Brighton Township Chooses New Manager

The Township Board will hold a special meeting to approve the manager contract after it is finalized.

The Brighton Township Board of Trustees has decided on a new manager.

Brian Vick was one of five candidates interviewed for the position last month and was at the top of every board member's list, according to Township Supervisor Tom Murphy.

"He brings with him a lot of energy and experience," Murphy said of Vick. "He's run both townships and villages, which are similar in nature, and he's got city background in Grosse Pointe as well as with the Village of Grosse Point Shores. He just brings a lot of different views and different levels to the township."

The board is waiting to finalize the contract, then it will hold a special meeting to approve Vick's hiring.

Murphy said the board does not wish to wait for its next regularly scheduled meeting to approve the contract because it wants Vick to get up to speed as quickly as possible.

Vick will replace former Manager to accept a position with the City of Adrian.

Board members previously decided not to hire an interim manager, choosing instead to pick up the slack themselves while searching for a replacement.

Thomas Jefferson October 17, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Wow. I suppose they must have been satisfied with his reason for leaving Gross Point Shores. I on the other hand am not. I hope the board of trustees for our township, along with the citizens, keep a close eye on him. Shady past...
john ewing October 17, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I believe his job will be to cover-up the illegal sewer billings - unlawful capital charges ($2,000,000), excess finance charges since 2005 ($700,000), illegal capital charges to vacant parcels since 2009 ($100,000), fraudulent deal for wetlands in 2002 ($1,012,000), illegal land use permit charges with no ordinance or legal authority (unknown amount) - while simultaneously looking to create a new ordinance in a way which disavows knowledge of the illegal activity under the old ordinance. Regardless of his past, the situation in Brighton Township will put him immediately in legal jeopardy on his first day. There is really no way to cover-up what's going on at the Brighton Township Hall, but they will try. I have little doubt that Mr. Vick is aware of the problems, so it does suggest he may be desperate for a job - nobody in their right mind walks into such a legal mess. In the end, all of the residents of Brighton Township will learn the actual facts about the Sewer activity and other problems. Right now we have a Board in denial and stonewall mode...and Vick walking into the frying pan. The Board will try to put all the pressure on him and none on themselves. Should be interesting. John Ewing (for Supervisor)
john ewing October 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Here's the Patch scoop from Grosse Pointe Shores: http://grossepointe.patch.com/articles/grosse-pointe-shores-city-manager-quits Looks like he has experience overseeing questionable billings. Should be useful in Brighton Township ! John Ewing (for Supervisor)
john ewing October 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Looks like Gross Pointe Shores did a full house cleaning, including ultimately Mr. Vick: http://grossepointe.patch.com/articles/grosse-pointe-shores-ends-with-xx-new-council-members-xx-re-elected I hope Brighton Township residents understand that Murphy needs to go in Brighton Township. House cleaning is needed here too. John Ewing (for Supervisor Nov. 6th.)
Nicole Krawcke (Editor) October 18, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Hi John. Thanks for your comment. I just wanted to clarify for readers here that the water billing dispute you mentioned above between Grosse Point Shores and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club occurred over a decade and began long before Mr. Vick was employed by the city. Also - the election resulted in a brand new council, which ultimately led to Mr. Vick's resignation.
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Nicole - Thanks. If you really know what led to Mr. Vicks resignation, please tell us. From what I have read, he is not accused of taking action ten years ago causing the problem, but rather of taking some action during his term as City Manager to resolve the dispute. It's all very murky right now - hopefully Mr. Vick will make a statement as to what action he took that led to his resignation. Lacking that, we are left guessing. Of course it is possible that he got swept out with others unfairly, or they just wanted a fresh start over there, but the fact that some of the disputed water bills pre-dated Mr. Vicks term in Gross Pointe Shores doesn't really explain what happened. John Ewing
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Nicole - Here is a question which maybe you could ask Mr. Vick: What action did you take with respect to the water billing dispute with the Yacht club ? Who was upset by the action ? Did the action or the response to the action lead to your resignation ?
