At its June 4, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council voted officially to eliminate the city council appointee to the Elizabeth Dean Tree Fund committee. The committee was established in 1975 to oversee the use of the investment earnings from a nearly $2 million bequest made to the city by Elizabeth Dean. According to a Nov. 10, 1974 Ann Arbor News article, the bequest was made in the early 1960s to “repair, maintain and replace trees on city property.” The principal amount remains intact.
The formal elimination of the city council committee member leaves the committee with seven voting members and one non-voting member – the city’s urban forestry & natural resources planning coordinator. The city’s description of the committee indicates “No Council Rep. Based on City Council action taken on 1/6/03.” Based on city council action on that date, it appears that no councilmember was appointed when all of the council committee assignments were made. It appears that in subsequent years, the council has not had a representative on the Dean Tree Fund.
A staff memo accompanying the resolution indicates that the reason for the formal change is a desire to have an odd number of voting members and to reduce the quorum requirement for meetings from five members to four.
For fiscal year 2012, the investment income to the fund is budgeted at $85,000.
Currently, only six people are listed as members of the Dean Tree Fund committee, according to the city’s Legistar system: Albert E. Gallup, Bonita D. Ross Ion, Jane Immonen, John R. Bassett, John Remsberg, and Warren Attarian.
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]