Bliss

Madison Heights City Councilman

Getting Things Done

Mark Bliss has been hard at work since being elected in November 2013.

He's done more than a dozen public forums and online surveys to get feedback from the residents, and he has turned that feedback into more than 100 council initiatives. Some were small like adding public bathrooms to our parks and fixing potholes from Twitter, and others were big like creating the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC), redesigning the city's website, and rebooting the Mock Council Student Internship Program.

See below for some examples of what Mark has accomplished in his 1st term in office. 

Proposed Arts Committee

Most Recent Proposals

"At the June 28 City Council meeting, Bliss proposed a group that would focus on this need. Tentatively titled the Arts and Culture Advisory Commission, Bliss said he’d like to see at least five members of the public serve on it, all with backgrounds in the arts — artists, actors, writers, singers, musicians and so on — as well as representatives from council and city staff." - Madison Park News 7/12/16

"If we can fill a board with actors, writers and singers, and artists in this city and lean on their expertise. I’m 100% positive that we can boost our arts and culture within the city,” Mayor Pro Tem Bliss said at the meeting." - Oakland County Times 7/6/16

Proposed After-Hours Services

" Bliss said that opening City Hall outside of standard business hours would give residents who can’t make it during a workday the chance to get face-to-face services, like dog licenses, construction permits and absentee ballot applications, from divisions like the City Clerk’s Office, the Department of Public Services, the Recreation Department and others. 

He noted that Plymouth Township created a similar after-hours program earlier this year to solve the same problem. The program there was set up to offer extended hours twice a month from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Bliss feels a similar program could potentially work in Madison Heights." - Madison Park News 8/8/17

First Term in the News

Creation of the Information Technology Advisory Committee

"City officials from Madison Heights met with representatives from DTE Energy recently to discuss frequent power outages in the city and what is being done to address them. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss attended, accompanied by city staff." - Madison Park News 4/13/16

Fought Against the Council Salary Increase

"Mayor Brian Hartwell and council members David Soltis and Richard Clark followed the lead of Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss and voted to reject the raise." - Madison Park News 12/23/15

Call for Increased Code Enforcement

"Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss, with help from Mayor Brian Hartwell, is behind the push to improve how the city handles code enforcement." - Madison Park News 9/25/16

New City Website

"Bliss first proposed the site overhaul as a City Council goal last year. It was approved by council, and then the city’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, or ITAC, began studying the concept, analyzing the weaknesses of the old site" - Madison Park News 6/20/17

Worked with DTE to Reduce Outages

"A new committee has formed in Madison Heights, dedicated to improving the “City of Progress” through the use of technology. Spearheaded by City Councilmember Mark Bliss, ITAC will review the city’s overall strategic IT plan." - Madison Park News 2/19/14 & Madison Park News 1/8/14

Tree Replacement Program

"Mark Bliss, the mayor pro tem, said in an email that he was proud to join the mayor in coauthoring last year’s council goal — now a live project — to implement a tree replacement project for road projects." - Madison Park News 7/12/17

Reviving the Mock Council Student Internship Program

"City Council has overseen the creation of a task force to deal with these kinds of hoarder situations on an ad hoc basis, involving multiple departments and senior city officials. At the April 24 council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss formally requested that staff keep the group on standby in case issues like this arise in the future." - Madison Park News 5/2/17

Implementing Next-gen 911

"Bliss said that Next Gen 911 is another example of technology improving lives, in addition to the city’s Nixle alert system for smartphone users, CrimeMapping software for residents, and the upcoming redesign of the city website." - Madison Park News 4/4/17

Fixing Potholes Through Social Media

"The #madhtsfix initiative is the work of Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss in collaboration with the DPS. The idea is to give residents a more direct means of notifying the city about potholes, and to provide speedier results." - Madison Park News 4/4/16 & Local 4 Click on Detroit 4/5/16

New Water Meters

Reviewing our Sewer System with the SAW Grant

Settling Labor Contracts

Water Park Voucher Program

"For Bliss, the voucher program is a substitute for his splash pad council goal, where he wanted to install splash pads at a local city-run park.  The splash pad goal, based on public feedback from multiple parks and recreation surveys, ranked high with council, but was deemed unfeasible this year due to budget limitations." - Madison Park News 7/19/17
"Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss said the agreement also includes a vesting provision for the health care savings plan.  “This is the second round of bargaining since I’ve been on council, and in both cases we were able to quickly come to a fair agreement that was able to take care of our employees in a way that’s still fiscally responsible in today’s climate,” Bliss said in an email. - Madison Park News 6/26/17
"Madison Heights Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss was pleased to see the SAW grant come together. It was especially satisfying for Bliss since the initial application for the SAW grant was one of the first items that came up for him on council when he joined several years ago." - Madison Park News 4/5/17
" Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss said the new water meters are an example of modern technology improving quality of life for residents. - Madison Park News 8/8/17