Nicole Krawcke (Editor) October 18, 2012 at 02:19 AM
John, while there was some controversy over the water billing dispute, I believe Mr. Vick resigned because of the change in leadership - the board wanting a fresh start, as you put it. The action Mr. Vick took was to enter into a tolling agreement with the Yacht Club, which caused controversy in the community before the election.
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Nicole - I have no idea where you get your information, why a "tolling agreement" would cause controversy, nor why you seem to be defending Brian Vick. If you actually know what caused Mr. Vick to be pushed out or resign, or have any facts about the so-called tolling agreement, it would be great to know. Clearly the voters of Grosse Pointe Shores cleaned house with the Mayor and the vast majority of Board members. However, the Manager position is not an elected position and that does not explain the circumstances of Mr. Vick being forced out. The only reporting is about a supposed addendum to his contract which was apparently withheld from the press, including Patch. There are undertones that he got fired, or was pushed out by making him part-time, and we know the new Board immediately relieved him of the Clerk's duties, turning it over to a citizen volunteer. It really wouldn't take much effort to simply ask Mr. Vick to explain the contents of the addendum, his real reasons for leaving or getting pushed out, and the specifics of the water billing dispute and any action taken by him which caused controversy. Go direct to Mr. Vick for information ! Isn't that the best thing to do ? John
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Additional Facts: In June of this year, a few months after Vick departed GPS, it settled a $400,000 overcharge dispute with the Yacht club. the Yacht club says it filed a formal dispute in 2009, presumably while Vick was the Manager...I guess he was there for 3 years 2009 to March 2012. My best guess is that the Board and Vick were stonewalling for years...wanted to keep the ill-gotten overcharges. Finally the people got fed up....Mayor ousted, most of the Board ousted, and finally Vick ousted by the new Board, apparently through some secretive contract addendum...probably one that gave him little choice... He takes a 6 month severance payoff..... And now he's in Brighton Twp.... And he follows Bishop, who came to Brighton after he was ousted from Milan and got a 6 month severance payoff.... Have I missed anything ?
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Here are allegations that's Vick's actions were not appreciated by the man who successfully ousted the Vick's Mayor and the Board: http://www.candgnews.com/news/shores-officials-dispute-misconduct-allegations-regarding-tolling-agreement
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Vick's secretive tolling agreement "undermined public confidence and trust". Great - I guess we know why Tom Murphy likes Vick so much....he's a fellow underminer of public trust and confidence. This isn't looking good.
Nicole Krawcke (Editor) October 18, 2012 at 04:03 AM
John - I am not defending Mr. Vick, but neither am I going to accuse him of questionable practices. I was simply trying to remain unbiased and alert readers to other facts of the story that you left out in your comments above. If you follow the first link to the Grosse Point Patch article, you can read all about the tolling agreement and why it was such a big controversy in that community. Your questions are definitely something I will follow up on when I meet Mr. Vick. As I have yet to do so, I am simply relying on what I have read on the topic and a conversation I had with another Patch editor. Thanks for reading.
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 04:05 AM
This is great: As to allegations that he didn’t tell the auditors about the GPYC’s claim, McInerney said, “Those suggestions are not true.” He said in September, he gave the information to the auditors and said he wasn’t in a position to determine the validity of the GPYC’s claim. McInerney said he was surprised the water bill dispute wasn’t in the audit report, but that decision was up to the auditors. Keep in mind Vick is walking into Brighton Township amidst its problems of millions in illegal sewer billings....also which the auditor has failed to account for the liability.... It sounds like Brighton Township found the wrong guy...If this guy couldn't hold back the Yacht clubs measly $400,000 overbilling claims for water, how is he going to stop the $3,000,000 Brighton Township sewer overbillings from being relinquished ?
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Turns out Vick claimed in a memo that the Yacht Clubs claim was without merit....yep, they just paid $400,000 to pay off the claim that Vick said was without merit. Not only was it with merit, but Vick lost his job along the way. http://www.grossepointenews.com/Articles-i-2011-12-08-245561.114135-Water-dispute-muddy.html
