At the Dec. 5, 2011 Ann Arbor city council meeting, mayor John Hieftje nominated the city’s transportation program manager, Eli Cooper, to serve on the board of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. On confirmation by the city council, Cooper would fill the vacancy on the AATA board left by Sue McCormick.
McCormick is leaving her post at the city of Ann Arbor as public services area administrator to take a job as head of the Detroit water and sewerage department. McCormick’s last day on the job is Dec. 16. City administrator Steve Powers announced at the Dec. 5 meeting that the city’s head of systems planning, Craig Hupy, will fill in for McCormick on an interim basis. Powers reported that Hupy had no interest in the permanent position.
Cooper’s city position as transportation program manager falls under the city’s systems planning unit. The council previously appointed Cooper to serve on the AATA board on June 20, 2005. He served through June 2008, and was replaced on the board by current board chair Jesse Bernstein.
There is not a spot reserved for a city of Ann Arbor employee on the AATA board. When Cooper previously served on the AATA board, along with McCormick, their service prompted an op-ed in The Ann Arbor News criticizing the appointment of city employees to citizen boards. [.pdf of "Let's Stick With Autonomous Appointees for Citizen Boards"]
This brief was filed shortly after the council’s meeting concluded, around 12:30 a.m. A more detailed report will follow: [link]