Comments on: Recycling, Yes for Now; Public Art, Postponed it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: grace singleton grace singleton Tue, 18 Oct 2011 12:15:47 +0000 Sabra- thanks for the map.
Vivienne- yes the city used to let you hook up to water & sewer mains at the rate it cost when the original work was installed. It wasn’t really a discount, they just decided to set the costs with a different approach. That reduced cost only applied if you had access to a main that existed close to your house. In our case we were too far within the sub, so we had to pay full price, as they put in a new main.

I also support the higher taxes, I think Ann Arbor is a great place to live, but you also have to remember that not only do taxes go up, but things like garbage pick up is more costly. When we were in Pittsfield they picked up a stove in front of my house for me for free. in Ann Arbor I’m probably paying $50 for that. I haven’t looked really closely at the map Sabra shared, but I’d say most of these homes aren’t in the highest income brackets. It can be a large amount of debt and increased expense, and it can make a neighborhood even less desirable to move into.

By: Sabra Briere Sabra Briere Sun, 16 Oct 2011 19:32:04 +0000 Re #50

There’s a map here: [link] and a report on annexations here: [link]

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Sun, 16 Oct 2011 19:21:14 +0000 In partial answer to #50, the city had a “bargain rate” for a while where the old cheaper cost to hook up was charged to parcels whose owners requested hookup right away. The city in effect subsidized a whole wave of annexations in that the hookups were made below actual cost (though still costly). I’m not on top of actual calculations but part of the question probably depends on how long a particular water main must be extended, etc.

Some of the need for annexation is related to the 1,4-dioxane contamination. That is, of course, beyond the council’s scope to fix at this point. But there is a tangle of court decisions and ordinances that will make it illegal, if not imprudent, to use well water within the prohibited zone. The EPA has recently stiffened up their estimates of toxicity of this compound.

As for the complaint that property taxes will go up for the annexed parcels, pardon me if I’m not appropriately sympathetic to that argument. We Ann Arbor taxpayers are essentially bearing the cost for a metropolitan center that benefits the region, and isolated township islands should participate in that.

By: Grace Singleton Grace Singleton Sun, 16 Oct 2011 16:35:45 +0000 I’m behind keeping up with reading the chronicle, but upon review of this report, I’m a bit surprised that the systematic annexation of township islands into the city of Ann Arbor didn’t include discussion (in the council meeting or in these comments) regarding the impact to individual home owners.

Download the referenced pdf [link] & look to page 11. Examples of expenses associated with annexation. The costs per individual homeowner range from $20,00-$80,000. I discount the example No. 1 as that isn’t getting off without paying, it’s just delaying the hook up until that point at which the city has provided nearby water & sewer to hook up to. We were annexed from Pittsfield over 5 years ago & our costs were in the $50,000 range, so these are accurate examples.

Currently the annexation happens at the request of homeowners, & home owner associations. Can you imagine being told that you’re being annexed & you will owe the city up to $80,000 that you can pay off over 15 years, and that your property taxes will increase between 30-50% of what they are now. There is no increased property value from being part of the city that can cover such a high cost of admittance. This financial burden is also a deterrent to business development, as the costs for hook up for land development can take up a significant part of the planned project.

I understand that it’s expensive to connect to water & sewer, and that it is a city provided service that has value, but if I hadn’t already been annexed into the city & lived in a township island I’d want to get out from under that pending financial burden as soon as possible.

Is there a current map showing all the potential property to be systematically annexed?

By: cosmonıcan cosmonıcan Wed, 05 Oct 2011 01:55:20 +0000 If I may call you Mark…there’s no need to apologize for having principles, there is no right or wrong really, perhaps just for not adapting to the rule of law in this particular forum. You’re a better man than I am, holding your ground against a crowd; I’ve bolted A2dotCOM for among other reasons…some of those people scare me, and they will hunt me down given enough provocation. Gone are the days when I gave out white matchbooks with “cosmonıcan” stamped in silver foil.
I owe a lot to Gerry, he forced me, kicking and screaming, to go to art school (actually I had better cartooning skills before art school than after), we were not close, our interests quite different, but he was curious about me for whatever reason, and he had my well deserved respect, even if he was a madman at times.
Thanks for the Preston Tucker note, I never knew that. I knew him because my brother was a friend of his son, Kirby. Fortunately my brother did not share Kirby’s career choices, or rap sheet, they were just kids. I doubt we’ve ever met, it’s just unlikely.