Creation of our Hoarder Task Force

"With the return of the mock council program, students at local schools will have the opportunity to see how the process works firsthand.  Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss spearheaded the initiative, inspired by his own experience with the city’s last mock council program, back when he attended Lamphere High in the early 2000s. - Madison Park News 3/30/16 & Madison Park News 1/31/17

Implemented the Nixle Alert System

"All sorts of messages can be relayed from the city to the residents via Nixle. City Councilman Mark Bliss said it’s a great option for members of the community.
“Knowledge is power, and this gives our residents the power they need to react to the things that may happen suddenly within our city — the emergencies and major issues that will impact their lives,” Bliss said." - Madison Park News 1/13/14

Fought Against Wasteful Spending of $14k for Council Chamber Chairs

“I’m very proud of what we accomplished in this year’s goals process,” said Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss in an email. “These goals were more of an ongoing dialogue with senior staff meeting monthly for ‘innovation sessions’ that are similar to what I do in the tech space.”  Bliss explained that ideas were sourced from department heads and staff, following which council members ranked the goals and asked for additional input from staff and citizen boards, before meeting a final time to confirm the goals they would fit into this year’s budget. - Madison Park News 3/21/17

Added Code Enforcement Personnel

"The numbers show that the program has been paying off. For example, comparing the program-to-date numbers of June, July and August in 2014 versus 2015, this year saw a 1,543 percent increase in warnings for abandoned, unlicensed or inoperable vehicles. That’s a significant figure, and all of the other categories saw increases as well  In an email, City Councilman Mark Bliss said he’s pleased that the city’s investment paid off." - Madison Park News 9/21/15

Adding Bathrooms to Parks

"Bliss and Mayor Brian Hartwell held a series of small town halls in the parks last summer, where this was a recurring topic.
“Last summer, based on feedback from those mini town halls, I added an item to a council agenda to put portable family restrooms in our most frequented parks: Civic Center Park, Rosie’s Park, Huffman Park and Monroe Park,” Bliss said. - Madison Park News 7/26/17

Police Security Fence

Family Restrooms at City Hall

Enforcing Standards at SOCRRA

​Start-up Style Innovation

Putting Council Meetings Online

"City staff went back and forth with the city’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC), researching the best way to implement live-streaming at city meetings. Madison Heights City Councilman Mark Bliss said in an email that the city’s use of Ustream is an example of how they’re leveraging new technology in the “ITAC era.” - Madison Park News 7/1/15
"Before SOCRRA can allow public dumping at its waste transfer site in Madison Heights, it must first address safety issues that were identified there by the city’s fire chief and building official. Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss said the city treated the situation the same way it would treat any code violation. - Madison Park News 6/6/17
"Madison Heights Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss identified a way to improve the two restrooms at City Hall. Before, they were just single-person handicapped-accessible stalls — not exactly the best place for parents to take their children while visiting City Hall. But now they’ve been remade into family restrooms with changing stations for children." - Madison Park News 1/27/16
" Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss said the fence is proof that local government is working.
“I love the fact staff was able to identify budget savings and direct them toward officer safety in the climate we’re living in,” Bliss said. “This is exactly the way the system is designed — to budget based on the knowledge we have, and when times change, we direct savings toward the issue.” - Madison Park News 9/21/16

"Mayor Pro Tem Mark Bliss had one concern with the budget: namely, $14,000 budgeted to replace 28 chairs in the council chambers and conference rooms at City Hall.
“It’s $14,000 — that’s with three zeroes — to replace chairs. In the workshop, I railed against this heavily, not just because I think it’s an absolute waste of money, but there are alternatives I threw out for the use of funds,” Bliss said." - Madison Park News 5/12/16

Public Forum for Sunset Park

"Bliss said that if nothing else, the public dialogue with the residents is helping the city to better understand what the residents want, and the survey and forum could serve as a template for gauging public opinion on future projects." - Madison Park News 9/12/15  & Madison Park News 10/21/15