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Berkley Mayor Explains April Fool’s Day, and Other City Updates

mbrew brought to you by top adBerkley Mayor Explains April Fool’s Day, and Other City Red Door Realty Ad _own_your_dreamUpdates

(Berkley Mayor Phil O’Dwyer, April 1, 2015)

Message From the Mayor

Change is difficult for many of us to embrace, and accepting innovative ideas sometimes disturbs the tranquility and peace of simply continuing with the familiar. When the Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582, many were unwilling to accept one of its major innovations: moving New Year’s Day from April 1st to January 1st.

This change was a bridge too far for the traditionalists of the time who attempted to ignore this change and continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st. Over time they were considered Candlewickshop_May2014“fools” because of that practice and so April 1st came to be called “Fools Day.”

In Berkley, April has arrived on the calendar even if the temperature reflects an unseasonable chill across our City. Ice hockey games brought crowds to the Ice Arena for The Mayor’s Cup and I would like to thank John Nicolai and his committee, the players, parents, and coaches for a most exciting day of talented and enthusiastic hockey.

Several religious celebrations occur in April: Passover is remembered from April 4th to 11th, Easter Sunday is celebrated on April 5th, and a secular event that all of us must deal with occurs on April 15th!

​ The staff at ​City Hall is continuing the detailed work of producing the 2015-2016 annual budget.ferndale_pride_2015_02 The process guides the Finance Department to collaborate with the Department Directors to develop a comprehensive document. This material is leveraged in the May meetings when City Council thoroughly reviews it line by line to forge a budget that reflects our values.

Several technological advances are being leveraged in Berkley to help provide more efficient services to our residents. A Fiber Optic network is being installed to improve connectivity and communication within and between city buildings. This will result in lower operational costs associated with outdated network technology currently in place, and improve telecommunication capabilities between city departments. Other upgrades to the city’s computer network include new servers that will increase efficiency and file storage capabilities.

Using the SAW Grant funds from the State of Michigan, our Dep​artment​ of Public Works is HowesLocationintroducing a new pipeline inspection and asset management software to monitor the maintenance performed on public utilities. These tools will increase our efficiency in inspecting sewer lines and help our staff make informed decisions on future improvements.

MISS DIG, the utility locating coordinator, has recently changed from a paper-based notification system to a web-based platform. Berkley was one of the first communities in the area to formally make this transition and has assisted several other cities in this endeavor.

The current fiscal year also ushered several technological upgrades at the library. The WiFi system was upgraded to provide a consistent connection throughout the building. Hardware and software upgrades extend the useful life of library computers, in addition to improving the performance of the equipment. The meeting room, which is so widely used for educational seed04_gallowaypresentations, now features a new audiovisual system to facilitate engaging options for guest speakers.

Creating a “future-proof” technological infrastructure is difficult, and it remains a key challenge to make decisions that permit development over the next several years. Being open to advances in technology and society requires a willingness to embrace innovation and use it wisely to move our city forward.

I am grateful to our Department Directors as they reach beyond their individual comfort zones and introduce efficiencies that will be greatly valued by our residents, volunteers, and employees. These changes are welcomed because they contribute to an even better Berkley.

For more on the City of Berkley, go to http://www.berkleymich.org/.

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