By: Mark Tucker Mark Tucker Tue, 04 Oct 2011 20:52:17 +0000 To “Cosmonican” (primarily) I feel I should apologize for my ignorance regarding one’s right to use pseudonyms. I think several comments were made here that helped me to see this issue in a much more complex light. I will try hard not to draw a line in the sand so quickly from now on.

But, since I’m out of the closet, so to speak, and since you asked, I feel fortunate to have known Gerry Kamrowski very well and was even one of the many kids he “employed”. (I stained his house for a summer with a friend and we were allowed to pick out anything we wanted in his studio as payment!) And while not related, I have had the pleasure of knowing his wife Mary Jane, and her children (grandchildren of Preston Tucker, of automotive fame)–all of which I’m sure you know.

We probably met at a party at his house at one time.

By: cosmonıcan cosmonıcan Mon, 03 Oct 2011 12:01:34 +0000 At the risk of beating a dead horse, and wearing out my welcome. With reference to my comment within a comment in #31, and with due deference to the concerns of Mr Tucker, the non-anonymous letter I wrote to the Ann Arbor News many years ago had to do with the University of Michigan scheduling a series of anti-Soviet political lectures, as a way of welcoming the generous loan from the Soviet government of a collection of art treasures from the Hermitage, for display here at the University.

The U’s administration at the time thought it was fine to insult our guests with a series of rants and diatribes that would make any neo-con proud. Frankly, I doubt that the current lineup of bureaucrats is any more intelligent. Any how, I was pissed off that they would do a thing like this—the exhibit was cancelled and the lectures went on. We had the opportunity to see masterworks from the likes of Repin, and Shiskin, rarely if ever seen in this country, taken from us by the acts of some George Lincoln Rockwell / Edwin Walker lovin’ pseudo intellectuals in the Near-Eastern Languages department.

I think it’s okay to out him after all this time, but the first person to call me that Sunday morning the letter was published was Gerry Kamrowski. He was excited all over the place, and just as pleased as could be, but EVEN HE wanted to be kept on the QT, and with good reason. Retaliation does happen, and in subtle, evil little ways.

By the way Mr Tucker, Gerry had step children by the last name of Tucker, I don’t presume you are related.

In the years to follow I have been frustrated by the lack of ability to speak my mind sometimes. Don’t you ever feel the urge to scream “THEATER!” at a crowded fire? And I do so welcome the ability of new new media opportunities to get the common person’s voice out; and if a million people write a million different things, it is simple basic laws of the universe that the best ideas, like cream, will float to the top.

I have actually kept silent for many years because the opportunities were not there, and I had to put two and two together and keep my mouth shut. No matter what you write, no matter the subject, you will make somebody angry with you. So for a long time I stopped writing, because one day I had a letter published in the Detroit Free Press, using my name: That same day, I traveled up to Midland on a press approval as a consultant to General Motors; the sales manager at the printing company invited my client, myself and my associates, and some of his own junior sales and production people out to lunch at the country club nearby. Here we are in this white linen joint, large group of men having lunch in the town that probably served as the inspiration for Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions”, and the sales manager insists that we all hold our hands with each other around the table and pray like children before lunch. We pray, we eat, we talk, some talk about my letter in the Free Press, and I’m thinking: “I’d better keep my yap shut from now on if I want to have a career around here.”

And I’m still anonymous thank you, but if you don’t know me, then you never learned how to read between the lines.

I still like the idea of Dave running for mayor, by the way.

By: Edward Vielmetti Edward Vielmetti Mon, 03 Oct 2011 02:29:29 +0000 Hey, if pseudonyms were good enough to write the Federalist Papers, they’re good enough for me. Just stay away from the moronyms.

By: Rod Johnson Rod Johnson Mon, 03 Oct 2011 00:03:02 +0000 No, I was only arguing that there are valid reasons to use, and allow the use of, pseudonyms.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Sun, 02 Oct 2011 21:54:43 +0000 Rod, that is how I parsed your previous comment. Sorry if I misread it.