Comments on: DDA OKs Capital Projects, Art Fair Trolley it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Jim Rees Jim Rees Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:39:42 +0000 Those lamp posts were no more than a year or two old when I took those photos. Apparently lamp posts are normally expected to last 50 years, according to several sets of standards I found on the web.

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Mon, 08 Jul 2013 01:07:13 +0000 Bob, in the earlier comment I meant to include an extract from some earlier reporting on the narrative about why the lamp posts rusted so dramatically. That was from a May 13 gathering of some DDA board members that was used as input into the city council’s May 20 budget deliberations: “At the May 13 gathering of the DDA board, Pollay had described how the light poles that are rusting sit flush on the concrete and may sit in water. A newer design has the base of the poles elevated on ‘fingers’.”

The price for the city’s standard lighting solution (i.e., cobra heads) quoted at that gathering was around $50,000.

By: Bob Elton Bob Elton Mon, 08 Jul 2013 00:34:44 +0000 Even if they last 25 years, that’s still only a fraction of the typical life span for a streetlight.

Perhaps I’m remembering when the retro-fitted them with the LED lamps.

By: Dave Askins Dave Askins Sun, 07 Jul 2013 23:46:34 +0000 Re: “Half a million dollars to replace streetlights that lasted less than a decade? (If memory serves me right).”

The light poles in question seem to have been in place at least two decades based on some photos taken by Jim Rees of downtown Ann Arbor in 1993: [link]

By: Bob Elton Bob Elton Sun, 07 Jul 2013 22:42:14 +0000 I greatly appreciate the Chronicle’s journalism. You are usually thorough, and make difficult issues understandable.

But I think you missed a serious issue with the Main Street streetlights.

1. Half a million dollars to replace streetlights that lasted less than a decade? (If memory serves me right). There are light poles in other cities, if not here, that have served a century, and, in fact, were replaced not because of structural failures but for aesthetic reasons. Beaux art lampposts went out of style.

2. How do we know the replacement streetlights will be any more long-lived? Where’s the root-cause analysis, where’s the proposed solution? Judging by the picture, the cause appears to be oxidation corrosion, (rust, in layman’s terms). The usual cause is inadequate or improper coating or plating of the steel. But it could also be galvanic corrosion, caused by dissimilar metals, leaking electrical currents, or moisture-borne chemicals, like salt.

If I was sitting on the DDA, or city council, or even as a taxpayer, I’d sure like some answers before laying out another half million for streetlights.

Bob Elton

By: Mark Koroi Mark Koroi Sat, 06 Jul 2013 17:32:08 +0000 The DDA has been a lightning rod for criticism about its operation.

One aspect I have seen is its members seemingly cozy relationship with City Council. Nader Nassif, a criminal defense attorney whose law firm is retained by City Council to provide indigent legal representation for District Court criminal defendants, relies upon City Council to approve his law firm’s six-figure compensation claims for services rendered. This creates a situation where there is at least potential for conflict of interest since Mr. Nassif may not likely want to vote on a certain matter as a DDA board representative which may offend the wishes of City Council members; this creates a possible impression that the independence of the DDA may be possibly compromised – or at least in a potential situation to be compromised.

There are also former City Council members who sit on the DDA whom City Council and the Mayor likely have influence over due to a prior relationship as fellow council members.

Ther is a public perception in some quarters that the DDA is neither independent nor representative as a cross-section of Ann Arbor citizens as a whole – but rather run by insiders with ties to the Mayor’s clique.