 

Can I use a camera in the polls?

Yes, on a limited basis. Voters will be allowed to take a photograph of their own ballot but only while in the voting booth.

How do I register to vote now through Election Day?

You can register to vote and vote in person up until and on Election Day at the Plymouth City Clerk office in Plymouth City Hall at 201 S. Main by 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020 to vote in this election.  You’ll need to bring your proof of eligibility and residency.

Proof of eligibility

To be eligible to register to vote you must be:

  • A Michigan resident (at the time you register) and a resident of your city or township for at least 30 days (when you vote)
  • A United States citizen
  • At least 18 years of age (when you vote)
  • Not currently serving a sentence in jail or prison

Proof of residency

You must show proof of where you live. Documents must have your name and current address. You can show a digital copy of documents. Acceptable documents include:

  • Michigan driver’s license or state ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck or government check
  • Other government document

How do I view a sample ballot?

You may view a sample ballot at https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/PublicBallot

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

route

Santa Claus has laid out plans for his annual visit to the City of Plymouth, the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 27.

While Santa’s arrival by fire truck is typically held in Kellogg Park, where he accepts the Key to the City and greets hundreds of Plymouth families, this year Santa will be social distancing by visiting Plymouth children at their neighborhood park.

Santa will board the Plymouth Fire Department’s ladder truck at Plymouth City Hall at 5:45 p.m., with his first stop Kellogg Park.  After receiving the Key to the City from Mayor Oliver Wolcott and lighting the Christmas tree, Santa will travel around town to visit boys and girls at their neighborhood parks:  Fairground, Lions Club, Wilcox, Garden Club, Rotary, Hough, Kiwanis, Starkweather and Knights of Columbus parks.  Santa will be addressing the kids from the fire truck, and will have a special message for those in attendance.

Kids will be able to follow Santa’s trip around town via the Santa Tracker on the City of Plymouth’s Facebook page to know when Santa will arrive at your neighborhood park.  You can stand outside your home and wave to Santa along the route, or see him at your neighborhood park for a socially distanced greeting.

And, to add to the fun, children (with the help of their parents) can send a letter to Santa through the city’s website www.plymouthmi.gov for an opportunity to win a $20 Downtown Plymouth gift card.  Santa will begin to accept letters on the website beginning, Thursday, Nov. 5. Check the Santa Tracker on the City of Plymouth’s Facebook page to know when Santa will arrive at your neighborhood park.  You can stand outside your home and wave to Santa along the route, or see him at your neighborhood park for a socially distanced greeting.

Keep following the City of Plymouth Facebook page for updates on Santa’s Arrival.

The New Normal at the Plymouth Cultural Center

When it comes to keeping things clean, the Plymouth Cultural Center staff is not messing around.  The Recreation Department recently purchased two backpack disinfecting sprayer/mister units that they use multiple times a day to reduce the risk of virus transmission for visitors and staff.  Using an EPA-approved Covid-19 disinfectant, they:

 

  • Disinfect/mist bleachers, benches, the lobby, and all Cultural Center rooms every night or to start the day
  • Disinfect/mist locker rooms after each use
  • Disinfect/mist chairs and skates in arena lobby area after each class use.

    Several actions have also been taken to facilitate social distancing: 

  • Marking all bench areas for social distancing reference points
  • Taping off lockers in locker room to remind players to social distance
  • Providing protocols for home and away teams arriving before ice arena use

To protect program participants from being exposed to anyone with symptoms or who has been in close contact of someone with Covid-19, all participants of all recreation programs are required to fill out online Covid-19 screening worksheets.

“We want to stay open, and we want to say safe,” said Recreation Director Steve Anderson.  “We think these measures are crucial and we’re not letting up.  It’s our new normal.”

disinfecting


Please Use the Sidewalks – It’s the Law!

Over the course of the last month, we have received many complaints regarding runners and walkers using the City streets instead of the sidewalks during hours of darkness.  Concern for safety is the basis of most of the complaints.  Many drivers state they sometimes do not see these folks until they are right on top of them.  Others are frustrated because they have encountered walkers and runners taking up so much of the road that drivers are forced to move into the oncoming traffic lane in order to pass. 

All walkers and runners should understand that state law requires pedestrians to use sidewalks when a sidewalk is provided.  When a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian may walk or run on the left side of the road facing traffic but must not impede or interfere with traffic.  A violation of this statute is a civil infraction.

For pedestrians that walk or run in the road for lack of a sidewalk, it is important that you take responsibility for your safety.  Wearing black or dark colored clothing is a recipe for disaster, as drivers will not be able to see you.  Bright colored reflective clothing, on the other hand, will make you very visible.  In addition to wearing bright reflective colors, pedestrians should wear some kind of lighting device.  These devices are inexpensive and make a world of difference. 