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Nicole - Here's what the people of Brighton Township need to consider: 1. Tom Murphy, the current Supervisor, claimed several months ago that they would hire an interim manager, but not a full-time manager because the election might change the composition of the Board. 2. Now, just a few short weeks before the election, Mr. Vick is hired. Why didn't they wait until after the election, allowing the new Board and new Supervisor (with the people's support, John Ewing) to choose a manager ? Strange, no ? 3. Murphy is under pressure of allegations of widespread illegal billings for the Sewer...upwards of $3,000,000. Bishop resigned amidst the allegations and pressure. 4. Vick is a guy who claimed that the Yacht Club's overbilling allegation of $1,000,000 was without merit. In the end, it was obviously with merit, but was settled after he was pushed out under less than transparent circumstances. 5. Grosse Pointe Shores was lucky because the statute of limitations disallowed all of the illegal billings to be reimbursed. They claim there was no fraud, and that some city employee just accidentally added an extra digit to the Yacht clubs meter reads...again, "accidentally". 6. Murphy has been sitting on the allegations of sewer fraud for about a year. That's when the clock started ticking for BT, and there is no statute of limitations for fraud, which definitely describes some of the BT overbillings.
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 05:44 AM
continued... Even giving Mr. Vick the benefit of the doubt - let's say he did nothing wrong and his ouster was political - why in the world would Brighton Township, amidst its own illegal billings allegations on the sewer, hire a guy who just got ousted in a illegal billings related controversy. This is the guy that apparently claimed that the allegations of illegal billings at GPS was without merit...and then he was ousted and the illegal billings were settled... Does Tom Murphy believe that Mr. Vick is an illegal billings expert who can help Brighton Township forestall reimbursement of its illegal billings ? It's all very curious.... You'd think amongst 50 candidates you could find somebody who wasn't recently ousted amidst illegal billings controversies, no ? Brighton Township, if it re-elects Tom Murphy, is going to be under great legal pressure to stop its illegal billings, and it's just strange that they would insert a guy with this recent controversy right into the middle of it.....while knowing that a new Board is going to be seated in just a few weeks....simply bizarre.
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Here's the quote from Tom Murphy about letting the new Board hire a Manager: "The challenge we have is there will be a new board seated Nov. 20 and it might not be fair to them if we bring someone in that they don't have a say over," Murphy said. "We know for sure there will be at least two new board members. So that's one of the challenges we'll face as a board." Obviously Murphy is untrustworthy and he needs to go.
john ewing October 18, 2012 at 04:07 PM
You've got to wonder about Tom Murphy...in his mind, newly elected Board members and a new Supervisor are a "challenge". No, Mr. Murphy, it's an opportunity for you to go back to Wayne County ! Why didn't you wait for the new Supervisor and new Trustees to be seated, giving them the "say" you knew they would want ? John Ewing (for Supervisor, Nov. 6th).
Robert Lee October 18, 2012 at 07:12 PM
In my opinion, Mr. Vick likely got his walking papers in GP Shores cause he couldn't keep his hands out of politics. Instead of staying neutral & serving the public, he acted more like ex-mayor Cooper's political hatchet man. The "tolling agreement" was controversial in that Vick made the agreement with the yacht club that kept hundreds of thousands of dollars in water overbilling secret without informing the entire council about it! That is a matter of fact which the excluded council officials have made clear. Why would a city manager act to keep such a substantial issue from the whole council and the public? My guess is to protect ex-mayor Cooper in trying to keep the problem under wraps from both the public and certain council members during a recall election and then a general election. All the tolling agreement did was give the yacht club time to line up their ducks, so the city had no choice but to settle. Vick also got caught short circuiting the council when he unilaterally appealed to Wayne County not to drop Shores tax assessments over 10%, after the county announced the drop. But after Mr. Vick's appeal, which council members found out about after the fact, taxpayers got only about half the tax break they would have without his meddling! Sure hope your Brighton officials did their homework and personally talked to the incumbent GP Shores mayor and a number of current council members before making their decision. As the old saying goes "caveat emptor".


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