Slezak gives update on new administration’s work since taking office

DAVISON TWP. — Newly elected Supervisor Jim Slezak started offering a supervisor’s report during the Board of Trustee’s meeting, Jan. 11.

In his first report, he outlined some of the steps the new administration has taken since taking over the reins of local government following the Nov. 3 election when four out of the five board members were replaced.

Slezak said the township had installed programmable thermostats throughout the municipal offices, a move he said the administration hopes will save 15-20 percent in savings energy costs every month.

Trustee Lori Tallman asked if the thermostats were installed through Consumers Energy, to which Slezak replied the township used Goyette Mechanical. He said the township should see a return on its investment in the thermostat through energy costs savings in less than three years.

“It was a great suggestion you came up with,” Treasurer Tim Green told Tallman, who had asked at an earlier meeting about an energy savings plan through Consumers Energy. “We researched it and the problem is this (heating/cooling) system is very sensitive. It’s hard to maintain temperatures throughout this building. Goyette highly recommended that we went with the programmable system they have.”

Green said there are 15 thermostats throughout this building.

Slezak said the township also updated the drive-thru attached to the municipal offices at 1280 N. Irish Rd., so people can pay their bills at the window. He said they installed a workstation there that will be open even after they reopen the township hall.

“It’s going to be more convenient for the public,” said Slezak.

He said the administration is researching getting a new phone service because they have been having issues with the phones going out all the time.

“We don’t want that because we want the township residents to be able to call us and talk to us,” said Slezak. “Hopefully we’ll find a reduction in our phone bill too.”

Tallman asked about a new phone system because she’d like to be able to direct dial the employees or department heads. She said currently she has to call the main line into the township and whoever answers has to connect her to the person she wishes to speak with.

She said she’s also like to see each employee have his or her own voicemail.

Green said they are not researching a new phone system, but instead are just seeking a new service. He said the elected officials have direct lines and added he would see that Tallman received a list of those.

Police Chief Rick Freeman said he would like to take part in any discussions for a new phone service because his department has dealt with some frustration using the current system.

“We’re disappointed in the service of this particular company,” he said. “We had better service in the 80s than we have with this particular phone service.”

Slezak also reported that in keeping with a campaign promise of his, he has not been using the township vehicle available to the supervisor and is looking to have that vehicle reassigned for use elsewhere in the township.

Slezak and Green said they had also been looking at upgrading the township’s website. They said they’d like to be able to have a website where residents can download or fill out forms and make easy payments to the township via credit cards or their bank accounts.

Green said the immediate goal is every form should be fillable as a PDF and to make it so residents can pay everything online.

“The problem is they aren’t paying their water and their taxes online because they can only use their credit card, which is charged 3 percent. On a $3,000 bill, that’s $90,” said Green. “We want to… get it more user friendly for our residents.”

The administration is meeting with a new potential vendor to handle the website, but nothing has been decided at this time.

Tallman said when she ran for office she was “not thrilled” with the website.

“I think it needs a major overhaul,” he said. “We should sit down as a board, with input from department heads and residents about what kinds of things we want to see on our website. I think we need to look at a complete rebuild of our website.”

Also, Slezak said the township recently added a new time clock system for the employees so they can log in and go right to work daily suing a swipe-card.

Finally, Slezak said because the township offices are 40 years old, they are in need of many upgrades and repairs, not just on the administrative offices side but also on the police side of the building.

“They (the police) need more upgrades than we do,” said Slezak. “We’re looking at ways we can do that, without taxpayers spending their money.”