City Hall and the DDA have a limited supply of such devices that are free of charge and may be picked up at City Hall during normal business hours.

New Crossing Signals

In 2019, the City of Plymouth’s Downtown Development Authority initiated a Master Plan project to evaluate the City/DDA assets within the public streets and rights-of-way and to plan for future improvements that would keep the City a safe and desirable place.  This evaluation included several discussions and a prioritization of assets that were considered desirable and important to the success and safety of downtown Plymouth.   The concepts of walkability and pedestrian and bicycle safety, including the use of existing crosswalks, were commonly discussed themes that were mentioned as desirable and important.  As part of the first year of the City’s recently approved road bond approval, several projects were implemented to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, as well as improve the City’s functioning roadway system.  

New Pushbutton Activated Crosswalk Signals at Ann Arbor Trail & Main Street

During the evaluation of the conversion of South Main Street from four lanes to three lanes (with a dedicated bicycle lane), the City, the DDA and the City Engineer from Wade Trim discussed the significant pedestrian activity at the Ann Arbor Trail and Main Street intersection.   Since pedestrian activity is a priority in the City and there are so many busy times during the week when the number of pedestrians using this intersection is high, the City approved the addition of pushbutton-controlled crosswalk signals and the addition of a leading pedestrian interval to the start of each traffic signal cycle.   

Each corner of the intersection is being upgraded to include two pushbuttons (one for each direction) which will activate the pedestrian crosswalk cycle.   The traffic signal and crosswalk signals will be programmed together to allow for a leading pedestrian interval, which will provide a couple seconds for pedestrians to enter the crosswalks before the light turns green for motoring vehicles.  The leading pedestrian interval will allow pedestrians the opportunity to enter the crosswalk and be visible in the crosswalk before cars try to turn in front of the pedestrians.  This will result in a small delay for vehicle traffic, however, keeping pedestrians safe is a top priority and goal of these improvements.

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs)

The City is also planning to install two rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) at the mid-block crossing on Main Street at Hartsough this month.  These will be the first new rectangular rapid flashing beacons in the City.  RRFBs are not intended to operate like a traffic signal, they instead provide a warning to drivers and increase the awareness and conspicuity of a mid-block pedestrian crossing. 

 When activated by a pedestrian, the RRFB will flash a series of yellow lights on both sides of Main Street to alert Main Street drivers that a pedestrian desires to enter the crosswalk. Vehicles are not required to stop at a RRFB, thus the City recommends that all pedestrians use extreme caution as our driving and walking community learn how to practice proper behavior when a RRFB is activated. 

Pedestrians should be careful not to enter the crosswalk until they have made eye contact with the approaching drivers.  Drivers may need time to react and stop.  Pedestrians should not assume that the approaching vehicles will stop.  If cars do not stop while the RRFBs are flashing, do not enter the roadway. Please allow the cycle to end and push the RRFB button again to re-activate the yellow flashing lights.  

As a motorist, when you see the flashing lights, you should yield to a crossing pedestrian. Stop in advance of the crosswalk and wait until pedestrians have cleared before proceeding.  Everyone should be aware that vehicles are not required to stop at a RRFB, thus caution is still advised and the City recommends that all pedestrians use extreme caution as our driving and walking community learn how to practice proper behavior when a RRFB is activated. 

Hawk Signal

A High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk signal, also known as a HAWK is being installed on S. Mill Street at Park Street on the City’s east side. A HAWK signal is designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy streets.  Its appearance is noticeably different to drivers, but for pedestrians the device works just like other push-button activated traffic signals. 

Once installed, the HAWK signal is normally in an “off” position until it is activated by someone wanting to cross a busy street.  When pedestrians wish to cross the street, they push a button, and the signal begins with a flashing yellow light that warns drivers approaching the crosswalk to slow down.  The flashing yellow light is followed by a solid yellow light, telling drivers to prepare to stop.  The signal then changes to a solid red for the drivers to stop at the stop bar, and the pedestrian gets a walk signal.  The solid red signal converts to a flashing red after a few seconds, allowing drivers to proceed when safe to do so.

HAWK signals provide safer crossing alternatives for pedestrians than traditional crosswalks, especially in mid-block locations.  Since the signal is only activated when pedestrians are present, drivers experience minimal delays.   This location is the first of its kind in the City of Plymouth, so please use caution and become familiar with the new crossing and signal. 

hawk


Snow and Ice

As winter approaches and the snow begins to fall, please remember it is your responsibility to keep all public sidewalks at your home or business clear of snow and ice throughout the coming season.

