OPC Board Revises Governing Agreement
The new Interlocal Agreement for the Older Persons' Commission would not require Rochester, Rochester Hills or Oakland Township to approve the annual budget.
The board that governs the Older Persons' Commission is asking the three communities that formed it for input on some changes they have made to the Interlocal Agreement that controls the senior center.
Among other changes, under the revised agreement the OPC would have to submit its budget each year to Rochester Hills, Rochester and Oakland Township — but would not need those communities' approval in order to operate.
The revisions follow ongoing debate in Rochester over the 2012 budget, which the Rochester City Council opted not to approve last fall after citing concerns about increases in payments and benefits. That City Council still has not approved the budget.
The new agreement
Most of the changes in the revised agreement are technical in nature, said Jack Dalton, the OPC board's chairman, as the agreement has only been revised twice since its creation 29 years ago.
Under the revised agreement, director Marye Miller's title would be changed to "Executive Director." The official address would be changed to 650 Letica Drive.
But, also under the revised agreement, there are changes in the OPC's budget approval procedure: the OPC board would still have to submit its budget to Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township, but those bodies would not need to approve the budget in order for the OPC to operate.
Under the revised agreement, the annual budget "shall be submitted to the clerks of each of the parties hereto by August 1 of each year." This clause has been struck from the agreement: "The governing bodies of each of the parties hereto shall review and either approve as presented or as modified, an identical budget, no later than October 1 of each year."
In addition, the revised agreement strikes language requiring that member communities give a 90-day written notice before terminating their membership in the OPC and states that "remaining parties may agree to continue the Commission" and "the terminating party's notice shall not cause a dissolution of the Commission."
The revised agreement also states that a majority of board members — and not a quorum of members — is needed to pass any motion.
The full outline of the changes is attached in a PDF file to this story.
Rochester Hills reacts
On Monday night, Dalton, a Rochester Hills resident, along with councilmember Ravi Yalamanchi, a member of the OPC governing board, presented the revised agreement to the Rochester Hills City Council.
Dalton said the revisions would allow the OPC to "operate more effectively."
Yalamanchi said the OPC is an independent corporate entity and that the governing should stay with the governing body.
Councilmembers mostly agreed with the revisions and took turns praising the OPC and its director, Miller, who was in the audience.
"I've reviewed the suggested changes and have no problem with them. The OPC would not exist without Marye Miller," said Council President Greg Hooper. "She has done an outstanding job representing the OPC ... I wish her to continue as long as she would; I stand behind her."
Councilmember Michael Webber, who is vice-chairman of the OPC Board, echoed Hooper's comments.
"All three communities are going to receive this presentation; it takes all three communities to approve the changes," Webber said. "A lot of the changes are technical in nature and hopefully will be seen as such in the greater Rochester community."
Yalamanchi said the board attempted to get all three communities together, which is difficult with everyone's busy schedules. So instead they are approaching each community separately. Tonight they will present to the Oakland Township Board; on Monday he said they plan to present to Rochester City Council.
Cathy Daldin, a Rochester City Councilmember, said Tuesday afternoon that "never in a million years" would she approve the changes in the interlocal agreement.
"I absolutely, positively in no way, shape or form will not take away the oversight of this board," Daldin said. "Those are taxpayer dollars. If you take away the oversight, the OPC board could do whatever it wants."
Back in Rochester Hills, councilmember James Rosen also cautioned against losing the "hammer" that would get all three communities to cooperate in governing the OPC. He said he didn't view the OPC as independent — he said it is part of the elected officials' responsibility to govern it; he said he wanted to hear more conversation.
The Rochester Hills City Council will vote on the revised agreement at a future meeting.