Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board meeting (Aug. 19, 2010): On the occasion of its first meeting scheduled at the downtown location of the Ann Arbor District Library – which is to become its usual meeting place – the AATA board failed to achieve a quorum.
A quorum – the minimum number of board members needed in order to conduct business – consists of four members for the seven-member AATA board.
In attendance were Roger Kerson, Anya Dale – who were both recently appointed to the board – plus board chair Jesse Bernstein. The usually cheerful Bernstein seemed a bit glum, when he announced that no quorum would be achieved.
Bernstein told the handful of people assembled in the room – members of the public and the AATA staff – that he was “sorry and disappointed” and offered his apologies. He noted that it was the first occasion of a meeting scheduled at the library, and that the CTN staff were on hand to ensure the proceedings were videotaped. “See you next month!” he concluded.
At the board’s Feb. 17, 2010 meeting, the question of a change of venue for the board’s meetings was entertained, but not voted on. At the next month’s March 24, 2010 meeting, the board voted to change the bylaws to specify the downtown library as the new meeting location. The rationale was to provide better accessibility to the board’s deliberations by making use of the library board room’s video taping equipment. The AATA board room is not similarly equipped.
The change to the library location for AATA board meetings was delayed until August while physical accessibility issues were addressed, in connection with the construction of the new underground parking garage along Fifth Avenue. From the June 23, 2010 board meeting:
During public commentary, Clark Charnetski, who was there to deliver the report from AATA’s local advisory council (LAC), noted that the library had been made more accessible, because the removal of the flower box on the Fifth Avenue side had been completed and there is a new ramp to the William Street side. That should make it a lot easier to get from the A-Ride (para-transit) stop on William Street. People could watch for the mini-bus to arrive. He thanked the AATA for any role that they had in helping that process along. Bernstein said that staff had been diligent. Ford indicated that an intercom system would be installed in the library to aid in alerting riders of the para-transit system when their rides were there.
On Thursday, one of the members of the public who appeared at the scheduled meeting, only to be disappointed, was Carolyn Grawi of the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living. She told The Chronicle that although the new ramp was ADA compliant – its shallow slope did not trigger a requirement for handrails – it was dangerous just the same. The danger arises from the side of the ramp opposite the slope, where there is a step. The step is highlighted with yellow marking, but can be missed, she said. Grawi told The Chronicle that the previous Friday, a woman using a walker had fallen off the edge.
Orange cones have now been placed along the edge of the ramp to help prevent future mishaps.
Present: Jesse Bernstein, Roger Kerson, Anya Dale.
Absent: Charles Griffith, David Nacht, Sue McCormick, Rich Robben.
Next regular meeting: Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010 at at 6:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor District Library, 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor [confirm date]