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2024-04-01 Ann Arbor City Council Wrapup

The Ann Arbor City Council met on .

This was a big meeting that passed resolutions unequivocally setting the priorities of city council: We must facilitate the construction of housing at all income levels!

Opinion: Golf is not the best use of city resources

At the last City Council meeting meeting, the council voted not to sign a 5-year lease on gas-powered golf carts because running gas-powered vehicles goes against the city’s plan to go carbon-neutral by 2030. At tonight’s meeting, they are reconsidering this decision and will probably choose to lease the golf carts.

I have opinions about this, which I wrote to them in a letter, which I will re-print below. If you want to write them a similar letter, you can email CityCouncil@a2gov.org.

If you want to call them before tonight’s meeting (or after), find your councilmembers’ contact info here.

Now, here is what I wrote to them:

Ann Arbor City Council Preview for Monday, 2023-05-01

The next Ann Arbor City Council meeting will be .

The things I’m most excited about are actually things that will not be voted upon at this meeting.

The first thing I’m excited about is the public hearing about the proposed budget. This is your chance to comment on the budget that was proposed by the City Administrator in his presentation at the last city council meeting. The city council will not vote on the budget at this meeting. This is just a public hearing. They will vote on it at the next meeting and propose amendments. You can also email CityCouncil@a2gov.org with your thoughts. I’m going to call in to this public meeting and mention my thoughts: I don’t want cops on the proposed downtown safety patrols - just EMTs and social workers. And I don’t want the police budget expanded to add 1.75 FTE.

Which brings me to the other thing that I’m excited about at this meeting, which will not be voted on. In fact, it will not even be discussed, unless people call the city clerk’s office to get on the speaking agenda for the meeting.

The other thing I’m excited about is the response from the consultant we hired to help us design the unarmed response program, in which there will be people you can call when there is a crisis, and they will only send a helpful response, and will not send police. Let’s see what the consultant said!

Ann Arbor City Council Wrapup for Monday, 2023-04-17

The Ann Arbor City Council met on .

We finally got to see the city administrator’s budget presentation. I’ll walk you through it and give my thoughts. The contract for the comprehensive land use plan update was approved, with strong language about redressing segregation in our new plan, and also with the assumption that we will be creating density. Also, the 415 W Washington rezoning and concept plan were approved.

Planning Commission Wrap-Up for Tuesday, 2023-04-04

The Ann Arbor Planning Commission met on . This is my wrapup of what happened at the meeting.

I was watching mostly because I was concerned about a proposed new branch of the University of Michigan Credit Union at 2929 Plymouth Road, which is currently a weird dingbat-style office building that I used to work in. It was proposed to be a standalone, single-story bank with a drive-through, which I thought was a horrendous waste of that land, and something that would prolong car culture.

But I think the thing that’s going to have a larger impact on the city overall was the discussion about the development incentives that the city offers to downtown developers, and how they might be changed in order to achieve the results we want, such as more housing downtown.