City of Plymouth Ordinance Section 62-89 requires every property owner and/or occupant to remove or have removed any snow and ice which may have fallen or accumulated within 24 hours of the occurrence.  In the case of neglect or refusal, the City may order the removal of same at the expense of the property owner, for not less than $150.00

“Plymouth is a walking town and sidewalks clear of snow and ice allow folks to safely move about during the winter months,” said Community Development Director John Buzuvis. “We get more complaints about snow and ice that hasn’t been removed in a timely manner during the winter months than any other complaint any other time of the year. So please do your part and take care to remove the snow and ice on public sidewalks at your home or business as soon as possible.” 

For additional information contact the Code Enforcement Officer at 
734-453-1234 x 231 or prakovitis@plymouthmi.gov

police vehicle in winter


Police Department Training

Police officers and command staff have participated in a wide range of training during October.  Here are the details.

 

  • Western Wayne County Mobile Field Force Team Training.  Team members attended regular quarterly training session involving maintenance of skills necessary during civil disturbances.  Skills included proper command and control techniques, tactics, communication, and equipment proficiency

  • Taser Training.  Officers attended annual training and qualification required for the Taser device

  • Sage Training.  Officers attended annual training and qualification required for the Sage 37 mm device

  • Western Wayne County Special Operations Team Training.  Team members attended the required regular monthly training sessions involving the many skills needed to successfully intervene during a critical incident situation such as a hostage rescue or barricaded gunman.  These skills include proper planning and response, firearms and equipment proficiency, team movement, surveillance, and much more

  • Defensive Tactics Training.  Officers attended annual training and certification in Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT) Management Systems.  PPCT is based in tactical, legal, and medical research

  • Understanding Implicit Bias and the Impact on Police Officers.  Discusses expanding awareness of biases and the psychology behind implicit bias
  • Senior Sergeants attended the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association’s Command Leadership Institute.  This program is designed for senior first line supervisors and provides real-life contemporary, best-practice strategies and techniques for those aspiring to command level assignments.  Command Leadership Institute students engage in such topics as credibility, command discipline and liability, dealing with problem employees, and leading change within an organization.  It is student-centered with a high degree of student involvement. 
  • Chief attended FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association’s First Amendment Issues for Supervisors.  During the four-week, four-module training, the course provides an understanding of the First Amendment, specifically: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom of the Press. The training provides attendees operational standards as they relate to crowd management, recording police, social media, and seizure of electronics

 

Jewell Maple Development 

project

If you’ve been in town recently, chances are you’ve noticed that demolition of the old Saxton’s site has begun.  While the Jewell Blaich building on the site will be preserved, the rest of the store building and two homes on Maple will make way for ten residential units.   The City of Plymouth will maintain ownership of the adjacent parking lot, which will be improved and expanded as part of the project.


“This project 
has been a long time coming,” said Mayor Oliver Wolcott. “I’m excited to see the plans come to fruition.  A lot of people spent a lot of time to make this happen and our community will benefit greatly.”

  

October Board and Commission Meetings

Zoning Board of Appeals- October 1, 2020

OLD BUSINESS

Z 20-07: 1381 Sheridan, roof connecting home and detached garage – denied

NEW BUSINESS

Z 20-08: 388 S. Main – two wall signs on one façade - approved

City Commission – October 5, 2020

NEW BUSINESS

Authorization for New Hot Water Tank – approved

35th District Court Property Transfer – approved

Historic District Commission – October 7, 2020 – canceled

Planning Commission – October 14, 2020 – canceled


DDA October 12, 2020

NEW BUSINESS

Strategic Planning Session – Carlisle Wortman Contract Resolution - approved

City Commission-October 19, 2020

NEW BUSINESS

Authorization for Parking Lot Concept Plans - approved

Emergency Purchase Confirmation Water Main Repairs - approved

Authorization for City Attorney to Begin Property Acquisition Discussions - approved

Pollution Prevention Plan - approved

November Online Meeting Links

City Commission Meeting – November 2, 2020

Time: Nov 2, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83129062160

Meeting ID: 831 2906 2160

Passcode: 899157

Historic District Commission - November 4, 2020 - CANCELED

Zoning Board of Appeals – November 5, 2020

Time: Nov 5, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86814586196

Meeting ID: 868 1458 6196

Passcode: 765403


Downtown Development Authority – November 9, 2020

Time: Nov 9, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84558595753

Meeting ID: 845 5859 5753

Passcode: 244806

Planning Commission – November 11, 2020

Time: Nov 11, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82375044214

Meeting ID: 823 7504 4214

Passcode: 629931

City Commission Meeting – November 16, 2020

Time: Oct 19, 2020 07:00 P Time: Nov 16, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Time: Nov 16, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82254521706

Meeting ID: 822 5452 1706

Passcode: 473418

senior transportation